“It may be challenging but it is the best you can do for the nourishment of your child. It will create several changes in your body. Your body may never be the same anymore but remember, all the marks left are symbols of how powerful and exceptional the woman's body is.”
She and her daughter are able to share intimate moments during breastfeeding that strengthen their bond and bring them closer together as a family. It is in moments like those where Mommy Maloi knows she is giving the best parts of her self for her daughter. “It created a bond between us which has become significant to me in gaining motivation to be more optimistic of what motherhood will cost me as a first time mom.”
Aside from fostering a strong bond between mother and child through exclusive breastfeeding, she knew she was providing only the best for her daughter— “I felt that she got closer and more familiar with me and I felt fulfilled because of being able to provide nourishment to my child. We both enjoyed and showed satisfaction whenever my daughter feeds and I was so happy about seeing how healthy my baby was when I was still breastfeeding.”
However, not all breastfeeding journeys will be easy. Mommy Maloi had her fair share of struggles, “I remember how I cried during the first week while breastfeeding my baby due to painful, sore and wounded nipples. I [also had a] naturally abundant supply of milk but the presence of wounds made it unbearable for me sometimes.” Like a lot of moms, she experienced pains during breastfeeding but it did not stop her from pursuing exclusive breastfeeding. She shares how she was able to overcome those difficulties through manual expression, rest, and medication.
“What I did was I pumped and stored milk for my child and she fed through bottles for the mean time as I let my wounds heal before directly breastfeeding my child again. When I returned to direct breastfeeding after a week to allow my wounds to heal, I applied nipple gel twice a day to relieve pain and soreness.”
Despite the problems she has faced during motherhood and breastfeeding, she was able to persevere because of the love she had for her daughter. When asked if she would have done anything differently when she had first started breastfeeding, she said she wouldn’t have it any other way. Mommy Maloi sees motherhood as a beautiful gift where she is able to celebrate her womanhood and share the gift of life. “A lot of things has always been unpredictable for me as a first time mother, but it positively affected me and keeps me motivated to do better each day.” All the ups and downs of motherhood had all been worth it as Mommy Maloi sees her daughter grow up strong and healthy.
“…it just proves how a woman's body can give life and nourish a life… and that is what makes it valuable.”
Breastfeeding will always be with its stigmas and misconceptions but what Mommy Maloi wants us to know is that breastfeeding is not a thing to be to be ashamed of — “…it just proves how a woman's body can give life and nourish a life… and that is what makes it valuable.”
The lack of public education holds society back by keeping to old misconceptions, which is why she believes that access to the health information is crucial to ending the stigma. “The facts about [breastfeeding] must be strengthened and properly taught to all people, not just to mothers.” She also stresses the importance of breastmilk for the overall health and nutrition of infants and that it is a big factor in their brain development. Mommy Maloi wants mothers like her and soon-to-be moms to know the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding but also to be aware of the possible difficulties that could be faced. “It may be challenging but it is the best you can do for the nourishment of your child. It will create several changes in your body. Your body may never be the same anymore but remember, all the marks left are symbols of how powerful and exceptional the woman's body is.”
Sharing her story, Mommy Maloi hopes that her story will inspire moms and soon-to-be moms to find the time and determination to pursue exclusive breastfeeding for their children despite the challenges that could be faced.
“I must say as a mother to another mother, breastfeeding will cause beautiful changes in your life and will make you appreciate and love your own body even more. Be proud and carry on!”
In line with our objective to empower Filipino mothers to breastfeed, Milk Matters presents Express Yourself, an online movement that sheds light on the breastfeeding experiences of Filipino mothers, families, doctors, nurses, and other members of society. Our vision is to inspire other mothers to continue breastfeeding through these stories.