Another significant challenge Mommy Margo encountered was finding out her younger daughter had food (and environmental) allergies. Her younger daughter, Maxine, has been exclusively breastfeed for 11 months. Being the primary source of her youngest daughter’s nutrition, Mommy Margo had to eliminate certain food in her diet, restricting herself to a limited range of food ingredients. She had to make sure the food she ate was safe for her daughter, a very tricky thing since the food items her daughter is allergic to are in almost every dish out there. Sadly, every rash that appeared on her daughter’s body would constantly make Mommy Margo blame herself for the meals she had the previous day. She knew there was no absolute way to pinpoint what could’ve caused the rash or discomfort, given that multiple factors could have caused it. She says, “I cannot personally say that we have overcome this difficulty yet, but through the help of her medical specialists, we at least were able to determine what food items she is allergic to as a guide for her diet as well as mine.” Thankfully, with the help of healthcare professionals and her personal determination to adjust her diet, Mommy Margo is now able to manage her daughters’ allergic reactions.
Lastly, we asked Mommy Margo what about breastfeeding would she want people to know. Her response was,
“What I want society to know about breastfeeding is that breastfeeding is one of the most natural yet magical expressions of love a mother can give to her baby. The wonders of breastmilk, even up to this day, is something science cannot fully explain. The magic of the mother’s body being able to change her breast milk composition based on her child’s health is just one of the many beauties of what breastmilk and a nursing mother can do. Breastfeeding isn’t easy. It takes a lot of dedication, patience and persistence to mold your own unique journey of breastfeeding your child.”
“I realized that breastfeeding is hard! It's painful, it’s messy, it's the most important thing your baby needs and it's a lot of pressure. But it's the labor of love, and it's rewards are beautiful.”
Mommy Anita says this fondly thinking of how nice it is to see Mav 'milk drunk' and fast asleep after a good feed.
Her journey as a first time mother simultaneously took place with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. At one point, Mommy Anita came down with a fever. Despite this, her doctor advised her to continue breastfeeding with taking proper precautions, such as wearing a mask.
“I want society to know that breastfeeding is so essential, especially now that there is a pandemic, our babies need the antibodies found in breastmilk to strengthen their immunity. And it doesn't cost a thing!”
Mommy Anita expresses this while advising new moms who are considering breastfeeding to stay healthy, don’t give up and enjoy it because it doesn’t last forever. And lastly, she encourages new moms to donate their extra milk to help fellow mothers and babies in need.
“I think breastfeeding has definitely strengthened my bond with my babies. Even though it was sometimes very hard, it was always my special time with them.”
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.