"It was my love for my baby that made me want to succeed in breastfeeding."
Dianne Pangilinan-Concepcion is a mother to one year old baby girl CC, one with a newfound advocacy for breastfeeding. Like most first-time mothers, Dianne initially struggled with nursing her daughter. However, with dedication and utmost love for her daughter, she was able to overcome her struggles and breastfeed successfully, giving her daughter the best gift a mother can offer.
"I discovered that breastfeeding allows you to bond with your baby while nurturing her."
Prior to entering the domain of motherhood, Dianne thought that lactation was done to merely satiate children’s appetites; it was only when she began to breastfeed that she discovered the emotional aspect of this practice. “I discovered that breastfeeding allows you to bond with your baby while nurturing her. I teach her the different parts of the body, I tickle her, and sing to her when I nurse her.” In the first few hours, Dianne observed with wonder how attached she and CC were to each other right after delivery, especially after nursing her for the first time. However, her first day of motherhood was not without difficulty, and the subsequent weeks that ensued proved to be even more taxing. For instance, she recalls how she was clueless as to how to even hold her baby while nursing on the first day. Dianne shares, “I had to consult a lactation nurse to teach me how to hold a baby while breastfeeding and how to understand the different hunger cues of my baby.” Moreover, the first few weeks at home with her baby girl proved to be quite stressful as CC settled into her new home, and as Dianne settled in to her new role. For her, the biggest struggle she faced during this adjustment period was finding the most comfortable latch-on position for her and her baby. For a time, this led to bleeding nipples and a feeling of discouragement.
"I pushed through because I want to be able to give my child breastmilk for as long as I can."
Despite the initial setbacks Dianne encountered in the first few weeks of motherhood, she was able to power through out of love for her daughter. “I realized that it was my love for my baby that made me want to succeed in breastfeeding. As someone who grew up sickly, I know that there are so many health benefits to breastfeeding. So even when it was too difficult, painful, or time-consuming for me, I pushed through because I want to be able to give my child breastmilk for as long as I can.” Eventually, through patience, perseverance, and love for her daughter, Dianne was able to learn how to detect hunger cues, latch properly, and nourish her baby without discomfort or pain.
Dianne urges new mothers to research on breastfeeding in preparation for lactation, and learn as much as they can about it even during pregnancy. She also encourages mothers to take advantage of the advent of technology and information, as information about lactation is abundant. “Watching YouTube videos also helped! It would have helped me practice proper latching, and could have saved me from bleeding nipples during the first few weeks.”
Above all, Dianne believes that a mother’s love is the most important driving factor in breastfeeding success. “It will never be easy. It will even drive you crazy, especially when your baby never stops latching during her growth spurt period. When you feel like giving up, try again! Remember why you wanted to breastfeed in the first place.” Dianne is indeed an inspiration to all first-time mothers.
A mother's love is the most important driving factor in breastfeeding success.
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.