It’s not a secret that I became a mom at a very young age. I was just 17 then. With God’s grace, my husband and I were able to surpass the difficulties and hardships of that phase in our lives. Our parents also helped us a lot and stood by our side, gave us guidance and the support we needed.
Did it ever cross your mind that if only time would allow, you could have done better as a parent? I think about it sometimes. I have “what if” moments. There are things I wish I prepared for and knew when I was pregnant and gave birth. Read along and find out if we share the same sentiments.
1. Breastfeeding is not a walk in the park
This is not for formula milk moms to feel bad, I am an FM mom myself. I just want to express that I wish I had known the importance of breastfeeding back then. I had a lot of milk supply. While we were at the hospital, the nurse even asked me to donate some of my liquid gold. If you don’t know the wonders of breastmilk, better check Google now. Unfortunately, I did not pay much attention to this blessing and just let my supply ran out when my daughter did not want to latch anymore and preferred the bottle instead. Since I was going to school, during daytime, she fed on formula milk that’s why when I tried to feed her at night, she resisted. My lack of knowledge about stashing hindered my child from maximizing the benefits of breastmilk.
In my son’s case though, my milk supply was low, it was not enough to make him full that’s why he cried most of the time. We had to stop after a month of trying. A few months later, I learned about an online support group and organizations that promote breastfeeding. They have all the information you need and you can join forums to talk to other moms about bf journey.Had I known this earlier, I would have done things that can help me produce more milk for my baby.
If you’re struggling in increasing your milk supply, here are some tips:
- Eat food that helps boost your breast milk production- try malunggay or moringa olfeira, oatmeal, scallops, shellfish, soups (there are a lot of recipes available online) Make sure to eat right because your baby absorbs nutrients from the food you take.
- Increase fluid intake- aside from soups, drinking water more frequently keeps you hydrated and it helps in producing more milk.
- Take supplements- aside from food, supplements can be your aid in making sure your supply is enough, just like Honest’s Lactation Plus, which has herbs and other nutrients that support breast milk production. Visit your doctor first before taking any.
Honest recently launched their Honest Moments Campaign and you’re welcome to view the videos. Moms are not perfect but we do everything to raise our kids well. You may check the videos here.
2. Your kids are sick and you may not know it
Lack of sleep and time for yourself are married to having a child. When my eldest was just a week old, I thought it’s perfectly normal for her to sleep longer hours. I did not bother to monitor how frequent she wanted milk.I was a bit relieved because I had extra time to rest. Little did I know that she was already sick. Call me stupid, I did not even feel she had a fever. Good thing my sister visited us and she told me to temp check my baby. She asked how many times I fed her and I replied twice or thrice the whole day. She commented it’s not normal. We were shocked when the thermometer showed 39 degrees. It’s dangerous for a week-old baby. We rushed her to the hospital and my whole world crushed when we were told she has to be confined due to pneumonia.
Parents, be attentive when it comes to monitoring your kids, especially newborns. You may want to read about common sickness of babies. If something’s not right, visit your pediatrician.
3. Take care of your baby’s teeth and make brushing fun
Yes, I brushed her teeth as soon as I saw them erupted but I was not consistent in doing so. Maybe it was the reason why she hated this activity and it always ended with cries and wails. I should have researched about ways to make brushing teeth fun and could have been more patient in making her like it. I should have seen a dentist to teach us how to properly take care of my daughter’s teeth so she wouldn’t have to suffer from toothache.
4. Introduce fruits and veggies while they are little
When it’s time to feed her solid food, I started buying taho (soya with caramel) and I read about recommended food for babies. It was going well at first but since I became busy working and adjusting to the night life, as she grew up, I lost the chance to introduce fruits and veggies to her. It was difficult to give her vegetables and the only fruits she would eat were banana and apple. I wish I could bring back time and buy carrots, potatoes, beans,squash, and make it a point where we prepare veggie meals so our daughter could see that we also love eating healthy food, just like what we do with our son now.
Until now, it’s difficult to talk to her about eating veggies and fruits but we still encourage her to eat these, my husband and I tell her how nutritious they are.We still buy her banana and apple and we make sure that we serve vegetables on our table at least once a week. My hopes are still up that she is going to like them.
I did not share these experiences to be judged but for others to learn from my shortcomings before. The greatest lesson I have learned as I finish this is TIME is absolutely important in raising a child. Give more time to your kids to teach them good habits while they’re young. Spend time in making yourself equipped with knowledge that you need in taking care of your children. It’s never too late to become a better parent. Start working on that now.