Just one week of being away from the baby for long periods landed me in the Lactation Room at Cardinal (Cardinal Santos Medical Center).
I was there for three long hours while the lactation nurse worked on my clogged ducts and milk blisters.
It was not the most fun of experiences and I certainly won’t bore you with it. What I will share however, are the lessons I’ve learned while inside the small corner room
1. The Struggle is Real
One knock and in came a struggling first time mom. “Help! I have no milk! Show me how to get it out!”, she cried. She had just given birth a couple of days ago, at 30 weeks. Baby is still at NICU and is in need of her precious milk.
She seemed really clueless and truly heartbroken. “I was up all night crying!”, she admitted.
Seeing that she was not alone, she looked at me and then at the milk being expressed from my clogged pipes. I knew what she was thinking.
I felt for her. I was that mom once too. I still remember feeling so depressed at how, after using the hospital’s breast pump, I managed to get only a few measly drops of milk while those beside me were nursing their babies happily (rooming in wasn’t the trend back then).
The struggle is so so real.
The good news is, it happens to the best of us. Even lactation nurses have trouble at the beginning, nurse Jessie sheepishly admitted. What more of us, mere mortals, right?
If you’re on the same boat, don’t stress over it. Arm yourself with knowledge, get help and relax. You’ll be just fine!
Oh, and don’t forget the Malunggay!
2. Workers are Mothers too
Another knock and in came a lady security guard. After closing the door, she quickly unbuttoned her uniform exposing a plain white shirt. She politely borrowed the pump, took a seat on the LazyBoy and started pumping.
I was shocked.
Call me naive but it never occurred to me that lady guards are lactating moms too! (Good for you, ate!)
It made me think of the lady guard in school who had just given birth, of the policewoman at the intersection, of the teacher at the local public school. Are they as fortunate as the lady guard in the hospital who had access to a breast pump and a comfortable pumping/lactation room?
I’m glad that I have discovered (just recently) that my kids’ school where I wait long hours has a decent pumping room. Before that, I actually had to pump in the toilet cubicle because I forgot to bring my nursing cover!
I hope that mothers everywhere won’t have to resort to the unsanitary toilet cubicle just because there is no designated pumping room where they work. Let every workplace, for the white or for the blue, have a decent place for pumping because truly, workers are mothers too.
3. Sometimes, Google Just Can’t Help
For every little question, we often resort to Google for answers. Even my 5-year old has learned to befriend Mr. Google.
When it comes to our health however, sometimes, Google just isn’t the right person to ask.
That’s what the professionals are for, I’ve learned.
First time mom above had to come running to the lactation nurse to ask for guidance in getting her milk out. Even a seasoned mom like me had to go seek professional help in getting the ducts running again.
That’s of course, after following every YouTube video we could find on the topic and still failing. 😛
Thanks again to the wonderful lactation nurses Jessie and Daylin for taking care of us that day. If you wish to know more about breastfeeding and lactation massages or if you have breastmilk to donate, do join the Lactation Fair this coming August 26! More details on the flyer below!