Breastfeeding is the hardest during the first few weeks, but it does get better, as new mom of two Lara Quigaman discovered. The actress shares that taking it one day at a time helps, and every single day of not giving up on nursing her newborn is worthy of a celebration!
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"I consider exclusively breastfeeding my second baby [Tobias Alcaraz] for almost six weeks now one of my greatest achievements in life!" she wrote on her blog. Lara revealed that she mix-fed her first son Noah, so being able to nurse Tobias exclusively is a big feat for her.
Yes, like many moms, Lara almost gave up on breastfeeding. She thought she had it in the bag after successfully nursing her newborn son while still in the hospital, but five days into it, she says she started dreading their feeding sessions.
"My toes would curl from the pain, and I would cry while Tobias nursed. My nipples started to crack, and it was so painful," she said, adding that it was more painful than childbirth. "During one of those nights, I almost asked my husband, Marco [Alcaraz] to buy formula," Lara admitted.
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But she didn't—she instead manually pumped the affected breast while "unwantingly" nursing Tobias in the other. Then, Lara decided to get help from a lactation expert who taught her how to massage engorged breasts and corrected how her baby latched.
"It really is very important to be truly informed and educated about breastfeeding even before you give birth," Lara wrote. She revealed she attended one before giving birth and learned a lot from it. But it's "still very different learning from the actual experience."
Lara shared some tips to fellow breastfeeding moms based on her own experience, such as applying lanolin cream before giving birth (she only did so when her nipples cracked), using cold compress for engorged breasts but applying warm compress before each nursing session, and seeking help!>
"Don't suffer in silence, breastfeeding should not be painful," Lara said. She also underscored the importance of having a support system—in her case, her doctors, friends, and her husband, who she says even went out in the middle of the night once to buy lanolin cream for her.>
Five weeks ago, Lara thought she wouldn't survive another feeding session, but she did. Her advice: "Mamas, the first two weeks are the hardest. After that, it just gets easier, so hang on," she added. "You are not alone. You can do this one day at a time." >