Mom of three Karel Marquezgave birth just over a month ago to her and husband Sean’s baby boy Kobe Fariñas, and has been sharing snippets of her life caring for her rainbow baby. Among the things she is busy with is breastfeeding baby Kobe.
Just recently, the 32-year-old shared a hack that allows her to get more sleep during the night even as she breastfeeds her newborn on demand and expresses milk regularly for storing.
Now, Karel is also voicing out her hope that someday soon, society would be more accepting not only of breastfeeding (we’re slowly getting there), but also when it comes to mothers pumping breast milk in public, an act she refers to as a “labour of love.”
“Some people may feel weirded out by looking at it, but it is nice to be educated on why moms do this,” she wrote on Instagram as a caption for a photo of herself with a pumping machine attached to her breasts to collect milk.
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Many new moms who have to go back to work after their maternity leave are all too familiar with the challenges of pumping breast milk. Because they wish to still be able to provide their babies with the best nutrition even while they are away, they make it a point to express milk, usually with the use of a breast pump, to collect milk while at work so they could store it for the times they are unable to nurse their child. While many offices already have facilities where moms could express milk, it is still challenging for many to collect milk in a secure and sterile place (Here are some of the weirdest places where moms pumped milk in).
Karel, who says she’s a WAHM (work-at-home mom) for now, may have the luxury of staying with baby Kobe during these first few months (“It ain’t the walk in the park,” she says), but she understands the needs of new moms like her. She called for a kinder working environment, and for people to be more considerate of her fellow breastfeeding moms.
“I’m just home so I don’t have to worry about other people’s thoughts, but I am showing this stand on my feed so some people can comprehend why we need to do this process.
“I hope more work places and colleagues (even non-parents most especially who haven’t been through this stage) would understand, at least for working moms, to have a place for pumping, without feeling embarrassed, or without being judged, really.
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“Maybe a private room or area for breastfeeding moms to encourage themselves to feed liquid gold to their baby, rather than quitting right away in the first weeks because of circumstance. After all, it is what we feed our baby,” she stated.
Karel also expressed her support for all moms, whether they are breastfeeding or using formula milk, underlining the importance of going with whatever works for the mom and her baby.
“Whatever the situation, whether a breastfeeding or formula mom, I’m all for WHATEVER WORKS for you and baby. Whatever makes baby happy, working around the work lifestyle of the mom too plays a big part of it all,” she added.
In the comments section, she also shared some tips on boosting her milk supply, and her followers gave their two cents, too, on the matter of breastfeeding and pumping milk.
When one asked her if she restricts her diet for the purpose of breastfeeding, Karel replied, “I eat whatever I like and make sure I don’t diet. Thinking about it too much may be stressing so key is also happy mommy, happy eating, = more milk and happy baby :)”
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Karel mentioned that she finds the Haakaa breast pumps convenient to use because “you just stick it and let the magic start ‘flowing.’” Drinking soya milk daily helps boost her breast milk supply, too, she said in reply to another netizen.
Others also shared how they managed to pump and store breast milk while at work. One said she would wear an oversized shirt to hide the pumps because as a front liner, she could not leave her workstation. Another said she would ask the crew of their canteen to keep her breast milk in their refrigerator to keep it from spoiling until she gets home, while one said her co-workers eventually got used to the sound the pumping machine makes that they let her be even as she pumped during meetings, to which Karel replied, “Amazing! It takes a village!”