I felt my mother’s gentle yet urgent tap on my leg, “Ja, gising na!”. I turned to check on the time and was so shocked to know that I only have 20 minutes to catch my friend, Em of Touringkitty in our meeting place. I immediately sent her a text message asking her to please wait for a few extra minutes.
It was the fastest shower I ever took in my life. I dressed up, got hold of my things, kissed my dearest son Rio who was sound asleep and literally flew to our meet-up place. Yes! Em was still there. I waved at her, we took a cab and our Saturday gig with the breastfeeding expert and rockstar Dr. Jack Newman officially began. Read more.
We arrived at Medical City just in time. People were just starting to come in and we still had the chance to choose the best seats. It was also perfect that our ticket sponsors Paola of Mommy Treats and Eliza of Painter’s Wife were the ones assigned in the entrance doors. We had the opportunity to greet and thank these dedicated and cool breastfeeding mothers for our free tickets.
We chose to seat in the middle part of the auditorium to have a good view of our speaker. Everyone was busy looking for their seats when I remembered my new found breast friend who I was meeting for the first time. I sent a message to Shanel of Haller Nanay, fellow breastfeeding advocate and blogger, to tell her where we were seated and invited her to join us as well.
The auditorium was suddenly filled with women – breastfeeding moms, advocates, doctors, midwives – eagerly waiting for Dr. Jack Newman’s lecture. I totally forgot that I missed breakfast (no coffee!), my hair was a big mess and I was still sleepy. Finally, thanks to Dr. Newman and my seatmates, I was beginning to move on from that early morning bad start.
Who is Dr. Jack Newman and why is he called the breastfeeding rockstar? Honestly, I just read about his credentials (Canadian physician, opened the first hospital breastfeeding clinic in Canada, etc.) when I searched him on google a few days before the event.
As I listened to him talk about his passion and strong commitment in helping women breastfeed, I totally agree that the rockstar label was the perfect description for him. He is unconventional, passionate and fiery in his advocacy. He makes you feel that breastfeeding your child is the coolest human act on earth and you are having the best rock performance of your life.
It was an “information overload” kind of afternoon as Dr. Newman shared valuable knowledge on breastfeeding. I had to choose one topic that really struck me and I considered as my favorite part of the lecture.
Breastfeeding and jaundice really hit me straight and sharp. The day ( just for ONE day!) I stopped breastfeeding was the biggest mistake I made in our breastfeeding journey.
I can’t remember the exact results of Rio’s bilirubin level but for our pediatrician it was enough to recommend phototherapy and suggest to temporarily stop breastfeeding. She said I could express and store my milk then continue breastfeeding after the jaundice disappears.
I can clearly recall the night I was expressing milk while my one-month old son was drinking his first formula milk. I pumped precious breast milk and cried bucket full of tears at the same time.
We went to another pediatrician the following day to ask for an order to admit Rio for phototherapy at the Philippine General Hospital. She advised me to continue breastfeeding and politely asked me to decide if I would go on with the phototherapy sessions. I couldn’t recall her exact words but I think it sounds like this “Mommy, the bilirubin level results are not that high…jaundice is normal to breastfed babies…continue breastfeeding and just expose your son to early morning sun.”
My husband and I decided to continue with the phototherapy sessions. But the most important decision we made was to continue our breastfeeding journey. We wasted no time. Rio re-latched to my breasts and I was overjoyed. We endured the strong fluorescent lights during our breastfeeding sessions in the hospital. After 48 hours we went home, Rio was still jaundiced but we were determined to continue breastfeeding.
If only I had searched for Dr. Jack Newman in the internet during those crucial days of my breastfeeding journey, he would probably just say a single sentence : “Nadia, just fix the breastfeeding.” To all moms who are breastfeeding newborns : read a lot, educate yourselves, do your research. Don’t panic if your little angel is jaundiced especially in the first few weeks. Just fix the latch, the breastfeeding and make sure he gets that precious liquid gold.
Here’s the link to Dr. Jack Newman’s article on breastfeeding and jaundice.
Nanays, have you made a “breastfeeding mistake” in your breastfeeding journey or any problem/challenge/event that led you to stop breastfeeding ? If yes, what is it and how did you correct it?