Earning Income as a Stay-at-Home Parent..(part 1)

          Besides saving up for the future, having a baby is quite expensive especially when you can't or choose not to breastfeed. It's never a bad idea to find ways to earn extra money for a backup support system, and most opportunities don't even require you to leave home. Before starting off, you should know that there's no such thing as easy money. All sources of income require some form of commitment or effort, otherwise, it's going to be short-lived. Dear moms, stay at home parents and thriving dads, here are some obvious but promising ways to generate income while you're at home.

SETTING UP A MICRO-BUSINESS

           I know, the first thing that comes to mind is 'putting up a business requires so much money and effort'. Like I've said, no effort no money, but in this case we are not talking about Big businesses. This business does not necessarily have to be expensive, difficult or time-consuming, that's why it's called a micro business. The good thing about this type of business is that you can choose your own pacing, amount of money to start it up with and where you want to set it up. There are two ways to provide items to the public, either you make them or you buy them (resell).

RESELLING

         There are many people, wives and moms mostly, who buy and resell products. The key in successfully reselling such products is discounts and wholesale prices. You can attract more buyers this way since there's no need to overprice your items to regain your investment. Another way to earn better through reselling is buying imported products, preferably directly from a national source. Buying from local stores to resell imported products is not ideal since the price will have been raised already for their own profit. For example, you're going to sell Japanese food; it's best to find a direct seller from Japan in order to sell them at reasonable prices, so customers will prefer your products over local stores' overpriced one.

MAKING YOUR OWN PRODUCTS

            Before setting up a micro business, especially when providing your own products, you need to know first what you are really good at. This is the same core factor in determining which job type would be best for you. You, and only you, can tell whether or not making your own products to sell will be enjoyable or stressful. Here is a healthy tip about that matter; if you see it as more stressful than worth it then don't proceed. It will most likely burn down into failure because any form of work without enthusiasm will result in low quality outcome, something buyers or clients wouldn't like.

ONLINE or a PHYSICAL STORE?

          Today, most parents who nurture their babies prefer to stay at home, especially breast feeding moms. Ideally, an online store will make it easier for you to manage and organize your products and transactions. This is the best alternative if you plan to have a micro business when your baby is still too young to play on his/her own or be left with others. Below are some of the most profitable micro business ideas that might interest you or are quite close to your skills and capabilities:

Selling Baked or Cooked Goods

          No matter what the occasion, food will always get consumed, one way or another. It is one of the basic needs of any human and, if made scrumptious, people will come back for more. If you are extremely good at either cooking or baking this type of micro business is your best bet. The challenge in this area of expertise is cooking in large amounts and repeating the same recipe over and over because of client request. You can offer a catering service or baked goods by order. It's usually ideal for an online food shop to offer service only within the city area or town so you won't need to travel far to deliver your goods or risk spoiling.

Selling Handcraft or Homemade Items

          If you are creative in some way like sowing, jewelry making and knitting, then selling handcrafted items will be beneficial. Setting up a micro business of handicrafts will require not just financial but time investment. You will need to hone your skills first and make enough products to sell before launching your small shop. If you think you don't have a knack for creativity or feels short of it, don't despair there are many homemade items you can sell that doesn't require much creativity like:

  • Perfume, Soap, Detergent - you can actually take courses on making these products. You can also get tutorials online on how to make them more fragrant or effective. The things you need to make them can be found at home (pots, spatula, bottles) and the ingredients are not very expensive at all either.
  • Yarn, Canvass, Felt, Cotton - with cotton there's hardly any work to do but pick them, that is if you have a cotton tree to derive it from. You will only need to wash and bleach away the dirt. Making felt and yarn can also be learnt through special classes that you can find at Tesda. On the subject of canvass making, I got this idea from being a painter. I had a classmate whose father is known for his amazing miniature paintings and in their family, stretching canvasses and priming them is done on a regular basis. To earn extra money, she sold these stretched and primed canvasses to fine arts students. Most of her buyers ordered in advance so she could determine the sizes and how many to make. I can't say that it didn't help her with the daily expense of being a fine arts student.
Professional Services

         Offering your profession to people who are in need of it should only be taken into consideration when you are confident that you can leave your baby or child with a relative, occasionally. The advantage of offering services is that all you need to do is wait for orders or calls at home before doing any work. It also generates larger payouts but less frequently. Until requests are made there is no need for you to leave or do any work. The best way to spread word of your service is online, through word of mouth and friends or connections. Here are some services that you can get money from and make a micro business out of:

  • Photography - Don't worry about the issue of travelling, being a service you won't be required to do a lot of it like in a photography company. The level of work involved is more loose and manageable than having your own company. You should also know your niche for this business. Will you be offering wedding photography, photographs for the press or class pictures? For example, my high school friend once entered the modelling world but soon fell in love with photography. At first she offered her service for aspiring fashion models like her, but now she has shifted to offering Baby Photography. Ever since then she has become popular not just with moms but pregnant women too. Her Facebook page is Lexphoto and you can see her complete portfolio HERE. My baby took part in one of her first baby shoots and I am a proud momma for it. She's not a mom yet, but Lex has a regular full-time job and her being able to book requests despite that indicates a stay-at-home parent can do it too.
  • Catering - The same as selling food and baked goods except this comes in bulk. It's requires more effort and ingredients to pull this off. You might also need an extra hand if you want to make it easier for you, in fact you will certainly need it especially if the catering is for a big occasion like a reunion.
  • Massage Service - It's not uncommon, there are people out there who are gifted with massaging. My college classmate, dorm-mate and dear friend of mine has gifted hands. She knows the points in your body that needs pressure to ease pain and which areas she can poke to make you wince in pain. She can tell which spot is the root cause of sprains and aches and how to provide relief through massage and strokes. My other friend and dorm-mate would constantly request for five minute massages at night after school. If you have this gift, I am telling you a lot of people will want your service. You can offer this service within your town so that people can simply call and send their address and they can have their massage at home. The advantage? Tips and a possible free merienda or snacks coupled with warm welcome and new acquaintances.
WORKING AND/OR EARNING ONLINE

           Should a micro business be too much too handle or simply not in your interest to pursue, then working or earning online is your best alternative. Aside from online selling/business (which falls under setting up a micro business) there are many types of online work that you can find....which I will regrettably have to discuss on a separate post since this one is too long already. In addition to that I am developing a stiff neck from typing and it's almost 2 in the morning. Stay tune and watch out for this topic, for continuation. I hope that the shops and services I referred will be of interest and use for you, dear readers!

All Babies are Different

Dear Parents,

All babies are different, so try not to compare. I know it's difficult not to feel a little worried if baby seems too shy or hyperactive for your preference. It is also hard not to feel proud when baby is a milestone ahead of another kid. In truth, there is no competition, all babies are cute and charming in their own way... just like adults.

The big, and not very surprising, news is that it doesn't really matter whose baby is ahead of whose. It's because over time, each baby can grow up into a very difficult toddler, then a very challenging teen and then a growing adolescent before settling into an ordinary adult just like you and me. Some babies will grow to be scientists (a big leap, if you ask me) while others could end up as bums scrutinized by a-holes who used to be the friendliest babies in town.


In fact, it's not really a battle of which is the best baby but actually of who the best baby's mom is. Some mommies might deny this, and daddies might shush the thought off, but let's admit it:

We take credit for our babies' accomplishments because they technically can't bask in their own glory... yet.
Mostly, it's about the genes. Who has the best genes? whose genes make handsome babies or talented, if not athletic, babies? It's always a competition, because some folks have incredible height capability in their genes while others simply harness the genius gene pool. Of course, when you grow up height or genius wouldn't matter if you're a douche or worse, a mentally confused person.

So should you feel an inkling or worry to boast or be ashamed of anything about your baby, DON'T. It's not about you or your family tree or your gene pool and ancestors, it's about your baby whose wide eyes know nothing about this whole adult competition. Cherish who your baby is, what his personality is and how he deals with everyday changes and growth.


The sooner you can appreciate the disadvantages and advantages of your baby's development the better you will be able to accept him as he grows into a self-aware child. And this acceptance, understanding and support from parents will help a child cope with difficulties or personal issue. Children will handle mistakes better and therefore have a better chance to positively cope with failures, rather than being depressed.

It's not about your kid against other kids, it's about YOUR CHILD and YOU. Kids shouldn't have to grow for the sake of being socially accepted, but rather accept themselves to be socially adept. There's nowhere in the world a child can derive these good and positive social skills than his own supportive parents. And, going back to baby talk; not boasting or worrying too much about your baby's milestones against others could very well save you the time and effort which you can just use to help baby improve on his lacking skills. If anything, you don't need to rush baby, as many pediatricians and mommy sites say "Each Baby Develops Differently."

Badminton Babies

My husband and I with Miggy went to the badminton court for our weekly exercise, or should I say detoxification. At Hi-Power (HP) Badminton court, people are friendly and diverse but above everything they are family oriented.

Amusingly, there are many "Badminton babies" in the HP family. You'll notice I said HP family. I know I haven't been a regular in that court but I have played for two or three years... I think. I'm not as sociable there, or anywhere, as I am at home but if I learned anything from that place it's that lasting bonds can be formed with people who aren't even relatives. You can create real, solid relationships out of a single common interest. In this case, it's the enthusiasm for the sport.



Having acknowledged that HP is a warm place to play badminton in (but I don't doubt that other courts are or more accommodating), last night its the badminton players' kids that stole the show. There were four little baby boys in the court last night. Two of them (one of them is mine) are 7 months old and the other two are a year and a half old. Each kid has his own charm and own personality, and it's rewarding to see them meet each other for the first time.

Courtesy of my brother in law; this is one of the "successful" shots of all four kids. It is really nice to see babies coming together. In fact, it's good for the babies. You can think of it as baby socialization. It's nice and refreshing to see them babbling, pointing, staring and smiling at each other. Especially when one baby finds the other cute he will actually hug or kiss him! ^-^

When the Baby Falls

At some point, this is bound to happen. Some moms will see their babies fall off a chair, the couch or the bed or even someone else's lap. The baby may fall while he's only a few months old, a year old or already a biggie toddler. Regardless, your baby will experience "the fall"; the one that will send him crying from the bottom of his lungs and send you panicking.
There's no knowing when this "fall" will happen, or how but one thing is for sure: You're not a Bad Mom because of it. Unless you purposely watched the baby fall or simply pushed him/her to fall, well then, maybe you should re-evaluate your eligibility for parenting. Assuming that you're not one of those sadistic, rather selfish and possibly mentally absent people, let's discuss about what you can do when the baby does fall.
THE RIGHT THING TO DO

Don't Panic. Keep calm, keep your shit together and don't ever lose it. Chances are the baby won't be severely hurt so there is no point in panicking, but should the baby be in some dire situation, let me ask you, Would panicking help you think clearly on what to do next? No, it won't. The scenario would end up with you crying like crazy and walking or running in circles saying "I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry" to your baby. This will only distract you from doing the right thing, so do not panic. If the baby gets a lump or injury comfort him/her but as a safety precaution, din't make the baby sleep for at least an hour.

Cold Compress is what you need to apply over a lump to ease swelling. If there's an injury, bleeding or cuts, then what you need is to clean it with a Clean Cloth. In some cases, a baby might become drowsy after having a bump on the head, for toddlers it's okay to let them doze off a bit. During questionable incidents where the baby suffered a rather hard fall, and in the case of infants, Don't Let the Baby Fall Asleep Immediately. It's best if you can observe the baby first for any signs of disorientation or anything wrong with his/her movements. Signs that will indicate that your baby needs immediate medical attention is when he/she is turning blue, has a change in breathing pattern, twitching, vomiting, unconsciousness and extraordinary eye movements.
  • WHY you SHOULDN'T PANIC during SERIOUS CASES
Let's look at the worst case scenario: should your baby's head or body part be bleeding, injured or swollen, the best thing to do is find clean cloth, clean water (or ice) and a phone to contact the clinic or hospital. In the state of panic, you won't be able to immediately clean the wounds, tend to swollen parts or even call the hospital (or go there). The precious time you spend on panicking, crying, and not knowing what to do could have been spent on doing what needs to be done. So new moms and fidgety moms, Don't-for the love of your child-Panic like crazy. It's scary but you always have to be prepared, so should ANYTHING BAD happen to your child, SUCK THAT FEAR IN and let your SUPER MOM out! Ladies, there's no room for weaknesses during child emergencies. It's THEIR SAFETY and WELL-BEING versus YOUR EMOTIONAL OUTBREAKS. So choose wisely and choose right.

  • WHY you SHOULDN'T PANIC during MINOR INCIDENTS
Now that we have established that, let's get back to the gentler reality of babies falling off places. If your baby is okay, but crying, it will just send him/her signals that something is very very wrong and very very troubling. So, even when baby is feeling okay, or simply frightened he/she will not stop crying because he/she thinks there's still something bad going on and this makes things scarier. Try not to show too much of your emotions in times like this, instead comfort your baby and distract him with bright colored things and toys. During minor bumps, falls and trips, don't react like an overprotective parent. Keep calm and hush the baby a little and then let him/her cry it off or forget.

  • SOMETHING you OUGHT to KNOW
Did you know that how a child deals with physical pain like falling mostly depends on how people around him react to it? The more a child sees, hears and senses that there's panic and regret in mistakes, falling, tripping and bumping the more he will be sensitive to it each time. So instead of lingering on the fact that the experience might be painful, let go of the moment quickly and help your child move on to a different moment. This way, he/she won't keep crying about what's already done. You'll be raising stronger children if you let them handle and overcome the pain on their own, at least halfway through it.

THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH A LITTLE PAIN

Falling and minor accidents are not entirely bad for children. They are inevitable, normal and a necessity in building character. Without experiences like these, babies or toddlers won't learn how to care for themselves or walk, crawl and run right. When a child falls of from climbing a small desk and gets hurt, he won't try and climb on it again. If he still wants to climb that desk, he'll find other ways (safer ways) to climb it efficiently, like using boxes or chairs as stepping stones. Babies learn how to walk and stand in the right form and manner based on experience. How? Simple, they try to stand up by pulling themselves up via the crib or mom's arm and when they stumble they re-position their feet and hands until they master the art of it.
Like grown ups learning from bad decisions and life-changing mistakes, babies need to trip, fall off or stumble from time to time. It's not our jobs as Moms to make sure nothing ever bad happens to them, because honestly, that's impossible. Nothing in the world could ever stop a tragedy from happening, if it has already happened. We moms are meant to help them get up, start over and grow stronger. So if baby gets hurt under your watch, try not to be so hard on yourself. The best way to redeem yourself is by helping baby overcome the pain, forget the moment, move on and not focus on your personal regrets. It's not about you, it's about baby, so do what's best for baby.
*the first time my baby fell off he was on a couch and only 3 months old. I swear I just turned for a second to brush off peas from my shirt when I heard that scary Thud! I was alone at home and was harboring a grudge on my husband that time. Not knowing what to do I cried while hushing him and tried to call my husband to come home to check my baby. I tried to keep it in, but as soon as I got my husband on the phone I started crying hysterically, it was terrible. My hubby and I fought over whose fault it was even though our baby was fine. The fight lasted two days but the fall lasted only a second. Based on my calculation, the fight is so not worth it.

Calling All Moms, Teens and Ladies in Between

Hi.. I am a mom with a freelance job that yields a very unpredictable income (somewhere between minimum wage and zero).

So, I am planning to establish an online home business. I am unsure who my target buyers are, but I know they are women since the things I am planning to sell are mostly feminine. Even then, if you are a male viewer who happens to pass by this image or post, and or bored or simply feeling a tiny urge to help, please share your opinion too. I will really appreciate and thank you endlessly for it! So here is my little SURVEY:


The items I plan to sell are handmade and homemade. They will be of my own making, that's why I am in need of a survey before I start. The home business won't be opening soon, it could take years (I will have to work on making these items first). The theme I am aiming for or style is the same as the ones in the picture I copied online. I really hope more people will contribute to my survey, because I want to invest in something and just... not... have enough vacant time for negative thoughts to come in and ruin my dreams.

To all who have seen, liked and commented on my Survey. THANK YOU very VERY MUCH! I hope that my plan will come true soon, successful or not, at least I tried and will have had enough experience for a second try. More power to women out there who are taking matters into their own hands and making the most of their time by being productive. Super moms, I salute you! Soon, I will be one too! :)

To All Teen Moms and Women finding Motherhood Difficult

It's not about how Life is fair or unfair to us or how much we gain from it. It's about knowing which is more important, what is valuable and lasting and what matters in the end. It may not be easy, enjoyable or encouraging now, but please, don't let these moments of strife shake your faith.'


I saw this story from a blog post, shared by my cousin, I hope it gives you as much inspiration and enlightenment as it has given me:



We will learn to realize that life is a vast sea. It may seem endless and hopeless in our eyes, but at some point, some time or some day we will hit shore. It might not be a smooth landing for everyone; others might arrive in a rather distressful fashion, but we find land all the same. The important thing is not to drown in the sea while waiting or aiming for the shore. Don't give up, learn to conserve your energy so you can plan for the future and avoid drowning in regret. Enjoy what can be enjoyed and let go what can't be. Let's choose to live instead.


It's Fun to Be a Mom

It's true breastfeeding can be a turn-off and nightly tantrums are something anyone would give anything to live without. I wouldn't, though. I wouldn't change anything about each day with my son, even if it meant I will have to live with the stress of not knowing, worrying and plotting for the future.

If you're a fellow mom or someone who has had time with a baby, you know how beautiful it is and heartwarming to see one smile. If you're someone who has never had the honor of being in the presence of a little ball of angel, please believe me when I say: They do take the stress away. Even when the smile lasts only for a few seconds, every bit of it is ethereal and precious. Almost everything that a baby does is amusing, intriguing, interesting and exciting.




The first time my baby learned to crawl my husband and I were ecstatic. I'm not the kind of person who is easily moved but that moment when baby Miggy lunged himself forward to crawl; it got my endorphins acting. Naturally, the accomplishment of a baby (milestones, as most parents and doctors call it) is exciting to watch or experience firsthand but the smallest things they learn are even more uplifting.


I am writing now because I want to share the tiny moments I am having with my baby. These tiny moments are amazing for me, and I don't think I'll ever experience it with other people's babies. For example, the first time I saw my baby give the "sour" look was when my husband let him take a small sip from an orange. Now that I remember his face, I can't help but chuckle at my baby Miggy. He scrunched up his nose, pouted and squeezed in all his lips as though somebody's forcing a rocket ship in his mouth and his eyes became arched slits. In addition to that he kept doing the "kilig" where his small, round shoulder shuddered like potatoes in boiling water.





No matter how difficult some days get, babies always have something "funny" going on about them. One time I was grumpy and scathing, my husband steered clear from me the whole day. I was the Ice Queen of Piercing Remarks but all that melted away when I saw my baby doing a "Derp" face. He was sucking in his cheeks, ala Magnum (Derek Zoolander), and his eyes were crossed and everything while he looked up at me. I was instantly converted.





*Sigh* I don't think I'll ever trade this "consequence" with any other "could have been" or "should have been" destinies that was in line for me out there. I know that If I didn't get pregnant I would have pursued a career and practiced my arts with all my heart. I know I would have traveled and sought places no one would ever venture into. Come to think of it, not everyone would venture into motherhood. I don't feel that I've lost my essence, if anything, I think I've unlocked a different level and I must say, it is really fun.



Letting Dads Do the Parenting

Letting dad do the parenting isn't always comfortable to watch for some mums because they do things soooo differently, but it's istill good for the family.

It's natural for baby to get attached to mom, be familiar with their scent and feel extra safe around her, but kids should also learn to trust others. The second best person should at least be Dad. Give Dad a chance to shine and you'll be surprised how healthy your kid may be in the future.


Dads Who are Away and Who are At Home 


In my generation, the Dads are rarely home. They work abroad and take indefinite vacations, and are not always around for their kids' birthdays or Christmases. At least that's how it was for me and most people I know. Although we know who our Dads are and what they are doing for us, we are not as close or well communicated with them like with our Moms. This is what I don't want my baby to experience. Please don't get me wrong, a Dad sacrifices his time to provide for his family is just as good as any Dad who works nearby or at home. It's just that, personally, I prefer raising a child with a physically present husband so we can build values together, so that our son can see it.


It's Regardless Whose Responsibility It Is 

I know that as a mother it's mostly my responsibility to teach my baby core values. But it would be so much better for the child to see that a contrasting parent (the Dad) has the same ideals as the Mom. With this tag-team going on, kids will know that there is unity in establishing rules and nurturing. That there is compromise, especially when it comes to implementing what is right. It is also easier NOT to fight over how to raise the baby, since at this point both parents will learn firsthand what their child really needs from them; Presence.


Advantage for the Dads and Sons 


It's also an advantage for Dads to know their kids as much as the Moms, especially with sons. Moms can only guide a son so much when it comes to masculine issues. Besides, kids tend to derive their inspiration and influence from grown-ups of the same gender. The bond between Dad and tyke becomes just as important as the bond with Mom. So, when the times comes that kids grow up into brooding teens who are constantly troubled about peers and maturity, they can seek comfort and advice from both Mom and Dad.


With a baby, a Dad who is involved in caring for the baby will develop more patience and insight on how the Mom feels. Impatience with crying episodes is actually a common quality in men. Oftentimes, Dads are unable to hush baby or comfort them mostly because they don't have enough time to observe what's wrong. In other words, they are inexperienced.


Moms, who breastfeed and are more "territorial" by nature with their child, immediately take into account the smallest detail of change in the baby's mood. Therefore, moms are more adept in decoding the cries and moodiness. Let's just say that Dads rarely are given the chance to prove themselves worthy of parenting because, well, Mom is always there to handle everything.

If Dad was a little more involved, there will be less arguments with Mom. On the first few months of a newborn baby, Moms can be quite moody, especially first-time mummies. If Dad is involved in caring for the baby enough the work load will be halved and Mom won't have to be so stressed out. Dad may finally understand how a baby can deprive you of sleep which deprives lowers your libido, patience with corny jokes and room for intimacy.

Advantage for the Moms


It's an advantage for Moms, especially working moms. While the grandparents are natural at caring for children, Dads deserve this rewarding experience more. Dads are used to fast-paced environments that are loud, manly and rough. A peek into the nurturing world could help tone down their "Herculean" attitude, which could be beneficial in raising a well-mannered kid. With the baby away or off their hands, Moms can do anything. You can start working, finally finish household chores or take a day off at the spa.


Did you also know that men are capable of a mother's touch? Its possible if they get enough practice which can only be achieved through spending more time with the baby. The more a Dad is exposed to caring for his child, the more he develops that "natural" and "motherly" kind of parenting skill. Men who have lots of nieces and nephews, aka pamangkins, are gentler with kids and know better how to handle kid-related situations: All from experience.


So, all in all, nobody really loses. It will may be difficult for some babies that have already developed a strong bond with mom. It can be rough for the baby to get used to the absence of Mom, but enough time with Dad will build trust. And just like with Separation Anxiety, there is always a way to help baby ease into the changes and be comfortable, especially with Daddy.

To Wives and For Husbands


To young wives who find it difficult to bear some of their husband's attitudes, stay patient and forgiving. A mother once told me,
If it were not for the understanding and patience of wives, many families would be breaking apart for the stupidest reasons.
I believe that men are naturally unconscious of their actions and attitude towards women. They do not mean it and they show their love in very different ways from us. They may not cuddle as often, or say I love you each day, but simple things like making you coffee and charging your phone for you is their own way of portraying.

As unromantic as it is, it's difficult for men to show anything more sentimental. It's a form of self preservation. Men need to feel strong, manly, unmoved and difficult. In this way they know they are big enough to protect their loved ones from anything, if not everything. So ladies, girlfriends, wives... Find the hidden love in the simplest acts of our partners and learn to appreciate them.

You may not be loved in the exact way you prefer, but you are loved nonetheless, possibly in greater forms you will never understand if you don't open your heart to it.

a poem by Louise Hendrix

THAT'S ALL WE ASK
Come autumn rain and winter chill,
The pain of spring brings birth and will
To work and fail, but still to try.
Shine summer sun, the days fly by.

Lord, you put a mountain before me,
No need to ask You why;
But when it's time for me to die,
Please remember all who try.

May i go softly with no word,
Just a knock at the golden gate,
Jesus nodding, He, too had dared-
Not even His followers knew His fate.

At the crystal throne i'll kneel to pray
A fond farewell to all and say
A word of praise for the nail-pierced hands
That watch and guide this anguished land.

"Your work is done and well,"
i hope he'll say...
"No need to further sigh..
You did your best, that's all We ask..

For man to try and try..."

Breastfeeding the Baby

Nobody ever told me that breastfeeding would be painful. I've heard countless mothers telling me about the pains of labor, birth and the after effects of CS operation. No one, not one person ever told me that breastfeeding for the first three weeks would be excruciating.

I found out soon enough, though, and I must say I felt as though I was somehow betrayed. Setting aside the drama, I realized what all those "nipple creams" are for. There are time that the first weeks of breastfeeding was bearable, there are also times when I would snap at my husband for no valid reason and then there are times when I would just curse and my feet would curl in pain. I almost bought a nipple cream after the third week, it got to that point I was convinced the cream would make me numb on my breasts.

I don't think it would make my nipples numb, but I think the cream is supposed to ease the soreness. It's almost impossible to wear a bra on the first few weeks I breastfed. My nipples were so sore everything that touched on it hurt me. Even without  a bra, my shirt was uncomfortable. Thankfully, my husband knew how to handle soreness well. For moms out there who are experiencing or expecting to experience soreness from breastfeeding, it's alright to buy nipple cream, it is. But, if you prefer to save the money for something else; comfort food maybe, or diapers, or even a nursing bra, use warm compress as an alternative.

It is natural for a mom who just gave birth to experience lumps in her breasts. Don't worry, this isn't cancer or anything, it's simply milk building up in the ducts. At first you will get a lot of this happening, your breasts will engorge. This is because your body hasn't figured out the schedule and amount of  milk your baby needs. Of course in the first few weeks breastfeeding is irregular, sometimes baby is hungry as hell and other times baby just wants a snack. Milk will be produced on an hourly basis, if not every thirty minutes and since baby feeds irregularly, you can pretty much imagine that leftover milk in your breasts tend to build up and clog.

It is painful, but don't worry, in the event that baby still doesn't feel like feeding you can ease the pain and the lumps by applying warm compress over them. The warmth will somehow soften the lump, if not dissolve the clogging milk, and ease the pressure it puts on your veins. As for the nipples, either a cream or warm compress will ease some of the pain so be prepared to endure. After a month, the pain will die down and your body will have set a more ideal production for you and your baby.

*Small Note: Moms, especially new ones, investing in a nursing bra or support/sports bra is a smart move. This will prevent the ligaments in your breasts from loosening up, which will cause your breasts to sag over time. Remember, breasts will double in size after pregnancy and the extra weight can and will pull down on the ligaments. A sports bra will help you carry this new extra weight and prevent breasts from sagging permanently, after the milk has dried up.