Straight from the Coach
Who would have thought that I will still be having my regular lactation and coaching session despite the COVID-19 pandemic? This is while every movement has been limited, closed, secured and locked down including transportation, prohibiting everyone to go around.
Last March 7, 2020, aside from my regular weekly session with a mom in Ortigas in Pasig, I was also seeing two new moms in BGC and in Makati Medical Center. While I’m having my first session, the husband said that there was a confirmed case of COVID-19 in St. Luke’s BGC and in CSMC that is why the mom gave birth in MMC.
Honestly, that time, it did not sink in my head that it’s going to change the entire world as well as my breastfeeding journeys with the moms I’m seeing weekly.
March 12, 2020, Thursday, the President announced that the Enchanced Community Quarantine is going to be implemented in Metro Manila. I was hearing this news while being lined-up at the supermarket for nearly 2 hours. I was so clueless of what’s happening.
Then, on March 25, I decided to go out again to replenish some of my staples. I went to the grocery and, while waiting for my turn for nearly 2 hours, my phone rang. It was a call from a mom who’s requesting me to see her and her baby in April.
I began processing it in my head. How can I go to her? Can i go to her? To make the long story short, all the signs that I’ve asked from the LORD as I prayed for His protection and guidance were given to me and so, I saw the glam-mama and his son on April 3 at the CSMC. That day, there were several COVID-19 patients who were admitted too.
It was remarkably unprecedented and a great milestone for me and for this couple. Like the couple I’ve seen in MMC last March 7, this couple is on its second breastfeeding journey with me. Surprisingly, both couples are friends from Dipolog City (small world)!
Witnessing these different breastfeeding journeys amidst the COVID-19, I cannot comprehend how a mother expresses her courage, eagerness and perseverance to surpass daily challenges. I am also overjoyed that this mother took an extra mile just to see me.
With the mom that I saw last March 7, despite having our last face-to-face session on March 10 and the limitations set by their condo management to non-residents, we had ways and means to be connected. I can still give her assistance and help via text and Viber.
Her friend who I’m seeing daily in BGC for 2 weeks also inspired me on how selfless mothers are. Both of her nipples are deeply wounded and yet, she is so determined and dedicated to nurture his son just to make sure that he is not going to have any other health issues as there are no regular doctor’s clinic at the moment.
But last April 22, we decided to have a once a week session to observe how her body will adjust to expressing breast milk 5x a day and also to lessen her direct feeding to help the healing and recovery of her nipples to avoid infection (entry point of bacteria).
I am honestly humbled by these circumstances. I am grateful for the trust to be of help and to witness their breastfeeding journeys given this unsettling situation.
There is also another mom who called me last April 13. I saw her the following day to assist her in dealing with her lumpy breasts and sore nipples. She is also a mom from Dipolog City (indeed, small world) and she was referred to me by the two moms that I was already seeing.
A mom also messaged me via Facebook messenger last April 12 due to pain and redness around her right breast and an on and off fever. Her third baby is 8 months. She is exclusively doing hand expression 5x a day before the ECQ. So, I requested her to take a photo of her right breast and send it to me so I can assess. I saw that there’s a pimple like wound on the tip of her nipple and she said the pain and fever started with this wound.
I requested her to ask her doctor for a topical antibiotic and to buy lancet needles if ever I needed to do the cleaning. I had it cleaned and her nipple was immediately brought back to normal, but still there’s pain and redness on her right breast. She still has fever which I’m so concerned about.
I considered that there’s an abscess and it’s not coming out. On our 4th session, I decided to message a very reputable breast surgeon to seek for her guidance and help me manage the condition of the mom. And, for the first time we both experienced virtual consultations via video call.
True enough, Dr. Viva said she had an infection based on the photos I sent last Sunday. The entry point of the bacteria was on the bleb. She was given an additional antibiotic and a topical antibiotic to be applied around her breast. We also continued our daily session with hot and cold compress, 3 times a day, and hand expression.
That’s another overwhelming breastfeeding journey and totally a very challenging case!
Without this lockdown, she should have seen Dr. Viva for a procedure like I&D or aspiration or a surgery, but since there’s no clinic I need to help this mom with her ordeal. I prayed for wisdom and protection as well as guidance in managing this kind of case during this pandemic.
GOD is a faithful GOD indeed!
As Dr. Viva told us, most likely it would take two to three days to see the effect of the additional antibiotic. And on our last session for the week, despite worries of the mom that the abscess might not come out, with patience and as light as I can possibly massage her breast while taking photos from time to time to see the difference, we saw a very little spot. This could possibly be the drain for the abscess. And, YES! The abscess came out like a sauce on a plastic package… It was a stunning moment for all of us that afternoon. It’s like we won on a bet while watching Manny P or it’s like another giving birth scenario!
It is a success for all of us – the mom, me and her husband! What a joy! Saving her from going to the hospital or having an emergency surgery…we don’t know, but seeing that amount of abscess coming out is the best thing that happened during that moment.
Fact is having a milk bleb, inflammed breast, clogged ducts, sore nipples as well as difficulty in latching your babies are all inevitable. But having these kinds of problem at this time of lockdown is a bigger challenge.
Honestly, it humbles me to have this kind of experience and it also gives me the sense of fulfillment, serving my purpose in life as well as being a breastfeeding coach. It is not everyday that I will encounter this opportunity to help, but it is always a great milestone for me and to these moms I’m mothering!
Allow me to salute all the moms around the globe, all races, whether you are doing direct breastfeeding, expressing breastmilk via hand or via pump, or doing both whichever you want to nurture your baby. I will always be here to cheer with you.
And for those moms that I’m coaching, thank you very much for the trust to be of help to you and for appreciating me and welcoming me into joining you on your breastfeeding journey.
This is your breastfeeding coach, Coach Z, saying Happy Mother’s Day!