ParentingReal Parenting

The Overwhelming Yet Fulfilling Journey Of First-Time Motherhood

These moms talk about the importance of taking care of themselves just as much as their newborns.
Photos courtesy of Alfie Saniel, Pat Carranza, and Isabelle Dizon

Motherhood is a lifelong, life-changing journey, and for many moms, the beginning while fulfilling is especially tough.

Millennial moms Isabelle Dizon, mom of four and part-time vlogger, Pat Carranza, mom of two and a part-time lecturer and graduate student, and Alfie Saniel, mom of one and a market research head, are no exceptions. Their first time as mothers was both unforgettable and challenging, but these moms were able to overcome these challenges with the help and support of the people around them, combined with self-care.

Here, they recall experiencing the highs and lows, rising above challenges, and picking up little nuggets of wisdom along the way. Moms, whether first-timers or not, can learn a thing or two from these pieces of advice from Isabelle, Pat, and Alfie.

1. Know that you are doing enough.

Experiencing mom-guilt, where you doubt your ability to care and provide for your children, is normal. But always remember, you are doing a good job — no matter how you choose to care for your child.

As Alfie says, “Momma, you are enough. Your love and presence will always be enough for your baby.”

Isabelle echoes this sentiment. “You are doing a good job. Acknowledge that [motherhood] is hard. Acknowledge that you could do more, maybe. But right now, you’re still doing a good job… Life is entirely different now than ever before, and it’s a tough adjustment.”

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PHOTO BYCourtesy of Isabel Dizon ILLUSTRATIONnull

2. Form a team with your partner.

The husbands of Isabelle, Pat, and Alfie played a critical role in providing support wherever needed— from being their emotional pillars to running errands, and everything in between.

In Alfie’s instance, her husband even went as far as taking time off from work for at least one month to become a stay-at-home dad because her heavy workload didn’t allow her to take leaves.

“He was the one who kept our family together during those tough times,” she recalls, adding, “Love your husband or partner. During those sleepless nights, when you want to bite his head off… remember that you guys are on the same side, always.

3. Have a support group.

Having people you trust and love by your side can help make the motherhood journey so much easier.

“Aside from preparing yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically, magkaroon ng support group or person na puwede mo i-chat anytime, in person or online. Ask for help, okay lang yun,” Pat says.

In-laws and parents, work colleagues and bosses, mommy friends, obstetricians (OBs) — all these people make up the core of Isabelle’s, Pat’s, and Alfie’s respective support groups, helping to ease the moms’ burden. They offered to do tasks like caring for the babies while the moms work or catch up on sleep, cooking healthy meals, and doing errands.

“If you’ve been feeling depressed and blue, know that you are not alone. It’s not something to be ashamed of, and there is hope! Always ask someone for help, go out, and breathe,” Isabelle adds.

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PHOTO BYCourtesy of Alfie Saniel ILLUSTRATIONnull

4. Consult trusted experts.

Don’t be afraid to consult medical experts. Motherhood will likely bring about concerns that only they can answer, so do not hesitate to ask them questions. Experts, like OBs and lactation experts, not only help you understand your and your baby’s journey; they also offer encouragement and words of comfort, especially when you are worried.

“Do some research, follow reputable groups or websites. Keep an app or logbook for pregnancy. This will be helpful for you and your OB,” Pat advises.

5. Take care of yourself, too!

The demands of motherhood are many and challenging but, moms, don’t feel guilty about sneaking in some time for self-care. As Isabelle puts it, “It's difficult, but I remind myself that I have to be healthy emotionally and physically so I could take care of others. We need time to recharge.”

Self-care means different things for different moms, and that’s okay. Go indulge in your favorite dessert every once in a while, play a sport or do other physical activities, shop, or write about your experiences and share it with your fellow moms. Big or small, as long as it can help you recharge, do it.

“I realized the real importance of the saying, ‘You cannot pour from an empty cup,’” Pat points out.

One other form of self-care for moms is to eat nutritious, well-balanced meals to keep themselves healthy and physically prepared to care for their babies by breastfeeding.

Isabelle, Pat, and Alfie agree that breastfeeding is one of the most difficult aspects of motherhood, especially when their personal and work schedules are factored in, so they all made sure to incorporate nutrient-rich kinds of food like fresh fruits and vegetables, oats and grains, and lots of water.

The moms had lots of malunggay as well, which their mothers and fellow mom-friends recommended. They added malunggay, which is known to help improve their breast milk supply, in soups like tinola and took it as supplements.

Just like how loved ones and trusted advisers stay with these moms through their motherhood journey, NESTLÉ MOMMALOVE can be part of a mom's support system. It helps provide mothers nourishment and confidence so they can feel secure knowing that they are taking care of themselves as they care for their baby.

NESTLÉ MOMMALOVE is a low-fat lactation milk drink specially developed to fit the nutritional needs of Pinay breastfeeding moms. It contains nutrients such as iron, folate, and calcium. It also has 1,200 milligrams of malunggay, a known galactagogue that may help in lactation.

To help moms refuel or recharge energy while they're breastfeeding, it’s a good idea to go for healthy, fiber-rich food. Fiber helps in digestion and also helps keep one feel fuller longer. NESTLÉ MOMMALOVE lactation milk drink has fiber.

Remember, moms: A healthy and happy baby starts with a healthy and happy momma!

NESTLÉ MOMMALOVE is available in all Mercury Drug outlets nationwide for Php 35 per sachet (SRP) and Php 350 for a box of 10s (SRP). For more information, visit the NESTLÉ MOMMALOVE official website and follow the brand on Facebook.


This article was created by Summit Storylabs in partnership with NESTLÉ MOMMALOVE.