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Shamcey’s journey

The beauty queen on her problems with breastfeeding, choosing to stay at home for her baby, and how she conquered her parenting challenges.

WONDERMOM Shamcey Supsup gets help from her Pigeon breast pump to feed baby Nyke

WONDERMOM Shamcey Supsup gets help from her Pigeon breast pump to feed baby Nyke

By Maita de Jesus

All mothers want what’s best for their children, and for new moms, that means hoping that they’ll be able to breastfeed their child. Shamcey Supsup Lee was no exception—she admits that she was so hopeful and confident that she’ll be able to produce breastmilk easily that she was imagining a freezer full of breastmilk.

But rather than that happening, the beauty queen found herself feeling what all moms feel at some point in their motherhood journey—sad, insecure, in pain and in tears, because of her inability to feed her little baby, Nyke. “I tried everything to produce more milk, from eating lots of malunggay to taking supplements that weren’t even available in the Philippines yet. But when reality sets in, you feel like you’ve let your child down, yourself down—like no matter what you do, it’s never enough.”

Shamcey adds that not being able to feed Nyke was her biggest insecurity as a mom. Her daughter was drinking more than she could produce in a day, making Shamcey feel inadequate. It didn’t help that she was still recovering from surgery, and it was physically painful to breastfeed.

Shamcey could have wallowed in her own misery and reached for her teeny tiny packet of formula milk that she kept around “just in case”—both her parents didn’t see anything wrong with feeding her baby formula milk, and they didn’t like to see Shamcey suffering, and Nyke seemingly going hungry. But thankfully, Shamcey kept at it. She credits her support system, especially her husband, Lloyd Lee, for helping her turn things around. “Yes, he showed me that he cared and loved me, but he didn’t also allow me to wallow in my own pain. He was my cheerleader. The people around me, just kept saying, ‘Kawawa ka naman, sige tama na (poor you, it’s okay, you can give up),’ rather than cheering me on, I would have given up. But he really encouraged me to keep on going.”

Shamcey’s decision to skip this year’s Binibining Pilipinas also showed her dedication to being a breastfeeding mother. “I remember it was a month or two after, and I was thinking about how I was going to pump during the pageant, naka-gown pa. Was it worth it that I wouldn’t pump for seven to eight hours, would I be willing to do that? So I decided, siguro for now, stay at home na muna. First time ko to watch at home, sobrang nag-enjoy kami ng asawa ko (my husband and I really enjoyed watching(. Best decision ever. So now, I gauge the events that I go to, since I really try not to miss my pump schedule.” She’s reminded of the schedule through alarms she sets on her phone.

Nowadays, Nyke is a healthy seven-month old baby girl. Shamcey has gotten into the groove of breastfeeding, so much so that the family was already able to go to Baguio, with Shamcey pumping breastmilk in the car, in between pee breaks, in traffic, or at anytime she had the chance. “My Pigeon portable breast pump is really convenient. Sabi nga ng in-laws ko, pweede na nga kami mag-abroad eh, kasi parang it looks so easy. Basta nakatakip ako, kahit while eating, at anytime, puwede mag-pump.”

Mothers don’t get enough credit or appreciation for what they do for their kids, but they get a lot of bashing and judgment for one supposed misstep or little hiccups, especially celebrity moms who are scrutinized more than those out of the spotlight. Shamcey is very aware of this, and says that even she’s not immune to it. She’s also had a couple of run-ins with the “sanctimommies” who judge her. “I still get defensive, but I usually don’t answer,” she says, “I once posted something online that got a lot of bashing, but I just left it there. The other mothers dealt with the other bashers. It just made me realize even more that all moms are different, and I have more respect for moms now, and all that we go through every day.”

Her advice for new moms who are wishing to cope with the roller coaster of motherhood? Shamcey says that it’s all about being true to yourself, and focusing on what matters most. “Huwag kang ma-pressure. Just keep on trying. If you can’t breastfeed right now, it’s okay to take a break, and then go back to it. Don’t give up at the first sign of pain, you’ll get through it and you’ll be thankful that you pursued. It’s important for moms to be aware of their options.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask for help, or cry if you need to cry! Basta try and try again.”

 

In celebration of National Breastfeeding Month this August, Pigeon is holding the Only Moms Breastfeeding Advocacy from Aug. 15 to 21 at the 3rd floor of SM Makati. Shamcey Supsup-Lee, Pigeon’s Brand Ambassador, Abbie Yabut, Certified Lactation and Parenting Expert, and Maye Yao Co Say of Richwell Philippines Inc Chief Executive Officer and official distributor of Pigeon products, will be in SM Makati on Aug. 20, 1:30 in the afternoon to help all moms on their breastfeeding journey.