“Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (July). For this month, we join the National Nutrition Council – Department of Health in celebrating Nutrition Month with the theme “Isulong ang Breastfeeding – Tama, Sapat at EKsklusibo!” Participants will share their experiences in promoting breastfeeding or their tips on how breastfeeding should be promoted. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants.”
When I got pregnant, I knew instantly that I would be breastfeeding my baby. My mom found it odd that I decided to breastfeed – this was because I grew up formula fed. My twin brother and I were given formula since birth, there was no attempt whatsoever to breastfeed. In fact my mom recounted that she was given medicine to stop the milk production. My pedia, Dr. Joy Ty-Sy said that during my mom’s time (when she had us) it was the boom of formulas, that it was the trend that time. I grew up with formula, my cousins drank formula, I fed my baby cousins formula too! So for my mom and me, it was a new thing.
My closest encounter with breastfeeding was with my sister-in-law. She decided to breastfeed her baby, my niece – Elle. I would remember my SIL lugging around a heavy bag with her electric pump wherever she went. When we had dinners, out of towns and the like, she brought it with her. She would breastfeed Elle when the baby demanded for it! She was every ready with a nursing cover or towel. I saw how natural it was for her to feed Elle, it made me realize that the female body was created for such – and I was honestly amazed at what moms were capable of. And there, my highest respect for breastfeeding moms rooted from – I saw the difficulties and the benefits. I remembered one time, my SIL was so mad – it was because she lost a big plastic container (plastic boxes that stacked) filled with frozen breastmilk.
And so, I prepared myself with breastfeeding. I bought an electric pump, I watched the video on how it was supposed to be used. I read the manual from cover to cover not once, not twice but THRICE! I mastered myself with the contraptions of the hands-free pump so that when it was time for pumping, I’ll be prepared. I had all kinds of storage bags, I bought milk trays, I bought extra bottles – I really thought ahead and to say it frankly ‘kina-reer ko ang paghahanda sa breastfeeding‘ I even asked for a lactation massage and asked for tips on how to increase my milk supply. Kailee didn’t have a hard time latching – and so I breastfed without any problems. I’m also lucky enough to have friends who are very helpful, patient and encouraging when it came to breastfeeding. My friend Sharon even gave me some of her milk a few days after I gave birth – and this gesture I appreciate so much! I have to say this, I learned a LOT from their stories, email exchanges and advises.
So, I’m a BREASTFEEING MAMA! I say that with my chin up high and with the biggest smile on my face! I’ve also tried nursing in public! This is something I never thought I’d do – and when I did, I got a lot of stares from strangers – but who cares! My Kailee now is four months old, and I am proud to say that she’s taking breastmilk exclusively! My mom used to tell me to supplement with water – but I refused and told her that breastmilk is the only supplement that the baby needs. And now that we’re four months – my mom says she can see the difference already. Kailee is healthier and stronger! I honestly never thought that I will last this long, but here I am! I plan to give Kailee breastmilk for as long as I can. I have a freezer full of breastmilk that I can give her when the need arises.
I can’t explain why but I feel so empowered by my choice and now, to pay it forward, I encourage pregnant friends to breastfeed, I even offer to give them breastmilk – I cheer on friends who are already breastfeeding and I congratulate moms who breastfed their children. Breastfeeding is not easy – but then again, what is easy? Everything we do needs a lot of work, and breastfeeding is one of them. I have to be honest, I lack sleep – I haven’t slept straight since I gave birth but at the end of the day, when I see my Kailee happy and healthy – I know I made the right decision to give her breastmilk.
So to all the pregnant moms out there – Ask and be informed, I know its not easy but I promise you, you’ll see the difference with your babies! You just need a little push and encouragement – and if you need one, I’m here – my all out support is behind you!
Breastfeeding: Promoting It Even if I Didn’t Get Lucky The First Time Around by Glamma Momma (Mommy Erl’s Online Diary)