What I've Done to Promote Breastfeeding and Some Thoughts...

I was supposed to join this month's blog carnival but I got so busy that I only got the chance to write this now. Warning: This is a lengthy post!

When I first learned I was pregnant, breastfeeding was not the first thing that crossed my mind. I was so into reading what I have to eat/do to have a healthy pregnancy. Honestly, choosing to breastfeed or formula-feed did not cross my mind at all until my husband said that our baby should be breastfed, as he was breastfed.

Having no idea on breastfeeding, internet became my friend. I didn't know anyone who breastfed or was breastfeeding. I was the first one to get pregnant both in my family and circle of friends so I was on my own. I read
Girltalk everyday in the office until it got BLOCKED (yes, I was on it the whole time I'm the office, of course while I'm not swamped)! Reading experiences from moms who did it inspired me and made me determined to do it for as long as I can! I actually learned about Fabnaima and Kellymom while reading the forum. I bought books and armed myself with all the knowledge I can absorb.

When I gave birth, my baby was latched to me for a few seconds right after delivery and while I was in the recovery room. I'm lucky that I was producing milk right away. But when she was roomed-in, she didn't sleep well the first night and I stayed up the whole night! She would latch then cry! My confidence on being able to breastfeed my baby went down the drain! The next day, I messaged Abbie Yabot if she could do a hospital visit and the rest was history!

Ten months into breastfeeding, I know I somehow promoted breastfeeding to my family and friends. Many are surprised/amazed that I'm still breastfeeding, some are cheering on and some are telling me to stop or supplement. I'm not blessed with a abundant milk supply but I thrive and sometimes I have to supplement when I'm having low milk supply.

I always tell my friends (pregnant or not, single or married) to breastfeed their baby. It's the best, it's natural and healthy, and very economical. The benefits for both mom and baby plus you lose weight fast! You can't beat that. Since all of them don't have kids yet, I feel that my only way to promote is to educate them about it. Find a
breastfeeding-friendly hospital, breastfeeding advocate OB and pedia. One friend even laughed at me when I told her that I consulted a lactation counselor, she thought I was bluffing that there was such a profession/person. It might be awhile before my friends will have babies but when that time comes, hopefully my being "makulit" on breastfeeding, they will decide to do it.

With my family it's different, we were all formula fed. That's why when I decided to breastfeed, it was alien to them. They would tell me to supplement, wean her all together and have her start drinking formula just because she's lean. But eventually they stopped with all the advices and encouraged my younger sister to breastfeed when she gave birth. I was really happy that she decided to breastfeed but she was traumatized by her sore nipple. I really tried my best to encourage and inspire her to breastfeed. I bought her Mommy Treats, gave her my Medela Lanolin Cream, offered Abbie's services (she was there when Abbie visited me in the hospital) but she gave up. Now my older sister is pregnant, I'm lending her my breastfeeding books. She has friends who breastfed. She saw me breastfeed. She probably knows few things about breastfeeding but I plan to take her to
LLL meetings so she'd be more exposed to information and hear from other mom's experience.

In my office, I'm the only one breastfeeding and pumping. I've heard stories of other moms who did breastfeed and pump. Some gave up, The others I don't know the story. But if they would ask me to do a talk about breastfeeding, I'd be happy to do it. Although I'm not an expert, I'd gladly tell them about my experience, and some basic knowledge.

I, myself, can't promote breastfeeding all alone. I'm glad there are blogs and forums that I can just go and read but what about other women and families who doesn't know anything about breastfeeding? We all know that the Philippines is influenced so much by showbiz and celebrities. With all the big star celebrities endorsing formula, people would really be enticed to buy them. I hope these big stars would rather promote breastfeeding rather than be blinded by the big bucks these milk companies are offering! I remembered one of
Daphne's tweet, something like she would rather earn money from her brands (Daphne Linens and Furniture) than from formula milk endorsements. I really hope that a private company would support the government in promoting breastfeeding and launch a big campaign! Billboards on EDSA, SLEX, NLEX, C5! I really do hope to see some actions in the near future...

I have mixed thoughts kaya sorry if this is all magulo..

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