I am a breastfeeding advocate, as people from my Facebook feed may have noticed. It’s very exciting that we are now in an era wherein breastfeeding is starting to get the proper attention it deserves, but I know Philippines still has a long way to go. In my almost 15 months of nursing, you wouldn’t believe the wrong notions some people have towards breastfeeding. Sadly most of them come from the financially-challenged sector wherein breastfeeding could have provided their children stronger immunity and other health benefits for FREE.
I remember meeting a mom who threw her “first milk” because she was told it was spoiled. I almost had a heart attack! She didn’t know it was colostrum, a very nutrient-dense substance that is created by the mother especially for her newborn. I met another mom who stopped breastfeeding after seeing her child’s first tooth. I asked her why and she told me she doesn’t want to be bitten. What she didn’t know is that if a baby is properly latched, it is impossible for him/her to bite his/her mom’s nipples ( since the baby’s tongue is naturally positioned sticking out when nursing). Or if the baby actively does bite, there are effective ways to stop the habit. Working moms say that they need to go back to work which was why they did not even bother. What they didn’t know is that they can pump their milk at work and bring it home for their babies. They can even freeze it for 1 year. Now that Win is a year old, old people tell me to stop already since my milk is just water. I mean, come on! WHO, Unicef and the American Association of Pediatricians recommend breastfeeding for at least 2 years and for as long as the mother and child wants to. Sometimes I just want to laugh with the stuff I hear, but most of the time it can be very exasperating.
Breastfeeding is more than just feeding a baby. It provides comfort, warmth and reassurance. Nursing has numerous benefits for the mother as well. I just find it very peculiar how modern advancements, instead of reaffirming, had only caused more confusion and doubt to many mothers. Maybe this is because we are being pushed farther away from our basic human instincts that breastfeeding, as natural as it may be, has become so foreign to us.
I still have a lot to say on this topic, but this post is getting too long already. Haha. To be continued.