One of my personal advocacy is breastfeeding. On my firstborn, I breastfed him for a year and 5 months. It would have been longer if I did not get pregnant with my second child.
I got inspired with many of my mommy friends who had the money and capability of buying formula milk but chose to breastfeed their babes instead. I told myself that if I was going to have a child, I would definitely follow their footsteps and breastfeed. When I did get pregnant with my eldest son, I was a 35 year old mother-to-be and clueless on breastfeeding. I asked my twin sister Monique to get me booked on a breastfeeding class. We got the one in New Manila at the Medela house. Boy, it was an awesome eye opener for newbie moms like me!
Colostrum is the first milk that a mother produces. This is a clear syrup-like fluid that is filled with super antibodies and vitamins that protect our babies from diseases caused by bacterias and viruses. I also learned recently that colostrum is now sought after by cancer and auto-immune patients to strengthen their bodies and extend their life. No one can replicate colostrum and only lactating moms can give this to their babies. Isn’t it amazing that God has made women capable of producing this natural protection and food for their own offsprings?
I have seen how strong breastfed babies are. Just with my own son… I have observed how quickly he recovers from the flu. Even with fever he continues to play and run around like he isn’t sick. When Joshua got amoebiasis he continued to be energetic and playful.
I also love bonding with my babies. Breastfeeding is both nourishing and nurturing. Did you know that God has made women release a hormone called “oxytocin” when she experiences a milk let-down? This hormone is a chemical released in the brain that makes the mother and child experience a feeling of relaxation and the feeling of being “in-love”. This makes a mother have lots of love vibes and a natural nurturing behavior.
When I started to wean Joshua did I realize how much formula milk costs. The grocery shelves published prices from P600-P1200 per can. Wow, its really true that you can save so much money if a mother decides to breastfeed. If you compute for a year (or 52 weeks), a family can spend about P200,000 a year just on milk! Truly God enables a mother to provide what her baby needs without spending so much.
I must admit, the first time I breastfed I was frustrated and discouraged. My milk did not come out till the 3rd-5th day. My sister helped me by providing her breastmilk in those days. My husband was getting worried that our son was not getting enough nourishment. I had to pray, relax, and believe that God will increase my supply. I also continously latched, and pumped after breastfeeding, ate oatmeal for breakfast and ate malunggay soup and took natalac tablets. As sure as the sun rises in the morning, so did the supply of my milk increase and became sufficient for my baby. I made a serious decision to commit to breastfeed.
Also what helped me is the facebook group of Breastfeeding Pinays. Mothers and Lactation Consultants give free advise and encouragement to one’s breastfeeding journey. You can follow this group and learn alot from here. My advise is to get as much support and not give up. This is one of the best gift a mother can give to their child.
Even the bible mentions about breastfeeding. Here is one account on Jesus.
Luke 11:27 GNB “When Jesus had said this, a woman spoke up from the crowd and said to him, “How happy is the woman who bore you and nursed you!”
I encourage moms to try what God designed naturally for us to do.