Created June 24, 2011
Breastfeeding is still best for babies…
I was a young girl when I first a mother breastfeed her child. I was shocked to see our helper exposing her breast while her little baby boy tried to latch on. I tried to figure out what she was doing then I realized she was feeding her baby boy. I did not know that those two frontal bumps had milk in them. After suckling on her mother's breast, the baby boy fell asleep and our helper put him down and went back to work.
When I became a senior in high school, we were required to submit a term paper. As I browsed through magazines at our school library for interesting topics, an article in bold letters struck me, it said, "BREASTFEEDING: BEST FOR BABIES". I forgot what magazine that was but I knew this topic would be great for my first term paper. I researched on the topic and finally got to finish my paper in time. After submitting the said project, our English teacher, Mrs. Lee then asked us to defend our project. When it was time for me to do the defense, she asked me about the benefits of breastfeeding which I quickly answered. Then her final question was, " If you have a baby of your own in the future, would you breastfeed then?" Without batting an eyelash I answered, "Of course!". Then she followed it up with, "What if you have to work, how will be able to feed your baby?". "I would stop working in order to breastfeed my baby," was my reply. She gave me a smile and gracious grade after that.
In 2002, I became pregnant with my baby boy. My husband and I attended a breastfeeding seminar at the Asian Hospital. There we learned how breastfeeding really works. We were coached and taught by the wonderful breastfeeding advocates who later became very good friends. It was my goal then to really breastfeed my baby.
I gave birth a few months after and tried to breastfeed him. I would go down every 2 or 4 hours to the nursery and try to feed him. But I found out later that the nurses gave the babies formula in the nursery that is why whenever I try to nurse him, he does not seem interested. But still I tried as per the nurses’s instruction. We went home that afternoon and the baby was crying relentessly, I gave him my breast but he was pushing it away. I tried for a few minutes still the same response. I felt frustrated and cried because I felt he was rejecting me. I asked the helper to buy formula because he would not stop crying. I was so disappointed with myself and could not stop crying. I tried to breastfeed him for 2 to 3 months only combined with formula feeding. Until I finally gave up and let the formula do the feeding.
After a while, I became so envious of mothers who breastfed their babies for a long time. My sister in law breastfed all her babies until they were a year old, a friend who breastfed until 3 years old (gosh) and my best friend who did it for 2 years i think. I secretly wished I did the same. Though I knew it was the best food for babies, I failed to give my son the best.
Three and a half years later, I became pregnant again. This time I vowed to give it my best in feeding my baby. I had to undergo a C-section this time because of fetal distress. I remember asking for my baby girl to be roomed-in just after a day. I wanted to do things right this time. The pediatrician asked me if I really wanted her to be roomed in despite my stitches and I said yes. So there she was, my baby girl,so tiny. I tried to latch her on and feed her. And that continued until she was 2 years and 8 months old.
Those three years (almost) were filled with joy and frustration. When she was teething, oh boy, one cannot imagine the pain and I would not share how I felt that time. Every bite would bring tears to my eyes and vow not to feed her anymore. Babies grow 20 teeth for the first two years of life, now how many bites would that be? Not to mention the accidental-bite-the-nip-because-the-baby-is-sleepy thing.... But you know what? It's all worth it. If I could have one more child, which my husband and I planned not to anymore, thank you very much, I would still breastfeed. I see it as God's wonderful design for mothers and children too.
Now that she is almost five years old, she would sneak her hand in my shirt once in a while. Of course, I would stop her especially when she does it in public. She would also put her head close to my breast when she sleeps. Lately, I asked her why she keeps putting her hand on my breast. She tells me, "because your dede (breast) has a magnet!"