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 may not have been sure of what kind of parent I wanted to be except for one thing: I was going to breastfeed.
Except I had no clue had to go about it.
Thankfully, I was smart enough to know that breastfeeding, as tranquil and effortless it seemed on TV, is not automatic. Natural, yes. Automatic, no. With that mindset, I sought out resources – friends who breastfed, Facebook contacts who posted status updates about breastfeeding, whatever. With an open mind, I attended a breastfeeding class with my husband, and the rest as they say, is blog history. In my little corner of the internet, I shared my thoughts, my stories, my tears and frustrations. And for some reason, people read, they related and passed the word along.
I’m just one mom, and I’m not a media personality who has the power to influence millions of mothers through my choices (yes, I mean them who chose to promote formula milk). But I will try my best to spread the word and help mothers make the INFORMED choice about breastfeeding their kids. Sometimes, information is all moms need to start.
I am fearless. I breastfeed anywhere. And I mean ANYWHERE. In a tricycle, at the checkout line of the supermarket, buying fish, during meetings – ANYWHERE. I don’t wait till the “proper time and place” for breastfeeding because in my view there is no such thing. I do it with or without a cover, and I smile and engage people in conversation when they look at me curiously. Most of the time, these people have questions, if not for themselves, but for people they know, and I take it as an opportunity to talk about breastfeeding and lead them to the proper support channels if they need more help. I will breastfeed Basti well into his toddler years if he chooses not to wean and I will not be a “closet nurser”, or those who say they have weaned their 2+-year old child but nurse them still at home.
I am informed. I try my best to keep up with the trends, not just on the facts of breastfeeding, its benefits and anything medically-related, but also on current news and events. I find out what the formula companies are up to, what organizations are supporting breastfeeding, ongoing campaigns in others countries, and also the media personalities who promote breastfeeding and also those who promote formula. I like knowing how the advocacy is moving forward, or being held back, and I love reading stories on its triumphs and successes. They make for good sharing when speaking with others. I hope to, someday, be actually trained as a counselor. (I really should, given all the questions I get about breastfeeding because of this blog!)
I am involved. I find out about what organizations are doing to promote breastfeeding and I take part in however I can. Be it a simple click of a Paypal button to donate, or to pose for pictures in an exhibit, take a friend’s call when she’s having breastfeeding blues, do a breastfeeding testimonial at a parent talk, take part in a PSA or even just wear a statement shirt in August – I do something. One mother who gets the message will spread to 10 others. Though I love learning from the professionals, I also love meeting other moms who breastfeed and love hearing their stories.
I am supportive. The words that kept me going while I was going through my own breastfeeding blues were like gold to me. I am a cheerleader to every mother’s little successes – a good latch, milk supply going up, breastfeeding beyond the expected period, or even just plain MAKING THE CHOICE. It always brings me to tears.
Awareness is so vital. Some people don’t realize just how wonderful breastfeeding is and the mothers who choose it for their children are changing the world one baby at a time. Every mother who breastfeeds not only saves on healthcare costs for their family but also saves the country thousands of dollars as well. I don’t believe we are no match for the marketing specialists of formula companies. We have a product that’s way better than anything they produce, it’s free and it’s perfect. But we need to act on spreading the word, one mother at a time, in our own little ways in whichever corner of the world we are.
I am a breastfeeding mom. And I am so proud of it!
Other participating moms here. Please check them out!
Breastfeeding: Promoting It Even if I Didn’t Get Lucky The First Time Around by Glamma Momma (Mommy Erl’s Online Diary)