Monday, August 11, 2014

My breastfeeding Journey

Last August 2, we attended Hakab Na! 2014, an event or campaign initiated by a group called Breastfeeding Pinays in celebration of Breastfeeding Month. The campaign aims to promote breastfeeding and all its benefits not only to the babies but also to the moms, to the society and to mother earth. This is done simultaneously in different parts of the country.

This is the second time, last year Rafa and I weren't able to attend. So this year, with Mack being the last of the David- Marasigan brood, I made sure we would become a part of it. 

All of our kids were breastfed, although Gabbie and Rafa were not really 100%. With Gabbie, I was less informed, I wouldn't say uninformed, I was. It's just it was not enough. And being a first time mom with no breastfeeding advocate surrounding me (even the pedia!) I felt like I was alone in pursuing my dream of exclusively breastfeeding my firstborn. That was something I will forever regret. I could have done better, I could have resisted the temptation and I could have spent the duration of my pregnancy reading and searching the net for everything about breastfeeding. But then, I was still thankful that even if it was just 85%, still I was able to breastfeed my daughter for up to 22 months. I just had to wean her because I had to take medications (steroids included) for my osteoarthritis.

With Rafa, I was more determined. I didn't pack feeding bottles in our hospital bag, I even told and emphasized to the attending nurses and resident doctors that I plan to exclusively breastfeed (the hospital was not a breastfeeding friendly hospital as well). But then two days after we went home, I had bleeding (my uterus relaxed) so I had to go back to the hospital and leave Rafa at home under the care of my mother in law. She was given formula while I was away. And more when I was given medications because I was advised to stop breastfeeding. I would later found out that most medicines are breastfeeding safe. If I had known, I would have continued even when I was taking antibiotics. But after that, I threw the formula away and went back to breastfeeding. And so Rafa was breastfed for up to 22 months as well. I just had to stop because I became pregnant with Mack. If Gabbie was 85%, Rafa was 95%. Still not exclusive but at least, they were breastfed.

Now with Mack, I am determined to exclusively breastfeed him at least for the first six months. We're already four months along the way. And despite what we have been through, I promise myself that whatever happens, we will never resort to formula feeding, even if it meant asking for breastmilk donations from other mommies during that time that he was losing weight because of the bacteria.

This time, being 100% equipped with information and support, I will exclusively breastfeed and join my friends and the Breastfeeding Pinays Group to promote breastfeeding and encourage more mommies and help them understand that indeed, breast is best.

Above all, I thank God for giving me the chance to do it and I thank God for giving me a husband who supports this advocacy.

No comments: