Dig this: a classroom full of moms and expectant moms (and a handful of dads as well) who are total strangers exchanging knowledge about breastfeeding.
It was a breast-opening, I mean, eye-opening morning for me and my husband as we decided to attend a breastfeeding seminar. We were totally clueless about what to expect during the seminar. I knew about the seminar in an email group where I belong, started texting the contact person signifying our interest to attend, and found ourselves sitting in the Play Area in one of the posh malls in Makati. Interesting, I said, as we were heading our way to the venue, seeing even more beautiful, not to mention, expensive, baby stuff that I will just dream of buying.
Upon arriving, some fifteen women were already seated. Some of them chatting, others just silently waiting. And then, the facilitator came. She is Abbie Yabot, a leader of La Leche League Philippines, an organization of nursing mothers who advocate pure breastfeeding to their babies.
Back in high school, I remember commercials of milk formulas for babies telling us that breastfeeding is good for babies up to two years old. Yet, I was surprised to find out that some of the moms in this group breastfed their babies up to four years old! Now, that’s saving a lot of money for buying formulas.
The topic of the day was about pumping and going back to work. I also learned about different types of breast pumps. There are manual or electric, single or double breast pumps, you take your pick. You’re supposed to use them if you are a working mother who needs to store extra milk for your baby.
That morning, I didn’t have any breast pump yet. But I was surprised to receive one at the end of the day during the baby shower given by my family and friends. It was a manual single breast pump which uses forearm power to extract breast milk. Great, I said. At least I don’t have to buy one, which can be quite expensive, by the way.
I don’t know if the men felt awkward being in the midst of women talking about breasts. At least I know my husband wasn’t. He was even taking notes about the lecture. I’m happy that my husband shows his full support in my quest for breastfeeding. Oh, if only men could breastfeed!
Got milk? Then start breastfeeding. As what I’ve learned in this seminar, all mothers have milk. There are exceptions, though, like you cannot breastfeed if you have certain conditions. Breast milk has a long list of health benefits for your newborn. Being closer to your child is added bonus. As they say, breast is best.