Breastfeeding is hard work, I told myself and the many moms I meet. You won’t succeed unless you try.
I tried, and so much more, that we are still standing, or nursing while standing (pun intended) I should say, for 29 months.
Sometime last year, I had excess frozen breastmilk at home. It was just a few bags but I know it mattered to moms who need it for their premies and newborns. So I immediately called the nearby hospital and asked if they accepted them.
After several phone transfers, I was told they were not accepting milk donations. This then led me to sending them a Facebook message inquiring about this. I know some hospitals already set up milk banks or at least be able to accept donations and transport them to milk banks, but I knew our hospital could easily have done this.
On a brighter side, I donated milk through Human Milk for Human Babies, a Facebook page where one either requests for or gives out frozen milk, and I met one mom and her daughter who benefitted twice through my donations. I even delivered the second batch to them in the hospital, so I was able to meet the baby.
Likewise, I also inquired why the pedias of our hospital aren’t that supportive of breastfeeding, which was the reason why my daughter had three pedias, though our current one is in another hospital. Is it lack of knowledge and experience with breastfeeding moms, especially extended breastfeeders? I really don’t know. They were following the Unang Yakap protocol down to the brim but are not keen on breastfeeding.
I am glad that months after that message, the hospital replied, and they refered this to the pediatric unit. I confirmed this with my OB-GYN last week when I had my Anti-HPV vaccine. I am awaiting for the results, so exciting! They will inform and update me about their future plans, and maybe, I’d offer to do talks and invite other experts who could inspire.
During a lunch with some like-minded women (one wasn’t even a mom, but was instrumental in the breastfeeding success of some moms), we all agreed that not only moms should be educated about breastfeeding, but the community who surrounds them. If they go back to their families postpartum and be influenced with formula feeding, then success rate would dip. Next project: promoting breastfeeding in the lower income communities who need to be equipped with knowledge, support, and confidence to ensure success.
That’s the key: information. The more people informed, the more they’ll be convinced to at least try.