Category: Milk Mama Diaries

Breastfeeding: a solution to societal problems

Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August). For this month, we write about the World Breastfeeding Week 2014 – Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life and share how breastfeeding can help the Philippines achieve the 8 Millennium Development Goals developed by the government and the United Nations. Participants will share their thoughts, experiences, hopes and suggestions on the topic.  Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.”


Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life! is the theme for this year's Breastfeeding Month, as set by the World Breastfeeding Awareness Week.
Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life! is the theme for this year’s Breastfeeding Month, as set by the World Breastfeeding Awareness Week.

In the years I have been breastfeeding our daughter, I have gotten mixed reactions. Some are happy for our family, others give me that dagger look, as if asking me why.

And in these past four years, I have always wondered about how a nation that breastfeeds can change the course of things. For a low-income family, breastfeeding should be automatically done. But it isn’t so, in this generation where milk companies let money and marketing do their talking.

Breastfeeding, for me, is beyond personal concerns. I know it would not only benefit my daughter and my family, but the whole society. We live in a condo, but the community outside the condo have a number of low-income earners. I usually pass by the small streets and see a lot of bottlefed babies. I even saw up close their bottles, and find out how diluted their milk is with its translucent color. I would not even wonder if they use clean water or not.

Breastfeeding helps eradicate poverty. If they only know that breastmilk is the most sterile, most accessible and cheapest milk there is (you won’t even spend a penny to breastfeed!). Thus, families will not be compelled to buy those cans of milk anymore.

You’re probably thinking now, but I can afford to buy, anyway, so why should I even breastfeed? That’s exactly where the personal reasons come in, like health benefits for mother and child, among many others.

I came to a point wherein I almost gave up breastfeeding. But I did not. I credit my husband for not only being there for me financially, but also physically and emotionally, when I doubted my ability to breastfeed an awful lot of times. He would do the research for me, giving in my simple requests or handing a drink over when my hands get suddenly full because of the newborn. He knew breastfeeding was best. He did not force me to do it. He’d even say that I can give up and top up with formula, but everytime he says this, I am more challenged to do better in breastfeeding.

It has been four years. No stopping yet. And instead of buying formula milk, we use the money to buy and cook delicious and nutritious food on our table.

In a similar light, breastfeeding also saves the environment. No formula milk preparation means zero use of cans, bottles, water and soap, electricity, and plastic. When we breastfeed, there is less carbon footprint that may harm the environment. We are ensuring and giving a safe environment to our future generation.

Likewise, breastmilk is the first zero waste food for baby. Organic, natural, and nutritious. My daughter, when she started talking at around a year old, tells me that my breastmilk tasted like strawberry milk. That’s funny, because at that time, she never tasted strawberry milk, not even on tetra packs.

Some would wonder, am I against formula feeding? Well, no. But I am against how these milk products are marketed. Those commercials, freebies, and free samples in the grocery surely would undermine breastfeeding. No wonder, they use a different tagline in the commercials nowadays. Remember when they say, Breastfeeding is best for babies up to two years? Instead, they now use, The use of milk supplements must only be upon the advice of a health professional. How cleverly done! Really taking away the importance of breastfeeding.

What should be done, then, to avoid these things:

1. Report Milk Code violations. These companies will continue to innovate their products, give you freebies and samples, because tell me, what can you still innovate about breastmilk and breastfeeding?

2. Educate one family at a time. Share a related breastfeeding link via your social media sites. Tell your mom, mother-in-law, husband, and other people that breastfeeding is not only beautiful and beneficial, but also contribute to a better society. This is why I trained as peer counselor for LATCH in order to reach out to more families who need breastfeeding support, and for myself to be better educated. Being and working with the amazing moms of LATCH especially these past months fueled my passion to advocate breastfeeding more.

3. If you’re the mom, Just Do It! And pray to Our Lady of La Leche to intercede. Having a child is a gift, much so, breastfeeding them.

The abovementioned points are part of the eight Millennium Development Goals set by the UN in 1990. The goals are set to be attained by 2015, which is next year. It may be that near, but happily, these goals are being achieved one day at a time.

Here are many thoughts and reasons why we should all advocate for mothers to breastfeed for the first 1,000 days of life #BF1st1000days

Jenny shares experiencing the One Asia Breastfeeding Forum

Mec insists to do the Math and breastfeed!

Ams, The Passionate Mom says Breastfeed for a Better Future

Pat says breastfeeding saves money and the planet

Cheryl, the Multi-Tasking Mama, tackles maternal health as addressed by breastfeeding

2011 CNN Hero Ibu Robin highlights gentle births and breasfeeding, even in disaster zones

Felyn stresses that Healthy Moms = Healthy Babies

Monique reminds us that there are second chances in breastfeeding

Normi relates how breastfeeding gave her strength and purpose

Nats thanks Dr. Jack Newman for showing how breastfeeding can be a win-win situation

Em believes breastfeeding is a solution to societal problems

Marge shares what breastfeeding has taught them

Kaity was empowered financially and as a woman through breastfeeding

Madel relates her breastfeeding saga

Jen of Next9 reminds us to do our research and share what we know

Celerhina Aubrey vows to work on one mother at a time

Grace wants to put an end to stories of toasted coffee and similar stuff over breast milk

Diane shares how she prevailed when things did not go according to plan

Hazel appreciates mommy support groups

Roan combines two passions, breastfeeding and architecture

Queenie tackled breastfeeding as the best choice for the environment as well and breastfeeding myths and poverty

Rosa shares how the picture she thought of was realized

Sally believes breastfeeding benefits mankind and our planet Earth

Floraine reminds us that breastfeeding helps combat diseases

Crislyn was happy to realize that she improved her own health by breastfeeding

Armi reminds us how breastfeeding during emergencies is crucial

Arvi tells us how breastfeeding made her look at her body a different way

Clarice elaborates on how breastfeeding saves lives and the planet

Giane reminds us that women empowerment can begin by seeing breastfeeding as more than a feeding issue

Liza thought she was only breastfeeding for her child

Just Do It!


Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (February). For this month, we focus on back to basics. Participants will share advices – either the best breastfeeding advice they received and/or the best breastfeeding advice they can give to new moms. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.

No, it’s not an advertisement I am writing about, but those words have got to be the BEST advice I have received and I will give any parent who decides to breastfeed.

Armed with googled knowledge, a clueless family, a few breastfeeding friends, and one La Leche League meet prior to delivery, I embarked on a now almost 18-month journey of breastfeeding. No regrets! I really deserve a big pat on the back (which I am now doing as I am writing this blog post at 1 AM!).

After those months of actually succeeding in an unfamiliar field (and now being able to go back to the workforce after 16 months postpartum), I am now passing on the knowledge to people I know who, like me, were once afraid, unsure, and uncertain about this whole breastfeeding thing. I answer questions through text, email, calls, and sometimes do visits when time permits. I’m no lactation counselor as I tell the people, but I really want to just share the knowledge and the blessing our family have.

I have breastfeeding books I will soon lend a childhood friend. I would very much love to share with pregnant moms our experience especially the bumpy beginnings. I want to help educate more people how important and natural breastfeeding is, especially to non-believers. I want to promote breastfeeding in public (which I did just the other day when an old lady told me that my toddler should not direct feed anymore cause it’s not right anymore– my daughter nursed in front of her and we didn’t care what she’d say!).

So my advice: JUST DO IT. I can be pushy, right? But that’s how we survived the first year without even thinking about supplementing formula. And we succeeded. I pray through Our Lady of La Leche that you will, too.

~ Touringkitty

These mom bloggers did it, too! We have different stories to tell and I hope you’ll learn from them as I did.

The Articulate Pen’s Breastfeeding needs Patience
Diapers and Stethoscope’s Back to Basic
My Mommyology’s What I’ve Learned About Breastfeeding
Ms. Masungit’s From One Mom To Another
The Odyssey of Dinna’s Breastfeeding Words of Wisdom
Mrs. Bry126’s We’re All in this Together
I Am Clarice’s Paying it Forward
My Mommy Kwentos’ Sharing My Favorite Breastfeeding Advice
Planet Marsy’s Better Than None
Mommy {T} Coach’s Saved by the Nursing Mommas
Mama Drama’s Patience and Breast-friends
Adventures on Planet Mom’s Stubborn Me! Sure Glad I didn’t give up
Nanaystrip’s Eat Malunggay, Say “I Have Milk” and Love your Baby
Starting at Twenty-Five’s My Husband’s Best Breastfeeding Advice
Nanay *Loves* Purple’s Why Attend Breastfeeding Class/Seminars
Truly Rich Mom’s My Top 5 Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms
Legally Mama’s Take it from the non-expert!
Mommy Mama Rat’s My Breastfeeding Mantra
Mr. Jacob’s Mom’s Breastfeeding Tips from a Non-Breastfed Mommy
Hybrid Rasta Mama’s Breastfeeding Lists, Advice, Links and More
Apples and Dumplings’ One Word of Breastfeeding Advice
Touring Kitty’s Just Do It
EthanMama’s Only the Best for My Baby
the canDIshhh tales’ My Breastfeeding Advice
Mec as Mom’s Enough is Enough
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom’s ;On Breastfeeding Number Two – Redux

The “Breast” Gift

The Blog Carnival's Logo by Mec (

“Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (December). For this month, we want to honor breastfeeding for having enriched our lives and blessed us, maybe even empowered us, in a way that only breastfeeding can. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants.”

Being able to sustain breastfeeding for almost sixteen months is the greatest gift I have ever received and given. I credit my success to the Lord Almighty, my newfound devotion to Our Lady of La Leche, my family and friends who supported me from day one up until now. And with the looks of it, both my daughter and I are not ready to stop anytime soon. Not just yet.

Along with the gift of breastfeeding, I have also received other “gifts” that naturally came with it, which I now have realized. Allow me to share some with you:

1. The Gift of Commitment

I chose to breastfeed. And I prepared myself for it. I did my homework — research, attend La Leche League meets, talk with moms who had similar experience or at least can share some of their knowledge. Commitment is also a choice. I know I was willing to commit to be with my daughter especially in the first few months, when no one else at home knew what breastfeeding was all about. The same commitment I have used even when I have to work. Thankfully, I can work part-time so I pump occasionally. Never had and never will result to formula.

2. The Gift of Confidence

I and my daughter are notorious public breastfeeders. I stopped using breastfeeding stations after a snooty nurse from the mall clinic didn’t allow me to get in because I had a stroller. So we nurse anytime, anywhere. I am confident to breastfeed in public also because I’ve learned the tricks of it (though at times it’s a challenge with my cute squirmy daughter!). So far, no nasty or malicious looks, no guards preventing us to do so, thankfully. My husband is ready to protect me and fight for me if anyone does so.

3. The Gift of Communication

Breastfeeding is my advocacy. God allowed me to use social media, such as this blog, joining blog carnivals, posting tweets, status messages, to encourage more moms and families to breastfeed. Though I didn’t push through with my LATCH training as lactation counselor, God still allowed me to sort of act like one by visiting a new mom in a nearby hospital and giving tips to her new breastfeeding experience. Likewise, my husband supports and promotes breastfeeding through his blog and joining blog carnivals — so far he’s joined two Milk Mama Diaries carnivals and he doesn’t mind if he’s the only dad who joins! I’m one proud wife and mom here!

4. The Gift of Camaraderie

Breastfeeding gave me even more new friends! The La Leche League meets, Babywearing meets (another advocacy as well), blog carnival, tweeting, fb-ing, the devotion to Our Lady of La Leche, opened doors and windows to more like-minded moms. Camaraderie even if some of them I haven’t met in person, but the empowerment, inspiration, and prayers they’ve given is more than enough.

On top of all these, what’s the best gift?


Not to confuse it with confidence, Merriam-Webster defines courage as a mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Let me share a passage from this web article:

“Most of our choices require confidence and courage. It takes a lot of courage to choose to speak up and to let someone know how you feel, especially if that person has authority over you. It takes confidence, on the other hand, to try new things. It takes confidence and courage to put yourself first.”

I conquered breastfeeding problems in the early days like sore nipples, almost no sleep because baby feeds sometimes every 30 minutes, oversupply, reflux. I didn’t follow our pediatrician’s and other people’s recommendation to give formula because they say I have a small baby. I know they may mean well, but I didn’t give up on breastfeeding, simply because I want to tell them that breastfeeding is normal. I resist, but I persist.

It will surely take some more time to make people realize that the female breasts really are meant for feeding the baby. It’s the “breast” gift we can give to our children.

And before I forget, Merry Christmas from our breastfeeding family!

During our recent Iloilo trip. We breastfed in the plane, at church, at any empty chair when our baby wants it!

~ Touringkitty

Do take the time to check out all the posts in this month’s carnival:
Jenny O.
Jenny R.

Extended Breastfeeding is Possible

“Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (November). For this month, participants share their experiences on extended breastfeeding. This includes tips to moms with young babies, as well as barriers and myths which discourage extended nursing. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants.”

“Now, really, she still breastfeeds at 14 months? Isn’t she too old for that?”

“She must be biting you a lot with all her teeth coming out!”

“How can you sing and travel with baby in tow?”

“You should stop already, there’s formula anyway.”

“She must be beside Mommy all the time because Mommy is her food. Poor Mommy. That’s why she can’t work.”

These are just some of the many statements, questions, comments we’ve been getting lately. And I always address them with a smile.

Wow, 14 months. 14 months! To me, breastfeeding my daughter without giving her formula is the biggest achievement I have done, more than winning the Grand Prix, more than finishing a degree with honors. I just feel proud, even prouder now that I have reached the one-year mark.

And no, we’re not stopping soon. Why?

1. Because she doesn’t need formula. And we can’t afford formula. Really, we can’t. I know my husband works really hard to provide for our needs but who would want to spend on expensive formula milk when you can provide your own?

I take what the priest said in the homily during the Feast of Our Lady of La Leche Mass I attended: Kaya tayo asal hayop kasi gatas ng hayop iniinom natin (The reason why we act as animals is because we drink animal milk). That was a tough thought. Now I want to breastfeed Aria even longer, for as long as she likes!

2. Because it’s so much easier! Pop the boob out and you’re good to go. Portable (you bring just yourself and the baby–no bottles, warm water, milk containers), economical (no need to buy expensive stuff–a shawl, tube or tank top underneath a loose shirt and you’re good to go), space saver (who needs a big diaper/baby bag?).

3. Because the family can sleep longer. My husband benefits from this more, and he will be forever grateful that he didn’t learn preparing formula. Even middle of the night waking is a breeze. I just let her nurse and she goes back to dreamland. We’re co-sleeping and no fear of SIDS.

4. Because I don’t want smelly poop. Yes, I just love a breastfed baby’s poop scent, even now that she’s heavy on solids!

5. Because I don’t want to introduce a pacifier, nor a bottle teat. I’d rather nurse her when she cries for reasons aside from hunger (sleepy, bored, hurt, sick). I know she can really be talkative and loud and screams a lot at times but I still will choose that over a baby with a pacifier in her mouth.

Note: we introduced Medela Calma but unfortunately, after a couple of months and now that she’s got eight teeth, she just chews the teat. We’re cup and straw feeding now!

6. Because we don’t want to get sick. Save two or three times of having colds during the first year, both my daughter and I haven’t gotten seriously sick. And we are assured of a smarter baby and reduced cancer-risk mommy!

7. Because it’s the only exclusive thing we do together! I know I’m being selfish, but my husband, or my mom, or my sister, can play with her all day but when it comes to quenching her thirst for milk, it’s only me.

8. Because, surely, when she weans (not anytime soon, please!) I’ll truly treasure every nursing moment we had — the sleepless nights, hours of carrying to avoid reflux, two hour marathon nursings, five seconds quick thirst-quenching nursing, biting episodes, crazy nursing positions and calisthenics my baby had discovered, the sudden pulling off my shirt even in front of a priest and demanding ‘dedede’ until she gets it, the nursing to soothe aching gums, booboos, separation and stranger anxieties, and nursing to sleep. The list is endless!

I know my friends and maybe other non-breastfeeding readers, too will get dismayed, envied, or ashamed (I hope not!) that breastfeeding just didn’t work out.

The keyword: TRUST.

Trust your body that it can make milk, even if at times you don’t feel or see it.

Trust your family that they’ll support you (or if not, I, on behalf of the many breastfeeding moms, counselors, breastfeeding-friendly doctors will!).

Trust in the Lord that He prepared your body for this challenge, which is really just a kick-off from pregnancy. There is a lot more to come!

~ Touringkitty

Other stories of moms who went past the first year mark:

J and the Three Boys – No more “de-de”
My Mommyology – My Extended Breastfeeding Experience
Mommyluscious – Breastfeeding for Two Beyond Two
Truly Rich Mom – On Extended Breastfeeding (a perfectly normal thing to do)
Life of a Babywearing and Breastfeeding Mommy – Still breastfeeding after 2 years
Got To Believe – Breastfeeding Room Story

Apples and Dumplings – My Constant Challenge with Extending Breastfeeding
Mommy Kuwentos – Challenges and Rewards of Extended Breastfeeding
The Odyssey of Dinna – Nurturing Rafael: Extended Breastfeeding, Stretching Some More Lovin’
Legally Mom – Breastfeeding Beyond 1 Year: Barriers and Issues
Mec as Mom – Shooting for the Benefits, Extending the Love
Homeschooling Mommy – Yes, I’ve Got Milk
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom – Barriers/Myths vs. Extended Breastfeeding

Communication through Breastfeeding

“Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August). For this month, we join the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action in it’s “Talk to Me!” theme where participants will share personal experiences, insights or recommendations in communicating breastfeeding intentions and goals to their support system. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants.”
Left: newborn. Right: nine months
August is such a special month for our family. It was Papa’s birthday/ninth death anniversary two weeks ago and I celebrated with this blog post. Lolo, Lola, and Mama will also celebrate their birthdays in the coming days. In a week and a half, our daughter will have her first birthday party! Her birth date is so special that she chose it herself. Read related posts here and here.
We don’t only celebrate her birthday on the end of this month, we also celebrate two other things: one is the first year of parenthood for me and my husband. The other is the Feast Day of St. Raymond Nonato, the patron saint of expectant mothers, childbirth and children. And it’s Breastfeeding Month! Oh, how I love this month!
Having breastfed our firstborn for the past year is a big achievement for me. I can’t imagine how I’ve hurdled the past year — the sleepless nights, midnight snacks, occasional pumping (manual pump AND hand expressing!), nonstop whining and crying (that’s me, not the baby!), multi-tasking, battle with nursing bras and covers, etc., etc. It was hard work, and I feel like rewarding myself for this feat.
I used to be a busy bee. I work here and there and I work hard. I actively volunteer in church handling the children’s choir and the entire music ministry as coordinator, I sing and travel a lot. All of a sudden, pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding put me to a full stop.
But slowly, I’m working my way to do all those mentioned above. I’ve checked all that, except travel. Haven’t gone beyond the city yet.
I had to deal with several people in this breastfeeding journey. And I will not last this far if not for these people.
The Husband. Your co-maker should always be your number one supporter. He may be your number one critic sometimes. My husband repeatedly challenged me with “If you’re tired breastfeeding, we can always switch to formula.” I never gave in! Now he tells me, if you want to shop, charge it to your credit card and I’ll take care of it. Who can say no to that!
Another thing is that he believed in breastfeeding. He accompanied me in all the La Leche League meetings I wanted to attend. He would sometimes be the only dad in the circle but he wouldn’t mind. He even took notes on our first meeting and blogged about it here.
The Mother. I knew I’d be facing a lot of debate with my mother just because she is my mother. She was the first one who told me to buy bottles in preparation for giving birth (which I never did, so she bought me a couple). I even tore a diaper’s side tape in exasperation after hearing my mom tell me that if I want my baby to get fat, I should give her formula because that’s the norm!
But she saw how I tried my best to provide only breastmilk to my daughter. And with her support and guidance, even if she didn’t know a lot about breastfeeding, we were successful. She gives my daughter expressed milk when I’m at work.
The OB-GYN. If there’s someone who supported me fully in this journey, it is my OB-GYN. From pregnancy until after giving birth, she didn’t doubt that I can sustain breastfeeding.
The Pediatrician. If there’s someone I wish who supported me it’s our pediatrician. When my daughter was eight months old she wondered why I was still breastfeeding. Well, I still have milk! I asked her if after one year I can give whole milk to my daughter, she tells me “why not give her formula instead?” I told her that I will still carry on breastfeeding and that there’s nothing wrong with whole milk after one year, just in case she didn’t know. She just said, “Okay.” Yes, she is very unsupportive. I even heard from others that she’s a breastfeeding advocate. Not true!
The Pediatrician’s Secretary. She gives me Miss Tapia looks when I breastfeed in the clinic. She even asked if the baby sling I was using was from a tribe which I might belong to. I wish she was informed that breastfeeding is not bad at all and baby slings are not a thing of the past.
The religious community. The church where I belong to has been very supportive and understanding  of our desire to breastfeed, especially our Rector. They know for a fact that we don’t have a helper nor a yaya so it’s just us three (Daddy, Mommy, Baby) when we hear Mass, attend meetings, rehearsals, sing for the Mass. The occasional babysitters are there (my mom and sister) but the weekly church duties are tough for us. When I have meetings to attend, the Daddy takes care of baby. I give them expressed milk and they go malling. They all know how loud my baby is so I really appreciate it that they’ve been very forgiving, especially when I miss deadlines for churchwork or miss Masses.
The community. I laud all the efforts being done to promote breastfeeding. But I think it should start from nursing moms themselves. I don’t nurse in breastfeeding stations anymore after encountering a snooty nurse at the mall clinic who would not let our stroller in when it was just me and my baby strolling around. So I don’t care when or where I am and my daughter would start pulling down my shirt or shouting “dedede” endlessly. We nurse.
Then there are a few people who would give you nasty looks on one hand, smile and ask about breastfeeding on the other. I always love talking with like-minded and open-minded people. Breastfeeding is not best, it’s normal!
It has been a great year for me and my baby, and we don’t have any plans to stop breastfeeding yet. My baby has nursed all the more especially when she bumps herself or stumbles, when she’s teething, or when she’s really really sleepy.
The challenges of the first year I successfully hurdled. Now the next challenge for us is taking care of a rambunctious toddler who is super hyper, smart, and cute. And we love her like that.
Now, it’s time to give back. Talk to me about breastfeeding and I’ll be ready to help!
~ Touringkitty
My ever supportive husband blogged again for this carnival!
Anthony’s Six persuasion tips for breastfeeding moms and advocates
Super cheers to all these wonderful breastfriends:
DaintyMom’s Creating a Pro-Breastfeeding Culture in the Family (Facebook and Twitter: @Dainty_Mom)
Wifely Steps’ On Breastfeeding: Say It, Claim It, Get Support! (Facebook and Twitter: @macaronigirl)
Truly Rich Mom’s How To Get Others to Support You in Breastfeeding (Facebookand Twitter: @tinasrodriguez)
EthanMama’s My Best Breastfeeding Support System – My Husband (Twitter: @ethanmama)
Raising Baby Lia’s A Shoutout to my Breastfeeding Buddies
Jen CC Tan’s I’m Breastfeeding, and That’s That! (Facebook and Twitter: @next9baby)
Project Blog by Kate’s Talk and Make it Happen (Facebook and Twitter: @kate_demetrio)
My Mommy Kwentos’ How I Recruited my Top Breastfeeding Buddies (Facebook)
Apples & Dumplings Communicating and First Time Breastfeeders (Twitter: @apple_dumplings)
I’m a Newbie Wife’s How I Taught My Family to Breastfeed
TouringKitty’s Communication Through Breastfeeding (Twitter: @Touringkitty)
Mec as Mom’s Pre-Natal Pediatric Consultations Are Necessary
Escie’s World’s Ready, Get Set, Go! for Breastfeeding (Twitter: @Escielicious)
Nanaystrip’s BreasTALK : Text, Retweet, Share your Knowledge and Experiences(Twitter: @bunsonimaestro)
Superwomom’s A-S-Ks (on breastfeeding questions, help, support) (Twitter: @dsedilla)
Go Help Yourself’s “6 persuasion tips for breastfeeding moms and advocates”
Legally Mom’s Breastfeeding Talk Between Me and My Formula Fed Daughter(Facebook and Twitter: @legallymomPH)
Handy Mommy’s Couple’s Communication and Decision: Key to Successful Breastfeeding
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom’s Effective Communication Bucket List (Facebookand Twitter: @mamababylove)

A Breastfeeding Formula-Fed Mother

“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.”

I live in the formula generation. I can’t recall an instance when my family talked about breastfeeding. It was all bottles, different brands of powdered milk, and sterilizers. None of my cousins (on my mom’s side) were breastfed.

I remember my mom told me that I was part of a formula brand testing and got a year’s supply of formula! The reason why I wasn’t breastfed is that my mom had a lump in one of her breasts that needed to be removed. I was breastfed for about a month. My younger sister, nada. Poor one didn’t even get to taste colostrum.

Not that I regret that I wasn’t breastfed. I grew up well and so did my sister and my cousins. But if I had a choice, I would have wanted to be breastfed.

So for our first daughter, I chose breastfeeding. I have been breastfeeding her for the past eleven months (and counting!). And I’m blessed to have a supportive family. Of course, it meant bringing the baby almost everywhere, choosing to work part-time and watching what I eat as if I’m still pregnant.

And now, this formula-fed mom is encouraging others to breastfeed. How?

1. Share information. Sometimes I do this by posting on my Facebook or Twitter, and friends would send me questions. I’m happy to share what I know and experienced because, really, experience is the best teacher. I just tend to overdo it sometimes, hence the very long replies!

I wonder, though, why some of my friends tell me I’m lucky I still breastfeed, when they didn’t even try for more than a month, saying they had a hard time or they didn’t have milk. They had all the opportunity and time, after all. They could have saved lots of money.

2. Live by example: nurse in public. At times, however, I tend to forget that I’m not in the comfort of my own home and just offer my breast to my daughter, covered or not covered, especially when she starts to be restless. My nursing cover is actually useless now because she just plays with it and removes it anyway.

What I do is wear something accessible for breastfeeding. Often a tube underneath a loose pull-up blouse is fine. I just cover whatever skin is exposed with a piece of cloth.

3. Invite pregnant and new moms to support meetings. Some moms need to hear from other moms to be convinced that they, too, can breastfeed. There are LATCH seminars, Medela classes, and La Leche League meets (where I started attending a year ago this month).

Plug: There will be a La Leche League meeting on July 23, 10:30 AM at Mothercare,Greenbelt5. More info on La Leche League Manila’s Facebook Page.

Not convinced yet? Maybe we could suggest the following to promote breastfeeding better:

1. Have more breastfeeding-friendly hospitals. My hospital had this big sign that theirs is indeed a breastfeeding-friendly one. It was from WHO, if I remember right. I did not take prenatal classes but with a little coaching and support from the resident doctors and midwives, I gave birth unmedicated. The baby was immediately latched on to me and she was roomed in a few hours after. The hospital had midwives who taught us about breastfeeding cues, latch, and so much more.

I’m fortunate also to have an OB-GYN who’s highly supportive of natural birth and breastfeeding. She’s vegetarian, too, so she made sure I ate healthy when I was still pregnant.

2. Have more breastfeeding-friendly pediatricians. Some say they’re breastfeeding-friendly, but they’d still resort to formula feeding after some time.

My baby’s own pedia asked if I still had breastmilk for my baby back when she was eight months, and yet she says she’s a breastfeeding advocate. Her secretary gave me a look when I breastfed my baby in the clinic while waiting for the doctor. She asked: “You still breastfeed? You still have milk?” As if it’s a bad thing!

3. Make nursing clothes mainstream, and cheaper. I only see nursing clothes online, and those in the mall are expensive and sad-looking, with zippers that are choking hazards. There’s the nursing cover, alright, but you need easy access to your milk source, right? You see really expensive nursing clothes and then tell yourself: nursing is for the rich.

Try the tube underneath your clothes. It does work, practice makes perfect. I have Undercover Mama from Mama Baby Love which hooks to your nursing bra.

4. Longer maternity leaves! Maybe four or six months is best for both mother and baby to establish breastfeeding and eventually introduce solids. Of course, ample recovery period for the mother, who may or may not suffer postpartum blues, is necessary.

My OB-GYN talked me into quitting my job to focus on my pregnancy, birth of the baby, and newborn care. So I did. And my husband and I didn’t regret making that decision. Slowly, I’m going back on track, teaching part-time and singing for events.

Breastfeeding involves dedication, passion, and determination. Don’t get mad, lactivists, but for beginners, I think a little breastfeeding is better than none. It’s a good start to convince new moms to breastfeed. It’s the most natural thing any mother can do, and it’s the cherry on top of the icing.

~ Touringkitty

Posts from other super breastfeeders below:

A Simple Breastfeeding Campaign by The Lazy Mama (@TheLazyMama)
I Am A Breastfeeding Mom by The Painter’s Wife (@PaintersWifePH)

W-u-r-r-w-u-r-r-w-u-r-r by Martha de Lusong (@frannie17) hosted by Jen CC Tan‘s MomExchange (@next9baby)

The Low-Milk-Supply Mommy Did It! by The Odyssey of Dinna
Breastfeeding Promotion Tips from a Formula Feeder (Yes, you read that correctly…) by The Fearless Formula Feeder (@FormulaFeeder)
On Promoting Breastfeeding by ImPerfectly Created (@imperfectlyours)
Milk Mama Diaries 3 by MimmaBenz (@benzcorana)
Breastfeeding Mama by canDIshhh
I *heart* Breastfeeding by The Mum Side (@rachelcrz)
Spreading the Word on Breastfeeding by My Mommy Kuwentos
A Breastfeeding Formula-Fed Mother by Touring Kitty (@touringkitty)
Breastfeeding: Promoting It Even if I Didn’t Get Lucky The First Time Around by Glamma Momma (Mommy Erl’s Online Diary)
I am your breastfeeding friend by Changing Nappies in High Heels (@lilly_pad)
Thoughts of a LactatING Counselor: Breastfeeding is More of Psychology!by HandyMommy
Taking Breastfeeding Further by Mec as Mom (@delisyus)
Breastfeeding Promotion – A View from a UK Doctor by Good Enough Mummy
Celebrating my Magic Milk by Denise Gonzales (@deelirious)
Breastfeeding Sisters by Isis Evasco
More Breastfeeding Promotion Plus a Guest Post by Chronicles of a Nursing Mom (@mamababylove).  Guest post by Shaps Lim (@cromartielove)

Aria’s Habits While Breastfeeding

“Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (May).  This carnival is dedicated to all moms, celebrating Mother’s Day today.  Participants will share various topics covering A Breastfeeding Mother’s Top Ten List.  Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants.”
With all the stresses I’ve been experiencing the past weeks — daily Aria rituals (cooking and preparing her food, bathing her, playing with her, putting her to those precious and hard-to-achieve naps and bedtime), pumping milk thrice a week, part-time work in and out of home, et cetera, I deserve a good laugh trip.

Unfortunately, it had to be Aria, who else.

During the course of my eight-month breastfeeding experience (and we are not stopping anytime soon!), I have curiously taken note of how my daughter nursed. She’s nursed in different positions, occasions, schedules, and places.

I listed Aria’s ten habits while breastfeeding (in no particular order). Let some of the pictures tell the story.

Oh, and before I forget, Happy Mothers’ Day to all the mothers. Yey, mommies truly rock!

1. She nurses while she’s crying, as if she hasn’t nursed for a really looooong time (even if it was really just five minutes ago!) She talks (or mumbles) while she breastfeeds. This baby is amazingly talkative. And she has been squealing a lot lately. Add to that, she’s teething (she’s got two teeth on her lower gumline already) so imagine how she talks while she feeds. Ouch!

2. She listens to whoever is talking while she nurses. Or to whatever new sound she might hear — a new voice, utensils falling, door banging, car horns, sirens, helicopters. Did I tell you she’s very “chismosa?”

3. She nurses on her tummy, especially when she has a hard time to sleep.

Her newest trick

4. She jumps out of my breast to watch TV, especially when she hears the closing credits music (yes, CLOSING CREDITS MUSIC) of her favorite cartoons – Little Einsteins, Angelina Ballerina, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She loves and laughs while watching the scrolling text that goes with the music.

5. She loves to scratches whatever is at hand, like my breasts, her other arm, or my underarm.

She loves scratching my underarm

6. She raises her hand like Hitler. I can’t understand why.

7. She would nurse for a few minutes and jump off me onto the bed because she’s about to sleep.

8. Or she would nurse for up to one and a half hour while we’re both napping, and when she senses that I opened my eyes, she would, too.

9. She holds her feet way up high.

10. She looks at me as if she’s saying, “Thank you, Mommy, for the sweet yummy milk.”

And smile after she’s content with the milk she just drank.

Oh, how I love my little Energizer Bunny. Hope you also have a yummy milky breastfeeding experience.

My hubby joined the carnival, too! I’m super proud. He’s the only daddy who joined 🙂

Other posts from fab mommies below.

Breastfeeding and My Career

Welcome to the first Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (March). To celebrate National Women’s Month, our participants share how breastfeeding has changed them as a woman. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants.

It took me a good ten seconds to answer this blank in a health care form:

Occupation: ___________

Before I gave birth, I was singer, teacher, conductor, writer, choral arranger. In musician lingo, it’s called “harangista.” I’ve traveled everywhere to sing and perform. But six months ago, I was nowhere to be found.

Occupation: HOUSEWIFE

I can’t believe my hands wrote those letters! I became a housewife without my knowledge!

But I never regretted it. It’s been six months of breastfeeding my little angel who is my new boss. She literally turned my world upside down. Touringkitty is now a Soprano Mom!

From Paris to Pinas: Touring then, nursing now

After my final tour with a world-renowned choral group, half of the batch went different ways. Some went abroad, and the sopranos got married and had kids. I got married a year after the group won a choral competition in Italy. Got pregnant a year after marriage and now…

Her Royal Highness Ariadne, with the proud parents

My new stage is our home, specifically our room. Gowns were traded for dasters or shirt and shorts. Hair is tied in a one-hand pony instead of a neat salon ‘do. Wiegenlied and nursery rhymes were sung instead of Operatic arias to rock baby to sleep. Spotlight is on this beautiful little girl crying for milk. And smiling and sleeping beautifully when she’s full and satiated.

Breastfeeding for us is new. I’m the only one in our family who pursued pure and direct breastfeeding. My sister and I were formula-fed. So were my cousins. No one persevered. I am very fortunate that I made this choice and I know my family is proud of me.

Why breastfeed? It’s economical. Formula milk is very expensive. Why direct breastfeeding? It’s practical. No bottles to wash and sterilize, no effort in preparing, no extra minutes of crying. I’ve nothing against formula feeding, but I encourage all mothers and would-be mothers I meet to try it. They might have different reasons to stop or doubt. At least I did my part to encourage them, and I believe it is the key to kick off breastfeeding.

We breastfeed everywhere — at church, in the cab, in restaurants, while I’m in a meeting or choir rehearsal. With my active baby I don’t use nursing covers anymore because she would fuss inside. I just wear a shirt which I can pull up and a tube top underneath and jacket to cover us. I also cheat naptime and bedtime by breastfeeding instead of rocking baby to sleep. I’m both milk machine and pacifier!

We nurse for all reasons

I know my friends would tell me, “why don’t you just wean so you could go back to singing again?” Not this time, dearies, I’m still enjoying, so does my baby. Pretty soon, she’d walk and talk, and we’ll both treasure this bond we’ve created.

If there’s any consolation, she’s now a healthy six month old girl who goes with me wherever I go. She joins me for rehearsals and meetings, and when we need to nurse, people don’t mind.

My singing career did take a back seat already, until when I don’t know, but who cares? I’ve probably reached the peak of my career — now as Soprano Nursing Mom.

Other entries here: