I am one proud breastfeeding mom to my 14-month old toddler. Until now, I still can't believe how I was able to reach this point and sustain my milk supply. All I can say is that I'm thankful for the seminars that I've attended when I was still pregnant, to the mommies who gave me encouragement, for the unwavering support of the people behind Breastfeeding Pinays Facebook Group, and most especially to my husband for being one with my decision.
|These tips are so true! I hope you'll follow them.|
Looking back, breastfeeding wasn't as easy as it seems. But I'm lucky to say that I had an almost successful and smooth breastfeeding journey. I was able to overcome sore nipples, plugged ducts, flat nipple and nipple confusion. Yes these were just a few as compared to other moms' cases but they were quite disturbing. If not for my full determination, tough love, persistence and patience, I won't be able to conquer these breastfeeding battles.
|You read it right! It's a matter of mind power.|
Through breastfeeding, I learned the meaning of unconditional love. With my utmost intention to give the best to my child, I swept past sleepless nights feeding my then newborn baby almost every hour with only my breastmilk until she's 6 months old. And because I fed my baby directly from my breast while she co-slept with me through the night, my sleeping habits totally changed. I would need to be in bed earlier than my usual time because baby needs me, my breast, before she could fall asleep. This means shortening my me-time and making me feel unproductive for the day. But I kept telling and reminding myself that this would be my greatest investment for baby, the gift of breastmilk. My goal is to breastfeed my baby until two years old and beyond, as long as I can.
Aside from investing on health, I'm fostering as well our intimate relationship and unique bond as mom and child because I know that we can't be like this forever. Baby would soon be a toddler, a preschooler, a grown-up kid, a teenager then an adult and soon she'll be on her own. I would then miss her warm cuddles, making eye contacts as she breastfeeds and seeing her big smile after feeding. Breastfeeding also relaxes me from all my worries.
|I can imagine baby telling this to me. Sweet.|
Breastfeeding gave me lots of sacrifices to make. I chose to stay home and let go of my full-time job to give easy access for baby to breastfeed. I hardly had out-of-town trips because I don't want the hassle of being away from baby. My hang-out sessions were minimized or shortened because I couldn't help but to worry if baby would have enough stored breastmilk to drink or if baby might be waiting for me already. The question of whether I need to lug around my pumping paraphernalia would also always cross my mind before I go out. In addition to these, my choice of clothes is becoming limited and out of fashion because I could only wear those that are accessible to breastfeeding. Speaking of clothes, I don't buy ready-made nursing wear or else I would be broke. Instead I just wear button-down polo shirts or low neckline tops with tube on the chest or plain t-shirts with tube placed on my belly. All for the love of breastfeeding. If there's a will, there's a way.
|So can relate!|
But despite these minimal and short-term sacrifices comes a long list and long-term benefits for baby which money couldn't buy. Let me share with you some of the good things that convinced me to breastfeed.
Why Breastfeed exclusively for 6 months?
- completes antibodies of babies to protect from childhood diseases upto 12 years old
- increased protection from common illnesses
- most superior infant food until 1 year old
- stronger teeth and gums, faster speech development, better social, motor and mental development
- savings on vitamins, trips to the doctor, hospitalization fees, antibiotics
- natural child spacer
|Here are some more benefits of breastfeeding to babies.|
Why breastfeed upto 2 years old?
- reduces the risk of contracting family illnesses
- higher EQ and IQ of child
- continuous protection from common illnesses
- for mom: greater protection from cancer and other life threatening illnesses
- for dad: more savings
- confident and happy parents
|Here are some more benefits of breastfeeding a toddler.|
The list is just an excerpt from the handout on Sustaining Breastfeeding (202 Class) that I attended in Medela last 2012.
Personally, I can already attest to some of the benefits mentioned above. I am proud to say that baby only visited the doctor for her vaccinations and never because of illnesses. She did got sick of runny and clogged nose twice when she was still less than a year old, without taking any medicines even vitamins, it went away in less than a week. On the other hand, despite me having fever and colds, I still continued breastfeeding my baby and yet she didn't get infected. These are indeed some of the miracles of breastfeeding.
All the sacrifices have been paying off because I still have a steady supply of milk even at this stage. I even got to donate some of my excess frozen milk to online strangers and eventually make new friends. Going out has become more convenient because I am already used to breastfeeding her anytime anywhere, lessening the use of my pump. I am able to help hubby save money for baby's future and practical everyday necessities. I can multitask working in front of the computer while baby is latched on to sleep. Breastfeeding gives both of us longer sleeping time now that baby could crawl and help herself to reach for my breast at night without fully waking up or crying for milk. Tip: Just leave your chest open or covered with a blanket when you sleep at night for easy access. Our favorite pose is Australian breastfeeding position where baby is on top of me.
Let me leave you with some more breastfeeding-related infographics to ponder and reflect on.
|True! I feel more empowered, confident and fulfilled having breastfed my baby. Let's make good use of the special gift that God has given to us.|
|Spread the benefits of breastfeeding. Encourage all moms to breastfeed. Let's make breastfeeding the norm.|
For a more detailed narration of my breastfeeding journey, I'm inviting you to read my previous blog posts here and here.
Share your love this Valentine's day! Breastfeeding is Love! Happy Heart's Day everyone! :)
|Here's me nursing my toddler in public without a cover. I'm wearing a low neckline dress with a tube to cover my chest.|
This post is part of the "Breastfeeding is Love" blog link up party.
Please feel free to visit other posts from fellow mommy bloggers on the joys of breastfeeding!
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P. S. I lifted those infographics from the Breastfeeding Pinays Photo Albums.