Saturday, July 11, 2015

My Journey Towards Becoming a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor

My Breastfeeding Journey

Last Sept. 2014, I attended the first batch of BFP Peer Counselors Training and one of the requirements is to submit a one-page story of my own experience in breastfeeding my child. Today, I thought of sharing it to everyone here and hoping to inspire co-mommies to breastfeed.

Within a few minutes after giving birth to my baby girl last Dec. 8, 2012, she was brought to me to latch to stimulate my breasts. That time, I can’t see any drop of milk yet but I’m not disheartened because I was fully aware of the do’s and don’ts of breastfeeding which I learned from the classes that I had been attending when I was still pregnant. My baby was immediately roomed-in with me after all the initial check-up. That first night we hired a resident mid-wife to help us get through the night since we didn’t know how to handle a newborn. She also assisted me in bringing baby to latch on while I was half asleep. I grew up from a non-breastfeeding family thus it is not surprising to hear members of my family advising me to supplement baby with formula milk while waiting for my milk to come, even the pedia prescribed us formula milk. I was glad my informed hubby was there to support and back me up. We were able to bring home baby on the second night and that was the start of my sleepless night. My mature milk came out on the third day. My breasts got engorged and thankfully I have many mommy friends to consult and ask for help. I also consulted Ms. Abbie Yabot’s help which she visited me on the 5th day to check my latch and show me different breastfeeding positions. I didn’t invest on any lactation supplements instead I just constantly let my baby feed on demand. I even followed ge-lai rituals during the first month. She was exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months (no water, no vitamins, etc.) and then complemented with regular solid food starting 6 months until now. As soon as I returned to work after my 2-month maternity leave, I let baby feed on bottle, with my stored milk, when I'm out. Then I experienced nipple confusion when baby was still 4 months old. Luckily, with my persistence and determination to succeed, I was able to bring her back to my breast. From then on, I decided to stay at home most of the time so that I can continue direct feeding her and to ensure a successful breastfeeding journey. Despite having a flat nipple, I was able to overcome and feed on both breasts. I'm also proud to say that I rarely give her frozen milk since I'm aware that refrigerated milk is better than frozen one. And I'm happy to have a stable milk supply, producing just enough milk for my baby. Until now that she's 21 months old, I don't have any plans of weaning her yet. Thanks to Breastfeeding Pinays for giving the right support to all breastfeeding moms.

Requirements to Become a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor

Aside from submitting this and attending the 16-hour classroom lectures, there are still a lot of things to accomplish within a span of 6 months before becoming a Certified Lactation Counselor. We need to do further research on the topics provided, to read breastfeeding books on the list, to conduct counselling to real mothers, to analyze our local community, to help monitor the milk code among others. 

I received these two books I ordered from Book Depository last January: 'The Politics of Breastfeeding' and 'Milk, Money, and Madness' but, sad to say, I haven't started reading them yet.

I was able to visit and counsel one mommy friend last December and even got to wet-nurse her baby to check on her baby's latch. The experience was wonderful and fulfilling, being able to help someone in need.

Sometimes, some of my mommy friends would message me in FB to ask for advice with regards to breastfeeding and I'm forever willing to assist them in anyway I can. But since I didn't experience the many difficult breastfeeding cases that I have been reading in BFP posts, I'm not that confident in being all out in answering them.

My Birth Plans

While listening to the lecture, I secretly wrote down my birth plans for our next baby which I would like to share with you as well.

1. No to maternity milk such as Anmum
2. No to cord blood banking
3. To deliver via water birth
4. To practice delayed cord clamping, at least 2 minutes
5. Husband to cut the cord
6. To encapsulate my placenta
7. To cup-feed only and no feeding on baby bottles
8. To tandem feed my first born and next baby
9. To practice baby-wearing 

My baby just turned 31 months last July 8 and while typing on my laptop now, I'm also nursing her to soothe her back to sleep.

Anyway, the purpose of writing this post is to remind myself of this personal advocacy and hopefully to achieve my goal of becoming a Certified Breastfeeding Peer Counselor. Actually, I already failed in fulfilling the requirements within the set deadline which is supposed to be last March 2015 but I'll just finish the reading assignments for my own added knowledge.

My Breastfeeding Photo Shoot

Last June 12 Independence Day, I had a breastfeeding photo shoot together with the other BFP Peer Counselors held at Acropolis Subdivision in Libis. It was a dream come true for me. Since the time I saw other breastfeeding moms had their portraits taken and even printed in desk calendars, I was so envious and made a goal that one day I will have it too. I'm so thankful to the organizers, especially to Bonnie Factor, for initiating this photo shoot and for Jen Faiwas for extending the invite even to those, or is it just me, who didn't complied for the certification. Below are some of the photos.

Mom and Baby Portrait

Photo taken by Vil Ceredon, photographer.

Family Portrait

Kid Portrait

Baby at 30 months old.

Group Shot

Photo grabbed from the TamangKain & Breastfeeding Photoshoot FB Group page.

Aside from the breastfeeding shoot, we also had the TamangKain photo shoot where kids will be served with food and drinks prepared by Arugaan, a group of community moms known for it being an expert and reliable resource on everything about breastfeeding, child-care, and even preparation of healthy home-cooked meals for our kids. Special mention to Ms. Velvet Roxas, the 'mastermind or head cook', for personally preparing and conceptualizing these meals for the shoot. Lots of moms benefited from it because they eagerly shared the secret recipes at the BFP Group page. :)

This shot is from my camera.

So there, hope you enjoyed my stories!

Hi to my fellow breastfeeding peer counselors training classmates! Congratulations for successfully completing the certification! Kudos!

Mommy Sally

1 comment:

  1. Hi mummy sally! I'm a bfp bf peer counselor too from batch 5. I would just like to ask if you have tried searching for the books in local bookstores. I checked book depository and amazon but the price is a bit steep for me. I'd really love to read them.