Tuesday, July 4, 2006

A quiet day...

I think I'm actually getting the hang of motherhood... it certainly
isn't as frustrating and crazy as the first few weeks were. The
breastfeeding has gotten much easier (it's gotten to the point that I
can be on the phone, texting, 'net surfing or channel changing while
nursing) and I'm starting to live the "sleep when she sleeps" rule. I
found myself one day napping while she rested, and felt refreshed when
I awoke.

Speaking of breastfeeding, I took for granted that it would be the way
I would feed Nicole until she was at least a year old. Many members of
my family as well as close friends breastfed their babies. It was, in a way,
expected... the first choice... the norm. What I didn't know (and only
found out recently) is that many Filipina moms don't breastfeed their
babies by choice (I'm not counting the ones who, for reasons of
physical inability, cannot breastfeed -- one mommy I know didn't have enough milk, while another was hemorrhaging when she breastfed). The percentage of NCR moms who
do breastfeed, I was told, is .5%. Half of 1% of moms who can
breastfeed opt instead to feed their little ones formula. That means I'm part of a very, very small minority, which is something that blew my mind. I had no idea. Personally, having tasted both breast milk and formula, on the basis of what actually tastes better, I'll take the breast milk anyday. Infant formula tastes like shit. We know; we fed that to Nicole the first few days of her life until finally my own milk came in. Since then, she's been exclusively breastfed (save for when I'm out of the house and the sitter runs out of stored breast milk... then we turn to formula).

I have my reasons for choosing to breastfeed my baby... one, I get my figure back faster (I'm only a few pounds shy of my pre-pregnancy weight)... two, all the immunities I've acquired over the course of my life is passed on to my baby (and I can also make antibodies on demand for her if she's sick)... three, she and I form an extremely close bond (to the point that I can already tell when she's going to wake up for a feeding, just by how my breasts feel)... four, it's 100% free (have you seen how much a can of formula costs?!?)... and five, well, it just tastes better. It also aids contraception, in that while I'm exclusively breastfeeding, I won't get pregnant.

I try to give my best in all that I do, be it professionally or personally. This is no exception. I give the best of myself to Nicole when I take her in my arms, offer her my breast and nurse her. I give her my time and my love, and there's no replacing looking into her eyes as I do.


fil sj said...

Hi Lea, I am also baffled by this! It is sure sad to know. My daughter was a preemie (she was born a month early!), and as much as possible I breast-fed until she was about 11 months. She was rarely sick and less fussy. I hope the government would be agressive enough to educate our people with the merits of breastfeeding.

Abi Simon said...

That's sooo weird!!! And to think that they propagate the good news of breastfeeding in the so called third world countries... so all the women that joined the breastfeeding thing in manila to have the guiness book of world's record is the population na who does breastfeeding?? hmmmmmmmm! don't tell me that they are more women who breastfeed here in the US now?? almost all the babies in Eric's swim class (and they are older than him) are still being nursed.. And sometimes, I get a little bit embarrassed that he is still nursing even if he is almost a year old at the end of the month. But I think I might still do it until I get pregnant again.. but my husband has a way of getting him asleep even if I am not around (whenever I water my jungle of grape tomato plants in the garden), so I think he is trying to learn too.. And besides I love the bonding and I read in an article that babies who breastfeed grow up more independent and intelligent.

Lea Salonga said...

Hi, Abi... yeah, it seems that way, that more women in the US breastfeed (over 60% daw). All my girlfriends in the States that have babies breastfed them until they were at least a year old. Go figure... the Philippines spends over $200 BILLION dollars on infant formula, money that could be better spent on infrastructure that would improve Pinoy lives. It seems the only ones making money are the milk companies that make formula.

XXXX YYYY said...

I read somewhere on the inet (dun remember the site now) that infant formula companies actually employ nurses in the Philippines to push for the use of formula over breastfeeding on the new moms under their care. So disgusting! I was lucky to have a very supportive lactation consultant at the hospital where I gave birth, who did not let me give up when I was ready to 'coz I had a difficult start with breastfeeding. Happy and proud to say that I nursed my daughter until she was 18 months old, and it was a very rewarding experience :-)

Lien Lano said...

About the statement re: breastfeeding helps in aiding contraception, that is untrue, my friend got pregnant again when her firstborn was only 3 months old. She relied on what she heard that nursing prevents pregnancy... And guess what? Both her children share the same birthday ( they are exactly a year apart! )

mj tam said...

Hooray fro breastfeeding! I breastfed both of my boys til they were 14 months, and I plan to breastfeed my upcoming (long-waited) baby this coming February. I ofcourse owe it to Medela for helping me pump enough so my husband can also share the bonding experience. I am getting sleepy just thinking about breastfeeding because that's how I get when I breastfeed. lol. And on yes, La Leche League classes were the best!

Li'l Dove Feather said...

So that's why I'm not intelligent! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

I was born weighing only three pounds. That's 'cause my mother would always throw up her (and my) food while I was still in her tummy. She was sickly so I wasn't breastfed. One thing that I'm not sure why, though. I'm not sickly. In fact, I rarely get sick and am the healthiest in the family. Well, so far.

XXXX YYYY said...

i breastfed mine upto when she was six month old,i really wanted to nurse her upto when she turns at least one.,but unfortunately,there was like a bukol that started to grow sa left breast ko and it has to be removed.it turned out that it was namuo na milk that wasnt sucked properly..after the operation,umurong na milk ko.i still get the ump not being able to give my child the full benefit of breastfeeding...well 'least i tried.

Apols V said...

I too breastfed my baby until now. Its alarming coz theres not much of a support group here for breastfeeding mothers...and many are still misinformed. All those myths shit they are wreaking havoc to mothers who wanted to breastfeed. TOo little information...its bad.