In recognition of the Breastfeeding Awareness Month which, according to Republic Act No. 11028 or the “Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009”, is in the month of August in each and every year, I would like to share with you my breastfeeding story.
I have two daughters who are almost ten years apart. I am so happy to share that I was able to breastfeed both of them. For how long or how short the duration, I will let you know. The bottom line is, I feel so grateful that I was able to provide both my kids the many benefits brought about by breastfeeding.
I had my eldest daughter when I was twenty two years old. I was so young and naive, so innocent and unaware of so many things especially parenting, child care and breastfeeding. During that time, I only relied on my doctor, mom and mom-in-law for guidance. All of my friends were either in school or busy working, and still all single. Also during that time, breastfeeding was not too popular as it is now. There were no laws strictly implemented, no active promotions on television, radio and other platforms. In short, I was not made fully aware of the many benefits of breastfeeding. Imagine I was a young and full time mom that time. I had all the time and opportunity to focus on exclusively breastfeeding my baby for at least six months. If only I was properly informed and constantly encouraged to breastfeed, I would have done it. But I wasn’t. I still remember I had no issue with milk supply that time. I was just not focused. I lost track. I lost momentum. I breastfed my baby for only two months. Slowly, I lost my milk supply and I finally decided to resort to formula milk.
Fast forward to ten years after, I had my youngest daughter. I was in my early 30s and working full time as a government lawyer (that time). Even prior to giving birth, I have already decided that I will exclusively breastfeed my baby for at least six months. I did all the research. I joined different mom groups and breastfeeding groups. I joined free seminars and workshops available. I read all the articles, forum discussions and just about anything related to breastfeeding. I consulted my closest friends and relatives for advice. By this time, majority of my friends and officemates had kids already. Many of them were able to breastfeed their kids for years. Needless to say, I was ready for it. I was focused. I was determined. Most importantly, I got full support from my family, friends, and doctor. So I was able to breastfeed my baby for two years. I exclusively breastfed her for a year. I was constantly pumping at work to build my milk stash for her. After that, we did mixed feeding. My breastfeeding experience this time around deserves a separate post. Watch out for it!
Looking back, I can say that both my experiences, however different they may be, are truly unforgettable. I have learned a lot of things from my first experience which I carried on my second. It is really true what they say that everything happens for a reason.