Your Baby Deserves a Diamond

When I was pregnant on my first son, I educate myself on what’s the best for my baby, and two of the most important things that stick with me in the end are

One, when in labor, think of your baby. The pain will be bearable knowing that minutes from now you’ll finally cuddle your little one.

And two, breastfeed the baby exclusively without water for six whole month (breastmilk is free and complete food source for the first six months of life).

I benefited from the above. 

I had NSD (Normal Spontaneous Delivery). I had an extra hard time catching my breath because apparently I need to hold it and push for 20 long seconds but the metal umbrella installed in my previous heart surgery is pinning my chest whenever I lay flat on bed and in the Philippines back 2012, the law states I need to lay flat on the operating table when giving birth. Good thing, doulas are getting attention nowadays, as I prefer giving birth standing up or squatting in a lukewarm pool, but that's another story. Going back, I almost gave up and succumb to Ceasarian section until hey, at this point, I am seconds away from my baby. Drained energy was replenished and bam! A newborn cry! 

I breastfed my first son for four years. He self-wean right after I gave birth to my second son. I’m still breastfeeding my three year old son and I’ll let him wean on his own, too. I even wet nurse my nephew for a couple of nights just to give my sister extra sleep and time to let her breastmilk down. It does take a village to raise a child! Now I can confidently talk about breastfeeding because two successful breastfeeding journeys are like invisible ribbons of honor I will wear for the rest of my life!

Why do I breastfeed?

Honestly, it’s for the convenience. Need milk? Pop the boob and get back to sleep.

Extra sleep. More sleep instead of the long tiring monotonous task of washing the bottle, sterilizing the bottle, boiling water, rolling the bottle, etc etc.

It’s cheap. Budget for milk can be used for diapers, or to keep my sanity intact, boost my mom-fidence, a red lipstick  so I can still look good despite my messy bun and dark eye bags. No need to buy expensive cow’s milk, special hypoallergenic dishwashing liquid, and sterilizing machine which in the end also proves that

Breastfeeding is environment-friendly. Come to think of it, breastfeeding is the natural way to feed our babies. Cow’s milk for cow, human milk for human. There's little to none wasted when breastfeeding. Even the poo is so little and rare (every other day) compared to breastmilk substitute.

Note: I’m also thankful for the formula milk, as I’m actually a formula milk baby. It’s a help for mothers who can’t produce enough due to unwanted reasons. And growing up, I can see how breastfeeding can really help in developing mom and baby relationship. I don’t say we are not close. My mom and I are close, but my sister and her are closer. She breastfed her until I don’t know that even during her college days, she still wants my mom - my mom's boobies that is.

Why do I breastfeed?

The most important reason for me, is the bonding time. I just want to cuddle and smell and caress my babies as long as I can; and even if I’m sleepless and dead-tired, knowing that my crying baby only wants me – that I’m the only one who can pacify him, nourish him and “protect” him (because breastmilk protects babies from infection) makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

This is literally me. I breastfeed anywhere. I guess this is where they learned to love construction vehicles. Seeing the  loud trucks set up before concrete pouring while sucking the boob, like it was a live entertainment exclusive for them.

I could finally say that my breastfeeding journey for both my boys are a success. And that’s because of the knowledge I learned from attending events for pregnant and lactating women that local NGU’s and other groups on social media whose aim is to empower mothers.

Just like last week, Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines held a bloggers forum organized by World Vision, and DOH. The event revolved around the importance of breastfeeding and to generate awareness in Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines campaign in supporting breastfeeding, because unfortunately, despite the proven benefits of breastfeeding, still, a large number of mothers opt to use infant formula simply because of cultural norm and low awareness of breastfeeding's value (in which MBFPH is trying to break) and the complexity of working while exclusively breastfeeding (but in the advancement of our technology today like hands-free pumping and proper storage of breastmilk, it is possible), remember, if there's a will there's a way.

Fact: In the Philippines, only 52.3% of children 0-6 months are exclusively breastfed.

Our children is our future, and we, mothers wants the best for our children and the most we could do is to give them diamond in the first 1000 days of their lives. To make Philippines more mother-baby friendly, World Vision Development Foundation and the local Department of Health resolved to campaign the protection and promotion of breastfeeding by creating in a two-year project to support breastfeeding,

 Read more about this two-year campaign here.

Photo 1: (L-R) Dr. Anthony Calibo of the Department of Health; World Vision Breastfeeding Ambassador Erika Padilla, Carleneth F. San Valentin, Health and Nutrition Technical Programme Manager of World Vision Development Foundation; Camille Prats Yambao, Jennica Garcia Uytingco, Event Host Erin Valera, and Jun Godornes, Resource Development Director of World Vision Development Foundation

Recognizing the need to further strengthen the EO 51 (The Philippine Milk Code 1986) and RA 10028 (Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009) is one thing. Seeking to ensure that these laws are implemented is another thing. That is why the initiative of World Vision and DOH is critically important now that breastfeeding is becoming less of a norm in the communities. 

Fact: EO 51 limits the marketing of breastmilk substitute including advertisement, promotion and sponsorship to give way to breastfeeding.

CMMCC, a two-year project seeks to improve the implementation of laws EO 51 and RA 10028 through the use of innovative reporting application, stimulate monitoring via crowd-sourcing by thoroughly increase awareness and knowledge among health professionals and the general public.

Comparing apple to apple, Infant formula is like a free plastic toy you get when you buy cereal while breastmilk is like diamond. The list of nutrients are far more complex and the antibodies are exclusive in breastmilk, that when seen on a microscope, breastmilk shines like liquid gold. 

The benefits apart from the things I mentioned above includes higher IQ for babies, it also helps in birth spacing as breastfeeding is considered as an aid to avoid pregnancy. It helps mothers recover from childbirth as it contracts the uterus back to its normal size. And according to, women who breastfed have fewer menstrual cycles which means lesser exposure to estrogen that fuels some type of breast cancer cells. It is also theorized that breastfeeding transformed breast cells from susceptible to more resistant to mutations that can lead to cancer.

With the Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2017 passed in the senate, exclusive breastfeeding for working moms will be a smoother sail. Remember, 

Your baby deserves a diamond.


Popular Posts