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  • Why I Support My Breastfeeding Wife: 'Hindi Pinag-Uusapan Pero Kailangan I-Normalize'

    A dad writes a heartfelt essay on the challenges they faced when they chose to go on a breastfeeding journey.
    by Teng Diaz .
Why I Support My Breastfeeding Wife: 'Hindi Pinag-Uusapan Pero Kailangan I-Normalize'
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Dads today are now more involved in parenting but it’s still surprising when a dad talks about breastfeeding. Teng Diaz, a freelance digital artist, knew they were in for a ride when his wife, Floriza, decided to breastfeed their son, Reed. But now, three years later, he shares why the struggles are worth it and why he feels it is important to normalize breastfeeding.

    In a Facebook post, Teng shares his thoughts on becoming a breastfeeding dad. He gave SmartParenting.com.ph permission to post his essay in full below.

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    Teng and his wife Floriza, both 29, struggled in the beginning of their breastfeeding days.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Teng Diaz
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    I saw this photo of us three years ago habang umaattend ng Arugaan Seminar. Reed was just a month here, payat. Si Misis; at the end of her maternity leave, doubtful sa sarili. Ako; 2 weeks pa lang sa freelancing, missing my friend’s wedding, at sabog na sabog sa antok dahil gising ako kapag tulog silang dalawa sa gabi.

    I still remember that moment noong sabihin sakin ni Misis na “Love, gusto kong i-breastfeed si Reed” kahit hindi pa siya nakakapanganak.

    “Paano?” was my truthful response.

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    Ang sakit sa puso noon na makita ko siyang nagdududa sa kakayahan niyang busugin ang anak namin.

    “Di tayo bibiling lata?”
    “Hindi ka na magwork?”
    “Hanggang kailan?”

    ‘Yan ang mga sumunod kong mga tanong.

    Paano?

    Kasi kumbaga, hindi normal. Hindi naman napag-uusapan. Hindi naman pinapalabas sa mga patalastas sa TV.

    Kung mabanggit nga ang breastfeeding sa TV akala mo rapper yung nagsasalita. Sasabihin lang sa iyong best ang breast milk up to two years. I mean, pagkatapos nilang magsasayaw-sayaw sa dance number nila sa ulan na may pinturang blue sa pisngi, sasabihin nung rapper sa end credit na best pa rin ang breastmilk? Weh?

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    The “hanggang kailan” question will echo talaga. Paano na kapag three na siya pataas?

    Tanda ko rin noong umiiyak si Misis dahil walang tigil sa pag-iyak si Reed during first feedings. “Hindi sapat ang gatas ko” habang tumutulo ang luha at sipon at breastmilk. Ang sakit sa puso noon na makita ko siyang nagdududa sa kakayahan niyang busugin ang anak namin.

    Paano pagbalik sa work? Paano kung kulang ang gatas? Sa sobrang dami naming tanong na dalawa, sa technicalities ng gatas niya atbp, naghanap kami ng community. Naghanap kami ng mga kakampi.

    Sabi nga sa kanta: “It takes a village to raise a child.” It takes all of these and more, lalo na sa case namin na nag-sway mula sa “normal.”

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    One hell of a ride — gusto kong sabihin.

    We informed ourselves about breastfeeding. Kaming dalawa. Ininform namin sila sa bahay.

    Proper mindset. Proper stashing. Proper thawing. Cup feeding. Lactation massages. Pumping. Power-pumping. Galactagogues. Lactation myths, physique differences ng babies, at napakarami pa.

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    We pushed ourselves to share those knowledge rin, knowledge given to us by Arugaan. We encouraged our friends and relatives to do the same... attend the seminar by that beautiful group, and help us normalize breastfeeding.

    Tapos ako, as the parent na hindi nagpo-produce ng milk, I stayed at home to oversee everything. Full-fledged breastfeeding dad.

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    One hell of a ride — gusto kong sabihin. Pero nope, not yet, kasi si Reed ay three na pataas pero breastfeeding pa rin.

    Sooner or later, he’ll get bigger and it would look weirder, pero... until he weans on his own, mawirdohan na tayong lahat, ang sasabihin ko lang lagi ay “hindi kasi tayo sanay.”

    Sobrang sulit. Mas malakas pa resistensiya ng anak ko kaysa sa akin!

    Sa ngayon, babalik na muna ako sa higaan, dream about the day he weans and I get the hakuna matatas back.

    Teng Diaz is a freelance digital artist and the creator of Ink In Grams. He makes arts, stories and poems at night before going to bed or whenever his mind is free. During the day, he is busy with his kid Reed, while his wife Floriza tends to sick people as a nurse. His hands are always full creating art, but always willing to let them all go whenever Reed needs him. After all, his full-time job is being a dad to his kid and a husband to his wife.

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