Breastfeeding is still a sensitive topic in this day and age. While there is no doubt that breastmilk is the healthiest and most complete food you can give your baby, the act of breastfeeding entails a lot of other factors that may make it difficult for a mother. We brought together three moms to talk about their beliefs and misgivings about breastfeeding by reacting to general statements, with hopes that their opinions could help you sort out yours.
Meet our panel of moms*:
Mom who fed her baby formula: MARIA ANGELA "EYA" LUCIANO Age: 37 years old Occupation: Graduate student (Economics), finishing her thesis (at the time of the interview) Single mom to Monty, 10, breastfed for three days, formula-fed until one year old
Mom who breasfed: MICHELLE ANNE "MI ANNE" REYES OBLEA Age: 35 years old Occupation: Business owner of BabyMama.ph (an online store selling affordable breast pumps and breastfeeding accessories) Mom to Pilar, 3 (breastfed until two), and Tommy, 1 (still being breastfed)
Mom who couldn’t breastfeed due to a medical condition: CHRISTINE "CHRISSIE" V. YULO Age: 36 years old Occupation: Sales category manager Mom to Miguel, 2 (breastfed for 17 months), and Matteo, 5 months, fed with donated breast milk for one month and then formula thereafter
1. Breastfed babies are healthier than formula-fed babies. EYA: My son was breastfed for only three days. He was born with a heart defect, so he was a bit sickly. I can’t say that feeding him formula kept him sickly. But maybe if I had breastfed him, he would have been less sickly.
MI ANNE: I compared notes with my officemate who formula-fed her baby. Her baby would have diarrhea, constipation, or ear infections every month. My babies didn’t experience any of those. They would just have a cold or fever. Studies show that breastfed babies are healthier. Based on my own experiences, I could really see that my babies are healthier.
CHRISSIE: Of my kids, one was breastfed and one wasn’t. Miguel had a special medical condition and he had undergone four major operations by the time he was 10 months old. That was one of the reasons why my doctor told me it would be better if I breastfed him. Even with all of those operations, he was a very healthy baby. Maybe it was because of the breast milk.
My second son who wasn’t breastfed is also a pretty healthy kid. Except for Miguel’s operations, both of them hardly get sick.
MI ANNE: I also read somewhere that breastfed babies aren’t necessarily healthier, but they should be treated as the baseline. In the past, that was the only [source of] nutrition available to them. So their [breastfed babies] health should be treated as the norm rather than the exception.