8. Breastfeeding is difficult for moms who work. CHRISSIE: It’s difficult only if you make it difficult. Find a way. It’s really a big adjustment at the start. If you’re determined, you’d do it.
EYA: That’s true. I’ve seen it in action. I attended a talk by an environmentalist, and in the middle of her speech, she got her baby from the audience and started to breastfeed. She told us that it was a choice she’d made and that it was part of her advocacy. She made it work for her.
9. More Filipinas need to be educated on breastfeeding. MI ANNE: I think so. I know an OB-gyne who practices in the province, and she actually told me, “Hindi ako naniniwala sa breastfeeding. Hindi ko nga na-breastfeed ‘yung mga anak ko.” A lot of moms don’t have access to information. So when they go to OBs who don’t believe in breastfeeding, you end up with moms who formula-feed without having been given the right information. I don’t think it’s just the moms who need to be educated on breastfeeding; so do the doctors and the entire support system for pregnant women.
EYA: True! My OB did not give me any information about breastfeeding. A nurse was actually the one who helped me out at the hospital. It wasn’t really encouraged at the time. I thought it was just natural, some maternal instinct would take hold of me, and then I’d breastfeed. It’s not like that pala.
CHRISSIE: In my case, I was lucky (to have found) Channel 3 in Makati Med. During my first pregnancy, I was hospitalized and that was where I discovered videos on how to latch a baby and the different ways to hold the baby while breastfeeding. I also had the support of my friends who have breastfed ahead of me. If I didn’t have access to those videos and to my friends, I may never have discovered the how-tos of breastfeeding.
10. Breastfeeding is only practical with certain lifestyles. CHRISSIE: It really depends on you. It’s a commitment. Whatever lifestyle you have, you can breastfeed. The benefits are great, but you need to put effort into it. It will definitely eat up your time. If you’re willing to do it, then go ahead and breastfeed. It’s you who makes it work, not your lifestyle.
MI ANNE: Some people associate breastfeeding with attachment parenting. It’s a whole school of thought: baby-wearing, co-sleeping, etc. I breastfeed, but I don’t do babywearing. No matter what type of mom you are, you can breastfeed if you want.
EYA: I agree. Any mother can do it. It’s up to you if you can put up with the challenges that come with it. It depends on whether you want the benefits of breastfeeding and if you can commit to it.
* Given age of panelists and their kids are as of the time the interview was conducted.
Portrait photos by Dakila Angeles. Thumbnail image from heelssocialinnovation.com