Breastfeeding, Motherhood

Different Folks, Different Strokes

I’m a member of numerous Facebook groups for mommies. On one hand, they’re a big help with regard to everyday concerns like firstaid, reliable baby products, etc. Lately, however, I have seen a few posts and comments that sadden me. We, somehow, seem to forget that mommies who post on these pages are asking for opinions, suggestions, that could be of help to them. Attacking them and their way of raising their kid is not helpful in any way.

Say, for example, a mom comes up and asks regarding follow-on formula, someone starts a tirade on why breast is best. Yes, it is settled that breastmilk is best for babies, however, some moms cannot breastfeed their kids. Regardless of the reason, we are not in the position to push our choices on other people. Going into an all-out ‘you should breastfeed instead’ speech is not going to help their query. Think of it this way: we find it disrespectful when people look down on us for breastfeeding, wouldn’t formula-feeding moms feel the same way if we question their choice?

Different strokes for different folks. Not because one thing works out for us, it will work out for others, too. This means not only breastfeeding, but every aspect of child-rearing. There are those who opt for baby jars and rice cereals, others opt for fresh produce. Some traditionally wean their kids, others are on babyled weaning. Cloth diapers work for some babies, others are used to disposables. You see, these options are out there so we can find which work best for our kids, not for us to put other moms down.

Our varying lifestyles lead us to make different choices. Not everyone can afford, or has the patience, to be a fulltime mom. Those who opt not to stay at home have to be respected for their decision, much as those who do want to be respected for theirs. The food we feed our kids are dependent on various factors, and no one has a right to judge the decisions we make. For as long as our kids are happy and healthy, no one has the right to call us out on our parenting styles.

Let us all remember that there is no comparison in parenthood. The mother next door cannot be a bettet mom than you are because she cannot play mommy to your kid, and vice versa. Motherhood is a personal experience, it is not a contest. Each one of us is the world’s best mom in the eyes of our kids, so let us not look down on other moms down for choosing to rear their kids differently.

At the end of the day, we all joined these groups to find support and camaraderie, not to find fault in others. These are support groups, after all. So, please, keep these groups a safe haven for every mom. Remember what our moms always told us as kids: if you have nothing nice to say, better not say anything at all.


Why I Breastfeed

I have mentioned in an earlier post that I planned on exclusively breastfeeding my babe and breastfeed her, I did. We’ve been exclusively breastfeeding since Day One and I don’t see us stopping any day now.

I love breastfeeding. It has so many benefits for both me and my little one. This may be the reason why every mom-to-be who asks me why I breastfeed ends up listening to a very, very long explanation of why I do. I advocate breastfeeding, I guess, but not to the point of antagonizing formula-feeding moms. Oh, dear god, please never let me turn into one of those ‘I breastfeed and I’m a better mother than you are’ kind.

I digress. Let’s go back to the main issue why I’m writing this. I started breastfeeding my daughter for a simple reason – it’s more economical. But as the days pass by, I continue to breastfeed her for more than that. Let me list down a few reasons.

1. Breastmilk keeps my daughter healthy. My daughter was born premature, therefore she’s at a higher risk than fullterm babies. I started breastfeeding her to make sure she thrives as well as fullterm ones, if not better. Seven months later, my baby has never been sick. She has never had a cold, not even in this weather.

2. Breastmilk makes my daughter’s skin so soft. I know, I know, babies have soft skin. Whatever. Asidr from her being adorably cute (I’m a mom, I’m biased, deal with it), she continually receives compliments because of her super makinis na kutis, as what they usually say. Other breastfeeding moms will attest to that. Their kids experience the veey same thing.

3. Breastfeeding makes an unbreakable bond between mother and child. Kids who breastfeed tend to be closer to their moms than those who don’t. Although I’ve been told that I’d be having a hard time taking care of her because she’ll stick to me like glue, I don’t listen. I don’t get tired when she’s all over me, it actually makes me happy. It’s very touching that my daughter wants to be with mommy. Clingy, yes, but sweet. It’s not everyday that she will be that little, so I appreciate every moment of it.

4. Breastfeeding helps with the baby weight. Pregnancy causes one to gain weight. A lot of it. While it is not the same for all breastfeeding moms, I actually lost weight by breastfeeding. I don’t exercise as much as I want to and I eat a lot, but I’m pretty much around my pre-pregnancy weight. I still wanna lose more weight, but that’s a different story.


One of my earliest post-partum photos with the little girl

And lastly,

5. Breastfeeding makes your boobs bigger. This last point is utterly useless, but I have to point it out. For someone who has been flat chested her whole life, having boobs is a miracle. Breastfeeding made that miracle possible.

My breastfeeding experience is a happy one. Aside from the occasional engorgement and strong letdown, it has been a smooth journey for me and my baby. For any breastfeeding mom reading this, congratulations on choosing to breastfeed. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I am.