July 31, 2011

Reflections on Breastfeeding

August is World's Breastfeeding Month, so for my first post this month it is about the most natural thing in the world 'Breasts'. Only 16% of mothers in the Philippines breastfeed their babies, despite the health benefits of doing so. Why is this and will it change? I do hope so.

(Julia breastfed instinctively, and in so doing, she managed to take all the colostrum)

(Trying to breastfeed Rafael here, a day after he was born.
He did not suck, I guess he's not hungry after all)
The only regret I had was that I breastfed the twins for only for 5 months because I was still working then. Juan was an unplanned baby, he must have been God's answer to my regret. At the moment, Juan still breastfeed at 5 1/2 years old.

(Juan was born in 2006, he breastfed immediately as soon as I positioned him)

Some people find it funny that I still breastfeed Juan. I am not. Juan, among my 3 kids, is the happiest and healthiest. He seldom gets cough and cold. We were able to save a lot of money, because we didn't have to buy powdered milk. When the twins were younger we had to bring baby bottles, 2 cans of milk, and 2 yayas when we travel. With Juan, we travel light.

I am proud to say that I also wet-nursed many babies (wet nurse means breastfeeding someone else's baby). I even donated breastmilk at Makati Medical Center for pre-mature babies.

So to all moms out there who wants to breastfeed, just remember to shatter the breastfeeding myth, you MUST Educate to Lactate! Choose and prepare to face the challenges and receive the rewards of breastfeeding your child. Below are the Ten Breastfeeding Advocates in the Philippines that you may go to for advisory on breastfeeding:

The Breastfeeding Clinic
is run by Nona D. Andaya-Castillo, IBCLC and Elvira L. Henares-Esguerra, MD, FPDS, FABM, IBCLC, RPh., both International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. The clinic supports mothers from pregnancy to parenting through the following services:
  • Pre-natal classes
  • Couple or One-on-One Counseling
  • Specialized massage for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers
  • Training of fathers or parenting partner on how to support breastfeeding mothers
  • Assistance during childbirth until the very first breastfeeding
Professional fees collected from the clinic are used to fund scholarships and projects of Children for Breastfeeding, Inc. and Nurturers of the Earth, Inc..

Arugaan Day Care

Arugaan Day Care is a crèche operated by Innes Fernandez in Marikina City. The day care center operates 10 hours a day and accepts babies two months old to three years old. Part of the crèche’s policy is to require mothers to continue breastfeeding their babies even when they go back to work. This is done by asking the mothers to leave expressed milk to be fed to their babies during the day or to allow their babies to suckle milk from their nursing caregivers. Fernandez also teaches the fathers to support their breastfeeding wives and to fully participate in child rearing.

LATCH (Lactation Attachment Training Counseling Help

is a breastfeeding support group led by trained peer counselors who have also been breastfeeding mothers themselves. Their services include:
  • Breastfeeding workshops
  • Hospital or home visits
  • Phone, SMS, and email support
  • Pre-natal and post-partum classes
  • Mom & Baby Success Programs
  • Mom2Mom Hookups
  • LATCH-Pro Pedia Pool
  • Peer Counsellor Training
  • Pro-LATCH Membership Perks (Discounts on products and services)

La Leche League (Philippines)
is the local chapter of La Leche League International, a global non-profit, non-sectarian breastfeeding support group. The group provides education and support to breastfeeding women through accredited La Leche League leaders. In the Philippines, meetings are held in Greenhills, San Juan and in Silang, Cavite.
The Breastfeeding Club

is a club for pregnant and nursing moms. Members are given access to three breastfeeding classes, namely: Beginning Breastfeeding, Sustaining Breastfeeding, and Toddler Nursing & Weaning/Special Cases. They also get to enjoy discounts to products and services, exclusive invites to parenting events, and an online support system. The club is led by Abigail Yabot, a La Leche League leader and one of the two Philippine Certified Lactation Counselors who was trained at the UP-PGH.

Beauty, Brains, and Breastfeeding

Beauty, Brains, and Breastfeeding is a non-government organization that has worked with UNICEF on several advocacy projects since 2006. The organization aims to accomplish the following:
  • To convince as many people possible that “breastfeeding is not just for those who cannot afford to buy “formula”, but that “breastfeeding is in fact a choice among the informed and affluent in our society;”
  • To change their mindset from “breastfeeding is very hard” to “breastfeeding is a breeze;” and,
  • To support and empower all mothers to successfully breastfeed beyond 2 years without supplementation of formula milk, but complemented with a variety of healthy indigenous foods starting 6 months.

Mommy Sense

is a Davao-based breastfeeding support group initiated by Lyn Buyco-Tan. Aside from being a breastfeeding resource person, Tan and her group organized “Portraits of Love” a photo exhibit which showed photos of breastfeeding mothers. The group’s Facebook page shares various information and external links about breastfeeding. Fans also get to ask questions and also exchange breastfeeding insights with fellow fans.

MOMIMOR (Moms, Milk, and More)

is a non-profit breastfeeding group started by natural childbirth and breastfeeding advocate and 1975 Binibining Pilipinas-Universe,Chiqui Brosas-Hahn. The group is made up of breastfeeding moms and couples who meet up to share their breastfeeding experiences with other members. Breastfeeding classes are free although attendees are asked to bring food to share with everyone.

Medela Moms, Inc.
is the exclusive importer and distributor of Medela Breastfeeding Products in the Philippines. Mom-owners, Beng and Maricel, both breastfed their children and are actively sharing their breastfeeding insights with other breastfeeding moms. The company, with the help of Abbie Yabot of The Breastfeeding Club, regularly holds breastfeeding classes at the Medela House.
Bosom Buddy

is a manufacturer of breastfeeding pillows, baby slings, and nursing wear. It is owned by Pamela Magallon, a breastfeeding counselor who conducts breastfeeding classes and baby care talks to fellow parents. The company’s website has a special Breastfeeding Guide page where visitors can read various breastfeeding resources.

(Source: WikiPilipinas)


  1. you are blessed Ms.Joy and your kids po..my kids had only two months po na nabreastfeed..ako naman when I was a child never po because my Mom has an inverted nipple so no chance for me to have breastfeed kaya cguro sakitin ako..true po ms.Joy..researches say that babies are a lot stronger talaga..you are so lucky po..

    morning po Ms.Joy :)

  2. I breastfed my six children...but I don't have a single photo to show it (I am the modest type, LOL!!!)

    Salute to moms like us!!! :-)

  3. Wow, I salute you mommy for what you have done to your baby..as for me my baby girl is almost 5 months and I breastfed her, I dont know yet when is the right time to stop breastfeeding her I need advice from my doctor.

  4. You deserve more than a pat at the back! Salute to all breastfeeding moms like us!

    I love this: EDUCATE TO LACTATE.

  5. I'm trying hard to breastfeed my 2mos baby Julie. Hirap :( Kasi kulang ang supply ko. 1st month marami pang gatas eh, ngayon wala na. Do you have any advice? Masabaw na nga ako kumain. Pero I think stress narin kasi ako lahat sa bahay now.

  6. SHY, keep breastfeeding your baby, the benefits is wonderful for you and your baby!

  7. Naku Ate Chel,naku modest ka--di ka pede mag blog. Ako kasi hindi mahiyain,LOL!

  8. Jhari, keep breastfeeding your baby. The more the baby sucks, the more milk will come out. And you have to relax and enjoy the time---stress causes the milk supply to fluctuate.

  9. Exactly! A lot of people are prodding me to put up my own blog site...ayyy, ayoko sumikat, hahaha!!! Okay na muna naaaliw at natututo ako sa blogs ng iba:-)

  10. i'm surprised to find out na pwede pala mag-lactate ng matagal?!

    katuwa 'yung pics... sobrang poised pa rin si mommy joy! :-)

    - gaye

  11. naku girl bka magka girlfriend na yan c juan nag b breastfeed ka pa din sa kanya hehe...kidding aside that's the best thing you do for him and the benefit of being a housemom. Wait you na lang ang offer ng FHM for this exposure kya lang d me sure kung makukuha ka kahit may frontal nudity ka kse c baby kasama hehe...pero sa smart parenting,mommy academy, etc...pd...sana makita nila to....

  12. hehehe talagang nakaladlad ang ina habang nag papa dede sa anak! ano ang panlaban ni Angel Locsin!

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Thank you for the joyful comments!