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12 Months Later. Yes, I’m STILL Breastfeeding.

April 13, 2011

Well, Basti is still 15 days shy of his first birthday, but anyway…

12 months later and I get this comment all the time now. – “Wow! You’re STILL breastfeeding!”

Again, I would like to clarify that I am by no means a “lactivist”, just an advocate. I will never judge mommies who feed formula, but I will always judge health-care professionals who give mommies wrong information and hospitals who don’t support breastfeeding. I also will never hesitate to correct ignorance about breastfeeding, its dos-and-donts, debunk myths and offer support. DISCLAIMER: I am not a lactation counselor, just a mom who’s been there. (Though I’m thinking about getting trained. I get so many questions about it!)

That being said, I have a few thoughts on breastfeeding from my own 12-month experience and from the number of mommies I’ve interacted with in the past year.

1. Too many mommies have told me “my milk is not enough”. Most of them are basing it on the books and advice that you should feed for 10-15 minutes on each breast, every 2 hours. They think that if the baby wants more after that, it’s because they don’t have enough milk and proceed to do mixed feeding with formula. I’ve told most of them to relax the 15-minute-2-hour rule. Basti and I were feeding every 30 minutes and sometimes he would be latched for more than an hour.

2. Breastfeeding is SO CONVENIENT. No bottles, no sterilizing, no extra stuff in the bag. It’s become second nature to me. Now that Basti doesn’t nurse much in public, it’s so much fun to spend the day out with him tagging along. I don’t wear nursing clothes all the time anymore either.

3. Basti is built like a horse. He is tough, but sweet. He’s a happy happy baby and very secure in his skin. He hasn’t gotten really sick in the last 12 months except for an awful cough he had last year. Orley had the flu a couple of weeks back and he didn’t catch it even if we were all sleeping in one bed.

4. He’s not a picky eater at all and I think it’s the breastmilk, really. He eats everything I give him: ampalaya with sotanghon, mushroom soup, pesang isda, tinola, adobo, orange juice, carrot juice, pineapple juice, whatever.

5. We are definitely going for child-led weaning.

6. Breastfeeding ignorance is not confined to any class, age-group, or any other demographic you can think of. I’ve met moms with 4 children who were still clueless about it.

7. I want more opportunities to share and do something about it, especially among the less privileged. I love it when I get to do a testimonial in Medical City. I truly enjoy public-speaking.


I’m moving closer to toddler feeding, which presents a whole new set of challenges (and comments, I’m sure), and who knows, even tandem feeding! (Another child? Yes, no? Maybe? We don’t know yet. Orley and I have to decide if we want another one and when) Meanwhile, it’s fun to see how Basti is growing and how his breastfeeding experience will change as he gets bigger. At almost one, he’s growing up to be an assertive child and picks his own position to nurse. Every once in a while though, he still wants to be cradle-carried; a simple reminder that he still is my little baby boy.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2011 6:12 am

    eli – on no. 1 – the 30 minute feed usually gets to new moms. they don’t want to wait for the baby to finish and more often than not, this is why they choose to mix feed or exclusively pump. PLUS the measurement fact – na they have to give at least 2oz. per 2-3 hours. then add doctors who tell moms – your baby needs to gain 1 kg per month! (yes i’ve heard doctors say that!) eh di quit talaga!

    • Eliza permalink
      April 14, 2011 12:48 am

      What do they tell you on why they don’t want to wait for baby to finish? No time?

      And yes, the pressure from the doctors!

  2. Joy permalink
    April 13, 2011 9:40 am

    Does Basti like the acrobat position when nursing? Martina does…wiggling, butt-up, one leg up, twisting while nursing. Really funny.

    • Eliza permalink
      April 13, 2011 2:51 pm

      Yeah. When he spreads his legs I tickle his singit. That’ll teach him. Hehe.

  3. April 13, 2011 10:55 am

    On No. 1, it’s sad that I’m experiencing this first hand with my sister. She was so decided on breastfeeding when she was pregnant. And then cracked nipple happened. Trauma. Ayun exclusively pumping, and she keeps repeating kulang milk ko. Mixed fed. And now she says she has no milk at all. 😦 Sayang kasi she’s a SAHM. I’m working and pumping. Me, Y, and milk supply are fine. 😦

    You know what, I’m also thinking about getting trained as well!

    • Eliza permalink
      April 13, 2011 2:01 pm

      Aww. 😦 Sayang naman. One thing I saw that made a difference with moms was what to expect talaga. I never tell moms the line “breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt” because that’s just too idealistic.

      Ano, let’s go for training? πŸ˜‰

      • April 13, 2011 3:03 pm

        Tara! San ba pwede? πŸ™‚

      • Eliza permalink
        April 14, 2011 12:46 am

        We should ask fabnaima’s Jenny. πŸ™‚

  4. Audrey permalink
    April 13, 2011 12:03 pm

    On 3, was that when Basti was hospitalized or was that because of an infection? He’s such a macho man!

    I remember our text brigades when our kids were a couple months old! Remember when we were both texting at 2am, 3am, and whining that the babies have been latched on for almost 24hours straight? Haha! I loved those days/nights!

    You were so supportive, Elai! I didn’t have the breastfeeding fairy tale I dreamed of — having to augment at 3months, trying to relactate at 4months, and finally getting the final verdict from our pedia (who’s a BF advocate) to not risk Gia’s health (who was diagnosed as ‘failing to thrive’) over my obsession with breastfeeding.

    It was a tough time. But I am more understanding now of mothers who cannot breastfeed. My experience was like a bright, bright light in the highly discussed debate that is breastfeeding.

    I am going on, though, with my obsession. Thankfully, I have another chance with baby #3!

    • Eliza permalink
      April 13, 2011 1:47 pm

      Oh I forgot about the infection! Even then I was so amazed he didn’t even get a fever! I was talking about when he had this awful cough and we had to take antibiotics and nebulize and he sounded like a goat. :p

      Haha I remember our forever texting! Texting while feeding, chatting on the net while feeding, whining, confirming, supporting – round 2 na naman soon! Just because you’re the only one pregnant doesn’t mean we don’t get to do that all over again!! πŸ˜€

  5. April 14, 2011 4:21 pm

    Hurray! I breastfed Tiago until he was 1.5. Weaning wasn’t entirely baby-led though – I aided the process. I too, don’t judge mothers who opt to formula-feed, but I always give them my 2cents worth of reasons why breastfeeding is best. And that’s coming from someone who went from mix-feeding (for about a month) to pure breastfeeding. My top 2 would always be – it really boosts their immune system (Tiago hardly gets sick! Thank God!) and traveling (whether just going to church or hopping on a plane) is so easy! Oh and of course the savings! Imagine at least 100k a year! If and when we have another child, I’d do it again, in a heartbeat. πŸ™‚

    • Eliza permalink
      April 15, 2011 1:18 am

      Ditto on the savings! Super big talaga!

      So how did you wean? The thought of weaning makes me want to cry. 😦 I’ll be like, “yey, you’re such a big boy na” then run to the bathroom to hagulgol. :p

  6. Eva permalink
    April 14, 2011 9:20 pm

    It’s great that you have carried on breastfeeding, it’s the best for the baby! I had to stop at 9 months with H, since J was on his way – I got cramps in wrong places. I breastfed J only 6 months since I was totally exhausted giving birth two years in a row and breastfeeding, unfortunately. But, the doctor found it better for me and two weeks later I actually noticed I wasn’t so tired anymore. But I would have liked to carry on, for J. Breastfeeding takes guts, so only tough ones will do it! πŸ™‚

  7. Wing permalink
    April 15, 2011 2:10 pm

    Hi! My baby is 16 months old and I also get the same reaction from random people. I agree with you on everything. Andami pa nagmamarunong when giving unsolicited advice. There are also some who are scandalized seeing women breastfeed in public. Buti there are a lot bfeeding advocates out there who give us support and confidence. =)

  8. April 17, 2011 12:21 am

    Hi! I’ve been following your blog since I discovered it while searching for reviews about the SaYa. I enjoy reading your entries because you talk about things that matter to me too… I have 5 children, and the first four were purely breastfed. My eldest is turning 23 this year – so you can just imagine the trailblazing that had to be done during that time!

    I taught in a school that advocated natural births and breastfeeding, and it was an easy choice for me to do so. Imagine, at that time, milk companies paid for the nursery wings in the hospitals – so the amount of misinformation was not only unbelievable, it was sobrang nakakapikon. One doctor even said, “Everything I learned about breastfeeding, I learned outside medical school.” But we were a small group of dedicated advocates, and we supported each other through births and breastfeeding trials. At that time, we even had to convince our mothers and mothers-in-law that we were doing the right thing! We’d call and cheer each other up whenever our in-laws made a comment about our starving babies. Or laugh about the times they would buy bottles and formula… just in case.

    Luckily, the school I worked for encouraged us to bring our babies with us, so we could continue breastfeeding while teaching. There was a nurse/aide who took care of our babies while we taught, and they would bring our babies to our classrooms when it was time to feed. Our students didn’t find it strange if we fed our babies while teaching because they were breastfed themselves πŸ™‚ There were times when we had to breastfeed each other’s babies, like when there was a fieldtrip we had to go to and we had to leave the school premises for long periods of time.

    Everything you said was true even then. Mas mahirap lang before because what we were doing was so unheard of at that time. I’m surprised that the same misconceptions, comments and difficulties are still present up to now…

    Anyway, I guess you noticed that I said I only breastfed my 4 babies, the fourth now being 13 years old. My fifth child is an eleven month old baby boy, who we adopted when he was a few days old. I feel bad that I could not breastfeed him… Especially since I had no idea how to measure and mix formula and how to feed on a schedule! The concept of spoiled milk was alien to me… and for heaven’s sake, I had to buy bottles and sterilize it! Leaving the house was a nightmare because of everything we had to bring! And for the first time in my life, I had to wake up for night feedings. And sob! I now have picky eater 😦 I love him no different from his siblings. I only wish I was able to breastfeed him.

    I am finally commenting because I want to congratulate you on doing the best for your Basti. I have seen the results of my 22 year stubbornness, and I do give myself a pat in the back every now and then. So let me give you a virtual pat in the back, as well as your friends who seem to be doing – and enjoying – the right thing. More power to you!

    And by the way, my little boy is turning a year old on the 28th – and I still don’t know what to do. I just want to take a little trip as well, but everyone is waiting for the party. So, sigh. I just might have to.

    • Eliza permalink
      April 18, 2011 4:52 am

      It just goes to show that mothering is still a shared experience whether it’s your first or your fifth!! πŸ˜€

      I’m curious, mommy, where is this school? If you prefer to keep the information private but willing to share it with me, I’ll keep your comment hidden from the thread. I’m curious, excited, awed and DYING to find out!!!

  9. April 18, 2011 3:43 am

    LOVE this post and the comments thread! πŸ™‚ I breastfed Tim for 2 year and 4 months, and would have gone on to tandem feed, if not for the severe nipple pain when he would BF during my second pregnancy. At first I wanted to make tiis and really go for child-led weaning, but I would end up getting mad at Tim, so hubby and I decided it would be healthier for us all if we weaned him. It was NOT easy but we managed, with lots of cuddling time, hubby rocking him to sleep while I was in another room, reading lots and lots of books! πŸ™‚

    I want to get trained too. LATCH is coming up with a peer counselor training soon daw, but if we want to be CERTIFIED, there are certain courses though SUPER MAHAL! πŸ™‚ hehehehe. But maybe Breastfeeding Philippines’ site is a good place to start: πŸ™‚

    So excited to meet up with fellow BF mamas out there! God bless us all!

    • Eliza permalink
      April 18, 2011 4:55 am

      Hey thanks for the link! Will check it out. πŸ™‚

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