Hello, August ;)
Happy Breastfeeding Month :)
If someone told me when Ben was a newborn that I'll be enjoying breastfeeding and actually help others moms do the same, I'll probably would not believe it. I lacked in sleep and Ben wanted to feed round the clock making me question if he was able to get any milk from me at all. But I somehow survived my gelai and was encouraged by other moms to stick with it. I remember Chronicles of Nursing Mom's Jenny Ong replying to my long list of questions over email. (I was super starstruck then!) I remember watching Dr. Jack Newman videos and comparing the latches I saw with Ben's. I remember Lita Nery teaching me how to do laid back and side lying nursing. I remember talking to my ICA Batchmate Germaine asking her how she did it with her firstborn ,Sean. It took a lot of people sharing their experiences and knowledge for me to finally be comfortable and confident.
So when the opportunity came to learn how to help other moms breastfeed their babies, I was glad to be given a chance to pay it forward. I am thankful to be part of LATCH and be surrounded by like-minded moms. To be honest, at first I did it so that I can properly counsel family and friends. But I find myself also enjoying talking about breastfeeding in our classes, being a cheer leader to counselees, some who I have not even met face to face.
I'm still fairly new to the advocacy, but the most important thing I have learned so far is that BREASTFEEDING SAVES LIVES! When a country promotes breastfeeding and implements proper protocols to support it, it's infant mortality rate goes down. We all want that do happen right?
I recently had a chat with a beautician while she was doing my make-up for an event. Last time we spoke, her daughter was pregnant and she (her daughter) mentioned that she wanted to breastfeed especially since she was breastfed, too. Her daughter and grandson have been doing well and they're now talking about how to express milk when her daughter goes back to work. She was pleasantly surprised to learn that there are laws protecting breastfeeding moms, making sure they have a proper place and time to express milk.
After chatting with her, she said "'maam, buti nalang at nakilala kita" (I'm glad to have met you). I got teary-eyed. This is why the breastfeeding advocacy is close to my heart. I am thankful for the opportunity to empower families who choose to give babies the best start in life.