Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August). For this month, we write about the World Breastfeeding Week 2014 – Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life and share how breastfeeding can help the Philippines achieve the 8 Millennium Development Goals developed by the government and the United Nations. Participants will share their thoughts, experiences, hopes and suggestions on the topic. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.
In 2006, several women and I co-founded LATCH. We set out with the intention to focus on lactation education because we believed that we could help other mamas who needed support as we all once did as new moms. Our workshops focused on the first two weeks to ensure that they would know what to expect because as a new mother at one point, I knew that it could get challenging. But since I was so blessed to have people help me, I made a promise to pay it forward.
And I realise that this very reason is how the breastfeeding movement works here. You convert one person at a time (well, maybe two — the mom and her support partners). But once you do, they stay converted FOREVER.
In the past weeks of August of this year (2014), I have read several articles about breastfeeding — why one should, why one wasn’t able to, costs of not doing so, how to, etc. And I realise that the debate boils down to one thing — that breastfeeding has yet to reach a point that it is normal, and thus, boring to talk about. That it is done by all mothers as a matter of fact, and not a matter of choice. Just like — (the act of) eating. In articles, you never read about the author eating, it’s always the “where”, right?
I’d like to say that in the past 8 or so years I’ve been active with the breastfeeding “movement” / advocacy (albeit in my own “little” way), I have become aware that more and more people now understand, and more and more women choose to do it, yet there is still that mindset that needs to be changed — that “I tried but: (a) I didn’t have enough, (b) working and breastfeeding don’t mix, and (c) I can never get enough sleep”. I’d have to say though, that I’m glad we’ve come to the point of choosing the breastfeeding option first even though there might be doubts about it. (Now, I wonder every now and then how much a dent the breastfeeding movement in the Philippines has made in the sales of artificial feeding options.)
My choice to continuously be active in breastfeeding advocacy in the Philippines is mainly three fold:
(1) to inform and empower women that yes, they have a choice (and I hope that with the information shared, they choose the “better” choice — the normal, natural choice — breastfeeding).
(2) to help move breastfeeding from just an “option” to a norm.
(3) (and because women choose to breastfeed) to eventually become a better and smarter nation. (I believe that breastfeeding has several causal effects — bonding, being aware of your baby’s needs, and because of the cycle, this goes on till their are bigger, and allows the parents to parent their children better — i.e., positive discipline — and peace begets peace — I’m sure you get the idea! And really aside from that, economics plays a role. Imagine not needing to spend that money on artificial feeding needs and funnelling it into what the family needs (or wants), such as healthy food, or perhaps, an educational plan, or a vacation!)
Based on WABA‘s theme for 2014, below are the how each 8 of the MDG goals translates into the advocacy of promoting, protecting and supporting breastfeeding.
If you’re with me, let’s do this!
(2) Share what you know and educate those around you.
Here are many thoughts and reasons why we should all advocate for mothers to breastfeed for the first 1,000 days of life #BF1st1000days
Jenny shares experiencing the One Asia Breastfeeding Forum
Mec insists to do the Math and breastfeed!
Ams, The Passionate Mom says Breastfeed for a Better Future
Cheryl, the Multi-Tasking Mama, tackles maternal health as addressed by breastfeeding
2011 CNN Hero Ibu Robin highlights gentle births and breasfeeding, even in disaster zones
Felyn stresses that Healthy Moms = Healthy Babies
Monique reminds us that there are second chances in breastfeeding
Normi relates how breastfeeding gave her strength and purpose
Em believes breastfeeding is a solution to societal problems
Marge shares what breastfeeding has taught them
Madel relates her breastfeeding saga
Jen of Next9 reminds us to do our research and share what we know
Celerhina Aubrey vows to work on one mother at a time
Grace wants to put an end to stories of toasted coffee and similar stuff over breast milk
Diane shares how she prevailed when things did not go according to plan
Hazel appreciates mommy support groups
Roan combines two passions, breastfeeding and architecture
Rosa shares how the picture she thought of was realized
Sally believes breastfeeding benefits mankind and our planet Earth
Floraine reminds us that breastfeeding helps combat diseases
Crislyn was happy to realize that she improved her own health by breastfeeding
Armi reminds us how breastfeeding during emergencies is crucial
Arvi tells us how breastfeeding made her look at her body a different way
Clarice elaborates on how breastfeeding saves lives and the planet
Giane reminds us that women empowerment can begin by seeing breastfeeding as more than a feeding issue
Liza thought she was only breastfeeding for her child