I’m a pro-breastfeeding mom because I can personally attest to its benefits but please give moms who don’t, either by choice or by circumstances, a break.
I’ve been in both worlds and in-between. I formula-fed my firstborn. He’s healthy and fine. I don’t need to explain why but for the sake of a complete story, I was still too nauseous because of the epidural when he was first given to me. With less than 12 hours of sleep, they had to bring my baby to me because there were too many deliveries at that time. It’s good actually, only I had no one to help me since the mister was busy with Philhealth, ML, and Billing. I was so afraid that if I held him while breastfeeding I might fall asleep and lose grip on him. I had hallucinations too due to lack of sleep and rest. I gave birth at 3 am, FYI.
With my second child, I simply had enough rest and sleep. I also would like her to be less sickly than my son who had colds or a cough almost every other month. In fairness, I got what I hoped for. Subsequently, I mixed-fed her because having 2 kids with no yaya has dried me up. I didn’t have time to eat and drink properly. Then, I had to come back to work and my workplace, unfortunately, does not have a suitable pumping room. I know kids who aren’t breastfed but are healthy and never got sick until they were a year old. I know kids too who are breastfed but have been hospitalized too many times before they were even one (maybe it could be worse if they weren’t breastfed). For the emotional attachment argument, I wasn’t a breastfed child but I love my mom to death and I am a self-confessed mommy’s tail until now. I’m not promoting milk formula, as a matter of fact, as I have said at the start of this post, I support and believe in breastfeeding but please stop judging moms based on how they feed their young ones. Stop measuring their love for their child based on how they feed them. Just because one used a formula, it doesn’t mean that she loves her kids less than others do.
Stop making them feel as if they are not good mommies just because they are not able to breastfeed. Stop treating them as second-class mommies. Stop making them guilty. Stop embarrassing them. Stop making them feel they love their children less. Stop making them feel as if they made a grave sin or a heinous crime for not breastfeeding. Stop blaming them every time their babies get sick. Just stop!!!
Seriously, it has got to stop now. I hope DOH hears (reads) this, our cries. I get it that they prohibit formula milk in delivery rooms and nurseries in both public and private hospitals. I’ll support each of their campaigns for breastfeeding, anytime. I even encourage other moms or moms-to-be that I know, in my own little way to breastfeed their children. What I don’t get is their strict prohibition of formula milk in children’s clinics. You know, the once a month checkup and vaccine date not just for babies but for toddlers and kids as well.
First, hospitals or clinics aren’t properly equipped for this rule. What if they contaminate the milk in their lobby turned baggage area? Second, not all moms are medically able to breastfeed. What if I’m under a medication not safe for my baby? Third, I have an almost 3-year old son who I don’t breastfeed. In fact, at his age, study says it’s wise not to let them see their parents naked anymore. I’m slowly teaching him to drink his milk in a glass but to anyone who says that is a must, non-negotiable or simply all-or-nothing, I dare you! You do it! I mean, it’s not as simple as ABC. Lastly, it is simply, in my opinion, discriminatory to moms who don’t breastfeed either intentionally or not. I think it’s a disrespect to their choices or circumstances as moms. Perhaps they could set-up a breastfeeding room and a bottle feeding room. I just believe that there are far more dangerous things than a formula milk.
In this issue, I simply don’t agree with DOH and I hope they hear us out, mommies who love our children beyond feeding choices.
P.S. I appreciate DOH’s commitment in promoting breastfeeding. I really do. In fact, thanks to the Milk Code of the Philippines
! But maybe, they could review this policy involving clinics.