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Staying Abreast: The Breastfeeding Filipina

cross_stitch.jpgIf you visit my kitchen, the first thing you will see on my granite counter top is this green-lined frame with a cross-stitch design labeled “A Mother’s Heart is a Child’s Schoolroom”. I finished quite a collection of cross-stitch projects during those nurturing breastfeeding sessions with my babies. It stands there as a reminder to my children that I gave nothing but the best, that their first food was—breast milk. That memento rightfully belongs in my kitchen.

If I were a lactating mom in today’s hi-tech age, maybe I wouldn’t be cross-stitching. Perhaps I will be blogging on my macbook or designing breastfeeding advocacy websites. Breastfeeding was such a beautiful experience for me. During those breastfeeding times. I often caressed every single strand of my babies’ hair, each toe and finger. It’s a wonderful bonding moment that often took my breath away. I ignored my pediatrician when I refused the milk formula for Lauren. [tag]Breastfeeding[/tag] advocacy was not in place twenty years ago so our doctors often prescribed an infant formula before being discharged from the hospital. I held on to my belief that I could breastfeed. After all, breastfeeding is 90 % mental, emotional work and 10% physical. I focused on giving nothing but the best—breast milk.

I don’t blame you if you say that you had no milk during the first day. Perhaps, you were not aware that supply during the first few days after childbirth arrive in small quantities. It’s true, demand for breast milk is not that high yet for a newborn child. Our babies’ stomach is just as tiny as the tip of our thumb. The problem is the mom loses confidence and turns to the bottle. Naturally, any mom wouldn’t want their babies to starve. I don’t blame you. We didn’t know any better. Lack of awareness, family pressure, social taboos and popular misconceptions all contribute to why women are apprehensive to breastfeed.

Today, I heard the various breastfeeding advocacy groups in the The Barbizon Mommy Milkshake Marathon held at the Fort, Global City upon the invitation of GeiserMaclang. I had this warm fuzzy feeling as I witnessed the number of Breastfeeding advocacy groups that were present in today’s event. What a devoted group they are!


““If you’re bottle-feeding with the excuse that you’re too busy and under the pretext that milk formulas have enough nutrients to produce the next Einstein anyway, think again.”

These were the words of breastfeeding advocate Suzi Entrata, as she closed the first ever run dedicated to lactating mothers—the The Barbizon Mommy Milkshake Marathon. She is one of the women who participated in the 2 kilometer fun run that traversed the length of The Fort at the Bonifacio Global City last Saturday. She is one of the remarkable women who are stopping at nothing just to proclaim that: breastfeeding is still best for babies.

This event had the main objective of shaking popular myths about breastfeeding, most especially the notion that it is only for old-fashioned, stay-at-home moms who have nothing else better to do.

Recently, advocates have found another compelling reason why only a sixth of Filipino infants benefit from exclusive breastfeeding: poor-quality nursing bras that don’t allow mothers to breastfeed comfortably and discreetly. I remember how difficult it was to shop for nursing bras. The ones available twenty years ago didn’t support my breasts comfortably. Aren’t the modern Filipina Mothers extremely lucky? There is even fashionable Mommy Wear for the lactating mom. One of the supporters for today’s marathon event is Mommy Matters, supplier of fashionable and chic nursing wear. I remember how I used to buy those dowdy looking blouses that had buttons on the front but offered little protection for breastfeeding in public.

Despite the innumerable benefits of breastfeeding, only a sixth of all Filipino infants benefit from exclusive breastfeeding up to five months. Let’s continue to support the breastfeeding benefits to the modern Filipina. We have been there and it’s now our turn to encourage the new mothers that breast milk is the best for their baby.

Please spread the word about the [tag]Synchronized Breastfeeding Worldwide[/tag], a Filipino-initiated, record-breaking event that will show the world that breastfeeding is making a strong come-back and should be promoted.

Synchronized Breastfeeding Worldwide
Children for Breastfeeding and World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) will stage Synchronized Breastfeeding Worldwide on August 8, 2007 at 10 a.m. at your local time. Read more at

Mothers from countries such as Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Canada, Colombia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, the United States, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and Ukraine were expected to participate in the event.

For questions on Breastfeeding, contact
The Breastfeeding Clinic:
Your Partner from Pregnancy to Parenting
(Managed by two International Board Certified Lactation Consultants)
Nona D. Andaya-Castillo, IBCLC
Elvira L. Henares-Esguerra, MD, FPDS, RPh, IBCLC
Telefax: 632-889-1105
Mobile: 63-919-839-5555

Breastfeeding Websites in the Philippines

15 thoughts on “Staying Abreast: The Breastfeeding Filipina”

  1. According to a recent symposium I attended, breastfeeding within the first hour of life decreases the likelihood of neonatal infections. Apparently, the antibiotics in the milk go along way as far as helping an infant’s immune system is concerned.

  2. i salute the movers of this project. i am sure it would be a success! i also breastfed my two kids for a long time and even now, it is still a wonder to me how i nourished them with my mom’s milk.

  3. @sunshineforlife- Just in case you have a third baby, just contact the breastfeeding clinic for assistance.Their number i in this entry.

    @benj- true, it offers the best protection . Mothers need to know this important fact.

    @raqgold- Way to go Rach! it’s a great feeling right?

  4. i very much wanted to breastfeed. unfortunately, i had such low supply my pedia had to prescribe infant formula. in the two months that i was able to breastfed my baby, though, i can truly say that it is one of the most rewarding feelings ever

  5. breastfeeding is good for the baby because it is packed with vitamins and antibodies that the babies require for their healthy beginning. unfortunately though, because of lack of help,i only breastfed my babies for 6 months and 3 months respectively.

  6. Right on! Breastfeeding should really be more widely publicized especially here where a lot of mothers still think formula is the best thing they could provide for their babies. Even for those who are already considering breastfeeding, more information on the right way to do it and more support for possible difficulties should be provided.

    I’m proud to say that my husband and I have both been part of the DOH-WHO breastfeeding campaign. He has written an extensive brochure in English and I have written a Filipino romance novel titled “Bukal Sa Dibdib” which is currently being printed to be distributed for free in communities.

  7. too bad i wasnt able to attend this marathon. i registered 2 days before the event and they told me its already full =( bud i did drop by around 7am and i so wanted to have a pink shirt. i am a proud breastfeeding mom to my 13 month son. i also try to inspire moms/soon to be moms to breastfeed. my officemate here is a success so far. she is exclusively breastfeeding her daughter for 3 months =)

  8. I would like to tahnk you for being an advocate on breatfeeding and putting up this website. I am a motherof two boys, I just delivered my second baby last december 1. I am in verge of giving up on breastfeeding when I was propmted to open up your website and totally change my point of view on breast feeding. I will surely call the contact persons stated and will ask help regarding some common prolems that a mother like me is encountering. God bless and more power.

  9. Am glad to have found this site….i am a working mom here in davao,a registered nurse, just finished my masteral degree (major in parent and child nursing) last year at Silliman University..
    i have always been a breastfeeding advocate…and been wanting to join a group advocating breastfeeding all this years…but was not able to do so because of the lack of time and opportunity
    After eleven years of being a mom …. now,with 4 kids (my eldest girl is almost 11y.o., my 2nd,3rd and 4th sons are 8 y.o., 4 y.o and 1 y.o respectively….they were all breast fed… eldest daughter was breasfed for almost two years, my second, for two years, my third for 6 months and my 4th child for 8 months……
    I have always believed that breast milk is the best milk for babies…and i would really like to influence and encourage other mothers to really breastfeed their babies as long as they can, as long as they are able to do so…..
    It has always been my desire to write articles about my own personal experience regarding my breastfeeding experience all these years,…but I just didnt know where to, up until now…
    I would love to be speaker in seminars or conferences promoting breastfeeding……I would really like to be of great help to mothers needing advice on their difficulties and queries about breastfeeding…..
    Always remember that breast milk is the best first gift u can give to your baby!!!
    Working moms can successfully breastfeed their babies…take it from me….
    Hope this will inspire other moms.
    Thank you

    1. hi.. im a registered nurse aswell.. and planning to take up masters.. juz wanna ask how does it work.. i mean.. is it like our classroom set up in college.. or maybe u can give me some keys points concerning masters… ur reply will be very much appreciated. thank you

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