On breastfeeding: Say it, claim it, get support!


“Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August). For this month, we join the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action in its “Talk to Me!” theme where participants will share personal experiences, insights or recommendations in communicating breastfeeding intentions and goals to their support system. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants.”

Because of my birth class lessons and many pregnancy books, I knew the benefits of breastfeeding by heart. I believed that I’d be able to do it, but I needed the support of my pediatrician, my husband, my family, and my officemates. Here’s how I told them I needed their help. I hope my experiences help you, whether you’re planning on breastfeeding or know of someone getting into breastfeeding:

To my baby’s pediatrician: “I want to breastfeed exclusively.” Before giving birth at the hospital, you’ll usually be asked what you’d like to feed your baby. Glucose water? Formula? If so, what brand? Will you breastfeed your baby? I chose breastfeeding exclusively and this was noted down in the nursery’s logbook. Getting my pediatrician’s support was important to me as I saw her as a partner in raising my son in good health.

Did voicing out my breastfeeding intentions work? You bet. When I’d have nursing concerns such as engorgement or the need for more supply, she was just a call away. Because she knew of my intent to keep nursing my son for as long as I can, she always encouraged me by giving advice on how to increase my supply, how to ease the nursing pain, etc. I always got a boost of confidence whenever we’d talk about nursing.

Nursing at the mall
Nursing at the mall :)

To my husband: “I will breastfeed no matter what.” Like most new Moms, I was a zombie the first few weeks (maybe even months) of motherhood. I’d nurse my son every two hours no matter what time of day it was. It was very difficult, and I do recall whining and crying about how tired I was. My husband would ask me every now and then, “Can we give him formula also so I can help you feed him in the middle of the night?” It was sweet of him to ask and help out this zombie Mom, but no, I decided. I didn’t want formula for my baby, not yet anyway.

Did voicing out my breastfeeding intentions work? Yes it did. He respected my desire to breastfeed despite my many late nights and zombie moments, even if I knew he thought I was a little cuckoo. Heck, I looked a lot cuckoo. But I was sticking to my nursing goal!

Milk for Timmy
Timmy’s milk for the day

To my family: “Timmy will drink breastmilk even when I’m at work.” I am very thankful that my family was really patient with me during those times I’d leave the infant at home and rush to work. I still wanted to breastfeed exclusively, so I’d leave pouches of pre-pumped milk in the refrigerator as Timmy’s food for the day. I stacked our freezer with cups of Mommy’s milk. This was the practice for more than a year.

Did voicing out my breastfeeding intentions work? Very much so. We were all in it together. I think it helped that they could see how healthy Timmy was. It was my milk, but we were all raising him to be big and healthy together.

Expressing milk at work
Expressing milk at the office

To my co-workers: “I need time to pump several times a day.” When maternity leave was over, I had to find a way to keep the milk supply going. First, I talked to my boss. I wanted her to know that I’d be locked up in my room several times a day because I’d be expressing milk. Second, my officemates. A typical work day of mine involved a lot of internal meetings, so I had to plan my pumping sessions carefully. I didn’t want to miss a single session (or meeting). Finally, my clients. When I would be part of a whole day workshop or meeting, I’d respectfully ask to be excused during the breaks. Instead of socializing, I’d run off to my client’s nursing room, a hotel’s clinic (if the meeting were at a hotel) or a comfort room cubicle to express milk.

Did voicing out my breastfeeding intentions work? Yes it did. I was still able to manage my work schedule well and continue maintaining my milk supply. My boss, my team and my clients were supremely supportive. I don’t think I would have been able to balance nursing and working away from home if not for their understanding.

If you’re planning on breastfeeding, let your support system know about your nursing intentions – you’ll be surprised to discover how helpful people can be. My son is turning two years old in a few days and I still nurse him. I don’t think I would’ve been able to nurse this long if I didn’t have a solid support system. Breastfeeding is rewarding enough on its own, but when you’ve got the love and support of those around you it makes the experience even richer, more beautiful, and more meaningful.


Other carnival participants:
DaintyMom’s Creating a Pro-Breastfeeding Culture in the Family (Facebook and Twitter: @Dainty_Mom)

Truly Rich Mom’s How To Get Others to Support You in Breastfeeding (Facebook and Twitter: @tinasrodriguez)

EthanMama’s My Best Breastfeeding Support System – My Husband (Twitter: @ethanmama)

Raising Baby Lia’s A Shoutout to my Breastfeeding Buddies

Jen CC Tan’s I’m Breastfeeding, and That’s That! (Facebook and Twitter: @next9baby)

Project Blog by Kate’s Talk and Make it Happen (Facebook and Twitter: @kate_demetrio)

My Mommy Kwentos’ How I Recruited my Top Breastfeeding Buddies (Facebook)

Apples  & Dumplings Communicating and First Time Breastfeeders (Twitter: @apple_dumplings)

I’m a Newbie Wife’s How I Taught My Family to Breastfeed

TouringKitty’s Communication Through Breastfeeding (Twitter: @Touringkitty)

Mec as Mom’s Pre-Natal Pediatric Consultations Are Necessary

Escie’s World’s Ready, Get Set, Go! for Breastfeeding (Twitter: @Escielicious)

Nanaystrip’s BreasTALK : Text, Retweet, Share your Knowledge and Experiences (Twitter: @bunsonimaestro)

Superwomom’s A-S-Ks (on breastfeeding questions, help, support)

Go Help Yourself’s “6 persuasion tips for breastfeeding moms and advocates”

Legally Mom’s Breastfeeding Talk Between Me and My Formula Fed Daughter (Facebook and Twitter: @legallymomPH

Handy Mommy’s Couple’s Communication and Decision: Key to Successful Breastfeeding

Chronicles of a Nursing Mom’s Effective Communication Bucket List (Facebook and Twitter: @mamababylove)

10 Comments on On breastfeeding: Say it, claim it, get support!

  1. Tina Santiago-Rodriguez aka TeacherMama Tina
    August 17, 2011 at 11:37 pm (13 years ago)

    Love this post Toni! 😉 And your most recent one on Philstar.com’s unBLOGGED section. 😉 Loved your other post too about being a SAHM. 😉 That is also one of my ULTIMATE dreams! hehe. Keep on inspiring and encouraging through your blog! 😉 (By the way, if I may ask, how do I get in touch with you? May I have your e-mail add? Mine is teachermamatina@gmail.com 😉 If ever lang, pls do let me know if I can send you an e-mail about something.)

    Thanks! Godbless!

  2. Mec
    August 18, 2011 at 12:26 am (13 years ago)

    I guess it also helps if you’re just really firm and calm and sure about what you want… because it’s also easier to be clear getting that across. Plus, you are such a lovable and loving woman, I doubt anyone thought to NOT accommodate you!

  3. handymommy
    August 18, 2011 at 2:45 pm (13 years ago)

    you made it clear and simple! they are wise wifely and motherly steps…and so you suceeded! i can relate pumping in the office or comfort room when out!

  4. cai
    August 18, 2011 at 3:34 pm (13 years ago)

    Great post! Communication is really the key!

  5. Jenny
    August 18, 2011 at 7:20 pm (13 years ago)

    you are right! voicing out your concerns is the first step! sometimes, we just don’t want to ask, stay silent and end up not doing anything at all. more often than not, people are really accommodating when you tell them that you are breastfeeding and need to pump or need to go to a private room, etc. thank you for sharing!

  6. Jen CC Tan
    August 19, 2011 at 7:28 am (13 years ago)

    Just like “The Secret”! I love it! Throw out what your heart desires into the universe and it will come to you! Congrats standing your ground!

  7. nadia
    August 20, 2011 at 11:22 pm (13 years ago)

    Totoo ‘yan. Basta sinabi mo at ipinapakita mong seryoso ka rito, mas madaling makuha ang tiwala at suporta nang mga tao sa paligid mo.

    Masaya akong makasama ka sa Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August).

  8. chizbun
    August 23, 2011 at 8:31 am (13 years ago)

    i feel guilty about not breastfeeding enough. I stopped when my bunso is 7 months old. maybe on my next babe :)


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