Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Why are we not Breastfeeding?


Today I went to the local health office to avail of the free vaccines for Sophia, because I am cheap and the vaccine cost around 7,000.00 pesos if I buy it in a hospital. While I was going through the usual interview about Sophia, I was asked the question if my wife was breastfeeding. I told her the truth that we do a mixture of breast milk and formula, she then asked for the ratio which I promptly told her it was only 2 to 3 bottles a week and it happens when Elaine has to go out for an hour or two. You could see in the health worker's face that she was impressed and told me that it was good that we were breastfeeding. That got me thinking if breastfeeding is rare in the Philippines? Which is kinda weird since I have seen a lot mothers whip out their breast with wanton abandoned if its feeding time. 

So I went to the waiting area for our turn, while waiting I got to talked with some of the mothers there since they were curious why I was the one bringing my daughter for vaccination (I was the only male in there). The topic eventually went to feeding which I gave the same answer I gave the health worker earlier and I got the same impressed look on their faces which kinda confused me since we weren't purely breastfeeding. They began comparing with each other how long did they tried breast feeding and the longest was a week, then they started discussing the hassles and pain they had to endure while breastfeeding which was understandable because my wife had to go through that as well. I really shock when one answered that the reason she didn't continue with it was because she was scared that her nipples was going to get big and ugly, and almost everyone agreed with her. I had to used all my willpower not comment on her statement but I was already screaming in my mind. I stayed quiet the rest of the time and just waited for my turn, giving them the obligatory smile and nod.

We finally finished with the vaccination and went home, I immediately did some research on the statistics of breastfeeding here in the Philippines and the following link is the latest report I could find: http://www.unicef.org/philippines/children/breastfeeding_2.html, and I am deeply saddened by the report. I am in no position to judge, women have every right to decide and we all have different circumstances to face, but the least I could do is tell them to try doing for more than a week. I grew up being bombarded with information that breast milk is the best (I don't know why since I a guy) and the internet has made that information more accessible. I even found a site with 101 reasons to breastfeed, and I would like to share it: http://www.notmilk.com/101.html