When I was still pregnant with my baby girl, the decision to breastfeed my child was a no-brainer. Being employed in a hospital has helped me gained a lot of ideas and good thoughts about breastfeeding – the countless health benefits of breastfeeding, the economical effect of breastfeeding on your household budget, precious time and energy you save from breastfeeding, so on and so forth.
My breastfeeding journey began from the day I delivered my child. Here in the Philippines, the Department of Health advocates and implements the “Unang Yakap” (First Embrace) protocol during delivery and that includes uninterrupted skin to skin contact of mother and baby through breastfeeding.
My breastfeeding journey was not that easy since I am a working mom. I delivered via Cesarean Section (Can you imagine the post-operative pain?), and I have to return to work after 78 days. I went through all the nips sores and painful engorgement but everything’s worth it. During my 8-5pm daily duty, I pumped ounces of milk and was able to do that for exactly a year.
Lo and behold, my daughter is now 2 years and a month old and I am still breastfeeding her. The whole experience is just so addictive that I’m having trouble quitting. Kidding aside, I chose not to wean my daughter by force because I believe on the benefits of extended breastfeeding. Many studies from the World Health Organization, American Pediatrics Society, and other respected health organizations have proven that breastfeeding your child for more than a year is healthy for both the mother and the baby. It boosts the baby’s immune system and helps a lot in the brain development.
As a working mom, breastfeeding my toddler is our sweetest form of bonding after my 8-hour daily absence. It gives me sense of fulfillment; it gives me peace of mind. I have decided to breastfeed my child as long as I can and as long as she wants. It is my choice, a good one I believe.