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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Still Best for Babies (up to two years and beyond)!!

I am Tatiana M. Gorayeb-Dulalia, 33 years old. I am married and have a two-year old boy. I know that makes you think I belong to a different world altogether. Sometimes it feels that way, especially when I imagine how much time all of you guys can devote to MBA schoolwork. Becuase for me, it's a huge struggle, but I am not making any excuses.
And since I am indirectly touching on the topic of motherhood (since I'm talking about my difficult schedule -- they go hand-in-hand, you know..), I'd like to talk about a favorite topic that a good number of people have been buzzing about lately--breastfeeding.
I like to talk about this because the benefits of breastfeeding are now slowly coming out of the dark, after being imprisoned there by numerous infant-formula commercials and the doctors that are sponsored to prescribe them. Don't get me wrong, though, I have nothing against these pediatricians who do not directly make an effort to encourage new mothers to breastfeed. I just wish they would present a balanced picture.
The argument is simple -- human milk it fit for humans. Human babies are meant to take human milk. All the mammals show us that.
Secondly, human milk contains colostrum (present in the milk within ten days after delivery) and this strengthens the newborn's immune system.
Thirdly, breastmilk is readily available. It's very sanitary, too!
Fourthly, it increases the bond between the mother and her baby.
Lastly, breastmilk is known to be important for human brain development. It contains AHA and DHA, two enzymes that aid brain development and help eyesight development. (These two components are now present in infant formula milk). Numerous published literature also say that breastmilk contributes to the acceleration of a child's IQ. To back this claim, a study was conducted where college students were made to take IQ tests. A hundred percent of those with high IQ scores were breasfed by their mothers as infants. And the longer the duration of breastfeeding was, the higher the score.
However, I am fully aware of the different reasons some mothers are not able to breastfeed.
One possible reason is finances. For a mother who is given only a two-month maternal leave, what choice is she left with but just to give formula through a caregiver? However, breastpumps are now available, and mothers can pump every six hours and store the milk in the refrigerator for 24 hours. But what about offices where no refrigerators exist?
Another reason is extreme willpower. Yes, extreme. In my case, at least. You have to keep trying for the milk to come out. Not all female breasts are created for an easy start at breastfeeding. Determination and prayer are important.
Other reasons may exist, but for now those are the only ones I know.
I just wish more information will be made available to Filipino mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding. There is currently a ban on infant formula commercials because statistics are surpising. For a third world country like ours, even the minimum wage earners buy infant formula, easily a thousand pesos or more for a large can.
Recently, we broke the world record for public breastfeeding in an event held in Manila.
I hope more such events take place, and campaigns be sustained so that breastmilk and breastfeeding be every mother's first choice.
How do I know this?
I'm still breastrfeeding my 2-year old! It sounds crazy, but I'm not thinking of quitting. I'll wait for him to stop.
So my dieting plans have been put on hold for two years now...

Posted by: Taty


Blogger charlotte marie said...

Breastfeeding also lessens the risk of cancer in women! Way to go Taty! I like your posts!

September 18, 2006 6:10 PM  

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