Ronna Bonifacio | I’m a nursing mama but it doesn’t make me a better mom
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I’m a nursing mama but it doesn’t make me a better mom

I’ve been a nursing mama for 17 months, 1 week and 5 days. I often say that I can’t leave my home without my eyebrows but these days it’s more detrimental to leave home without my nursing bib. I honestly didn’t prepare for breastfeeding before giving birth, I figured it would come naturally. But I suppose like most nursing moms will say, it doesn’t, though I do believe it is God’s design. My early days of nursing made for countless misadventures: nursing in a parked car, attempting to nurse in the middle of meals with family and friends because my daughter couldn’t latch well which resulted in lots of crying, waking up very early to relieve engorgement just so my daughter would not “drown” during letdown, sitting in mall nursing rooms for at least an hour because she was hungry but had trouble latching.

My 17-month-old daughter cuddles while nursing.

My 17-month-old daughter cuddles while nursing.

The list goes on (nursing strikes, trying to get in and out a sequined dress to nurse, nursing marathons, nursing before running to a fashion show in heels then running back to nurse again… see?). And I am certain I’m not the only nursing mama who has these experiences. My husband has had to make adjustments because my daughter wouldn’t take a bottle with expressed milk, so I’ve only been able to leave her a few hours at a time. Now that she’s eating, I can leave her for longer hours. I used to feel so much guilt over her distaste of the bottle. And I’ve received a number of discouraging comments, perhaps without ill intention, over our choice to continue breastfeeding. But truly I am thankful that I live in a country where it is celebrated and even urged from birth.

There's four of us in this photo. Vera nurses during her baby dedication celebration. Most of my photos from her first 6 months of existence had me in my trusty nursing bib :)

There’s four of us in this photo. Vera nurses during her baby dedication celebration. Most of my photos from her first 6 months of existence had me in my trusty nursing bib 🙂

Because it is breastfeeding month, I wanted to share my two cents. If you are a nursing mom or an I-used-to-nurse-my-babies mom, Happy Breastfeeding Month! Congratulations for doing what you do. It’s not easy, and perhaps only we know the extent of that. You may not be getting a pat on the back each feeding time and we do it so often that we shed our desire for it, but please allow me to encourage you: You’re doing awesome! And you are awesome. 🙂

I think Breastfeeding Month isn’t just for nursing moms though. If you’re a mom who works hard to feed her child the very best, I believe it’s your month too! Because the heart of breastfeeding is giving your child the best that you can, isn’t that what all mums try to do every day? Motherhood has enough insecurities of its own, let us not allow milk to divide our support and love for each other and add to it.

If you’re a formula mom, I know you love your child/children just as much as any nursing mom and it doesn’t discount from your quality of motherhood. You’re doing awesome and you are every bit as awesome as any nursing mom! 🙂

I hope that while we raise awareness and information on breastfeeding, we don’t forget its heart and essence. Let’s have each other’s backs, mummies! 🙂 (Or maybe in some cases, fronts? Hehe!)

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