"Iba talaga pag breastfed baby."
Mommy Eileen Goco-Dy opens up about her breastfeeding journey – sharing her bonding experience with her 13 month-old baby, overcoming difficulties, and dealing with society’s misconceptions.
Breastfeeding has definitely had an impact on her bonding experience with her baby, Dana Eliana. Mommy Eileen has been breastfeeding her since birth. She says that, “During times na hindi siya comfortable, distressed siya, or may comfort siyang hinahanap – si mommy talaga hanap. Sa 13 months, feeling ko yung bond namin dalawa, hindi kaya pantayan – kahit ng sa papa niya. Iba talaga kapag breastfed baby.”
Despite strengthening the bonding experience of Mommy Eileen and her baby, she still had her fair share of difficulties during breastfeeding. Altough milk supply was never a problem, she dealt with the pain during latching. She would experience lumps and blebs (milk plugs) on her breasts. She shared that she overcame the pain by performing hand expression to clear the ducts and prevent futher swelling.
When asked if she would have done anything differently when she first started breastfeeding, she said that “I wouldn’t change na direct latch kami, but I would probably invest in a pump. Why? Because I want to donate! For us [moms], thats our way of giving back.” Mommy Eileen recalls that she experienced a difficult pregnancy that led her to bed rest majority of the time, which is why even before she gave birth, she was sure that she was going to breastfeed her baby. “Paglabas pa lang, yung boobs ko namamaga na kaya sabi ng Pedia ko sobrang dami. If I started pumping early on, sana marami na akong na-donate,” she shares.
On misconceptions, Mommy Eileen believes that a common misconception would be, "[when people say], ‘Dapat maghanda ka na, dapat humingi ka na ng milk from other people kasi pag nanganak ka, wala kang milk. Dapat painomin mo [si baby] ng milk.’” She further says that is is a common misconception because “[moms] do have milk! Its just that hindi lang madami kasi they start out na sobrang liit ng stomach nila parang, calamansi lang. So for you to build up a supply, there needs to be a demand. The more na naglatch si baby, the more na dadami ang supply.”
Another common misconception that Mommy Eileen shares with us is about the reliance on supplements. “Though it helps, moms should definitely not be dependent and hoping that if they take all of [the supplements], it will dramatically increase the supply. It really takes determination and perseverance to increase your supply, [which includes] latching and regligious pumping every 2-3 hours.”
With all her experiences during breastfeeding, dealing with the difficulties, and handling the misconceptions of society, Mommy Eileen has two main points she wants to share with society.
To the moms that are breastfeeding, “there’s [a] very little percentage of moms na walang milk. Everyone has milk. God designed our bodies para magsupply ng milk sa anak natin. So if I were to say that, never doubt the design. Never doubt that your body can give milk to your baby. That’s the way it was built. Even way before formula milk was made, it was breastfeeding – wala naman iba. Never doubt na wala akong mabibigay or kulang yan.
To society in general about breastfeeding itself, “hindi dapat siya ikahiya, hindi dapat siya itreat na bastos or something na ‘ano ba yan nagbrebreast feed, di marunong magtago ng dede’. Yung boobs, in the mind na lang yan, eventually society made it bastos – a sexual image. It was never meant for that naman eh, it was meant for a women to bear a child, give birth, and grow your child.”
She also adds the importance of family support, “if your husband thinks na bastos or nakakahiya mag breast feed ka in public, that automatically degrades you as a woman. Dapat talaga if its an advocacy or a shared awareness, dapat di lang siya sa moms but to the family and the people surrounding the mom to breastfeed.”
Sharing her story, Mommy Eileen shows that moms are not alone in their breastfeeding journey, that they should believe in themselves to provide for their babies, and that support from family and society are important to ending the stigma against public breastfeeding.
"Never doubt that your body can give milk to your baby."
In line with our objective to empower Filipino mothers to breastfeed, Milk Matters presents Express Yourself, an online movement that sheds light on the breastfeeding experiences of Filipino mothers, families, doctors, nurses, and other members of society. Our vision is to inspire other mothers to continue breastfeeding through these stories.