Carmen Leia Varon-Araneta
Bank Loans officer II
I decided to breastfeed for a multitude of reasons: first, the health benefits for my son, Joaquin. The most rewarding part of breastfeeding is knowing that I provided all of Joaquin’s nutrition.
It comes with a sense of accomplishment to realize that my body is the reason why he is healthy. This liquid gold is undoubtedly the best!
Second, it is very economical. Breast milk is free!
Third, the special bonding and the emotional relationship that I established from it…wow, it is priceless!
Fourth, it was my goal to exclusively breastfeed my son. Reaching the two-year mark was a milestone for me and my baby, too.
Lastly, breastfeeding is a mother’s gift to her child and to be able to share that gift of “liquid gold” to my son is truly amazing and fulfilling.
However, as a full-time working mom, breastfeeding was not rainbows and sunshine all the time.
In my experience, I faced a lot of challenges and one was maintaining my milk supply. Also, squeezing in my pumping schedule to my daily office routine and other work-related activities (business trips/travels, meetings, seminars and sales calls) became so overwhelming and stressful as well.
To address that, I made sure to express breastmilk regularly and on schedule (4-5 times at work).
I use a hands-free pump set so that I can pump milk while multi- tasking.
I also wear nursing-friendly work clothes so it is convenient to express milk while “on the go”.
With all of these, breastfeeding became a natural part of my working life.
Despite these challenges, what motivates me to do Exclusive Breastfeeding is seeing my son grow happy and healthy each day.
This made me realize that no matter what breastfeeding challenges I will be facing, having a positive outlook, dedication, breastfeeding knowledge and support from family, friends and my working environment, it is very possible to continue my breastfeeding journey even if I am in a corporate world.
It may be a bumpy road but it is very rewarding and worth all the hard work.