“Jamir is an experiment baby”, this is how our neighbors tag my 10-month old son. They were amazed by how we raise our little child and constantly tell us that what we do to our child is one of a kind.
The experience began when our baby Jamir was born. In spite of our goal to have a normal delivery, my wife Nean underwent CS operation but that did not hinder us. We requested the attending physicians, the OB and the pedia, to let Jamir experience Unang Yakap—an important step where the child lies on his/her mother’s chest to have skin-to-skin contact, and be breastfed for the first time.
Remarkably up until we went home, Jamir continues to breastfeed to his mother as often as necessary. As weeks passed by, we were gradually overcoming the difficulties of our experiment.
Jamir is exclusively breastfed in the first six months of his life. No water. No vitamins. No solid foods. Studies show that breastmilk is 88% water. In fact, giving excess water to babies below six months is fatal and may cause water intoxication. Vitamin supplements were not permitted since the nutritional value of the breastmilk is enough for his needs. He’s also used to not taking medicine for common illnesses such as colds and cough.
It was actually amazing that Jamir needed nothing but breastmilk to survive for the first six months.
We started to introduce solid food to Jamir when he officially turned ‘6 months’. The first food we gave to him is avocado with breastmilk. We only provide natural food to Jamir and refrain from adding sugar, salt, junk food, especially water to his diet. And at the same time, we continue breastfeeding him. Gratefully, Jamir has a good appetite. In the first 2 months of introducing solid food, Jamir had already eaten almost everything from the Bahay Kubo—okra, patola, upo, kalabasa, sibuyas, luya, talong, petsay and many more.
This August, Jamir turns 1. Jamir is healthy and at the same time we are able to save money for more important things we need rather than buying expensive formula milk, distilled drinking water, baby’s processed food and the like.
There is no powdered milk that can equate the nutrition that natural food has. Feed your child right! Vitamins supplement is unnecessary if you feed your child right and processed food is not healthy and would never be.
The world is perfectly created; that life is best on its natural course. A woman lactates because it is what her child needs. All mothers lactate and it is a rare condition that a woman does not have the capacity of producing milk to breastfeed her child. Explore the wonders of nature and you’d be surprised how it could be life-saving.
Jamir is not an experiment baby. He is breastfed and continues to eat fruits and vegetables until now. He is active and healthy. He is undoubtedly a baby nurtured naturally.
Moreover, this is our way to express how we love him. Someday he will definitely thank us for not giving him those unnatural and unhealthy stuff that most babies eat and that we spared him from junks during his first year of life.
Jamir is not being experimented. He is being guided, nurtured and loved. ###
Jaime de Guzman is a 25-year-old father. He is a member of the following support groups: Breastfeeding Pinays, Babywearing Philippines, Modern Cloth and Nappying Philippines, and Gentle Birth Philippines.