Doesn’t Really Look Like A Doctor

IMD is like a seeing a pocong. You hear some people admit to have ever experienced it, but you don’t hear it from the ones around you.

Dear Son,

You may skip this post if you decide not to get married and/or have children. But if you do, please google “initiation of breastfeeding”, or “breast crawl”, or Inisiasi Menyusu Dini (IMD). Then make sure that you take your part seriously, because breastfeeding success is subject to teamwork; a mother and her support system.

I don’t know what will happen in the next 25-30 years, but in my time, breastmilk is scientifically proven to be the best food for newborns, and the world is encouraging mothers to breastfeed their children. There have been tips and advices on how to breastfeed successfully. Most of the words I heard are: “You can do it!”, “It’s a natural process, every mother can do it!”, and “If a bitch can breastfeed her puppies, so can you!”.

Nah, I made the last one up, but the first two are real and your wife will get that a lot. If she’s like me, you better be careful with your choice of words. To me, those words can be encouraging and burdening at the same time. I’m the kind of woman who would think, “What if my breastmilk won’t come out? Have I done something wrong? My child will be starving! Good Lord, I’m a terrible mother!” and stress everything out.


“Mamas, newborns are smart enough to find their mother’s nipple”. ARE YOU SAYING MY BABY IS STUPID??

During my clinical study in med school, I got a lecture from a senior doctor who was also a famous breastfeeding counsellor. She taught me how dramatic and natural it was for a baby to crawl and find his mother’s nipple. It really got in my mind and so just until a month before you were born, I kept imagined how easy it would be to breastfeed you. Because IT’S NATURAL, they said. BABIES ARE SMART, they said.


Aaannddd.., what really happened?

We failed our IMD, Son. My breastmilk came out after 2 days. I never had a fridge full of expressed breastmilk. But in the end, we managed to finish 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. Today, you’re 14 months old, still partially breastfed, and I think you’re alright.

I did thank my lecturer about the science and importance of breastfeeding. But mostly, I thanked fellow mommies who shared their IMD disappointments, just a few weeks before your birthday. Otherwise, I would’ve got really stressed and maybe failed breastfeeding. It gave me confidence that it’s okay for me to fail IMD or even fail to express breastmilk in the first 72 hours because many of them did and they continued breastfeeding later on.

So your wife needs to know that breastfeeding is really a ”hope for the best, prepare for the worst” trial. You eat well, stay healthy, seek reliable information, put your best effort to be ready to breastfeed, and most importantly, be happy. That means to be able to worry less about the undesired situation.

This is why I also thank mothers who failed to breastfeed completely. It made me think that even the kids given formula milk turned out okay. A friend of mine was not breastfed and she was the class valedictorian. The bottom line is, your “worst case” might not be that bad. There will be a way and if you have a good intention, Allah is there to show you.


She is not alone

Breastfeeding is mother-child business but you can always make contribution just like your father did. You could help her take care of herself. Drive her to her OBGYN. Show that you care and want to be part of it. Don’t put all the blame on her if things flop. You can share my story and tell her that most of (if not all) people I know failed their IMD. Your father once told me,

“You have been doing the best you can for our child. Whatever happens, we will face it together.”

And that worked for me 🙂

Happy World Breastfeeding Week.


Categories: Awkward Mother, Doesn't Really Look Like A Doctor | Leave a comment

Je suis allée à Jayapura and why I’m writing in in french.


Le mois de Novembre dernier, je suis allée à Jayapura pour travailler. Ce jeudi, je vais passer un examen de français niveau A2. C’est pourquoi maintenant j’ecris un blog post ici en français. Pour pratiquer.
Donc, comme d’habitude, je vous voudrais présenter dix faits au hasard que j’ai noté durant mon voyage.
1. Les choses en Papouasie sont plus chères que ceux de Jakarta.
2. Je remercie Dieu pour l’existence de Telkomsel.
3. C’était la première et la dernière fois que j’ai mangé Papeda. C’est trop bizzare pour moi.
4. J’adore l’autres cuisines comme ‘sayur bunga pepaya’ et toutes les poissons.
5. Le lac Sentani est très très beau. Mais malheuresement, je ne pouvais pas prendre une bonne photo de lui. Il pleuvait et il y avait beaucoup de nuages là-bas
6. Je devrais visiter Wamena à l’avenir. Je voudrais prendre une photo avec les hommes Papouasie qui portent des kotekas.
7. Tous les gens que j’ai rencontrés étaient gentils et sympathiques. Mais ils nous ont aussi dit que les émeutes et les violences sexuelles étaient assez fréquentes. Vous devriez être prudent surtout si vous êtes une femme et voyagez seule. Vous pourriez aller en groupe et rester loin des gens ivres.
8. Je ne sais pas exactement et je dois vérifier. Mais je suis sûre que les gens qui vendaient Bolu Manokwari (une sorte de pain, souvenir célebrè pour les tourists), étaient clairement d’origine chinoise. C’est intéressant.
9. Le billet d’avion à destination Jayapura est coûteux! C’est aussi cher que le vol à Melbourne.
10. J’aurais dû acheter plus Batik de Papouasie là-bas. Ils sont merveilleux. Maintenant, je le regrette un peu.
Comme toujours, parce que c’était un travail, jen’ai pas eu de la chance d’être une vraie touriste. J’espère que je pourrai visiter Papouasie nouveau. La prochaine fois, je devrais explorer Raja Ampat et d’autres endroits exotiques là-bas!
P.S. Excusez mon mauvais français. S’il vous plaît corrigez moi si j’ai fait des erreurs cela m’aidera à m’améliorer. Merci!


(edited, terima kasih Oom Patrice!)

Categories: Doesn't Really Look Like A Doctor, Lazy Traveler | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Hate the Attitudes, Not the Person”

That’s what my mother keeps saying. Sounds simple but it’s not easy.

I remember my friends said they disliked someone because of her obnoxious attitudes. That one particular attitude was so obnoxious that they could not appreciate another list of good qualities in her. Everything she said or did became irrelevantly wrong, all the time.

Recently, I’ve been noticing that some colleagues used to show their abundant affection towards our new governor and vice governor, because of the fact that they brought in new changes, possessed clean and discipline images, etc. But recently, when Governor Jokowi created a policy that created troubles for health care providers and when Vice Governor Ahok made a-not-very-wise public statement about doctors and hospitals, these colleagues of mine flew into rage and spread hate comments on social media.*

I understand that Jokowi’s new policy is somewhat premature and potentially creating problems within the health system. I understand that Ahok shouldn’t be signaling a statement that negatively labels doctors and hospitals: that they are not pro poor people and that they don’t give standard service. I too, must say that this is unbelievably disheartening.

It’s as if they’re, especially Ahok, (perhaps unintentionally) inviting people to hate the whole population of doctors and health providers in Indonesia.

I have always wondered what the joy people find in hating others is. As well as attacking others, hurting others, and watching others suffer.

I don’t want people to hate all of us. I don’t deny that doctors with bad attitudes exist and that they should be disciplined. Yet there are doctors who do good practices. Who treat patients for free. Who are not paid and sometimes even pay for the patients’ medication. Who work for a 36-hours sleepless shift because there are too many patients to take care for. Who put patients’ needs ahead of their own. Who get sued for malpractices and defamed because patients’ family, NGOs, and media don’t understand Steven Johnson Syndrome.

But I rarely find media mention these facts a lot. Sure thing, because good news don’t sell.

People can choose to hate the bad doctors. Or even more ideally, the attitude of those bad doctors. But please, just be wise and don’t hate everyone in a white coat.**

I don’t want to hate the whole person of Jokowi and Ahok either. I voted for them and I have a lot of hopes and respect for them. I love that they are hardworking, and smart, and down to earth, and strict to any violation of laws, and Ahok is cute (wait what).

So people may hate bad attitudes of several doctors and hope that those attitudes would be fixed. And doctors may hate Jokowi-Ahok’s actions towards this particular issue and hope that those actions would be fixed.

Just because there are sweetened cherries that you don’t like on top of your cake, doesn’t mean the whole cake is not worth eating.***





*) Not to mention some other politicians’ judgmental statements. Well if you’re curious, just google these keywords: “Ribka Tjiptaning” “

**) For there are drugstore attendants who dress like doctors, but it’s out of context. I’m just trying to be funny here but only a few of you would get it.

***) This expression might only apply to me. I detest sweetened cherry (not the fresh ones). I would normally eat the base, icing, and every element of the cake but leave the cherries for someone else.

Categories: Daily Rambler, Doesn't Really Look Like A Doctor | 2 Comments

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