Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Children for Breastfeeding, Inc. and Nurturers of the Earth, Inc.
with the Department of Health
and the Office of the President
invite you to join the celebration of
World Breastfeeding Week 2009
Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency Response: Are You Ready
Wednesday, August 5, 2009, 12:00 noon – 1:00 p.m.
Rizal Ceremonial Hall, Malacañang Presidential Palace
Official Opening of the World Breastfeeding Week Celebration - Year 5
Campaign to Promote Ten Excellent Sources of Calcium During Emergencies
Launching of the Synchronized Breastfeeding Worldwide - Year 3
A Philippine-led Global Event on 10:00 a.m. October 2, 2009
With President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in attendance
Please confirm your participation as soon as possible. Call us up at our wireless PLDT phones701-4414, 701-4430, or SMART mobile phone +639198395555 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org to include your name in the official guest list and ensure your admittance at Gate 1 of the
To avoid long queues, please be at Gate 1 by 10:00 a.m. As per Malacañang Protocol, all the guests should be seated at the Rizal Hall at 11:30 a.m. All breastfeeding children and babies are welcome. The use of feeding bottles and pacifiers will not be allowed. Attire: Semi-formal. Guests wearing denim jeans or “maong”, rubber shoes or sandals will not be allowed to participate in the ceremony at the Rizal Hall.
Lunch will be served.
Details to be Announced Later
Launching of the Breastfeeding Station - SM Lipa City
Launching of the Breastfeeding Station - SM Baguio City
Details to be Announced Later
Sectoral Forums on Infant and Young Child Feeding during Emergencies
(for Disaster Response Workers, Media and Youth)
The Breastfeeding Clinic:Your Partner from Pregnancy to Parenting
A joint Project of Children for Breastfeeding, Inc. and Nurturers of the Earth Philippines
Managed by International Board Certified Lactation Consultants:
Nona D. Andaya-Castillo, IBCLC
Elvira L. Henares-Esguerra, MD, FPDS, RPh, IBCLC
PLDT Wireless Landline: (632) 701-4414 7014430 Mobile: +639198395555
Friday, July 24, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Register thru this email or through 0917-5614366 or thru 725-3723/738-6272.
Exclusive Authorized Distributor
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Mylai requested Naima and me to submit urine samples while I also had to donate 100ml. of breast milk. Logistics were a bit difficult since we lived at opposite ends of Metro Manila. Further, Mylai had to get freshly expressed breast milk. It was a good thing that I regularly express milk at the office so Mylai was able to get my "freshest" milk possible For urine samples, since Naima was semi-toilet trained, collecting her urine was not a problem.
Mylai also requested information about cosmetics and deodrants I used, prenatal care, including supplements and general diet. Apparently, my milk had mercury! Mylai noted that the values (chemical content) are more dramatic in milk. Here are the results of our samples:
|BU1||below MDL||2.5||below MDL||0.4||below MDL||3.7||below MDL||8.0||1.7|
|MU1||1.81||3.8||below MDL||0.2||below MDL||3.5||below MDL||5.7||1.5|
|M1||below MDL||21.4||below MDL||1.2||5.9||42.2||below MDL||5.9||9.9|
The results certainly made me re-think my diet and exposure to chemicals. However, I still still definitely continue to breastfeed. Mylai also assured me that in all other scientific articles, despite traces of contamination in milk, breast milk is still recommended as it still has lower chemical contamination than cow's milk. Mylai had also wanted to conduct a study of powdered milk samples but she did not have time to do so.
Interestingly, the Philippines is one of the countries identified here as having conducted breast milk monitoring studies. It is really disturbing to learn how great the effects of exposure to chemicals are. Just recently, it was also reported that chemical concentrations do not decrease during lactation.
Mylai had informed me that some of the metals found in my breast milk may have been from those accumulated as a result of my diet or contaminants I was exposed to even when I was not yet pregnant. Proper diet and controlled environmental exposures are important not only for pregnant or lactating moms but also for women who are in child-bearing age. This is certainly something I will need to think about when planning my next pregnancy.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
In last week’s post, I talked about the release of the July-August 2009 issue of HIPP Parenting Magazine. I was able to obtain a copy over the weekend. One of the articles is called “Breastfeeding 101” and includes 101 tips compiled by HIPP’s holistic mom columnist, Dona Tumacder-Esteban. Dona asked me to contribute some tips from my almost 20-month breastfeeding journey.
There were a couple of other moms who contributed their own tips. One of them was my own lactation counselor, Abbie Yabot who shared her own experiences as well as the experiences of other moms she counseled. My co-Latchers Melody Tan and Irene Recio-Nicolas also contributed their own tips. Dona compiled tips from moms in various situations such as a full-time working mom, exclusively pumping mom, stay at home mom, celebrity mom and toddler nursing mom (me!) She also asked my husband, Stan, to contribute his own tips (on supporting a nursing wife). I will be sharing mine and Stan’s tips below. For the 91 other tips, check out HIPP’s July-August 2009 issue.
1. Play an active role in taking care of the baby to give your wife a break.
2. Attend classes or join groups with your wife. I attended all my wife’s lactation consultation sessions and I repeat to her the tips of the counselors whenever she feels down or hopeless.
1. Breastfeeding is natural but must be learned by both the mother and baby. Ask to be roomed-in with your baby and have your first feed within 1 hour from birth.
2. Look for breastfeeding-friendly doctors (pediatrician and ob-gyne). We are a doctor-believing society. If your doctors do not truly believe in the benefits of breastfeeding, then you've lost the fight, even if it hasn't started. Ob-gynes can choose to prescribe non-breastfeeding friendly medicines/painkillers, while pedias will prescribe formula from the start.
3. Enlist your husband and make sure that both of you are on the same page to breastfeed successfully. Support of the husband is essential - especially during the difficult early days. My post here is about how my husband supported me.
4. Prepare a list of references (lactation consultants, massage, support group) so you know who to approach when times get tough. I've compiled a list of support groups/resources here.
5. Feed your baby on demand. Watch your baby not the clock - no truth to the claim that baby must finish each side in 15 minutes. There are different types of nursing babies - nibblers, gobblers, etc. and some finish quicker/longer than others.
6. Do not give your baby the bottle or artificial nipples too early, lest your baby have nipple confusion - like what Naima had.
7. It is okay to nurse in public. To build confidence, practice at home in front of the mirror and make sure that your baby's head covers your breast. [Actually, this should be to see that your baby’s head covers your breast, so there is no reason to be self-conscious]
8. Talk to your boss and tell him/her about your plans to pump at work. Check your office's policies on breaktime. If you don't have a private room or a lactation room, look for a place where you can pump - preferably not the toilet.
9. Nursing a toddler presents unique challenges such as nipple twiddling, boob grabbing, and shirt pulling. She is now in her twiddling stage and I always hold her other hand when nursing to prevent her from twiddling the other nipple.
10. I also taught her the sign for milk and later. So she doesn't scream and shout when she wants milk. And if I am driving or if we are unable to nurse immediately, I sign later and she quiets down. It's also important that you teach your toddler the right word for milk - use a word that you won't be embarrassed to hear in public.
Monday, July 13, 2009
As a Filipino-Chinese mom, I considered po-ge-lai as one major cultural challenge I had to work at, especially in connection with breastfeeding during the early days. For urban Fil-Chis like me, ge-lai is immediately associated with "1-month-no-bath" yucky time that comes immediately after giving birth. But the no-bathing time is actually part of a bigger scheme which tries to restore the yin-yang balance disturbed by pregnancy and birthing.
Since my mom and mother-in-law were not with me when I gave birth, I didn't strictly follow po-ge-lai. The diet restrictions and requirements needed lots of preparation which I couldn't handle by myself. I also thought that the diet would inhibit my milk supply. Had I strictly followed po-ge-lai, I wouldn't have been allowed to drink water or eat fruits and vegetables (which are musts in a nursing mom's diet) as these are considered "cold foods" which will delay the return of the yin-yang balance. I would have also been required to drink Chinese wine (alcoholic), as this is considered "dyet" or hot and will hasten the return of the balance.
However, I probably just did not prepare enough as there were several other breastfeeding moms who practiced po-ge-lai but still successfully breastfed their babies. One of them is Giselle Sanchez (yes, the comedienne!) who talked about her experience here.
Another mom, Yoly Chua (who is still breastfeeding her 5-month old), shares that she followed po-ge-lai to the letter, by not drinking water, no bathing, eating black chicken, pigeon, no fruits and vegetables and drinking only the Chinese herbal tea (o-tso tong sim). She did feel that these practices caused a dip in her milk supply because her son, Yohann was feeding hourly every day for the first 8 weeks. Yoly was also given an expensive herbal concoction (when her po-ge-lai officially ended) which contained ginseng and lots of potent vitamins. The day after she took it, Yohann developed severe rashes which lasted 3 weeks. The herbal concoction was ya-po (good for mom's health). But apparently, it wasn't good for the baby. The biggest challenge Yoly faced was to keep hydrated during the po-ge-lai since she had to drink the o-tso tong sim (red water made of dates, dried longan + other stuff) instead of water. I myself tried this concoction but it tasted weird. You can't drink it cold - it has to be lukewarm and it was a bit sweet - so it really does not take the thirst away and is not something you would want to drink at least 8 glasses of per day.
If you really have to follow the diet restrictions and requirements of po-ge-lai, a suggestion that another Fil-Chi mom, Jane, shared would be helpful. Like Yoly, her mother-in-law made her drink a herbal concoction with ginseng. So to lessen the effects on her baby, Jane drank the herbal soup after she nursed her baby. You can read more about ginseng here. It also helps if your pediatrician is someone who understands po-ge-lai practices AND is a breastfeeding advocate or is pro-breastfeeding. Jaydee Cheng was lucky to have such a pro-breastfeeding pediatrician in Dr. Joy Ty-Sy who helped her reconcile the practices and breastfeeding, allowing her to continue breastfeeding her 8-month old baby, to date.
Not all diet requirements of po-ge-lai are harmful to nursing mothers and their nurslings. Some foods included in the diet which are helpful in stimulating milk flow include fish, fish broth (my mom told me to drink lots of lapu-lapu, or grouper soup), sesame seeds, pig's trotters, red beans and papaya (I had usually had this with tinolang manok or chicken ginger stew). I also enjoyed the hot chocolate drink (tablea or sikwate) I took each morning (and still continue to take up to now, with oatmeal for breakfast).
In hindsight, having to undergo po-ge-lai is not all bad or difficult as long as you prepare for it. You also need to understand the reason behind these practices and their benefits so you won't resent having to obey certain rules and restrictions. Would I do it again? Probably if I have my mom or mother-in-law with me to help me prepare the food and concoctions I have to take. :D
*Update: 28 May 2012
Another mom, Raquel, who underwent po-ge-lai shares her detailed story here. But what's interesting is that she is pure Pinay while her husband is the pure Chinese one. Luckily, her husband is a chef AND cooks po-ge-lai foods available for orders. Each dish costs 1,500 pesos and is good for 2-3 days if eaten for both lunch and dinner. Visit his Facebook page for details on the menu and how to order. Here's a review of the ge-lai menu by Benz Co-Rana.
More ge-lai experiences from Dianne and Giselle (yes, the comedienne!)
*Update: 28 September 2014
I was recently contacted by a company who specialises in confinement foods. Finally! We have one such service in Manila. Hao Po Po Philippines specialises not just in meals but in tonics, herbs taken by mothers undergoing po-ge-lai. Here is a sample menu:
For inquiries, visit Ha Po Po Philippines Facebook page.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
During a visit to one of Naima's former pediatricians, I was able to get an "Infant Feeding Plan" produced by our Department of Science and Technology's Food and Nutrition Research Guide.
It should also be noted that contrary to popular notion, starting solids does not mean that breast milk (or even formula milk) intake should lessen. Solids are only meant to COMPLEMENT the milk feeding and not replace it (*note how the guide above is called "Complementary Feeding Guide"). Kellymom has an excellent explanation on complementary feeding and also recommends that babies be given solids an hour after nursing.
Naima's first food was avocado, mixed with breastmilk. I chose to start with avocado and not am or lugaw (rice porridge) because my readings showed that avocado had more nutrients than rice. I followed the 3-day rule (feed baby same food for 3 days to check allergies). Happily, Naima did not seem to be allergic to any food.
Naima has never tasted Cerelac and I don't plan on giving her any. She also hasn't tried Gerber but has eaten about 3-4 bottles of Earth's Best, given to her when we were traveling and had no access to cooking or a kitchen. Before Naima was one, I did not want to give her any restaurant food and we usually packed her meals to take along during our meals out.
Starting solids is an exciting milestone which must not be rushed. It is now a little over a year since Naima started solids. Now, she pretty much eats anything EXCEPT shellfish. As she grows older, her menu choices expands but so does her palate/taste preferences. There are days when she eats A LOT and days when she just nurses and nurses. We are now facing the challenges of feeding a finicky toddler.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
The house was actually a bungalow which they are slowly converting into a showroom. I was pretty impressed with their plans. Maricel gave me a short tour and briefly explained their plans for the house. Since the house had several rooms, they reserved a couple of rooms for their children to stay-in (ala daycare at work).
The living room was converted into a lecture/session area. It was unfurnished, with soft rubber mats on the floor. It also serves as a "holding place" for the babies and toddlers while their mommies are listening to the lectures or participating in the seminar. During the Breastfeeding 303 class, Judy of Babysmiths brought some of their Wonderworld wooden toys which the babies and toddlers had fun playing with. Naima has a rocking caterpillar I got from Judy and she enjoys playing with it.
One room near the main door currently serves as their office, with the computers and boring stuff. The room beside it has been designed to be their showroom. This is where they display their pumps and other accessories. This also serves as their consultation room, where they help moms fit the shields and horns or assist moms in latching their babies.
What interested me most was the back room, which Maricel said will serve as their library and rental/pumping station. Maricel said that Medela will generously supply the books for their library. This is very good news since there are not a lot of good books in bookstores on breastfeeding. However, the books cannot be taken out of the premises.
The Medela Moms are also looking towards operating the first *real* pump-rental station in the Philippines. Currently, rental pumps are just not available in the Philippines. Four major Metro Manila hospitals allow you to rent their pumps but only the Medical City has hospital-grade pumps! The rest of the hospitals rent out either an Avent electric or Medela double electric which I'm sure are NOT hospital grade/multi-user pumps. Filipino moms are not aware of the differneces of hospital-grade multi-user pumps and regular pumps.
During last week's lactation program presentation, we suggested the purchase of hospital grade multi-user pumps for the employees. The institution can then provide each pumping mom with 1 set of horns (to be taken from their medical allowance) and moms will just purchase extra sets of horns if they wish. However, one of the representatives objected and said that it was unsanitary to share pumps! I explained that it was going to be a hospital-grade multi-user pump but she still thought it was cleaner for each mom to bring her own pump. I thought it would be more practical (and cheaper for the moms) if the institution provides a hospital-grade pump in the lactation rooms since new moms need not purchase new pumps but would just need to get horns. However, I guess more *information* about hospital-grade pumps need to be shared in our institution.
Maricel shared though, that their hospital-grade pumps (Symphony) can only be used within the Medela House and cannot be rented out. I told her that it would be quite impractical with traffic and all. However, she said that it would be impossible for them to rent out the expensive Symphony pumps without a huge deposit. Requiring a huge deposit would be contrary to their objective of providing the hospital grade pumps, which is to give moms who can't afford the Pump-in-Styles access to a good pump.
I shared that when I used to rent my Ameda Elite abroad, the rental station required me to swipe my credit card and informed me that if I fail to return the pump, they will automatically charge the succeeding months' rental until I return the rental. The Medela Moms currently do not accept credit card purchases but this is something that they may want to look into once they start their rental station.
The Medela House, #29 1st St., New Manila, Quezon City (725-3723, 738-6272, 0917-5614366). Coming from Greenhills, it's before you reach Aurora Blvd. From E. Rodriguez, go past Auora Blvd. It's beside 8 Gilmore Place.