Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
If there is one good thing that came from Naima's breastmilk jaundice, it would be the snappies bottles I accumulated while being forced to pump while she was given liquid Enfamil. Snappies are innovative breastmilk containers which allows a mom to pump, store and feed (older babies) all from the same container. Please note however than for young babies, cup, finger or syringe feeding is recommended over bottle feeding. When I started using these containers almost 2 years ago, they only come in 2.3 oz. sizes. Now, they come in 1 oz. sized bottles as well.
So what do I love about these containers? Number 1 is the flip-top lid. The manufacturer's website describes the lid as follows:
The flip-top lid is conveniently hinged to the container, so you can open and close the Snappies Container with one hand without concerns about dropping or misplacing the lid. The lid locks back out of the way while in use, and closes with an exclusive audible “snap” to indicate an airtight, leak-proof seal.
That best summarizes why the flip-top lid is what I love best about my snappies containers! I don't have to worry about the lids being placed on an unsanitary office table or worse - getting dropped on the floor! My Snappies also fit my Lansinoh and Ameda pump flanges. They also worked well with my Medela Swing pump (before I sold it!).
The Snappies are also packed and sold as sterile and have a space where you can write pumping date and time. Although Snappies are meant for single use (thus the space to write information), they are made of durable plastic (not polycarbonate!), which is a food grade polypropylene material. Thus, to allow me to reuse my Snappies, I usually write information on a magic tape and stick them on the containers.
On the Snappies size - it can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the mom. I'm sure a lot of moms can relate when I say that not everyone is able to pump ounces and ounces of milk. This is not a matter of having no or little milk, but rather, the amount of milk you pump is dependent on the mom's storage capacity.
When I used them during the L.A.T.C.H. training, one of the moms (who was gushing with milk) commented they looked like milk test tubes. However, for someone like me, who has a small storage capacity, seeing the containers get filled up (even if they are small) is such a huge confidence booster! The most I was able to pump in my almost 2-year breastfeeding career is about 7 oz. (both breasts) and that happens when I skip 2-3 feedings or was unable to pump for 6 hours. My normal pumping output was 4oz. (now, it's down to about 2-2.5oz.). So, these Snappies containers fit my needs perfectly. I can imagine that the 1 oz. container will be very helpful for moms with preemie babies who are unable to latch on.
Anyway, I'm very happy to see that Snappies are now available in the Philippines. They are currently being sold by Janice over at Mommy Matters. I'm hoping to carry them in my online store soon. Watch out for them! :D
Sunday, November 22, 2009
"Of course, childbirth educators and health professionals do not want to put us off. But surely it would help if we were told beforehand that our breasts might not do what is expected of them; that it is common for boobs to ache, or block up, or get engorged, or nipples to crack; that our babies may not gain weight exactly as the chart says; and that in the first six weeks they may feed up to 12 times in 24 hours. To present us instead with a picture of erotic mother-infant bliss is, surely, setting us up for a fall?"
"So yes, of course we need to be encouraged; and yes, we need to be told how valuable breastfeeding is. But we also need to know – in advance – how ''normal'' problems are. Antenatal realism might not solve the whole breastfeeding issue – it is too complicated for that. But it might help countless women feel better about themselves, whether they choose to continue or not. And that cannot be a bad thing, can it?"
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Breastfeeding was associated with lower post-partum weight retention in all categories of prepregnancy body mass index. These results suggest that, when combined with gestational weight gain values of approximately 12kg (26.45 pounds), breastfeeding as recommended could eliminate weight retention by 6 months postpartum in many women.
Body composition changes occur differently in nonlacting and lactating women during the first 6 months postpartum (the study also found that non-lactating women loss whole body, arm and leg fat than nursing moms between 2 weeks to 6 months postpartum) and occur at some sites until 12 months postpartum regardless of previous lactation status.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
First up is the ExpoMom Christmas Bazaar next Sunday, 22 November 2009 at the Rockwell Tent. Shopping will be from 10am-8pm. Will be bringing my nursing lingerie & accessories, baby carriers, crayons (rocks + stars), kiddie furniture, cloth diapers/bloomers, maternity tops and the Mother Tongue Collection.
Then on 30 November 2009, we will be at St. James the Great Foundation's Bazaar in Cuenca, Alabang. This time, we will be bringing everything including our nursing wear!!
Hope to see you there :D
Friday, November 13, 2009
*This article was written by Velvet Escario‐Roxas, the deputy executive director of Arugaan‐ pioneering mother support group. She is a breastfeeding counselor and breastfeed her two children, the youngest (whom she waterbirthed) is still breastfeeding. She is also an active parent of
The child is a wonderful work of nature powered by intricately harmonious sense organs of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. From birth, the child explores his physical world through these different senses. Breastfeeding provides these necessary experiences. Breastmilk is the substance produced by the mother’s breast to feed her baby. Breastmilk can come either from the baby’s mother or supplied by another mother through donor’s milk. It can be fed directly from the breast or expressed milk through a cup, a bottle or another container. In breastfeeding, the child draws milk directly from the breast. The act of breastfeeding is the gentlest way to feed a baby.
SUCKLING AS A SELF-MOVEMENT
For a child to stay healthy he must be active. The highest level of self‐activity is shown by a breastfeeding baby. The baby needs to exert more effort than if the baby simply sucks from a bottle. There is a difference between sucking and suckling. A baby sucks at the nozzle on top of a bottle, but at the mother’s breast a baby suckles.
Rather than simply squeezing milk out by sucking, breastmilk is extracted using rhythmic pressure, which strips milk from the ducts. Breastfed babies need to work harder to extract milk. This helps to strengthen the jaw and associated muscles and to encourage the growth of straight, healthy teeth. Development of the jaw and muscles at the front of the mouth will influence the later feeding patterns of chewing and grinding when solid foods are introduced. The mechanisms involved in feeding also provide practice for the actions of many of the fine muscles needed for clear speech and articulation later on. In other words, suckling is a precursor to chewing and chewing is a precursor to speaking.
Oral feeding that requires suckling, swallowing and breathing coordination is the most complex sensorimotor process that newborns undertake. These three actions works in synchrony and in rhythm.
RHYTHM OF NATURE
Rhythm and life cannot be separated. Plants, animals and human beings all reveal rhythmical qualities in form, movement and growth patterns. Nature’s rhythm of day and night; the changing of seasons. Human’s biological rhythms of heart and lungs. The organs used for metabolism and digestion coordinate their functions to work together optimally.
Infant’s ability to regulate rhythmic functions is still undeveloped thus needing support and stimulation. The baby has to find new rhythms in sleeping and waking, in digestion and excretion. While a normal, healthy adult’s heart beats at a regular interval, a newborn baby’s heartbeat is faster and at times irregular. Its thermoregulatory system is immature and easily disrupted. Their fluctuations in body temperature, blood sugar levels, levels of various hormones and blood salts and other metabolic processes are not yet synchronized.
Just the simple act of breastfeeding protects the child, warms the child and keeps the child well‐adjusted by mimicking the rhythmic heartbeat of its caregiver and through constant skin‐to‐skin contact. No wonder, mothers who immediately room‐in after birth creates an intimate mother‐infant bond which decreases the incidence of abandonment, abuse and neglect by mothers, and infant’s failure to thrive. Thus, breastfeeding is a very direct way for both to experience that we humans need each other and are there for each other.
Infants learn rhythm from their mother’s heartbeat and rhythm from the suckling of their breast. Babies suckle follow a rhythm. When the milk flow increases, the rate of suckling decreases. When the milk flow is low, the rate of suckling is higher. This rhythm substitutes for strength. Any rhythmically repeated action takes less exertion and energy than a one‐time action performed at an unusual time or under unusual circumstances. Babies who have slowly learned rhythm become more harmonized, more balanced.
BALANCE OF THE SENSES
Balance is not something that we automatically have but something that we learn to do. How is balance learned? Mothers know that slow rhythmic movements have calming effects on infants. Similar to the father’s gentle rocking of baby from side to side or a duyan’s rhythmic swaying. Balance is learned during the developmental milestones of turning, crawling, standing, walking, jumping and skipping.
The simple act of changing position from the left and right breast is an exercise of balance in a breastfed child. For a bottlefed child, a right‐handed caregiver would always hold the baby in her left arm while holding the bottle in her right arm, hampering the child from learning balance which may affect the infant’s neurological organization in terms of eye and hand preference. The process of suckling also is also an exercise for monocular vision. Monocular vision uses each eye separately increasing field of view but limiting depth perception. When an infant suckles, the eyes also tend to converge, an important mechanism in the development of stereoscopic vision.
Combined with the nutritional content of breastmilk, a breastfed baby has better visual acuity. When the infant suckles from the right breast, the baby’s left eye is partially concealed by the breast. While his left arm is limited by the breastfeeding position, there is active use of the right hand and leg ‐ waving, stroking and even kicking. Thus the baby is inclined to the right‐sided function of his brain. A reversed but similar thing happens when a child feeds on the mother’s left breast.
The hearing and balance apparatus are intimately connected as both reside in the inner ear. A bottlefed child’s recurring bout of ear infection will eventually lead to hearing problems which will eventually lead to problems with balance and movement. Vision and balance must learn to work together. Hearing must learn to support balance in helping the baby to locate sound in the environment. Touch and muscular awareness (kinesthesis) will eventually help the infant to have an inner awareness of its place in space, but none can work their magic in isolation. All five senses need to work in cooperation with balance to create a sense of harmony in the sensory system.
Breastfeeding gives children an edge in life. They are adequately nourished, have healthier bodies, stronger immune system, higher IQ, socially active and emotionally nurtured. By exposing the baby to its different senses, they have already been given a head start in education. The simple act of breastfeeding creates a child with a good sense of balance and whose rhythm in tune with natural vigor of life.
• A Guide to Child Health by Glöckler and Goebel
• Natural Childhood by Thomson
• The Well Balanced Child By Blythe
• Attention, Balance and Coordination by Blythe
• Breastfeeding and Human Lactation by Riordan
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
What was wrong with the old Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake? And what message does this give young kids?! Luckily, my sister was able to save one of her old Strawberry Shortcake doll and Naima loves playing with the 23-year old doll! All the more reason to keep track of what she watches on TV and video!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
- No expectations
During my first visit at Pasig, we brought 1 cooler chest full of pasteurized milk. There were probably about 77 bottles there but we only used 3 bottles. All of the mothers we talked to (with the exception of about 3-4 mothers) were breastfeeding. Although some of them were mixed feeding, these mixed feeders were lessening the formula milk intake of their babies and were slowly going back to exclusive breastfeeding (due to lack of clean water).
The 3 bottles of milk were used not because there were babies who needed the milk but because they had been thawed and couldn’t be re-frozen. The breast milk was instead fed to toddlers who loved the milk!
During the drive organized by the Philippine General Hospital a week before, the group brought 2 cooler-chests of milk. But as reported by my co-LATCHer Mec, a lot of moms were already breastfeeding exclusively or mixed. Thus the thawed milk ended up also being given to toddlers.
Apparently, breastmilk drive was not of utmost importance but rather it was the information or encouragement to go back to exclusive breastfeeding that was needed by the moms at the evacuation centers. Moms who were exclusively breastfeeding also needed to be praised and protected as there were some ignorant donors who were donating formula milk (see next paragraph!).
- Just because they are an international organization doesn’t mean that they know what to do.
Going on breastfeeding missions is not included in the regular activities of LATCH. We are primarily a support group who counsel mothers. We were requested by a big international organization to work with them and the local government units to visit the evacuation centers as volunteers.
We were pretty new at this kind of thing so during our first visit, we were somewhat unprepared. We had our own transportation, made our own visuals and prepared our own giveaways.
For the second visit, we had more time to prepare and were able to make loot bags with laundry soaps, a child’s shirt and sanitary napkin, to give away. One of the LATCHers also prepared bihon for the participants. These may seem meager but money for these goods came from our own or our friends’ and families’ pockets -- and this was after most of us had donated to other civic organizations who earlier called for relief goods donations.
This international organization dictated the places we were supposed to go to. They even asked the volunteers to go to Sta. Rosa which is about 1.5 hours away from Metro Manila. Now, we are volunteer moms who have full-time jobs or run a business or take care of our houses. Some of the volunteers are community moms who need to work to put food on their tables for the next day. Thus, we asked that our transportation fees be reimbursed and that this international organization prepare the loot bags. For the community mothers, we asked that they be given at least P1,000 (roughly USD$20) for a day's work.The international organization balked. Apparently, they had already given a huge amount to another international children's organization who had no clue about breastfeeding. This international children's organization, in turn, turned to various breastfeeding counselor groups, asking them to work almost gratis. And this international children's organization even had the nerve to suggest formula donations - when the numbers show that the exclusively breastfed children greatly outnumbered the formula-fed or mixed-fed babies! For the initial Sta. Rosa mission, the group agreed to go in exchange for transportation to be arranged by the international organization. They had also promised to prepare the goody bags but since we had been able to solicit and make 500 bags, we told them that for this mission, they just needed to prepare the transportation. Meeting time was 730am on a Saturday to allow the group to get to the site before 10am and be back in the city in the afternoon. 10am - and the group was still waiting for the non-existent transportation promised by the international organization!! Needless to say, the mission for that weekend was cancelled. The mission eventually pushed through about a week later but this time, the blinders were off and we knew and emphasized that this mission is by our group and not in partnership with any other organization.
- Don’t go without bringing anything
Finally, we learned that when doing the missions, we needed to bring goody or loot bags to the mothers. These moms lost almost everything and although they were not doing anything, by participating during the talks, they feel that they contributed something and needed to be "paid." During the first mission, it was quite chaotic since we brought whatever we could find - mix of clothes, bedsheets, toys, soaps and toiletries. The moms wanted to exchange what they received and kept comparing what their neighbors got. For the next missions, we knew better and prepared standard loot bags for the moms.Most of the evacuation centers have been cleared out as the government has implemented a "Balik Probinsya" (return to the province) program. As a result, there were a couple of missions cancelled because the evacuees were no longer there or were too busy packing. With more typhoons predicted to come to the Philippines, I expect that we might be called to volunteer again in the future. Our experience with Ondoy has opened up our eyes to several realizations and prepared to us better for future missions. But for now, our organization has decided to move on and focus on our primary mission/purpose which is to counsel and support breastfeeding moms.