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Monday, August 30, 2010

To cap off the breastfeeding month celebrations, let me share photos taken by The Stork Studio's Stanley Ong and Sofia Genato which LATCH used for the exhibit during Breastfeeding Week at Eastwood Mall.
Karen and Ino

Celebrity mom Tintin Bersola-Babao with her 2nd born baby Nio at 4 months.
This was shot for Working Mom Magazine

Palawan-based Monica with Santi
LATCH President Buding with Colby
Benz with 4-month old Laya
Charmaine with Cameron

Host Amanda Griffin-Jacob with Caleb
This was shot for The Farm at San Benito

Claire and Ranyag
Coykee and Amara
and of course, Naima and me.
This photo was taken when she was just 7 months old. Since then, we have amassed a number of breastfeeding photos which I really should compile!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

You & Me & Mommy at SM Megamall

One more last hurrah for breastfeeding month! On 27 August 2010, SM Supermalls with Department of Health, World Health Organization and UNICEF will be organizing a breastfeeding celebration entitled Bosom Buddies: We all support breastfeeding mommies. It will be at the Activity Center, Building A.
The event will comprise a press conference in the morning, a talk show in the afternoon and a whole day exhibit. The exhibit will be of 10 mompreneur businesses that have products/services that support the pregnant and/or breastfeeding mom.
Meanwhile, the talk show will be hosted by Patricia Bermudez-Hizon with a range of topics and activities. There will be a talk by certified breastfeeding counselor Abbie Yabot on Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby and Mom with Ten Tips for Breastfeeding Success, a sharing by 2 dads (Jen's Stan and Maybelle's Kenneth) of their experiences with breastfeeding, a testimonial by former Ms. Maja Philippines Iza Bungubung on Beauty, Brains and Breastfeeding and tips and tricks by me on sustaining milk supply and continuing breastfeeding at the end of maternity leave.
Apart from the talks and sharing, there will also be various activities interspersed with the talk show - Touch Therapy by Johnson & Johnson, a Diaper Dads Game, Expressing Milk at Work - Packing the Essentials by Candice Yaw and a Mommy in Style Fashion Show by Mommy Matters and Mothers En Vogue.
Save the date and hope to see you there!

Monday, August 23, 2010

(Breast)Milk and Cookies

photo from
I previously shared a recipe for oatmeal lactation cookies which I got online and tweaked according to my preference and local ingredients available. So I was quite amused to read this article on breastfeeding cookies now available in the market. I did some online research and found 2 cookie brands:

Created by The Mommy Doctors Bakery, this brand was developed by 2 mommy physicians. Comes in two flavors - Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Almond and sells for $20.99 for 14 cookies or $119.99 for a 3-month supply of 30 cookies per month.

2. Milkmakers
Created by a mom of 3 who comes from a family of bakers, this comes only in 1 variant - chocolate chip oatmeal cookie and sells for $44 for 1 month supply of 30 cookies or $132 for a 3-month supply of 30 cookies per month.

So what's so special about these cookies? If you check the ingredients list of both brands, the special ingredients would be oats, brewer's yeast and flaxseed - which are known galactagogues and are included in every lactation cookie recipe you can find on the internet. Milkin' Cookies has an additional ingredient - wheat germ which contains Inositol (Vitamin B8), deficiency of which is said to cause lactation problems.

At about Php70 per cookie, I probably would just make my own oatmeal lactation cookies!! Would you buy? Hmm... business idea for local breastfeeding homebakers!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Don't forget to visit the Rockwell Tent this Weekend!

Don't forget to visit All About Baby and Belly Mama Fairs this weekend at the Rockwell Tent! I will be there along with Stan plus a lot of mompreneur friends! Check out the list of exhibitors below:

LAJ Marketing
Learning is Fun
Obsidian Trading
Zaigen Ventures
Kinder Music
Boogie Bear Boutique
Hoola Enterprises
plus more!!
See you there!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pumping Restraints on your type of Job

photo from
Sometime in May, I came upon an article about a receptionist in New York who was fired for pumping at work. Actually, she was permitted to pump up until her child was 1 year old (although NY state law allowed moms to pump for up to 3 years after baby's birth). She wanted to continue and was eventually fired (even before her child turned 1).
This article made me think about the Pinay working moms who are restricted from pumping because of their type of job. I'm talking about bank tellers, security guards, janitors, receptionists and the like. These employees are required to be on their posts the entire time they are on duty. How about a shop girl who is the only person in a store? If you haven't noticed, a lot of boutiques, mail shops, laundry shops are manned by only 1 person. Will the shop girl be closing the shop during the 15-20 minutes break she uses to pump? Probably, these employees could choose to pump at the workplace (near the cash register or telephone perhaps) and just wear a nursing bib. Hmm.... how to entertain customers who walk in while the shop girl is pumping though?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Poll: Mandatory Breastfeeding as Law

If you've been reading breastfeeding news this past week, I'm sure you've heard about the Gisele Bundchen breastfeeding brouhaha. In an interview with Harpers Bazaar UK, Gisele stated that mandatory breastfeeding should be worldwide law. After angry comments, Gisele backed down and issued a special message in her blog. But it seems that Indonesia is listening to Gisele with the implementation of its 2009 Law on Health, beginning October 2010. Under this law, Indonesian women who do not breastfeed newborns and employers who do not support the breastfeeding movement will be imprisoned or fined. The Indonesian government is also taking steps to restrict marketing of breastmilk substitutes.
I highly support the issuance of a decree restricting formula milk marketing but I'm not too comfortable either with the mandatory breastfeeding law. I feel that it just fans the flames of 'mommy wars' and provides additional hardships to mothers - if you imprison the non-breastfeeding moms, who will take care of their babies?

Would you support a mandatory Philippine Breastfeeding Law?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Glamourmom's Buy One Give One Campaign

Glamourmom, best known for its easy access nursing tanks and tops, is sponsoring a "Buy One, Give One donation program". The campaign started on 1 August 2010 and will end on 31 August 2010. For every product purchase at the Glamourmom US and UK websites, Glamourmom will match it by donating a nursing bra tank to moms in various developing countries (wonder if this includes the Philippines?) and domestic organizations assisting moms and babies in need.
Glamourmom does ship to the Philippines at a pricey $37!
But if you have access to U.S. shopping and to a U.S. delivery address, now is the best time to buy a Glamourmom item!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Inspirational Breastfeeding Projects

I am totally inspired by 2 breastfeeding related projects I recently read about.

The first is Best for Babes' BYOBoobz™ - "a home party kit with tools and resources needed to make your community truly babe-worthy and breastfeeding friendly". Breastfeeding advocacy should be dedicated to the community - I'm a believer - that it takes a village to help a mom and her baby breastfeed successfully. The home party kit will be launched on September 29.
Aside from educating the community, the kit could also be perfect for a baby shower party! Locally, Pam Magallon has prepared a guide to organizing a breastfeeding-friendly shower party. I know the party organizers mean well, but all the baby showers I've attend always involve some form of artificial nipple - bottle or pacificer. Breastfeeding stuff (e.g. pads, nursing bibs, pillows) are usually not included in the baby registry or as gifts (unless a breastfeeding mom presents the gift). A similar BYOBoobz kit available locally would be a fun way of educating the new mom and her community/support group about breastfeeding and how to help her succeed with it.
Next is the Laramie Breastfeeding Bag Project started by Amanda Mack at her local hospital in Wyoming. She shared the step by step procedure on how you can start a breastfeeding bag project in your own locality. Her efforts have certainly paid off. Barely a week after her post, several similar projects have been started in Kentucky, Michigan, Orlando, Houston and Port City!
The hospital where I gave birth at conducted breastfeeding classes and had a breastfeeding center to boot. However, when Naima and I were discharged, guess what we got? An Enfamil Diaper Bag with a Changing Pad, Enfamil Lipil water bottle and sachets of Enfamil powder! So much for being breastfeeding friendly, huh? Meanwhile, at our first well child visit at the local pediatrician's office, we got another Enfamil giveaway - this time it was a lunch bag filled with 2 small Enfamil cans. At this point, Naima and I were still exclusively breastfeeding and I had been really determined to pursue despite the sore nipples, worries about milk supply. Plus, I had a supportive husband who cheered me on to continue nursing Naima.
However, not all moms are able to resist the temptation of that can of formula lying on the dresser. As Mi'Ann shares, she was able to speak to a mom who had a 3-day old baby, had engorged breasts but was giving formula to her baby because her hospital had included formula samples in her take home bag. There are even stories of some nurseries bottle feeding babies, despite mom's clear instruction about breastfeeding.
A "Philippine Breastfeeding Bag Project" is certainly an ideal project. But I'm wondering if it will be feasible? I can't remember where I read this but formula companies spend $27 per baby for marketing while the US government allocates $0.21 per baby for breastfeeding marketing. A similar concern exists for this project - would there be sponsors for the hospital take home bag and its contents? Plus, compared to the US breastfeeding bag projects which are based in hospital with births at 40 per month, I think that Philippine hospitals have birth ratios that are much much higher than that! It is much easier and cheaper for hospitals to rely on milk or pharma companies to sponsor the bags but I definitely think that real breastfeeding friendly hospitals should allocate some part of their budget for this project.
Any breastfeeding mom/advocate up for these projects?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Thawing Tips from a Pumping Mama

This is Part II of Benz Rana's tips. Read Part I - Freezing Milk HERE.

Run a frozen pack over tap water. Notice milk goes down in seconds.

Place pack in hot cup of water

Pull out pack once desired milk temperature is reached. Others want it warm, some just wants it thawed and a bit cold. (what do you prefer?)

Cut pack using scissors. During the early days we just make a small cut to avoid spillage.

Pour and serve. Bon Apetit, baby!

Part I - Freezing Tips

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Invitation to Sunday's Event!

PSA from L.A.T.C.H.
Please don't forget to attend the LATCH/Eastwood event this Sunday Aug 8 :-) This month is World Breastfeeding Month and my breastfeeding advocacy group LATCH has been working with Megaworld to help celebrate the occasion. We've been having activities this whole week, starting with the launch of the breastfeeding room and a photo exhibit. Right now, there is an ongoing mommy marketplace selling baby stuff and breastfeeding-friendly merchandise.

The culminating event is on Sunday and we prepared a great line up of activities!

Here's a quick look at the schedule:
1-2 pm Talk on Breastfeeding and Babywearing by LATCH
3-3:30 Yoga demonstration by Jornada Yoga
3:30-4:00 Cooking Demonstration by CCA
4:00-4:30 Make-Up demo by Face Shop
4:30 pm A celebrity fashion show featuring Bianca Araneta-Elizalde's maternity/nursing line called Eden. The children will be dressed in Periwinkle and Baby Fashionista. Accessories by Tweetie de Leon.

I hope you can help us in raising awareness about the breastfeeding culture we are trying to promote :-) Hope to see you there! Thanks again.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Freezing Tips from a Pumping Mama

For August, our guest post was written by Benz Rana, owner of Weddings@Work. Early in her nursing career, Benz had doubts about being able to provide enough milk for her newborn Laya. But with perseverance and determination, she consistently nursed and expressed milk, allowing her to store more than 300oz. of milk in her freezer. Due to the numerous emails she received asking her how she organizes her frozen milk, she came up with a step-by-step guide on freezing and thawing milk.

August Guest Post by Benz Rana - Part I covers Freezing Tips. Part II covers Thawing Tips

What you need:

Sealer – P690 (I got mine from Office Warehouse, saw the same model at National Bookstore for P1190)

Playtex Pre Sterilized Disposable Liners – P449/box of 125 pcs (available at all leading department stores)

Glad Freezer Ziplock Bags – 26.8cm x 27.3 cm 15pcs per box (I assume they are

available at all leading supermarket I got mine at SM Hypermart)

Expressed Milk

When using the sealer there are heat settings ranging from1to 8, 1 being the least hot to 8 being the hottest. I tinkered with it and found my setting to be 2.5 where I press it at roughly 2 seconds, with my daughter (Benz has an 11 year-old daughter, Kite) she presses longer so I put the setting at 1.

Do play with it before you actually use it for your milk. I suggest putting water in the disposable liner so you get an actual feel of sealing it. I tried filling the liner up till 7 oz and I cant do it, it fills since it seals horizontal.

I prefer Playtex Liner over the sealable bags as this is way cheaper also trying to achive a flat frozen bag is not possible with the sealable bags.

To start storing I pull the number of bags I need depending on how many oz. of milk I am going to pack and seal for that batch.I also tried the 4oz bag but they come out bulky thus it wastes freezer space so I use the 8oz bag even when I just fill it up to 2 oz. I know I am wasting the bags by not filling it to the maximum and thus leaving more carbon footprint but I figured my milk is more precious.

I usually store freshly expressed milk in feeding bottles and let them stay in the ref until I have time to pack and freeze or until I gather enough for a batch. A batch for me is between 6-14 oz. or 3 to 7bags.

The reason I do not pack and seal them immediately is because I want expressed milk to be available in our ref for darling daughter anytime. (I read that milk hierarchy is breast, room temperature, ref milk then last is frozen milk – meaning breastmilk has most nutrients and antibodies and it depletes as you go next level, but frozen milk is still better than any other formula milk)

Tip: do not allow having too much milk in a batch as it is quite difficult to freeze several bags at the same time unless you have spacious/strong freezer.

I write down the date on the bag before pouring the milk. It is very hard to write on it once the milk is in. If a batch were expressed on different days (say, 4 oz was expressed today and the other 4 oz were expressed yesterday), I indicate the date yesterday.

I decided on a 2oz milk partition as 2oz thaws faster, besides I am usually out for a short period of time only. Although packing them in 4-6oz may be wiser for a mom who’s regularly out a long period of time. Adjust milk partition to suit your lifestyle and/or your baby’s drinking pattern.

Then I seal it.

I let it rest on something after sealing as the top part is quite hot, though it cools very quickly.

This is the sealed pack.

If I wasn’t able to take of all the air then there will be bubbles in the pack. Those bubbles are not harming they just eats space so no problem about that.

After sealing, I place the new batch in the freezer. I just place them on top of our ice trays.

There’s also another tray that I use, if I have several packs to freeze.

Once frozen,

I place the batch in a small plastic bags first, then move them in 1 Ziplock bag when I reach 25 packs, for easier


25 packs of 2oz milk bags fits perfectly in this Ziplock bags if flat. Do not forget to mark and date the

Ziplock bags so you know which

pack to use first. FIFO (first in/first out) rules apply.

Monday, August 2, 2010

I breastfeed because....

Check out the email I got below:

Have a voice. Share your thoughts. Be among the first to tell the world, “I Breastfeed Because…”

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7, Ameda breast pumps launch the “I Breastfeed Because…” campaign to give moms a voice on this important subject. Mothers who are currently breastfeeding, or have in the past, are invited to support breastfeeding by sharing their stories through 20-second videos on why they chose to breastfeed.

But, before the official launch of the campaign, we want to ask YOU to upload a video sharing your views. It’s simple! Just record a 20-second video – from a flip cam or web cam – that starts with the statement, “I Breastfeed Because…” and email the video to Rashidah. See below for posting instructions.

For every video, comment or tweet shared, Ameda will make a donation to the Human Milk Bank Association of North America (HMBANA), a non-profit association of donor human milk banks established in 1985 to set standards for and to facilitate establishment and operation of milk banks in North America.

But, there’s more, all mothers who share “I Breastfeed Because” videos will be entered to win the grand prize of a $2,500 nursery makeover or one of 25 secondary prizes -- $50 American Express gift cards.

Start recording your video now! (It will only take a few seconds) If the file is too large to send via email, feel free to use the upload form.

If you have any questions or concerns or need any additional information, please contact Rashidah Ferguson.

Update: 8/3/2010 - Mothers who are currently breastfeeding, or have in the past, are encouraged to log onto to upload 20-second videos that share the reasons why they chose to breastfeed.

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