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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Birth Experiences and Its Effect on Breastfeeding

Welcome to the Carnival of Breastfeeding for October. This month's topic is about birth and breastfeeding - on how your birth experience affected your breastfeeding relationship with your child. Please scroll down to read the entries of the other carnival participants.

breastfeeding cousins
Picture this:
Mom A gave birth to a full-term baby girl through normal delivery with epidural. Baby Girl A is 6 pounds, 5 ounces and healthy. She was whisked off for about 10 minutes to be checked, weighed and wiped down. Baby Girl A was returned to Mom A's arms and she was able latch within 1 hour from birth, roomed-in and constantly experienced skin-to-skin contact.
Mom B gave birth to a premature baby girl through normal delivery with epidural. Baby Girl B is 4 pounds, 4 ounces and born at 32 weeks, 6 days old. She was whisked off by the neonatologist and placed in the NICU. She was never roomed in and separated from her parents for 2 weeks. Mom B visited her at the NICU for breastfeeding opportunities but only after 1 week. Prior to that she was fed with glucose water intravenously as neonatologist thought that she would choke on colostrum.
One month later…
Baby Girl A is now being mixed fed. At 2 weeks, she was diagnosed with jaundice and pediatrician recommended that she be given formula for at least 24 hours. Since then, Mom A started having supply problems. Mom A was able to recover and up her supply only when Baby Girl A was 7 weeks. Earlier on, Mom A also experienced sore and bleeding nipples due to improper latch.
Baby Girl B is still exclusively breastfed. After having latched at 2 weeks, she was nursing like a champ. Mom B never experienced sore nipples. Mom B also had supply problems but received breastmilk from relatives and friends. Baby Girl B is exclusively on breastmilk and has never tasted formula.
At 6 months…
Baby Girl A is back to being on exclusive breastmilk and has started solids. Mom A is back to work and has sustained milk supply to be able to meet Baby Girl A’s needs and donate extra milk.
Baby Girl B is still on exclusive breastmilk and has started solids. Mom B is back to work, still has milk supply issues but managed to meet Baby Girl B’s needs.
I think by now you may have guessed that I’m talking about me and my sister’s birth experience. I have previously shared about my experiences and my niece’s birthing story. However, for this carnival, I’d like to emphasize that whatever the birthing experience of the mom, there are other more important factors that will impact the breastfeeding relationship.
Top most of these important factors would be INFORMATION. When my daughter’s pediatrician suggested that I give her formula for jaundice, I didn’t know better. I never attempted to find a breastfeeding friendly pediatrician (I assumed that all were BF advocates) and thus get a second opinion.
Meanwhile, my sister immediately switched to breastfeeding friendly pediatrician when my niece turned 1 month. Their old pediatrician had mandated a 1 kilogram weight gain each month. My niece gained about 800 grams per month which was okay with the new pediatrician. The new pediatrician understood that babies grew in different ways and watched the developmental milestones instead of the weighing scale. Had they stayed with the old pediatrician, my niece would’ve been prescribed formula to up her weight.
Why did we make the choices we make? I didn’t know better and was ignorant of available resources. Meanwhile, my sister already learned from my experiences and was also able to read breastfeeding books and research on breastfeeding friendly pediatricians.
Another factor is SUPPORT.
When I gave birth, I only had my husband, Stan with me. Although there were lactation consultants that we visited, we didn’t really get relevant and helpful information. One LC even gave us free Enfamil 2oz. bottles! Meanwhile, when my sister gave birth, she already had a knowledgeable nanny, my mom turned advocate and of course, persistent sister with breastfeeding experience (although I have to admit that it was more difficult to counsel my sister compared to strangers and friends). Plus, my sister had a network of friends and relatives to turn to when her milk supply was low. She also had a very supportive doctor who worked with her and encouraged her to continue giving breastmilk to her daughter.
Let me conclude by saying that the birthing experience can have a ripple but not lasting effect on your breastfeeding relationship with your child. However, in the long run, other factors such as information and support are more effective in enabling mom and baby to bond at the breast and establishing a successful and enduring breastfeeding relationship.
Here are the other carnival participants. Links will be added through the end of the day:
Crib Keeper @ Tales from the Crib: On Not Being Discouraged
Suchada @ Mama Eve: Birth and Breastfeeding
Christina @ Massachusetts Friends of Midwives: Early Intervention Lactation Help
Jenny @ Chronicles of a Nursing mom: Birth Experiences and Its Effect on Breastfeeding
Michelle @ Mama Bear: Long, wide shadow of bad births
Sarah @ Reproductive Rites: Fighting for Breastfeeding
Tanya @ Motherwear Blog: The Birth/Breastfeeding Continuum
Andi @ Mama Knows Breast:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Blog Giveaway: Nipple Cream from Motherlove

Scroll down to the end of the post
Do you know a pregnant or new mom who would like to try out Motherlove products?

Motherlove just celebrated their 20th anniversary -- they have been making natural, safe and effective products (without toxins!) for women since before any other company thought it was necessary. To give you an idea of the history and legacy of this company, Motherlove has been in business over twice as long as any other truly-safe brand. Their products are all rated 0 on Skin Deep for toxicity (zero is the lowest possible rating).
Their most popular product is the More Milk Plus galactagogue which has been considered effective by both lactation counselors and moms alike. My sister used More Milk Special Blend which we bought for HKD$390 at MamaBBShop in Tsimshatsui. Locally, this product is not available except from multiply resellers through pre-orders. Nearest retailer would be Hong Kong or you can choose to order from the Motherlove website - worldwide international shipping is available through UPS. Shipping costs may be calculated through the online shopping cart. 
Motherlove products are now locally available from Hatch & Latch!

For this giveaway, Motherlove is offering their Nipple Cream.
The Nipple Cream is the only USDA Certified 100% Organic nipple cream on the market today, and Motherlove has been making this product lanolin-free for over a decade. Completely safe for mom and baby, Nipple Cream is a softening salve for sore, cracked nursing nipples. Helping to quickly heal skin and relieve discomfort, the cream is safe for ingestion and does not need to be wiped off prior to nursing.
Ingredients are: extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, shea butter, marshmallow root and calendula - all certified organic ingredients. Motherlove further assures moms that the Nipple Cream does not contain lanolin (which contains pesticides) or Vitamin E (which should not be ingested by infants). Check out Motherlove's Blog for more on what ingredients should not be in nipple creams/ointments.
To join this giveaway, here's what you need to do:
1. Visit Motherlove's Product page and leave a comment on which product you'd love to be locally available.
2. Like Chronicles of a Nursing Mom on Facebook and Like Motherlove on Facebook
3. Tweet about this giveaway - @crazydigger Win Motherlove's Nipple Cream
4. Blog about this giveaway
*1 entry per item - you can do just 1 or all 4 :D
Don't forget to leave a comment about the entries you did. You don't have to leave 1 comment per entry. I will print your entries and have my daughter Naima draw, ala Chuvaness style. :) This contest is open to all Philippine residents and I will ship your item to you for free. Contest ends on 30 October 2010, 12midnight - extended to 2 November 2010!


Sorry for the delay.. but I'm happy to announce that we have a winner.

Congrats Kirei_Tenshi!! Please email me within 72 hours to claim your prize. Otherwise, we will have to draw another winner.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing?

What do you think of milk companies banding together with the purpose of improving awareness of and access to appropriate nutrition for infants and young children?

I recently came across this organization - Infant Pediatric and Nutrition Association of the Philippines which is a "trade association" composed of Abbot, Fonterra, Mead Johnson, Nestle and Wyeth. Their website has a lot of broken links but I found the website of their developer, which lists down their purposes, goals, etc. Here are some screenshots and I let you be the judge.

Why do these milk companies need to band together? The screenshot above may be too small.. so here are their guiding principles and objectives

Guiding Principles and Objectives

To promote responsible business practices and ethics among IPNAP member-companies;

  1. To provide infants and young children food products that are scientifically formulated, safe, nutritious, and of the highest quality;
  2. To disseminate up-to-date, factual and trustworthy information on infant and young child nutrition;
  3. To develop better public understanding of matters relating to the Industry;
  4. To be a key contributor in the development of appropriate regulations governing the Industry, and to ensure compliance therewith;
  5. To engage key stakeholders in achieving the IPNAP vision and mission; and
  6. To be an effective voice for the industry.
First photo and set of officers is as of 2009-2010 - could this be in response to the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations and the Supreme Court's ruling that the same is valid (except for a couple of provisions)?
Definitely an organization to keep an eye on - particularly on how they could insidiously engage "key stakeholders" towards achieving their vision and mission - like that of Mead Johnson's partnership with the DSWD.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Breastfeeding as Part of the Curriculum

I came across this blog from a nursing mom who is a doctor in Davao City. In her post entitled "Breastfeeding and Medical School", she shared that what was taught in medical school was the difference between cow's milk and breastmilk and how to lecture on breastfeeding. "HOW TO BREASTFEED" was not at all taught. I think that this is the reason why most pediatricians pay lip service to breastfeeding by simply telling moms "mag-breastfeed kayo" without really showing moms how to do it -- they themselves don't know how either!
Meanwhile, over in PhdinParenting's Post on the AAP Conference sponsored by big formula companies, commentators noted how pediatricians were not at all trained in nutrition - which I believe is also a reason why most of them believe that formula is equivalent or closely approximates breastmilk.
Interestingly, a July 2010 article in Pediatrics Magazine entitled "Residency Curriculum Improves Breastfeeding Care" had the following conclusion:
A targeted breastfeeding curriculum for residents in pediatrics, family medicine, and obstetrics and gynecology improves knowledge, practice patterns, and confidence in breastfeeding management in residents and increases exclusive breastfeeding in their patients. Implementation of this curriculum may similarly benefit other institutions.
I am unsure if the release of that article resulted in this development - but the American Academy of Pediatrics has a breastfeeding initiatives website and more importantly, has recognized the need to further train physicians to support breastfeeding moms and has established a Breastfeeding Residency Curriculum. Given that our own Philippine Pediatric Society, Inc. is highly influenced by the AAP, I'm hoping that a similar curriculum be developed and applied to the local medical schools as well. I checked the PPS website and found a Committee on Breastfeeding chaired by 2 doctors with an immediate project of polishing breastfeeding guidelines for health care providers.

What is interesting about the conclusion in the Pediatrics Journal and the proposed guidelines is that they are meant not only for pediatricians but for all health care providers. I can't emphasize how important it is to find not only a breastfeeding friendly pediatrician but a BF friendly OB-gyne as well. I've heard too many stories from moms who were told by their ob-gynes that since they had mastitis, they had to stop breastfeeding or were told to stop breastfeeding due to medicines being given to them (without bothering to check MIMS if the medicines were safe for lactation or if an alternative safe medication can be given)!

In 2009, the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine released Protocol No. 19 - Breastfeeding Promotion in the Prenatal Setting, which I think is a must reading not only for ob-gynes but also for moms who are shopping for ob-gynes. The protocol outlines how ob-gynes can transform their clinics into one supportive of breastfeeding moms and likewise provides guidelines for examining moms during specific periods of their pregnancy.

Remember my POLL in August on whether mandatory breastfeeding should be made a law? Results below:

Yes! While breastfeeding may not seem the right choice for every parent, it is the best choice for every baby. - Amy Spangler
4 (9%)
No! Breastfeeding is a personal choice - Bethany Frankel
8 (18%)
A mandatory breastfeeding information law would be better
20 (46%)
A mandatory breastfeeding curriculum for pediatricians and ob-gynes would be better.
29 (67%)
A stricter restriction (with steeper penalties) on formula milk marketing would be better.
24 (55%)

The top answer was a mandatory curriculum in medical school. Obviously, too many of my readers have been "victims" of uninformed medical providers and I'm sure most (if not all moms) would have had an experience with a non-breastfeeding friendly health provider - whether their ob-gyne, pediatrician or nurse! It is time to change the medical school curriculum!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nurse Me Tender - Would you buy one?!

Oh my gosh!! What will they think of next?!!

Nurse Me Tender was invented by Christa Anderson who nursed her baby up to 11 months. The gadget straps the bottle to your chest with the purpose of stimulating nursing and can be used by both male or female caregivers.

Reminds me of Meet the Fockers?!!! Would you buy one?! I don't think I will!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Celebrating Motherhood - a Blog Contest

Head on over the The Painter's Wife where my online store, Mama.Baby.Love is a sponsor of Eliza's "Celebrating Motherhood" Contest. I met Eliza once during a La Leche League meeting and we've been Gmail chatmates ever since. Her husband is a painter (obviously - from her blog title!!) who did her header. I'm envious that her husband also has lined up paintings of Eliza when she was pregnant and while she is breastfeeding her son, Basti. I would also love a breastfeeding painting! Anyways, for more details of the contest and how to join, check out her blog. Good luck!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Breastfeeding Classes for October 2010

Here are the schedule of classes for October 2010:

A. La Leche Group Support Meetings
  • October 9 at the Baby and Co. Podium Branch - 11am-1230pm. This will be facilitated by Dr. Pat Kho (IBCLC).
  • October 30 at the Baby and Co. Rockwell Branch - 11am-1230pm. This used to be held in Rustan's Makati. Class will be facilitated by Abbie Yabot, Certified Lactation Counselor. Pre-registration is a must via email or text (09228292268). Please send your name, partner's name, contact number, email address and age of baby. Topic will be support from husband and others.

B. The Breastfeeding Club
  • October 23 at The Medela House. Class is Breastfeeding 2020 which covers topics such as at home with the baby, how to increase milk supply, pumping and storage, giving expressed breastmilk, teething, solids and nutrition. Please register with Maricel Cua (09175614366).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Other People's Breastmilk

I came across this very interesting series entitled "Other People's Breastmilk". It is on a UK channel - Channel 4 and unfortunately, although the entire episode can be viewed online, it doesn't seem to be allowed outside the UK. A synopsis of the series is as follows:

Kate Garraway - herself the mother of a two-year-old daughter - investigates the pros and cons of cross-feeding, breast-milk donation and wet-nursing by meeting some of the growing numbers of women who share each other's milk.

'I'm on a journey to find people who believe milk has to be from the breast,' says Kate, 'people who buy it, sell it, people who give it away and people who even feed each other's babies. To many this might seem weird, but they challenge us that it's actually much weirder to give our babies cows' milk than it is to drink milk from another woman. It's a journey I won't forget in a hurry.'

The people Kate meets include sisters who cross-feed their babies; women who are able to breast-feed even though they have never been pregnant; surrogate mothers who produce two gallons of milk a week for donation; and a cancer sufferer who believes breast milk has cured his condition.

I was really interested to watch about milk sharing since I have shared milk, my niece has received milk and I have a sister-in-law pregnant with triplets who is considering a wet nurse. Channel 4 also links to a "Breastfeeding Help and Information" Page filled with resources, links and organizations in the UK that can help moms successfully breastfeed.
I'm not sure how big Channel 4 is in the UK (their programs do include popular US series such as How I Met Your Mother, Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, The Closer, Smallville, etc.) but I am intrigued that they included a program specifically about breastfeeding/breastmilk plus they have a link on their homepage about breastfeeding resources.
Locally, we do have QTV airing breastfeeding commercials (only during August) but apart from being featured in talk shows or the news (if there are newsworthy events), I haven't come across a local channel airing a documentary entirely about breastfeeding. One episode on I-Witness entitled "Kape Para Kay Lean" focused on malnutrition in the children of Pasacao, Camarines Sur where children never taste milk from their mothers but are fed with rice coffee instead. Looking at the local major stations's TV show line-up, I think that a breastfeeding documentary could be a proper topic forThe Correspondents or Dokumentado or I-Witness.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Yaya Training and Price Drop from Medela Moms

First, let me start off by saying that you don't really need a breastpump to successfully breastfeed. In a previous post, I shared the experiences of several breastfeeding moms who were able to express milk for their babies without using a breastpump. That said, I am a breastpump user and I do know how expensive breastpumps can be. This is why I would like to share this email I received from the MedelaMoms of The Medela House about the price drop of the Freestyle Pump from P28,000 to P20,000 until 15 31 October 2010!
During the most recent visit of the Asia Pacific Sales Director of Medela Switzerland last Sept. 6, he also approved another pricing experiment that we need your support on. From Sept.15 to Oct.15, the Freestyle will be on sale at P20,000 (vs. P28,000). Please spread the word. If we also reach a certain volume sold during this time period, we will appeal for another permanent price rollback on this latest innovation from Medela!
Meanwhile, their PISA Pump is now permanently priced at P19,000.00 from P28,700,
three years ago.
We would also like to share with you that, due to the successful PISA Warehouse Sale last August, our principal (Medela Switzerland) has approved a permanent price rollback!!! :) We did it, mommies!!! Thank you for your support!!! The regular price of our Pump In Style Advanced is now down to P19,000 from P28,700 3 years ago!!! That's a HUGE jump that we, MedelaMoms Inc, have perseveringly lobbied and worked for so that more Filipino moms can benefit from the wonders of Medela products :) Without the support of our loyal customers, we wouldn't be able to make this happen. We will continuously work on our services and loyalty program for our pump customers as our "thank you" for the belief and trust given to us. We are honored (as breastfeeding mommies ourselves) to represent the Filipino mom's needs to the #1 breastfeeding company in the world - Medela.
If you mention to Maricel or Beng that you got the information about the price drop from this blog, you will get a loot bag filled with Cycles and Cradle samplers, QuickClean Microsteam Bag and 30 bra pads.
Aside from being staunch breastfeeding advocates, MedelaMoms Maricel and Beng are also work at home moms. This is why it is best to call for an appointment before dropping by The Medela House.
The Medela House is a breastfeeding center, showroom, and office. It is not a retail store. Therefore, bear with us if we are strict on not entertaining "walk-ins". We are hands-on with our children and in a way, breastfeeding and Medela are like "children" to us. MedelaMoms would like to entertain each one of you personally.
Breastfeeding classes organized by The Breastfeeding Club are also regularly held at The Medela House. Upcoming schedule during the 'ber months include Breastfeeding 2020 on 23 October 2010 at 9am and Breastfeeding 303 on 27 November 2001, also at 9am. To register, text 09175614366. The fee is P500 for 3 classes.

Aside from breastfeeding classes, yaya training seminars were also previously held at The Medela House. Due to the success of their first 2 seminars and the requests of the southern moms, MedelaMoms decided to bring their seminar to BF Homes Paranaque! Program outline of the seminar is below. For further inquiries, conduct The Medela House directly at 0917-5614366 or 725-3723 or 738-6272 or 964-7331.
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