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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

On Breastfeeding Number Two

This post was supposed to be submitted for the Carnival of Breastfeeding for June.  But hormones got in the way and I didn't make it to the deadline.

When we found out that I was pregnant with baby Flower (nicknamed by N), N was still nursing at night with no end in sight.  I considered allowing her to tandem nurse - then I thought that I had been ready to wean since early this year.  Our weaning experience was quite pleasant and couldn't have been more timely.  A couple of days after N weaned, I had some bleeding and was put on bed rest.  As with my pregnancy with N, the first trimester of this pregnancy is not easy - I throw up the whole day and couldn't eat.  I have already lost about 10lbs.

Plus I am concerned about how my breastfeeding experience with Flower will be.  My breastfeeding experience with N was quite difficult.  Since then, I have become started this blog, collected and read several breastfeeding books, become a certified peer counselor and counseled several moms on how to successfully breastfeed.   And this makes me more concerned about breastfeeding Flower.  What if I will have a more difficult experience than I did with N?  What if I have birthing issues?  Will I be able to breastfeed Flower as long as I did N?  What if I will have an experience like Katie Granju's?

N has been great in reminding me about Flower.  Whenever I get home from work, she immediately gives me a kiss and proceeds to kiss and say hi to Flower too. Admittedly, I haven't been connecting much with Flower this first trimester as I just want it to be over.  I am also concerned with how N will be when Flower is here.  For now, the "threat" isn't real yet so I don't really see any sibling jealousy.  But knowing how I was so into N during the first month, I can't imagine how my first month with Flower will be with N hovering about.

I wonder how moms of multiple kids or even multiple babies handle it?  Have you breastfed more than 1 child?  How different was your experience for each?

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Words, Words, Words

Reading 2 articles, Confessions of a Milk Machine and Breastfeeding - It's a Choice, made me realize that there is still a lot of educating that needs to be done in using certain words and terms in connection with breastfeeding.  


Let me start with the term "BREASTFEEDING NAZI".  Moms with bad breastfeeding experiences would undoubtedly call advocates, etc. as such.  I, myself, was guilty of using this term early on until I read this article by PhdinParenting.   Please click on the link and read on - it is quite a short article.


I realized that as Filipinos, we have no sense of the horrors experienced by Holocaust victims and survivors.  I don't even remember studying or hearing about the Holocaust in my World History class except perhaps as part of the chapter in World War I.  This is probably the reason why I used the term quite loosely.  Apparently, use of this term trivializes the sufferings of the Holocaust victims.  I've been more conscious about using this term to describe hard-core breastfeeding advocates.  I'm thinking about using the word "breastfeeding zealot" instead?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blog Giveaway: Celestina & Co. Pettiskirt and Flower Clip

One of the best things about having a girly-girl is dressing them up.  I am not a clothes horse but my daughter N is! (I wonder if she got that from her photographer-dad?!).  I truly enjoy buying her clothes and dressing her up while Stan enjoys taking photographs of her.  One of my favorite things to buy for her are hair accessories or what N calls "pretty-pretty".  And I have amassed a huge collection!! Luckily, my sister also has a girly-girl so we share hair accessories.
N and A's hair accessories collection
Most of N's accessories were purchased abroad since I found the local ones quite plain, badly made and just tacky.  Last year, I was pleased to learned that one of my LATCH co-peer counselors, Ethel Bernales would be launching her own business of hair accessories and pettiskirts.  We met up and I shared N's collection with her.  Early this year, she started her business - Celestina & Co. (named after her daughter) and has received great press since!


With our trip and my pregnancy, I haven't been able to prepare an event for my blogiversary (yes, my blog is 2 years old!) but Ethel has generously offered to sponsor a giveaway for moms with girly-girls!! The prize for this giveaway is 1 purple pettiskirt (size 0-12 months) and 1 flower clip.


We have purchased several of Ethel's flower clips and we love them!  Quality and price points of the hair accessories are great - comparable to my US-purchased clips (purchased at sale price!!)  Here are my favorites from Celestina & Co.'s collection:
Plum Silk Peony
Bumblebee Clip 
Red Floral Designer Handmade Blossom
Want to win the pettiskirt and flower clip gift set?  Here's how:
1. Like Chronicles of a Nursing Mom and Celestina & Co.'s Facebook Pages
2. Visit Celestina & Co.'s Multiply Page and leave a comment below on what is your favorite product.
3. Follow @mamababylove on Twitter and tweet this giveaway and include your Twitter ID in the comment below:  "@mamababylove Win a Celestina & Co. gift set! http://j.mp/jklCMA
4. Blog about this giveaway.
*1 entry per item - you can do just 1 or all 4!


Don't forget to leave comment about the entries you did.  You can leave just 1 comment, enumerating your entries.  Please note that I will validate the entries.  I will print the entries and have my daughter N draw the winner.  Contest is open to everyone with a Philippine address where I can ship the prize to.  Contest ends on 30 June 2011, 12 midnight.


We have a winner!

Congratulations to Aida Villanueva!  Please check your email.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Contest Announcement: DwellStudio Draw It, Color It, Win It Contest.

Check out this contest that Quirks Marketing Philippines is having:
DwellStudio Draw It, Color It, Win It Contest  

Mechanics:
1. Who can join? Kids between the ages of 2-6 years 
2. How? Parents should scan and email their kid's best drawing to promo@quirksmarketingph.com 
3. When? Entry Period is June 20-26, 2011.  Voting Period is June 28-July 12, 2011.

Some notes:
One entry per kid only. 
Drawings received will be posted on June 28, 2011 for voting.
If you send in your kids' drawing before 20 June 2011, the entry is disqualified.  You will know that your entry was not qualified if you do not receive an automated response coming from the system acknowledging their entry. 
You have to LIKE Quirks Marketing Philippines. The top 3 drawings that receives the most number of "LIKES" wins.

Prizes:
First Prize: DwellStudio Stamp Set, which includes 6-7 stamps, 2 stamp pads, and color pencils
Second and Third Prize: consolation prizes of DwellStudio items

Ready, Get Set? Join!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Shopping Guide: The Cloth Pad Diaries

I had been wanting to switch to cloth pads ever since my period returned at 19 months postpartum. However, I was hesitant to do so because I didn't know how to start and was unsure if I could sustain it.  Finally jumped the gun and imported several brands through my online store.   Use of cloth pads is still new in the Philippines but several brands are now available.
Unfolded cloth pad

Jane's Cloth Pad Stash
One of my mompreneur friends - Jane who runs The Eco Baby Boutique has 3 brands in her store - Fresh Moon, Fuzzi Bunz and Happy Heinys.

Meanwhile, in my online store, I likewise carry three brands - Mama Patch, Luna Pads and Domino Pads.

So why use cloth pads? Jane shares "[c]loth pads are not only healthier, they're earth-friendly, budget-friendly (if you use disposable pads 5 times a day for 7 days each month for 40 menstruating years, it all adds up to quite a lot!), and so much more comfortable, too!"

Another recent cloth pad convert, Margaux shares that her period has become shorter and lesser compared to when she was still using disposable pads.  Imagine if you menstruate for 33 years (12-45 years old) and use up about 20 pads per month? That would be 20 x 12 x 33 = 7,920 - almost 8,000 pads being thrown away by each woman!  And that's not counting the pantiliners if you do use them!
I think a major concern that women have with using cloth pads is washing them.  Jane shares her laundry tips - "Washing is easy -- simply rinse them under running water, or soak them in cold water for 20 minutes, then throw them in with the rest of your laundry!"

Read more of Jane's laundry tips HERE. Just like cloth diapers you can choose to include your cloth pads with your laundry or handwash them.  I hand wash my pads and usually soak them overnight to get rid of the stains.  Right after using the pads, I scrub the stain with PERLA soap, then soak overnight.  I'm usually able to wash the pads clean the next day. For persistent stains, I scrub the stain with PERLA and let it hang outside under the sun.  The stains then wash right off!
My cloth pad stash
The choice of cloth pads is very subjective and use varies from woman to woman.  I'd recommend that you do your research about the brands locally available and try to buy at least one cloth pad at first.  Similarly, using cloth pads is not an all or nothing approach.  You can start with just one or two pads, then slowly increase your stash as your body adjusts and you find the best mix of cloth pads to suit your needs.

I didn't purchase all my cloth pads at once but built up my stash slowly.  Also, I started by mixing cloth pads with disposables until I found the best cloth pad to use for a specific time or day.   Happily, 2 periods before I got pregnant, I was able to use cloth pads fully during my cycle.  Now, my cloth pads are on a break until after I give birth and with my experience with N, it will probably be about 2.5 years before I get to use them again!

Check out the cloth pads available over at Mama.Baby.Love and The Eco Baby Boutique!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Guest Post: Cup Feeding Ain't Hard to Do!

Today's Guest Post comes from Babymama Mi'Ann Oblea who runs the widely popular Babymama Facebook page.  Mi'Ann successfully cupfed her 2nd baby Tommy and shares her tips to moms who are interested in cupfeeding and would like to avoid introducing the bottle.

===================

It’s easy to convince moms to try to breastfeed their child. But it’s a different story when you ask them to cupfeed.

There are many reasons why moms choose bottlefeeding over cupfeeding. First, they’ve probably already received or invested in the top of the line bottle and nipple range so it would be a waste not to use them. Next, they might have never even heard of cupfeeding- at all. And third, even if they did hear about cupfeeding, it’s just too scary to try. Babies drinking from a cup? Naahhhh...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Why am I bothered when celebrities endorse formula milk

In late May, I posted a newspaper ad about Gladys Reyes becoming the new endorser of Abbott's Grow toddler formula.  Fellow LATCHer Mec posted the link on her Facebook page which resulted in an interesting and busy discussion on her wall.  Several moms didn't see anything wrong with Gladys (and Juday) endorsing toddler formula milk even when they breastfed their own babies.  Gladys has a 6-month old baby while Judy Ann has a 7-month old baby boy.   According to these moms, if the money was good, why not?  Besides, what they are endorsing is formula milk for toddlers (not babies - of course they can't that's prohibited by the Milk Code!) so there is nothing wrong with that, especially if the money being paid for these endorsements would really be substantial.
Gladys endorses Abbott's Grow
Judy Ann and Boy Abunda endorse Mead Johnson's Lactum
Let me try to explain why I am really bothered by these endorsers.  Number 1, regardless of the fact that the milk is for toddlers, it is still formula milk.  I had previously explained why formula milk is not necessary for toddlers so I'm not going to bring that up again.

Number 2- Gladys Reyes signed up to be a "breastfeeding friend" of the DOH Breastfeeding Tsek program and even hosted the launch! Seriously now, how can you be an effective breastfeeding advocate when you are also endorsing formula milk?

Plus, the people who look up to these celebrities should also be considered.  Have you seen this article from the Jakarta Globe?  As the article explains, "Her response is one shared by many mothers in Indonesia, who either through lack of choice or awareness feed their babies formula milk, often chosen on the basis of advertising hype, unfounded claims of health and mental development benefits and cost, doctors say. "

Advertising really plays a huge part in the choice of product that parents give their children.  And in this case, the decision of Gladys and Judy Ann to endorse formula milk will definitely have a huge impact.  As I previously shared, the milk companies spend P1B in marketing and advertising their products for a share in the P42B pie that Filipino consumers pay for milk formula.

Breastfeeding campaigns usually have very limited marketing budget and celebrities who appear there do so for free.  It is really an advocacy (and no money!).  As Mec emphasized in her post, with power comes great responsibility.   Unlike you and me, what Judy Ann or Gladys say or endorse on TV has a big effect on the buying public.  So it is not same as saying, if I were in their shoes I would do the same - as ordinary people we don't have that much of an influence as these celebrities do!  As Benz shared, had these celebrities chosen to endorse breastfeeding instead of formula milk, they would've inspired the masses and left a legacy for humanity.

After I posted the advertorial of Gladys for Grow, I received a twitter message from her:
My reply: glad to hear that ms. gladys! but it is a concern to be endorsing a milk company regardless of age AND be a breastfeeding advocate. toddlers do not need toddler formula.
I've racked my brains how to explain to moms what is wrong with endorsing formula milk - even for toddlers.  I asked for help from friends in marketing, fellow breastfeeding advocates, fellow moms and here are some of their replies.

From Jen CC Tan of Next9 - Companies are involved in subliminal marketing.
*Me - Milk Code expressly prohibits promoting milk for 0-12 month old babies.  So how should companies get their brands out there?  Market the milk for the older kids!  Think of the timing.  Claudine was asked to endorse Lactum just after she had her son Santino.  Same with Judy Ann - she endorsed Lactum after Lucho was born and again Gladys - her baby is just 6 months now.  However, the milk they are endorsing are for their older kids but why the timing?   A play on consumers' minds perhaps - hey if they think this brand is good for their older kids then they are probably giving this brand to their babies, too.

From Judy Dytiandu of Planet Noah:
As moms who advocate breastfeeding as well as REAL PROPER NOURISHMENT for young kids, we're naturally bothered by all these marketing tactics of milk companies. Here's what the general audience hears when celebrities espouse milk formula: "This is the best form of nutrition you can give your child, trust me." This, we all know, is totally FALSE! Nothing can replace whole nutritious foods and continued breastfeeding (until mutually desirable). Formula ads are creating a generation of kids that is highly dependent on powdered formula for their nutritional requirement. The health consequences of such a trend is alarming. There are several studies linking milk to a long list of diseases... osteoperosis, diabetes, allergies, asthma, and even breast cancer! There is no doubt the formula milk is NOT the best nutrition for kids. It's NOT ok to say that it is!

There are three players here: 
A. THE GREEDY CORPORATION 
Many corporations are just plain greedy. You can't count on them to have a real concern for the health of the general public. They are only after one thing-- bigger profits.

B. 
AD REGULATORY BODY
Is there even such a thing? shouldn't there be one to guard the health of the public? 

C. ENDORSER
This is the goose that lays the golden egg. Just as celebrities have a moral obligation to set a good example to the public, they should also be bound by this obligation when it comes to product endorsements. But aren't they also like the corporations? Aren't they just professionals that are after the big bucks? What I'd really like to know is Do they feed their kids formula everyday? If they do, then we're all in bigger trouble.

The sad fact is, there are only a few of us who are really aware of the consequences of giving formula to toddlers. Most of our friends and relatives think nothing of it because they believe what the companies have long been claiming. We are being spoon-fed by food companies with LIES and everybody is swallowing.


From Benz Rana of Weddings@Work (Benz wrote a note in Facebook which I am reproducing below):
While reading Judays advertorial on Lactum I commented to hubby how sad I was, sagot niya pang toddler yung milk, I said same thing kasi it makes the 'masa' believe formula is good, sagot niya 'ay di ko alam hard core ka na pala' nyeks explain tuloy ako, no di ako hard core it's just that sobra sobra sobra sobrang sayang yung tulong na maibibigay niya sa bansa if only she promotes breastfeeding. Di naman niya need yung money, hay if I have it in my power to elevate breastfeeding sa poor I'd do it in a heartbeat. Sa mga may pera kaya na niya mag isip para sa sarili nila.

And just for the record, am not a snooty breastfeeder, I have no issues with mommies who feed their babies formula, most of my friends fed their kids formula, issue ko yung mga hirap sa buhay at wala nang pangkain eh di pa mag breastfeed. For them status ang formula kasi endorsed ng idol nila. I wonder if Juday knows what she threw away :( 

Until now nasa-sad pa din ako when I remember Juday and Lactum! Am not affected kay Gladys or sa iba si Juday ako affected kasi hawak niya yung masa eh. Tapos ang impression ko super hands on mom siya and I know she breastfeed/breastfed her son so I know she knows eh...She knows diba? She still chose to take this road... I like her pa naman :( super like her talaga.


==============

And this is why I am bothered when celebrities endorse milk formula.

*Update: Just had to update this post.  I shared this post to Daphne Osena-Paez, a UNICEF Special Advocate for Children.  Previously, she had endorsed a milk company via voice over but I received information from some quarters that she regretted such an endorsement.  Check out her Twitter messages below.
Her second message is very clear: Milk endorsed was for older kids then she saw a 4-day old baby drinking toddler milk.
AND LET ME REPEAT: this is why it matters even if milk being promoted is for older kids!

Update: 8/10/11
Here's a Tweet from Tintin Bersola-Babao.

From Daphne and Tintin's Tweets, I realized that sometimes they just don't know about the Code (how the milk company's try to get around it) and the repercussions of their actions.  Maybe someone can share this post to the milk-endorsing celebrities AND include links to FORMULA FOR DISASTER.  That should open their eyes.  Part 1 below.  Parts 2-5 are also available in Youtube.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Guest Post: My Relactation Journey

Today's guest post comes from Cheng Guzman-Duran, a mother of one (soon to be 2) who successfully relacted and breastfed her first baby.  Despite the long entry, I have decided not to chop up her submission into 2 posts for continuity purposes.  Hope you learn from her experience.  And YES, relactation is possible!

=================

I’ll be very honest.  When I gave birth to our first baby, my first-time mom experience was not a bed of roses.  It was very difficult.  But it was the best learning experience I had.
My husband and I settled in a small condo unit after we got married in 2007.  It was our own little place in the world, where we can grow together and start building a family.  When we finally conceived after 2.5 years of medical intervention, tears, and prayers (a whole lot!), we wanted the best for our baby.   We downloaded a list of all the baby stuff we’ll need, and started preparing for our baby’s arrival.  We enrolled in a child preparation class.  We read books about pregnancy and breastfeeding.  Halfway, we figured that our small home may not be the best place to raise a baby. (I was particularly concerned about ventilation because windows and doors were always closed and an airconditioned closed space is not a very good environment for a baby.  I wanted him to get as much fresh air as possible.)  We decided to tell my parents that we will be staying with them after I deliver because the house is quite spacious, and we requested them to find a good nanny to take care of our son when I return to work.  Of course, the grandparents-to-be got all excited and they planned to renovate one room in the house for us to stay in.   

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Will you drink colostrum from cows?

 During the Along Came Baby Bazaar at the World Trade Center, Jonie came across a booth selling "natural colostrum".  Since I was sidelined, I just asked Jonie to get me a flier.
Turns out, what they are selling is "colostrum of New Zealand bovine (cows)".  There are so many things WRONG with this product.  Wait, let me back track - yes, I am a milk drinker (that was before I got pregnant - now I can't stand the taste of milk!) and my daughter is also a milk drinker.  But colostrum of the mama cow is something I think should be reserved for the baby cow (calf) and not extracted for human use.
We already cause cows to produce milk much longer than they normally do just so we can get regular stocks but must we also get the liquid gold that is supposed to be for the calf?  We know how limited colostrum a mom can produce.  So I wonder how the lack of colostrum will impact on the future generation of milk-producing cows?
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