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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Vaccination Awareness

Last Saturday,  I attended a "PLAY" event organized by Mommy Mundo and sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline.  PLAY is an acronym for Protection, Love, and Activities for Young Kids.  This is a disease awareness campaign which was recently launched by Mommy Mundo, to promote its advocacy on vaccination as the best defense against diseases.   You can read more about that here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Superfood - The Philippine experience

Last week, Save the Children released their Breastfeeding Report entitled Superfood for Babies.  What made this report very interesting was that it included updates from the recent battles over the Monster Bill.  The report also emphasized on how overcoming breastfeeding barriers will save lives of children.

The report identifies 4 categories of breastfeeding barriers, namely: community cultural pressure, health worker shortage, lack of maternity legislation and the big business barrier.

Recently, I shared a photo of a mom who breastfed in the toilet because she was uncomfortable to breastfeed in public.  There was also no breastfeeding station or bench where she could comfortably nurse her baby.  Aside from community barriers, more common would be family pressure.  Filipino families are closely-knit and several new families live with their in laws.  Most of our parents were born during the time when formula marketing was most prevalent.  Hence, they grew up with the thought that formula milk is best.    Thus, I truly believe that breastfeeding seminars should properly be addressed to the people surrounding the breastfeeding mother.  Save the Children's blog summarizes it well:
The real scandal is not breastfeeding late, but that too many moms don't get the support needed to breastfeed early -- or to keep breastfeeding, should they want to.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Nursing Antics of my Older Baby

Erik is now 1 year old and is still a milk monster.  I can say that he is really a BOY compared to my first born N who was a gentle nurser.  Even when he was younger, he was a little piranha - finishing our sessions in about 6 minutes compared to N who took her sweet time and sometimes nursed up to an hour!
As a busy toddler, E has gotten into the habit of pulling when distracted - ouch! Lately, it has been happening quite often.  So when it's time to nurse, E and I shut ourselves inside the bedroom. Then in 5 minutes, N comes in and starts distracting him!  I've actually come to the point of anchoring his head just so he won't suddenly pull away.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wisdom from Arugaan

In the course of my breastfeeding advocacy, I am most thankful to have met and worked with Ines Fernandez and Velvet Escario-Roxas of Arugaan.  Their work and advocacy is truly admirable - selfless, no hidden agenda and working only towards the upliftment of breastfeeding and protection of the rights of mothers, infants and young children.

What I most especially love about Arugaan is that they work within the needs and lifestyle of each family.  Each Filipino family is different.  In all the times that we have worked together, I have never felt obligated or guilty about the lifestyle that I chose to have for my family.  I never felt pressured to become a vegetarian or give up certain products we use.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Summer Fun with KidzArt

N is her father's daughter.  She loves arts and crafts - her streak of creativity inherited from her photographer dad Stanley.  She had her first art class when she was 2 years old. Since then, every time she gets a chance, she always asks to do arts and crafts at home - whether simply drawing, cutting and gluing paper, tracing, etc. etc. In fact, during her daddy dates with Stan, she manages to get Stan to always buy more things for her art kit!
aftermath of a daddy date

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

WBW2013: Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers'

Just found out about the World Breastfeeding Week 2013 theme and I am very very excited!!  Theme for this year is "Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers'".

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Babypalooza Once Again plus Blog Giveaway!

It's time for Babypalooza once again and it's happening in 2 weeks from 16 - 17 February 2013.

The unique selling point of this bazaar is that it offers both preloved and brand new premium items from widely trusted local and imported brands and will be sold on-site at negotiable, parent-friendly prices.  The organizers also have a Vendor Protection Program (VPP), which ensures that items that will be sold by one Babypalooza vendor will not be sold by another.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What Milk to Give?

I can no longer count how many times I have received this question via blog comment, email or text:  What milk should I give my child?  If you are a regular reader of this blog, you would know my stand that toddlers do not need to be given formula milk.  I further expounded on this here.

So next question: does my toddler need regular milk?  Well, this depends per family.  Some families are dairy-free ergo totally no milk or they make their own milk from nuts, rice, etc.  Perhaps it is the Western influence on us and the brainwashing made on our doctors with Western education — we are made to believe that milk is an essential part of a balanced diet.  However, if you read Dr. Sears, milk is not really necessary but we give it because it is an easy source of calcium, protein, fats and Vitamin D (if fortified).  There are other sources of these nutrients and you can choose to give these instead of milk.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A Milk Sharing Story

Update 22 February 2014:  I have edited this post upon the request of J, who initially shared his story with me.  They initially asked me to delete this post.  However, I feel that it is such an important story to share.  To compromise, we agreed on changing the names as they want to preserve their anonymity.

Remember my post entitled "Concerns of a Milk Donor Mom" where I shared the hierarchy of babies that I donate to:
I do have a hierarchy of babies I give milk to - first would be the sick or premature babies then multiples and milk banks, then for emergencies, e.g. mom got sick, etc. If your baby is healthy and you just cannot pump enough milk, ASKING FOR MILK is not sustainable - you need to bring up your own supply
I received an email from Victor, a reader from the US who emailed me about this hierarchy.  He is a new parent and is in a male same-sex relationship.  Since both of them are men, it was impossible for one of them to relactate, unlike an adoption involving a heterosexual couple.  Victor shared how they were able to provide breastmilk to their baby girl through milk donations for several moms.  He wanted to know how families such as theirs ranked in my hierarchy of milk donations.  The baby was healthy but there was no "mom" who can lactate and produce milk.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Curious about Yoga? A Beyond Yoga giveaway!

New year, new resolutions.  Breastfeeding E has several advantages and a top advantage for me has been weight loss.  Would you believe that I now weigh even less than my pre-pregnancy weight?  However, since E has been eating more meals and I've started dropping pumps, I can feel the weight creeping back.  Yes, I try to control my food intake but I also realized that I need to do some physical activity to keep up with my active kids.

So, when my LATCH batchmate Monica Manzano offered me a giveaway for the blog, I immediately agreed.  Let's face it - we all need to be conscious of our health so we can ensure that we can be there for our kids for as long as possible.  I'm also pretty sure that my readers would be excited to join this giveaway.

Monica used to be based in Puerto Princesa, Palawan and has taken several yoga teacher training courses.  She moved to Manila last year and now teaches Yin, Vinyasa and Anti-Gravity Yoga at Beyond Yoga.  Beyond Yoga recently opened a branch in Bonifacio High Street - much closer to me!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Visit Next9 and Mamaway at the Grand Baby Fair (and report Milk Code violations)

Any shopping plans this weekend?  The Baby Company Grand Baby Fair is happening from 1 - 3 February 2013.  My friends from Next9 and Mamaway will be sharing a booth!  You can purchase Mamaway items at a discount.  Pumpease pumping support bands will also be available at a special prices! ;)
Meanwhile, you can catch next9 head mama Jen CC Tan and get tips on babywearing or simply ask for tutorials on how to wear your ring sling.  She will also be distributing her lovely babywearing postcards during the fair!
Grabbed from Next9's Blog

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