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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.

Arugaan addresses relactation, impatient baby issues
I also especially admire them for working with whatever limited means that each family has.  There is never any pressure to purchase expensive breastfeeding equipment. Breastfeeding information is provided for free with a genuine desire to help the struggling breastfeeding mom or infant.  Money is never and issue and they will work with whatever resources you have.
One of the goals of Arugaan is to provide a support system for working women, with regard to child care, breastfeeding counseling, health and nutrition information.   They have come up with this book in Filipino entitled "Gabay sa Nanay" specifically targeted to moms who need the information the most but cannot afford to pay counselors and consultants.

The wonders of the internet also allow peer counselors to reach more moms.  Do visit and join the Facebook group "Breastfeeding Pinays" to know what I am talking about. While internet advice is definitely not a replacement for expert breastfeeding advice, it is a first step towards being steered towards the right information.  I myself relied on internet information, videos in the early days of breastfeeding.  With the aggressive marketing of milk companies though, it is important to make sure that you filter information and visit the right websites.

Arugaan is also well versed in young child feeding.  Velvet has given a talk on "Feed your Child Right" and Nanay Ines continues to share her knowledge whenever she is given the opportunity.  For those who are unable to attend one of their lectures, you can view their tips in the slide below.
Slide 1 - IBFAN ASIA


Arugaan truly has a lot to share to the Filipino women and children and I look forward to working with them and learning from them in future projects.

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