Sunday, October 30, 2011

Breastfeeding in Public

I rode the jeepney a couple of months ago together with this woman.  She was with her toddler.  Her toddler was a bit unsettled and was asking for something to eat.  They probably were anxious to get to where they're going to stop and buy something to eat.  The woman, instead nursed her toddler until he's satisfied.

In my mind, I was cheering for her.  I was thinking "Go mommy!" I admired her attitude and I couldnt help but look at how the other people would react to this kind of picture.  There were a few who looked away and a few who stared and felt embarassed.  I just smiled and wondered if i'd be able to do the same thing that she did without feeling exposed.

Fastforward to today, I guess you can say that I am pretty successful in being able to breastfeed my son in public.  I bought a nursing cover (which I hardly use. thank God for the Next9 ring sling), a few nursingwears and build my confidence.  I also experimented with my existing blouses on how I can breastfeed without exposing too much (yes! I practiced in front of a mirror).  I've done it pretty mucheverywhere -- the doctor's clinic, MRT, the cab, at the malls, at company sponsored events, the church, while attending seminars -- and I've grown more confident each time.  What better way to promote breastfeeding than letting everyone see that you're actually doing it?

me and my trusty nursing cover waiting for hubby

Friday, October 28, 2011

Farewell Discussion Boards

In just 2 days, the Discussion boards tab will be removed in Facebook.  This should not make any difference, right?  Maybe not.
Five months ago I joined the Avent Discussion board.  The “Discussionistas” are regular mothers who share their inputs and experiences on certain Parenting topics.  Some may have experiences and some don’t but together an online community was created.  Views on Breastfeeding, Experiences on Avent Products (yes, I use Avent myself), to Parenting Styles to Infant/Toddler problems were tackled.  For some, this online community was a support.  Some considered it as a source of information and for some, a stress reliever.  For five months, this has become a part of my life.  I look forward to the days that I log in to the computer and be able to interact with other moms who have similar experiences and advocacies than I do.   For five months these moms became my friends.
I’m not sure how things are going to be without the discussion board.  I’m not sure if posting on the Fan Page wall will be the same as having a Discussion board tab.  But there is one thing that I know for sure….the Discussion board thread will be missed.

Preparing your Older Child for the New Baby

Sibling rivalry could start even before the second child is born.  It often continues as the children grows old and they start to compete from toys to clothes to their parents attention.  It can be very frustrating to parents when this happens.  However, this too can be avoided if we prepare our kids on what's to come.
Set expectations. Spend time with your older kid and talk about the changes in the family dynamics should there be another child.  You may want to tell her that there may be times that the family would need to cut down on the movie dates, or the trip to TimeZone.  You can, however, plan for more activities at home.  Tell her that the baby may get more attention simply because the baby can't change clothes or diaper or eat on his or her own.  And in any case that mama can't attend to her needs, tatay will be there for her.  As an Ate or Kuya, tell her what she can do to help the family out.
Tell stories.  You can do this anytime during the day. Tell her stories about how her arrival years ago has changed you and the adjustments you and your husband had to make.  Make the story as hilarious as you can.  One story that my daughter love to hear over and over again was when she was 3 weeks old.  I told her that mama was so tired but she didnt want to sleep yet.  So I talked to her, begging her to sleep but she just stared back at me and say "hoo...hooo."  Of course after telling the story, you may want to drive your point that there may be days that mama will be really really tired and cranky.
Get her involved in the whole pregnancy period.  Make him/her feel that it’s not just all about you and the baby.  It's all about the entire family and it's all about him/her stepping into a new role -- that of an older brother or sister.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

No More Yue Yues

I was deeply disturbed by with the video that I saw on TV yesterday.  So disturbed that I had difficulty focusing on my tasks at hand when I reported to work.  Even until now I just couldnt get over it.

Yue yue, a 2 year-old was walking along the alley when she was hit by a van.  The driver of the van didnt even stop to check before driving off.

What was heartbreaking is that, a total of 18 people walked by the scene and none of them approached the toddler nor asked for help.  To make matters worse, another driver ran over the poor toddler's body and fleed the scene as well.  It took one old homeless woman to notice Yue Yue and called out for help.  It was then that the child was rushed to the hospital Sadly it was too much for her young body to bear.  She is in a critical condition and was declared completely brain dead.

I don't understand why none of the passersby attempted to help the toddler -- one of them was even a mother with a child in tow.  I don’t understand how they pretended to be blind.    I don’t understand how they could just walk by as if it was just another cat who got ran over by the vehicle. Have we as humans become insensitive?  I've heard and read about several hit and runs but this has affected me in so many levels.  Probably because I myself have a 15 month old toddler.

When you sleep tonight, think of Yue Yue and say a short prayer.  To all parents out there, never let your kids out of sight.  Keep them close all the time. 

I am not posting any pictures nor any videos in this blog.  It was too much for one mother's heart to watch over and over again. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Beauty, Brains & Breastfeeding

It's such an irony that the Philippines, being a 3rd world country have such poor percentage of breastfeeding women.  According to the UNICEF statistics, only 34% exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first six (6) months.  The rest are either bottlefed or were given liquid other than breastmilk.  Mix feeding in the first six months is not really recommended because it can lead to health problems such as "allergies, respiratory infection, diarrhea and dehydration."

Beauty, Brains & Breastfeeding, Inc. is an organization created to advocate breastfeeding and to correct several breastfeeding misconceptions.  Founded by Iza Abeja, the organization also aims to support mothers in breastfeeding even at their workplace.  Iza, together with Daphne Osena-Paez and Patricia Bermudez-Hizon, are out to make sure that their message is heard. 

It was unfortunate that my kids belonged to 66% of the population.  I may not be successful in breastfeeding my daughter;  I may have supplemented; but my son is still breastfeeding at 15 months.  If I can make a difference - support someone and be more successful than I am in breastfeeding, I'll be one happy momma!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Journey through Breastfeeding

I was never breastfed as a baby.  My mother told me that she had inverted nipples and I couldn't get milk from her.  I was crying most of the time and so my father got frustrated and told my mom to feed me with formula milk.  

When I was pregnant with my first child, I knew I was going to breastfeed.  I saw pictures of mothers feeding their babies on their breasts and for me its beautiful.  I want to do just that.  My daughter was born via CS section.  They cup feed her while I was recuperating.   When she finally got to room in with me, I brought her to my breast and she took it.  It was a happy day for me.  I loved the way she felt in my arms and seeing her there -- nursing peacefully -- it was perfect.  I have been nursing only for days and I already had sore nipples.  I was crying and didnt know what to do.  My hubby (also formula fed) and the people around me, only had one solution.  Formula feed.  I had to stop until the wounds heal.  So we bought formula milk and baby bottles (we didnt buy one before I gave birth because I really want to breastfeed).  I pumped but my breasts are still engorged.  When the wound finally healed, I held my baby again in my arms thinking if I should bring her back to my breast or not.  I was young.  I was scared of the pain.  I resorted to formula feeding.  

When I got pregnant again after a few years,  I only had two things in mind -- VBAC and breastfeeding.  This time I know its going to be different.  Armed with gazillions of information, I was able to breeze through my normal delivery.  Now the breastfeeding part.  The pain must've missed me because there were days when I cringe in pain everytime my son latches;  My daughter can only watch and rub my back telling me over and over to relax.  How can something that's supposed to be natural be so painful?  I read. I researched. I applied what I learned.  My neverending explorations of the net lead me to one breastfeeding class and several information about the La Leche League.  All these empowered me and made me more confident.

My journey was not easy but it reminded me that there are so many things that I learned in the process.

1.  Breastfeeding is a skill.  One has to learn the correct position and the baby has to learn how to latch.  Patience is an important ingredient for you to master this skill.  Believe me, I've done a lot of trial and errors in getting my son to latch perfectly.

2. Breastfeeding is a committment.  You will encounter a lot of reasons why you should quit -- sore nipples, having to go back to work, sleepless nights -- to name a few.  But making that committment to yourself and to your baby that you will only give him/her the best milk, will keep you going.

3.  Being hard-headed is not that bad.  Yes. I admit. I'm an only child and what I want is what I usually get.  That kind of attitude worked for me because if I didnt assert what I want to do with my son, I never would have been successful with breastfeeding him this long.

4.  Knowledge is POWER.  It's a cliche`, I know.  But believe me, there are a lot of breastfeeding myths and misconception.  Know where and who to get the best information from.  The internet is ultra powerful and you get all sorts of information.  You can go to the La Leche League's website or the well known mom bloggers like me.  Here are some of the blogs and sites that I read and found very helpful:

Chronicles of a Nursning Mom
Ask Dr. Sears

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Never too old for a Baby Carrier

I was first introduced to babywearing when my son was 9 months old.  I still wasn't convinced then if I should be getting a baby carrier simply because my son is almost a year old and we have our good ol' umbrella type stroller anyway.  I got lucky one day and won Dainty Mom's mother's day contest.  The prize: a Next 9 Ring sling.

My life changed the minute I got hold of my prize.  I never leave home without it and my husband allowed me to go somewhere without him.  Attending the Babywearing meet became one of my agenda.  I felt the need to know everything there is about babywearing. 
Eliza Ypon (Painter's Wife), Jenn (Next9) and me during the 2nd Babywearing meet

Great Points about the Sling:
  • It's "tail" can be used as a nursing cover.  I even managed to breastfeed my son and shop at the same time.
  • It's tail has a pocket.  You can always find lampin and a small toy car inside mine.  Perfect if you need something to divert your son's attention or if you need to wipe off his drool. 
  • It's easy to use.  The instructional videos are even available in Youtube. 
  • It's durable and it's safe.  My son almost feels weightless if I'm using the sling.  Commuting is never a problem now especially in the MRT.  It's safe for babies and even safe for toddlers. 
  • My son is very comfortable when worn.  He sort of just snuggles up and oftentimes sleep faster.  I guess its because he likes being close to me. 

And did I mention that because of the sling I'm hands free?

Monday, October 10, 2011


My son is still breastfeeding at 15 months.  He's been eating a lot of solid foods now and I often found myself with an extra ounce or two of breastmilk by the end of the week.  He is also a big fan of ice cream so we created a popsicle made out of breastmilk. 

What you need are the following:
small cup (I used the cap of the Gerber feeding bottle)

It's pretty easy really.  Just pour the milk into the small cup then stick the pacifier in.  Put it inside the freezer and wait for an hour.

Pour the milk into the cap and stick the pacifier in

Fresh from the freezer

Ready to serve
My son not only has unlimited supply of breastmilk but of "momsicles" as well.  Let me know when you tried making one too. 

One Great Adventure

One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.”  
                                                                                                     William Feather

I've always been a person who does things on the spur of the moment.  I like getting lost and I like doing things on my own.  My life did a 360 degree turn when I became a mother.  A lot in my life changed.  I couldn't recall the last time I slept like a bear or the last time I was ever alone.  But there is one great thing that I discovered about motherhood.  It's a never ending adventure (and misadventure).  I suddenly found myself right in the middle of things that I love best....and I couldn't ask for anything more.