Milk Mama Diaries Carnival: Breastfeeding, A Winning Goal for Life!

I can’t believe that it has been almost 2 years since our last Milk Mama Diaries blog carnival!  My co-host Mec (Mec as Mom) and I have been busy and not been able to regularly host the carnival.   However, with the prodding of our breastfriend, breastfeeding diva Velvet Escario-Roxas, we decided to revive the carnival this month to help the public understand more about this year’s World Breastfeeding Week 2014 theme:  Breastfeeding, A Winning Goal For Life!

This year’s theme refers to the 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which were set by governments and the United Nations way back in 1990.  These goals aim to fight poverty and promote healthy and sustainable development by 2015.   WABA would like to emphasize the importance of increasing and sustaining the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding post-2015.   Likewise, by protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding, YOU can contribute to each of the MDGs in a substantial way.

Breastfeeding is linked to each of the 8 MDGs and the aim of this carnival is to challenge the participants to explain how breastfeeding can help the Philippines achieve the goals.  Admittedly this year’s theme is not that easily understood thus, we hope that this carnival will provide a means to make the theme more relatable.

The 8 MDGs were also displayed last weekend at Hakab Na 2014, the local Big Latch-on event and participants wrote messages on how breastfeeding can contribute to the MDGs.  I am thankful to my husband, Stanley Ong, who worked with World Vision to translate breastfeeding in relation to each of the 8 MDGs into photographs.  More about that project in a future post.  Meanwhile, you can view a slideshow below of the exhibit from last Saturday’s activity.

For this carnival, Mec and I are inviting mom/dad bloggers to share their stories, thoughts, experiences and suggestions on how breastfeeding can help the Philippines achieve at least 2 of the 8 United Nations Millennium Development Goals.   If you need some ideas or some background to jumpstart your post, visit the World Breastfeeding Week’s presentation on this year’s theme.  Check out my previous carnival posts to get an idea of how the blog carnival works and how posts look like.

To join, please fill up the form here or below.

The following blurb must be included in your carnival entry as well as the World Breastfeeding Week 2014 logo: “Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August). For this month, we write about the World Breastfeeding Week 2014 – Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life and share how breastfeeding can help the Philippines achieve the 8 Millennium Development Goals development by the government and the United Nations. Participants will share their thoughts, experiences, hopes and suggestions on the topic.  Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.

If you don’t have a blog but would like to join, please email us so we can arrange to have you hosted as a guest blogger in our blogs: Jenny (jenny[at]chroniclesofanursingmom[dot]com) and Mec (delisyus[at]gmail[dot]com).  If you have a Facebook account, you can join by writing a note through your account.  Just make sure that the viewing options of  your note is set to “Public”.

Deadline for registration for the carnival is on August 13, 2014. Posting instructions and carnival rules will be e-mailed to all participants on August 15 and the carnival will go live on August 22, 2014. PLEASE POST ON 22 August 2014, beginning 12MN.

NOTE:
Please write about the theme provided. We currently do not moderate or screen posts but we do reserve the right to exclude your entry from the list of carnival participants should your post be offensive, irrelevant to the carnival theme, contain personal attacks, off-topic articles, articles that are anti-breastfeeding or are articles that are aimed to market products or services. Kindly note the deadlines and please POST your entries on 22 August 2014. The deadline of 15 August 2014 is also strictly observed for REGISTRATION.

 *You can begin sending blog URLs as soon as you have completed the posts for inclusion in the carnival list by e-mailing Jenny and Mec. We will only include the links of those who e-mail us so please do not forget to e-mail us the URLs.

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Breastfeeding Month Giveaway from The Marshmallow Baby Online Shop

Lawyers are jacks of all trades! In fact, a lot of my lawyer friends are now veering away from traditional lawfirm practice.  Most are in alternative lawyering, business, photography, government, environment, surfing, blogging, etc.  I’m one example – from focusing on pleadings, opinions, my time is now on my business, family and promoting, supporting and protecting breastfeeding, particularly the implementation of the Milk Code.

I recently met another lawyer who has a successful second career.  Tina de Guzman, a development professional and lawyer, works in an NGO implementing judicial reform, human rights and anti-trafficking programs.  Together with her husband Reindl, they set up “Fluffy Pwets,” the first ever hybrid fitted diapers in the country.

Reindl and Tina are first time parents who started cloth diapering their baby using the regular old fashioned lampin.  Tina joined the popular local cloth diapering group – Modern Cloth Nappying Pinays in Facebook and a whole new world of cloth diapering was opened to her.  They tried using different diaper systems and several months into cloth diapering their baby, they decided to create their own line which is different from other local brand of cloth diapers.

Based on research, the couple found out that boys are more sensitive in the nappy area and may be prone to gender-specific conditions such as balanitis.  To address this concern, Fluffy Pwets was born.  To make FP breathable, the diapers are made not from PUL (polyurethane laminate) but from cotton and organic bamboo.  Although they are not completely waterproof, they are water-resistant.

the popular “gutay” line

Unlike regular fitted diapers, FP cloth diapers include a hidden layer of fleece which makes the diaper water-resistant, allowing for more time before the next diaper change.  If you do plan to leave the diaper on for an extended period, you would need a cover to make FP completely waterproof.

Each Fluffy Pwets diaper comes with a snake-style snap-in soaker made of 4 layers of super heavy organic bamboo fleece (really thick and absorbent but soft and antibacterial) plus a free booster for heavy wetters. When folded and used with a booster, your baby gets a total of 10 layers of thirsty bamboo! Because Fluffy Pwets items are individually handcrafted and homemade diapers, small variations or imperfections are expected and normal.

FP has also started accepting custom orders, especially those upcycled from moms’ and dads’ favorite shirts.  Due to popular demand, the line has now been expanded to include toddler sized hybrid fitted diapers, bow headbands, bow ties, shirts, sandos, dresses, and infinity scarves which can be used as a nursing cover.

matchy-matchy!

Fluffy Pwets hybrid cloth diapers have already gained their own following and are almost always sold out!  The couple started the We Love Fluffy Pwets Group on Facebook to allow clients to immediately see and order on-hand fabrics that can be converted into diapers.

MCNP’s Marj Guarin’s custom-made Ateneo diaper

To celebrate Breastfeeding Awareness Month, Reindl and Tina through their store, The Marshmallow Baby, is raffling of 1 Fluffy Pwets hybrid diaper and 1 The Marshmallow Baby infinity scarf – both breastfeeding themed to 2 lucky COANM readers!

one reader will win this for her baby!
one reader will win an infinity scarf in this print
background can be white or mint green (as pictured)

To join, you just have to follow the instructions in Rafflecopter below.

Meanwhile, if you can’t wait and to order your own customized Fluffy Pwets hybrid cloth diaper, visit the Facebook page of The Marshmallow Baby.  If you need ideas for your design, visit their albums of diapers already sold here and hereFluffy Pwets range from Php800 to Php1,300 depending on fabric used, including sustom and SYOF (Send Your Own Fabric) orders.

For more details about the brand, visit them on:
Facebook:  The Marshmallow Baby
Instagram: @fluffypwets

Money Matters for Kids is back!

Three years ago, I took N to an exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila to jumpstart her financial education.  I wrote about our experience here.  N was about 3.5 years old then and admittedly, she wasn’t mature enough to fully appreciate the activity.  I wanted to bring her back when she was a bit older but there wasn’t any there scheduled exhibit until this year.

Early this week, the 2014 Money Matters for Kids was opened by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila.   The target audience are students 12 years old and younger to help them learn the concepts of money, saving, spending and sharing.

While the exhibit is designed for elementary school children, kids as young as 2 will enjoy going around the grocery shop.  E and his friend C spent the morning with their grocery baskets choosing the items they want to buy from wet goods to dry goods.  For older kids, the grocery shop can be used to teach kids to budget and to differentiate needs and wants.  I am glad I was able to bring back an older N to visit this exhibit.  The grocery shop was a perfect activity for her as her current Social Studies lesson was all about needs and wants.

E and C enjoyed having their photos taken at the make-believe bank while explored working in the bank as a manager and teller.  One fun installation were the mock-up ATM machines that allowed kids to try inputting personal identification numbers and using ATM cards.

N also had fun doing the puzzles of the new generation 50-pesos and 20-pesos bill.  She also examined samples of Philippine and foreign currency which were displayed in the exhibit.   The children can likewise use ultraviolet light to know the security features of peso bills and to distinguish between genuine and fake banknotes.  N also tried her hand at comparing a fake 100-piso and a real 100-piso bill.

The exhibit will run until 18 August 2014 and is open to the public Mondays through Saturdays from 10am to 530pm.  This is a fun way to teach kids about money so drop by the Metropolitan Museum of Manila before the exhibit ends.

Activities for August Breastfeeding Month

Breastfeeding Awareness Month is happening next week!  As always, it is packed with activities to promote, support and protect breastfeeding and further the breastfeeding advocacy.  Let me start with L.A.T.C.H.’s big event this August — Breastfeeding Uncovered 2014: Mission Possible.  LATCH has expanded to Cebu and Davao cities and we decided to bring back Dr. Jack Newman to visit 3 major cities in the Philippines.

His first visit last year was well-attended and with the release of his new book, we hope that more healthcare workers, breastfeeding supporters and breastfeeding mothers can hear him speak.   

This year’s topics will focus on breastfeeding challenges commonly experienced by Filipino families, such as poor weight gain and latching issues. Aside from providing explanations on the causes and solutions to these challenges, Dr. Newman will also include a module on what healthcare practitioners need to know about breastfeeding that were not discussed during their training.

Registration is still ongoing and to purchase tickets and pay via credit card, visit latchbump2014.eventbrite.com.  Meanwhile, if you prefer paying by BPI bank deposit, fill up bit.ly/latchbump2014.  Tickets are reasonably priced at P1,000 for early registration (which has been extended) considering that you do not have to fly out of the country to listen to the breastfeeding guru himself!
Also happening this August is the Philippine version of the Big Latch-on – Hakab Na 2014.  Read about last year’s Hakab Na in my piece with Rappler.   This year, Hakab Na 2014, organised by different breastfeeding groups nationwide, is happening simultaneously on August 2, 2014, 1030am at several cities in the Philippines!   Join the fun and meet fellow breastfeeding moms and advocates by signing up for the activity in your hometown – Manila, Davao, Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod and Cagayan de Oro cities.  

I am very excited to be part of this Congress as a panelist for one of the modules to talk about maternal and newborn concerns on breastfeeding as well as the Milk Code.  If you have been following the blog, you know that enforcing the Milk Code is one of the aspects of protecting breastfeeding that I am passionate about.  My presentation will focus on common violations in hopes that the audience becomes more aware that just because a violation is rampantly committed or always seen, does not make them legal. 
After attending BUMP2014 at St. Luke’s Global, drop by St. Luke’s QC for their own pregnancy fair.  
Also for the first 3 days of August, Teresa Gumap-as’ book – “Breasteeding: A Journey Worth Taking” will be offered for free on Amazon!  The book features stories of triumph over breastfeeding challenges by moms from different walks of life.  Teresa also shares her own story of breastfeeding both of her sons.  Teresa is offering a free download of the book from August 1 – 3, 2014 to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.  Download from this link.  

Will be updating this post with more events so keep visiting.  Meanwhile, if you have events for breastfeeding month that you want to share, email me at jenny (at) chroniclesofanursingmom (dot) com.
Hope to see you at one of the events!
Update:  7/27/2014
August 1, 2014 will also be the launch date of LATCH’s MoMs Support Forum.  There are 4 moms with twins who are among the current roster of LATCH peer counselors.  These twin moms aim to help other moms of multiples not only in breastfeeding but also discuss parenting tips on raising multiples especially for the early years and beyond. Membership is open to parents of multiples (twins, triplets, etc.).  Visit the group page to join.  The forum will be launched with a simple baby shower on August 1.  To join the baby shower, sign up here
Update: 8/3/2014
L.A.T.C.H. will have a special breastfeeding class this August together with Yahoo Philippines on 23 August 2014.  This class is free and tailored for pregnant moms.  Sign up today!

Starting August 16, 2014, there will be an exhibit of images of OLLL at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Mandaluyong.   On August 30, Saturday, Our Lady of La Leche Movement will have a Thanksgiving Mass to Our Lady of La Leche at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Mandaluyong City. Aside from the Thanksgiving Mass, other activities for the day are as follows:

  • 8 – 11am medical mission for pregnant women and children below 2 years old 
  • 11am short talk on breastfeeding benefits and spirituality 
  • 12nn mass with special blessing for pregnant and nursing moms, as well as childless moms ( TTCs ) 

Update: 8/5/2014
SM Cares, in partnership with LATCH is bringing Dr. Jack Newman to SM Mall of Asia, SM Cebu and SM Davao.  He will talk about bottlefeeding mentality, breastfeeding myths and how we live in a bottle feeding society and how it affects our understanding of breastfeeding.  His SM talks will be a day before the main LATCH symposiums and it will be a great preview of his full day talk.  LATCH will also be selling tickets to the full-day symposium at the SM activities.

The Second Night

I was able to sign-up for ilactation’s Heart-to-Heart Online conference earlier this year.  Learning about breastfeeding is never-ending.  There are regular researches and updates and I am pretty happy that there are providers which allow advocates like myself to listen and learn online, in the comfort of my own home or while commuting.

The focus of this post is one of the topics – The Second Night, presented by Jan Barger.  It is in relation to my other post, Solutions to the Challenging First Week.  New parents are often overwhelmed by the abrupt change in their routine and lifestyle when baby comes.  However let us not forget the baby – whose new environment is totally different from the mother’s womb.

So what is “The Second Night”?  Jan Barger is a nurse and IBCLC who has an education company – Lactation Education Consultants.  She identifies this phenomenon as an event recognized worldwide but is not yet documented in literature.   The event occurs about 24 hours after the birth (or sometimes even beyond that) when the baby always wants to be at the breast, falls asleep at the breast and wakes up when removed from the breast and only seems to be content when attached to the breast.

Why is this a concern? Because by the time “second night” sets in, mom is usually exhausted as the adrenalin from the birth has worn up.  Mom is also more vulnerable to suggestions from people around her that baby is still hungry and her milk has not come in or her milk is not enough.

Barger explains that beyond these superficial concerns, second night is really about the changes in the newborn’s surrounding — when baby is at the breast, baby is closest to the womb which provides a semblance of prenatal life:

The baby needs the mom to cope with overstimulation.  Barger explains how baby is constantly at the breast to mimic how it was in the womb.  She then shares insight on how the amniotic fluid is the same as the body odor and how the baby can use this to comfort himself. 

Second night is not limited to the actual second night after the baby’s birth.   This phenomenon also happens weeks or even months after the baby’s birth, when baby is already at home.  Coping at home is more difficult as the mother begins to doubt her capabilities.  Furthermore, in the Philippines, we are usually surrounded by extended family members who do not help with their comments about giving formula milk to the baby.

What should a mother do?  Keep baby close to you.  Shut out the naysayers.  Read, read read.  Here is very interesting slide from Jill Bergman, another presenter from ilactation:

There is a world of difference in the warmth provided by lactating breasts v. non-lactating.  It is understandable that why a breastfeeding baby would want to be always held by the mom as compared to a formula fed baby.  Aside from the fact that the formula fed baby is lethargically full (did you know that cows have 4 stomachs while humans only have 1 which is why it taxes your baby’s body to digest the heavier protein in cow’s milk), the formula fed baby scientifically does not feel the same warmth on the mother’s chest as shown by the thermal images above. 
If you are having breastfeeding difficulties, the solution is NOT to switch to formula BUT to get help. In case you’re interested, ilactation has an upcoming conference – Let’s talk breastfeeding and human milk – which will open in 15 September 2014.  The fees vary per country and if you’re from the Philippines, the fee is $35 for early bird registration which opens on 23 July 2014.  If you can come up with a group of 6 individuals, early bird registration is just $25.  Meanwhile, watch out for my next post on L.A.T.C.H.’s BUMP2014!