January 7, 2015

Breastfeeding in Public

One of the things I promised not to do this 2015 is to meddle in other people's lives. Let me clarify this, I don't meddle just for the sake of meddling. I meddle when I feel the need to be of help to a friend, to a niece, to a nephew or even a stranger. But most of the times I get blamed, so I bow only to meddle when it concerns my family, especially my children.

Pero ika nga ng kasabihan, "it's hard to break a habit".  Yesterday, as I was waiting in line to pay the bills at Bayad Center, there was this baby, about 5 months, who was crying so loud that everybody were staring at the young mom. The mother is probably in her early 20s.  The baby was crying non-stop for 10 minutes so I went near the mother...

Me: Gutom na baby mo (hmmm, nakialam na naman!)
Young Mom: Opo.
Me: Padedehin mo na.
Young Mom: Ahmmm...(shy tone)
Me: Bakit breastfeed sya?
Young Mom: Opo.
Me: E ayun naman pala. Aba, e padedehin  mo na.
Young Mom: Nakakahiya po, andaming tao.
Me: Ha, nahihiya ka sa mga taong yan, titiisin mo ang gutom ng anak mo dahil lang nahihiya ka sa kanila (sabay turo sa napakahabang pila ng mga magbabayad ng bills). Alam mo ba na naiilan na lang ang mga nanay na nagpapa-breastfeed ngayon? Only 16% of mothers in the Philippines breastfeed their babies. Dapat nga proud ka na isa ka sa 16% na yun! Ako, I breastfeed my 3 kids. Ang bunso hanggang pitong taon ko pinadede. (Sabay pinaupo ko sya sa bakanteng upuan para padedehin ang kanyang sanggol).

The moment the baby latched on her mother's breast, tumahimik ang buong kapaligiran. Sabay kanya kanya ng kwento ang mga nanay at lola na nagpadede din pala noong unang panahon. May mga manong at tatay na pinauna na ring makabayad ang batang ina. Aba, akalain mong, mula sa dulo ng pila, sya ay nauna pa. O hindi ba, ang pagpapasuso ng anak ay may magandang benepisyo! Dapat pala sinama ko si Juancho at pinadede, para nauna na din ako sa linya (hehehehehehe!)

Seriously, I am an advocate of breastfeeding. Second to giving birth, it's the best thing I did for my children. I am proud and happy  to say, there's no shame in breastfeeding in public!

Ang mga sumusunod na larawan ay kuha sa ospital, sa unang araw ng pagpapasuso ko sa aking mga supling. Hindi naman po ako ganyan magpadede in public, tago naman ang bahaging dapat itago.  I just wanted to share to empower mothers that breastfeeding in public is an act of love for thy children.



Organizations that Promotes Breastfeeding in the Philippines:

The Breastfeeding Clinic
is run by Nona D. Andaya-Castillo, IBCLC and Elvira L. Henares-Esguerra, MD, FPDS, FABM, IBCLC, RPh., both International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. The clinic supports mothers from pregnancy to parenting through the following services:
Pre-natal classes
Couple or One-on-One Counseling
Specialized massage for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers
Training of fathers or parenting partner on how to support breastfeeding mothers
Assistance during childbirth until the very first breastfeeding
Professional fees collected from the clinic are used to fund scholarships and projects of Children for Breastfeeding, Inc. and Nurturers of the Earth, Inc..

Arugaan Day Care
Arugaan Day Care is a crèche operated by Innes Fernandez in Marikina City. The day care center operates 10 hours a day and accepts babies two months old to three years old. Part of the crèche’s policy is to require mothers to continue breastfeeding their babies even when they go back to work. This is done by asking the mothers to leave expressed milk to be fed to their babies during the day or to allow their babies to suckle milk from their nursing caregivers. Fernandez also teaches the fathers to support their breastfeeding wives and to fully participate in child rearing.

LATCH (Lactation Attachment Training Counseling Help is a breastfeeding support group led by trained peer counselors who have also been breastfeeding mothers themselves. Their services include:
Breastfeeding workshops
Hospital or home visits
Phone, SMS, and email support
Pre-natal and post-partum classes
Mom & Baby Success Programs
Mom2Mom Hookups
LATCH-Pro Pedia Pool
Peer Counsellor Training
Pro-LATCH Membership Perks (Discounts on products and services)

La Leche League (Philippines) is the local chapter of La Leche League International, a global non-profit, non-sectarian breastfeeding support group. The group provides education and support to breastfeeding women through accredited La Leche League leaders. In the Philippines, meetings are held in Greenhills, San Juan and in Silang, Cavite.

The Breastfeeding Club is a club for pregnant and nursing moms. Members are given access to three breastfeeding classes, namely: Beginning Breastfeeding, Sustaining Breastfeeding, and Toddler Nursing & Weaning/Special Cases. They also get to enjoy discounts to products and services, exclusive invites to parenting events, and an online support system. The club is led by Abigail Yabot, a La Leche League leader and one of the two Philippine Certified Lactation Counselors who was trained at the UP-PGH.

Beauty, Brains, and Breastfeeding is a non-government organization that has worked with UNICEF on several advocacy projects since 2006. The organization aims to accomplish the following:
To convince as many people possible that “breastfeeding is not just for those who cannot afford to buy “formula”, but that “breastfeeding is in fact a choice among the informed and affluent in our society;” To change their mindset from “breastfeeding is very hard” to “breastfeeding is a breeze;” and, To support and empower all mothers to successfully breastfeed beyond 2 years without supplementation of formula milk, but complemented with a variety of healthy indigenous foods starting 6 months.

Mommy Sense is a Davao-based breastfeeding support group initiated by Lyn Buyco-Tan. Aside from being a breastfeeding resource person, Tan and her group organized “Portraits of Love” a photo exhibit which showed photos of breastfeeding mothers. The group’s Facebook page shares various information and external links about breastfeeding. Fans also get to ask questions and also exchange breastfeeding insights with fellow fans.

MOMIMOR (Moms, Milk, and More) is a non-profit breastfeeding group started by natural childbirth and breastfeeding advocate and 1975 Binibining Pilipinas-Universe,Chiqui Brosas-Hahn. The group is made up of breastfeeding moms and couples who meet up to share their breastfeeding experiences with other members. Breastfeeding classes are free although attendees are asked to bring food to share with everyone.

Medela Moms, Inc. is the exclusive importer and distributor of Medela Breastfeeding Products in the Philippines. Mom-owners, Beng and Maricel, both breastfed their children and are actively sharing their breastfeeding insights with other breastfeeding moms. The company, with the help of Abbie Yabot of The Breastfeeding Club, regularly holds breastfeeding classes at the Medela House.

Bosom Buddy is a manufacturer of breastfeeding pillows, baby slings, and nursing wear. It is owned by Pamela Magallon, a breastfeeding counselor who conducts breastfeeding classes and baby care talks to fellow parents. The company’s website has a special Breastfeeding Guide page where visitors can read various breastfeeding resources. (Source: WikiPilipinas)

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