Friday, August 22, 2014

Thank you, Dr. Jack for Showing How Breastfeeding is a Win-Win :)

"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 developed 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 have researched about breastfeeding, chances are you have heard of Dr. Jack Newman.  Dr. Jack is a world-renowned pediatrician who has helped over 40,000 moms and babies breastfeed.  In his more than 30 years of experience as a doctor, he has seen how breastfeeding saves lives and has continuously pushed for it to become the norm all over the world.

I had the pleasure of spending time with him during his recent stay in Manila.  During one of our meals, fellow LATCHer, Charmaine, asked him " Do you ever get tired talking about breastfeeding? " Without any hesitation, he answered "no" and smiled.  If this man can tirelessly talk about breastfeeding for decades, it must be important, right?

Dr. Jack has seen firsthand how breastfeeding has made the world a better place.  He has seen the good that breastfeeding does for the families all over the world, and hopes that by visiting our country he can help make breastfeeding become the norm in the Philippines.

By encouraging mothers to breastfed, families will not be spending money on artificial milk, which is not only expensive but also risky for the child's health.  Breastfed families are able to save money because they don't need to buy milk and the children get sick less often.  The money they save can be used for other necessities, put up a small business and even pay for tuition fees so they can have a brighter future.  Also, the reality is that some families can't afford the P120,000 a year that they will have to spend on formula milk.  Some families have to borrow money just so they can buy artificial milk for their babies and to quote Dr. Jack "that's ridiculous!"

When a country promotes breastfeeding, it’s  child mortality rate declines.  Why? Because breastfeeding lowers the risk of infants dying of SIDS.  Breastfeeding also lowers the risk of a child getting cancer which are caused by viral infections.   One of my favorite benefits of breastmilk is it has an ingredient called a-lactalbumin, that kills tumor cells.   On a personal note, my twins were born a bit premature at 35 and a half weeks.  During the time that they were in the NICU, their blood pressure and pulse rate were constantly monitored.  I noticed that as I feed them, not only am I giving them milk, but the skin to skin contact that breastfeeding provides helps ensure that their vital signs are stable.    

Breastfeeding does not only save the lives of children but of mothers as well.  A new mom who breastfeeds recovers quicker from the blood loss she incurs during birth.  The calories she burns help lower the risk of her becoming obese and diabetic.   A breastfeeding mom lowers her risk of having breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.  She also lowers her risk being diagnosed with osteoporosis.  This is because even if a mom transfers calcium into milk while she’s breastfeeding, her bone mass increases upon weaning.  I remember taking a bone density test when I was younger and my pediatrician was concerned because it was below average for my age.  I’m glad that there’s something I can do about it.   

With all the benefits, it is clear that promoting breastfeeding and supporting nursing mothers is a win-win situation that should become the norm.  I’m glad to hear that most hospitals here in our country have policies that help moms get a good start in breastfeeding.  I’m also happy that there are laws protecting breastfeeding mothers.  We still have a long way to go.   But like Dr. Jack, by providing the proper support and information, we can make a difference one family at a time. 

Thanks again, Dr. J!  The Philippines misses you! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

Here are many thoughts and reasons why we should all advocate for mothers to breastfeed for the first 1,000 days of life #BF1st1000days Jenny shares experiencing the One Asia Breastfeeding Forum
Mec insists to do the Math and breastfeed!
Ams, The Passionate Mom says Breastfeed for a Better Future
Pat says breastfeeding saves money and the planet
Cheryl, the Multi-Tasking Mama, tackles maternal health as addressed by breastfeeding
2011 CNN Hero Ibu Robin highlights gentle births and breasfeeding, even in disaster zones
Felyn stresses that Healthy Moms = Healthy Babies
Monique reminds us that there are second chances in breastfeeding
Normi relates how breastfeeding gave her strength and purpose
Nats thanks Dr. Jack Newman for showing how breastfeeding can be a win-win situation
Em believes breastfeeding is a solution to societal problems
Marge shares what breastfeeding has taught them
Kaity was empowered financially and as a woman through breastfeeding
Madel relates her breastfeeding saga
Jen of Next9 reminds us to do our research and share what we know
Celerhina Aubrey vows to work on one mother at a time
Grace wants to put an end to stories of toasted coffee and similar stuff over breast milk
Diane shares how she prevailed when things did not go according to plan
Hazel appreciates mommy support groups
Roan combines two passions, breastfeeding and architecture
Queenie tackled breastfeeding as the best choice for the environment as well and breastfeeding myths and poverty
Rosa shares how the picture she thought of was realized
Sally believes breastfeeding benefits mankind and our planet Earth
Floraine reminds us that breastfeeding helps combat diseases
Crislyn was happy to realize that she improved her own health by breastfeeding
Armi reminds us how breastfeeding during emergencies is crucial
Arvi tells us how breastfeeding made her look at her body a different way
Clarice elaborates on how breastfeeding saves lives and the planet
Giane reminds us that women empowerment can begin by seeing breastfeeding as more than a feeding issue
Liza thought she was only breastfeeding for her child

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Happy Breastfeeding Month ;)

Hello, August ;)

Happy Breastfeeding Month :)

If someone told me when Ben was a newborn that I'll be enjoying breastfeeding and actually help others moms do the same, I'll probably would not believe it.  I lacked in sleep and Ben wanted to feed round the clock making me question if he was able to get any milk from me at all.  But I somehow survived my gelai and was encouraged by other moms to stick with it.  I remember Chronicles of Nursing Mom's Jenny Ong replying to my long list of questions over email.  (I was super starstruck then!) I remember watching Dr. Jack Newman videos and comparing the latches I saw with Ben's.  I remember Lita Nery teaching me how to do laid back and side lying nursing.  I remember talking to my ICA Batchmate Germaine asking her how she did it with her firstborn ,Sean.  It took a lot of people sharing their experiences and knowledge for me to finally be comfortable and confident.  

So when the opportunity came to learn how to help other moms breastfeed their babies, I was glad to be given a chance to pay it forward. I am thankful to be part of LATCH and be surrounded by like-minded moms.  To be honest, at first I did it so that I can properly counsel family and friends.  But I find myself also enjoying talking about breastfeeding in our classes, being a cheer leader to counselees, some who I have not even met face to face.  

I'm still fairly new to the advocacy, but the most important thing I have learned so far is that BREASTFEEDING SAVES LIVES! When a country promotes breastfeeding and implements proper protocols to support it, it's infant mortality rate goes down.  We all want that do happen right? 

I recently had a chat with a beautician while she was doing my make-up for an event. Last time we spoke, her daughter was pregnant and she (her daughter) mentioned that she wanted to breastfeed especially since she was breastfed, too.  Her daughter and grandson have been doing well and they're now talking about how to express milk when her daughter goes back to work.  She was pleasantly surprised to learn that there are laws protecting breastfeeding moms, making sure they have a proper place and time to express milk.  

After chatting with her, she said "'maam, buti nalang at nakilala kita" (I'm glad to have met you).  I got teary-eyed.  This is why the breastfeeding advocacy is close to my heart.   I am thankful for the opportunity to empower families who choose to give babies the best start in life.