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Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mark Your Calendars: Babywearing Meet 10/12, 2-5pm

Babywearers unite! I'm preparing and deciding what to wear for this event. SO many carriers to choose from!!!

Join us for a babywearing meet on 12 October 2013. The event will be at The Roxy's Event Place at Tomas Morato,from 2-5pm.

There will be activities like short talk on babywearing safety, MomBa and babywearing Samba.
Come and join us and GET CARRIED AWAY!:)

Friday, September 20, 2013

International Babywearing Month: What is Babywearing?

OCTOBER is International Babywearing Month! Yes, I know it's still September but I have to share this in preparation for an exciting month of random babywearing activities! I'm excited out of my mind, most especially since I have recently been addicted to it. S's been a real game changer on how active I am with regards to breastfeeding and now with babywearing. Yes, I know it's like the "new age mom activists" popping up.

What is Babywearing?
Simply put babywearing means "holding/carrying a baby or young child using a cloth baby carrier.

Holding babies is natural and universal; baby carriers make it easier and more comfortable, allowing parents and caregivers to hold or carry their children while attending to the daily tasks of living. Babywearing helps a new dad put a fussy newborn to sleep. It allows a new mom use both hands to make a sandwich. It lets an experienced parent or caregiver carry a baby on her back and wash the dishes, do the laundry, take a hike, or weed the garden, all while keeping the baby safe and content."
As in anything, babywearing is a skill that takes time to master and as you use it, the better you become. The manuals may say one particular way to do it but it is up to the user to find what is best for them. There are many baby carriers around like
A commercial baby carrier is not necessary for babywearing since there are many people use simple pieces of cloth to safely and comfortably carry their babies. Additionally, there is a learning curve with any baby product, including commercial baby carriers. Parents and caregivers often benefit from thinking of babywearing as a skill they can learn, rather than as the result of a product they can buy. Many babywearing techniques can be learned in just a few minutes. Some techniques, such as carrying a baby on your back, take more time and practice to master, but the extra effort is rewarded with liberation and increased comfort.
There are many benefits of babywearing that I can vouch for since I babyworn baby S:-
  • Bonding moments increased with babywearing and less dependencies in others. Scientific studies have shown that through babywearing - a mothers' oxytocin is increased through physical contact with her baby, leading to a more intimate maternal bond, easier breastfeeding and better care, thus lowering the incidence of postpartum depression and psychosomatic illness in the mother; similarly, the father carrying the baby has benefits for the paternal bond
  • Breastfeeding + Babywearing = Happy Baby and Mommy
    I liked the fact that I can breastfeed on demand, anytime and anywhere with just a sound from S. I do not have to worry about expressing milk to have someone at home give it to her when I go out or pickup my son from school.
    Where breastfeeding fails or is not possible, babywearing can aid attachment by encouraging closeness during bottle feeding and freeing at least one hand
  • The hands-free option of babywearing enabled me to not worry about having a maid with us while still being able to make sure the house is in order. I go out with S whenever the maid is on leave/vacation and I am not afraid/dreading it. It makes my relationship with my maid better and doesn't make anyone feel bad with regards to giving them space to themselves. Also, it enables me to multi-tasking with one free arm taking care of my toddler son while at the same time, ensure my daughter feeds in a secure manner.  A superwoman feat is correct!
  • Baby S, who's babyworn better than her brother, Big Brother C, are calmer because all of their primal/survival needs are met. The caregiver can be seen, heard, smelled, touched, tasted, provide feeding and the motion necessary for continuing neural development, gastrointestinal and respiratory health and to establish balance (inner ear development) and muscle tone is constant. Parental rhythms (walking, heartbeat, etc.) have balancing and soothing effects on infants. Attachment between baby and parent is more secure.
  • Studies showed that babyworn babies developing socially earlier. They are closer to people and can study facial expressions, learn languages faster and be familiar with body language.  Evidence-based benefits for full term babies include improved state organization and motor system modulation; improved temperature regulation; and an analgesic effect, reduced crying, improved maternal responsiveness, and babies who were more securely attached. I can attest to this but it doesn't mean that Big Brother C is not affectionate. I had to show him affection and be sociable in a different way like encouraging to talk to other kids under supervision (since they might be total strangers, etc) and giving as much affection without seemingly smothering him. 
  • An interesting benefit I have read on Wikipedia is that babywearing decreases risk of positional plagiocephaly ("flat head syndrome") caused by extended time spent in a car seat and by sleeping on the back. Sleeping on the back is recommended to decrease the risk of SIDS. Cranial distortion resulting from non-vehicular time in car seats has shown to be more severe than in children who develop plagiocephaly from back-lying on a mattress.  Concern over plagiocephaly has also led the American Academy of Pediatrics to recommend that infants “should spend minimal time in car seats (when not a passenger in a vehicle) or other seating that maintains supine positioning." None of the babywearing positions require infants to lie supine while being carried. Infants can even be worn while they sleep, also decreasing sleeping time spent in a supine position.
    Also, preterm babies have been shown to receive marked benefits from babywearing including shortened hospital stay, decreased illness, higher exclusive breastfeeding rates/longer breastfeeding duration, increased weight gain, improved temperature regulation, and improved maternal sense of competence.
More Babywearing entries as the days come around that I'm so excited about.
I will also try to update you all of any babywearing events around the Metro for the month. Exciting times again!!!

7 Tried and True Breastfeeding Positions. What works for you?

BabyCenter Blog by Dennis Cortes
19 September 2013

Some of my fondest memories as a mother were breastfeeding my children. Touching their soft skin, listening to their contented little sighs and staring into their eyes as they look up so adoringly at you–it was amazing. Breastfeeding is some pretty powerful stuff.

I can still vividly recall those first few nights at home after my babies were born. It felt like we were the only two people awake in the world sometimes. Sore and a little beat up, I tried my best to position the little squirming ball of humanity to my breast. Do women know how to do this instinctively? Am I doing this all wrong? Why is this so hard?

I had some struggles along the way, that’s for sure. Somehow I managed to maintain a breastfeeding relationship with most of my children. Once I gave birth to baby #6, I realized I became a seasoned veteran at breastfeeding along the way. How did I know this?

I had my favorite breastfeeding positions down pat. There was no need to experiment–I knew which ones were the most convenient and the most comfortable for both of us. Hands down, my favorite breastfeeding position was laying down. When you can both mother your child, feed her and doze in and out of sleep–that’s not laziness, it’s just pure genius. I gave up the notion of a crib a long time ago, which meant we were free to nurse and fall back asleep. I would usually lay my daughter across my hip (which was very soft and padded, by the way) to briefly burp her and then we’d switch sides.

On those occasions when I couldn’t lay down to nurse my baby girl, I would use the football hold. That is, until she was big enough to play with her feet and yank my nipple because her attention was directed across the room. Ouch.

I asked a few of my breastfeeding mama friends, and they shared a few of their favorite breastfeeding positions.

Lap Position: You will find yourself breastfeeding with your sweet babe spread out on your lap quite often.

 Side Lying Nursing: This is probably my favorite breastfeeding position! Once the oxytocin starts to flow and you begin to feel drowsy, it's the perfect time to nap.
Cradle Hold: The most common breastfeeding position. It's easy and comfortable. 

Babywearing - Sling: I never quite figured out how to nurse while wearing a sling, but lots of moms swear by it. 

Foodball Hold: This is great for moms who are new to breastfeeding because it gives a great view of baby's latch-on.

Lying Flat Back Position: This is supposed to be a restful position for mom--until the baby gets the idea that he's hungry!

Tandem Hold: For the mothers with two young nursing babes, there is the tandem hold. 

My second favorite breastfeeding position--comfortably on your lap, head cradled in your arms, eyes looking up at you and their tiny hand griping yours.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

HKG: Breastfeeding out and about in Hong Kong

I love this! This will definitely help and I hope my friends who read this take heed of the very last two lines of the article, that I highlighted.
Note: for Hong Kong nursing Rooms, I have a compiled list of updated nursing rooms in HKG that you can find here.

Breastfeeding out and about in Hong Kong: The ‘6 P’s’ to ensure success when nursing in public
Article from Sassy Mama HK dated 11 September 2013
Written by Conchita Amende

So, you’re at home with your newborn, and you have chosen to breastfeed exclusively – congratulations! The feeding is going well at home, with nobody to please but yourselves… but there comes a time when go out you must, for your sanity, if nothing else! At this point breastfeeding in public can seem like a daunting task.

It doesn’t have to be scary. Remember that at this early stage, your baby is at their most portable, and as long as you are there, they will be happy. Breastfeeding whilst out of the home is far more convenient than having to tote bottle-feeding paraphernalia around with you. Yet it is something that many new mothers dread, and ultimately avoid. A few tips can make it bearable… even enjoyable!
  1. Plan. Make sure your little one is fed and happy when you leave home, and try to plan your trip around the time you know they are most settled. Plan to be near “civilization” when you know they will need the next feed. A hungry, screaming baby in the middle of the supermarket is not much fun for anyone.
  2. Prepare. Know your surroundings, and do a little asking around about the best places to stop and feed. There are many pleasant feeding rooms in Hong Kong (check out Sassy Mama’s Guide to Hong Kong’s best feeding and changing rooms here!), and you are never too far from a coffee shop, which can offer a comfy chair and a welcome break. Of course, breastfeeding is positively encouraged at Annerley and mums are always welcome to pop in for a feed! If all else fails, a clothing store changing room can offer a quiet corner for a quick pit stop.
  3. Privacy. We all know breast is best, but in a city like Hong Kong it is inevitable that feeding in public is going to get you some looks. Everyone has heard stories of breastfeeding mums being asked to leave a café, mall or museum, but there are many women who have happily fed all over Hong Kong with no problem at all. Feeling anxious can hinder your ability to nurse, so do what you need to when it comes to feeling comfortable about feeding your baby. There are some wonderful nursing covers on the market, or a light sarong, shawl or muslin square is often enough to provide a little privacy. There are also some very clever nursing tops out there too. Be kind to yourself, and wear clothing that is easy to pull up or down without the extra stress of exposing yourself in public.
  4. Protection. Even if you have never needed breast pads before, it is a good idea to have some handy the first few times you venture beyond your comfort zone. Delays, stress, and unfamiliar environments can sometimes lead to leakage!
  5. Practice. Have a mock outing whilst at home. Practice feeding without your favourite pillow or cushion, sitting up on a hard-backed chair. Hong Kong’s streets being as they are, baby slings or carriers are very popular here, and it is entirely possible to feed baby within the carrier – the trick is to release the straps whilst sitting down so baby can be repositioned. Try it a few times and you’ll soon get the hang of it!
  6. Persevere. Your first experience may not be a wonderful one, but keep going – it will get easier the more you do it. Look confident, because looking confident will make you feel it. Before you know it, you’ll be feeding standing up! You are doing the very best thing for your little one and never let anyone push you into feeding in a toilet.
    Be polite, considerate, respectful but firm. Feeding your baby is a human right.

Conchita Amende, Annerley Helper & Parent Academy Principal, qualified as a State Registered Nurse in England in 1982 and has continued to work and study for the past 28 years in different areas of health and education such as ante and post natal care, special care baby units, health education, and as an assessor and external verifier. She has been working in the community with families (with children under 5) for the last 9 years as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (Health Visitor UK), and also lectures at universities. As well as her nursing qualifications, she has practiced as a registered midwife in the UK, has a post-graduate diploma in health promotion, has training certifications and is currently working towards her certification as a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Conchita has 3 grown-up children, speaks a little French and loves to have a chance to practice! She loves living in Hong Kong and having the opportunity to explore Asia and meet new people.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Breastfeeding Symposium: Dr Jack Newman, Guru of Breastfeeding, is coming to Manila!!!

Look look look at who is coming to Manila!!! It is none other than Dr Jack Newman, the writer of The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book! Check out the poster below.

He is the expert in breastfeeding in North America and is considered a "rockstar" in the Breastfeeding Community all over the world. He's done a lot of conference talks and help set-up and certify Mother/Baby Friendly Hospitals all over the world. He's done extensive research in the field of breastfeeding and even upon pregnancy to prepare for a smooth breastfeeding journey. He's written a number of books and his latest and what I have on me is the below. You can read some snippets of his book and I adore and read with gusto each chapter!
I joined Mommy Treat's contest on a whim since I wanted to support a fellow mommy entrepreneur, Paola! Lo and behold, I won!!!

See my entry below that got me a coveted spot! :)

"Sharing this to all my lovely friends is a great opportunity for friends in Manila!!!
I would like to win tickets in support of this momentous event because...
- Dr Jack Newman is the front runner of breastfeeding advocacy in the world!
- he has provided countless support and help/tutorials, on and offline to countless women all over the world regarding proper techniques and advices on breastfeeding. Books, YouTube videos, conferences and seminars are all available for!
- University of Toronto is one of the top 3 medical schools in Canada and Dr Jack Newman is an alumni!
- a fellow Canadian immigrant supporting another Canadian immigrant all the way in Manila
- how can I not seize this moment...breastfeeding super star in our midst and at a reasonably great location, at Augusto Barcelon Auditorium, Medical City!
- Lastly, this seminar will better me equip myself in joining in the breastfeeding advocacy in giving women support, educate and spread the word, and breakdown any myths about breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding has become an important part of my life now, most especially when I see the results in front of me through S and comparing my Breastfeeding Journey with C. I have had S heal from colds, snuffles faster (2 days only) then C, who would go through bad coughs and runny noses for about a week or more!?!

As mother, we all make and have made our own choices just like any human being in general.
I, myself, would like educate and give as much information of all other mothers out there regarding breastfeeding and its benefits so I hope it wouldn't be used against me in general for being an adamant defender of breastfeeding women's own choices.  AMEN!

I was one of the lucky people who was able to learn a lot from a guru. He discussed a lot about the basics of breastfeeding, jaundice, engorgement, sore nipples, proper latch videos and shared stories of his experiences.

Suffice to say, I enjoyed every moment of the symposium and even if took all day, it was wonderful to be in the midst of so many breastfeeding supporters, mothers, advocates, etc. Empowering, educational and made me decide even more to help as many friends/contacts, etc regarding breastfeeding and babywearing queries. 

I also got to have our book signed!!! It came just in time for the symposium all the via from the US via Amazon! The picture above is him signing it. Too bad, S was asleep when we took the picture. She was a very good student during this lecture with wonderful classmates on my left and right sides. :D

See one of his important videos on proper latching...

The symposium was featured in a local station's feature called "Ok ka Doc".
FYI - S and I were caught breastfeeding! Heehee

A fellow Breastfeeding Pinay, Bing, and friend was also able to get the story straight with regards to breastfeeding and hair treatment/coloring/rebonding, etc!

I hope Dr Jack Newman will be coming back to Manila again soon or some time down the road. For more updates on this, if ever, please head to L.A.T.C.H.'s facebook page
Willll Dr. Jack Newman be coming back to Manila? Stay tuned and like the LATCH Facebook page to stay updated!