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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Why is Everyone Referring to Arugaan? (Posting by a good friend)

I thought it would be a nice change to help mothers who ask me about Arugaan and why it is and has a huge impact on me. Yes, I am also trained and part of Arugaan so this holds true to my beliefs and convictions.
I have to honestly thank friends like Mec (below) and Velvet (another Arugaan trainer and Doula) for helping me find my true calling to help mothers out there.

Please read on...

Bakit lagi na lang Arugaan? ‪#‎Arugaan‬
(Why is everyone referring everyone to Arugaan?)

1) Arugaan, established by Nay Ines in the 1980s, has been doing breastfeeding advocacy work at the community/grassroots level... Which gives them experience most of us attached to other breastfeeding groups do not have yet.

2) Arugaan is the only organization that employs pregnant and breastfeeding mothers BECAUSE of their potential to breastfeed. Some of them work as wet nurses, some work as lactation counselors, still others work in the Arugaan creche or provide support to Arugaan endeavors (like catering for Arugaan-DOH trainings).

3) Most from Arugaan earn a living through Arugaan endeavors. Kinabubuhay po nila, hindi kinayayaman. When we support them, we support their families. Minsan, they pool kids under the care of a designated "momma" so the others can work. This is how they sustain their community. Compare that to other groups who may only have volunteer moms who also work (not that they/we aren't able to manage great feats of wonderfulness too). Arugaan counselors have time devoted to helping because this is their work... I homeschool, other counselors have no yayas on weekdays, other counselors run their companies... Are you really going to wait for us to be free when you can get help from them? And if we can help them help themselves and make this system grow... Why not? Nay Ines is ever willing to train people who want to start their own versions in their own locales.

* note: kinabubuhay takes its roots from the word BUHAY... Life. Yung kinikita po ng wet nurses, ipambibili nila ng bigas, ipambabayad ng kuryente, pangbaon ng anak... Hindi nila ipambibili ng Starbucks or ipang-HK

4) They think local, indigenous, practical, common sense.
Back when I was first starting out as a counselor, I was mega impressed that Medela has come up with their SNS (Supplemental Nursing System)...only to realize that Arugaan's drip feeding method requires no expense, no contamination risks (because I still don't know how you can properly clean tubes of milk fats)m etc. Medela has also come up with a kind of feeder for those with cleft palate... But for most cases (especially mild ones), just tilting the angle of the baby so you can use the breast of the mother to close that gap is enough to aid the baby to suckle 'normally' (another Arugaan trick).

5) They also advocate mother and young child nutrition using local food.

6) They trained most of the breastfeeding groups, counselors and advocates that I know. Granted I do not know all of them but I like to think I know some of the more active, dynamic ones.

7) The lactation massage they offer comes with counseling, and comes with the hope/goal that you will not be dependent on them (like how others package their services). Their services are also priced reasonably (and you don't just pay for their time, but also their skill, experience and knowledge).

8) These counselors we might pay for their services are the same who do not get paid when they go to disaster areas post-calamity to ensure the protection of babies and young children. Again, kinabubuhay po nila pero hindi kinayayaman ang pagiging Arugaan counselor. They do this for love and service.

9) They train other counselors/groups from other countries too!

Why did I write this? It just occurred to me that everyone keeps referring to them when, andami namang groups na pwede... And some people might be curious as to why. And obviously, i love what Arugaan stands for.

Does this mean other groups aren't good? Heck, no. I am from LATCH and proud of the the work we do in the niche we fill.

Does this mean other groups aren't doing as good a work as Arugaan? Heck, no... Breastfeeding advocacy is moving forward because of the collective efforts of different groups. Some lobby for laws, some teach at hospitals, some address working mom concerns, some cater to the poor, some cater to the rich, some cater to the in-between, some help police violations.

Does this mean others shouldn't contact the other groups? Heck no... We all do what we can and no one org can do everything. By all means get the support from whichever is nearest you, most accessible to you, most compatible for you.

It's just that Arugaan is what it is... A safe, self-sustaining bet where BFP believes one can turn to for quality info and support.

(And yes, Arugaan trained din Ako... More than that though, Arugaan inspired)

- Mec Arevalo

Nicely written, Mec!

Here are the contact details of Arugaan:-
Innes Fernandez
Mobile: (0908) 8888 153

Velvet Roxas
Mobile: (0915) 774 1614

Mobile Counseling service and support for breastfeeding, infant nutrition and mother-baby friendly alternatives. Daycare and wet nurse facility for working and breastfeeding moms. Can help Moms to breastfeed even in the most difficult circumstances. Intensive experience on relactation and bringing the baby back to the breast. Has trained more than 4,000 breastfeeding counselors in more than 20 cities.

Arugaan's Community-Based Mother Support:
Specializes in lactation massage and breastfeeding counseling (home and hospital visits)

a) Quezon City
Nanay Rich Talle - (0916) 3086 434
Tintin Cervantes - (0906) 3160978
Riah Talle - (0917) 5155368
Lorena Rivera - (0949) 159 9613/(0916) 216 9836

b) Rizal
Christina Alterado - (0932) 396 4538

c) Laguna
Lita Nery - (0918) 555 7565

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