STORY: “CARNIVOROUS VS. VEGETARIAN PREGNANCY”

I’d like to share with you my experiences during pregnancy – as a carnivore and then, as a vegetarian.
Since I was very young and until my first pregnancy, my diet was just plain unhealthy. I did not eat vegetables, fruits and soups. My diet was dictated exclusively by my taste palette, which constantly led me to canned goods, preserved foods, chips, sweets and a lot of flavoured juices.

As a child, I was fat, always sick and malnourished. As a teen, I reduced weight the wrong way and became very thin, almost anorexic and probably more malnourished. When I got married, I served instant meals to my husband, making him as malnourished as I was!

My poor eating habits continued throughout my entire first pregnancy, during which time I experienced spotting (doctor advised complete bed rest), pre-term labour and contractions (bed rest again), sleepiness and lethargy in the morning (always late for work), pimples and acne on my face, cough all throughout my pregnancy, stomach aches, backaches, nausea (I remedied the wrong way by drinking lots of cold sweet flavoured juices!) This caused me excess weight gain of 40lbs. (the 30 lbs of which I retained!) From a size XS, I started wearing L-sized clothes, my waistline measured 31 inches!

I had edema (until months later), intolerable labor pain for 42 hours (no anesthesia). My pregnancy and labor were considered high risk. Due to distress, my baby boy was placed in an incubator and had to finish seven days of antibiotics in the hospital. My son also had jaundice so he was given the light treatment. We stayed in the hospital for 13 days. 0ur hospital bill reached P70,000 and that was 6 years ago!

Most people and even medical practitioners and books will tell you that these are all normal, but I believe that pregnancy need not be a torturous experience for mother and child.

Three years later, we discovered that my son had un-descended ball, caused by my bad diet when I was pregnant with him and his body was still forming inside my womb . Hernia is a congenital problem. The left side of a fetus’ abdomen is the first to close. At 7 months, the right hole should have closed but it didn’t, due to the lack of nutrition in my diet during pregnancy while fetus was still developing. So there is a hole where his intestine falls down to. The lump is his intestine. This also pulls-up his right testes. According to 4 Pedia-Surgeons we spoke to, “there is no medication, only surgery. “ But God is good. We were able to treat our son’s hernia through daily prayers, massage and proper nutrition. (You may read the full story on this at “Natural Healthy Lifestyle“.)

On my second pregnancy three and a half years later, I was already a vegetarian and my experience was so much better – despite the fact that I was a lot more harassed at work because I organized and handled three (3) big events and several smaller functions. People said I looked and acted as if I wasn’t pregnant. I was able to wear my regular clothes until my 6 th month. I walked straight and moved fast. I never felt sleepy even when I worked until the wee hours of the morning and even worked for 48 hours straight without a nap. My younger staff couldn’t cope with me. I didn’t get sick. I did not experience any backache or stomach ache. I didn’t have pre-term labour. My face was clear (to my dermatologist’s surprise).

I planned and prepared to do “water-birthing”. Without meat and sugar in the body, there will be minimal or no labour pain at all. I prayed for an easy, quick and painless labour and delivery.

God gave me a Caesarean delivery. I guess I forgot to specify “natural” in my prayers, or perhaps God had a reason. I got a Caesarean section because I was a week and a half overdue and only had 3cm amniotic fluid left, yet I wasn’t contracting nor dilating, thus, there was no other choice.

I made the following deals with my doctors: To give me only spinal anaesthesia, not to put me to sleep during the operation, bikini cut, immediate latching as soon as baby is out, exclusive breastfeeding (no formula, no glucose water), and immediate rooming-in of the baby. With the deal made, I walked into the operating room.

Still, thanks to my vegan and no-sugar diet, my baby girl’s APGAR score was 9 and I had a quick recovery.

I quickly lost half the weight I gained. I was able to breastfeed lying on my back as soon as my daughter was brought to me. I never felt any pain as the anaesthesia wore-off because I don’t have any in-take of sugar. As soon as they’ve removed the catheter and the IV, I was able to walk myself and all the edema I got from the IV were easily gone. When I was already allowed soft/liquid diet, I drank soup which contained assorted vegetables including sweet potato (kamote), which gave me energy and allowed for bowel movement. My daughter and I were able to check out of the hospital on the second day. Our hospital bill with a Caesarean delivery was down to P40,000 only! I started to take care of my daughter all by myself right from our first night at home.

My son and I suffered the consequences of my unhealthy diet during my first pregnancy.

When I realized this when he was 2 months old, I made a 360 degrees turnaround into a vegetarian. I made it up to my son by breastfeeding him for a long time – 3-1/2 years (until I was pregnant again) and continue to express breast milk for him to drink up to now that he is 6-1/2 years old.

God used my son to save me from my unhealthy lifestyle as well as my next child, a daughter.

Our family is now entirely vegan. To God be the glory!

*This brings me to my conclusion that “abnormalities at birth which are termed “in-born” is actually “malnutrition during pregnancy”. Malnutrition doesn’t only refer to lack of food. It could be the availability of too much unhealthy junk foods. Junk foods does not only refer to chips but also meat, processed foods, sweets, instant drinks, soft drinks, dishes with MSG/vetsin, etc.

(See “Foods We Recommend and Foods We Discourage”)


STORY: “VIOLATIONS TO
EO 51 AND RA 7600”

There is a hospital who is supposed to be a “ Mother & Child-Friendly Hospital”. It is exempted from paying taxes. It has banners, posters and flipcharts inside its Breastfeeding Room that says it is “ Mother & Child-Friendly Hospital” but is it?

Case No. 1
Five years ago, Dax gave a normal birth to a healthy baby girl. They stayed for three (3) days. The whole time the infant was bottle-fed in the nursery. This violation to the EO 51 and RA 7600 was never reported.

When I visited Dax at home, her daughter had jaundice, she hasn’t breastfed and her breasts were very engorged yet she never complained of the pain. It was very difficult but with God’s help, Nona Castillo, IBCLC and I were able to help Dax soften her breasts using massage, warm compress,.breast.milk.expression,
nitiating..breastfeeding,..teaching breastfeeding positions, giving Dax the right indigenous foods to eat, and specifically telling her to offer her breast every feeding and get rid of her infant formula and feeding bottles. Breastfeeding healed her daughter’s jaundice and herself from engorgement. Dax was able to breastfeed her daughter for 2 years and is now breastfeeding her 10 month old son.

Case No. 2
First time parents, Pen and Mex, have been given birthing and breastfeeding lectures, were informed about the laws regarding rooming-in and breastfeeding and have been forewarned about the possible repeat of Dax’ case in the same hospital with the same Obegyne. The couple was confident that the same case won’t happen to them because they have pre-arranged/pre-agreed Birth Plan with their Obegyne and Pediatrician which were stipulated in their Admission Slip "immediate rooming-in and exclusive breastfeeding"

During labor however, Mex was given an Epidural when she was already 9cm dilated and could still tolerate the pain. When the Anaesthesiologist shot her spine with Epidural, her Obegyne was not present in the Delivery Room. Upon the Obegyne’s return, even she was surprised and enraged at such radical action taken by the Aneasthesiologist. Mex gave birth through normal delivery with epidural and fundal pressure to an 8.1lb Baby Girl with APGAR Score of 9-10 (almost perfect).

The Epidural had negative effects on Mex.

  1. During the delivery, she couldn’t feel the contractions so she needed guidance and fundal pressure.
  2. Druggy and drowsy in the recovery room, her Pediatrician immediately concluded that Mex could not breastfeed and instructed her husband to buy SIMILAC infant formula without a written prescription.
  3. Mex was so drugged that when her husband asked her whether or not she could breastfeed, she lost her consciousness before she could give an answer. So her husband went out to buy the infant formula.
  4. Mex got fever and chills as the effect of the Epidural and of almost being engorged

The new born baby girl at 8.1lbs with an APGAR score of 9-10 already had her eyes wide opened, body moving so actively, had rosy-white skin not wrinkled anymore as if she were 1 or 2months old already – all signs of perfect good health.

Despite signs of good health however, pediatrician ordered nurses at the nursery to feed infant formula, do a Blood Culture and to give medication to the healthy infant. They explained that maximum labor time after water breaks should only be 18 hours but Mex delivered her healthy infant after 22 hours. Due to the Blood Culture and Medication, the pedia and nurses did not allow the baby to be roomed-in.

Blood Culture is where they take blood sample and has to observe the blood and the baby for at least 72 hours. But aside from Blood Culture, they kept conducting tests because they were trying to figure out why the baby was so big and so healthy!

Because the baby was under medication and fed SIMILAC infant formula, the baby was full, druggy and asleep for long hours. Thus, Mex could not breastfeed her new born child whenever she went down to the Nursery every 2 hours or so, and so she got sick and weak.

Because Mex hasn’t breastfed her baby, she experienced the following illnesses:

1. Bleeding, which resulted to low blood pressure of 90/50 versus her normal BP of 110/70.
*Breastfeeding could have contracted her uterus to stop the bleeding

2. Engorgement
* She gave birth May 27, 3:30pm. She was finally able to breastfeed only on May 29, 5:30 pm; already 50 hours after delivery – because that was the only time we caught the baby finally awake from a long sleep due to medication and infant formula.

3. Fever and Chill
* Also a result of the breasts’ engorgement


To Quote Mex, “Hindi magiging ganap ang pagkababae ko kung hindi ko mabe-breastfeed ang baby ko.” (translation: “My womanhood won’t be complete if I won’t be able to breastfeed my baby.”)

I helped Mex by doing the following natural healing methods:

1. Fed her healing indigenous foods:
  • Soup with papaya, camote, tomatoes, onions, ginger, dahon ng sili (energy-giving and helpful in increasing breast milk)
  • Red Rice (which is high in iron and other natural nutrients, for her low blood pressure)
  • Brown Rice Coffee with Pandan Leaves (to contract her uterus and to relax her)
  • Sambong Tea (to detox/cleanse/remove heat and toxins from Cate’s body, thus heal fever)
  • Salabat (ginger, saba, camote and pandan leaves – all boiled together)

2. Sponged Bath her (to lower-down her fever)

3. Massaged her (to relax her and to soften and stimulate the breasts)

4. Assured her that she has enough breastmilk

5. Accompanied her to the Nursery’s Breastfeeding Room and taught her the correct sitting position, latching, and was able to make her breastfeed her child

6. Fed Mex with red rice, soup, and rice coffee / salabat / sambong tea / water after every feeding (since mother will really feel very hungry, and in Mex’s low blood pressure case, dizzy)

So, it was the feverish, low blood pressured Mex who went down to the Nursery to breastfeed. Despite her condition, she had to go down several times to check if her baby was awake/hungry, since the baby was out of her sight. In those times, there were several instances when baby was asleep. So Mex was not able to rest/sleep while baby was sleeping. Mex had to watch the time (when correct breastfeeding must not be based on time but on baby’s need).

Since the hospital had only one (1) wheel chair, several times too Mex couldn’t wait for the wheel chair to be returned after use of another patient so she just walked and rode the elevator inspite of her chills and dizziness (due to fever and low blood pressure).
Even if the parents offered and were willing to sign a waiver, no matter how many times we explained to the people in the Nursery that rooming-in the baby will heal both mother and baby, that...

The mother will be:

  • relieved of her anxiety, can sleep/rest/relax
  • breastfeeding will contract her uterus and stop her bleeding
  • breastfeeding the baby in the mother’s room will not engorge the mother and will cure mother’s fever

The baby: If in case their fear were true that the baby had infection due to 22 hours of labor after the water bag broke, no medication would be better than the baby’s own mother’s breast milk, which contains a lot of antibacterial properties.

To quote Mex


“Intindihin niyo naman ang nararamdaman ko as the mother…”
(translation: “Please try to understand how I feel as a mother…”
“Pampadagdag kaba sa akin yung iniisip ko kung baka gising at gutom na ang baby, baka mag-engorge uli ako pag di ko napasuso si baby.”
(translation: It’s additional stress for me when I wonder if my baby is awake or hungry already, and when I worry that I might get engorged again if baby is fed infant formula before I am able to get to her, to breastfeed her..”
“Nilalagnat, giniginaw, nahihilo at mababa ang BP ko so mahirap sa akin ang bumaba nang bumaba.”
(translation: “I have fever and chills. I’m dizzy and have low blood pressure. It’s hard for me to keep coming down to the nursery.”

Regardless, they still didn’t allow Pen & Cate to sign the Waiver and they continued to give threats and alibis, i.e.:
  • You’ll just have to wait for another 24 hours, let’s wait for the result of the Blood Culture.
  • Let’s just do the “New Born Screen Test”.
  • Let’s finish the “Hepa Screening” before you room-in the baby, so we finish all the tests. When asked when is the “Hepa Screening”, they answered, “We don’t know. It depends on the availability of the equipment/items/person to conduct the test.
  • If you room-in the baby and the baby gets infected from external sources, that will be another 7 days of antibiotics which means 7 days of rooming-in the baby
  • Once you take the baby out of this Nursery, you may no longer return the baby here, for us to take care/cure
  • After already 78 hours/3 days and 6 hours of Blood Culture, they said “Not yet 72 hours, but just 2 days and 5 hours”!
  • Upon counting in front of them, their next alibi was, “The Medical Technologist isn’t here to sign the result of the Blood Culture.”

It was already on May 30 at 10:30pm, exactly 79 hours after birth that the baby was finally roomed-in with the mother. They check-out the next day.

There is very clear repeat violation of:

1. Executive Order 51, which prohibits the marketing of breastmilk substitute
- when the Pediatrician ordered for the immediate feeding of SIMILAC infant formula, without the consent of the drugged unconscious mother, and without trying other means and ways to feed breastmilk to the new born child (Mex had 1 sister and 2 sisters-in-law who were breastfeeding mothers and there was always 1 of them with her at the hospital.)

2. Republic Act 7600, which is the Rooming-in and Breastfeeding Act
- the Pediatrician and the Nursery didn’t allow them to room-in the healthy baby.

*History repeats itself if this is the daily practice of same hospital and doctors and nurses there, and if nobody will correct this by filing a report to the Department of Health.


Preggy Preparations
PREPARATION BEGINS DURING PREGNANCY.
So while waiting for the birth of your child…

1. EAT THE RIGHT HEALTHY FOODS

Anything a pregnant mother eats and drinks will have an effect on her body and health, on whether she will have an easy or high risk pregnancy, a painless or a painful labor, on how fast her body will return to its previous shape, and even to the health and features of the still developing fetus inside the mother’s womb.
(See “Nutrition”)

2. KNOW & BE MOTIVATED WITH THE BREASTFEEDING BENEFITS

BREASTFEEDING BENEFITS
“Cows milks are for calves; Human mothers’ breast milks are for babies.”

Benefits to the Mother
  • Breastfeeding with heal you. It will make your uterus contract and go back to its normal size. Thus, you will not bleed too much, and, you will go back to your normal shape faster.
  • Breastfeeding will create the bond between you and your child and it will automatically make you ready to become a good mother.

Benefits to the Father and Mother

  • Exclusive breastfeeding, meaning, no water, no juice, no solid food, no pacifier, no vitamin, for the first six (6) months, is a natural way of family planning.
  • Breastfeeding will save you a lot of money. You won’t have to resort to artificial birth control methods. You won’t have to buy milk formula, feeding bottles, sterilizer. You won’t have to sterilize bottles that use-up electricity or gas. You won’t have to buy vitamins because breast milk is complete. Your baby’s immune system will be stronger that he/she wouldn’t get sick so you won’t have to bring him/her to the doctor and you won’t have to buy medicines. A breastfed baby doesn’t pee often so it is easy to toilet train and you consume less diaper.
  • Breastfeeding will allow you to sleep. Sleep with the baby in the middle. Breastfeed in a lying position. As the baby wakes and moves, even before he/she cries, offer your breast and you could sleep while the baby feeds. No crying baby. No need to stand and prepare milk in a bottle. Just be sure to know the proper breastfeeding positions. (See “Proper Breastfeeding Positions”)

Benefits to the Baby

  • Just as cow’s milk is for its calf, mother’s milk is for her baby. Each being’s type of milk is best for its own kind.
  • Breastfeeding will remove any fear baby may have in this still strange outside world for him.
  • Baby will be warmed by your embrace and baby will be brought beside your heart where he would hear your familiar heartbeat as well as mother’s familiar voice. Baby would also smell and recognize his own mother.
  • By doing this act of breastfeeding, you make your baby feel loved. Babies can die without touch. Love promotes babies’ physical growth and development, including that of the brain.
  • Breastfeeding will make your child a loving, caring, generous, sweet and smart person.
  • Breast milk strengthens the immune system and is complete with all the essential vitamins and minerals (no need to give vitamins and medicines, thus, baby’s liver is protected too).
  • Breast milk is hypoallergenic, thus, will not cause any skin and respiratory allergic reactions like rushes, skin asthma, asthma, tuberculosis, colds, cough, etc.
  • Breast milk is sterilized. It provides a protective lining to the baby’s tummy. Thus, helpful to breastfeed before giving solid food to avoid diarrhea.
  • Breast milk is easy to digest specially for infant’s still under-developed digestive system. It will not cause constipation.
  • Breastfeeding won’t cause colic unlike when babies are bottle-fed that cause air to enter the baby’s tummy.
  • Breastfeeding produces good set of teeth since breastfed baby won’t use bottle nipples/artificial tits that ruin gums and teeth.
  • Breastfeeding will develop speech early. Sucking the breast exercises the jaw compared to the feeding bottle’s nipples that when tilted spill-out the milk formula from the holes and so easier to suck.
  • Breastfeeding will make baby’s intelligence very much advanced. Breast milk’s content is more for brain development. Babies don’t walk until they reach one year of age, as compared to 4 legged-animals that stand immediately at birth. The longer you breastfeed, the more intelligent your child will become.
  • Breastfeeding protects baby’s kidney. Since calves need a lot of protein to stand and do the normal functions of a calf, cow’s milk contains high level of it that may be too heavy for baby’s kidneys and cause constipation or deformation in stature and walk.
  • Breastfeeding will help identify which foods are unsuitable or allergic to baby even before baby starts eating solid foods. During breastfeeding, what you eat goes to your breast milk and creates positive or negative effect on baby’s body and health. Thus, even during breastfeeding, you will be able to determine what food or drink you took which could have caused certain reactions to your baby. No more trial and error when it is time to feed solid foods to baby.
  • Breastfeeding prevents baby from being obese, since it does not contain sugar, honey, animal milk nor the artificial growth hormones.
  • A breastfed child’s bowel and urine doesn’t excrete bad intolerable odor, unlike formula/bottle-fed babies.
  • A breastfed child doesn’t sweat as much as formula-fed children.
  • A breastfed child smells good even if child has sweat or played under the sun.

Benefits to People with Illnesses
*Breast milk especially of a vegan mother will give fast healing results!

  • Breast milk can cure conjunctivitis/sore eyes, by just dropping fresh breast milk into the affected eye. May do so every hour or so.
  • Breast milk contains lauric acid that can cure asthma, by drinking it which is hypoallergenic instead of cow’s milk which is naturally very high in allergens. Breast milk can cure skin diseases like rushes, pimples, acne, skin asthma, burns, by either applying it on the skin or soaking the skin area in breast milk.
  • When baby is sick with cough, colds and/or fever, breastfeeding mother may take natural herbal tablet or tea like Salabat, Pandan, Sambong, Lagundi, Oregano and give her breast to the child. The sick child will also drink the healing benefits of the herbs through the breast milk.
  • Breastfeeding can hydrate baby and stop diarrhea or vomiting. Before breastfeeding, mother will drink brown rice coffee. The brown rice plus the roasting process (Yang cooking method) will heal the diarrhea or vomiting (Yang diseases). After baby released, mother to drink brown rice coffee and breastfeed sick child.
Breastfeeding is among God’s perfect natural designs. It is what’s best for the family and it is freely available and it makes parenting easy. Breastfeeding is the best start on life you can give your child.

(Published in Baby Magazine’s November 2004 issue)

“BREASTFED CHILDREN”






3. KNOW THE LAWS THAT PROTECT BREASTFEEDING AND YOUR RIGHTS

1. World Health Assembly (WHA) 5 th Assembly, 16 April 2002
  • As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods using indigenous foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years or beyond.

2. World Health Assembly (WHA) 39 th Assembly, 16 May 1986

  • Follow-up milks are not necessary.

3. Executive Order 51: “National Code on the Marketing of Breast milk Substitutes and Other
... Related Products”

4. Republic Act 7600: “The Rooming-in and Breastfeeding Act of 1992”

SEC. 5. Normal Spontaneous Delivery – Newborn infants shall be put to the breast of the mother immediately after birth and forthwith roomed-in within thirty (30) minutes.

SEC. 6. Deliveries by Caesarean – Infants delivered by caesarean section shall be roomed-in and breastfed within three (3) to four (4) hours after birth.

SEC. 7. Deliveries Outside Health Institutions – Newborns delivered outside health institutions whose mothers have been admitted to the obstetrics department/unit and who both meet the general conditions stated in Section 5 of this Act, shall be roomed-in and breastfed immediately.

SEC. 8. Exemptions – Infants whose conditions do not permit rooming-in and breastfeeding as determined by the attending physician, and infants whose mothers are either a) serious ill; b) taking medications contraindicated to breastfeeding; c) violent psychotics; or d) whose conditions do not permit breastfeeding and rooming-in as determined by the attending physician shall be exempted from the provisions of Sections 5, 6 and 7: Provided, that these infants shall be fed expressed breast milk or wet-nursed as may be determined by the attending physician.

*But you have to watch-out and decipher the real condition/situation because this is an over-used lame excuse of some doctors and hospitals. Watch-out for medications being given to the mother, if really necessary or not. Note that mothers given antibiotics may still breastfeed because the dosage of antibiotics in infant formula are much higher than “any antibiotics given to the mother”)

*In case the mother strongly believes ‘breastfeeding will even heal both herself and her baby”, then the mother can always sign a waiver to take on the responsibility for whatever may happen.

SEC. 9. Right of the Mother to Breastfeed – It shall be the mother’s right to breastfeed her child who equally has the right to her breast milk. Bottle-feeding shall be allowed only after the mother has been informed by the attending health personnel of the advantages of breastfeeding and the proper techniques of infant formula feeding and the mother has opted in writing to adopt infant formula feeding for her infant.

(visit: www.gov.ph. 7600)

These are long existing laws. But it is finally very recently that Health Secretary Duque finally signed the laws’ implementation. So effective now, these laws have to be followed, or violations will have consequences to the hospital and medical practitioner.

WHEN THE LAW AND YOUR RIGHTS ARE VIOLATED:

Steps:

  • Exercise your rights. You as the parent of the baby have the right over your baby.
  • Sign a Waiver if you strongly think you can breastfeed and room-in and that breastfeeding will heal the baby.
  • Get a copy of Doctor’s Order. You as patient is entitled to ask for a copy. Only patients may be given a copy because of the “doctor-patient confidentiality”.
  • Ask the Doctor to answer in writing why he did not allow breastfeeding and/or immediate rooming-in
  • File an Incident Report and submit it to DOH

PENALTY TO HOSPITAL:

A hospital that is found guilty of violating EO 51 and RA 7600 will lose its accreditation as “mother & child-friendly” hospital and will no longer be exempted from paying taxes.

5. Birth Plan

The Birth Plan is your written agreement with your Obstetrician and Pediatrician about the kind of child birth and feeding you would like for your baby. You will specify:

  • the kind of delivery your prefer (natural, normal, caesarean)
  • if you want Enema at home
  • in case of anaesthesia or Caesarean delivery, the type of anesthesia to be given to you and whether you would like to stay awake during the operation
  • immediate latching after giving birth
  • immediate rooming-in of the baby
  • exclusive breastfeeding which means no water/glucose water, no milk formula, no vitamins, no pacifier, no juices, no tea for six months

Must be signed by both Obstetrician and Pediatrician days before the delivery.
Remember to bring the Birth Plan to the hospital when it is time to give birth.

Unless you tell your Pediatrician you want to room-in your child, they’ll just keep your baby in the nursery; unless you don’t tell your Pediatrician you want exclusive breastfeeding, the Pediatrician will order the nurses to feed glucose water and/or infant formula to your infant.
There are some who even if you insist you want rooming-in, delay, threaten
(See “Importance of Immediate Rooming-in”)

4. CHOOSE YOUR BIRTH PLACE, BIRTH GIVER AND PEDIATRICIAN

The first question is, “how would you like to give birth – natural (Lamaze/Bradley), normal or caesarean?”

If natural, the next question is, “where would you like to give birth - in a hospital (doctors and nurses) or at home (with a licensed nurse-midwife and your husband)?.”

The third question is, “do you believe in breastfeeding and would you like to breastfeed?”

Below are criteria to help you choose wisely your birth place and attendants, because these people’s orders/decisions will impact whether or not you will be able to breastfeed your baby.

Midwife

  • Make sure she is truly licensed
  • She can coach mother on how to relax during the stages of labor
  • She can massage mother to ease the pain and to hasten dilation (The warm water’s use is to hasten dilation/opening)
  • She will check baby’s and mother’s condition
  • She will clean baby
  • She will latch the baby and teach/assist mother in breastfeeding
  • She will massage the mother, including stimulation to increase breast milk
  • She will bathe baby and mother
  • She should not offer to give you a massage that will stop breasts from producing milk


Hospital Criteria:

  • Understands and informs the pregnant mother or mother who just delivered a child about the benefits of breastfeeding.
  • Practice immediate rooming-in the baby with the mother
  • Will not threaten mother about child’s safety
  • Knows that breast milk contains several anti-bacterial properties, that every tsp of breast milk had 3,000,000 germ-killing cells. Thus, they should know that the baby won’t get infected and that baby will not need antibiotics when breastfed
  • Can teach/guide mother how to breastfeed in sitting and lying positions
  • Will not tell you to clean your nipples with wet cotton
  • Willing to teach/demo to first-time parents how to bathe the child
  • Doesn’t give newborn infant feeding bottles, pacifiers, milk formula in the nursery, and will really confiscate these when they find these items within the hospital premises
  • Encourage breastfeeding on demand, not by clock: not every 2-3 hours
  • In case medical situation really cannot allow rooming-in, they will tell you to go to the nursery and will call you when baby needs feeding


Criteria for Obstetrician:

  • Encourages couples to attend Natural Child Birth Classes and Breastfeeding Classes
  • Pro-life, will not offer use of contraceptives and ligation
  • Willing to explain the various anaesthesia and inform you of the side-effects
  • Will not ask you to drink milk during pregnancy and while breastfeeding
  • Better if she herself has given birth and has breastfed
  • Believe that a mother who had Caesarean Section may still try to have a normal delivery

Criteria for Pediatrician:

  • Pro-Breastfeeding or a Breastfeeding Advocate
  • Better if she is a mother and breastfeeding practitioner
  • Believes that mothers who had a Caesarean delivery can breastfeed
  • Will ask mother to breastfeed right after giving birth
  • Will order for immediate rooming-in of the baby with the mother
  • Will not/never prescribe infant formula
  • Will not prescribe vitamin to a breastfed baby
  • Will not give kids sweets as treat after an injection
  • Will never ask mothers to stop breastfeeding (even for temporary period)
  • Can share breastfeeding benefits
  • Can teach breastfeeding techniques
  • Can suggest indigenous complementary foods when child is ready for solid foods
  • Willing to give information about immunization and let parents decide

*Although proximity and convenient schedule are factors to consider, let this be secondary to the health and welfare of mother and child.

The true test lies on what they actually practice. Best to ask mothers you know about their experiences. Use the above given sets of criteria in asking the questions.

5. ATTEND CHILDBIRTH AND BREASTFEEDING CLASSES

Even if you don’t think you can go through/pull-off a natural childbirth, there is value in attending/completing a Natural Childbirth class. Information will take away fear of the unknown pain and experience. Aside from the Lamaze/Bradley method, they will prepare you for parenting by sharing any or all of the following topics:
  • Nutrition
  • Exercises
  • Stages of Labor
  • Relaxation Techniques
  • How to Push the Baby
  • Breastfeeding
  • Family Planning Options
  • Parenting
  • How to Push the Baby

Names I place here are people I have personally tried and so recommend.
Directory:
Childbirth Classes:

  • Chiqui Brosas
    Christian, CCF church mate, with 5 children all born through natural birth, my Bradley Teacher on my 1st child
    Office No.: 6426091, leave message with her assistant
    Cellphone No.: 09209052737

  • Bernadette Nolasco
    Christian, midwife from Gentle Hands before it transformed into an orphanage, she was my review Lamaze/Water Birthing Teacher for my 2nd child.
    Cellphone No.: 09155973340
    Clinic No.: 9326265
  • Bolen de Ramos
    Christian, Pastor’s Wife, with 6 children all born through natural birth, former manufacturer of these breastfeeding pillows, blouses and night shirts under another brand name (MOM’s etc.), who entrusted me to continue the business, because she couldn’t handle it anymore because she has to help her husband with a lot of ministries. She still teaches natural child birth at 5 th floor Back to the Bible Bldg. 135 West Ave., Quezon City
    Office No. 5339396

“Birthing" , "Breastfeeding”, “Natural Fertility Management”, “11 Secrets to Health” Classes:
Nona Andaya-Castillo, IBCLC
Formerly with Arugaan, I met her in a breastfeeding support group meeting organized by Chiqui Brosas-Hahn, she immediately gave answered to my concerns about my son’s never-ending breastfeeding (wrong position), constipation despite breastfeeding (I was drinking milk formula supposedly for breastfeeding moms), and skin rushes all over his body (sugar/sweets and the milk I’ve been taking). I invited her to our house and asked her everything I needed to know about breastfeeding (hand expression, breast milk storage and shelf life, cup feeding, etc.). She let me “meet my meat” and told me “what’s wrong with cow’s milk” and I believed and my diet made a 360 degrees turn instantly from a meat, processed food, sweet eater into a vegan, no sugar, no dairy, no processed food and drinks – eater. She taught me how to use “food as medicine”, “massage techniques” and other Eastern/natural ways of healing.

She is an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). An IBCLC is a member of a health care team who has a specialized knowledge of and primary focus on breastfeeding. An IBCLC is a consultant, to whom mothers and health professionals turn to when skilled assistance in the field of breastfeeding is required. IBCLCs are recognized professionals in all European, US, Australian and Canadian hospitals.

Contact Nos.: 2710954, 4444716, 09198395555

6. AVOID PRE-TERM LABOR

It is always life-threatening and expensive to give birth before the baby reaches full term.

If you get a pre-term labor, you will undergo a caesarean delivery and the baby will be placed in an incubator. The physicians might not allow direct breastfeeding and will ask you to express breast milk to be tube-fed to your infant.

It is harder to express milk especially when you are just starting versus directly breastfeeding your baby. You might tend to think you don’t have or don’t have enough breast milk, when the truth is you are just not yet good at expressing your milk.

Take note that there have been cases when infant formula feeding especially to premature infants caused the death of infants.

So your next action instead of asking help on how to express your milk is to look for breast milk banks. In the meantime, you will get engorged because your milk is left inside your breasts and as you don’t express the milk, the brain will tell the breast to stop producing milk.

Therefore, while pregnant, be extra careful and don’t stress yourself too much to avoid miscarriage or preterm labor.

But in case of preterm delivery, call us to teach you techniques instead of asking for breast milk.


7. BREASTFEEDING-FRIENDLY BABY SHOWERS

1. Inform families and friends that you are going to exclusively breastfeed your child.
2. Invite breastfeeding mothers and/or even a midwife or breastfeeding coach to the baby shower.
3. Program to have sharing of experiences and lessons about:

  • Labor
  • Birthing Stories
  • How to Push Baby Out
  • How to Check Baby’s Condition
  • Recovery Room
  • Initiate Bonding
  • Heal Mother
  • Breastfeeding Benefits & Techniques
  • Avoiding Jaundice
  • Post-Partum Blues
  • Ways Husband Can Support Wife
  • Importance of Massage
  • Brief Natural Fertility Management

4. Discourage these baby shower gifts:

  • NO Feeding Bottle, NO Pacifier, NO Infant Formula
  • NO Play Pens/Cribs – child should sleep beside parents
  • NO Strawler – child will not be stimulated if all child sees are knees
  • NO Walker – this will make child walk later

Breastfeeding-Friendly Gifts are:

  • BOSOM BUDDY Breastfeeding Pillow
  • BOSOM BUDDY Breastfeeding Dress Shirt/Night Wear Sets
  • BOSOM BUDDY Breastfeeding Blouses
  • Sling
  • Breastfeeding Bra
  • Insulated Bag with Dry Ice
  • Olive Oil/Coconut Oil – for massaging mom and child
  • Socks for Mommy
  • Waist Band for Mommy
  • Hot Bag
  • Ice Bag
  • Small Glass Cup like Medicine Cup – for caregiver to cup-feed the child
  • Pre-sterilized Breastfeeding
  • Lactacyd or Cetaphil – for bathing the child
  • Bath Tub
  • Toilet Potty
  • Ethyl Alcohol
  • Cotton Buds for Infants
  • Cottons
  • Cloth Diapers
  • Baby Clothes (Large Size, since baby grows fast)
  • Baby Socks/Booties
  • Baby Bonnets
  • Baby Bag

5. Also Good Hospital Gifts:
Guava Leaves for natural or normal delivery
Malunggay Leaves
Unpolished Red/Brown Rice
Soup with assorted vegetables
Papaya

6. Discouraged Hospital Gifts , as these will be tempting to eat and may cause mother, baby and father to get sick (sore/cracked nipples, fever, baby to have skin and respiratory ailments, etc.)

NO Wine/Juices/Milk/Coffee, NO Cakes/Pastries/Chocolates/Sweets

Red Letter Days is our Events Company that does Breastfeeding-Friendly Baby Showers.

Telefax No. 656-4993

Mobile: 0916-6363593

Email: pymagallon@yahoo.com.ph



 

 

 

 
 
 
 


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