Tidbits from Today's Mommy Meeting

Just got home from a La Leche League meeting in the Bonifacio High Street branch of Mothercare. Breastfeeding mommies meet there every third or fourth Saturday of the month to share their concerns and learn from the experiences from other mommies. Aside from that, the meetings are moderated by Abbie Yabot, who is one of the most popular lactation consultants in Manila, so the mommies also have a chance to ask advice from an expert. Today's topic was especially interesting for me, because it was all about support during breastfeeding.

In my previous post about the lessons I learned during my first breastfeeding experience, I emphasized the importance of your support system. While breastfeeding, support will come from different places, most immediately, your husband and the people who live with you. But support (or lack thereof) can also come from other sources, such as the medical community (the hospital where you gave birth, your OB and of course, your pediatrician) and the resources that you have at your disposal (lactation counselors, etc.). Basically, some tidbits that I took home from today's meeting:

1. Know your legal rights as a mother. We opened today's meeting by sharing our experiences in hospitals and what kind of support you received from the medical community when you gave birth. Legally speaking, hospitals are obligated to follow the protocols outlined in the Unang Yakap program of the Department of Health, which supports breastfeeding. Highlights of this program are the following:

  • Immediate and thorough drying of the baby (within 30 seconds of birth)
  • Early skin-to-skin contact between mommy and baby 
  • Properly-timed cord cutting and clamping (within 3 minutes of birth)
  • Non-separation of mommy and baby for early breastfeeding (within 90 minutes of birth)
  • Other procedures which the doctors need to do, such as suctioning, eye care, injections, and footprinting can be done at a later point in time, after the first instance of breastfeeding.

This program was only formally launched by the Department of Health in December 2009, but further research will show that there was a law passed in 1991, which is Republic Act 7600 or the Rooming-in and Breastfeeding Act, which outlines the basic rights of mothers to have their babies roomed in immediately. In the case of NSD or normal deliveries, the babies should be roomed in within 30 minutes after the birth, while in cases of C-sections, babies should be roomed in with their mommies within 3 to 4 hours, except those babies or mommies with special medical considerations.

In my case, I tried to bring this up with my OB at my last pre-natal check-up, only to be shot down. More on that in a separate post. :) In the meantime, here are some links you can check out on your rights as a mother after you give birth to your baby.

Republic Act 7600: The Rooming-In and Breastfeeding Act

Essential Newborn Care Guidelines for Nurses (Downloadable)

The Basics of the Unang Yakap Campaign

Laws Related to the Unang Yakap Campaign

2. Insightful comment from Mommy Charmaine who breastfed all three of her children (including twin boys!): At the end of the day, her biggest supporter was herself. She advises moms to be confident of their decision to breastfeed and learn to shut their ears and distance themselves from the negativity of naysayers because the stress sometimes affects her milk supply. She found that when the atmosphere was too negative, she would bundle her baby (or babies) up and find a dim, quiet room and nurse, and the milk would flow, just as it should.

3. Massages have proven to be effective for some moms, because it relaxes them enough to help increase their milk supply. Two highly recommended names are Lita Neri and Lizette of Mom Massage. A caveat though, I have yet to try either of them, but I am considering it. I will post a review if and when I do avail of the services to let you know how it goes.

4. The next La Leche League Manila mommy meeting will be held on March 17, 2012, again at Mothercare Bonifacio Hight Street. The topic is Breastfeeding Basics and I'm hoping that I can convince my mom to come with me, because I'm hoping she'll be my staunchest supporter when I start breastfeeding C. (My campaign to convert my mother into a breastfeeding advocate, for the sake of my two sisters who have yet to get married and have kids, has officially begun! *insert diabolical laugh*) Click here to be directed to La Leche League Manila's FB page and learn how you can register for the meeting. There's no attendance fee and all mommies (expectant mommies, breastfeeding mommies and all mommies who have breastfeeding experiences to share) are invited!


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