Saturday, July 9, 2011

Best breast forward

"Best breast forward"
Sun.Star Davao, July 9, 2011

"Breast milk is one of the most precious gifts a mother can give to her child. Even though how hard it may be at times, I think it is our obligation to try”, imparts Dr. Maria Carmen Dina Carriedo-Obach, a pediatric dentist and mother to Mateo Gabriel (age 5) and Maria Ana Isabela (age 3).

Although her nipples are inverted which made it difficult for her to breastfeed her children directly, that was not a cause for her to give up on breastfeeding. With the help of a good quality breast pump, her portable DVD player, proper time management and her determination, she would express milk every 2–3 hours without fail morning until night.

“Since my milk was more than enough, I was even able to donate my breast milk to a local government hospital. For me providing breast milk to my children and even to other kids is one of the most rewarding parts of motherhood”, Dr. Obach proudly reveals.

On the other hand, for government employee Marie Antoniette ‘Monet’ Ermac Alcantara-Andulana, initially, her view on breastfeeding was primarily a mode of augmenting their family’s income.

“When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I was totally elated but at the same time worried. My husband and I are simple folks, whose income is just sufficient for a family of three. Though it was a joyous blessing, an additional member of the family would necessarily equate to additional financial burden, and the cost of baby formula was always a concern”.

As Monet browsed through the different sites in the internet to educate herself on the benefits of breastfeeding, she came to realize its importance. So, she started to search for an effective and cost-efficient breast pump that she can bring to her workplace.

Pump it up!

The busy working mom set her criteria for her breast pump search. Above all, she wanted one that was affordable; second, very effective; and lastly, portable.

“I searched every department store here in Davao, but could not find one which, most importantly, fit criteria number 1. I surfed the internet by typing in the famous brands there were, but still criteria number 1 was not met”, she laments.

Then, Monet came across a Facebook (FB) page where a community of moms, soon-to-be moms, and even dads from all over gathered and connected, BabyMama, by Mi'Ann Reyes-Oblea.

Monet instantly loved the Philippine-based BabyMama FB page because it was full of rich information on breastfeeding. It provided her will all the tips and tricks for her breastfeeding journey. And, as a first time breastfeeding mom, she needed lots of them.

After days of “stalking” the BabyMama FB page, she learned that Michelle was selling breast pumps.

“Not just any pump but a hospital-grade pump at that! And, the most important thing is it fit criteria number 1!”, she says excitedly.

Best breast forward

“I was ecstatic when I saw the Unimom Forte. Well, never mind portability. I am more than willing to lug around this sweetie around, despite its toaster-like exterior. What caught my eye more than its appearance is the fact that it costs only P7,000.00 as compared to the leading brands which ranges from P18,000.00 to a whopping P60,000.00”, narrates Monet.

“When I tried it, I was more than contented with its efficiency, especially so, when after several days of using it, my milk supply increased. I believe that the increase was brought about by the fact that the boob is emptied more often now as compared before with the use of my manual pump. The suction is so powerful, that I am done pumping in less than half the time I used to. And, despite its powerful suction, I was amazed that it was not painful at all”, she describes.

Like Monet, Sun.Star Davao columnist and businesswoman Dorothy Bangayan-Lee, was amazed when she tried the Unimom Forte breast pump for the first time.

Although she already owned two top of the line breast pumps which she uses at work and the other one at home, she had heard so many positive reviews about Unimom Forte that she got intrigued and tried the pump herself.

“I was surprised that my milk output was comfortable and produced the same amount as I usually would with my high-end pumps”, she discloses.

High quality baby love

Dorothy believed in Unimom Forte so much that she and her sister-in-law Keryl Lee applied as distributors for Davao and other nearby Mindanao areas.

“The main reason we decided to do this is that we realized that there are limited choices of pumps available in Davao. It would be great if we can offer an effective yet affordable alternative in the city”, she explains.

“The really cheap hundred peso pumps we see in department stores or drug stores are not effective and might even mislead some moms into thinking they don’t have breast milk. While others might find the expensive ones out of their budget range and give up breastfeeding altogether!”, Dorothy relates.

Aside from the best selling and hospital grade Unimom Forte (P7,500.00), Dorothy and Keryl are also distributing other high quality and affordable breast pumps in Davao.

Ameda Purely Yours (P8,800.00) is a lightweight and portable model which has a closed system design that doesn’t allow milk to enter the tubing or pump motor protecting the pump from molds, viruses and bacteria. On the other hand, Spectra 3 (P4,900.00) is a BPA-free silent and powerful breast pump which has been a bestseller in the UK and Korea for the past 6 years.

Meanwhile, the Unimom Mezzo (P1,800.00) is a manual breast pump that is compact and discreet. It is claimed to be as effective and comfortable as brand name breast pumps at 1/3 of the cost.

Breastfeeding journey

“From the moment my second child was born, I knew that I would breastfeed him. I knew that I would or should provide him the best there is. Now, my view on breastfeeding was no longer confined on the fact that it is cost-efficient, but rather on the fact that it is the most primal thing that every mother could provide her children, the benefits of which far outweigh the most expensive brands of milk. It is most natural and basic, that nothing could compare to it”, Monet reflects.

“From all the stories I've read and from all the information I've gathered, I came up with one simple conclusion: Breastfeeding can only be successful if you want it to be so. Will it, and you are good to go!”, she declares.

On the other hand, Dorothy shares that when she gave birth in 2009, she received a lot of support and information about breastfeeding aside from the wide variety of breastfeeding paraphernalia (pumps, accessories, breastmilk bags, nursing clothes, nursing pillows, etc.) which definitely made the journey of breastfeeding easier for her.

“I am lucky that my child was able to take milk from both breast and bottle without fuss so it was convenient for me. Presently, I am still nursing my 19-month old child. I am so grateful to those moms who helped me by providing information and support and would also like to assist others in achieving breastfeeding success, too”, Dorothy intimates.

Dorothy reflects that breastfeeding is definitely a rewarding and self fulfilling experience. She hopes that through the availability of the breastfeeding products in Mindanao, she can make moms more comfortable in their breastfeeding journey, too.

This breastfeeding mom is definitely helping other mothers put their “best breasts forward”!
To know more about breastfeeding, breastfeeding talks are held at Brokenshire Women’s Center every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month. You can also contact Mommy Sense, a breastfeeding support group by mothers for mothers through their Facebook community page.

Information details on BabyMama's Unimom and Ameda products and breast milk bags: or

The Unimom and Ameda Davao Distributor Office is at Lee Business Corner, Juan Luna corner Juan dela Cruz St., D.C. Contact numbers: 09325623630 (Sun) and 2869487 (landline). For product inquiries or breastfeeding tips, call or text 09239813373 (Sun)/09178520278 (Globe).

Other stores: The Oak & Acorn (Davao), Plaza del Carmen, Loyola Street, D.C.; The Pod (Davao), Plaza del Carmen, Loyola St., Bo. Obrero, D.C.; and Baby Spice, 2nd Floor, Gaisano Mall of Davao.

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