Saturday, December 28, 2013

Snuggle wuggle wee


“Snuggle Wuggle Wee”
Sun.Star Davao, Dec. 28, 2013

Breastfeeding and babywearing advocate Atty. Jenny Ong recently launched a children’s story book with a breastfeeding theme together with her fellow L.A.T.C.H. (Lactation, Attachment, Training, Counseling, Help) members Buding Aquino-Dee and Justine Tajonera.
Entitled “Snuggle Wuggle Wee”, the delightful book is about a young girl named Clara who is eagerly awaiting the arrival of her baby brother, Paolo. The story focuses on the special bond of a family made stronger through breastfeeding which is described as “part of the love that a family shares”.
According to Jenny, it has always been her dream to have more breastfeeding books for children. “Because breastfeeding brought such joy to our family, I look for this theme whenever I buy books for my two kids. However, one thing you will notice in my collection is that there is no single book there by a Filipino author”, says the Stella Maris Academy of Davao and Georgetown University alumna.
Jenny revealed that “she had an outline in her head” for a breastfeeding book. But, she knew that writing a book was totally different from blogging. Jenny has a popular mommy blog called “Chronicles of a Nursing Mom”.
To translate her ideas into words, Jenny found the perfect partner in fellow LATCHer Justine Tajonera, a brilliant poet. “Justine was a blessing and converted my outline into a story”, Jenny happily details.
LATCH president Buding Aquino-Dee, then, found Bryan Delfin who transformed Jenny and Justine’s words into stunning images.
LATCH (Lactation, Attachment, Training, Counseling, Help) is an organization that is devoted to supporting breastfeeding Filipina moms. As part of their thrust to create new mindsets around breastfeeding, they launched a project to bring breastfeeding not just to moms but to families, particularly kids, as well. The authors of this book are certified peer counselors of LATCH.

In Davao, “Snuggle Wuggle Wee” (Php 250) can be found at The POD, Plaza del Carmen, Bo. Obrero, Davao City.

Jenny’s passion and advocacy for breastfeeding and babywearing have rubbed off on other Davao moms as well. Babywearing is “the practice of wearing or carrying a baby in a sling or in another form of carrier”. The Manila-based lawyer regularly conducts workshops and seminars on these topics whenever she has the time to visit her hometown.

Here, Davao moms share their thoughts on breastfeeding and babywearing:

*What inspired you to breastfeed your baby? 
My firstborn was mixed-fed. Now that she's almost 6 years old, she's been hospitalized for about 7 times already. I also felt tired in bringing baby bottles and formula milk everywhere we go and it's more tiring to clean and sterilize all the bottles.

How did babywearing improve your baby-mommy bonding experience?

My baby can't get enough of me all the time. It's so much easier to go malling or to travel when I wear her. In addition, she sleeps better when I wear her, especially when she was still a baby.

       *  What is your advice for fellow moms who think that it is challenging to breastfeed and practice babywearing?

Save for your child's future, breastfeed. I have been breastfeeding for 15 months and we have already saved P66,500.

You don't need to spend a lot for your baby to enjoy. You can just buy a babywearing sling once and every time you wear your baby, you will see how he will enjoy your bonding and appreciate you. 


           *What inspired you to breastfeed your baby?

My inspiration to finally purely breastfeed my 2nd child is, of course, big savings--around a hundred thousand pesos in a year! With my mixed-fed firstborn, we felt like throwing thousands each week just to replace the perfect milk that our body can naturally provide for FREE!

I have also read about studies which show that breastfed babies, sons most especially, are smarter. And also, breastfed kids in general are known to be less sickly, less hyperactive, have less tooth decays, have bigger appetite for food-- all of which I have proven as true as I can compare my two kids (formula fed vs. breastfed).

When baby is latching on me, I can actually feel some kind of 'kilig' feeling like when I first fell in love. Sounds cheesy, but it's scientifically true, it's our hormones' (oxytocin, the feel-good or in-love hormone) magical work.

*How did babywearing improve your baby-mommy bonding experience?

By the time I discovered babywearing, my no-yaya-ever life has been easy breezy, I can do the chores, I can eat on time, text with both hands, go shopping alone (with just my baby), etc.  How cool is that? These were all impossible during our firstborn's time.

And because of these, I am one happy mom, and baby is one happy little man. My “worn” baby is (super) friendly, smiling, calm, as observed by all the people who see him inside that piece of cloth (my slings). We are all conveniently happy and much closer. Hubby and I are baby/toddler wearers and can go hands-free to still take good care of our firstborn and have extra hands to do our good old HHWW (holding hands while walking).

         *What is your advice for fellow moms who think that it is challenging to breastfeed and practice babywearing?

My general advice for people who think that this is difficult is just like this: just like any other things in life, practice makes perfect.

Inconvenience is no excuse. I have my 'breast friends' from The POD who have inverted nipples, breast cyst, small boobs, full-time working moms, etc. and still managed to breastfeed. Others see these as big problems, but in fact, these are only inconveniences. Just add a little more patience and strong will.


            *What inspired you to breastfeed your baby?

Having the opportunity to feed my baby from my own body is such an amazing gift from God and I didn't want to miss the experience. I also saw my own Mum breastfeed my little sister so it has always been the norm in the house. Bottles and pacifiers were never introduced to us so it was a little strange for me to see them while I was young.

           *How did babywearing improve your baby-mommy bonding experience?

Being able to use both hands was so helpful during the first three months of motherhood and I always believed the keeping your baby close to you improves your intuition as a mother. I knew when Damien was hungry or when he was uncomfortable or cold. It was a very wonderful experience.

         *What is your advice for fellow moms who think that it is challenging to breastfeed and practice babywearing?

            It always takes a little practice and a lot patience to want to breastfeed and babywear, especially if you do it at the same time. But as long as you have a great support group, your hubby, family and friends, breastfeeding and babywearing will be second nature to a mother. Good luck on your journey, mommies!


           *What inspired you to breastfeed your baby?

Babies need milk for proper growth and development. Cow`s milk is for baby cows. Goat’s milk is for baby goats. So….

            *How did babywearing improve your baby-mommy bonding experience?
For a hands-on mom who does homeschooling and likes to travel with the kids, babywearing allows more room for other things like caressing, teaching and playing. Being hands-free makes a world of difference.

         *What is your advice for fellow moms who think that it is challenging to breastfeed and practice babywearing?

I believe that being a mom is a gift from God. We have to understand the essence of it. We should not take this gift for granted. We should use what God has naturally given us women-the physical, mental, and emotional ability to nurture and provide for our children. I believe that the minute we bring a baby into this world, we are at once responsible for securing their needs-all aspects of it. The child’s needs should come first before the adults’. So to say that it is difficult, we must determine the source of the sentiment. Are we saying it is difficult because we have to give up our needs and conveniences for the childs’?


          *What inspired you to breastfeed your baby?

I have only one reason why I'm into breastfeeding and that is because of my baby. As any mother would do, I wanted to give what is best for my little one. I wanted to give not just a part of myself, but the best part of myself for him. That is why, no matter how difficult it was for the first few weeks- th*e struggle introducing him to my breasts, the sleepless nights feeding him, the pain and soreness I felt from his sucking- all of these made me more driven to give him the milk he truly deserves.

           *How did babywearing improve your baby-mommy bonding experience?

Babywearing my 4-month old baby made me more confident in taking care of him as much as he is calmer every time I hold him close to me. Aside from the convenience it gives to both of us, we feel happier, comfortable and fashionable as well.

*What is your advice for fellow moms who think that it is challenging to breastfeed and practice babywearing?

Beginnings are always the hardest. I never thought I would be able to fully breastfeed my baby since I had him mixed feed for the 1st month, but I did! And so with babywearing, I thought it was difficult, but once you try it, you will get the hang of it! Both don't only make your life easier along the way, but both give you the fulfillment knowing that your baby gets the best and only the best from you.

My sincerest thanks to The POD’s Alex Hao for introducing me to these inspiring breastfeeding and babywearing moms!

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