Breastfeeding Ilonggas’ First Gathering

Above all sacrifices that my mother had done for me, I am most thankful for her efforts in breastfeeding me for two years. Reflecting on her body language and tone when she recalls breastfeeding confused me at some point. She retells the stories with batting eyelashes and wide smiles when most mothers in the pediatric ward where I was assigned claimed to have problems and struggles in doing it. It bothered me especially that our ward mostly caters to children with acute gastroenteritis probably secondary to formula milk or wrong feeding practices. I want to be honest so I’m going to tell you that sometimes I avoided leading mothers and other folks into talking about feeding when in fact, it’s the most important health teaching that I could provide them. It led me to the realization that we were never taught enough about it in college and we never even bothered to read about it. Uhm, and I don’t want to add insult to the injury by elaborating about mother-baby friendly hospitals.

Last September, Breastfeeding Ilonggas was created to advocate breastfeeding here in Iloilo. The vision is to form a core group of mothers and other members of the health team to encourage, educate, and maintain the advocacy for breastfeeding in the province. The first gathering, spearheaded by Mrs. Myra Goco and the BFI Service Team, last October 26 was a huge success. Moms, mommies-to-be, doctors, and nurses comprised the participants in the event. A few supportive dads were there too.

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Ng Myra sharing her story and introducing the guest speaker.
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The speaker, Abbie Yabot, showing the audience a picture of her 4 children. The third, she breastfed for 8 years.

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Mrs. Abbie Yabot is an accredited La Leche League Leader in the Philippines.

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She thoroughly discussed basic topics about breastfeeding such as proper positioning, myths, benefits, and troubleshooting. I took down some notes and took some pictures of her slides but I’ll share everything that I absorbed in another post. 🙂1376650_10151951026795742_139489508_nThe gathering turned out well also because the mothers were very attentive and sensible queries were also raised throughout the lecture.

These mommy treats were given in the middle of the session. These are yummy yet healthy munchies for nursing mothers.
These mommy treats were given in the middle of the session. These are yummy yet healthy munchies for nursing mothers.

After the lecture, everyone was grouped according to their kid’s age. We, the nurses, joined the 0-6 months old group. Concerns were raised and the mothers shared their struggles, thoughts, and suggestions. I learned a lot that morning from the lecture and the open forum. I wish I could turn back time as I now have the answers to my patients’ mothers then.

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I also went home with these goodies in loot bags!

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The dedicated mothers slash passionate BFI Crew

Kudos to the organizers and to Mrs. Abbie Yabot for the things you do for your children and for the advocacy. I wish I can be a part of your next events and I hope we can reach out to the hospitals here in the province as it stresses me that even doctors and nurses do not recognize the importance of breastfeeding and informed decision. Teaching and making mothers understand these things may be a daunting task given some circumstances but if they get a chance to look at it in the same perspective as you do, I believe that we can be catalysts for change in our community. 

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If you wish to join the group, please visit Breastfeeding Ilonggas in Facebook here.

To find out more about Le Leche League,  click here.

To know Abbie Yabot, click here.

Visit Mommy Treats here too.

Credits to Rico Alegro, one of the supportive dads, for the photos.

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