Friday, 25 November 2011

Burlesque Breastfeeding promotional vid on youtube

I stumbled across this pearler this morning. As you do on the internet.

I like it, I really do,
the lyrics are catchy
like the flu!

But seriously, you sexy-sassy-breastfeeding-women rock!

*singing (quietly to herself as tot is napping) baby loves mommas breast...*


Apple Dumplings, Angel Cakes, Bongo Baps & Betty Boops
Cherry Pies, Charlies, Coconuts & Cantaloupes
Doobies, Dingoes, Dairies, Fleshy Flappers, Gags & Globes
Happy Hangers, Hemispheres & Heavy Hilly Homes

You make the milk, so don't let it go to waste
Woman let your baby enjoy that yummy taste

Baby loves Mamma's breast because her milk tastes the best and it beats all the rest
Baby loves Mamma's milk, when its time to re-fuel
Dontcha know how it's cool

Igloos, Jubblies, Juggernaughts, Jumbo Jugs & Jelly Jibs
Kettledrums, Kazoogas, Kumquats, Knockers & Kids
Lollies, Lemons, Lactoids, Love Cushions & Loaves
Mambo, Mammeries, Macaroons, Melons, Mounds & Mangos

You make the milk and can take it any place
Woman, let your body be your baby's saving grace

Baby loves Mamma's breast because her milk tastes the best and it beats all the rest
Baby loves Mamma's milk, when it's time to re-fuel
Dontcha know how it's cool

Nunga Nungas, Nectarines, Noogies, Norks & Nancies Nibs
Oobies, Oompas, Oranges, Palookers, Pillows & Pips
Quarts of Love, Rib Balloons, Snobs, Scones & Sweater Swellers
Totos, Tangerines, Twinies, Taddies, Tits & Tooters

You make the milk and it's ready all the time
Woman, make that tummy fat be on the downward climb

Baby loves Mamma's breast because her milk tastes the best and it beats all the rest
Baby loves Mamma's milk, when it's time to re-fuel
Dontcha know how it's cool

Tonsils, Teats, Twangers, Tweakers, Tortillas & Torpedoes
Upper Decks, Volcanoes, Wahwah & Winnebagos
Watermelons, Weather Balloons, some Wongas & Front Wings
Yabbos, Yams, Yard Dogs, some Yayas & Zeppelins

You make the milk, throw the thick stuff in the bin
Woman open up those breasts and let the health shine in

Baby loves Mamma's breast because her milk tastes the best and it beats all the rest
Baby loves Mamma's milk, when it's time to re-fuel
Dontcha know how it's cool. -- Repeat x2

12 weeks tomorrow and starting to feel it.

I am one of those women who start showing from the moment they fall pregnant, okay maybe not the moment, but by 6 weeks I have a discernible baby bump. So by 12 weeks, there is no question about it, there is a baby on board. I like this for the most part, I like wearing maternity clothes (any excuse to wear super comfortable clothing is a plus in my books), I like having the physical reminder at arms length for feeling under the weather. It also means that the stretching and pulling and growing and aching starts early for me... like today early. Fun :) Lucky for me I have already made a rice sock which comes in handy. (Take a long sock, like a hockey or rugby sock, fill with rice, heat up in the microwave as needed **not too hot, direct heat is not good for your baby**).

Whoa today I have had my first experience of "ptyalism", commonly known as too much saliva in the mouth. For a while today I felt like I was sucking lemons, you know that scrunch-up-your-face-mouth-filling-with-spit feeling, yes that. Not fun. No thanks. I find that drinking lots of water helps (seems counter-intuitive I know).

I am glad to be moving out of first trimester soon, and into second, second is fun.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

My second expat pregnancy - another interesting journey lies ahead.

We have been in the Philippines for roughly 7 months now and decided when our first born turned 2 recently that it was time to try for another baby. I find it difficult to decide on spacing between children, what is a good age gap? What is too far apart? I want them to be friends but have their own lives and friends too.

We started trying in September and I got a positive home pregnancy test result at the beginning of October, blessed, a little shocked at how quickly it all happened but happy.

I started my first pregnancy in South Africa with midwife care, moved to the UK and had my daughter at home in water with midwife care in October 2009. I am looking for the same level of care, the same gentle approach and understanding that I have only ever found with a midwife. So the search began for a home birthing midwife here.

My search has so far been unsuccessful but I am keeping my options open as my number one choice is still a home birth. I went for the mandatory first check up with an OB, she did the tests (bloods, urinalysis, pap smear), I was only about 7 weeks at the time. During our appointment it came to light that she has family who work with my husband, when dh went back to work he was greeted with a hearty congratulations. Plans to go back to said OB.

I did a trust google search for midwives in my area and came across information for a birthing centre nearby. Dh and I went in last week monday to "see", I walked through a narrow path between dark buildings scattered with small children playing and cockerels crowing their obligatory objections and wondered to myself what I should expect. We found the birthing centre which is more of a birth house and ventured inside. You have to leave all your "slippers" a.k.a. slops/flip flops/shoes in the first room.

This was like nothing I have ever experienced before, it is clean, it is welcoming, it is filled with newborn babies and their tired but happy parents but it does not have that rigid hospital white walls, regimented feel to it. The first thing that I found overwhelming was the smell, no disinfectant ammonia smell here, its a natural heady powerful mixture of human beings and birth, took some getting used to. Bear in mind I am in my first trimester and my sense of smell is ridiculous.

We sat expecting to just have a quick chat with a midwife when they had a moment, from what I could tell they had 2 maybe 3 moms in active labour at the time. I was welcomed into the pre-natal room, a functional cubicle with a scale, bed, fan and table/chair for midwife and 2 chairs for visitors. The midwife's name is K, her mom is the head midwife/owner at this birthing centre. She is lovely, she is gentle and talks to me for a good 10 minutes about the pregnancy and the birthing centre, she weighs me (only picked up 150 grams and in week 10), does my BP (100/60) and palpates a bit but decides that its too early to feel anything or hear a HB so she'll do that next time. She allayed any fears I was harboring and put me right at ease. If I had wondered up until that point why I was there, why I was so adamant about midwife care, K just re-inforced my belief in midwife-led, women-centred care. I walk out soon thereafter (after a vit B shot which did wonders for my 1st tri-mester fatigue) knowing that even though this is not my home country, I will receive the  best care possible.

That was last week. I went back today for another shot and met with the owner/namesake of the birthing centre (M) and honestly I felt a little star struck. (Bear in mind that this women is living my dream, running a birthing centre, surrounded by birth everyday). This birthing centre does not turn women away, poverty is a real everyday life circumstance here and families do not have the *P100 000+ for a hospital birth. M was telling me today that just this week she assisted a mom deliver her 7.5 month preemie, the baby was so strong that it didn't require hospitalisation/incubation. M tells me that her role in the centre is to assist with the difficult deliveries (breech/multiples/preemies etc.) and I have read an online account of how she helped deliver a baby boy quickly and safely who was in a spot of trouble. She is no nonsense but she is good. Imagine the information that this women knows. Imagine what she could teach you. I would love to learn from her.

*If you were wondering about the cost, all pre-natal care (except for vits) is free. The birth costs P3600 for a first time mom and P3000 for a second time + mom. If you want a private room P600 for 24 hours, if baby needs help/antibiotics due to meconium staining P4000... the birth will at no point cost more than P10 000. Yes a massive difference from the hospitals P100 000+ and I have also read and been told that hospitals routinely section foreigners here because their "babies are too big", my first was 2.9kg (not big at all). I am shocked at the price difference, our medical insurance would cover a hospital birth but it seems so massively inflated. Why? That's a post for another day I suppose.

So my second pregnancy has gotten off to a tiring but happy start, I find myself wondering about what will happen when its time to birth this baby, with the moving from here to there. Luckily I still have a good 29 weeks wrap my head around it.

Pregnancy Stats:
Week: 11 according to LMP
Weight gain: 150 grams
Strongest symptoms: Fatigue!!!! Nausea from strong smells.
Babies current nickname: Belly baby
Guestimated baby sex: I don't know but those who are guessing are saying a boy.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Exclusive Breastfeeding in the Workplace - Philippines

We now live in the Philippines, have been for the past 5 months. It is a wonderful country filled with happy and friendly people. Also filled with poverty, heartbreaking gut wrenching poverty, which is in your face on a daily basis.

Women have babies, women need to work (its literally a life or death scenario), ALL babies deserve to be breastfed. When I first arrived I was shocked at the amount of formula available... aisles dedicated to the stuff. Plus the expense... over PHP1000 per can. Some woman who work as nannies only earn between PHP2000 and PHP3000 per month!!! (That is why formula gets watered down). Plus they leave their babes at home to go work in the cities. What ever happened to basic human rights for infants? They have the right to their mothers milk, especially vulnerable at risk infants (those living in poor families).

My husband's current employer has a new building going up, he tells me that they have really lovely lactation rooms in them for their employees. This kind of news makes my heart sing.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

One World Birth is now live

Have a wonder over to to watch lots of free video's from the world's most well known names in the Birthing World as they discuss, the problems, the research, the solutions to Birth in our society.

A good place to start is with "A Negative Image" on the Problems page. Discussing how media has influenced our societies view of childbirth.

Using Twitter to Find Answers and help others _AtYourCervix_

I am looking for all birth professionals i.e.: Midwives and Doulas as well as Breastfeeding professionals i.e.: lactation consultants, breastfeeding peer supports, extended breastfeeders to join "The Birth Team" on Twitter.
Basically people will tweet their pregnancy, birth, labour and infant feeding related question to the Birth Team ( _AtYourCervix_ ) twitter account using the hashtag #AYC and their question will be retweeted out to the Birth Team for answers.
Simple, Easy, Helpful.
Please join us.
_AtYourCervix_ <- Twitter account for the Birth Team.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Breastfeeding Links in the Philippines

I <3 Google, I really do. I wonder to whom all our questions were posed before the Great Google was invented.

Anyway, I am searching for some breastfeeding support/groups/entities websites specifically for the Philippines.

This is what I have come across this far.

¬ Breastfeeding Philippines - "We dream that all mothers will breastfeed their children..."
¬ The Perfect Latch - Peer to Peer support, face to face, at home or in hospital, email, text, phone support.
¬ LLL meetings in the Philippines - LLL meetings in Manila & Cavite.... 

I want to do more research but I am really looking forward to being able to help other families have beautiful breastfeeding experiences. 

I haven't however come across any websites or information on breastfeeding support groups and organisations in Cebu yet. If you happen to come across this blog post and know of one please leave me a comment with the details. Thanks.

I have lived here, here, here and now here.

Since my last blog post we have moved to our fourth country in 2 years. Have baby, will travel :)

We now live and are in the process of settling and adapting to life in sunny Cebu in the Philippines. We have been here for a little under 2 months now.

As is said "at the end of your life you will only hold regret for the opportunities you did not take, the paths you did not follow and the decisions you did not make". We have chosen the road less followed and are loving it. There is so much more to this life than your village, town, city, province, country and even continent. You can read it, but you don't understand until you experience it.

I am looking into picking up my breastfeeding support work in Cebu. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Doula! Film Introduction

I came across this short introductory film piece which tries to explain what a Doula does. This film warms my heart and brings a smile to my face.

I think we need a screening here in Scotland. I am on it!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

I really wish I had a Doula at my Birth, here's why...

When we settled into our then new home and I started planning my home water birth I knew I wanted a Doula to be part of my birthing care team.

I started searching for a Doula, I was even happy to have the support of a doula trainee. I couldn't find a Doula who would charge less than £250 to support at my home birth. We couldn't afford this, I was devastated and also a bit angry. I really missed the support of a Doula at my Birth, there was a definate role she would have fulfilled. * I am flexible with costing, discuss it with me *. 

I went into labour on a monday night, I was in my 40th week of pregnancy and had experienced 5 practice labours so dh and I knew it would be soon. In preparation for the upcoming birth and in order to get all his work done  dh worked extra late and went in extra early the monday I went into labour. Consequently he was bushed when he got home and in the early hours of tuesday morning I sent him to go catch some zzzzz's in preparation for the long labouring day ahead. At this point my midwife had come and gone, with some wise words basically letting me know that I needed to get a grip, this was just the beginning. Your midwife will most likely not be able to be with you in early labour and the Labour & Delivery of your hospital ward will send you home.

At this point let me say I found my early labour the hardest to deal with. I really could have done with a Doula to help me through early labour. I got through it but it was a bit lonely breathing through my contractions in a darkened room whilst dh got some much needed rest.

I think it is important for pregnant moms to bear in mind that your partner/mom/sister may not be able to give you the support you need at some point during your labour. This is not because they don't love you or don't want to, on the contrary I think its because they love you so much that they struggle to see you in labour pain and sometimes don't really know how to support you in fear of either angering you or somehow making it worse (Think about it, how many labours and births have they supported at, having a baby is not the same as supporting a mom have her own baby). A Doula on the other hand is more objective and intrinsically understands that labour and birth are a journey and can walk the road with you and offer you support in various ways without fear of reprisal. Plus Doulas have a much larger knowledge and experience base to work from, as well as tried and tested comfort measures. A Doula can also help by directing your birth partners to better support you.

Just a thought :)

Are you interested in finding out more about what part a Doula could play in your birthing support team? Drop me an email. Doulatam (at) gmail (dot) com

PS: I am based in West Lothian Scotland

Friday, 25 February 2011

Watch Your Words

A twitter friend posted a tweet this morning discussing her symptoms of pregnancy. Which got me thinking.

Why do we call the natural signs of pregnancy Symptoms? The definition of Symptom: Sign of Illness or Problem ( Is that really how a new mother wants to view her budding pregnancy, to refer to the unborn child in her womb as a problem or illness. Even if you think one step further and argue that you are not referring to her baby but to the process of carrying and growing life in a womb... As problematic or as an illnessn it is still fraught with negative connotations.

Pregnancy is a natural process, a beautiful amazing process. It is not a problem or illness, if it is viewed as such, then human beings will want to heal it or solve it. You cannot heal or solve a pregnancy. You may believe that you are stronger than that, but that doubt will sit in the back of your mind and niggle, it will surface at the most inopportune time like at the end of your pregnancy when you are preparing to give birth. If you have generally viewed your body in a positive light during pregnancy, that will carry through to labour and birth. If however you get to 40+ weeks discussing pregnancy as a problem or illness, it is likely that you will search out a solution in the form of medical intervention.

We define our experience of this world with the words we use. Choose your words wisely.

Alternatives to Pregnancy Symptoms:
- expressions of pregnancy
- manifestations of pregnancy
- tokens of pregnancy
- evidence of pregnancy

Discuss your "bodies expression of your pregnancy", FTW!