Of Breastfeeding and Milk Sharing

My son is 2 years and 7 months old already and I am proud to share that we are still breastfeeding! Breastfeeding a toddler has its challenges but the benefits that we reap far outweigh the difficulties. Being able to breastfeed my son for this long is such a big blessing to our family. It is very beneficial for my growing boy and every feeding is an instant bonding time for us. Also, since I’m a breastfeeding, work-at-home mom, we save a lot of money because we don’t have to buy formula milk, feeding bottles and spend time and effort in washing and sterilising them.

While there is a growing community of breastfeeding mommies and babies, there are mothers who wanted to breastfeed their little ones but are unable to do so. Some cannot produce enough milk for their offspring while others have health conditions that prevent them from giving that precious milk to their babies. This is where the concept of milksharing comes in. If you are a breastfeeding momma who has an overflowing supply of breastmilk, you may want to participate in the upcoming Mommy Milkshare event this coming Saturday, September 5 at New Manila, QC. Read more about it from the press release below.

MommyMilkshare Programme Schedule
MommyMilkshare Programme Schedule

PRESS RELEASE

Mommy Milkshare: A MilkDrive for Moms Who Care

“Breastmilk is the best for babies” — most, if not all, moms have probably heard this at one point in their lives. The statement is 100% true, of course, which is why the World Health Organization (WHO) states the following in its report on “Global strategy on infant and young child feeding”:

Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. 

Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding

continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Exclusive breastfeeding from birth is possible except for a few medical conditions, and unrestricted exclusive breastfeeding results in ample milk production.”

Bearing this in mind, two breastfeeding-advocate-minded local enterprises are holding a post-Breastfeeding Awareness Month event to help provide breastmilk to needy babies, namely “Mommy Milkshare: A MilkDrive for Moms Who Care.” This will take place on from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on September 5, 2015, at The Parenting Emporium, 29 1st Street, New Manila, Quezon City.

MommyMilkshare-1

The beginnings of a noteworthy event

“It all started when Jem Perez-Chua and Geraldyn Perez, the owners of Honeysuckle Philippines, approached us with this idea to ‘give back’ by organizing a milkletting activity,” Maricel Cua, co-founder of The Parenting Emporium (TPE) shares.

“We gladly agreed to co-organize because, as part of our advocacy on nutrition, one of our beneficiaries is the TPE Milksharing Hub*. The TPE Milksharing Hub fully supports milkletting activities like this, and responsible milk sharing,” she continues.

“We have participated in several milkletting efforts organized by local governments, hospitals, and even private groups. All collected milk from this particular event will go to the Fabella Milk Bank.”

Jem shares why she and her sister Geraldyn though of holding the MilkShare event. “We’ve been distributing Honeysuckle breastmilk bags for over a year now and given the reception of Filipina moms to our brand, we want to give back as well,” she says.

“We found out that the concept of breastmilk donation is not common knowledge, and some moms actually end up with a lot of ‘old frozen breastmilk’ because their babies simply weren’t able to consume all of their stored milk.

“So we thought — wouldn’t it be wonderful if another baby was able to benefit from that stored breastmilk instead? It could possibly even save lives!”

In addition, Jem and Geraldyn feel that there are “very few brands / organizations that are willing to set up breastmilk drives, because these events are really non-profit.” “So we want to help however way we can in something we feel very strongly about,” she adds.

 

Raising awareness, spreading the word about the advocacy

As self-declared “big supporters of breastfeeding,” Jem and Geraldyn hope they can make the Mommy MilkShare event bigger in succeeding years.

“For this first event, we reached out to The Parenting Emporium for guidance and lots of help,” Jem shares. “We found out that they have so much experience in this type of activity and we have none!

“The Parenting Emporium even took care of looking for speakers exclusively for the mom-donors to listen to,” Jem continues. “So it’s really great that we are both very aligned on this endeavor, because we just really want to help moms in whatever way we can. We hope more brands can join us in this cause in the future.”

 

The Mommy Milkshare MilkDrive: Uniting moms for the “breast cause” ever 

“We know the benefits of breastfeeding extend beyond just the first year of life so we want to raise awareness about the importance of donating excess breastmilk of moms — because there are so many babies who need the milk,” Jem emphasizes.

“We don’t want moms to ever consider feeding their babies with formula milk — especially in the few months, just because they think there is no other solution.”

Jem adds that donating breastmilk is very fulfilling because “you know that you are nurturing the life of another baby in need, on top of your own baby.”

“We hope that we will be able to help a lot of moms and babies with what we can collect and donate, in partnership with The Parenting Emporium,” she concludes.

 

Event details to take note of

The Mommy Milkshare milkletting event is open to all breastfeeding moms who wish to donate their milk. “There is no registration fee, but it is exclusive for breastmilk donors. Mommies should bring frozen milk, expressed within 3 months, and should also be willing to be screened,” Maricel expounds.

Aside from the milkletting activity, participants can expect different activities as well.

“Jem and Geraldyn wanted to help mothers at different levels, so we came up with the idea of free one-on-one consultations for 4 moms (the first 4 to register) with a volunteer International Board Certified Lactation Consultant or IBCLC,” Maricel shares. “There will also be relevant talks and lootbags for donors.” 

Below is the list of talks scheduled for the event:

10a.m.-12nn: Developmental Milestones of Your Infant/Toddler (Speaker: Tanya Velasco of Guru Firm {Early Childhood and Family Life Experts})

1-2p.m.: Time Management Skills for the Busy Mom (Speaker: Candice Cipullo of “The Travelling Maybahay” Blog)

2-3p.m.: Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges (Speaker: Joyce Martinez, RN, MSN, IBCLC)

3-4p.m.: Managing Mommy Guilt (Speaker: MommyProofing Coach Joy Dejos, Certified Professional Coach)

 

It is hoped that through this event for moms by moms, the message of “growing together as parents” will be shared to all, and that parents — especially mothers — will be encouraged to protect, promote and support breastfeeding, and share what they have with others.

To pre-register for the event, kindly contact the TPE Events Hotline: 0917-8110821. For updates from The Parenting Emporium, please send an email to theparentingemporium@gmail.com or follow TPE on Facebook and Instagram @theparentingemporium. To get in touch with Honeysuckle Philippines, contact them on Facebook and on Instagram @honeysucklephils.

 

*Additional information about The TPE Milksharing Hub 

Even before the official launch of The Parenting Emporium last July 2015, its founders Maricel Cua and Beng Feliciano had already been committed to milk sharing, as one of the advocacies under their former business.

“As breastfeeding advocates and peer counselors, we discovered the need to provide expert-backed information to breastfeeding moms and breastmilk to needy babies,” Maricel shares.

“Through the community that they had built at the time, which was composed of mostly nursing moms, that need was soon answered — through the generosity of the moms who gave their precious breastmilk donations,” Beng adds.

Maricel and Beng emphasize that all donations were — and still are — conscientiously screened and pasteurized to make sure that the milk is clean and safe, especially for sick babies.

“Under what is now known as the TPE Milksharing Hub, pasteurized breastmilk is distributed to babies whose mothers may be unable to provide them with sufficient breastmilk for some reason,” Maricel says.

Beng stresses that they make sure that the mothers who receive breastmilk are given breastfeeding counseling and support so that they will eventually be able to provide breastmilk for their own babies’ needs.

“This is just one way by which we hope to ‘give back’ to others,” Maricel shares.

If you are interested in donating your excess milk to the TPE Milk Sharing Hub, you may contact Maricel Cua at 0917-6247246, or Katrina Mitra at (02) 7253723 / (02) 7386272. You can also send an email to theparentingemporium@gmail.com. *Important reminders: Kindly prepare a Hepatitis-HIV profile that is less than six months old. If you have none, testing will be provided for free. Donated breastmilk should be less than three months old from date of expression.

 




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