Two Years Old

How time flies, J is turning 2 years old on September 17. This blog was brought about by what I learned being a mom to my second child. I dedicated my time and talent in in working to build my home and I call myself second time mom as the blog is named.

After having a family of my own, I became a better person . I never knew that being married is good for me.  When I was young I was disillusioned by failed relationships and marriages. And I wanted to avoid that.  But  I eventually I got married to correct my mistakes and I took the leap of faith and trust my God to take care of me. And God did not disappoint me. I was a bit disappointed in the first 2 years but God did not give up on me.  It was disappointing because I was doing things in my own way. But when I submitted to God’s word and trusted Him, things changed for the better.

I will share to you my secret as better mother, it is found in 1 Timothy 2:5 “But women will be saved in their work of having children. They will be saved if they continue to live in faith, love, and holiness with sensible behavior.”

At first, I did not understood what it meant, but I obeyed and God showed me that His Word is powerful and life changing. I am a better person because I embrace my motherhood. With my second child J, I learned about best care of my second pregnancy, giving birth, infant nutrition and care or nurture of children. I attended various seminars in breast feeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering, baby-led weaning, baby sign language and “tamang kain”.

Now, I am in my second year of breast feeding.  My son, can count 1 to 10. He knows, half or the alphabet and know names of colors. He can name many animals and have a thing with dinosaurs.  My son is thriving because, I was able to exclusively breastfeed him with my full time job and gave him proper nurture and we have an unbreakable bond.

Also, I became a better mom to my first born child X when I consciously lived a Spirit-filled in dealing with my family and work. As said in Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these kinds of things.”

I learned to be content of what I have and God blessed me beyond my expectations.  I learned to seek God and his kingdom and all things are added to me.  All my dreams as having a wonderful family, work, career, professional practice and ministry is happening. Truly God is perfect with his will and timing.

I can say now, I am saved in child-bearing and having children, when I continued to live in faith, love, and holiness with sensible behavior.

A Happy Life

It has been months since I last wrote a blog.  I was busy being a wife, a mom and an employee.  Thank you for those who visit my blog. Now, it is time to share my learning’s with you.

Let me share about my happy life. Many says, a happy wife is a happy life. But for me, I happy life is a happy husband. A happy husband is a respected husband.  I learned to trust my husband in everything and I submit in everything, even if sometimes he does not believe. It does not matter if he believes my respect of submission but what matters is my belief in Christ that shows my respect for my husband. I simply obey God in Ephesians 5:33 “But each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself. And a wife must respect her husband.” And I let God be my judge in my submission. And I listen to my husband to improve my respect and submission.

I honor God by honoring my husband in spite times when I feel unloved. I know, my husband love me, and he does hurt me with words but I trust his love for me even if I am hurt and feel unloved.  And when I feel the pain I pray that God will comfort me and give me peace.

I learned and realized that when I said my wedding vows, my relationship with my husband is PERMANENT. What changes each day is the fellowship.  Now, I strive hard to maintain the fellowship or be reconciled always with him and that is my happiness.

I obey God’s word to respect my husband and submit to him in everything. And now, I found peace. I don’t fuss about things, I let it be even if I feel the decision is not good. And when things do go wrong, I trust my God who will make things work. As it is written, “All things work for good for those who love God.”

So ladies and wives, I urge  you to trust in the Lord and submit and respect the decisions of your husband.  Because at the end of the day, God’s plan will matter. As it is written, in Proverbs 19: 21 “You can make many plans, but the lord’s purpose will prevail.”

And when you do show genuine respect to your husband and joyful submission to your husband, he will show how great is his love and will do anything you ask of him. No manipulation needed, only trust. A husband greatest need is respect and submission of his wife.  And he will certainly give you the appreciation you need as wife.

I don’t try to change my husband, because that is the work of the Holy Spirit. And I learn, I don’t have the capability to change my husband. I learn to love my husband for who he is. And now he is learning to really love me for who I am.

I confess, there are still argument and fights with my husband but now, we learned to forgive each other and understand each other. We are still work in progress but the good news is we are progressing. And our love and respect for each other is growing each day.

The best compliment of my husband said is “Mama, ang bait mo na talaga”. (English translation, “Mama, you are really kind now”.

What is love? as written in 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

Now try to change the word love with your name, and be that person. I did, and keep on trying each day and the good news is that I have a happy life.

Breastfeeding and Architecture

“Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August). For this month, we write about the World Breastfeeding Week 2014 – Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life and share how breastfeeding can help the Philippines achieve the 8 Millennium Development Goals developed by the government and the United Nations. Participants will share their thoughts, experiences, hopes and suggestions on the topic. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.”

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I decided to exclusively breastfeed my second baby because I personally thought it is a winning goal for life. Breastfeeding is my personal goal that will give my son a victorious life by starting him right with the best food for babies, his mother’s breast milk. Here are is the link for more information on benefits of breast feeding.

I attended the breastfeeding club seminars by La Leche League leader Ms. Abbie Yabot at Medela House when I was still pregnant and after I gave birth. As a working mother, the seminar equipped me to exclusively breastfeed my child up until now that he is 11 months. I learned “unang yakap” and proper latch are needed to successfully breastfeed. IMG_73522013-09-18 16.51.39

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I learned how to build-up my BM stash and cup feed my baby (to avoid nipple confusion) before I go back to work. Also, Ms. Abbie inspired me to be breast milk donor.

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In every goal, challenges will be encountered. Here are some of my breastfeeding challenges. My son is tongue-tied and it’s a bit painful to breastfeed. His pedia said if there is no problem in the latch, there is no need to release his tongue-tied.

I could not afford electric pump so I just bought a manual pump. Our office do not have a lactation station so I was using a corner in the accounting office. I was bringing home about 12oz. to 15oz of BM. I even donated some.

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But after 2 months of using manual pump, I got tired, I had sore nipples and I experienced a sudden low milk supply. I was not bringing home enough BM to feed my baby but I Praise God that a neighbor was also breastfeeding and would come to our house to breastfeed my son in this shortage crisis.

I prayed and did all recommended ways to improved my output. I bought a new membrane for the manual pump. I ate galactagogues like cookies and malunggay oil, I started taking Nutrilite, the high quality organic supplements and rested my body. (I chose organic to be environmentally sustainable and safe for BF) I massaged my breast and thought of happy thoughts. And I thank God for answered prayers after 1-2 weeks, my output improved 2x the usual. Before, with my manual pump, I was pumping around 2-3oz that suddenly went down to 1-1.5oz per session and after praying hard, my output became 4-6oz. per session, up until now. So bring home around 16oz for 3-4 pumping sessions and up to 20oz. if I had 4-5 pumping sessions.

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I believe that the doubled breast milk output was because my baby learned to properly latch and empty my breast and the Nutrilite organic supplements that I took properly nourished my body, and of course my overwhelming desire to provide the best food for my baby.

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After 2 months of returning to work, I talked to my boss I got tired using my manual pump and to my surprised, he offered to give me a cash advance for me to buy Medela Freestyle double electric pump. But I told him that I need the raise that he promised to me before I went on maternity leave (that is 8 months due to high risk pregnancy). And the next week, he gave me a salary raise and gave me the cash advance. With my new Medela freestyle electric double pump, there was a time that I had an output of 9oz. in just one session.

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Overcoming all these breastfeeding challenges, I acknowledge and I believe that my abundant milk supply and Medela freestyle are “ALL HIS”, that is why, I weekly donate my extra output to mommies who have low milk supply, my winning goal in life.

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In my heart, I really wanted to share my knowledge and experiences on breastfeeding to other working mommies. I was thinking of conducting breastfeeding classes in my company and other companies but that would be tedious and overwhelming to me.

But this month of August 2014, while breastfeeding, it dawned to me, I am an Architect, I can design lactation room as required in RA 10028. I could help promote breastfeeding awareness through informing my fellow architects through my professional organization, the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) about implementing Republic Act (RA) 10028 in design of public and private establishments. This Act shall be known as the “Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009”.

“AN ACT EXPANDING THE PROMOTION OF BREASTFEEDING, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE REPUBLIC ACT NO. 7600, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS “AN ACT PROVIDING INCENTIVES TO ALL GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE HEALTH INSTITUTIONS WITH ROOMING-IN AND BREASTFEEDING PRACTICES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

RA 10028 requires all public and private buildings to have lactation station, as stated in Chapter 3 Section 11. Establishment of Lactation Stations. – It is hereby mandated that all health and non-health facilities, establishments or institutions shall establish lactation stations. The lactation stations shall be adequately provided with the necessary equipment and facilities, such as: lavatory for hand-washing, unless there is an easily-accessible lavatory nearby; refrigeration or appropriate cooling facilities for storing expressed breast milk; electrical outlets for breast pumps; a small table; comfortable seats; and other items, the standards of which shall be defined by the Department of Health. The lactation station shall not be located in the toilet. Further, in Chapter 5, Sec. 18, the lactation station will have the Department of Health Certifications and in Section 19 will gain tax incentives.
“Sec. 19. Incentives. – The expenses incurred by a private health and non-health facility, establishment or institution, in complying with the provisions of this Act, shall be deductible expenses for income tax purposes up to twice the actual amount incurred: Provided, That the deduction shall apply for the taxable period when the expenses were incurred: Provided, further, That all health and non-health facilities, establishments and institutions shall comply with the provisions of this Act within six (6) months after its approval: Provided, finally, That such facilities, establishments or institutions shall secure a “Working Mother-Baby-Friendly Certificate” from the Department of Health to be filed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue, before they can avail of the incentive. Here is the link for top 19 breastfeeding stations in malls of Metro Manila. And here are the links of 6 breastfeeding Friendly Companies.

As an architect, my breastfeeding advocacy can be realized through architecture through information dissemination of RA 10028. Hence, this August 2014, I started sending information to UAP presidents. And my goal is to inform the UAP National President to reach all UAP chapter members as well as APEC Architects. My end goal is a global partnership with all Architects in making breastfeeding as a cultural norm by having lactation stations in public and private establishments. These lactation stations will then serve as a information dissemination on breastfeeding.

I am currently formulating my own lactation station design criteria for Philippine setting. In the hope that it will be use for “best practice on lactation/breastfeeding station”. Just like the American Institute of Architects AIA LACTATION ROOM DESIGN

My initial thoughts, there is a need to design for the specific design for its end user. I proposed the typical design is a dedicated breastfeeding station, which malls have right now.

My suggestions for these breastfeeding or lactation rooms are appropriate furniture starting with a comfy chair or sofa that could accommodate a mother holding a baby and should support the back of the mom. Moms can easy to sit and stand up while carrying her baby, meaning not so low and not so soft. Though armrest are appreciated, the width should accommodate a length of a toddler. I personally prefer a 2 seater-sofa over a single seater big lazy chair.

Nursing Mothers Room - Perkins
link here
Privacy is a another issue, nursing stations in malls use curtain for the door and a door with bolt that says “occupied” to avoid unwelcomed interruptions. This privacy design is good for pumping or expressing milk and must come with table or table-high counter-top with convenience outlet. Table top or counter top must be an easy to clean and maintain, preferably anti-bacterial surface. Electric pump can be noisy, hence, wall must be structured to minimize sound transmission to adjacent rooms. It is suggested to install sound absorbing materials such as fabric panels, curtains, carpeting, or other sound-dampening materials to minimize echoes.

However, some mothers do welcome socializing hence, common big sofas facing each other or single chairs are encouraged but should be enclosed that should not be visually accessible to men.

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link here

Lighting and air conditioning should be relaxing, lighting and cooling can be controlled. I prefer that diaper changing station is also incorporated in the lactation station. it would be best if it would near the lavatory. Kitchen sink are preferred for washing bottles and pump parts with goose-neck or kitchen-type faucets are recommended.

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link here.

I proposed a second design for lactation station specifically for offices for expressing milk, which I will call temporary lactation stations for working mothers. It is rarely allowed in offices to bring breastfeeding babies & toddlers. This is my personal challenge, my office do not have any lactation room so I use a corner in accounting office. Some of my office mates did not exclusively breastfeed because of lack of such facilities.

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Hence, I would like to propose a design criteria for a temporary lactation room or an area in the office that can be converted into a lactation station when needed. In this way, offices can comply with the provisions of RA 10028 and can be certified as a lactation station by the Department of Health.

I have my whole lifetime to achieve my goals and dreams in promoting breastfeeding in the Philippines. My winning goal is to make breastfeeding a norm in the society through architecture. I dream in the future that Filipino architecture means environmentally sustainable where lactation/breastfeeding station is typical architectural feature in any public and private establishments.

Here are many thoughts and reasons why we should all advocate for mothers to breastfeed for the first 1,000 days of life #BF1st1000days

Jenny shares experiencing the One Asia Breastfeeding Forum

Mec insists to do the Math and breastfeed!

Ams, The Passionate Mom says Breastfeed for a Better Future

Pat says breastfeeding saves money and the planet

Cheryl, the Multi-Tasking Mama, tackles maternal health as addressed by breastfeeding

2011 CNN Hero Ibu Robin highlights gentle births and breasfeeding, even in disaster zones

Felyn stresses that Healthy Moms = Healthy Babies

Monique reminds us that there are second chances in breastfeeding

Normi relates how breastfeeding gave her strength and purpose

Nats thanks Dr. Jack Newman for showing how breastfeeding can be a win-win situation

Em believes breastfeeding is a solution to societal problems

Marge shares what breastfeeding has taught them

Kaity was empowered financially and as a woman through breastfeeding

Madel relates her breastfeeding saga

Jen of Next9 reminds us to do our research and share what we know

Celerhina Aubrey vows to work on one mother at a time

Grace wants to put an end to stories of toasted coffee and similar stuff over breast milk

Diane shares how she prevailed when things did not go according to plan

Hazel appreciates mommy support groups

Roan combines two passions, breastfeeding and architecture

Queenie tackled breastfeeding as the best choice for the environment as well and breastfeeding myths and poverty

Rosa shares how the picture she thought of was realized

Sally believes breastfeeding benefits mankind and our planet Earth

Floraine reminds us that breastfeeding helps combat diseases

Crislyn was happy to realize that she improved her own health by breastfeeding

Armi reminds us how breastfeeding during emergencies is crucial

Arvi tells us how breastfeeding made her look at her body a different way

Clarice elaborates on how breastfeeding saves lives and the planet

Giane reminds us that women empowerment can begin by seeing breastfeeding as more than a feeding issue

Liza thought she was only breastfeeding for her child

Blessed Tipid: True Value

From my pregnancy to giving birth to raising my son, I kept a low budget or blessed “tipid” but I got the true value.

I “tipid” or spend wisely my hard earned money. Though, I still believe in value for you money meaning, I am willing to spend on high quality products that may look “expensive” but give me my money’s worth by being effective. I don’t buy cheap products that do not perform to my expectations. For example my vitamins and supplements, I take Nutrilite that gives me extra energy and I pump more milk. but if I just take any generic vitamins out there but don’t give me extra energy and my BM output is low then, I would rather buy Nutrilite that gives me my desired outcome.
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My pregnancy

I have high risk pregnancy so at 12weeks or about 3 months I was in bedrest. Meaning, no work, no pay coz I stayed home and my husband earns and provide for us. But God provided for all our family needs. Money came in at the right time.
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Giving Birth Via Caesarian Section

We live and work at Quezon City but I gave birth in Baguio City, my home town. Also, my sister is a pediatrician and I know my CS will go well. We stayed in the private room for 4 days for I was CS. Praise God no complications this time. Our hospital bill was only 28K including my newborn but of course the doctors did not charge their usual professional fee. But with Philhealth benefit of 19K we only paid 9K and gave a love gift of 8K to 4 doctors.
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Cloth Diapers

I bought cloth diaper (CD) in a seminar from ticklemoms and got a discount of 50 pesos each. The CD at 300 became 250 when I bough a dozen at 250 per piece. First batch was 3K for 12 pieces. And I bought another dozen at a baby wearing expo – Get Carried Away. So I got 24 pieces of diapers for only 6K that is good till potty training or about 2 years old. If I will spend 500 every week for disposable diapers (DD), in 3months or 12 weeks I have spent 6k that I threw away in the dump site. DD will take about 500 years to decompose and there are a lot of chemicals that might give rashes to my baby’s bum.

Tickledmoms CD @ 300 each
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First Halloween costume as ladybug
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Kawaii CD @ 450 each with 2 inserts for heavy wetting.
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Baby Carrier and Medela Pumps

Since I was there in the baby wearing event, I got the the ring sling for only 1000 that was 1200 at regular price. I attended a mommy mundo bazaar and got 500 discount for my Medela base manual pump, from 1800, it became 1300.
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I went back to work and after using my manual pump for 3 months, I got tired and ask my boss for a raise (an over due salary raise). I told him I want to buy an electric double pump worth 19K. He offered to give me a cash advance (CA) of 20K. And I declined coz I need the raise first before a CA. The next week, I got my raise and got my CA of 18K and I got my Medela Freestyle pump. It was an investment, my goal is to exclusively breast feed in 2 years or 19months when I bought the Medela freestyle. So 19 months for 19K its not 1K per month. It is still cheaper if I buy formula milk but I wont.

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I also use Medala Storage bottles since its reusable.
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By the way, our office do not have a lactation station but I pump in our accounting office. I use a corner and I vacate when the accounting personnel need it.

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So far, we do not have added expense on our groceries buying DD and FM that is savings of 5K a month. so I basically saved 45K in the last 9 months. And will have more savings as long as we exclusively breastfeed and cloth diaper. I thank Medela house for hosting BF, CD, Baby Wearing seminars that equipped me in my journey as a second time mom.

Further I make my own nursing clothes, see my blog on Breast feeding fashion. Success of my exclusive breastfeeding is my discreet and fashionable nursing clothes.
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Though I got the inspiration from Sweetpea nursingwear click here for their FB page.