Thursday, August 4, 2016

Hakab Na! Nueva Ecija Sponsors

We thank our sponsors for the overflowing support for the upcoming Hakab Na! Nueva Ecija 2016. Breastfeeding Mommas see you there!

Please Follow and Like their FB pages: 

Quality Brand - QB Collection:
Chubby Toes Ceramic Impressions:

Friday, July 1, 2016

Hakab na! Nueva Ecija 2016

As part of the National Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August, Nueva Ecija Breastfriends has organized Hakab Na! Nueva Ecija 2016.  This is a breastfeeding activity that seeks to promote the importance of providing proper support to breastfeeding mothers.

2015 Hakab Na! was even bigger with over 1,712 mother-baby pairs from 14 locations nationwide and 2 abroad from 2014.  Last year, we have a bunch of breastfeeding moms  from Manila. Aklan, Alabang, Bacolod, Baguio, Bulacan, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Isabela, Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Mandaluyong, Pampanga, and Zambales who join the event. Breastfeeding Pinays in France and Singapore also latched on their babies and were counted. Last year, the event was participated by 16 mothers and 18 babies in our province. The event was featured on major television networks like ABS CBN, GMA, ABC, and Solar; and major dailies like Philippine Star, Manila Times, etc.  Hakab Na! 2015 also had prominent online presence with features in Yahoo! Philippines, Rappler. SunStar, Voice of America, and various blogs.

Hakab na! Nueva Ecija 2016 is the 2nd Hakab Na event in the province and will be held on August, 6, 2016 (Saturday), 9:00 am at the SM City Cabanatuan, Maharlika highway, Cabanatuan City. During the activity, breastfeeding moms will be latching their babies all at the same time. There will also be short talks about breastfeeding management, babywearing and cloth diapering.  We will do this in coordination with the Big Latch On – an international activity where moms will simultaneously latch on their babies.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Arugaan: Contact details

Here are the contact details of Arugaan:

Innes Fernandez
Mobile: (0908) 8888 153

Velvet Roxas
Mobile: (0915) 774 1614

Mobile Counseling service and support for breastfeeding, infant nutrition and mother-baby friendly alternatives. Daycare and wet nurse facility for working and breastfeeding moms. Can help Moms to breastfeed even in the most difficult circumstances. Intensive experience on relactation and bringing the baby back to the breast. Has trained more than 4,000 breastfeeding counselors in more than 20 cities.

Arugaan's Community-Based Mother Support:
Specializes in lactation massage and breastfeeding counseling (home and hospital visits)

a) Quezon City
Nanay Rich Talle - (0916) 3086 434
Riah Talle - (0917) 5155368
Lorena Rivera - (0949) 159 9613/(0916) 216 9836

b) Rizal
Christina Alterado - (0932) 396 4538

c) Laguna
Lita Nery - (0918) 555 7565

What is Arugaan?

1. ARUGAAN - Manila, Philippines

ARUGAAN is a home centre organised by groups of working mothers, largely the urban poor. Arugaan in Filipino means to nurture fully or to take care of entirely. The centre cares for babies whose ages range from one and half months to three and half years. The ARUGAAN centre is a learning therapy for the parents where discussions are held on health, life style, parent-child relationship. ARUGAAN was instrumental in making Quezon city the first to declare itself a mother-baby-friendly municipality. A core part of the programme involves organising a caucus among policy makers in support of activities already in place for working women. They include nine Metro Manila Mayors, three government officials from the departments of health, social welfare, and labour, five employers and five women worker union leaders.

2. Aims & Objectives

To facilitate the process in the creation of creche at workplaces with policy-makers, employers and union officers, and to provide support systems for working women with regard to child care, breastfeeding counseling, health and nutrition information; to create mother-support groups; and to establish mother-friendly initiatives. It aimed to address issues such as how to deal with the specific needs of working women particularly the pregnant and those with young children as well as how to integrate breastfeeding the child while at work.

3. Initiating the Creation of Creche at Workplaces

How it all began ... A friendly employer, an exporter of children's garments named Blue Bell, referred ARUGAAN to another friendly owner Ditas Hernandez, of Victory International Garments. With only one meeting, an agreement was reached, whereby, ARUGAAN would be directly responsible for the day care programme while the company would provide the facilities to include space, water, and electricity. It was mutually agreed that ARUGAAN's role is to facilitate their day care programme in transition towards complete autonomy. The agreement was spelled out in a two-page description of the plans and understanding.

4. Project Implementation

ARUGAAN obtained from the company administration, a list of women who were pregnant, on maternity leave, and who had resumed work after childbirth, and those with toddlers. ARUGAAN workers then distributed among the potential beneficiaries, a personalised letter and survey forms for information about themselves, their food habits, health and child care expenses. Initially an employee supervisor helped in this process. This was important because the ARUGAAN workers were not allowed entry into the work sites on grounds of security as technically they were not workers.

The factory meeting between the workers and ARUGAAN at break time discussed the needs and expectations of the workers in terms of child care. The result of the survey was presented as basis for the development of the training needs and programme. Seminar training were scheduled during the workers' one-hour lunch time on health, particularly children's colds and cough, pregnancy and care, family planning and food and nutrition. The 30-minute informal seminar interaction elicited warm rapport and acquaintances that led to the discussion of roles and responsibilities in setting up of the day-care.

Full attendance to the meetings and seminars was a prerequisite for acceptance of their children. In the beginning, only toddlers aged between 2 years and 4 years were enrolled. This was because the mothers were wary of ARUGAAN workers as they had no previous experience with them. Moreover, they could not bring themselves to leave their infants in the care of strangers. This was frustrating for ARUGAAN.

In August, many mothers braved the rains and typhoon and arrived at work with their children wrapped in raincoat. In three months the number of infants and toddlers at the centre increased to 27. A fee of P10 (25 pesos = US$1) was charged per day to cover food, custodial service and programme for nine hours. During the seminar sessions on food and nutrition, ARUGAAN care-givers discovered that the workers spent P12 on snacks of coca cola and potato chips. Hence their discussion at the seminar focused on the correlation of junk-food, advertising impact, health implications and expenses. The Mother-to-mother counseling became a continuous process for ARUGAAN care-givers as an alternative programme for a healthy diet and lifestyle. The counseling service also brought up problems of domestic violence and unemployment among their husbands.

After the programme began in earnest, ARUGAAN monitored the programme closely for two months until it became structured. The ARUGAAN staff were required to be at the centre at 7 am because the work shift began at 7.30 am. The centre closed at 5 p.m. and another 30 minutes were spent in clearing the centre. Administrative meetings took place in the evenings on the 15th and 30th of each month which were pay days. The staff are treated to a special dinner during the get-together.

This working creche, established at Victory Undergarments Incorporated by ARUGAAN is an example of a successful working creche that shows to all sectors that it is possible to create a support service for breastfeeding working women.

5. Achievements

ARUGAAN found that the breastfeeding practice for working women in transition from home to work site after maternity leave became easy as long as they had intensive counseling during pregnancy, after birth and hence counseling visits at home became part of ARUGAAN day care services. Additional counseling was required for mothers whose toddlers or even infants were hooked on to the bottle.

Breastfeeding babies are wet-nursed by surrogate mothers who bring their own babies to the centre. Re-lactation was encouraged for the bottle-fed infants and they were fed on donor's breast milk through cup. Babies aged six months and above were given nutritious home made baby food provided by the creche every two hours in order to wean them from the bottle. The children who were fed at the centre were found to have gained weight and were ill less often with colds, coughs, asthma, allergies, and diarrhea. A non-dairy diet was strictly implemented these illnesses.

The mothers too, found that they benefited by better health and economic savings. As such, the working mothers were satisfied and were more productive at work. They gained new confidence and considered forming unions.

ARUGAAN care-givers are trained in issues of women, health, food, early child education and leadership skills. They were experienced mothers who also train young, single women. The creche's fees contributed to the operational expenses. Many mothers delayed payment due to their husband's unemployment and poverty. Many mothers could not bring diapers, towels and baby clothes because they did not have enough or they brought them, still wet from the laundry done the day before. The creche suffered a deficit budget, because the fees charged could not cover the expenses of staff salaries.

There were some suggestions to generate income to make the creche self-sufficient. These are: · each parent to contribute a family member, an adult, as trainee at the creche, who can later be absorbed as worker, or the training could be useful in future. · three parents to be assigned in a day to bring in three trainees. If the parent cannot provide a trainee then they must contribute an equivalent of their day's pay for the available care giver. · during the evenings or in their free time, the parents can sew baby clothes, maternity dresses or other useful materials for sale, reserving a percentage of the sale price for the creche funds. · Parents could operate a food stall for take-home meals and a percentage of the proceeds would be given to the creche.

At the onset, difficulty in understanding the benefits of breastfeeding at individual levels was encountered, especially that of intergrating breastfeeding while working. Moreover, there were no breastfeeding inputs from the women's doctors during prenatal check ups. Initially, some mothers insisted on bottlefeeding as prescribed by their doctors. Medical consultation, indepth counseling and seminar training by ARUGAAN friend-doctors was implemented to assure the workers that breast was beast.

After three months, a parent meeting was held for assessment. Economic savings were discussed and appreciated as brought about by the program of ARUGAAN creche. Both workers and employer experienced the significant positive changes on the child, the mother and their work output (higher quota). More importantly, trust was established and appreciation was expressed to ARUGAAN as the parents saw the remarkable changes in their child's development. Through good eating habits and access to their mothers, the children became happy, healthy and intelligent.

This pilot creche instituted by ARUGAAN at the factory was facilitated through consultation with the employer who was enthusiastic and supportive of the initiative and thus, she is classified as a friendly employer. The Department of Labor aided ARUGAAN with financial assistance for some of the expenses incurred in providing the fixtures, program and services for a year, although the worker-beneficiaries also paid a small enrollment fee daily per child. The rich experiences at the pilot creche at this factory helped to propel ARUGAAN's initiatives at local government institutions, involving active policy-makers such as the Mayor and Councilors with legislative directives to make similar undertakings in other workplaces.

The success of the creche at this garment export factory has resulted in talks to set-up similar undertaking in some factories and government offices. ARUGAAN organised caucuses and video shows: "Mothers' Right to Work, Workers' Right to Motherhood", which featured the Victory International Garments experiences.

From: WABA

Why is Everyone Referring to Arugaan? (Posting by a breastfriend Mec)

Bakit lagi na lang Arugaan? #Arugaan

(Why is everyone referring everyone to Arugaan?)

1) Arugaan, established by Nay Ines in the 1980s, has been doing breastfeeding advocacy work at the community/grassroots level... Which gives them experience most of us attached to other breastfeeding groups do not have yet.

2) Arugaan is the only organization that employs pregnant and breastfeeding mothers BECAUSE of their potential to breastfeed. Some of them work as wet nurses, some work as lactation counselors, still others work in the Arugaan creche or provide support to Arugaan endeavors (like catering for Arugaan-DOH trainings).

3) Most from Arugaan earn a living through Arugaan endeavors. Kinabubuhay po nila, hindi kinayayaman. When we support them, we support their families. Minsan, they pool kids under the care of a designated "momma" so the others can work. This is how they sustain their community. Compare that to other groups who may only have volunteer moms who also work (not that they/we aren't able to manage great feats of wonderfulness too). Arugaan counselors have time devoted to helping because this is their work... I homeschool, other counselors have no yayas on weekdays, other counselors run their companies... Are you really going to wait for us to be free when you can get help from them? And if we can help them help themselves and make this system grow... Why not? Nay Ines is ever willing to train people who want to start their own versions in their own locales.
* note: kinabubuhay takes its roots from the word BUHAY... Life. Yung kinikita po ng wet nurses, ipambibili nila ng bigas, ipambabayad ng kuryente, pangbaon ng anak... Hindi nila ipambibili ng Starbucks or ipang-HK

4) They think local, indigenous, practical, common sense. Back when I was first starting out as a counselor, I was mega impressed that Medela has come up with their SNS (?) thing... Only to realize that Arugaan's drip feeding method requires no expense, no contamination risks (coz I still dont know how you can properly clean tubes of milk fats)m etc. Medela has also come up with a kind of feeder for those with cleft palate... But for most cases (esply mild ones), just tilting the angle of the baby so you can use the breast of the mother to close that gap is enough to aid the baby to suckle 'normally' (another Arugaan trick).

5) They also advocate mother and young child nutrition using local food.

6) They trained most of the breastfeeding groups, counselors and advocates that I know. Granted I do not know all of them but I like to think I know some of the more active, dynamic ones.

7) The lactation massage they offer comes with counseling, and comes with the hope/goal that you will not be dependent on them (like how others package their services). Their services are also priced reasonably (and you don't just pay for their time, but also their skill, experience and knowledge).

8) These counselors we might pay for their services are the same who do not get paid when they go to disaster areas post-calamity to ensure the protection of babies and young children. Again, kinabubuhay po nila pero hindi kinayayaman ang pagiging Arugaan counselor. They do this for love and service.

9) They train other counselors/groups from other countries too!

'My inspiration in the lactivism world!!
a brave, smart and beautiful nay Ines Avellana-fernandez'
from a friend in Jakarta Indonesia

Why did I write this? It just occurred to me that everyone keeps referring to them when, andami namang groups na pwede... And some people might be curious as to why. And obviously, i love what Arugaan stands for.
Does this mean other groups aren't good? Heck, no. I am from LATCH and proud of the the work we do in the niche we fill.
Does this mean other groups aren't doing as good a work as Arugaan? Heck, no... Breastfeeding advocacy is moving forward because of the collective efforts of different groups. Some lobby for laws, some teach at hospitals, some address working mom concerns, some cater to the poor, some cater to the rich, some cater to the in-between, some help police violations, some help transport donor milk to disaster areas, some build mother-baby friendly spaces in establishments, etc.
Does this mean others shouldn't contact the other groups? Heck no... We all do what we can and no one org can do everything. By all means get the support from whichever is nearest you, most accessible to you, most compatible for you.
It's just that Arugaan is what it is... A safe, self-sustaining bet where BFP believes one can turn to for quality info and support.
(And yes, Arugaan trained din Ako... More than that though, Arugaan inspired)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Eat Right Seminar in Cabanatuan

Last June 5, 2016, Arugaan goes to Cabanatuan city. Nanay Ines and the whole team conduct an EAT right Seminar at Auditorium, Old Capitol Compound, Burgos Avenue, Cabanatuan City.

It was organized by the ladies of Nueva Ecija Breastfriends and Arugaan led by Nanay Ines Avellana-Fernandez - a home centre organised by groups of working mothers, largely the urban poor. The registration for the seminar was 350.00 which includes snacks.

It was a yummy seminar because we discussed about the right food choices for our babies. Why we need to feed them the indigenous food. Parents attended usually have picky eater toddlers, having hard time on thinking what to cook for the kids, interested to know why cerelac, gerber and the likes are bad for the kids and of course they are interested on feeding their kids healthy and yummy food.

Arugaan staff consists of Nay Rich, Nay Mitas and Nay Wilma prepared 10 delicious and healthy dishes. These are Pinoy pageti, bola fried, bola hashed, saba sandwich, raw salad with drinks: linaot, langka, kamias, pipino pinya, pipino kalmansi, talbos kamote, kalamansi
Saba Sandwich
pinoy pageti, bola fried, bola hashed

Cooking demo of raw salad

Finished product
My all time favorite: Camote juice

W\th the Arugaan staff

Beautiful ladies of Arugaan
Nanay Ines - Mother of Breastfeeding and Eat right
Attendees of Eat right seminar

Sabv's half day experience in Arugaan

First time ni Sabv pumunta sa Arugaan Creche. Nagpunta ako para ideliver kay Nanay Ines ang birthday cake nya na dinala namin from Cabanatuan para di na nya bitbitin sa byahe after the Eat Right seminar. 

Nahihiya pa sya nung umpisa, nasa isang sulok lang at naglalarong mag isa. Pero eventually, lumabas na din ang pagiging curious nya sa mga ginagawa ng ibang bata sa daycare. Kumakanta, sumasayaw, naglalaro sila kasama sila Nanay Ines, Teacher Iris at iba pang staff ng creche. 

Tinuturuan sila kung pano tumulong sa gawaing bagay
Hello Pio!
Singing with Nanay Ines
Nililigpit nila ang mga laruan pagkatapos nila gamitin
Lumabas sila para magpainting-ang kanilang model si White - the manok
Seryosong magpaint ang baby ko
kwentuhan time with Teacher Iris 
Pagdadasal bago kumain
Seryosong kumain ng indigenous food
Tinuturuan silang mag ipon sa banko
Panoorin nyo ang video na ito kung saan makikita ang kanyang pag eenjoy sa Arugaan Creche. 

Arugaan Creche:

Innes Fernandez
#2 Starlight cor. Vista St., SSS Village, Marikina City
Mobile: (0908) 8888 153
Facebook: Arugaan