Sunday, November 28, 2010

A mother's love

During a photoshoot for my business' babywearing picture guide, our photographer snapped this photo in between shots and I fell in love with it...

Our models Jury & Jurian

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Breastfeeding Beauties

You know what I especially love about this Breastfeeding Beauty? Is that she sat and nursed her 4th child ( and 4th breastfed babe) in front of her friend, friend's 10-year-old daughter, her own daughter, two young sons and their friend. She did it with the most ease and nonchalance. I couldn't help but think what good she was doing for everyone around her, exposing these little ones to the natural progression of a pregnancy - lactation. Enjoy

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Breastfeeding Beauties

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their hard work. For if one of them should fall, the other one can raise his partner up"

Ecclesiastes 4:9

Andrea Justina & Jennifer Marie Roca &Eva & Bella

Breastfeeding Beauties

One of my first babywearing clients, Jennifer Marie Roca is our latest breastfeeding beauty. As nursing student and more avid learner who's always ready to dispel any breastfeeding myth, she gives us a beautiful example of how the love of a child and the success of breastfeeding despite ups and downs molds us and makes us stronger women, stronger mothers. Here she is nursing little Isabella

Friday, November 19, 2010

Breastfeeding Beauties

A breath taking photo from a dear dear nursing mother/friend of mine comes from Andrea Justina. A young wife and mother of one who constantly inspires me with her support of natural parenting and full-term breastfeeding. Here she is nursing her adorable, cookie-monster loving daughter, Eva (now nearly 24 months old)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

So you bought a sling, now what?

You've finally gotten the sling you chose and you're eager to give it a go! But when you get the sling in your hands, you realize quickly "I don't know how to use it!" So what do you do then? Did you know that Aruba is home to a business named CariBirth who's owner is a babywearing educator? Someone specialized in giving classes and teaching women to practice the art of safe babywearing? Did you know that she visits you in the comfort of your home at the hour that's convenient for you, the day you desire and spends her time until you feel comfortable in using your new carrier. She's also the only person on Aruba that owns such a vast variety of carriers on the market and let's you pick and choose which one you'd like to rent before you commit to buying an unfamiliar carrier. She has both in depth knowledge and personal experience in babywearing and still wears her 3-year-old daughter. She has given lectures, classes and has been the first woman to officially start up and provide a place where women can learn more about and become confident and skilled babywearers. Why not give CariBirth's Wendy Maduro a call at 593-4444 or email at, and make your appointment for your own personal at home babywearing consult. Stop worrying and start babywearing!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Breast – Functionally Practical or Sexual?



An attractive young woman poses in a barely-there bikini for a beer ad. Plastered up high on a huge billboard, men gawk at this image, teenage girls idolize the model's shapely hips and rounded, full breasts, and little girls want to be just like her when they grow up.


In a park a mother sits with her baby on her lap. The baby turns his head from side to side as if he was looking for something. His mother picks up his rooting cues and lifts her shirt to offer him the breast. A family with a young child passes by and the mother immediately steers the young child's attention away from the nursing mother.


What's wrong with the two above mentioned scenarios?


It's how we view an important aspect of women nowadays. What's that you ask? The female breast. How we view this secondary sex organ influences an important aspect of the procreative cycle, namely, breastfeeding. I'm not just speaking about how women view their breasts and breasts of other women, but also the opinion a man holds. Why is everyone's opinion on the matter important? Because at one point or another, all of us, each one of us, will come in contact with a pregnant and/or lactating woman at some point in our life. Whether she is our friend, mother, sister, aunt, cousin, or the stranger sitting next to us, our opinion can influence her decision and desire to sustain breastfeeding. When you add up enough opinions and viewpoints of enough people, you get a general mental attitude and cultural view of a given topic. If enough people see a woman's breasts as something merely sexual that is to be kept in that context, you get a society that views breastfeeding or at least nursing in public, as something taboo. Besides having non-western cultures laugh and ridicule us for being nonsensical for thinking that of a breastfeeding mother, we also have to contemplate the short- and long term effects and consequences of this negative view. A lactating woman who feels embarrassed or even ashamed to nurse outside of the privacy of her own home is more likely to give up on breastfeeding altogether. As a matter of fact, this well contributes to Aruba's dismal breastfeeding rates at 6 + months. A mother cannot be expected to sit at home until the child decides to wean off the breast. This is not just in any context. Some will argue "Bah! Just let her bring along a bottle of formula or expressed milk when she has to go out, that's plain and simple!". I'll answer with an emphatic "NO!" One of the benefits of breastfeeding is not having to worry about having to prepare and walk around with bottles and such paraphernalia. It's the ease and simplicity of lifting your shirt and having the substance ready when the baby is, at the temperature the baby likes and in two attractive containers that draws many women to breastfeeding. Are we then going to burden this mother by indirectly and subtly making her feel she is not welcome to nurse her child in public? Is this even our right to have any say over this?


In a meeting with UNICEF'S Regional Director for the Caribbean, Nils Kastberg, revealed to us that by the time a girl is 14, she has already subconsciously made up her mind in what form she will feed her child – be it by bottle or breast. What does this indicate to us? Children both male and female, need to be, for lack of a better word, exposed to breastfeeding at the youngest age possible. Not just by being breastfed, but by being allowed and given the opportunity to witness this act of sheer nurture, love and warmth. Why do we say that both boys and girls need to see this? Because even though it's the girl that will grow up and actually breastfeed, the boy will grow up and eventually become someone's partner and someone's father. There is probably no greater influence on breastfeeding than that of the partner. A study revealed that when a woman's partner was fully supportive of her decision to breastfeed, 98.1% of women actually did. On the contrary, when a woman's partner was indifferent about the matter, only 26% went on to breastfeed. A man's opinion of his wife's breasts is far-reaching and is important.


Of course, just because a woman has the ineluctable ability to lactate, does not render her breasts as sole property of the child during his nursing years. Why can't we reach a consensus? Breasts are multi-functional. It's certainly something worth considering



Friday, November 12, 2010

Eats on Feets - Online Milk sharing page gets a head start

Source: The Amigoe
Edition: November 12th 2010
Author: Mirte De Rozario

Oranjestad - A mother in urgent need of breast milk because she accidentally spills her 7 ounce (200 ml) supply of expressed milk, was helped to fill that need in 13 minutes via the online milk sharing page "Eats on Feets." Because of the quick response, the mother did not have to supplement with formula. Wendy Maduro leads the chapter in Aruba that was started just this week on Facebook.

And yet, Eats on Feets is not just an Aruban network. Maduro, who is a board member of Pro Lechi Mama (Aruba's non-profit breastfeeding organization) requested to lead Aruba's chapter in response to a Global movement that strives to match human milk requests to donations of such.

This worldwide initiative, Eats on Feets Global, was started up by Canadian Emma Kwasnica. This breastfeeding advocate was spurred on to action after it became known that a new line of artificial baby milk was to come on the market. In opposition of this developing story, Kwasnica decided to create an online page on Facebook where moms could make informed choices about milk sharing between each other. The name :Eats on Feets" came from an American midwife who'd thought up the name. In the blink of an eye, Eats on Feets exploded in other lands. There are about 87 local chapters in 18+ countries.

Supply and Demand
Aruba's own local chapter on Facebook got its start this week. "The idea is simple", says Maduro, "You can compare it to Aruba Match, but then specifically for mothers who breastfeed. Mothers who breastfeed usually pump and thus build up a stash in their freezer, especially when they have a copious production. Those who've accumulated a reserve may decide to share this with another mother who may be in need for human milk but may not have access to it. Before, a mother may have had to supplement with formula, but with Eats on Feets, that's not necessary anymore."
Wednesday past, was the success of Eats on Feets clearly visible. Maduro put out an urgent call on Facebook for 7 ounces of breastmilk for a mom in dire need of it. Within 13 minutes, the need was filled, so revealed a post on Facebook from Maduro.
"I got a response from a mother whom I know, that she was able and willing to donate the amount that was needed." In this instance, PLM picked up the donated breastmilk and brought it to the recipient because of necessity. But in actuality, the parties involved are asked to make arrangements amongst themselves."
Maduro goes on to say that this same urgent call for human milk brought in a flood of responses. Maduro emphasizes though that she personally knew this mother and knew that she was healthy and had good quality milk. "Because otherwise I would not have facilitated the milk donation. As a mother who uses milk from another mother, you want to be careful and avoid the potential risk of giving your baby milk from a mother who may have a communicable disease."
She also mentioned and example of another donating mother.* "I was approached by an American tourist who was familiar with Eats on Feets and was who a regular donor of mother's milk. She was vacationing on Aruba and couldn't bring her expressed breast milk back to the States with her, and she asked me to find a baby on Aruba who was in need of human milk. That is exactly what Eats on Feets has as its mission. Mothers who milk share who can establish contact and fill the need either of a donation or request here on Facebook."

Chapter leader of Aruba's Eats on Feets page highlights that this initiative is free, that has as its only goal to provide a means, a space, where moms can meet each other. Where the health status of the donating mother is concerned, each recipient and donator is responsible for this individually. "On every Eats on Feets page, whichever land it may be, there is access to references and additional information for all interested about the risks and personal responsibility that each mother takes upon herself when she shares milk. I encourage all who are interested in this movement, whether you are a donor or a recipient, to inform yourself and know your source." Maduro goes on to explain what she advises mothers who are searching for a donation of maternal milk to do. "If when you put in a request and you get a match for a donor that you're personally familiar with, then usually there's no problem and you can choose to accept the milk without much ado. But if a recipient is not familiar with the donating mother, then, the mother at the receiving end may choose to ask that the mother at the donating end have the appropriate blood tests done to verify that she is in good health and that her milk is safe."

Facebook is a social networking site that allows an individual to choose how much personal information he puts out there. To maintain the relative privacy of Eats on Feets, each chapter understand and acknowledges that all those interested in donating/receiving is encouraged to post on their local page but that further arrangements be made between themselves. For more information on the guidelines of the page, visit your local chapter's page, Eats on Feets ~ Aruba. Since the opening of the chapter the beginning of this week, there has been  about 40 'likes' so far.

Footnote: The milk donation facilitated earlier this year by Pro Lechi Mama's Wendy Maduro was not established through "Eats on Feets Global". This donation came about by Aruban Breastfeeding Mamas' Facebook page , where Wendy was subsequently contacted by the donating mother before her trip to Aruba. Footnote my own 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Eats on Feets ~ Aruba!

If you don't live, eat and breathe Facebook, or have been living under a rock then you probably have not heard of EOF Global, or "Eats on Feets". This amazing, far-reaching movement started with just one thought, taken over by an amazing woman and just exploded in what will probably be one of the biggest movements in milk-sharing in history since the wet nurse.

Where did the name "Eats on Feets" come from?

(The original Eats On Feets Creator)
"I started this page (the original EOF page) after receiving a phone call from a mom who was desperate to find breast-milk for her newborn. I posted her needs on Facebook and the response was immediate and fantastic. I thought it would be awesome if there were a page dedicated to milk sharing and tribe nursing.

So, this is a networking page for moms to share and receive milk when needed. I am not responsible for milk sharing results or content shared by other posters.

And a note of caution; KNOW THY SOURCE. While it is true that tribe feeding offers MANY benefits, there is ALWAYS the risk of disease/contamination.

I support many causes and movements but in the spirit of keeping the site as focused as possible status updates are specific to milk sharing."
With Shell's approval, Eats On Feets GLOBAL was initiated by Shell's good friend Emma Kwasnica. It's hub is on the FB page INFORMED CHOICE : BIRTH AND BEYOND. Safe mother to mother milk sharing is part of INFORMED CHOICE for today's childbearing/-rearing women!

I'd seen the EOF (Eats on Feets) movement bubbling days before November 7th 2010 (the day EOF went Live) and I didn't quite get it, that is... before I logged on to my Facebook and was blown away by this massive happening. I immediately jumped on the bandwagon and contacted Emma letting her know I wanted to open up a chapter in Aruba. She was thrilled to add the first part of the Caribbean to EOF Global's list of Worldwide chapters! I can only hope my sister islands also follow suit.

Are you an Aruban breastfeeding mama with a desire to donate your milk to another baby in need? Visit our FB fan page- Eats on Feets ~ Aruba - to look for a recipient now! Or perhaps you are a mom in need of breast milk for your baby, put your request on the wall and find a donor near you!

I leave you now with a tidbit about EOF on Youtube

Have more questions about Eats on Feets? Visit our FAQ page and find out!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Breastfeeding Beauties

A friend from long ago, blossoms into a beautiful breastfeeding mother. In fact, she can be deemed a true "Breastfeeding Beauty". That is, my friend, Jury Lanoy. Here she is nursing her adorable and ardent nursling, Jurian

Enjoy <3

The modern day wet-nurse

Wet nurse. A term familiar to nearly everyone. Although women are not employed full time as wet nurses any longer, the practice is far from dead. More commonly now, women share their milk when an opportunity arises of a baby or mother in need of milk.

Tonight, such a situation presented when a close friend and breastfeeding mama sent me a message telling me that her 7 ounce stash of milk for tomorrow was spilled. She said that she'd try her best to pump as much as she could tonight to be able to have enough for tomorrow, or else her baby would have to get formula in her absence while she'd be at work. I immediately exclaimed "Nooooooooooooo!" and that I would search for a donor immediately, for the lost 7 ounces of precious liquid gold we call breast milk.

I immediately posted on my Facebook, and on our "Breastfeeding Mamas" Blackberry group that I had a mama in search for milk ASAP. I then remembered a client that lived close by that I knew had a good supply and stash in the freezer. I gave her a call and she immediately went to check how much she could give. To my surprise and sheer euphoria, she could fill the whole 7 ounces! Then, simultaneously, another mom on the Blackberry group responded and said she could give 4. We were all overjoyed!

I grabbed a small cooler, filled it with ice and off I went to pick up and drop off the milk. In the mean time, I got a message on Facebook from yet another mom who had donated in the past who was saying she had 10 frozen ounces that were reaching their expiration date. Talk about moving mountains for some milk! Within half an hour, 3 moms were willing to donate a total of 21 ounces of their precious maternal milk to help this mom out! I couldn't have been prouder of all of them.

So the modern day nursing mother can become a modern day wet-nurse even if for just one time, in the blink of an eye

Breastfeeding is truly a self-sacrificing act that not only benefits your baby, but could also benefit another baby out there at some point or another. Sharing milk = Sharing love

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Blackberry Breastfeeding Support Groups

The Blackberry has been called many things ranging from "pure bliss" to the ever infamous "Crackberry". Recently though, a new trend has emerged that has brought the two loves of many women together, the Blackberry chat group and breastfeeding. Fundacion Pro Lechi Mama Aruba has started their own "Breastfeeding Mamas" BB group. Spurred on by the success of their monthly breastfeeding support groups or "moedergroepen" they decided to bring peer counseling and encouragement to a whole new plateau. 

Moms in the group had this to say about this new concept:

"It's very good. You get to hear about what others go through and you don't feel so alone."
"Yes! Brilliant idea. I like the way we support one another and like A said, you don't feel alone plus you learn a lot from others."
"Especially with certain people around you, in my case that is, they see breastfeeding as something s strange. They're amazed when they hear that I'm still breastfeeding as if I should've stopped a long time ago. Thus, this group is good support!"
"I find it the best! Especially when you're in doubt and you don't know what else to do, you all are ready to help each other, it's something very great! "
Moms in this group enjoy forming new friendships with other local breastfeeding moms and also enjoy having their doubts or fears relieaved by the experience of the moms combined with the expertise and knowledge of the board members of Pro Lechi Mama. Are you pregnant and interested in learning more about breastfeeding? Are you a breastfeeding mom who wants to forms new friendships with other like minded moms? Then add 216BCAE8 and specify that you'd like to be added to the "Breastfeeding Mamas" group! If you're already in the group, why not add your friends? 

Note: Group is open to any and all seeking support and information with regards to breastfeeding. All group members are expected to behave in a kind, respectful manner even when opinions differ. Wrong information is subject to correction. Group membership is free and all are welcome!