A Friend Talking about Breastfeeding

We have been fortunately visited recently by a friend of mine who is also a member of the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy (NABA). She was here upon my invitation, to speak to us in behalf of the organization she belongs to about breastfeeding and the benefits to both the mother and the children who practice it. She came and visited us, even if our place is very far from hers, and in spite of her hectic schedules, she found time for us, to which we are very grateful of.

Janna and I go way back. We go to the same school together and are classmates during all of our tertiary years. Our fathers were members of the same local bowlers club at our place, so we always got to spend time with each other and stuff. You can safely say we really are close friends, as our interests and hobbies also are in tune with each other, we even like the same boys back then, but we never really fought about it or anything as the two of us valued our studies more than anything else. We later separated as we both went to different colleges, but always tried our best to keep in contact through the years.

She spoke about what breastfeeding is and how it was properly done as an introduction to her presentation. She followed it by discussing relevant facts on the merits of breastfeeding and why it was very important to the child’s first two years, always driving home the point of how there’s really no substitute for it, and also cited several statistics regarding the superior health of those who underwent it during their infancy as against those who have not been breastfed.

Her presentation was so detailed that she even tackled most of the foods to avoid while breastfeeding, which also came as a surprise as we all didn’t seem to know them being particularly bad for breastfeeding. Among the food items she gave as examples were coffee, alcohol, spicy foods, dairy products, citrus, garlic and many more common items that we consume every day. She said that oftentimes, the food that we eat generally gets passed to the baby, and could be quite harmful to them because of their not yet mature digestive system and their inability to flush it from their still developing bodies.

She wrapped up her presentation by eventually talking about how to stop breastfeeding and knowing when is the right time for it, saying that it is usually the mothers who really know when. She just advised on a weaning period of about a month so that the baby would not be shocked about the separation, and will be given ample time to adjust to it.

The presentation lasted for about three hours, all of them she spent standing up and talking to us. After that came the question and answer portion and it ate up another hour of her time. That was a pretty long time for anybody to do a particular thing, and it really shows her love for the topic. I admired her dedication to her convictions and she seemed very happy about it. I just hope I can make it up to her somehow.

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True Meaning of Community

There recently were several cases of diarrhea that happened in one of our neighbors which brought a little worry to not a few residents here in our place. You see we are kind of a tight knit community and we keep it a point to help one another in any way we can, be it babysitting for one another or house guarding whenever the residents are away on vacation, we always volunteer our services to those who are in need. Many of the residents are in fact related to one another and almost all of us kind of knew each other since we were little, so it is not hard to imagine the things we are willing to do to help.

The household in question belongs to that of my close friend Abby, who is also in the later part of her pregnancy, and is currently living alone with her two little kids, mainly because her husband is away on a business trip of sorts and is not due back till next month. So you can clearly see the worry that we have for them.

Abby and her two kids, aged two and five, were all suffering from diarrhea and is hard put on maintaining daily living because of the stresses being put on them by the illness. Notwithstanding that she is pregnant and that diarrhea during pregnancy, although not very serious, is very hard, especially to Abby who is alone taking all the responsibility for the three of them, says that she didn’t particularly know what caused it.

Diarrhea is almost always caused by factors outside of our body. Its causes are usually from bacteria, viruses, medication, food intolerances, food poisoning among other things and even stress can cause it. Diarrhea is characterized by frequent bowel movements, usually liquid, in a span of a short time. Its cure is dependent on what eventually caused it, and although not recommended, it usually cures itself when left alone, typically within two to three days from its onset.

What is important in diarrhea is to always guard against dehydration from happening, particularly with diarrhea in toddlers, whose bodies are not yet fully developed and has no means of quickly flushing the toxins by themselves, dehydration poses a very large risk to their well-being, and also ultimately to their lives.

I, along with two friends, volunteered to stay with them until everything was okay. We were to take shifts on staying with them, making sure that there is always somebody there, whatever the time, which they can call to and ask for help and what not. Others took care of finding what did cause their diarrhea, which we later found out was the spoiled burritos that they ate.

We are also planning to take the matter up with the restaurant that served them the burritos and charge them for whatever cost is incurred with regards to their illness, and also demand the changing of their procedures so that this thing will never happen again. With the help of everyone around them, thankfully they did manage to get well soon enough.

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Casual Talk about Asthma

Several of the mothers which I am acquainted with, and also part of our group, are suffering from asthma. I have seen them sometimes laboring for breath during several of our weekly meetings, more so when the weather is particularly hot and also during the spring when plants bloom and many kinds of seeds and pollen, which may be classified as allergens, goes airborne seeking to reproduce. Dust also kinds of affect them terribly and even household pets seems to aggravate their condition.

I sometimes see them getting some form of white contraption from their purses when they are close to being out of breathe. I found out later that these handheld portable devices were in fact asthma inhalers, which delivers a spritz of medicine to their lungs that somehow alleviates the symptoms of an asthma attack. Some of the asthma suffering mothers has these inhalers but some of them don’t, which naturally sort of piqued my curiosity. But I dread the thought of the time when they don’t have any inhaler on hand and an attack is imminent, what then are they going to do?

I know that asthma is one of those illnesses that have no particular cure and stuff, and the medicine that is taken for it usually just handles the symptom of it and not the cause. So I asked several of them about what it feels to have asthma, and what their views about it are, and also of what in particular are they doing about it.

Almost all the mothers that I have talked to, was resigned to their fates with regards to them suffering with asthma. Most of them told me that they have been suffering for it since they were young, so they somehow just learned to live with it. They told me of how hard it is to breathe when the onset of symptoms begin, and of how it felt like there is always fluid in lungs, kind of like a gargling feeling deep in your body, when you are just normally breathing. They are particularly afraid of the feeling of air being squeezed tightly out of your body, and having no means to suck it back in because of constricted air passageways.

Some of them profess to the goodness of the inhaler, saying it was their savior many times in their lives. Others, who I presume was just mild asthma sufferers, detest the thing, saying that it only makes them feel groggy most of the time, and also hinder them thinking clearly. These others are also of the belief of natural or even homemade remedies to their illness. They said that Vitamin C and Omega Fatty Acids which can be naturally found in fishes, and also serve as natural antihistamine, worked wonders on them. They said that they always make it a point to always include them in their diets and was working perfectly for them, making asthma attacks fewer and far in between.

About the question I had earlier, I asked them of what they would do if ever they don’t have an inhaler handy when asthma suddenly appears. All their answers were the same as they all said that they would eventually just pray hard, that someone would help them if ever that situation happens. So in asthma, if all else fails, pray.

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