Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Born Free: Make it right from the start

Getting ready to breastfeed at the park
Since having my daughter last year I've become more aware of a different style of mommyhood and parenting. This more prevalent approach is a kinder, gentler, wiser, communal and more sustainable model than what was the dominant school of thought with my eldest 10 years ago.

Then
it was all about sleep training and formula feeding and lots of vitamins and teaching the baby to read and be "independent." Today it's all about fostering a closer bond through breastfeeding, attachment parenting, babywearing, and creating a safe environment to prevent possible illness through natural and organic surroundings.

I'm not saying that one style is better than the other -- as moms we all have unique needs and approaches that work for us -- but I appreciate this "kinder, gentler" approach. To me, today's school of thought is more about trusting our own mommy wisdom and going with what feels right in our hearts and less about following a rigidly structured handbook of parenthood. It's something that I apply with my daughter too through breastfeeding (even if it's hard, and at 13 months, quite tiring already!), using natural products (like Human Nature!) and co-sleeping.

Last April 12, I was able to join a community of exceptional moms who all champion this "kinder, gentler" model of parenthood at the Born Free: Make it right from the start launch with Rustan's Supercenters, Shopwise, Human Nature and Mommy Mundo. It was a lovely and enlightening afternoon that focused on giving our children the very best start in life. 

There were lots of cool and clever baby stuff on display (great ideas for christening and birthday gifts!):

Love Loop scarf / nursing cover / belly cover (get from www.shopmommymatters.com) made from bamboo fabric
Sustainable social entrepreneurship products like these Reborn Accessories, made from scrap fabric, and Mommy Mundo recycled tarpaulin tote bag

Next9 cloth diapers! these aren't your nanay's lampin. A friend uses it and these last a loooong time -- and save you quite a bit on disposable diaper budget!!
Clever Sensible Lines Breastmilk Trays -- lets you freeze milk in 10ml trays. Easy to thaw and use.
I loved these What If game cubes, made of recycled / upcycled / repurposed materials.
And of course, Human Nature's pure, natural and safe Three-Step Baby Care system, which is now available at Shopwise!



Hosted by Human Nature marketing head Joanna Gilladoga and celebrity mom Danica Sotto Pingris, the afternoon began with a short Q&A with Dra. Cricket Chen, one of Manila's most sought-after pediatricians whose approach combines homeopathic remedies with traditional medication. She emphasizes prevention rather than cure -- an example she gave was the skin condition eczema, which is an effect of a disturbance in how the body metabolizes protein. So instead of using all sorts of creams to treat the skin, she would recommend strengthening the gut and the liver to treat the cause of the problem, and not its effect.

The audience listens intently to Dra. Chen
Next was Human Nature's founder and all-around supermom Anna Meloto-Wilk. She explained that just because a product says it's for babies it doesn't mean it's safe! Parabens, mineral oil and thalates -- present in many products right now -- have been connected with reproductive problems, allergies and toxic reactions. That is why she and the Human Nature team came up with 100% chemical-free products for babies with all the good stuff -- and none of the bad. (I'm a longtime fan of Anna and a supporter of her advocacy!)

Human Nature Baby Wash, Baby Lotion and Baby Oil
The three-step baby care system includes:

1) Baby Wash - gently cleanses baby's skin and contains calming and soothing chamomile and lavender essence to help ease baby into bed!
2) Baby Lotion - made with nourishing avocado oil, this replaces moisture lost through sweat and bathing.
3) Baby Oil - pure sunflower oil protects and nurtures baby's skin.

The good news is that these products are now available at Rustan's Supermarkets and Shopwise all over the Metro, so getting natural and safe products for baby is easier than ever before! They're very affordable too so no need to compromise baby's health.

Last was Mommy Mundo founder Janice Crisostomo Villanueva, a pioneer in bringing moms together - and bringing them closer to the best family-focused resources. I got a copy of the Mommy Pages directory she publishes, and it was amazing. Anything I could possibly want to look up was there!

All in all it was a lovely way to meet and spend time with busy and devoted moms - I came off really inspired! 

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