Prenatal Breastfeeding Classes

broekhuijsen

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Apr 29, 2003
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Hello everyone,

My name is Mary, I am Dutch and live with my family (husband and three children) in the Dominican Republic since 2001.
I am a Breastfeeding Counsellor and would like to present you this unique initiative now available in this country.

I founded a Breastfeeding Support Group in Santo Domingo (where I live).
The Breastfeeding Support Group offers English spoken Prenatal Breastfeeding preparation classes for couples and Mother to Mother Breastfeeding Support Group get-togethers for breastfeeding mothers.

Many (foreign) baby's are born here and I know that many of the (foreign) women miss the supportive network of their friends and family back home.

The Breastfeeding Support Group can be a meaningfull and valuable supporting network in this country and women enjoy the get-togethers while they breastfeed their child.

Pregnant women and their partner can participate in the Breastfeeding preparation class. Topics will be:
*Benefits of human milk
*Anatomy and physiology of the breast
*Correct positioning and latch-on
*Tips for dads
*Recognizing barriers, concerns and overcoming difficulties
*Pumping, storing and handling human milk
*Working and Breastfeeding
*Being hospitalised and starting out right!
*Dominican Law on Breastfeeding (right to Breastfeed).
etc, etc.

Participating parents recieve a "Breastfeeding Booklet to Succes" that will provide you with background information, articles and a Daily Log for the first weeks with your baby that will guide you through the first weeks of parenthood.

It is recommended to enter Prenatal Breastfeeding Classes during your last trimester of pregnancy. The cost will be RD$ 1000,- (three weekly evening sessions including the Booklet to succes)
Joining the classes is a great opportunity to meet other couples in the same stage of life like yours, interested in the same topics!

Do you need more information or do you wish to register for the Breastfeeding classes, interested to join the Mother to Mother Breastfeeding Support group, please call me:

New classes will start soon!

549-5674 or 1-876-5550

e-mail: m.broekhuijsen@tiscali.nl

Sincerely,

Mary Broekhuijsen
Breastfeeding Counsellor
Breastfeeding Support Group,
Santo Domingo
 

BushBaby

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Although I did not have a problem with the post, I am respecting the wishes of the Thread Starter. Future replies, deemed inappropriate will be deleted.

Thanks
Tim H.
 
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BushBaby

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I am sorry if the original poster thought my "Humour" disrespectful, out of place & in bad taste - it was not intended to be anything other than humorous. As there had been no other posts on this "sensative" subject, I was trying to lift & support it by giving it more exposure! My deleted post (I have no problem with that), the justification / information from Tim & Rob's addendum, plus this update by me, are the only comments on this important thread & as the advertising jargon goes - "any advertising is good advertising".

Perhaps now that it has 4 posts to it, more people might join in & show more interest in what is obviously a very important subject. Are these classes being limited to "Foreigners" or can any couple join in? Are there any plans for extending the course to Santiago or Puerto Plata? - Grahame
 

broekhuijsen

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Apr 29, 2003
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Dear Grahame,

So this subject is completely new?
It is true, it is a bit 'sensative' and it sometimes does attract weird people who can't resist trying to be funny.
I appreciate your reply on this one.

My intentions are sincere and I'm very 'into' this subject. If there will be any discussion, I prefer a solid one with subjects that might make people re-think about not such obvious subjects like this, rather than attract attention with weird comments that have nothing to do with the intentions brought up.

I realise that not everyone thinks Breastfeeding is an interesting subject, but to whom it may concern, I think they'd also prefer a serious discussion.

Classes are not limited to foreigners but for everyone! Any pregnant couple can join and, I'm sorry, the service is only available in Santo Domingo.

Mind you, I do have my vision about future training other (breastfeeding-experienced and enthousiastic) mothers so more Breastfeeding Counsellors will be available on this Island.

Now were talking, I do like to give you something to think about:
Did you read the article on the yesterday's daily DR1.com news?
It was about mortality rate.
The mortality rate for babies in the DR under one year of age has fallen to 31 per 1,000 live births. I think this is still 31 babies to much!
Did you know that many babies in this country (and other countries) die because they did not recieve the healty Breastmilk from thier mother? Bottles are prepared with contaminated water (Caasd), unhygienic circumstances (like unproperly cleaned bottles), insufficient milkpowder (because parents really can't afford it, so they use less than they should, resulting to dehydration and diarroea).
Babies, recieving breastmilk, grow up healthier and are in less risk of infections, allergy and respitory infections.
The very low rate of exclusive breastfeeding (DR 28% United Nations) contributes significantly to the high incidence of diarrhea, and widespread protein-energy malnutrition.
Did you know that 1,5 million babies die worldwide, because they were NOT breastfed. (UNICEF)...

And, don't forget: The mortality rate only refers to children that were birth- registrated. Many Dominican Parents don't registrate their baby (before the first year) so imagine how these rates will be in reality!

Sincerely,

Mary
Breastfeeding Counsellor
 

AnnaC

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Jan 2, 2002
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Mary I think this is a great thing you are doing.
It would be interesting to know how many mothers do breast feed their babies in the DR.
I breast fed my third child (older and wiser by then) and he had less colds and ear infections than the other two. It was such a treat not to have to warn up bottles in the middle of the night and when we went out for the day, no bottles to take along.

My daughter in law has breast fed her three babies till 6 months of age.
All the best to you Mary
 

Jane J.

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Jan 3, 2002
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I breastfed my first for 13 months and my second for 9 months, and I think breastfeeding rocks because:
  • it's free
  • it's hygenic
  • it's portable and convenient
  • it helps you shed pregnancy pounds
  • it whips your uterus back into shape
  • it promotes mother/baby bonding
  • it may lessen chance of breast cancer
  • baby's diapers are less smelly
  • baby's spit up is less putrid
  • lesser incidence of colic
  • it makes your boobs REALLY big :)
Something I found interesting in the DR was that some women feel that breastfeeding is for peasants and that formula (because it costs money) is more esteemed. So backwards!

Also, while I think a class on breastfeeding is valuable and a good source of support for new mothers, I know my sisters-in-law would laugh their heads off at the thought of group instruction on something that to them is so natural. It reminds me of the derisive snickers caused by my pregnancy books. "Look, she thinks she can be a mother by reading a book!" Cua cua cua.
 

trina

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Jan 3, 2002
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I am still breatfeeding my son, who is now 16-months-old...it is not entirely by choice that I am still breastfeeding him...if I don't readily give it to him, he takes it out of my shirt! Quite embarassing in public places! But that's an entirely different topic...

Something I found interesting in the DR was that some women feel that breastfeeding is for peasants and that formula (because it costs money) is more esteemed. So backwards!
So true...we just visited family, and they were all shocked that I breastfeed Dominic...they were shocked, because you know, I'm a gringa, which means I'm rich in their eyes, so why would I not use formula??? I cannot believe that they don't recognize breastfeeding for the health benefits...not only for yourself, but more importantly, for your baby.

Another benefit of breastfeeding:
Not having to get up to feed your baby!!! And of course, the look of love in your babe's eyes when you're feeding them...

Hopefully, you will get some important exposure here. Best of luck
Trina
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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If our thread originator

had read the whole story in the paper she would be even more upset. 22 or 23 per 1000 die in the first month and a huge proportion die from diarreh (?)....

while this forum might be able to give the lady a point in the right directionm I would think that groups that work with community groups, CARE, the Red Cross (CRUZ ROJA), the thing that Peggy Cabral is running, and MUDE the woman's group...

In Santiago there are a couple of places that she could go, the Juan XXIII Center in Peking, a community health facility that is run by the PUCMM School of Mdeicine but administered and managed by the community....for instance. The Escuela Yaque has classes for women, and I doubt that they have ever touched breastfeeding as something important.

JaneJ, You had to put in that last one, didn't you....

HB
 

mkohn

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Jan 1, 2002
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I heard that the Russians once said of Americans:
..."a nation of milkless women..."
I think it's changing since then, but what an insult!
We should think about it.
mk
 

Chris

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Oct 21, 2002
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I read BushBaby's comment at 2 in the morning - It was really funny (probably because it was at 2 in the morning!). It may have set too light a tone for this thread, although a correction instead of a deletion could have made this thread richer in meaning.

Let's not forget that breastfeeding is (according to all the men in my life) an extra-ordinarily sexy activity for those who watch.

I'm fully convinced of the advantages of breastfeeding for both mother and child and aware of the problems around it in modern society. I'm in favor of teaching and assisting new mothers with breastfeeding. I breastfed my two children.

But I'm not in favor of seeing this in such a serious light that any light hearted (and drooling) comment is edited out.

Go for the Big Boobs!
 

Pib

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Jan 1, 2002
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Excuse my total lack of ignorance

(to paraphrase Homer Simpson)

... but are these classes in English or Spanish?

edited to add:
I re-read the whole thread and noticed now that she HAD mentioned it was in English (see ignorance comment above). So I guess HB's suggestions are a little difficult to follow through.
 
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BushBaby

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Pib,
"total lack of ignorance" is a bit like a double negative isn't it?? I think that can be translated into the fact that you are totally brilliant!! I KNEW there was something we had in common!!!

Mary!! See what a bit of light hearted banter can do for a thread? No responses for days & then my "Deleted" post brings in all this comment & additional exposure for you. Gives you the chance to get on your soap box to cover points not raised previously!! See, I'm NOT such a bad guy afterall!! As I have said to all the girls I have known in my life "if you got it, flaunt it" (in this case make it "them").
So, sorry for my original boob - I hope this increased exposure has been uplifting for everyone & that they have grasped the sensitive points you have mentioned. - Grahame. (waiting for MORE backlash!!)
 

Jan

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Jan 3, 2002
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Just wondering..
If tyhese women can't aford good milk for their kids and they don't know about sanitary bottles and such. How are they going to afford these classes? Get to the classes bacause most I'm sure don't have cars? Shouldn't there be a free service rof these people? The people with money can afford the calss with no problem. But isn't it the poorer people your trying to reach here?
Do most dominican women breastfeed? Is it accepted here? I did it in USA and then it was just strarting to be seen more and be accepted.
 

Hillbilly

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Jan 1, 2002
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OH PIB, use that brain that God gave you!

If this lady can only teach in English (but she is Dutch, so that means she can do it in four languages, at least), then my suggestions are even better. The Pyramid Scheme. Teach one English-Spanish speaker at any of these large organizations and they go out and teach five Spanish speakers and so forth...BESIDES, the ones that need the training, like Jan said, can't pay for it, but the large organizations can locate funding for the teacher, at least pay her a per diem or something...No way a group of campesino ladies will be able to do that..

I can't imagine all the fancy society ladies in Santo Domingo, those so-well-trained divas of the society pages, even thinking of carrying arround their little ones while they attend a constant round of teas and benefits for the "poor" people....

No, I like the idea of coming to the Juan XXIII center in the Peking Barrio of Santiago and telling some of our med students how to do it and starting a pyramid.....the idea is a good one...

And along about February or March of next year you will probably thank me for it!!

HB
 

AnnaC

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Jan 2, 2002
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Quote from BB:

"Pib, "total lack of ignorance" is a bit like a double negative isn't it?? I think that can be translated into the fact that you are totally brilliant!! "


It can only be translated that Homer Simpson doesn't live at everyone's house. LOL.Funny stuff!

Trina,looking good.
 

broekhuijsen

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Apr 29, 2003
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Hello everyone,

I think some of you have a very good point, thanks for all your input!
I used to work as a volunteer Breastfeeding Counselor for many years. I informed parents and trained healthcare workers. I never charged anyone, I did it all for free, because I believed in it (I still do!)

The mortality rate (high) and Breastfeeding rate (low) in this country, (and believe me, there is a relation between these two rates) is a big concern of me. Every women, rich or poor, has the right to chose to breastfeed their child. She also has the right to good qualified information to make that decision and recourses to turn to (like a supportive network).
In this country there is a big lack of solid knowledge about breastfeeding and myths and misunderstanding are basically reasons for many failing breastfeeding attempts (or no attempts at all!). Most Pediatrics overwhelmingly agree that breastfeeding is best for babies, but when it comes to really guiding, coaching and helping a mother they?ll fail because of insufficient knowledge.
Providing parents and (on request) healthcare workers (or students!) with knowledge to make breastfeeding more likely to succeed is what I do.

Starting out with my Breastfeeding Support Group is a new (professional) initiative in this country that partly aims at providing service for the ?rich? people (they pay for professional service, like you pay your doctor).
My goal is, having my Breastfeeding Support Group to advocate and get other organizations and medical trained people interested in this subject. I?m already connected to some organizations interested in this subject aiming to provide service, knowledge and training for ?fieldworkers? (exactly the pyramid effect that HB mentioned).
I can imagine that there are many more ideas, so please if you have any suggestion let me know!

For what I?ve seen, few ?rich? (Dominican) people breastfeed. There are many reasons I can think of (socially unaccepted, taboo, isolation, misunderstanding, fear, myths, etc) but the actual effect is that ?poor? people, historically, intend to imitate the ?rich? ones. Even if they really can?t afford it, they?d like to show the world around them that they also use the sophisticated powder. (Consequences are an average of unhealthy babies with more risk of diarrhea and respiratory problems, resulting in high mortality rates...).
Upper-class preferences (historically seeking other ways to feed their child) always had significant influence on the attitudes towards breastfeeding throughout the whole society.
Not just aiming at the ?poor? (which, your right, seems the most obvious thing to do!) but actually also trying to influence the believes about breastfeeding in the Upper-class society will hopefully be an effective way to (in long term) influence the attitude towards breastfeeding throughout the whole country, resulting in better circumstances for especially the most weakest and at-risk children in this society.

It is an irony that these breastfeeding classes needed to be given. If breastfeeding was a ?normal? socially accepted part of pregnancy and reproducing (like it used to be a long time ago) we would learn the skills from our peers and other people surrounding us. Through the development and (aggressive) marketing of formula?s (especially influencing the medical trained people) knowledge has gone and we have to ?teach? parents again how to breastfeed their baby. In environments with high breastfeeding rates (so children and teenagers see these examples) there is no need for Prenatal Breastfeeding Classes; you?re right: they?ll laugh at us, and they have every reason for it!


Thank you for all your interesting comments,
Sincerely,
Mary Broekhuijsen