Tag Archives: Mothers

Unwanted Babies

I am reminded again about the frailty of life in an urban slum.

This is a pretty sad story.

I am not going to post a picture

This poor woman is a victim, a victim of poverty and probably an abusive husband, she is trapped in her circumstance, she knows not what she does.

But to a Western mind it is good to be reminded, to be provoked to action.

ANALIZA’S STORY
Analiza is 42 years old this is her 8th pregnancy, unfortunately, only a few months before we found her she lost her 7th child 2 weeks after it was born.
She had terrible diabetes during her pregnancy (this birth as well) and she delivered at Mother and Child. The baby did not stop crying and was unwell, yet she checked herself out of hospital and this was a huge mistake.
In one week the baby developed a purple violet mark around its neck and it simply died during the night (no cold no temperature no laboring to breathe)
Once the baby got sick again and then died she was too scared to go back to the hospital, because they warned her not to go, and made her sign a waiver form.

She did not ask for help, she did not come to church, even though she knew the help was only around the corner, no-one knew that the baby died. She kept it secret and was very embarrassed.

The baby simply disappeared no funeral,  no grieving just silence.

 

Unfortunately, this kind of behavior although shocking is not unknown, the poor child was unwanted and I am guessing the mother was relieved it died. Sad shocking but true. She would have been under incredible pressure to come home from her husband and look after her other 6 chn…. so she discharged herself.

Now she is pregnant again, God help us, God help that child. we worked with her and really encouraged a ligation but I really do not think she understood, even in Tagalog. So so sad, unwanted and unloved babies. I cannot judge this woman, not really in my heart of hearts, we could never know the depths and desperation she feels.

I resolve to do what God tells me and educate as much as possible, especially our mothers.

I guess our only comfort as Christians is that child was known by God and treasured, it went to heaven to be loved and cherished.

Such a harsh world,

Mother Teresa understood.

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A Nation Leaning Into Change

I was a little surprised but thrilled when I saw a  newspaper when I was in Manila in September this year.

The headlines were remarkable.

THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF NOT BREASTFEEDING
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From a country that allows Infant Formula advertisment to blazen boldly across their billboards and Televisions I was suitably impressed.

There were over 6 pages fully dedicated to Breasfeeding !

Also Philippine stars and VIPs supporting and advocating  breastfeeding both men and women!

Great links and advice, great images, even images showing breastfeeding TODDLERS.

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I know God has His eye on the Philippines and I am thrilled that He is stiring people even the famous ones to embrace truth, education and Him!

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There is a battle going on for the Children of this nation. I believe these are only prophetic steps in the right direction, it shows me that the Leaders and Influencers of the Nation are leaning into change, they also know it is up to them (Nationals) to bring true and lasting change NOT foreign missions and NGO’s the truth is change MUST eventually come from within.

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Am I doing myself out of a job? Absolutely

My desire is not to be needed.

Cath

Kids Making a Difference

Sammy is only 5 going on 6 but is making a difference to the lives of 2 babies in the slum of Manila

She worked extremely hard making Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and sold them at a Fair in The Barossa Valley she raised enough for 2 births making a difference to 2 Mothers and Babies in The Philippines . Well done Sammy!

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Here are your 2 mums, one of them has had their baby and was sick in hospital so your sponsorship has blessed this family in a time of great need!

EVALYN CELEBRAN/ RADO

BACKGROUND
Evalyn lives in an area in Baseco called Gasungang. She has a partner husband who is a Labourer and they live with their Mother-In-Law.
She is 21 and this is her first baby

PREGNANCY AND BIRTH
She had a good pregnancy
All testing and scans good
Good birth

BABY
Baby boy Galvin was born on June 13th 2016
He was 9lb and healthy
He is having all immunisations
She breastfed the baby and now is working so the Mother-In-Law is caring for the baby so they are bottle and breastfeeding him.

 

MARY-JOY VILLAGONZALO/RELESO

BACKGROUND

Mary-Joy lives in a part of Baseco called Aplaya, this is very close to the sea and often floods, the area was recently underwater in a typhoon and the water was up to Pastora Marivic’s waist, when she visited the area the women were sitting on top of the rooves or on top of plastic boxes with their belongings in.

PREGNANCY AND BIRTH
As far as we know the pregnancy went well for Mary-Joy as we had limited conversation with her, but her pregnancy was fine.
This baby was actually born at Home (which is not ideal and not what we advocate but it does happen, but as soon as he was born they took him to the Baseco Health Centre who checked him and gave him injections and newborn screening. See Mark’s Blog for details HERE


BABY
Baby was born on the 4th June 2016
His name is Prince Kian
He was 9.8lb and very healthy
She was breastfeeding him
He then developed a serious Chest infection and was admitted into The Gat Andreas Hospital on the 29th of August with BPM (Bronchial Pneumonia)
We visited him in The Gat soon after that and he was getting better slowly.

 

The most important thing is that sponsorship allows these parents to buy medicine and travel to and fro to the hospital, that is extremely important as every single swab and injection costs in The Philippines. So without Sponsorship this baby and his family would have had a big struggle to pay.

Thanks Sammy for your sponsorship, you really really made a difference.
Love Aunty  Cath

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New Don Bosco Mums

Here are some new mums from Don Bosco sponsored by The Koster family.

Mylene Cegundo is 32, she already has 1 child and she is 3 months pregnant, she is now on the BBB programme.

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Part of our BBB programme is education. In fact it is THE most powerful and life changing aspects of BBB. We have fpound that slowly as we talk and mentor and stand with our mums they are making better choices and planning for their babies. This year we are starting with the very basics in Don Bosco.

Eating healthy

Drinking lots of water

Germs and basic first aide

Choosing a hospital or Centre birth

Immunisations and Baby checkups

Contraception

Body Awareness/Avoiding Pregnancy

The Koster’s second birth is a very young lady in Don Bosco. Rose Ann Gunno is only 18 year old and this is her first baby. She is 3 months pregnant and her partner is a worker in Divisoria.

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We have so many teen pregnancies in Manila and the Philippines in fact the Philippines is one of the highest rates in the world for teen pregnancies. Something we aim to see reduced. We teach and focus on these aspects continually!

Thanks Kosters and pray for these ladies. It makes a difference. You already have made a difference!

Blessings

Cathy Mark and Chris.

New Life In Don Bosco

We are excited to launch Birthing Better Babies in Don Bosco!

A generous donor has helped launch BBB in this very depressed area of Manila.

Don Bosco is a different world from Baseco, these residents are housed in huge 2 story buildings, no light no fresh air, animals it is often very depressing.

You can watch a video here of Ps Mark in Don Bosco,

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But like everywhere people need Jesus, they need the fresh air of God and the good that follows His presence. BBB is one way we can breathe life on the women of Don Bosco.

Over the next few weeks we will be posting photos of new mum’s some very young, who we can love and pray for and speak life over. Light comes in many forms and Jesus said when he was sorting the sheep and the goats in Matthew

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

This is a practical way we can bless women and babies in Don Bosco and it works!

Stay tuned

Cathy Mark and Chris xx

Educate Educate Educate

I often think about disasters in The Philippines….I have seen a BIG typhoon and the effects of them and frankly they are SCARY, imagine if you are heavily pregnant living through this ……so I think of our precious mums and their babies often…….

Facts are that babies are born early when disaster strikes, prem babies are common….but with some simple principles we can help educate our mum’s…this is a great article in Midwifery Today, simple but loads we can use! Kangaroo Care is simple but effective!

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Prematurity and Kangaroo Care during a Disaster

After Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda slammed into our central islands here in the Philippines last November, I saw a picture in the local paper of several newborn premature babies all wrapped in plastic bags and set on a counter in a broken-down chapel of a hospital. I knew in that instant that if only we could get down there to provide, and teach others to provide, good midwifery care, including the very simple and totally free concept of “kangaroo care” for the preemies, we could save many lives.

For many years, I have been teaching Disaster Preparedness and Response, which is no surprise since I live in a country with the most natural disasters of almost any…country. (The Philippines regularly is in the top three countries each year with the most natural disasters and the most deaths from natural disasters.) We have earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, mudslides, typhoons and super typhoons, and we have very little ability as a country to cope with, or mitigate, large-scale disasters, which was the case when the largest storm to ever make landfall occurred on November 8, 2013.

There are two things we know about disasters:

  1. Disasters tend to cause premature labors, due to the stress they put on pregnant women in the vicinity when the disaster strikes. This unfortunately creates a situation where premature births are happening under the worst of circumstances—during a typhoon, flood, blizzard, earthquake or an act of terrorism.
  2. Access to hospitals, NICUs and advanced medical care is often severely blocked, limited or totally destroyed in a natural or man-made disaster zone.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that there are a few simple, easy solutions to this problem. It will require midwives all over the world, including in the US, to be prepared to address the problem of premature deliveries following any disaster.

Current best practice for prematurity, to prevent mortality and morbidity, dictates two things:

  1. We should try to prevent a baby being born with immature, under-developed lungs.
  2. We should care for any babies that are born premature with kangaroo care.

With regard to the first practice, at the recent Women Deliver Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, we learned about new protocols for the use of antenatal corticosteroids for threatened preterm birth. USAID is advocating that all midwives and doctors use these corticosteroids if premature delivery seems inevitable, as they cause a premature infant’s lungs to produce surfactant, thereby helping to prevent death from respiratory distress caused by immature lungs.

Vicki Penwell
Excerpted from “Prematurity and Kangaroo Care during a Disaster,” Midwifery Today, Issue 111

 

 

 

“Illegal Abortions” Reality Check

Over the past 5 years Ps Mark, Christine and I have seen various and shocking incedents of illegal abortions in Baseco, we have seen suspected failed abortions and babies have been born with extreme and sometimes life threatning disfigurements and sicknesses. We have met ladies unable to concieve probably due to botched abortions…. we have heard stories and grieved over this very thing.

This determines us once again to persist in BBB and make a change, give women and girls an option to control their fertility, educate them to understand their bodies and to help them to stay in school as long as possible. To help them understand God has a plan for them and a hope and future.

We are determined to make a change.

This video is excellent but is graffic in areas. But reality.

Ponder these things and they will make you want to make a difference

Cathy

Birth Highlights for Lighthouse

One of our most commited sponsors is Lighthouse Church in Melbourne,

Here are some of the highlights from last year’s births, so exciting to see healthy babies being born in Baseco!

Roselyn Espinosa had a gorgeous baby boy John Mark

He is pictured here with his  2 sisters, they actually care for this gorgeous baby boy as his mother was forced back into the workforce. She however breastfed for as long as possible and now his sisters bottle feed him. They are responsible girls and look after John well. But again this situation shows the enormous pressure these families are under.

Thank you Lighthouse for sponsoring this mum, birth and baby, he is certainly healthy and you had a great hand in that outcome!

Here is another Lighthouse success Mary Jane Caintoy’s baby was a 9lb boy, great hospital birth with no complications.

 

Another teen pregnancy Annalyn had a baby boy Daniel , yes she is in a relationship but she is still very young, but her baby was big and healthy!.

Just a beautiful photo of another baby happily breastfeeding, Emily Saler and her baby girl Rhea Mae born safely in hospital.

 

These are only a few of the many, have a peep on the Lighthouse Sponsor Page, I am sure this church will have such a reward in heaven…..looking after the little ones here on earth blesses those in heaven

Thanks Lighthouse

Cathy, Mark and Chris   xxx

Small Things Matter

While we were in Manila this year we were honoured to partner with Days For Girls International

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Please check out their website for some fantastic reports and details

One of our most impacting mornings was spent with this gorgeous young mum and her newborn.

Midwife Sandra a member of our Birthing Better Babies Team (Impact Church) was able to give her a Days for Girls Post-partum Kit and explain exactly how she needed to use it. It was a joy to watch.

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It was an emotional experience, every response we have had has been gratitude and delight.

We are saving these women at least 40 pesos a day (that is approximately $1.00) doesn’t sound much right? BUt this family only earns approximately $1 a day, her husband is a pedicab driver. These Kits CAN and DO save lives.
Today this family will be able to afford rice AND some fish. Instead of buying sanitary pads.

Very very exciting! I am enriched knowing that a small thing can affect lives!

Oh by the way, they asked me to name the Baby…a little boy I named him Joshua.

#humbled

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I love my work….. it makes me happy!

Thanks to Days for Girls you empower me to empower others I am grateful!

Cathy

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