• 7 Best Pregnancy and Baby Basics We've Heard From Local Experts

    Smart Parenting workshops are a trove of good advice for pregnant Pinays and babies.
    by Jillianne E. Castillo .
  • 7 Best Pregnancy and Baby Basics We've Heard From Local Experts
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  • We've held a lot of workshops and baby showers for parents and soon-to-be parents; last year alone we had eight! Through all these, we continue to grow and learn alongside you as our guest speakers and experts shared their valuable knowledge, advice, and tips in each of these events.

    As we get closer to our biggest event of the year, the first ever Smart Parenting Convention (July 29 at Megatrade Hall 2 in SM Megamall), we've compiled some of the best baby and pregnancy advice we've heard from the workshops and baby showers. 

    1. You don't need to bathe your newborn every day.
    “It’s recommended that you only bathe your baby thrice a week,” said Dr. Jamie Isip-Cumpas, a pediatrician from Parkview Children’s Clinic in Makati who shared essential hygiene and care advice during Smart Parenting’s Baby Shower April 2016. And if your baby's skin suffers from redness, itchiness, and dryness, you may want to try cleansers instead of soaps. “You’re looking for cleansers that are soap-free and less fragrant or fragrant-free. You don’t want the sudsy kinds of soap as these can strip the oil from the baby’s skin,” she added. Read more on caring for newborn skin here.

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    2.When massaging your baby, go for edible oils. 
    Yup, like sunflower oil and virgin coconut oil (VCO). Mineral oil can get hot especially when you use it for a massage where there’s a lot of friction, according to Dr. Roselyne M. Balita, a pediatrician and founder of the Little Lamb’s Pediatric Wellness Place during her talk at Smart Parenting’s "The First Year of Life" workshop. 

    Plus, with edible oil, there’s no danger of your baby ingesting toxins when he puts his fingers or toes in his mouth. “Not peanut oil, kasi baka may naga-allergy. The safest is VCO,” said Dr. Balita. She does not recommend aceite de manzanilla because it can burn your baby’s sensitive skin. Learn more from Dr. Balita including which area of your baby’s body to start massaging first and the "Contact, Look, Ask, Swoosh" technique here.  

    3. Be careful of fever myths like “kailangan pagpawisan.” 

    Some Pinoy parents cover up their child in long-sleeved shirts with the belief that sweating will make the fever go away or lower a child's temperature. “Bundling a child who is less than 3 months old with too many clothes or blankets can increase the child's temperature slightly, so this isn’t good practice,” said Dr. Carmina Arriola-Delos Reyes, a pediatrician and infectious disease specialist, during our recent "Raising Toddlers" workshop

    When it comes to fever related to teething, “There is little scientific evidence to support the widespread belief that teething causes fever,” added Dr. Delos Reyes. Parents should instead look for other causes of the fever. Aside from looking at child's fever temperature, observe for warning signs that may indicate the need for a doctor's care, said the pedia. Learn what these are plus more about managing fevers in children here.  

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    4. Body positions can do wonders with easing labor pain. 



    If you’re about to pop, pain on delivery day is inevitable, and the best way to deal with it is acceptance. “Pag naumpisahan ng takot, kung ano man yung biological, physiological na response ng katawan sa fear, nape-perceive ng brain natin as pain,” said Aurelin Fernando, a certified doula from Gentle Hands Birthing Clinic during Smart Parenting's "Birth and Baby" workshop. “Contractions have a rhythm to it -- it comes, and it goes. When it's out, relax and prep for the next one.” 

    One of the ways you can cope with pain is through different body positions during labor. They help the baby descend, ease tension and pressure in your muscles, and help your cervix dilate more quickly. “Our body is beautifully and perfectly designed by God to do the function it should do. So many millions of women have been able to give birth without any problems...So why not you?” said Fernando. Find positions you (and hubby) can do during D-Day here

    5. Preggy mom, you’ll need to pack three bags to bring to the hospital for the delivery date. 
    Yup, three. One is for you, the other for your baby, and the last one, which hubby will carry, is packed specifically to help you cope during labor. 

    This “Labor Support Bag” will contain items like papers and essential documents (medical insurance sheets, PhilHealth forms, marriage certificate, etc.); your doctor's orders (to inform hospital staff of your birth plans); notes or manual from childbirth class; lip moisturizer; back labor aids (like a hot water bag); and diversions. “A lot of time spent in the labor room is waiting for the next contraction,” Fernando said. So make sure to bring things that amuse or entertain you such as magazines, books, or gadgets. See what the other two bags should contain here.  

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    6. Your baby’s first poop will be black! Then, expect a range of colors and textures. 
    Prepare yourself -- your baby’s first soiled diaper will be black or green and thick and sticky. It can be a little alarming for unsuspecting new parents, but Dr. Ella Salvador, a pediatrician at Ospital ng Muntinlupa and Unihealth-Parañaque Hospital and Medical Center, assures you that it's completely normal. This first poop is called meconium, and it has all the stuff your little one collected while in the utero like old blood cells and skin cells.

    After meconium, baby poop can come in a variety of colors -- yellow, orange, green and brown. And you'll be seeing it a lot, too. “A breastfed baby makes three to four stools every day. And, it's not usually formed, it has more of a pasty consistency. Baka isipin nyo nag-LBM siya or diarrhea, but it's very normal,” said Dr. Salvador who was our guest expert at the "All About School Age Kids" workshop. Formula-fed babies, on the other hand, may poop less often. Read more on decoding baby poop, including when you need to worry, here.  

    7. Breastfeeding may be a little sore in the beginning, but it should not be painful.
    Dr. Isip-Cumpas and L.A.T.C.H. Philippines breastfeeding counselors Kate Delos Reyes and Mish Maravilla during our first baby shower for 2017 agree that if breastfeeding is painful for you, your baby may not be latching on properly. 

    To check for proper latching, make sure your baby's nose and chin are touching your breast. Then, your baby's mouth should cover your areola, or the darker skin surrounding the nipple, not just the nipple. Your baby's tummy should also touch your tummy, while his ears, shoulder, and hips are aligned straight. To see the basic breastfeeding positions (where all these guidelines apply), head here

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    Click here to get tickets for our #SPConvention2017. 

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