by Stefanie Anne D. Francisco, Φ2021, Class 2024
There is no denying that parenting is, in itself, tough, and that the pandemic has made the responsibilities associated with it doubly demanding. When the parenting journey is shared with others, however, it becomes not only easier to navigate but vastly more fulfilling.
Last October 16, 2021 from 2 to 4:30 PM, mothers from around the Philippines gathered via Zoom for Mommy Matters, a parenting convention under Milk Matters, the flagship project of the Phi Lambda Delta Sorority in which guest speakers talked about the ins and outs, the highs and lows, as well as the joys and challenges of parenthood.
This year’s convention, aptly entitled Mommy Matters: Motherhood in Changing Times, tackled not only neonatal and breastfeeding care, developmental milestones, and maternal health, but also some useful tips and must-knows for parenting in the time of COVID. With hosts Alyssa Regino Φ2021, Class 2024 and Leovic Rapirap, Φ2021, Class 2025 at the helm, the panel was graced with the presence and expertise of esteemed speakers Dr. Tita Villanueva-Uy, Φ1986, Class 1989, Dr. Maria Isabel Quilendrino, Φ199B, Class 2004, and Dr. Valerie Tiempo-Guinto, Φ1991, Class 1995.
Dr. Tita Villanueva-Uy is a renowned pediatric neonatologist, an American Academy of Pediatrics’ Young Investigator Award recipient, and a mom herself who discussed proper nutrition and breastfeeding and kangaroo care. Dr. Ma. Isabel Quilendrino, a developmental and behavioral pediatrician, a board-certified expert on nutritional medicine, and a proud mother of three energetic boys, shared her personal experiences and anecdotes on the lifetime commitment that parenting calls for. Dr. Valerie Tiempo-Guinto, an adviser of the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology for Contemporary Issues in Women’s Health and a former president of the Philippine Society of Maternal and Fetal Medicine likewise gave a talk on maternal health, emphasizing the adage that behind every happy and healthy infant is a happy and healthy mother.
A lot of the moms from more than a hundred participants who tuned in via Zoom and Facebook live joined the lively discussion that ensued, either by sharing their own experiences or by asking for tips on how to keep themselves and their babies as healthy as possible during these trying times. The breastfeeding mother’s journey is definitely not easy and may at times be daunting, even.
In addition to hosting conventions such as Mommy Matters, the sorority conducts milk pick-ups alongside partner communities in order to help sustain a steady and stable supply of breast milk for the infants in the PGH Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (https://bit.ly/BreastmilkForPGHNICU). All mothers in attendance were encouraged by the organizers to join their online Facebook community (https://bit.ly/BreastfeedingMama) and to donate breast milk for this worthy cause.
Mommy Matters is brought to the public by theAsianparent and is made possible through the generous assistance of sponsors Goodfellow Pharma and Babymama Inc. as well as the Sorority’s numerous publicity partners. To learn more about Milk Matters, visit https://www.facebook.com/PLDMilkMatters/.