Mommy talk: How staying healthy means caring better for babies
(From left) Ciara Magallanes, mom and blogger at Mommy Diaries PH and Venus Joy Apresa-Peña, trained lactation consultant.
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Mommy talk: How staying healthy means caring better for babies
Gerald Dizon ( - June 15, 2020 - 11:30am

MANILA, Philippines — Women play significant roles in our society. They take on various pursuits, showcase strengths and weaknesses, and employ modern mindfulness. In times of crisis, this interplay of qualities becomes apparent, even more so with motherhood.

For first-time moms and moms who just gave birth, staying healthy is another quality that is as important. When they take care of themselves better, they also take care of their babies better—even in the most trying times.

A breastfeeding mom, a lactation consultant, and an obstetrician-gynecologist share their experiences and expertise on the matter to inspire and support Filipina moms.

Coping with anxiety, staying positive

Challenges always arise in motherhood. Anxiety is one that is ever-present in different situations, what more during a global health crisis.

“Everything was new and challenging so I felt very anxious during the first few weeks. Recently, we learned that my daughter is also feeling the same way. Maybe this is the reason why she wakes up more often at night,” opened up Ciara Magallanes, mom and blogger behind Mommy Diaries PH.

Now in a much better disposition, Magallanes realized the importance of breastmilk as the best nutrition for babies and infants nowadays. She, in fact, has been breastfeeding for four years now.

“It’s a commitment that comes with a list of sacrifices—interrupted sleep, hours of latching and pumping, being watchful of your lifestyle, and so on. Needless to say, it takes a lot of dedication,” she told via email.

Venus Joy Apresa-Peña, a fellow breastfeeding mom and a trained lactation consultant affirmed these feelings and reminded moms to stay positive.

“Knowing that motherhood itself is exhausting, it is very important to step back. There are lots of environmental pressures nowadays and selectively picking what will help you as a breastfeeding mom will greatly spare you of being stressed out. You don’t need to absorb everything, momma! Relax and always stay positive,” she shared.

Understanding nutrition, breastmilk

Dr. Marliz Quianzon-Escaño, obstetrician-gynaecologist at Philippine Children's Medical Center. (She is not connected with any sponsoring company or pharmaceutical company, and is not endorsing any pharmaceutical or non-pharmaceutical product.) 
Contributed Photo

Dr. Marliz Quianzon-Escaño, obstetrician-gynecologist at Philippine Children's Medical Center and registered nutritionist-dietitian explained the nutritional value of breastmilk.

“Breastmilk provides protein, carbohydrates, water, vitamins, and minerals for the baby, but most importantly, immunoglobulins that protect against illnesses as it boosts the baby’s immune system,” she told in a separate email interview.

After giving birth, it is best to go with breastfeeding every two to three hours a day, or when the baby is demanding milk. “This is the usual routine of infants in the first one to two months,” said Dr. Quianzon-Escaño.

Moms also need to be mindful of hunger as breastfeeding is an energy-consuming activity.

“That is a big yes!” said Magallanes. “I get hungry every two hours.”

“It is advised that they take in more food during this period. An additional 450 kilocalories is added to their usual intake to be able to support one baby. If she has twins, up to 900 kilocalories,” said Dr. Quianzon-Escaño.

Having healthy habits at home

Aside from increased diet, first-time moms also need to step up in their healthy lifestyle habits.

“Keep yourself well-nourished through eating nutritious and balanced meals, exercise daily, and have a healthy and positive mindset,” said Apresa-Peña.

At the comfort of their homes, Dr. Quianzon-Escaño, advised, “A 30-minute exercise will also help boost the immune system, like jogging in place, stationary bicycling, or dancing. Some clean their houses as physical activity,” she said, adding a daily dose of sunlight in the morning, as well as enough sleep of seven to eight hours a day.

As a response to these mommy mandates, Magallanes said, “I exercise three to four times a week and keep hydrated. I also make sure our bodies and surroundings are clean, and we stay away from stressors.

“Especially with the situation now, I make sure that everything I cook will nourish us, give us the nutrients we need. Whenever possible, incorporate malunggay in my cooking,” she added.

Looking at the benefits of ‘Miracle Tree’

According to the 2013 National Nutrition Survey Infant and Young Child Feeding Practices in the Philippines carried out by DOST-FNRI, 40% of young moms struggle with a low supply of breastmilk.

Here, many breastfeeding moms look at malunggay as an effective aid in promoting lactation.

“Malunggay leaves are a natural galactagogue—a substance that promotes or increases and sustains the flow of a mother's milk,” said Apresa-Peña.

“Galactagogues are seen in green leafy vegetables, oatmeal, carrots, garlic, papaya, sweet potato, and fish. Here in the Philippines, we see malunggay trees everywhere and is readily available. It is cheap and rich in minerals like vitamin C and Iron,” explained Dr. Quianzon-Escaño.

“You can certainly put it in many of your favorite dishes, especially soup-based ones like tinola and corn soup. You can also put it in your sardine dishes as well,” she added.

Choosing Nestlé MommaLove

Nestlé MommaLove is a lactation milk drink specially developed to fit the nutritional needs of Pinay breastfeeding moms.
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When it comes to maintaining health and wellness, it pays for new moms to seek support for their breastfeeding needs. This is what Nestlé MommaLove is for.

Nestlé MommaLove is a lactation milk drink specially developed to fit the nutritional needs of Pinay breastfeeding moms. It contains essential nutrients such as iron, folate, and calcium. Plus it has 1,200 milligrams of malunggay, a known galactagogue which may help in lactation.

Nestlé MommaLove is also ideal during much-needed me-time breaks. As a healthy and fiber-rich option, it helps in restoring energy while breastfeeding. Fiber helps in digestion and makes one feel fuller for longer.

What's more, Nestlé MommaLove is also low-fat!

A healthy and happy baby starts with a healthy and happy momma. Start drinking Nestlé Momma Love today! — With Euden Valdez


Available at P35 (SRP) per sachet and P350 (SRP) for a box of 10s in all Mercury Drug outlets nationwide.

For more information, visit You can also checkout the official Nestle MommaLove Facebook page here:



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