Health And Family

Anne Curtis shares breastfeeding journey; care essentials for moms, babies

Kathleen A. Llemit - Philstar.com
Anne Curtis shares breastfeeding journey; care essentials for moms, babies
Anne Curtis breastfeeding her daughter Dahlia
Anne Curtis via Instagram

MANILA, Philippines — Anne Curtis knew that breastfeeding is her daughter's first line of defense. Thus, the TV-host actress is a staunch advocate of it for the sake of her firstborn Dahlia. In fact, breastfeeding Dahlia has given Anne the opportunity to give her daughter her "first vaccine."

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Philippines president Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov explained why breastmilk can act as the baby's first vaccine: “Initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth, followed by exclusive breastfeeding for six months, the introduction of age-appropriate complementary foods at six months and continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond offer a powerful line of defense against all forms of child malnutrition, including wasting and obesity.”

Breastfeeding does not only benefit the baby but also mothers. Multiple studies have shown that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer -- two of the leading causes of death among women.



Anne shared her breastfeeding journey with UNICEF in celebration of the National Breastfeeding Month as well as the 10th Anniversary of the Breastfeeding TSEK! (Tama, Sapat, Eksklusibo/Correct, Enough and Exclusive) Campaign by the Department of Health (DOH), UNICEF, and the World Health Organization (WHO) in August.

“The more I learned about it, it made me decide I really want to persevere and breastfeed my first baby," Anne said.

Caring support system

It is fortunate for Anne to have a dependable support system in her journey as a first-time mother.

The latter half of her pregnancy was spent in Australia, where she grew up. Thankfully for her, she had her mom, who was a nurse, and her husband, restaurateur/food content creator Erwan Heussaff.

It was also challenging because she gave birth at the start of the pandemic.

“Maswerte ako sa asawa ko (I’m lucky to have my husband). Because he knew that I was passing nutrients on to my baby, he made sure that what the mother was eating was good for the baby as well," Anne shared.

She added that his and her family's presence and support were the most important help she got throughout her motherhood journey.

Anne also met other mothers and joined a mother and child group while she was in Australia.

Erwan and Anne together with Dahlia came back to the Philippines early in February this year after more than a year in Australia.

“At one point mafifeel mo na parang ‘am I failing? Am I not doing it right?’ Pero I think yung support and warmth of the words and telling me na parang ‘kaya mo yan’ – that really helped me.” 

UNICEF, Anne to the rescue

Anne is fortunate to get adequate support during these trying times but not all Filipino mothers have the same experience as hers.

Anne as UNICEF Philippines ambassador has been working with the humanitarian agency for a number of its programs.

The actress staged the “Dahlia Turns 1 Birthday Fundraiser” for UNICEF, which collected P1.8 million for interventions to improve vulnerable children’s access to health services during their critical first 1,000 days of life.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic causing disruptions in breastfeeding support services while increasing the risk of food insecurity and malnutrition, prioritizing breastfeeding-friendly environments for mothers and babies is becoming even more urgent,” said Dendevnorov.

In the Philippines, UNICEF works with the DOH, National Nutrition Council, local government units, and relevant agencies to strengthen research, policies, capacity, and evidence-based planning to develop and implement effective and efficient health and nutrition policies and programs.

UNICEF also uses evidence-informed advocacy to increase government investment in nutrition services and engages with communities to improve awareness and skills on good nutrition and feeding practices.

Apart from breastfeeding, Anne also got herself protected by getting the COVID-19 vaccine. She believes that she is able to protect not just herself but also her baby.

Anne also advised fellow mothers to listen to their bodies' changes and look for advice and expert counsel.

“Feel free to speak to other mothers about it, speak to your pediatrician about it, read up about it – but just know that it happens. Don’t feel so bad about it because it is a normal process. Just don’t be afraid to ask for help. Even if it’s just for someone to listen to you,” she advised.

Anne and Dahlia recently starred in their first TV commercial together to launch the reformulation of the Milk+Rice Bath and Lotion through its campaign, "Powered Up Protection," which centers around the "kulit-likot" phase of toddlers and growing babies. 

Babies’ skin is one of the concerns for parents of toddlers as they become more adventurous because they are now beginning to encounter different surfaces with the uncertainty of how their skin would react. With this, moms are looking for the best way to provide the protection their babies’ developing skin needs.

As such, childcare products brand Johnson's Baby aims to provide the best solution for protecting growing babies’ skin through its newly upgraded Milk+Rice Bath and Lotion. The reformulation calls for 100% more milk proteins and real rice extracts that protect, so when used together, both Bath and Lotion create a gentle layer of protection on baby’s skin against skin microdamage– which is characterized by dryness causing redness and irritation.

"I hope that all my fellow moms were able to know more about how they can best take care of their little ones and of course, had fun," said Anne.

Care essentials for moms, babies

Deal with cough, cold season with right remedies

Cold and cough remedies
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It is that time of the year again: cough and colds season. With hot, humid spells alternating with cold, rainy days, you, your loved ones, and practically everyone are at risk of acquiring respiratory illnesses. The most common of these diseases are cough and the common cold, both of which afflict most of Filipinos every year.

The increased risk of catching cough, the common cold and other respiratory illnesses are few of the reasons you need to take even greater care of your health, especially your nose, mouth, throat, lungs, and airways – or respiratory tract, in short. When this usual pair (Cough + Cold) strike, Ambroxyl and Salinase, respectively, may be your right remedies to ease the symptoms. 

  • Ambroxyl (Ambroxol Hydrochloride) helps soften and reduce the phlegm, thus, eases breathing by lessened coughing and unblocked airways.

Ambroxyl may be your comforting relief against tough phlegm that eases and clears the lungs to restore cough free comfort to children and adult.  It also helps alleviate acute and chronic respiratory tract disorders, notably bronchitis, bronchial asthma, and bronchiectasis. It also is available in both tablet and syrup, which makes it convenient to any of your preferred form of relief.  

  • Salinase, available in drops, spray, or nebulizing solution; is a natural moisturizer that contains saline, a purified gentle salt solution. It works by moistening thickened mucus, whose buildup causes most of the discomfort associated with the common cold such as runny nose, nasal congestion, headache, and even coughing.

In addition, Salinase solution is typically mixed with anti-asthma medication for nebulization, thus helping the mixture clear mucus buildup and ease off breathing problems associated with bronchitis and bronchial asthma. As a result, you will be able to breathe more comfortably and feel much better in no time. Salinase may be used both by adult and children and it neither suppresses appetite nor causes rebound congestion and hyper-irritability as observed with oral decongestants.

While Ambroxyl and Salinase may be your right remedies for cough and cold, respectively, prevention is still better than cure. It is best to keep your respiratory tract as healthy as possible. You can do that by eating a balanced diet, getting plenty of exercise and sufficient sleep, avoiding smoking and secondhand smoke and performing breathing exercises regularly. Available at www.mypharma.ph, Ambroxyl and Salinase are essential now that the cough and cold season is here.  

Traditional Chinese medicine vs COVID-19

Last July 13, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Service Institute, in partnership with Philippine Archipelago international Trading Corporation, hosted a webinar featuring prominent figures in Traditional Chinese Medicine which was instrumental in the pandemic management in China. The very timely webinar, titled “Learning from the China Experience – Control and Surge Prevention," highlighted both countries’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the current surge, we could make very good use of the learnings we garnered from the prominent speakers who attended our webinar. Two most important learnings gathered from all panelists include “Early Intervention” and “Integration of Chinese and Western Medicine with Comprehensive Rehabilitation Treatment."

The earlier we detect and treat, the better for us. Cooperation is vital to the efficacy of all preventive and control efforts. The implementation of a top-down, side-to-side, and bottom-up approach basically ensures that the paramount objective of having a proper communication and information dissemination to the entire community involving all sectors of society, is met. 

There are many treatments that we can do which was not given much stress throughout the pandemic. Physiological, emotional and psychological rehabilitation treatments also play a big part in battling this virus. There are three Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) to treat COVID-19 in China and one of these three TCMs is registered and widely distributed in the Philippines, Lianhua Qingwen Capsule.  

Academician Zhang Boli gave emphasis to the importance of medication in the cure, control and prevention of COVID-19. “Quarantine without medicine is only half the success," said the academician.

It was recently reported in the news that “The latest research findings from the team of Professor Yang Zifeng from the State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease in Guangzhou, China, have showed that Chinese medicine Lianhua Qingwen has an effective inhibitory action on the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2." In fact, its anti-viral functions are effective against not just the Delta, but also the Alpha and Beta variants as well. 

Of course, getting vaccinated is imperative and recommended for protection against the virus. However, it will take more time before we reach herd immunity. Vaccine supplies need to catch up with the demand. 
Meanwhile, we still need to follow the preventive measure of social distancing, wearing face masks and shield, washing hands frequently, using sanitizer alcohol and keeping healthy by exercising, getting sunshine, eating healthy and getting enough sleep. But should we catch the COVID-19 virus despite observing safety protocols, after all the Delta variant is said to be airborne, we must go for early treatment.

As Dr. Zhang Boli said, quarantine + medication is key. Do not wait until your symptoms become worse before taking Lianhua Qingwen, take it at the onset of symptoms and recover quickly. Remember the importance of Philippine government’s PDITR +V strategy which is "Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat, Reintegrate and Vaccinate," which is sure to cut off the transmission chain according to Contact Tracing Czar, Baguio Mayor Benjie Magalong. With the cooperation of all the Filipinos, we can do our share to help control and manage the surge of COVID-19.

Despite its safety, Lianhua Qingwen’s current classification is Prescription Drug (Rx)—requiring a doctor’s prescription. Prescription-holding consumers may purchase in all Mercury Drug Stores, Southstar Drug, Watsons, Rose Pharmacy and TGP nationwide and other pharmacies at a suggested retail price of P288.00/box (24 capsules/box).

A solution for Eczema, Atopic Dermatitis

This rainy season, our skin is extra vulnerable to triggers and irritations. Even babies are no exception to different skin conditions like Eczema.
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According to the Philippine Dermatological Society, Atopic Dermatitis is even more common among children as it usually starts before the child’s 5th birthday. Luckily, Aveeno Baby brings in exciting new products and new and improved formulations to help moms soothe and protect their baby’s sensitive skin.

“With around 65 years of experience in sensitive skin expertise, Aveeno has always been cognizant of the needs of mothers and the advances of scientific technology. Keeping this in mind, the brand has also evolved with the demands and preferences of its consumers” said Kat Suarez, marketing manager of the brand's Philippine office.

“As the #1 Pediatrician-Prescribed Baby Brand for Sensitive Skin, we’re very happy to share the new and improved products with improved and even gentler formulations, ergonomically designed packaging, and upgraded visuals to reflect a modern look that resonates to moms today.”

The brand offers three product lines in order to cater to as much skin types or skin issues as possible: Daily Moisture, Soothing Relief, and Dermexa. 

First, for babies with normal to dry skin, moms can use the Baby Daily Moisture line. Formulated with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal, these products ensure to moisturize, protect, restore the pH skin balance, soothe, and cleanse baby’s sensitive skin.  Under this product line are the Baby Daily Moisture Lotion that protects and moisturizes baby’s sensitive skin for 24 hours, and the Baby Daily Moisture Wash & Shampoo that gently cleanses and nourishes baby’s hair and sensitive skin. The Baby Daily Moisture Wash & Shampoo has a new and improved formula that upgraded the fragrance to eliminate all known allergens and minimize potential skin sensitizations and allergic reactions. It also comes in smaller and bigger sizes – from 100ml to 532ml. 

Now for babies with very dry, itchy skin, there is the Soothing Relief Cream that provides rapid soothing relief for baby’s very dry, itchy skin from 1st use. With its Natural Colloidal Oatmeal + Portulaca Oleracea Extract formulation, it immediately helps soothe baby’s sensitive skin and enhances the skin’s moisture barrier to protect and hydrate baby’s very dry skin for 24 hours. This also now comes in a smaller size of 140g.

Lastly, for babies with signs of Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema, Moms’ go-to rescue regimen can include Baby Dermexa Moisturizing Cream, which is now available in the Philippines, and the Cleansing Therapy Moisturizing Wash. Both are formulated with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal + Ceramides that’s clinically proven to relieve skin dryness, itchiness, redness,  tightness and flaking. This formula also helps prevent the recurrence of extreme dryness from atopic or eczema-prone skin. In fact, both products are awarded with the National Eczema Association Seal of Approval. The Cleansing Therapy Wash also has a new and improved formula that is now sulfate-free and tear-free to further minimize any potential skin reactions or sensitization. 

All of the brand's formulations have been Triple Tested for gentleness by a pediatrician, dermatologist, and ophthalmologist. The products are now available on Lazada, Shopee, Watsons, and J&J PH Chat & Shop.

Earth-caring must-haves

As part of Natura &Co, Avon shares its Commitment to Life, which covers three important aspects: addressing the climate crisis, defending human-rights and gender equality, and embracing sustainability in business.
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Now every Filipina can do her part in making sure the next generation will have a chance to live in a cleaner Philippines, and this is possible when you choose Avon as the global beauty and fashion brand recently announced a 10-year plan with specific sustainability goals, to make its every product greener from the moment it is produced until after it is used.

By 2030, the goal is to have all of its products be made using only sustainable methods and resources, to improve production by reducing water consumption, while generating less waste and carbon emissions. Even packaging will be reusable, recyclable, or compostable. The shift already started with the brand's new Beauty+ products, which offer an extensive catalogue for everyday life. From reusable kitchen helpers, vegan faux leather accessories, intimate apparel made with upcycled materials, and even eco-resin jewelry. Each day you can get a step closer to becoming more planet-friendly. Check out these products at www.avonshop.ph.

Are you stacking up on empty containers or are you worried where your trash might end up? Look no further because the brand partnered with environmental and social enterprise, The Plastic Flamingo, so that containers of your favorite Avon products can now be recycled or repurposed. There are two ways to do this: contact the brand's representatives to collect empties, or visit one of the twelve collection sites all over Metro Manila. Each plastic collected will be sorted and will either be sold to recycling plants, or be transformed into industrial grade Eco-planks that help build emergency shelters all over the country.

“We want to ensure that Filipinos nationwide will soon have access to these initiatives so we can do our part in shifting consumers preferences towards sustainability” said Razvan Diratian, General Manager, Avon Philippines.

Gentle care for intimate area, kind to Mother Earth


Human Nature introduces their latest waterless innovation to battle the plastic bottle, the Feminine Wash Bar. Liquid feminine wash may be good, but we can do better for our planet. 
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Did you know that the Philippines is the world’s third-largest ocean polluter? The plastic crisis is real and our relationship with plastic has become toxic. The world is producing and consuming plastic products and packaging that have far-reaching impact beyond its practical need. Use it for a month’s worth of hair cleansing, forever in the world. According to National Geographic, plastics may persist in the environment for hundreds of years, harming animal and possibly human health.

Human Nature, the homegrown FIlipino company known for genuinely natural yet affordable cosmetics, personal and home care products, is taking this problem head-on. They have been increasing efforts to minimize and eventually eliminate plastic. Starting out years ago with recycling, then refilling and upsizing, they now lead the way towards having plastic bottle-free products for people to switch to. Together with the support of their customers, 16 tons of plastic waste have been prevented from ending up in landfills, beaches and the ocean. That’s equivalent to 1 million 50ml or 500 thousand 200ml plastic bottles! 

One of the best ways to manage our plastic problem is to battle the bottle: go plastic bottle-free. By moving towards plastic-free, sustainable options through breakthrough waterless formulations such as bars and concentrated powders, consumers can now truly start breaking free from plastic themselves.

They are enjoining everyone to take on the challenge to refuse plastic by including a simple change in their choices, one product at a time. 

Delight in the Feminine Wash Bar and enjoy a fresh and fun new change--from liquid to bar, from pouring to lathering. It’s the same fem wash goodness you love without the harmful chemicals or the plastic guilt. 

This bubbly bar gently cares for your most intimate area with a rich infusion of nature’s finest ingredients. Mangosteen extract controls odor and fights bacteria, chamomile prevents itchiness and bad odor, while virgin coconut oil prevents your skin from drying.

Its 95.11% natural formula is gentle yet effectively cleans with a feminine floral fresh scent. What’s more, the Fem Wash Bar is truly pH-balanced because it falls within the normal pH level of your intimate area which is below 4.5, to help maintain your vaginal health.

Only wholesome goodness is in every Fem Wash Bar. You can be sure that no harmful chemicals like parabens, PEGs, synthetic fragrances, artificial colors and EDTA touch your skin.

The Fem Wash Bar has already gathered rave reviews! 10 out of 10 users found it really gentle on their intimate area4 while 9 out of 10 users claimed it protected them from unwanted odor.

Sheila, one satisfied user shares her experience, “It kept odor away even during the last few days of my period. It did not cause itchiness or anything irritating, making me feel fresh every time I wash.” 

You’ll be glad to know that it’s as easy to use as your favorite liquid feminine wash, only more convenient. Just wet the bar and lather up on your hands then use the suds to clean your intimate area. To make it last longer and ensure it won’t melt, cradle it on a slotted soap dish then just store it in a dry place away from moisture.

Pandemic self-care, your way

The pursuit of wellbeing starts from within, where taking care of our inner and outer selves are equal parts of the equation. This has been AHC's core thrust since launching its global self-care campaign at the height of the global pandemic last year to empower and educate everyone about prioritizing their physical and mental health. Simplified skincare routines provide us an easy way to infuse an important sense of calm and stability in our daily lives, as we get ready to embark on a beautiful journey towards discovering the best version of ourselves.
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We all feel the weight of this time we’re living in since the world turned upside down because of a global pandemic. Being a human in today’s reality is tough stuff. On some level, with our time and energy stretched thin, it can be easy to shove self care aside to focus on merely surviving.

This would be a myopic view of what self-care entails. First and foremost, we are already whole and enough, just the way we are. Becoming aware of the stories we tell ourselves and criticisms we’ve come to own as truths is a powerful step toward changing that inner script. All moods are part of the human experience. At any given time, feeling crushed, fried, or burnt out might be on the menu at the same time as being giddy and excited. It is all part of being deeply alive in the present moment.

Self-care entails radical willingness to be with ourselves as we are. It should never be seen as one-size fits all. It means something different to everyone and should be seen as a way of learning to work with ourselves, and not on ourselves. We can actively take small actions that help us restore balance in our lives, and bring us joy and happiness. It can be spending an evening reading a good book, doing a digital detox, having a meal with a friend while engaging in meaningful conversation, or even staring blankly into space for hours. None of these things are frivolous. Ask yourself what you need and then listen.

As the touted No. 1 Korean Aesthetic skincare brand, AHC aims to provide top-quality, yet affordable and easy-to-use products, and is loved by many holistic beauties all over the world. Their wide range of products provides many selections that you can mix and match to suit your skin needs.

After prepping your skin, you can lather on the latest innovation from the original creator of Eye Cream For Face, Luminous Glow Eye Cream for Face. Dermatologist-tested and suitable for use on both eyes and face, it is packed with antioxidant-rich ingredients, and clinically proven to brighten skin and reduce wrinkles in 14 days.

For those looking for a more radiant and healthy facial complexion, the brand has its Essential Eye Cream for Face which addresses not only the look of fine lines and dullness around the eyes, but also improves the texture and tone for a youthful appearance and glowing facial complexion. Its rich and refreshing formulation combines top quality ingredients with Microsome Technology to seep deep into the skin to lock in moisture and provide intensive nourishment for the whole face. 

The brand also offers a comprehensive line of facial sheet masks that complements your daily skincare routine. All variants use a mask sheet made from Europe’s Oeko-tex Standard 100 Class 1 certified pure cotton, guaranteed to fit softly and lightly onto skin. They also use Aqua Ceramide, a patented moisturizing ingredient that delivers intense hydration and smoothes the skin without the feeling of stickiness.

Healthy, radiant skin begins with proper hydration. Nourish it with Natural Essential Mask Aqua Nourishing. Its essence is naturally sourced, including Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein and Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, for a rich source of nutrients for the skin. 

To soothe and revitalize stressed skin, try the Natural Essential Mask Aqua Calming. This variant contains essence made with 93% natural ingredients, including Centella Asiatica Extract and Viscum Album(Mistletoe) Fruit Extract for a calming & hydrating boost.

Brightening dull skin is an instant mood perker. For this, try the Natural Essential Mask Aqua Brightening which contains the essence of natural ingredients, including Vitamin B3 derivative and extracts from different berries that pack in a healthy glow for your skin.

For improving skin elasticity and resilience, try the Lifting & Hydrating benefits of Natural Essential Mask Aqua Lifting. Its mild essence is derived from natural ingredients, including Helianthus Annuus(Sunflower) Seed Oil and Lupinus Albus Seed Extract, that soothes and hydrates rough skin.

Speed up your beauty goals

Speed up your pace in achieving your beauty goals by pairing Kojie.san soap and lotion with each other, better together for lighter and even skin tone as quickly as possible.
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An innovator in kojic acid formulation, Kojie.san soaps and lotions contain Zero Pigment Light technology that zeroes in on dark spots, age spots, scars, melasma and hyperpigmentation. Used individually, the soaps and lotions deliver great results. But when used in combination with each other, they promise better performance. 

The original Skin Lightening Classic Soap keeps everything that’s beloved of high-grade kojic acid but now made more potent with Zero Pigment Light to reveal fairer skin. The Skin Lightening HydroMoist Soap contains the same technology, with the addition of HydroMoist formula to target dark spots and even out skin tone while keeping it moisturized for hours.

After showering, take step 2 by using Zero Pigment Light-powered lotions. This means your doubling the benefits you get from the latest kojic acid technology. Both also come in a light, non-greasy HydroMoist formulation that’s easily absorbed by your skin. The Skin Lightening Body Lotion with HydroMoist deeply moisturizes skin to keep it soft, smooth, and well hydrated for up to 72 hours. The Skin Lightening Body Lotion SPF25 w/ HydroMoist protects your skin from harsh environmental factors that can halt your progress and lead to skin damage with its UVA UVB filters.

The brand is available at all leading supermarkets and drugstores nationwide, as well as official LazMall on Lazada and Beauty MNL.

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