I was 40 years old when I started to be a freelance breastfeeding coach. That was August 2006.
I was burdened on how to help breastfeeding moms overcome their challenges, fears and pains. That made me resign from my secured job as a spa marketing-directress of the first pre-natal lactation clinic spa in the Philippines. That made me join as well a non-government organization advocating for breastfeeding.
That was the time that I realized that even If I’m single, I have the strong desire to be of help to moms and babies. That became my passion, my ministry and my purpose in life.
Before reaching my 7th year anniversary, I’ve finished my 1st book and launched it a month later. It was the first breastfeeding book in the Philippines published and distributed by National Book Store. The book is also the very first breastfeeding book that featured 24 breastfeeding-lactating moms with different nationalities.
With my years of experience, when it comes to breastfeeding, there is no one size fits all. This is even if moms are siblings or twins. Each mom has her own capacity to produce breastmilk and capability to sustain its production for as long as she wants.
I have handled thousands of moms. I have called them “United Colors of Benetton”, as they have different nationalities. These moms have different preferences, culture, goals and fears, but they share a common denominator – many of them have “postpartum depression”, also called “baby blues”. This condition is experienced by 50-75% of moms after delivery. Moms suffer from mild to severe and long-lasting depression. With this, I have learned how to emphatize with the moms whom I’m coaching and mothering.
On my 8th year, I realized that I’m mothering moms and babies. There, i started calling moms glam-mamas.
That time, I was also the very first breastfeeding coach that is literally single. I used the term “breastfeeding coach” since almost all of them want to be called lactation/breastfeeding advocate-counselor.
The rest is history. All my critics then silenced themselves especially after I launched my breastfeeding book. Some of them even did a book review, and bought a copy for themselves to meticulously see how my book was written.
Many of them also wanted to see how breastfeeding-lactating moms shared their breastfeeding journey with a freelance breastfeeding coach who has been criticized because she is not a mother.
My critics were quick to judge that I am not an authentic advocate of breastfeeding since I’m not a mom like them. They even said that I’m only doing it for money and for business. But I bravely ignored all of them even they caused so much pain and tons of tears. I just asked the Lord my God for comfort, guidance, strength, wisdom and influence so I can continue with my breastfeeding journey.
Reaching my 14th year is far beyond anyone’s expectation but with the Lord as my protector and promoter, I have been surrounded with good people who support and help me all through out my breastfeeding journey without any hesitation.
I would like to express my great gratitude to Dr. Theresa Henson who’s the first OB-Gyne who trusted me and referred me to my first expat mom, and Dr. Theresa Tangkeko-Lopez, who despite the COVID-19 pandemic is still referring her patients to me. I am blessed, grateful and thankful for the trust of these two prominent OB-Gynes from Makati Medical Center who I have worked with for 10 ten years (1987-1997).
Reaching a 10th anniversary whether in marriage or work is definitely a milestone. But, for a freelance breastfeeding coach like me, celebrating 14 years in 2020 at this time of global pandemic is truly an accomplishment – for my God is an extraordinary GOD!
Highlights of my 14th Anniversary of my Breastfeeding Journeys:
*Gave a free breastfeeding class for 3 years
*Had my first feature in PDI (Philippine Daily Inquirer)
*Had a free breastfeeding seminar in Caloocan City
*Had sessions in Hongkong 2011 and 2012
*Met personally Dr. Jack Newman and showed to him the draft of my BFJ book
*Wrote a blog about 5 Common Issues Moms Should Overcome (DOH website)
*TV guesting at OK Si DOK
*Radio guesting on DZMM “Kapamilya Konek” with Ms. Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan
*Guest speaker for Post-graduate course Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center
*Had a Free breastfeeding class at Bellevue Hotel, Alabang
*Launched the 1st breastfeeding book in the Philippines published and distributed by National Book Store
*Had a breastfeeding seminar for two sessions in a day with a global company together with their provincial branch via video conference
*Had a Demo-interactions with ATI MASA Tribe mothers in Caticlan, Aklan
*Handled a mastitis case during the ECQ and drained the abscess
I didn’t expect and even ask for any of this from the Lord, but He extended-expanded my borders as I continuously abide in Him and humble myself each day and each time I have achieved something as a freelance breastfeeding coach.
I declare thanks to the Lord who is the GOD of All for appointing and anointing me to become a breastfeeding coach who He wants me to be and a mother to glam-mamas and babies amidst this new normal – wearing goggles, face mask and face shield; and good thing I am very much accustomed to do hand washing as much as I can before and during my coaching sessions.
Celebrating my 14th anniversary in the new normal is priceless, memorable and unprecedented. Thank you very much for cheering for me throughout my breastfeeding journeys. Thank you as well to those of you, who are very supportive helping me endure and persevere all the challenges that I’m encountering along our journey.
This is so liberating … God is good all the time! God is constant! God is a faithful God! God is a Rewarder!
Coach Z CF