Tag Archive | Pregnancy

Breastfeeding social campaigns: a serious and honest analysis

World Breastfeeding Week

Year – Brazilian godmother of the campaign Slogan
1999 – Luiza Brunet (top model)amamentação Luiza Brunet cartaz1999 Breastfeeding is educating for life. Let’s re-learn!
2000 – Glória Pires (actress)Brazilian actress breastfeeding Breastfeeding. Good for the mother. Better for the baby.
2001 – Isabel Fillardis (actress)Brazilian actress breastfeeding Breastfeeding. A very special way of communication.
2002 – Claudia Rodrigues (actress)Brazilian actress breastfeeding Breastfeeding is giving your baby health in the form of love.
2003 – Luiza Thomé (actress)Brazilian actress breastfeeding Breastfeeding. Health and peace for a better world.
2004 – Maria Paula (actress and writer)Brazilian actress breastfeeding Until your baby is six months old, the shift from the right breast to the left one must be the only change in his/her feeding.
2005 – Vera Viel e Maria Paula (actresses)Brazilian actresses breastfeeding Until your baby is six months old, he/she only needs breast milk. After this, offer other foods and keep breastfeeding.
2006 – Cássia Kiss (actress)Brazilian actress breastfeeding Breastfeeding. Assuring this right is everybody’s responsibility.
2007 – Vanessa Lóes (with Thiago Lacerda) (actress and actor)Brazilian actress breastfeeding with her husband Breasfeeding in the first hour, protection without delay.
2008 – Dira Paes (and mother) – actressBrazilian actress breastfeeding Nothing is more natural than breastfeeding. Nothing is more important than supporting.
2009 – Claudia Leitte (singer)Brazilian singer breastfeeding Breastfeeding at all moments. More health, love and protection.
2010 – Wanessa Cristina and other mothersThree woman; two pregnant woman with another one breastfeeding Breastfeed. Give your child the best.

Social campaigns for donation of expressed breast milk – Ministry of Health Services – Brazilian Government

2008 – Camila Pitanga (actress)Brazilian actress breastfeeding and donating expressed milk Donate expressed milk, life thanks you.
2009 – Samara Fillipo (actress)Brazilian actress breastfeeding Donate expressed breast milk, life thanks you.


The posters aim:

  • Valuing (and even glamourizing) breastfeeding;
  • Enlightening the benefits for both mother and child;
  • Emphasizing the advantages of breast milk;
  • Expressly recommending exclusive breastfeeding until the baby is six months old;
  • Calling for the responsibility of all of the people involved: father, other relatives, employer.

Important, worthy, opportune, necessary, amazing, inspiring: all of those things were more than revered in those campaigns. However, there are other aspects beyond the UNQUESTIONABLE example of beautiful social marketing campaign, which deserve an analysis.

The poster in 2010 calls for attention because it is the first in a series, for 12 years, that shows mothers who are not celebrities. Also, there is a black person as the central figure. Images of breastfeeding are essentially “white”; the exception is Isabel Fillardis, in 2001.

Another new thing in 2010 is the presence of pregnant women, i.e., breastfeeding is an attitude to be embraced early in gestation.

The third different feature is the breastfeeding mother looking at the baby (even if in the smaller picture). Mostly, mothers are not looking at the babies, but at the spectator, reinforcing the appeal, when they act as spokespeople of the campaign (the exception is the poster with Vanessa Lóes and the ones for milk donation). This behavior also denotes an incisive pose for the photo, an artificial moment as well as the mother’s highlight, the hero who deserves be applauded and followed. Colors, environment, smiles, everything contributes to the atmosphere of serenity and delight, and leads to the understanding that breastfeeding is a natural fact/act since the beginning/always and has no difficulties – even when there are twins (Luiza Tomé) or big children (Maria Paula).

The mother who doesn’t see that atmosphere when she tries to breastfeed (she feels pain, sore nipples, breast engorgement, fissures, fatigue, lack of support, instead) thinks that something is wrong – with her.

Positive changes are a good beginning in the campaigns. Yet what really is absent in all posters is something beyond the phrase “for further information, please call…” with telephone numbers or websites. A crucial recommendation is not explicit on those posters: “In case of difficulties, please call…”

As in all good ads, nobody wants to talk about problems. This analysis intends to focus on the help, the support. The mothers may check the credibility of the campaign, when they cannot reproduce the perfect spirit in the pictures, and even give up, thinking that breastfeeding is only for celebrities (who enjoy a whole universe, which is not accessible for “mortal” women).

(Actually, that information is available, in the material for health professionals. It was not created for the public at large. Ministry of Health Services – Brazilian Government issued a great, honest and plural primer, with “people like us”; so different from the posters! It’s worth visiting it:   Cartilha de Amamentação –   in Portuguese.)


You can also see:

Because we are mammals – analysis

Because we are mammals – Marusia speaks

This post in Portuguese: Campanhas de amamentação – uma análise séria e franca

Advice I love

girls dressed as fairies

By Anne Guedes

Pregnant women and first-time mothers (and even the third-time mothers like me) are target for rains of advice. Sometimes, many interventions, from many sources and such varied contents can really cause confusion. But now I want to talk about “winning” advice, the ones that made and keep making the difference to me and I wish to share: advice I love.

From my sister Maria: “Don’t wait for your belly to grow to rub moisturizer.”

The skin must be previously prepared and hydrated, already in the beginning of the pregnancy, when the belly still hasn’t grown yet. So, you prevent sensibility and weakness that origin strias and stains on the skin. Actually, moisturizing is always important, for pregnant and non-pregnant women; we deserve this daily ritual.

From my friend Luciana: “The baby sucks with craving even in the first nursing.”

I had some idea about the difficulties of breastfeeding, mainly in the beginning, but I thought they were due to the nursing frequency, and not because of the suction intensity or the baby’s latch. Luciana’s statement was great and helped me not to be surprised.

From my sister Maria: “Everything goes away.”

In the post-partum, when we feel in the middle of a hurricane, with thousands of hormones under our skin, new incumbencies and never seen before emotions, we can be inclined to doubt that truth. However, if we allow ourselves to accept it, it makes us free. Everything goes away. And goes away fast.

From my friend Daniela, when I was expecting my second child: “When the baby is born, your oldest son will look very big.”

It is correct and valuable. My oldest son was only 2 years old when my daughter was born, but he looked like a giant in comparison to the new-born. The danger, wisely warned by Daniela, is acting as if he were grown-up and mature. The advice was great, to not demand postures and behaviors above his age. After all, he was a baby too, with needs, facing the absolutely new circumstance of his sister’s arrival, with whom he would have to share his parents’ attention.

From my brother Junior: “Children have happiness expiration times.”

Being aware of this wise tip avoids a lot of annoyances. When the “happiness expiration time” is up, it means it’s time to go home and rest. Insisting on doing anything else leads to suffering the consequences of an angry child, who will do everything to drive us crazy, and then the tour loses its purpose. It’s important to remember that, when you take kids to a “grown-up people event”, without activities that include or entertain them, their expiration time is shorter. It partially explains the fits in supermarkets and shopping centers.

From my kids’ pediatrician (who was my own pediatrician, too): “Hug your children.”

Shantala, massage during the bath, the need of being held in the lap, skin-to-skin contact: these things are largely recommended for babies. However, the fondling becomes rare as soon as the child begins to get big. Touching is not only for babies! 8, 9 year-old children, teenagers, even adults need a hug, being taken in the parents’ arms. This is therapeutic, prophylactic. Healing.

From my mother: “If you want to, you can keep your activities, you can work. But it’s very important staying home on your kids’ sleeping time.”

Sleeping time is sacred and has different representations in children’s minds – representations of tenderness, affection, shelter. It’s worth trying it.

And you? Do you have a “winning” advice?


This post in Portuguese: “Conselhos que amei”

To my dear moms-to-be

My sister is expecting her third child, happily.

As a homage to her and to my seven coworker friends who are pregnant or have just had their babies (think about the biggest possible demographic density in a same sector!), that’s the first post of the series “Is it mine only?” for moms-to-be.

Did it happen only with me, or with you too?


… you do a home pregnancy test before the HCG-based test?

… your belly become a public thing – everyone wanted to touch it?

… you answer 15876432 times: if it was your first kid; what was the baby’s gender; if the baby already had a name and what it was; how many months you had been pregnant and when the birth would occur? (I loved all of those questions!)

… everybody have a recipe or a tip to give to you (some of them contradictory suggestions)?

… feel sick a lot and, in those moments, you weren’t in the mood for anything?

… you say (or even think) at least once: “Hi, baby, I love you so much, and it’s not your fault… but mommy is really messy”?

… you, in the beginning, get shy when going to the preferential queues, but afterwards you went proudly?

… you love listening to the amplified sound of the baby’s heart in the obstetrician’s office?

… you feel the baby hiccupping inside your womb, mainly after you ate?

… you pee “softly”?

… the day of an ultrasound day feel like pure expectation? Did you record everything in a DVD, even knowing you would never watch it again, after the birth?

… your jaw drop with the number of details pointed by the doctor during the ultrasound exam?

… you have fun when the baby moved?

… you get apprehensive when the baby moved a lot?

… you get apprehensive when the baby was quiet a lot?

… your belly-button get flat?

… you get surprised by the colostrum in your bra when you were seven months pregnant?

… you feel, in the third trimester, “electrical shocks” in your groin, strong enough for you to bend your knees?

… you no longer manage to tie your shoelaces in the last week of pregnancy?

… you always think the baby would be born before the prediction?

… you get startled in thinking you were in labor and it was only… gas?

… you feel the great mystery of having a person living inside of you?

… you get amazed by looking like a Volkswagen beetle?

Image editing: Marusia. Photos: Bjearwicke e Ale_Paiva - Stock Xchng

And you? What would you include in this list?


You can also see:

This post in Portuguese, originally published on February 26th 2011: Para as gravidinhas

Where’s the big belly? It’s disappeared

Free translation of a report published in Veja magazine (Brazil), under “Beauty”

"Where's the big belly? It's disappeared

Where’s the big belly? It’s disappeared

Getting slim quickly is a dream of pregnant women – but an exaggeration is not necessary

Is there a pregnant woman who doesn’t dream about the moment of going back to wearing the “before” clothes and getting her body back after giving birth? It’s a perfectly natural desire, as long as it doesn’t become a unique and a no-parameter concern.

“Ten years ago, a fat woman breastfeeding was seen as healthy. For six weeks after the birth, nothing was demanded from a woman, even beauty. She used to stay there, “hatching”, Wladimir Taborda, the Gynecology and Obstetrics coordinator of the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo (Brazil), says. “It’s different nowadays. Six hours after the birth, women are already walking. In the next day, the beautification process starts”, he complements. There’s no lack of examples – bad examples. […] Actresses, singers and models, that are already esthetically privileged, leave the maternity with their bodies virtually back to form.

For a new mother, it’s not easy (or recommended) to follow those examples, those exaggerations committed by the stars. “The celebrities reach the desired result with the help of a specialized team (that includes nannies, personal trainers and nutritionists). The majority of women don’t have the time or the professionals required for that effort”, the obstetrician Yehudi Gordon, who took care of the ex-models Jerry Hall (the mother of Mick Jagger’s 4 children), and Elle MacPherson (who has 2 boys), warns.

[…] “Sixty years ago, pregnant women had gained weight without any control, and it had been seen as cute. Nowadays, when we see a fat pregnant woman, the first thing that we think is: she isn’t taking care of herself”, the gynecologist Rubens Paulo Gonçalves, the author of “Pregnancy for pregnant women”, comments.


Subtitle of the photos of Kate Hudson:

Kate, still enormous 26 days after giving birth, and then three months later: goodbye to 30 kilos with a strict diet and a lot of gymnastics.


The report brings a big paradox: although it classifies as an exaggeration what celebrities do to get thin after giving birth and though it intends to emphasize health and not shape, it brings citations of gynecologists and a lot of expressions that strongly disqualify the bodies of pregnant women during the postpartum period. At the same time, it uses many eulogist words to those who auto impose the goal of returning to their good physical shapes:

Pregnant women, according to the report Goals, according to the report
Big Belly Beautification
Fat Excellent physical shape
“Hatching” Small body
Enormous Tall, thin and pretty
Immense Perfect shape
They had gained weight without any control Slimness and glamour
They didn’t take care of themselves Splendorous
Fat-belly woman Beautiful figure


You can also see:

Where’s the big belly? Marusia speaks

This post in Portuguese: Cadê o barrigão? Sumiu

Where’s the big belly? Marusia speaks

It’s curious: all the gynecologists mentioned in the report “Where’s the big belly?” are men. What caught my attention above all else was this statement:

“Ten years ago, a fat woman breastfeeding was seen as healthy. For six weeks after the birth, nothing was demanded from a woman, even beauty. She used to stay there, ‘hatching’ “, Wladimir Taborda, the Gynecology and Obstetrics coordinator of the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo (Brazil), says.

He talks as if taking care of a new-born is “nothing”. Well, what nature spent 9 months to do is not undone in the next day. And it’s impressive how returning to being in shape at any cost is becoming a real obsession for both the celebrities and mortal women.

Respect your body, your rhythm, your health and your welfare. And, to those who say the opposite, tell them to go “hatch” a coconut (by the way, coconut water is very good for women in the postpartum period).


You can also see:

Where’s the big belly? It’s disappeared

This post in Portuguese: Cadê o barrigão? Marusia fala

The first baby adventure – analysis

The following texts are a free translation of parts of a report, originally published in Claudia Magazine, number 5, year 42, on May 2003, Abril Publishing Company, Brazil

 The apartment of the Brazilian producer Priscila Borgonovi (24 years old) and the actor Fabio Assunção, 31, reveals who is the king of this space. In the entrance hall, there is a poster with this message: “Welcome, João”, which was put up by the godparents of the baby, who was born on January 21st, in São Paulo [Brazil].

“On the day after the birth, I woke up calm. I was feeling everything was different and I was seeing things differently, as I was turning into a mother.”

The truth is: the newborn baby contributes, like no other baby does, for the family’s peace. He doesn’t have colics, he only cries when he is hungry, he has not choked or scared the proud mother yet, and sleeps tight straight through the night. “The last time I breastfeed him every day is at midnight, so he only wakes up at six in the morning. Even sleeping less that I would like to, I can rest just fine”, Priscila reveals. She is conscious she is privileged. “He’s calm, strong, gives us security. He’s never made us stay awake at night.”

When she was pregnant, she led a normal life: she did hydro gym up until the seventh month and worked until close to the delivery. “I felt great, beautiful, loved, with a great energy”. So, she managed to beat thefear of the natural birth. “It went fine, in spite of the five hours at labour, and the induction, due to the water breaking. At that moment, I did three pushes, and João was born, in four minutes.”

Fabio watched the birth and also was deeply moved. “I felt like in a trance, as if not knowing where I was. How can such a normal event be so extraordinary? You try to see yourself in the baby and you can’t… he is another new, unique person. It’s beautiful to see the mix of yourself with the woman you love.”

Slowly, Priscila had established a new routine. […] But slowly everything is returning to its axis. “We were once again in contact with the world, with the normal life […] and recovering our libido, too. It’s important and amazing to feel beautiful and like a woman again, to remember how it is to be with your husband.”

[…] When the baby completed one month, she had lost all the weight she had gained during her pregnancy, and soon was fitting into tight pants and jeans. At 1,75 metro high, she weighs now 53 kilos. “Less than before”, she affirms, proudly.

Fabio agrees that the couple’s life changed a lot, but not as people used to say. “Everybody used to say: ‘you know, man, when the baby is born, your life will end, etc, etc.’ João didn’t limit us in anyway, he opened a new way.” A great father, the actor changes diapers, gives the baby baths, helps in everything and loves being with his son.

The analysis

According to the text, we can elaborate a list of things that contribute to a happy motherhood start:

  1. A secure and calm mother;
  2. A baby that doesn’t cry, doesn’t have colics, nurses well and sleeps tight straight through the night;
  3. A calm pregnancy, with the mother working, going to hydro gym classes and feeling beautiful and loved;
  4. A natural and calm delivery;
  5. A father who’s always there;
  6. A life returning to its axis;
  7. The return of the libido;
  8. A quick return to being in shape.


You can also see:

The first baby adventure – Marusia speaks

This post in Portuguese: A aventura do primeiro bebê

The first baby adventure – Marusia speaks

My first son was born the same day João was: January 21st, 2003. But my “first baby adventure” was totally different. When I tried to mark the items on the “check-list” presented in the analysis of this report, four months later (the report was published in May 2003), I almost died:

  1. A little edgy and exhausted mother;
  2. A baby who cries, nurses every and each hour and doesn’t sleep all night long;
  3. An apprehensive pregnancy, morning (and afternoon, and evening, and night and early morning) sickness, but even then feeling beautiful and loved;
  4. A terrible C-section and even more terrible postpartum;
  5. A father who’s always there;
  6. A life very distant from its axis;
  7. Libido?
  8. Shape?

Although it could be worse, you know? Can you imagine “none of the above”…?

And this horoscope thing is also flexible: how can two babies with the very same birthday be so different from each other? Well, the report hadn’t mentioned the exact time of João’s birth; perhaps it is a matter of ascendant astral sign, with the Moon who knows where…

Jokes apart, fortunately, I slowly had realized that trying to compare or reproduce these examples was a crazy idea. Examples, by the way, that I had begun to recognize in other reports, in other magazines… Then, the will to research this subject arised, with a need to “unstress”: everybody, on to “the Unstressing Manifesto”!


You can also see:

The first baby adventure – analysis

This post in Portuguese: A aventura do primeiro bebê – Marusia fala