For fashionista and Pigeon brand ambassador Amina Aranaz Alunan, treating pregnant moms with respect is â€śin.â€ť
There are two things Amina Aranaz Alunan remembers most about her three pregnancies. The first is “being showered with so much love from family and friends,” says the bag designer, co-founder of the School of Fashion and Art (SoFA), and mother of kids aged 5, 3, and 2.
Sadly, the second is people’s general insensitivity towards expecting moms. Amina recalls the many times strangers have reached out to touch her then growing tummy, an act, she says, that makes her feel uncomfortable and intruded upon. Then there was the day a department store didn’t allow her to park her purchases behind a counter so she could shop for more baby items.
Even Amina, who is forever on the lists of Manila’s most stylish and beautiful women, isn’t spared from rude remarks people make about pregnant womenâ€™s changing bodies. “You know the myth about how people can tell you’re having a boy because your skin is bad and you don’t look so good?” she says. “Well, someone I didn’t know took one good look at me when I was pregnant and announced, ‘I think you’re having a boy!’ And I knew I was having a girl!”
Acknowledging that people mean well, Amina, wishes, however, that whatever concern for her and her babyâ€™s well-being could have been better saidâ€”or perhaps, not said at all.
In any case, such horror stories have made Amina’s involvement in an awareness campaign for moms on the way even more meaningful. Baby in My Belly, a campaign launched by leading mother care and baby products brand Pigeon, aims to educate the public on the do’s and don’ts of dealing with pregnant women. Amina, Pigeon brand ambassador, will be present during the Baby in My Belly launches on August 26 at the Grand Atrium of the Shangri-La Plaza, and on September 1 at The Block, SM City North Edsa.
“I think it’s high time Filipinos should be made aware of the value of looking after pregnant women,” says Amina. “As a mom who has personally experienced the frustrations of expectant mothers, I feel it’s important that her family, friends, and the people around her know how best to support her during her pregnancy.”
May Yao Co Say, COO of Richwell Phils., Inc., distributor of Pigeon for the last 26 years, says Baby in My Belly is actually an initiative of the Pigeon branch in the Philippines. â€śIn Japan (where Pigeon was established in 1957), mother care during pregnancy is taken very seriously,â€ť says May, herself a mom of two kids. â€śRailways, airlines, hospitals, and other companies in Tokyo provide pregnant women with badges to identify them, so that passengers can offer them their seats, especially during rush hour.â€ť
To build awareness on how pregnant moms should be treated during this delicate time, Pigeon put together The Pigeon Mom Pregnancy Etiquette Guide, a list compiled by the company and based on the sentiments and past experiences of countless Filipino mothers. Consider it a Ten Commandments for pregnant women, if you will1.Â Always offer us a seat, especially on public transport vehicles. Balancing acts in moving vehicles are not exactly our specialty during these nine months.
1.Â Always offer us a seat, especially on public transport vehicles. Balancing acts in moving vehicles are not exactly our specialty during these nine months.
2. Please do offer to carry our things for us. We walk and carry for two, so our feet and back always hurt. Any kind of help is much appreciated.
3. Â Yes, you may also open the door for us. If chivalry is plus points for the ladies, youâ€™re a knight in shining armor for pregnant women.
4. Â Please let us go first in the restrooms. Because the miracle of life is squeezed all inside our tummies, we tend to go more often.
5. Lend us a hand when crossing the street or going down the stairs, and hold the elevator for us. As you may have noticed, we tend to walk a bit slower than the rest of the rushing crowd.
6. Â Avoid pointing out our shortcomings in the physical looks department. Beauty is relative and pregnancy is a beautiful blessing.
7. Â Contrary to popular belief, telling pregnancy horror stories to expectant mothers is not helpful.
8. No matter how tempting, refrain from touching our tummies unless given permission.
9. Do not take our hormonal mood swings personally. And yes, during these nine months, we have the excuse to blame biology for our crankiness and sudden cravings in the middle of the night.
10 . Do not point out how much weight weâ€™ve gained. That, my friends, is a valuable lesson that applies even after we give birth.
The guide appears in Momâ€™s Pocketbook, a journal to help mothers track their babyâ€™s doctor appointments, plus helpful sections on breastfeeding, maternity wear, and important numbers (like hospitals, childbirth classes, and lactation specialists) to keep handy.Â The pocketbook is available in the infant sections of leading department stores.
A Wall of Momâ€™s Well Wishes, featuring encouraging messages for a motherâ€™s healthy pregnancy and delivery, as well as activities, events, and special workshops that tackle relevant issues for expectant mothers, are the campaignâ€™s other components.
Clearly, Pigeon aims to be a company dedicated to supporting expecting moms with the best child and mother care products. Says May, â€śa babyâ€™s well-being results from how well Mom looks after herself and how others care for her.â€ť