The city’s first mother and child center, 9 and Beyond Iloilo, finally opened its doors to the public through a grand launch on Tuesday, August 29, 2017.
“This facility was created to provide quality, accessible, and evidence-based care and support for mothers, informed feeding choices for their children, and a place where basic lactation nutrition as well as mom and baby essentials can be purchased,” said Adhara Alcudia Sebuado, President and In-House Lactation Consultant of 9 and Beyond Iloilo.
The nine mothers behind 9 and Beyond Iloilo are Sebuado, Anjee Otico-Vios, Gem Maniwan-Alcantara, Hazel Pillora, Ivy Espinosa-Del Rosario, Jomai Gangoso-Caceres, Jorvy Jaruda-Espinosa, Riza Bactol, and Ronaly Clavel. They welcomed around 50 guests from the city government and center’s partners and suppliers.
The First Mother and Child Center
According to Ms. Sebuado, a Registered Nurse and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), 9 and Beyond Iloilo’s main service is lactation support.
“The center is equipped with a breastfeeding clinic with up to date knowledge and guidance for breastfeeding mothers with an aim to encourage them to breastfeed longer, improve breastfeeding initiation, duration, and exclusivity, all of which result in reduced health care claims,” quipped Ms. Sebuado.
To complement this, 9 and Beyond Iloilo also conducts regular classes of ‘Breastfeeding and Birthing Preparation’ for pregnant women, and ‘Complementary Feeding Basics’ for parents with young babies conducted by Ms. Sebuado herself.
In addition, 9 and Beyond Iloilo also has in-house store.
“Our in-house store carries our personal favorites that we think are a must-have for mothers from pregnancy to lactation support as well as products for mothers’ health and wellness. We also tried to make available in our center products for infants and young children that we have carefully chosen to be safe, eco-friendly, and made from natural materials, including local brands, as we seek to empower our fellow Ilonggo entrepreneurs,” said Ms. Riza Bactol, Operations Officer.
9 and Beyond Iloilo’s store currently carries the following brands: Eco-snuggles, Earth2Mama, Acqua Bambino, Teavolution, Apple’s Creations, Mother Nature, Iloy Amore, Human Nature, Little Tiptoe, Mommy Essentials, Messy Bessy, Alima, Rofil, CupKaye’s, Homemade Iloilo, and HBN Soapworks. They are also expecting more brands to carry in the coming months.
Furthermore, 9 and Beyond goes beyond the lactation-related classes and offers more options to the mother and her children.
Ms. Anjee Otico-vios, PR Officer, adds that, “Over the first few weeks since we had our soft opening, we already had special wellness workshops in yoga, essential oils, and tea appreciation. Upcoming classes include Parenting and Yaya workshops, talks on Cloth Diapering and Safe Babywearing, Yoga and Art classes for kids, Beauty Tips and Makeover for moms. We are also planning to open our center for Baby Showers and launch our baby Gift Registry very soon.”
Advocacy, Care and Support
As a brand, 9 and Beyond Iloilo’s core values are advocacy, care and support.
Ms. Otico-Vios relates that, “9 and Beyond is actually an off-shoot of many advocacies – Breastfeeding, Babywearing, Waldorf Education, Health and Welness, to name a few. Its conception began about four years ago, when a small group of advocate mothers dreamt of a haven where moms (and dads) can meet up, sip coffee or tea, share ideas and catch up, while at the same time serve as a creche where toddlers and young kids can play and learn.”
As to the meaning behind the company name, 9 and Beyond, Ms. Otico-Vios adds that, “The name ‘9 and Beyond’ was coined to connote the motherhood continuum, beginning from the ‘9’ months that a child spends developing inside the womb; ‘and beyond’ encompasses the birth and growth of a child, as well ass a woman’s birth as a mother and the wonderful journey that follows. To celebrate this journey, our center offers various products and services that are likewise aligned with our advocacies. The ‘9’ by the way, also represents the nine like-minded ladies behind the realization of this dream.”
In the long run, 9 and Beyond Iloilo wants to establish a long and continuing partnership with all the mothers of Iloilo as a center for mothers run by mothers.
“We would like the center to be known as one-stop shop or hub for all mothers – from the time they are pregnant up to the time of their children’s growing up years. We are the first mother and child center in Iloilo and we go beyond our services and products offered. We advocate, we care, and we support,” said Jorvy Jaruda-Espinosa, Marketing Officer.
9 and Beyond Iloilo is located at the 2F Unit 23 of the Galleria, Jalandoni Street, Jaro, Iloilo City. They are on Facebook at facebook.com/9andBeyondIloilo and on Instagram at @9andBeyond. Effective September 2017, their operating hours will be from Tuesday-Sunday 10AM-6PM.