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					Photo: Mireille Lewis




Photo: Sophie Cliche




Photo: Linda Perron
603




                        Family
                                   Being a father
                                   A new role. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 606
                                   Advice from dads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 608
                                   Feeding baby together . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 610
                                   Importance of the father-child relationship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 612
                                   Fathers everywhere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 613
Family
         Photo: Martin Perreault




604
You aren’t born a father, you become one.                     It’s up to you to decide what kind of father you want to be.
                                                              What did you like about your own father? What would
Fatherhood is an exciting adventure that you can              you have liked him to do more? What kind of relationship
start enjoying from the time of conception. In Québec,        do you want to have with your baby? Maybe you would
more and more fathers are sharing the secret of how           like to be the type of father who:
happy and proud they are to become parents.
                                                              • Plays with his baby and enjoys other activities together;
We haven’t always talked enough about fatherhood.
                                                              • Takes care of his child, feeds her, changes diapers,




                                                                                                                             Family Being a father
It wasn’t that long ago that our society saw fathers simply
                                                               prepares meals and gets her ready for bedtime;
as providers. Today, they fill a growing variety of roles.
                                                              • Shows the child his affection;
                                                              • Educates his child and takes responsibility for her,
                                                               follows the vaccination record booklet, books the
                                                               babysitter and makes plans for his child;
                                                              • Provides for his child – yes, it takes money;
                                                              • Enjoys talking about his baby, carries a picture
                                                               of her and shows his pride.




                                                                                                                             605
                        You can begin your relationship during pregnancy;             A new role
                        as soon as her mother begins changing shape the baby
                        will start hearing your voice, then listening to it and       It takes 9 months to prepare for the arrival of a baby.
                        recognizing you. You can talk to her, sing a little song      Today, it’s easy for a father to follow the pregnancy closely.
                        and touch her mother’s belly. These will be among             Many fathers are present for the ultrasound, take part
                        the first of many magic moments.                              in prenatal meetings, and touch mother’s belly to feel
                                                                                      the baby move. Together, parents dream that their baby’s
                        It’s up to you to take advantage of your strong points,       birth will be a celebration.
Family Being a father




                        accept your weaknesses and maybe even work on
                        improving them.                                               Life changes when your baby is born. Your schedule
                                                                                      is upside-down, your home is upside-down, your partner
                        Get involved. You are unique and very important to            is exhausted. Your time as a couple doesn’t seem to exist
                        your child. Getting close to your baby as early as possible   anymore. What’s happening?
                        will help the two of you form a solid bond (see Bonding,
                        page 225). But first decide what role you want to play
                        in your child’s life. You may even have to assert yourself.




606
Don’t panic – most parents go through this.                   Take part in caring for your baby – There is no
                                                              instruction manual on how to be a parent. Getting involved
                                                              in day-to-day parenting chores will build your confidence.
      Like so many fathers, you will adapt                    You may not do everything the same way your spouse
   to your new life.                                          does. The important thing is to agree on what to do, while
                                                              respecting each other’s different opinions.

First, identify your emotions – The birth of a child          Nurture your relationship as a couple – At first,




                                                                                                                            Family Being a father
will put you through a wide range of emotions. Some           new parents sometimes have the impression they never
are positive, like the happiness, wonder and pride            stop and can’t take time to enjoy a quiet meal together.
of fatherhood. But feelings of insecurity, disruption         This can put your relationship to the test. But things will
and clumsiness are harder to live with. The first step        be easier as soon as you both establish your new routines.
is to recognize your feelings. It’s important to give names   Make room for private time together. Try to understand
to your emotions, even if they’re hard to think and talk      your spouse’s feelings during the post-partum period
about. You surely have someone experienced you                (see Depression and the baby blues, page 173). Once you’ve
can talk to, who can help you be more comfortable             settled into your new roles, you will rediscover the desire
in your new role as father.                                   for intimacy, although perhaps not both at once.




                                                                                                                            607
                        With a little help from your friends – The support            During the pregnancy:
                        of family and friends can be extremely helpful while
                        you’re adapting to the new situation. If people offer to      • Join in the preparations (names, clothing, the bedroom,
                        help, accept. But don’t let anyone take over your space.       toys, etc.).
                        Delegate household work and meal preparation, and
                        stay with the routine you need to learn about your new        • Follow your baby’s growth in the mother’s womb.
                        responsibilities. Be sure to protect the privacy of your      • Share your feelings about the unborn baby.
                        life as a couple and family.
                                                                                      • Discuss how you see each other’s role.
Family Being a father




                        Advice from dads                                              • Let imagination and tenderness guide your sexuality.
                                                                                      During the baby’s birth:
                        The arrival of a baby is a wonderful thing but it takes
                        a lot of work!
                                                                                      • Be there to provide your partner with anything
                                                                                       she needs.
                        There is no magic recipe except to be prepared.
                        Take the first steps toward finding your place as a father.   • Be aware of her emotions and share your feelings
                        Here is some advice from experienced fathers:                  with her.
                                                                                      • Speak with staff in the delivery room.




608
During the baby’s first weeks:                            At any time:

• Be as available as possible around the time of your     • Be present and dare to act.
 baby’s arrival.
                                                          • Believe in your own importance. Have confidence
• Take full advantage of the parental leave available      in yourself.
 to you during the coming months.
                                                          • Take the time to share your ideas with your partner.
• Encourage the breast-feeding mother.                    • Give yourself the chance to learn and the right




                                                                                                                   Family Being a father
• Get involved in household chores without being asked.    to make mistakes.
• Encourage Mom to go for a walk so you can be alone      • Share your joys and worries with those close to you.
 with your baby.
                                                          • Compliment Mom; don’t criticize or complain.
• Take the baby for a walk in the stroller.               • Don’t let anyone push you aside. Remind them gently
• Relax with Mom while your baby is sleeping.              that you are the father.
• Prepare your partner for your first outing – it will
 be easier for you than her.




                                                                                                                   609
                        Find occasions to share what you’re going through with       Feeding baby together
                        other fathers and couples in similar situations. If you
                        don’t know any, you can contact your local family centre,    Your role in feeding your baby is important regardless
                        the Maison de la famille, or the CLSC. For information on    of how she is fed. You can use feeding as an opportunity
                        community groups in your region that support families,       to get to know your baby by burping her, changing her
                        contact the Québec federation of family community groups,    diaper, holding her and rocking her to sleep after she
                        the Fédération québécoise des organismes communautaires      has been fed. You can lay her on your chest to help her
                        Famille at 1 866 982-9990 / 450 466-2538 or www.fqocf.org.   fall asleep. All children – boys and girls alike – need the
Family Being a father




                                                                                     comfort and reassurance of physical contact with Dad.
                        You’re guaranteed to have some tough moments.
                        Not everything about having a baby is what you expect.
                        Once again, don’t worry about it. You’ll learn more about
                        parenting every day.

                        When the reality of your daily life and work get back
                        on schedule, be sure to set aside time for yourself,
                        for your partner, and with your child.




610
During breast-feeding you play a key role even if your
spouse is the one breast-feeding the baby. Burping baby,
offering assistance in getting her to breast-feed or simply
bringing her to Mom are things you can do each day to
help with feeding. Feeding your baby will take lots of time
in the first weeks. Taking responsibility for household
chores (grocery shopping, cooking, doing the laundry)
is another way to contribute indirectly to breast-feeding.




                                                                                                                      Family Being a father
It is preferable to wait until your breast-fed baby is over
4 to 6 weeks old before giving her a bottle of breast
milk or formula.

If your baby is generally bottle-fed, you’ll find a way to
share the task with your spouse that works best for you.




                                                              Photo: Karine Benharroch
The first spoon feedings are also a nice time to share with
your baby.




                                                              ★       Physical contact with Dad brings baby comfort
                                                                    and reassurance.

                                                                                                                      611
                        Importance of the father-child                                 The child’s relationship with her father will have a definite
                                                                                       effect on how she relates to other children and adults.
                        relationship
                                                                                       Both parents should agree on family rules. A shared
                        A father’s relationship with his child is not the same as
                                                                                       approach to discipline will be valuable for years to come.
                        the mother’s, but it is very important for your girl or boy.
                                                                                       Everything is easier when the parents can count on each
                        Fathers often develop relationships with their children
                                                                                       other’s support. The whole family benefits.
                        by playing with them. These ties will grow stronger with
                        time. Fathers tend to be firmer than mothers, and more
Family Being a father




                        physically active with their child, encouraging her to
                        explore her surroundings and become independent.




612
Fathers everywhere                                          Let your children teach you about fathering. They won’t
                                                            insist on perfection; they just want you to be there.
Resources intended for family support, such as community    They are saying “my dad is important. He’s the man
groups, medical clinics, CLSCs and daycare centres,         in my life.”
increasingly recognize the role of fathers and reach out
to them. You can ask to be included in appointments         We encourage you to read the chapter “Being a mother”
and activities. This isn’t happening everywhere yet but     as well, to learn a few things about motherhood. Asking
by asking to be involved more you will be helping fathers   questions and listening to your partner will help you both




                                                                                                                         Family Being a father
take a bigger role in the lives of their babies.            discover your new lives as parents.




                                                                                                                         613
                                             Being a mother
                                             A new experience as a woman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 615
                                             Have confidence in yourself . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 616
                                             Rest and more rest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 618
                                             Sexual desire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 618
                                             Birth control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 620
                                             Feeding Mom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 623
Family
         Photo: Geneviève Caron-Fauconnier




614
The birth of a child is a very emotional event. Becoming
a mother will bring you great joy and deep attachment to
your child. Once your baby is born, you will start learning
about being a mother. As you did during the pregnancy
and birth, you may need some professional advice
and assistance.


A new experience as a woman




                                                                                                                                      Family Being a mother
Most women want to express themselves through work,
friendship and love, as well as being mothers. Following
this route may take some years. You may have had to be
very patient before having your first child. On the other
hand, you may go through pregnancy without planning it.




                                                                                                                 Photo: Sarah Witty
                                                              ★   Becoming a mother is a big new step in life.

                                                                                                                                      615
                        Holding your infant in your arms for the first time is very   Many women who become mothers develop a new
                        moving. Your baby’s arrival will show you things about        passion, finding out everything they can about family life.
                        yourself that you never noticed before. You may have          Some develop special skills and want to share them with
                        some doubts about yourself as a mother, but you’ll grow       other moms or get involved in various family community
                        and change as your child does too. This tiny person now       groups. Some decide to stay at home and raise their
                        depends completely on you and his father.                     children full-time, while others go back to work either
                                                                                      full- or part-time.
                        All too soon your baby will be a child, then a teenager
Family Being a mother




                        and adult. Whether cuddling your baby, feeding, bathing
                        or changing him, try to enjoy the moment. These
                                                                                      Have confidence in yourself
                        memories will lift you when you’re down, and will stay
                                                                                      Do you worry about your ability as a mother? It’s normal.
                        in your heart forever.
                                                                                      There’s no school where you can learn this job. Are you
                                                                                      afraid of being clumsy when giving the baby his bath,
                                                                                      or not understanding why he cries, or panicking when
                                                                                      he catches his first fever? Don’t worry about it.




616
                                                                    For most women, it takes about 2 years to fully balance
      Your first experiences with your baby will be
                                                                    life as a couple, friends, work and the new job of mother.
   moving and intense. Even though you may have
   doubts, you’re getting to know your child better
                                                                    You will quietly master your new role, discovering your
   every day.
                                                                    strengths and your own way of doing things. Routines
                                                                    are built through time and teamwork, and daily chores
                                                                    become easier.
With a baby, your days are very busy. At first it’s quite tiring.




                                                                                                                                 Family Being a mother
There is no miracle cure for this, but there are many magic
moments, like your baby’s first smiles and affection.

Have confidence in yourself and your partner. Listen to your
intuition for answers to your questions. Understanding
your baby’s needs gets easier each week. You’ll learn from
your experience and become more sure of yourself. You’ll
also see your baby becoming less and less fragile. You may
be surprised at how comfortable you become while doing
things that used to make you nervous.




                                                                                                                                 617
                                                                                  Rest and more rest
                                                                                  As long as your baby is waking up at night, try to take naps
                                                                                  during the day. If possible, ask those close to you for help
                                                                                  taking care of your baby – and of you too!

                                                                                  Above all, don’t demand too much of yourself. A little
                                                                                  dust around the home isn’t the end of the world. The good
Family Being a mother




                                                                                  times you spend with your baby are worth a lot more.


                                                                                  Sexual desire
                                                                                  Many women say they feel less sexual desire after giving
                        Photo: Alexandra Houde Brosseau




                                                                                  birth. The reasons behind this include fatigue, adapting
                                                                                  to the role of parent, the time and effort required in
                                                                                  taking care of a baby, physical or emotional complications,
                                                                                  and changing hormones. Once you’ve adapted to the new
                                                                                  situation, you will likely regain your desire for intimacy
                                                                                  and sexual relations. It’s important to follow your own
                                                                                  pace and try not to feel guilty if your feelings are slow

                        ★
                                                                                  coming back.
                                  Rest is not just for getting over childbirth.
                                The baby’s first months take lots of energy.

618
Most couples start having sex again a few weeks after
their child is born. It may take longer, for example, if your
vagina and perineum, or pelvic floor, are still sensitive,
if you’re still bleeding or if you’re very tired.

Don’t wait until you have lots of free time before allowing
yourselves some loving moments together. Take advantage
of your baby’s sleep time. Ask someone close to you to




                                                                                                                                                       Family Being a mother
take care of your baby for a few hours while you go out
together as a couple to enjoy a change of pace. Romantic
outings are important for you as a couple.

Hormones released during breast-feeding may prevent
the vagina from lubricating itself adequately. You can use
a water-based genital lubricant to make sexual activity




                                                                                                                            Photo: Stéphanie Giguère
more comfortable.

Motherhood and fatherhood are a good occasion
to discover a different type of intimacy, full of kisses,
caresses and affectionate gestures.

                                                                ★  Motherhood and fatherhood are a good occasion
                                                                to discover a different type of intimacy, full of kisses,
                                                                caresses and affectionate gestures.

                                                                                                                                                       619
                        Birth control                                                 Birth control methods while breast-feeding

                        Bringing a child into the world and taking care of that       If you’re breast-feeding, you can use the following
                        child takes a lot of energy. It’s best for your health and    birth control methods:
                        that of the child not to have another pregnancy right
                        away. Feel free to ask your doctor, a midwife or the CLSC     • Condom
                        nurse about family planning. Whether or not you are
                        breast-feeding, think about birth control early on.           • IUD
Family Being a mother




                        If you’re not breast-feeding, ovulation can begin as early    • Progestin-only pill (Micronor )
                                                                                                                    TM



                        as the 3rd week after vaginal or caesarean delivery. If you
                        are breast-feeding exclusively, ovulation may be delayed.     • Contraceptive injection (Depo-Provera )
                                                                                                                              TM




                        But don’t depend only on breast-feeding to prevent            • Diaphragm or cervical cap
                        pregnancy; use a method of contraception to prevent
                        an unplanned pregnancy.                                       • Combined hormonal contraceptives, i.e., all routine
                                                                                       contraceptive pills that contain estrogen and progestin,
                                                                                       as well as contraceptive patches and vaginal rings. It is
                                                                                       suggested that you wait at least six weeks after vaginal
                                                                                       or caesarean delivery before using this method.




620
If you use hormonal contraceptives (combined hormonal           If you prefer natural birth control methods (Billings,
contraceptives, progestin-only pill, contraceptive injection,   sympto-thermal), check with Serena or contact your
levonorgestrel IUD [Mirena ]), pay attention to your milk
                           TM
                                                                midwife, doctor or a CLSC nurse.
production as well as the baby’s growth and satisfaction
while nursing. If you notice a problem, contact a               Do not stop using a method of birth control unless you
breastfeeding consultant (IBCLC), your midwife, doctor          are immediately beginning another method. In order
or a CLSC nurse.                                                to avoid having unprotected sex, always have condoms
                                                                on hand. Find out more about birth control methods




                                                                                                                          Family Being a mother
If you want to use the Lactational Amenorrhea Method            by visiting the contraception Web site presented by the
(birth control method that requires exclusive breastfeeding     Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada:
and conditions for which it is best to get specific help),      www.sexualityandU.ca.
contact your midwife or a breast-feeding consultant
(IBCLC), or a CLSC nurse. You may also consult the Web          Birth control methods when not breast-feeding
sites of the Association québécoise des consultantes en
lactation diplômées de l’IBLCE (AQC) at www.ibclc.qc.ca,        If you’re not breast-feeding, you can use the following
Serena (organization promoting natural family planning          birth control methods:
methods) at www.serena.ca (514 273-7531 or 1 866 273-7362)
or the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA)           • Condom
at www.waba.org.my/resources/lam/index.htm#LAM.
                                                                • IUD
                                                                • Progestin-only pill (Micronor )
                                                                                               TM




                                                                                                                          621
                        • Contraceptive injection (Depo-Provera )TM
                                                                                      In an emergency
                        • Diaphragm or cervical cap                                   If you have unprotected or poorly protected sex,
                        • Combined hormonal contraceptives, i.e., all routine         you can use emergency birth control methods.
                         contraceptive pills that contain estrogen and progestin,
                         as well as contraceptive patches and vaginal rings.          Copper IUD – If it is not contraindicated for you, your
                         Hormonal contraceptives must not be taken during             doctor may insert a copper IUD up to 7 days after the
                         the first three weeks after vaginal or caesarean delivery,   unprotected or poorly protected sex took place, but not
Family Being a mother




                         as they may increase your risk of developing a blood clot    before 4 weeks following vaginal or caesarean delivery.
                         in your leg (deep vein thrombosis) or lung (pulmonary
                         embolism). After 21 days, these risks drop significantly,    Emergency contraception (EC) pills, (the “morning
                         and your doctor or nurse can allow you to start combined     after” pill) – It can be used up to 5 days after the
                         oral hormonal contraceptives.                                unprotected or poorly protected sex, at any time after
                                                                                      delivery. The sooner it is taken, the more effective it is.
                        • Natural birth control methods                               Your pharmacist can prescribe it. He or she has been
                                                                                      trained to provide it since January 2002.




622
Feeding Mom
Canada’s Food Guide is the best way to make sure you get
all the foods you need. Eat a variety of foods every day
chosen from the 4 food groups: fruits and vegetables,
grain products, dairy products and substitutes, and meat
and substitutes.




                                                                                                                                     Family Being a mother
Eating well after you give birth helps:

• Rebuild your food reserves;
• Maintain a good level of energy;
• Reach and maintain a healthy weight;
• Maintain and improve your health.




                                                                                                                Photo: Sarah Witty
Breast-feeding? Learn more about diet during the breast-
feeding period in The mother’s diet on page 292.




                                                           ★ It’s a good idea to continue your healthy eating
                                                           habits after giving birth.

                                                                                                                                     623
                                 Growing as a family
                                 Togetherness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 625
                                 You don’t need to be perfect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 628
                                 Invest in yourself and in your relationship as a couple . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 628
                                 Grandparents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 629
                                 The new family reality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 630
                                 Reaction of older children . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 631
Family




                                 Twins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 632
                                 Being a parent of a baby who is “different” . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 633
                                 Taking baby for a walk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 636
                                 Family activities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 641
                                 Getting a babysitter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 642
                                 Budgeting for baby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 644
                                 Choosing clothes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 645
                                 Caring for clothes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 647
                                 First shoes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 647
                                 Help is available . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 648
         Photo: Hélène Lashmar




624
Togetherness
The birth of a child gives new meaning to a couple’s life
together. Parents are now partners in a new project.
Your way of life will change. You have to care for a child




                                                                                                                                Family Growing as a family
and lead her through the various stages of growing up.
But there’s more than one way to be a team.

Children have physical and emotional needs. Fathers
and mothers each react in their own way. Remember
that your child needs:

• To feel wanted;
• To be herself and have the right to express herself;
• To have a place in the family;




                                                                                                       Photo: Raynald Bourdua
• To be able to count on her parents;
• To live in a pleasant, safe, honest and open atmosphere;
• To have rules for life in the home;
                                                             ★ The members of a solid team know what
                                                             each other needs.

                                                                                                                                625
                             • To identify with role models;                     Being partners is better
                             • To love her father and mother freely, without     Working together with your spouse will allow you to
                              feeling like a hostage between them.
                                                                                 support each other, grow together, feel happiness, spend
                                                                                 more time with the children and do things in different
                             Fathers and mothers also need:
                                                                                 ways. It will also help you improve at communicating,
Family Growing as a family




                                                                                 sharing, respecting and listening to each other. Don’t
                             • To feel wanted and respected;                     deprive yourself of this very rewarding experience.
                             • To have the right to make mistakes and learn;
                                                                                 But it’s not always easy
                             • To accept their differences and be able to take
                              their places;
                                                                                 Parents marvel as they watch their children grow day
                             • To share their roles and responsibilities;        by day. But they also face the challenge of combining
                                                                                 a lot of different roles at once.
                             • To find time and space for themselves;
                             • To communicate and be heard;                      In many cases, time can be short; it may be hard to
                                                                                 negotiate with your spouse; you may become tired and
                             • To live a pleasant life;                          impatient; and you may have financial worries. These
                             • To continue to grow.                              challenges may be caused by differences in education,
                                                                                 the sharing of work and responsibilities, changes in
                                                                                 the broader family life, conflict between the two of you,
                                                                                 ineffective communication, the stress of everyday life,
                                                                                 and prejudices between men and women. With a little
                                                                                 time and patience and lots of love and respect, you’ll
                                                                                 learn to strengthen your team.
626
Building togetherness                                      • Seek outside help if you need it. Just talking to a third
                                                            person can often lead to a solution;
Here are a few ways to help you learn to work together:
                                                           • Talk to each other. It’s important to speak, but also
                                                            to listen. Take all the time you need;
• Set a time in the household schedule to settle your
 differences once things quiet down. It’s not alwa