Japan Japan, will we survive?

In less than a week, we will be having our yearly family vacation!  This year it will be different though.  We will be travelling to Japan. 
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We’ll be travelling with our 2 kids, one is 3.5 year old and the other will just be turning 11months.

I honestly think that this vacation would be a big challenge.  Both for me and my husband, and my in-laws as well!

Fortunately, my 2nd daughter is still breastfed.  This will be a great help.  Aside from having less bottles to bring around, clean and sterilise, I can feed her anytime and anywhere she wants.  That is, if Japan is breastfeeding friendly.  Any breastfeeding mommy who has survived travelling in Japan?  Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated.

I should be reading up on this.  And then there’s another thing to check.  Is Japan stroller friendly?  At first, we thought of bringing 2 strollers, but in the end, we decided 1 is enough.  The big one can use it, the little one would just be worn!

Good thing I am a babywearing mommy too!  I will be bringing my extreme sling from Tiny Tots!  I just need to hone my skills in maximizing the other ways of using the sling apart from the way I have been accustomed to.

I am starting to make a checklist of things we need to bring, and I must say, it is A LOT!  Wait for my post about that!

This is the 1st time I would be travelling out of the country with 2 kids in tow!  I am sure this will be a really memorable one!

I will keep you posted on our trip!

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My Breastfeeding Essentials! Part 2

For the 1st part of the breastfeeding essentials, I showed and discussed the importance of the top 5 breastfeeding essentials on my list!

Now, I’d like to add and show more of my breastfeeding essentials!

First on the list are the nursing blouses I bought from Tiny Tots, check them out on Facebook.  These blouses are very affordable and so comfortable to wear.  The blouses provide easy access for nursing whenever and wherever.

I didn’t know that you can choose your own colors and mix & match it, that’s why the colors here are the plain ones. If only had I known early, I would have requested for bright colors!  I’ll do that on my next order! Right VicVic?

nursing blouse1

To use, you pull up the first layer of the blouse, the second layer will provide you the coverage your belly needs.  At the same time, the second layer has 2 breast holes that are just the right size for the baby to nurse.

nursing blouse3

Here’s me and Denise nursing at the Expokid Event at the 500 Shaw.  No need for cover ups!

This next blouse is all cottony and soft.  Its front layers are overlapping to provide the coverage we bf moms need.

nursing blouse

Just like the first blouse, you pull up the layers to expose your breast and nurse the baby.

nursing blouse2

I use this blouse more often than the others.  Its very soft, so comfortable.  Don’t have a picture nursing with this blouse.  This is me and Denise after nursing.

nursing blouse4

This next blouse is double layered also, but it’s only up to the half.  It has garter in the middle of the blouse to provide support.  What you do is pull up the first layer.  Of the 3 nursing blouses from Tiny Tots, this is where I have a hard time.  Because of the garter, its hard to pull the layer up.

Aside from these nursing blouses, I also bought a nursing camisole from Tiny Tots.  It has 2 holes in the breast area and you wear it underneath a regular shirt or blouse.  That way, your belly and back will be covered when you pull up your shirt to nurse.  Its fabric is very thin so its perfect to be worn inside regular clothes.

nursing cami

These nursing blouses are worn during normal days, when you don’t have to dress up.  But when it’s time to dress up and you’ll have to bring the baby with you, a nursing dress is the answer to your fashion problem.

I bought this nursing dress from Latch-A-Babe Nursing and Maternity Wear, you could also check their Facebook Page.

The nursing dress is called the Yuri Dress, it’s a Kimono-inspired cocktail dress.  I chose the Cobalt Blue Design.  You pull down the top layer of the dress and the next layer has a breasthole on the side.  You just take your nipples out there and nurse your baby.  The outer layer will cover your breast and minimize your breast exposure.

nursing dress

Here’s me and Denise nursing with my Yuri Dress before we went out to go to a dinner!

Another breastfeeding essential is a nursing cover, I bought this a long time ago, but wasn’t able to maximize the use of it much because I prefer using the Shawl.  Its worn like an apron and the baby nurses underneath.  It’s literally a cover for the times that baby is fussy and you want to avoid an accident exposure.

nursing cover

 

A picture I just took now.

So there! I hope I was able to impart some important tips to breastfeeding mothers out there, especially to new moms!

Till next time!

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Pump & Dump

This is a sad story for breastfeeding moms! I stayed in Taiwan for 8 days and I lost a lot of milk! I tried to save and store my milk but I don’t have the means to do so. I don’t have access to a sterile environment. The freezer of the house I stayed in is full. I also don’t have access to ice. I don’t have any choice but to just dump the milk after I pumped.

It was a waste to see my precious milk go down the drain but there was nothing I could do. This trip wasn’t prepared for. It was an emergency trip.We came to Taiwan to visit my dad. And that’s another sad story there!

I salute the moms who were able to save Their milk when they are away from their babies.

It’s time for me to go home and it’s time to make up for the lost gold!

P.S to calculate, minimum of 24 oz and maximum of 36 oz lost in a day multiply by 8 days. I lost an average of 240oz for that 8 days! 🙁

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Expo Kid 2013

Nothing to do this weekend? Go to the Expo Kid!

expokid

The Expo Kid 2013 is the ultimate summer activity fair!  It’s happening on March 2, 2013, Saturday, at the 500 Shaw Events Pavillion.  It’s the home of Kids Klub which specializes in different extra curricular activities for kids of all ages!

Parents, together with their children, can choose from a variety of summer activities presented in the fair for a fun-filled and productive summer!  Kids of all ages will enjoy the interactive activity areas.  And of course, the mommies will love the shopping bazaar!

So what are you waiting for?  Pre-register now to get free entrance (Though entrance is only php20.00 and will benefit MomShare Outreach Projects!) and Expo Kid giveaway!  Email [email protected] to register, or call 5707827!

See you there!

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Amazon.com

I am awed with Amazon.com! I just spent 4 hours or so browsing its extensive line of products. What I like about it, you can use your credit card issued locally here in the Philippines. Your billing address can be different from your shipping address, which made it easier for me. I have a friend in the US and that’s where I will be shipping the items I bought since shipping is usually free inside the US!

I was actually looking for breastmilk storage bags in EBay, I was hesitant to buy because the prices aren’t that low compared from sellers in the Philippines! So I thought of looking in other online websites such as Babies R Us, Target and Amazon.

In Amazon, I found the lowest priced Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags! It was a 25pcs per box in a 3pack packaging! I bought 2 sets! I will just buy more if not enough!

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Overpumping, is there such a thing?

Lately, I have been pumping as often as I could. I will be going back to work in a few days and I want to stash as much breastmilk as I could so that my baby will have enough supply while I’m gone. Also, this is my way of establishing my supply, aside from direct feeding, I express milk when baby doesn’t want to nurse.

These last few days, I noticed that my supply really increased. There’s your proof, the principles of demand and supply really works! So for breastfeeding moms out there who needs to increase milk production, keep on pumping!

If this is the case, then I guess there is no such thing as over pumping! I once read from a forum that one mommy does “power pumping.” What she does is pump every 2 hours, so in a day where there are 24 hours, she pumps 12 times! She swears by this method.

I also think that overpumping is a myth because even if we do not pump, we usually nurse our babies on demand. So if a baby is an active nurser, then she will nurse all the time too!

Well there you have it, overpumping is non existent! So go ahead, pump and nurse all you want!

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78 days Maternity Leave – its Importance!

In this post, I want to talk about the importance of the maternity leave SSS provides for its female members after giving birth.  60 days for normal delivery and 78 days for C-Section.

For both baby number 1 and number 2, I had a C-Section, so that automatically gave me 78 calendar days of maternity leave each.  Being a member entitles me that.  Another benefit is also being paid for the whole duration of the maternity leave, which is advanced by the company or the bank that I work for.  All I need to do is submit the required documents on time.

For a mom like me, this 78 days is very important.  In this period, I recover from giving birth or from the operation.  I regain my strength so I can take care of my newborn, which is no easy feat especially when you just underwent a major operation.  Aside from taking care of the baby, I need to take care of myself and my husband also.  And if you are a second time mother, you also need to take care of your firstborn. Supermom, is that you?

Being a breastfeeding mom, this is also the time I establish the bond between me and the baby.  Nursing as often as we could, all day and night we’re together.  Not only do I have to feed the baby and make him gain weight.  I also need to increase my milk supply so that I can store some milk before I go back to work, which is what I did.

And now, my 78 days is almost up.  On Monday, I will be going back to work.  Everything will change.  Adjustments need to be made again.

I’ll let you know soon!

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My Breastfeeding Essentials!

breastfeeding rocksWhen I became pregnant with my second daughter Denise, I told myself that I will try my best to exclusively breastfeed her this time.  You see, my 1st born Daphne was mixed fed with breastmilk and formula until she was 18 months old.  That’s no easy feat, I know, I am proud of my achievement too!

Now, I am more educated and regardless of the method, whether through nursing directly or through bottle feeding, all she will get is my precious milk!

Well, she did take some formula for the first few days of her life, but when my milk came in, she definitely didn’t need the formula anymore.  She’s 2 months old and I am proud to say that it’s all my milk now that she’s taking!

In this post, I will share my breastfeeding essentials so that mothers and soon to be mothers can learn a thing or two!

BREASTFEEDING ESSENTIAL NUMBER 1

MEDELA SWING ELECTRIC PUMP

Medela Swing Electric Pump

This Medela Swing Electric Pump is so durable.  I used this for 18 months for my 1st daughter.   I brought it everyday to the office so I could pump there.  And now it’s my 2nd daughter’s turn to make use of it.  Definitely worth the price hubby paid for! It’s a single pump and very handy. It also boasts of the 2-phase expression technology.  For more details of the Medela Swing, go to http://www.medelabreastfeedingus.com/products/145/swing-breastpump.

When baby is asleep for a longer period of time, I pump so that I can let down my milk and just store it.  It’s true what they say that to increase your milk supply, you have to follow the principles of supply and demand.  Just a few days ago, I noticed that there was a decrease in my milk supply, so I made a career of nursing directly when baby is awake and pumping when baby is asleep or is full.  Even in the wee hours of the morning, I wake up and pump.  And true enough, my supply increased.  It also helped that I got a mini back massage from hubby.  I also requested for soups to be included in our daily meals.  I am also taking oatmeal quaker with chocolate and eggs.  I heard oatmeal’s effective as a galactagogue.

Since I will be going back to work a few weeks from now, it’s important for my supply to stabilize.  I have been pumping and saving my milk using my Breastfeeding Essential Number 2, see below.

BREASTFEEDING ESSENTIAL NUMBER 2

LANSINOH BREASTMILK STORAGE BAGS

Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags

This is the first time that I used a storage bag for my milk.  I used to just pump and store in a feeding bottle.  For my 1st born, the milk I expressed at work was just enough for her to consume the next day.  Sometimes, it’s not even enough that’s why she was mixed fed.  For baby number 2, I read and educated myself through the various breastfeeding forums.  While I haven’t gone back to work, I started storing my milk through storage bags.  I still store in the bottles though, for the times that I will be doing something and not available to nurse directly.  What I do now is, if I am able to get 4 oz or more milk, I put it in the storage bag and place it in the freezer; if not, I just put it in a feeding bottle and place it in the fridge.

I am proud to show my breast milk inventory as of today:

bm inventory

BREASTFEEDING ESSENTIAL NUMBER 3

GIGI AMORE NURSING BRAS

Nursing Bras

Being a very practical mommy, I searched and searched for the right nursing bra to use, comfortable yet affordable.  I found the Gigi Amore Brand inside SM Department Store.  These nursing bras open in front, very accessible for me.  While one arm is holding baby, the other hand easily get to unbutton the bra.  The bra’s very comfortable to use because it’s all cotton, they are also thick enough to avoid leakage.

BREASTFEEDING ESSENTIAL NUMBER 4

BENCH TUBE TOP (USED AS BELLY BAND)

Bench Tank Top

I haven’t been able to shop yet for my nursing apparel, as I am still searching for affordable brands.  I also find those belly bands in the net quite expensive, so I improvised.  I bought tube tops to use as belly band.  I wear it inside my shirt or blouse just below the chest area, so that when I pull up my shirt to nurse, I wouldn’t be exposing my skin.  Of course, I still use a cover up, and that’s my Breastfeeding Essential Number 5.

BREASTFEEDING ESSENTIAL NUMBER 5

SHAWL

shawl

My ever reliable shawl. This is an ordinary shawl.  I just tied it in one end and wear it over whatever I’m wearing.  It works just as good as a nursing cover.  I use this when I go out with baby, I also use this in the office when I pump.

There you go, here are my Top 5 Breastfeeding Essentials.

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