Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tips how to increase your milk supply

They say that in order our breasts to produce milk based on our baby's demand; they should stimulate our breasts every now and them. It is their saliva too that signals our brain and body what and which type of antibodies that our breast need to produce. However, my case is different.  I’ve been exclusively pumping for more than 3 months already and it’s my electric pump that helps stimulate my breasts. (But mind you, I am desperate of having my daughter latch back to me again. So every once in a while, I would try to stick my nips on her mouth but all she does is to nibble it like a lollipop. - am I being visual already? ☻)

I am so proud to say that I am exclusively breastfeeding my daughter and I am able to save LOTS of milk stash for her. To top it off, I am able to share my milk stash to other preemie babies who need precious milk. So if you’re about to return to work, or just want to save stash for your little bean, here are some tips that might help you on your breastfeeding journey.









Please note that these are the steps I’ve done in order to help increase my milk supply. I am not taking any supplements right now - because I know pretty well that my body had adjusted already based on my “baby’s demand”

1.       Drink lots of water - this is a must when you’re breastfeeding. You burn 20calories every ounce, so you need to keep your body rehydrated.
2.       Eat some oatmeal; rolled oats is the best. And instead of using milk, what I do is to use Energen.
3.       Drink some soup. (Preferably with malunggay); malunggay is the best galactagogue.
4.       You can try taking supplements - I am no longer taking supplements; but when I was 7 months pregnant, my OB prescribed me to take Natalac 2 times a day. I took Natalac until 2 weeks post-partum.
5.       Drinking soup and eating green leafy vegetables while you’re still pregnant would really help your breastfeeding journey. I believe this is one of the best factors that helped increase my milk supply. My late mom was so masipag preparing soup for me but unfortunately, she passed away when I was 5 months pregnant, so I am left with no choice but to buy soup and healthy viands here in the office.
6.       As much as possible, follow the 6-week rule when pumping. (Well, in my case, I didn’t follow the 6-week rule and pumped 2 weeks after giving birth). Reason why you need to follow the 6 week rule is to help your body establish your milk supply. Though there are a lot of moms who do not follow the 6 week but they are still successful with their breastfeeding journey.
7.       Once you reach the 6-week rule and started to pump, you can pump an hour after your baby feeds from you. Since my baby doesn’t latch from me anymore, I MAKE SURE to pump 6 times a day, 10-15 minutes per breast.
8.       Do hot compress before pumping or nursing. Massage your breasts. (this worked really well for me)
9.       Get/buy a reliable pump or if you can hand express much better (though that is more tedious; but as what other breastfeeding advocates would say; hand express is much better than electric breast pumps. I’ve tried hand expressing but I don’t think it’s for me. My breasts are so used to with e-pump already.
10.   Do power pumping! ♥ This would surely help increase your milk supply. Check google how to power pump.
11.   Do not forget to direct feed your baby.
12.   And last but not the least, RELAX. Do not fret if you do not get that much milk. Do not EVER think that your supply can’t meet your baby’s demand. Do not EVER think that your milk is not enough. Remember, our breasts were created because they have their own purpose.  If you’re direct feeding your baby, it could be that she/he had emptied your breasts already; or your body is still adjusting based on your babies demand. If you’re trying to increase your milk stash, it’s not about the ounce you get per bottle, but rather the number of times how you pump in a day. Tyagaan lang talaga.

To inspire you, when I started pumping, I am only able to produce 2oz of milk from 45 minutes pumping session. Both breasts already! Yes, 45 minutes of straight pumping. Can you just imagine how my breasts got so overpumped that time? Not recommended! :D

So if you’re going to ask me if I still want to direct feed my baby? Of course I do. Every now and then, I still miss how my 3-month old daughter latches from me. She was a great latcher and she used to love my breasts that much. It is the most comforting feeling every time I feed her. That kind of bonding is irreplaceable. And if I could turn back time; I would still choose to breastfeed her by direct feeding her. 

And here's my chubby 3-month old little girl - Milly Antonette. A product of an exclusively pumping mommy. Hihi! 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tiny Tots hands free bra

As an exclusively pumping mom, it's a must for me to be convenient when saving milk for my baby. Both of my pumps are double electric and I couldn't make use of it because I can only hold one bottle at a time. I am also having a difficult time lately since every time I pump, my daughter would make lambing and cry; so I am left with no choice but to play with her and stop pumping. (as in nakakawala ng momentum)



I've been eyeing to get a hands free bra already from babymama (costs 1,800), but since it's still out of stock I am left with no choice but to hold the bottle during my pumping sesh. It's also a challenge for me because I pump here at my work station and there are times that I use the keyboard while I pump. Good thing a friend of mine recommended Tiny Tots as she sells more affordable and nice quality hands free bra. I was quite hesitant to order because I wasn't sure what size to get and I'm quite afraid that it couldn't hold the bottle when pumping. Good thing the size I got was just right for me and it fits me really well. The handsfree bra is able to hold the bottle and the material looks really matibay. Now, my pumping session is more convenient than ever. Thanks to Tiny Tots for making my pumping sesh much easier & and for producing affordable nursing wears for mommies.

Got my eazzy pumping hands free bra for only 509 pesos (shipping fee already included). 


Baby Wall Art

Couple of weeks ago, I've ordered a baby wall art for our daughter Milly. I do not have any Photoshop and editing skills so I am really amazed how Anne (seller) was so fast in making and designing layouts. I was really impressed with her accuracy because every requests and modifications I have told her can be done in just a matter of minutes. Yes, MINUTES!

Here's the wall art I got from her, and of course, the theme is my baby's favorite cartoon character. (or should I say, my favorite cartoon character) ♥


This wall art is great for nursery decor. Can be used as a unique birthday present and has a special glitter lamination to protect it from smudges and stains. You can get this for only 800 pesos + shipping fee with frame, or 600 pesos + shipping fee for the printing only.

Check out her Instagram for more details. monogramsmnl




Happy 3rd Month our darling Milly Antonette

Last Monday, October 6; my precious daughter had celebrated her 3rd month. We prepared pasta and crunchy fish fingers  and as a part of our simple celebration we ordered a sumptuous Hello Kitty red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting for her.

We ordered the cake from my highschool friend, and I was quite surprised that she bakes really well. The cake tastes really good and the cream cheese frosting? It's to die for. ♥ Aside from being delicious, her rates are reasonably priced. If you're interested to order, below are her contact details.


Goodnes, cutting the cake was quite a torture for me..





Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My Electric Breast Pumps

I've been exclusively pumping for almost 3 months already - and I can pretty tell that it’s more difficult than the real act of breast feeding. Washing and sterilizing of bottles and saving milk stash for my baby can be very tiresome. I also need to make sure to pump on the dot so my milk won’t dry up; and since my daughter doesn’t want to latch anymore on my breasts, I ought to save milk every now and then.

Being an exclusively “pumper”, I’ve tried a couple of breast pumps already. I wanted to have the breastpump that works best for me. Something that has a strong suction but is not painful to the breasts. So far, I’ve tried a total of 5 breast pumps already and the best pumps for me are my Spectra Dew 300 and Cimilre M1. Let me share the pros and cons for the breast pumps I have tried ever since I started pumping. 


Premium 2 in 1 Mimi Flo breast pump - this pumped had helped me increase my milk supply. Contrary to what others would suggest, I have started pumping as early as 2 weeks post-partum. My nipples had bled due to poor latching, and due to the traumatic pain and jumping and shouting while my baby sucks my nipples, I decided to pump right away.





Pros:
·        It has an adaptor that can be attached on the breast shield to hold wide and narrow neck bottles
·        Easy to use. Has its own silicon massager.

Cons:
·        3-5 pump parts to wash
·        The part that holds the spring can easily be removed. There was a time when the cover keeps on getting removed while I was pumping.
·        Breast flange is kind of small; I’m used to with 28mm flanges
·        No available spare parts.

Precious Moments Electric Breast pump - this is probably the worst pump I’ve tried so far. Sorry mommies who are a big fan of this pump, but this pump never really worked for me. Aside from the painful suction, there’s a release button that you need to press every now and then. Using an electric breast pump should lessen the pumping “work load” but having to press the release button every now and then is just useless most especially if you’re using an electric breast pump. I only used this pump for less than 5 minutes, and wasted 1,500 plus for this useless pump. (can you just imagine how much I hate this pump? LOL) DISCLAIMER: Some mommies claim that they can extract 4-5oz using this; perhaps my breasts are not just compatible with this pump.

Pros:
·        Small and really Portable
·        Can use double A batteries
·        It has an adaptor that can be attached on the breast shield to hold wide and narrow neck bottles
·        Easy to use. Has its own silicon massager

Cons:
·        I tested this pump during wee hours and oh boy, the pump motor was really loud.
·        Painful suction (based on my experience)

After my experience with Precious moments, I already became hesitant to try out other electric breast pumps thinking that “all” e-pumps have painful suction. Good thing Mi’Ann of babymama.ph recommended me to get Spectra Dew 300. I am so happy that I purchased this pump and it really helped increase my breast milk supply. With Spectra Dew, I was able to produce more than what my baby can consume in a day, and I was able to save lots of milk stash for Milly before I return to work. Mind you, up until now, the milk stashes I’ve saved for her were left untouched and I’m still able to share my breast milk to other babies who need precious milk.





Pros:
·        Very quiet machine.
·        Very comfortable
·        Closed system - meaning milk won’t come inside the pump.
·        Less pump parts to wash
·        Durable

Cons:
·        Machine is quite big; hence not portable

Since Spectra Dew is not portable; and I know that I need to pump milk at work, that’s where my husband and I decided to invest in buying Medela Swing. What I love about Medela swing is its small and yet can extract efficient milk too. But even if the medela swing is one of the top breast pumps out there, for some reasons, it is unable to empty my breast. I can feel lumps on my breasts after pumping. I don’t know if there’s a problem with the pump parts, but when I checked the membrane, it looks like a part of it got torn.



Pros:

·        Portable

Cons:
·        Many pump parts to wash. Also, you really have to be careful when removing the membrane. Also the yellow valve is SO HARD to remove.
·        Expensive LOL
·        If you didn’t buy your pump from Medela House, they wouldn’t fix it even if it’s still under warranty.
·        No built in rechargeable batteries and you need 4 pieces heavy duty of double a batteries.

After using my Medela swing for a more than a month, I came across baby mama’s website again and saw Cimilre M1. I’ve read a lot of good reviews and I knew right there and then that I need to replace my Medela Swing. So far, I am loving M1’s performance and I am satisfied with the output. This pump can empty my breasts in 10 to 15 minutes.


Pros:
·        Portable; lightweight
·        Quiet motor
·        Has a built in rechargeable battery
·        Strong suction - I am only using level 1 suction and I am able to express a lot of milk.
·        It has a  massage function that enables faster let-down
·        Less pump parts to wash
·        Closed system
·        Length is smaller than a smart phone
·        Very cute design.
·        Battery indicator

Cons:
·        Sorry, but I’m just loving my M1’s performance and I couldn’t think of any cons yet. J

If you’re trying to save milk stash and would like to increase your milk supply, believe me, you can never go wrong with Spectra. Aside from its durability and high-end performance, the price is way more affordable than other expensive electric breast pumps.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hi y'all! Just wanted to share my exclusive breast feed 2-month old baby girl! 


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ninja mommy

Kudos to all breastfeeding moms out there, most especially to working moms who want to give the best nutrition to their child! ♥ I am a proud full-time working mom on a BPO company (hello night shift), and I always make sure to pump on the dot so I get to save and bring home breast milk for my little one.

A lot of mommies have asked tips from me how I am able to maintain and increase my milk supply. I am one of the lucky mommies out there who has a very good milk supply, and is able to build a lot of milk stash. The milk I am able to pump every day is more than enough than what my baby can consume in a day. ♥ To be honest, I am no longer taking supplements right now (but I used to take natalac when I was 7 months pregnant until I gave birth - 3 week Post partum). I just make sure that I  pump 2-3 hours every day; 10 to 15 minutes per breast. Using an electric pump also helped boost my milk supply. I also drink lots of water before and after pumping; and I make sure to eat rolled oats every day. Instant oatmeal also worked for me.

One thing I've noticed as well is whenever I carry my daughter, my breasts start to leak. Perhaps its the "bonding effect" that triggers my breast to produce milk. I feel lucky because my officemates are supportive with my breastfeeding journey, and they do not mind me whenever I pump at my station.

Just wanted to share my 2nd output for tonight's shift. ♥  I feel like a ninja everytime I pump, because I need to be discreet as I can be. Thank you to Medela swing, because the pump is quiet. Hopefully one of these days, I can already buy a handsfree bra so I can pump and work freely! 


Thursday, September 11, 2014

My 2 month old Milly Antonette

Milly absolutely gained so much weight - and her features are more prominent already. Here she is ♥ She loves smiling the moment she sees me swirling my bottled breastmilk ♥









Pumping Mommy

4 months have gone so fast. After my uber long maternity leave, I am now back to reality - the corporate world. I’ve always wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom; but since in reality, our expenses have bumped up so much, I can’t afford to leave my job yet. And as a breastfeeding mom, I ought to continue saving milk stash for her. I’ve been exclusively pumping every 3 hours per day and able to bring 4 bottles to Milly from work. J I also feel thankful of my supportive friends, because they really do not mind me every time I pump at my desk. HR actually allowed me to have my lactation break, but since pumping each of my breasts would take almost 30minutes, I opted to pump here at my station instead.
At office, I use medela swing and while at home I use my double electric Spectra dew 300. J Here are some pros and cons for each pump (based on my experience)

Spectra:
Pros
Very comfortable and looks very durable
Extremely quiet
Have a very good suction; there’s a knob that you can adjust to control the suction
Easy to clean
Closed system
Easy to use

Cons
Not portable. The motor is too big.
No option for batteries

Medela Swing
Pros
Has a 2 phase technology
Portable
Good suction
Easy to use

Cons
Open system
Spareparts are quite expensive

More parts to clean as compared to spectra 

Let me share you the milk stash I've saved for Milly ♥ 


Thursday, July 24, 2014

My baby's milk

It's been 19 days since I gave birth, and a lot of things has already happened. They're right, mother's instinct would always kick in whenever your baby would cry. :) This is the first time that I've become hands on to a little baby without seeking someone else's major help. I change her nappies,pacify her, bathe her, put her to sleep and most of all I nurse her.

Breastfeeding a baby will never be easy - but its one of the best things I could give my baby at this early stage.

I can still remember that I had a difficult time nursing Milly on the first day she was roomed in. I was so dissapointed of my breasts because my nipples are inverted. I even hated the "milk code" and opted to give formula milk already. But thanks to the pedia and nurse team for encouraging me to breastfeed and that I should trust my body. And so even if I had a hard time moving because of my wound and dextrose, I did my best to nurse and feed my baby girl. I had her latch from time to time and come 3rd day before we were discharged from the hospital, my right breast started to leak. :) Right there and then, I knew that my baby girl was able to stimulate and gave signal to my breasts to produce enough milk for her.

Now we're on our 3rd week of breast feeding my baby girl, and I'm proud to say that I have a very good supply of milk. As early as now, I am able to express 10-15 ounces of milk per day.



If you're wondering what kind of pump I am using, I have the premium Mimiflo Manual breast pump. Bought mine from Lazada for only 699 pesos. Its performance is A-okay and the output is really good. It's really easy to use and easy to clean.  I'm planning to invest for an electric breast pump as soon as I return to work :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Meet our baby girl Milly Antonette

The long wait is over! :) I gave birth last July 6 to a bouncing baby girl. And yes, all mommies are right - you would forget all the pain once you see your baby for the first time. I couldn't even remember how much pain I've suffered inside the labor room.











Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ready to pop anytime soon!

Hello there mommies! It's my 38th week today, and I'm ready to pop any time soon. A lot of things have happened for the past months of my pregnancy. I took an early maternity leave because I couldn't keep myself from commuting every now and then and didn't want to risk the health of my baby girl Milly Antonette. This is also the first time I stayed that long in the house without thinking of waking up ON TIME and dragging myself to work everyday. LOL. I just couldn't believe that we're on our final stretch of third trimester and I'm going to see my baby girl and touch her real SOON! 



During my first trimester, my ob diagnosed my pregnancy with threatened abortion. When we reached our 3rd trimester, i had to take a bed rest due to pre-term labor. All throughout my last trimester, we've been monitoring my blood sugar level, blood pressure and so with my baby's heartbeat. Now that's another case because I seldom feel my baby's intense kicks because I have an anterior placenta, which makes it so hard for me to track her movements. (but baby's fine. She has a strong and good heartbeat) I even had to undergo so many lab tests and ultrasound to monitor my baby and make sure that she's fine because I've experienced too much stress from my mother's sudden death. I'm so happy that my baby is so strong. Thank you Milly for behaving inside mommy's tummy. It wasn't an easy journey, but I know it will all be worth once I give birth.

I've always wanted to share stories and the progress of my pregnancy on this blog, but since I've been sluggish lately, too bad that I'm only able to update it right now, when I'm about to give birth already. :) So once I give birth, I promise to update this blog every now and then and to share my mommyhood experience! ;)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Disney Frozen Hair Accessories

There's something about stacking bows that make me happy. Every time I take a look at my creations, I couldn't believe that I am able to create something so cute and perky. Here are the sample Disney Frozen hair bow accessories I've made. ♥ 






If you're interested to order this, don't hesitate to send me an email to: katrinacalcantara@yahoo.com
or you can check my FB page: 

I am also on instagram. Username: posh_bowtique 
You can also view my IG account through your browser. Please click the link below: 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Stacked Bows and Ribbons

Couple of weeks ago, I decided to self-educate on how to make hair accessories for little girls. It has been my safe haven lately, and it gives me so much joy whenever I hear someone praise my "obra"! 

I have also started selling these handmade ribbons in the office, and I am now accepting customized orders from them. As of right now, I have already received more than 30 orders from my office mates - (selling here is easier than selling online :D)  I've also re-branded my online shop as Posh Bowtique from Posh Vanity (this is where i used to sell my pre-loved clothes). 


Here are the sample hair accessories I have made with L♥VE. 




















Okay, so if you're interested to order, please check out my IG page. 
My user name is Posh_Bowtique 
If you don't have an instagram, you can view my IG page using your web browser. Please click the link below: 
www.instagram.com/posh_bowtique 

We are also on Facebook. 
www.facebook.com/poshbowtiquebykat

CIAO! 

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