Category Archives: Breastmilk

[Review] Breastmilk Keepsakes ~ Keepsake by Ryo

It’s almost a year into my breastfeeding journey with Meimei!

Ahjussi and I have made a joint decision to stop breastfeeding when she turns 1, so I was pretty sad (yet happy to get my boobs back to myself). So I thought, what else can be done to help us preserve our memories of this breastfeeding journey? I’ve already gotten breastfeeding shots done… And next will be breastmilk keepsakes!

I was doing my research on different makers and even contemplated making it myself. It is a very TEDIOUS process! First you have to treat the breastmilk, then you need to wait. Then you need to make a mold. Then you need to wait again. Then you need to pour the resin and add the inclusions (scary process because if it is wrong, REDO!). Then you wait again… Tedious it is!

Every maker has their own methods of preserving the breastmilk and outcomes can be different depending on their method & materials used. The type of resin used also plays a part (whether you get rubber beads or glass-like beads). Professionals need a good buffing machine to get great quality, so DIY was out for me.

So during my research, I came across Keepsake by Ryo. To be frank, what drew me to her site was the ease of use & the fact that having a site to issue order numbers, keeping track of orders and updating customers will be a breeze. I also run a small hand made store and before I used the online store to track orders, I did them manually and it was really tedious and time consuming. Ryo’s system is definitely in place to handle large volumes of orders without messing up.

And the BEAUTIFUL hardware she has. Some sellers use ready available brass lockets or hardware easily available on TaoBao. I don’t feel so comfortable with those and prefer silver or gold options. Ryo has those options available!

General flow to place an order with Ryo:
(1) Place your order online at her online store. Read carefully, select your options carefully and take note of what inclusions you need to send in for each item.
(2) Make your payment and print out the order confirmation email.
(3) Prepare your inclusions. For breastmilk, you will need 20ml per item. Ryo has given packing instructions on her website as well as in the order email. Remember to pack well and LABEL CLEARLY!


(4) Send out your inclusions and wait for their acknowledgement. I love that they will inform via their online system once they received my inclusions so I won’t be left dangling! This also means that the inclusions are properly labelled and chances of using the wrong breastmilk or baby hair is zero!

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Email confirmation that my inclusions were received!

(5) Be patient and wait for Ryo to update that your order has been sent! A shipping confirmation will be sent with your tracking number and all you need to do is keep checking your mail box! Ryo sends out orders via SmartPac which is convenient for mass packing of orders and dropping off at the post office without hogging the entire queue. SmartPac does have tracking by SingPost and the postman will usually leave it in the mailbox for you (they seldom send SmartPac to your doorstep now).
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I need not say too much about the quality. The pictures speak for themselves!

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There were in my SmartPac. Balance of Meimei’s hair was sent back and a beautiful box!

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Super lovely and professional box! I think this will make a great present! Husbands! Are you reading this? Make one as a surprise for your wife to thank her for giving up her boobies for your baby!

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Lovely warranty/care card and jewellery cloth.

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A look at the bead! I FELL IN LOVE!

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Closer look 🙂

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Another angle

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Warranty for the charm!

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Details inside the care card.

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Close up against black cloth for better contrast. The hair looks really close to the surface but don’t worry. It is well embedded inside and you will not feel the hair on the surface at all. 

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Another angle for close up.

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Love the hair twirled around the bead! 

I’m extremely impressed with the packing! And the warranty/care card that is included too. Not to forget, the jewellery cloth to polish your keepsake to keep it in pristine condition!

 

Do note that such products are HANDMADE. Do not expect machine made quality.
What does it mean to be handmade? 
Ryo has to do most of the work with the aid of some tools/machines. It is NOT an automated process like in factories.
– Slight imperfections may be present. What type of imperfections? Maybe a slightly lopsided charm (WHO CAN DRAW A PERFECT CIRCLE FREE HAND HUH?). But from my charm received, the finishing is great (shiny and smooth)! It is not rubbery or feels fake.
If you are not satisfied with your item, communicate with Ryo! Her team responds very quickly and I’m sure she will take your feedback seriously.

What is the wait time like?
I ordered & paid on 28 Mar 2016. I sent out my inclusions the next day and received the acknowledgement email on 4 April 2016.
I received the tracking email on 20 May 2016 and received the package on 24 May 2016.
So mine took around 7 weeks.
Typically as stated on Ryo’s site, 2 to 14 weeks. Exact timing varies due to different factors, we all have kids and know that emergencies can crop up at any time. I’m sure Ryo works on orders and sends them out as quickly as she can since a lot of time is saved due to her awesome website which helps to keep track on orders.

Keepsake by Ryo’s Details:
Online Store: http://www.keepsakebyryo.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/keepsakebyryo
Do spend some time to look at their Quality Control & Assurance album on their Facebook Page!

Mummy Audrey
Mother of 3 & Owner of TLO.com.sg
Audrey Wong Profile

Disclaimer: I made the purchase at Ryo’s website and then PM her to inform that I will be doing a review. She graciously paid me back for my purchase, so technically, this is a sponsored post. But I am a genuine customer who placed another order and I’m waiting for them to arrive. And I will be placing more orders soon before I totally turn DRY!

If you would like to see the actual charm I have, feel free to drop by my showroom to see & touch because I believe seeing is believing! 🙂
Drop me a msg at www.fb.com/thelittleonesinmylife to make an appt with me OK?

*** All photos are taken with my Samsung Note 5. I am not a professional photographer. I just try to make a nice background, then point and shoot. *** 

[Review] Breast Milk Soap Making Workshop with SoapLah

Many of us have formed friendships with ladies with similar EDD during our pregnancy through forums or Facebook groups. And many times, we are wondering what meaningful activities can we have at our gatherings…

We were invited by SoapLah to try out a breast milk making workshop and we got our hands working!

SoapLah is a simple set up. They are dedicated to bringing affordable natural skincare to everyone. Their place isn’t some fancy set up, but the trainers were friendly and we had a great time.

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Their simple set up, a room inside this Bright Sea Air-Con Engineering.

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Cozy room and informative presentation

There’s a lot of terminology to learn in soap making but I shall not spoil the fun. SoapLah has beautiful PowerPoint presentations to teach you what you need to know!

The place is a little small so the max at each workshop is 6 pax. They are not able to bring the workshop to you due to regulations as soap making is required to be in an industrial area with certain criteria to meet. But, it is totally worth heading over. Carpark is not an issue (can park on same level) and the bus stop is pretty nearby if you are not driving.

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Very hardworking students!

Soap making requires some detailed calculation. If you are too lazy to work your brains (so rare to get time off from the kids right), you can use their standard formula. However, the fun of making your own soap is being able to customise to your likes and needs.

 

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Large variety of quality ingredients provided

I was impressed the moment they opened up their secret cabinet. The variety of oils we can use was crazy! So much variety that we started getting dizzy because we couldn’t decide!

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Measuring the individual ingredients was an art too. We had to be ultra careful in order not to waste our breast milk!

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For Safety: All Geared Up!

As we were working with lye (a necessary ingredient in soap making but once the soap has cured, it is totally of no effect to us when we use the soap), we had to gear up for safety.
Goggles – Checked
Masks – Checked
Aprons – Checked
Gloves – Checked

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SoapLah uses a slightly different method from another workshop I attended. To speed things up and ensure a smooth mixture, they use liquid lye with crystals instead of crystals only. As liquid lye will interact faster with the frozen breast milk and heat it up due to the chemical reaction, we had to place the mixture in ice and monitor the temperature very carefully. It was thrilling and nerve wrecking for us, but the trainers were superb and very helpful.

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While we beat the mixture to get a smooth consistency, we were having loads of fun chatting!

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We each chose our own preferred essential oils and powders to add to our breast milk soap. This is the fun of soap making! Different oils and powders have different purposes. I made this with Ahjussi in mind so I wanted something anti bacterial for him as his workplace is quite dirty. A nice shower with my breast milk soap makes him come alive again and he loves it!

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All the different colours due to different oils and powders added! And the trainers told us that the colours may change again after curing! The final product is really a mystery!

Curing takes quite a while because they need to ensure that the lye has totally saponificated (very scientific term). That will mean that the pH level is no longer alkaline. SoapLah is a trusted team, they checked and ensured the soaps were safe before packaging and informing us to collect them.

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And they were right about the colour of the final product! There were 3 greenish ones in the mold but only 2 really obvious greenish ones in the final product we collected!

And also, as every one’s breast milk differs, even using the same oils and portions, the soap can turn out different due to individual’s breast milk. Some are thicker (whiter), some are more creamy yellow, some are more translucent.

This is the beauty of breast milk soap!

 

If you are not breastfeeding anymore but you want to try making soaps which are NATURAL and good for your skin, do contact SoapLah!

You can shop at their online store www.soaplah.com and take your time to browse through the selection available! They’ve also listed their workshops, so do sign up! If you are forming your own private group, do drop them an email and they will get back to you.

 

Thank you to SoapLah once again for giving us a chance to do this review and we loved it very much!

Benefits of breast milk soap:
(1) Natural ingredients
(2) Good for everyone’s skin
(3) Naturally moisturising
(4) Customise to your needs and liking

Benefits of attending a workshop to make your own soap:
(1) You can see for yourself what goes into your soap!
(2) Learn more about your skincare!
(3) Customise your soap for your needs and liking!
SoapLah’s Contact
Email: soaplah@gmail.com
Location: 5 Ang Mo Kio Industrial Park 2A (Tech II) [Detailed address will be given when you sign up for workshops]

If you wish for them to make your breast milk instead soap instead of attending the workshop… Prices start at $54 per 10 pieces of 90g (around 900g of soap).

Mummy Audrey
Mother of 3 and made a crazy amount of breast milk soaps with various vendors

[Sharing] Bringing Expressed Breast Milk back from Maldives!

I was alerted to a mummy sharing her experience bringing her frozen stash of breastmilk back from her holiday and I thought it will be a great idea to share REAL EXPERIENCES so mummies who are wondering what to do can learn and be prepared.

This is what Mummy Shuet Ling posted:

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Mummy Shuet Ling: Want to share my success story of pumping during on my holiday (without my almost 7mo baby) and bringing back the precious liquid gold.

Before the trip, I did lots of reading on travel while bf. Thanks to all the mummies here that shared their advice and experience. If not, I will never have succeeded.
Things involved:
1) white styrofoam box
2) lots of gel pack from daiso ( i bought variation of sizes, some big some small)
3) 2 lock and lock ( 1 big, 1 small)
4) plastic bag/ziplock to hold the ice cubes
5) cling wrap (from skp) those used to wrap big items like furniture, left over from my house shifting)
6) scotch tape
I had my holiday in maldives, before the trip i emailed the resort to let them know of my intention to store ebm in their freezer and would require lots of icecube on my departure.
When i left singapore for Maldives, i packed all the items in the white styrofoam and cling wrap it up. I printed my name, contact details and “fragile” to paste on the box.
I pump on SQ with no issues, both trip the steward and stewardess are very nice and helpful to chill my breastmilk and later provide dryice/ice cubes to keep my breastmilk cool for me to commute to the resort. I sat at the window seat and my hubby at the aisle seat. We were lucky the row is empty (middle seat left empty for more space). I pump with my nursing cover and then pass the bottles and pumpset for them to chill.
Once at the resort i kept the ebm in the chiller. I pass the resort my bm to freeze after every 2 pump sessions (stored in lock and lock, I even use a clear plastic bag to further tape up the milk bags to prevent tapering). My husband and I requested to see how they store the breastmilk to avoid misunderstanding.
During the days at the resort, i would pump when time and store in the chiller, after 2 pump session I would either call the staff to pick it up or ask my hubby ( to also spot check) to deliver to the freezer. The big lock and lock is permanently in the freezer while we use the small lock and lock to transport the chilled bm to the freezer. We also pass them our gel packs to be frozen.
I brought mama lemon in a small container to wash the pump parts then boil hot water to sterilise the parts. I did not soak the parts, just keep using hot water to rinse through.. After each use put the parts in the chiller in a ziplock bag. Wash once a day only, back in sg i also only wash once a day.
Night before the departure, we told the staff what we require on departure to pack the bm.
After packing the fbm in the lock and lock, (the last day’s milk is stored with the fbm to keep it chilled), we put icecubes in the plasticbag/ziplock, then in the styrofoam box along with the gel packs and cling wrap the box up. Off to check in! When un pack the ice cubes are mostly not melted and ice pack still frozen (about 5 hours flight and 9hrs journey in all). Success!

Special thanks to my hubby who have been very supportive and help me throughout the trip..

 

Based on my own research (we wanted to bring back my EBM when we were in Korea but decided to bring Meimei along instead)…

(1) Always check with the accommodation on freezing of breast milk. In some countries, breast milk is considered ‘bodily fluids’ and cannot be stored in their freezer! In this case, you might want to try booking apartments with full fridge (with freezer compartment) instead.

(2) Allocate baggage (weight) allowance for your EBM, ice packs and box. You don’t want to get a shocker at the airport. It is very expensive to have to pay for excess baggage!

(3) Check out possible sources of buying ice near your accommodation. I know that I can order ice online in Korea and it will be delivered to our apartment.

(4) Wrapping with towel helps! I’ve tried this before, bringing a frozen bottle of water wrapped in a towel out in the hot sun and you will be surprised what a simple towel can do!

(5) Get a doctor’s letter just in case. To certify that you are a lactating mother. I’ve read about mummies who were forced to throw their precious EBM!

(6) Be mentally prepared on delays & possible lost/delayed baggage. I would prefer the mentality of ‘if it comes back, yay! if not, it’s alright!’.

Now who says nursing mamas can’t travel?

 

Additional points to note…

STERILISING
How to sterilise? You can choose to get a portable UV steriliser like Hygenie. Or you can simply soak the pump parts and bottles in hot drinking water.

PUMPING WHILE TOURING
I’ve been using Freemie Collection Cups with Spectra 9+ which are portable and have rechargeable batteries when I need to pump on the go. Use a large sweater or jacket to cover and the large Freemies won’t be too obvious! Some mummies use a hands free bra and slot their funnels in and pump as usual under a nursing cover.

STORAGE
I’ve been using Baby One Breast Milk Storage Bags for years (since 2011!). It has been reliable and economical. I normally store 150ml if I’m freezing them flat (to be able to pack them nicely). After freezing them, you can arrange them neatly in a large Lock & Lock container like how Mummy Shuet Ling did. Then you can wrap up the container to prevent tampering.

I hope you’ve gained more confidence and will be booking yourself a trip soon!
Every mama needs a good break and some leisure time!

Mummy Audrey
Mother of 3 & Owner of TLO.com.sg
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[Sharing] Nursing in Public – Yay or Nay?

In the past 2 weeks, we headed to the Singapore Zoo twice. We were searching for family friendly places to spend quality time with the kids and the zoo just popped up naturally.

During both outings to the zoo, Meimei had to latch as we were there for more than 6 hours each visit. Well, there are nice nursing facilities at the zoo, but I can’t possibly run all the way there each time she needed to nurse, right?

So, who cares? Just NURSE IN PUBLIC!

Meimei is my 3rd child. I’ll be frank, my breasts are ‘public property’ every time I’m still breastfeeding the kids. My priority as a nursing mother is to nourish my kids. And of course, the endless stream of visitors during confinement helped thicken my skin. Those aunties and cousins who shoved their faces at my boobs to take a closer look at baby toughened me up. And not forgetting the endless stream of nurses, cleaners and visitors or random strangers who entered the wrong room at the hospital who happily yank open the curtains when I was half naked, trying to get my newborn to latch. *poof to privacy*

Anyway, back to the zoo. I was happily latching while my elder boys went off to check out the snakes at the Snake House. It was cool in the share, nice bench and most importantly, Meimei was hungry. We went ‘bare minimum’ with our zoo trip and guess what we forgot to pack? The nursing cover!

With the girl yelling ‘neh neh neh’ non-stop, demanding for a latch, I couldn’t care anymore. Sat down. Lift up. Pull down. Latch.

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While I sat there latching, many tourists and locals walked past. Young children, their parents and grandparents, teenagers who were with their friends, etc. They saw, they looked, they continued with what they were doing. There was no fuss, no rude stares, no horrified looks.

It was really the best place to latch a baby.

And in my head, I was geared up. Ready to defend nursing in public (NIP). Anyone who dares tell me to cover up or go elsewhere to latch, I will tell them this:

“Please tell all the mammals in the zoo
to cover up
when they are latching,
then come back and talk to me.”

Alright alright… I know it sounds rude but hey! If I need to feed my child, I need to feed my child! Bring your own sexual fantasy elsewhere! My breasts have a function, they make milk and I feed my baby milk. That is all. I am not a sex object! This is how mammals have been designed and you don’t see a male monkey getting a hard on just by looking at a mummy monkey latch her baby monkey right? So get your head straight and keep your pants on.

Anyway, I was really happy that day. I latched her again as I sat on a mat near the waterplay area. Again, no one bothered me at all. Except a naughty monkey who came over to steal food twice.

And so… I gathered some mummies to share their views and experiences on nursing in public.

I’m so happy with the responses! There are so many ways we can nurse in public, depending on our comfort levels! Individualize your NIP experience!

The Modest Approach

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Mummy LM: NIP is a breeze 🙂

Covering up according to your comfort level is most important.

 

The No-One-Will-Know Approach

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Mummy Regina: To be able to advocate breastfeeding in public and let more people have more awareness about breastfeeding is what mummies should dare to stand up for – Nursing in Public.

I love this. If you don’t mention it, no one will notice!

The Proud-Mummy Approach – (MY PERSONAL FAVE)

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Mummy Fadilah: Excuse me for sending so many pictures. I am just too proud that I am capable of BFing on the go and not giving any s**t of the stares/glares I get from ppls around me. I am also proud of my husband Zaly Bikerboyz for stand up for me and supporting me through out my BFing journey with both our kids.The 1st picture is of me at Jurong Polyclinic. Accompany my mother for the medical check up as she is diabetic and require regular check ups. The clinic was very crowded and lil bumbum (Luqman Bahri) being very fussy. He was also at the phase that he does not like go be under the covers. The nursing room was on the 2nd floor but my mother was seeing the doctor on the 1st floor. Could not sit to nurse as lil bumbum was very fussy. Some aunties smile and gave encouraging words but there are some cheeky fellows that keep staring. Of course I cover as modestly as I can.

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Mummy Fadilah: 2nd picture was us at my brothers work open house. He is a Marine Firefight. They were giving talk about fire safety and giving tours of the fire station and their fire boat. That is us getting ready to get on board the fire boat. No nursing room there. But lil bumbum was not affected at all. He is nicely snugged inside the carrier and feeding away. I didn’t really care what everyone else was thinking as long as my lil bumbum is fed and happy.

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Mummy Fadilah: Now the most recent one is of us at Pahlawan beach. This was after the My Little Pony Run. Lil Bumbum must be super thirsty waiting for Mama and sister to finish the run. The moment we settle ourselves at the beach, lil bumbum wants to be nurse. There were a lot of ppl that day due to the MLP event and furthermore its a Sunday. I forgot to bring my nursing cover on that day but I still manage to keep myself modestly covered with my hijab and baby towel. There are ppl that look at what i was doing and smile but there are cheeky eyes also. Thankfully Mr Husband was in front to stand guard…..
I will continue nurse my babies as long as they want. Where ever they want.To date my lil ones are 4 years old and 19 mths.

I really applaud Mummy Fadilah and her husband! She is so happy with her hubby’s support and I guess the key formula to successful breastfeeding is good support!

The It-Is-The-Same-As-Eating-In-Public Approach

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Mummy AuntJess: My thoughts on NIP is the same as my thoughts on eating in public. Haha

YES!!! Baby is simply ‘eating’. Nothing special. Don’t need to stare ok?

The I-Don’t-Care Approach

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NIP is so convenient for mummies who are always on the go. I love how light my diaper bag is as I only need to pack diapers, wet wipes & small towels when I’m out with my baby. Now I nurse without covers, do it anywhere & not bothered with the stares.

Love this attitude! Don’t bother with the stares! Just latch on and feed on!

 

The Forgot-Nursing-Cover-So-Just-Latch Approach

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Mummy Shareen: Picture above is me NIP my newborn, who is also my 2nd child. With my first child, I was more conscious with NIP and would religiously put on a nursing cover or find a nursing room.
But with my 2nd boy, the need to NIP came quite unexpectedly and I forgot to bring out my nursing cover. He was wrapped up in my K’tan and fussing. So I had no choice but to make do.
Later that night, same thing happened as we were out grocery shopping after gynae appointment. Forgot the nursing cover again and had to nurse him on the go in the supermarket while wrapped up in my K’tan.

I’ve no issues with NIP but I would do it so I don’t unnecessarily expose myself. I don’t see the need to draw attention to myself or my child while nursing.

We always start off somewhere… right? Incidental NIP due to circumstances are the best way to start!

 

The Forever-Looking-Gorgeous Approach

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Mummy Alicia: I nurse in Mrt station, fast food restaurant, church, in the park on the bench. So far no unpleasant incidents, except this one (photo). I was nusing at Burger King Woodlands. One hand carry baby, the other hand use hanky to cover the rest of the boobs. Then there is this pervert uncle, purposely sit directly opposite my table (I’m alone) and keep staring at me. Then I took out my phone to take selfie and pretend to take photo of my surrounding. He walk out immediately.

Ah… That pervert uncle.
Good tip from Mummy Alicia on how to fend them off!
TAKE THEIR PHOTO!!!

And I’m officially jealous. Why Mummy Alicia still so pretty! I look totally ‘auntie-fied’.

The Baby-Is-My-Joey Approach

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Mummy Yvaine: Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful experience I had being a mother. It increases the bonding I have with my child more than anything else. A wonderful memory that belongs to us solely.
NIP is the most natural thing to do. My child is hungry, he has the right to be fed anywhere he deem fit, just like everyone else; regardless child or adult.
Most of the time I nip while babywearing. Babywearing enhance me with freedom to nurse discreetly yet continue doing my own stuff; shopping, eating, etc.
Enjoying breastfeeding while it last.

I personally can’t do wraps but I love baby wearing Meimei in her carrier and yes! It is easy to feed while on the go with aid of carrier or wraps!

Reach out to wrapping friends for help if you are keen to learn!

The Partying-Can’t-Stop-Me Approach

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Mummy Crystal: I enjoy nursing my kids (currently still breastfeeding my one year old). Maybe it is the convenience. Maybe it is the rush of oxytocin. Maybe it is the simple joy of holding my baby close as she gazes at me…

Who says we gotta stop partying after we have a baby?
Although it’s a ‘different’ type of partying… Life is all about fun!

The beauty of nursing is that it doesn’t stop our activities. Especially now that we have many carrier options to breastfeed: HANDS FREE STYLE!

The Less-Things-To-Bring Approach

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Mummy Rizal: I love doing Nursing In Public as it is free and easy. My bags are lighter. No need formula milk, hot water n milk bottles. And I love doing Nursing In Public in my carrier. Plus no need nursing covers.

 

I agree! I don’t even have a special diaper bag for Meimei. If I’m heading out alone with her, her stuff goes into my handbag! All I need is her small wetbag of diapers, wipes & spare clothes. And another small ziploc bag for her snack & water bottle. Easy peasy!

The Watch-A-Game Approach

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Mummy June: Initially I’m very worried about being exposed and attract attention, however, after our first attempt to NIP, I have never thought it can actually be so easy. It’s been months since I start to NIP, didn’t attract stares or rude remarks so far.
Was an Express Pump mum for my #1 and didn’t know the joy of nursing. Now with my #2, we successfully work our way towards nursing with the great help I get from FB support group, Breastfeeding Mum & of cos, my hubby and the elders in my family are supportive in breastfeeding.

 

Stylish nursing colour! Who says being a mum means ‘auntie’ clothes & ‘auntie’ looks? Mummy June is so pretty!

And again, who says nursing should stop your activities?

The Who-Says-I-Need-A-Baby-With-Me Approach

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Mummy Sharon: I hate hate hate pumping in toilets or diaper change areas so I pump in public. Of course, it also depends on the situation but there’s nothing to be ashamed about.
I’ve pumped in public in planes, restaurants, in car in front of non immediate family members. I’m fortunate no one ever criticized

Location of the photo  – SQ business class from London to Singapore. Male cabin crew helped me with washing and storing bottles. No one looked or criticized.

Lastly… Who says nursing in public is limited to mummies who latch?

As long as you are producing milk, you are a nursing mother! Some don’t latch due to varying reasons, it’s alright! To be honest, I find pumping a chore (stuck to the pump, must wash so many things) and salute Exclusive Pumping mothers!

Note on SQ: I’ve flown SQ with Meimei and I have to say, I’m so proud of SQ. Male crew were understanding on breastfeeding. No disapproving looks or any weird vibes from them. They even offered to send our meals at staggered timing so one of us could attend to Meimei while the other eats. Super awesome. All parents have to fly SQ with their kids!

 

While we encourage and want to promote breastfeeding, let’s not forget to be considerate towards others who do not breastfeed for various reasons.
I’ve met some mummies recently who shared with me on medical issues that were really serious to cause them to stop breastfeeding. It’s not easy for them emotionally to lose the opportunity to nurse their baby. Yet they have to face pressure and judgmental comments from other parents for not breastfeeding their child.

Let’s encourage, not judge. And let’s fight for our rights to nurse anywhere, anytime.

Mummy Audrey
Mother of 3 & Owner of TLO.com.sg
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[Review] Breast Milk Making Workshop with Soap Ministry

Soap Ministry generously sponsored a giveaway on Mummies’ Voices earlier posts and 2 lucky mummies got to attend a Breast Milk Soap Making workshop!

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Mummy Priscilla (Left) and Jerelyn (Right) with their frozen breast milk before we start!

 

What is soap making?
Soap making is using natural oils to make soap. Natural soap is highly sought after as it is soap in its purest form, without unnecessary chemicals. Making full use of nature’s best gifts to clean our skin allows our skin to remain supple and healthy.

There are a few different types of soap making such as melt-and-pour and cold process. For breast milk soap making, cold process method is used as melt-and-pour method does not allow much liquid to be added to the soap. In cold process method, usually around 20-40% of the soap is made of breast milk (depending on exact recipe).

Breast Milk Soap?
In the cold process soap making, water is also needed to be added to the natural oils. In place of water, breast milk can be used.
Breast milk has natural anti-bodies, enzymes and many other undiscovered goodies in it. By adding breast milk into soap, we can harness the natural goodness of the oils and breast milk for our skin.

Who needs breast milk soap?
Breast milk soap is great for the ENTIRE FAMILY!
Depending on the oils used, it can be made for generic use or specific uses. Popular recipes are those for eczema sufferers as common commercial soaps are too harsh for their sensitive skin.

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Safety briefing and introduction to soap making

 

Now, we were all super excited about the workshop and thought it will be super easy. Put oils, add breast milk, whip whip and viola!!!

However, we were in for a surprise!

Soap making is AN ART. It requires so much knowledge which we could barely squeeze into our brains in such a short time. However, Diana from Soap Ministry was so patient and animated with her explanation that we understood quickly and enjoyed the session very much!

In Singapore, you can’t make soap at home by regulations set to protect the general public. Lye, which is necessary for soap making, is considered a controlled substance in Singapore and only licensed businesses are allowed to import/stock/use them. Even the location in which they are allowed to store/use lye is controlled too.
As such, cold process soap making is only offered at Soap Ministry’s Head Office at Pioneer Point.

Different oils have different purposes for our skin. They also have varying properties. These properties need to be carefully considered during the soap making process as it will affect the final product. If you use an oil which is ‘soft’, you may end up with a gooey bar of soap instead of a solid bar of soap! It’s a fine balance and even the amount of lye & liquid required need to be carefully calculated to decimal points!

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It’s not easy! Loads of calculation and thinking goes into the soap making process!

Calculating and recalculating to get a good recipe which they prefer really took up a lot of time!

Diana’s helpful staff stepped in to check the calculations to ensure that the recipes created by Priscilla and Jerelyn will work. Otherwise, their breast milk and efforts will go to waste!

So they started carefully…. Noticed Jerelyn’s baby missing? Auntie Audrey was carrying him so that mummy can work on the soap. If you are keen to join the workshop, do arrange for a caregiver so that baby stays far away from the lye.

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Carefully measuring after calculations.

 

Another though part was mixing the FROZEN breast milk and the crystal lye.

As the chemical reaction when lye touches a liquid produces heat and may overheat the breast milk, frozen breast milk is used. This ensures that the breast milk will not over heat and destroy all the goodness inside!

It was very tough having to poke and mix the lye into the frozen bits of breast milk.

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And after that, the lye & breast milk mixture had to be added carefully to the oils.

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Done mixing! It was TEDIOUS!

The most memorable part of cold process soap making was the whisking required! Imagine whisking non stop for 30++ minutes to get the mixture right!

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Pouring carefully into the mold & keeping them safely.

From the briefing to completing the soap took us a whooping 5 hours!
It’s definitely not simple and this is why breast milk soap making services are pricey.

And the soap isn’t ready at the end of the session! It has to harden in the mold for a few days, then taken out to slice. After slicing, it has to be aired to allow the lye to cure properly so that the soap will become safe for use.

Soap Ministry is dedicated to safety and they set minimum timelines for the curing process and check carefully before they release the soaps to customers.

It typically takes 8 to 10 weeks to cure in a cool dry place. Soap Ministry has a lovely area designed for this and they are very meticulous with labeling. Don’t worry about getting your soaps mixed up!

Check out this short video on our session at Soap Ministry!

Audrey BM Soap

Mummy Audrey’s Breast Milk Soap from Soap Ministry

Jerelyn

Mummy Jerelyn’s Breast Milk Soap from Soap Ministry

Priscilla

Mummy Priscilla’s Breast Milk Soap from Soap Ministry

 

Now… the true test will be using the soaps ourselves (this is the reason why this post is here so late when we did the workshop a few months back)…

Personally, the kids are all using the breast milk soap. Myself included.
Comparing with other soap makers, I like the ones made by Soap Ministry (details in another post coming soon).

Mummy Priscilla has also told me that she likes the soap and they are happy with the soap. The ones that she made in the workshop are a little more mushy than the standard formula ones she ordered from Soap Ministry (made by their staff after our workshop). I guess this is the difference between recipe designed by the experts and us. :p

Mummy Jerelyn also likes the soap very much and said that just rubbing a little on the skin was enough to clean baby well.

Anyway… While the mummies were busy with their soaps during the workshop, I walked around and chanced on these…

Shampoo

Shampoo Bars!

I’m sure most mummies face the same issues as me… HAIR LOSS!
Mine was pretty serious so I was a little on the desperate side. And I saw these!

I bought all 3 types to rotate as I have oily hair, I have hair loss and I do want my hair to GROW back!
After 2 months of using these, my hair loss did lesson significantly and I’m having baby hair growing back already!

But, bar shampoo aren’t the same as commercial shampoo. They do leave the hair dry. You will need to use conditioner separately. I decided to use coconut oil as conditioner as I heard that it helps with hair growth too.

 

CONCLUSION

Breast milk soaps are GREAT! And the workshop was superbly fun! I think it’ll be a very fun mummy gathering activity!

Do contact Soap Ministry for more information on their workshops.
Melt & Pour soaps are suitable as a family activity with the kids. You can bring along their fave small toy and hide them in the soap to encourage them to use the soap!
After attending their workshops, they also allow you to head back to make more soaps on your own! Simply pay rent (it’s a small sum & includes washing up service) & pay for the ingredients used, and you can make more soaps on your own!

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Hope you enjoyed reading about our adventure at Soap Ministry!

Mummy Audrey
Mother of 3
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[Review] Solids Introduction – Online Organic Produce + BebeLock from Korea

 

WHO 
Babies around 4 to 6 months can start on solids.
There are a few schools of thoughts regarding the ‘perfect’ age to start baby on solids.
I’ll be honest, it is really up to individual parents to read up and decide on what they think is best for their baby.
I subscribe to starting before 6 months, AS LONG AS BABY IS READY. My purpose in starting once baby is ready is to expose baby to larger variety of of foods before meal replacement starts.

How do I know if baby is ready?
– Able to hold head steady (no bobbing of head)
– Able to sit with minimum support (may lean slightly, but not flopping all over)
– Shows interest in your food (stares intently or shows excitement when seeing others eat)
– Plays with tongue
– Show chewing/gnawing motion
– May have a sudden disinterest in milk

WHAT
Again, there are a few schools of thought on what should be baby’s first food.
Traditional weaning means giving cereals or rice gruel.
There’s modern puree weaning, avoiding cereals which are empty calories and preferring to dive straight to nutrient rich pureed fruits & vegetables.
Baby Led Weaning (as the name tells: baby leads the weaning process by taking what they are ready) focuses on offering variety in small pieces, allowing baby to self feed. There are perks to this: Fine motor skills are better developed when they have to pick up their food using their bare hands. They also gain from textural stimulation.

I prefer a mixture of all.
Cereals give the convenience when you are busy.
Purees give the nutrients and ensure they get to really eat, plus they get to taste individual food flavours.
Baby Led Weaning trains up their find motor skills.

WHEN
It is highly recommended to feed them in the mornings. Although serious allergies are not common, they can still happen and become life threatening. Or maybe not that serious, but you would still want a PD to take a look.

This means feeding in the morning, and allowing some time for digestion and reaction. Most reactions are immediate or within a few hours when the PD clinic is still open.

Feeding in the the morning for a start also allows baby to be in a better mood. You have to ensure baby is in a good mood to avoid baby disliking solids just because they got off on a wrong start.

WHERE
A comfortable yet sturdy high chair is highly recommended.
A popular choice is Ikea’s plastic high chair as it is cheap and easy to clean. I agree on cheap & easy to clean, but Ahjussi and I can’t get past ‘safety’. It is too flimsy and based on our experience with our monkey boys, they will most likely topple over.
We ended up getting an Ikea wooden high chair and we have been using it for all 3 kids since 2007. Good investment if you are intending to have more. The size is also big so Monster sat in there till recently (4 years old) that he had to give it up for Meimei.

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Popular High Chair from Ikea – $29.90

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Common Ikea High Chair – At Old Town White Coffee KL (Bukit Bintang) in 2012

WHY
What is the purpose of introducing solids? Can I replace meals?
For a start, the purpose is to teach them to SWALLOW. It is NORMAL if they spit or push their tongue out because they are still learning to control their tongue and mouth.
Don’t give up. Just keep trying! Praises and encouragement works too. It is even better if they are fed at the dining table while the family is eating. They do learn by imitation and will watch your actions.

Meal replacement should only start around 7-8 months old. Start replacing 1 milk feed and gradually increase food portions or number of meals. They should be on 3 solid meals a day by 1 year old.

HOW
Preparation:
(1) Buy your materials
(2) Buy your ingredients
(3) Prep
(4) Feed!

Materials
I used Uinlui‘s Twin Bowl. Uinlui is Made in Korea and made from SUGARCANE! Yes! Natural ingredients beat artificial plastics! Best of all, it can tahan steam/hot water sterilising and UV sterilising! Other natural utensils (made from corn) in the market now cannot be subjected to high heat or long moisture exposure.

For spoons, please use SOFT spoons as they may hurt their gums on hard spoons. I’m using Bebelock Silicone Spoon with case (great for keeping the spoon clean when heading out).

For bibs, I’m using Bebelock Soft Bib at home and thelittleonesimylife Disposable Bib when out.

For blending purees, we decided not to get any fancy machine because it is expensive and you will only be giving purees for a while (probably 1-2 months only). Worst of all, my niece who owns a steamer-blender combo machine complained that it was hard to wash and there was yellowish stuff stuck under the blades which she can’t get out.
All we have is a simple electric steamer which we redeemed many years back using our credit card points, and a simple handheld blender from Giant Hypermart. I’ve also use the blender for other purposes in our general daily cooking and I love it. Easy to wash too!

For storage of purees, I use Bebelock Ice Tok Tok from Korea and Bebelock Airtight Container (comes in 4 sizes!). They are awesome to have and check out pictures later on in this post.

Ingredients
Buying ORGANIC is purely a personal choice. You can choose not to purchase organic produce.
I chose organic (till at least 1 year old) as baby’s organs are still immature and it takes longer for them to process any chemicals ingested (pesticides, artificial fertilisers, etc).

I live in Punggol and with Compasspoint now CLOSED for a year, it is pretty hard for us to get organic produce. I used to get nice organic produce from Cold Storage (Compasspoint).
Now, I’ve resorted to ordering from REDMART.
It was my first order, so $30 and there’ll be free delivery! Click HERE and register, you will get $10 credit if you are a new customer! Subsequent orders, spend $49 and get free delivery.

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My Order from Redmart.com

The items all came VERY FRESH. The pumpkin was already cut, thus I had to quickly cook that. The other items could be kept for another 5-7 days without any issues.

If you wish to not buy organic or only go partially organic, check this out article on which ones you should buy organic: The Dirty Dozen – Foods You Should Always Buy Organic
Summary: Apples, Strawberries, Grapes, Celery, Peaches, Spinach, Bell Peppers, Nectarines, Cucumber, Melons, Peas, Blueberries, Tomatoes and Potatoes.

PREP
For experience cooks, prepping baby food will be a breeze. However, for those not familiar in the kitchen, it can be a real challenge.

I started off with avocado as I was too lazy to take the blender out. Just something that I can mash easily and mix with expressed breast milk to create a smooth puree for Meimei will be good.

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Mashing Up Avocado

So all I did was to cut a small portion which I wanted to feed her. Cling wrap the balance (ensure that the clingwrap is touching the avocado flesh to avoid oxidation).

Avocado doesn’t do very well when kept in the fridge once the flesh is exposed. It oxidises and turns brown fairly quickly.

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How to Store Avocado

So I cut up the balance into small pieces so that they can fit into the Bebelock Ice Tok Tok. The beauty of this Ice Tok Tok is that it comes with a lid to keep your baby’s puree AWAY from other raw food items in your freezer. Also, it is specially designed to be able to POP OUT ONE AT A TIME! Yes! No more messy many-cubes-come-out-together situations! The bottom is soft, so just push up that particular cube that you want!

And don’t worry about wastage of these trays after baby is done with purees. Use it to freeze lemon juice for your drinks or store home made seasonings!

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Using Frozen Avocado

We were heading out to church, so I popped out 2 cubes of frozen avocado and placed them in the Bebelock Airtight Container (120ml). Squirt in some breast milk (I have the habit of lifting my shirt up right in the kitchen and hand express directly into the bowl or container). Close it tight (won’t leak!).

By the time we had to feed her (around an hour later), the avocado was defrosted to room temp and I just had to mash it up a little more before feeding her.

So avocado is really easy to conquer even if you do not know how to operate the stove!

Meimei totally enjoyed it!

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Meimei enjoying her first meal

Ok… But baby can’t be eating avocado only… So here’s pumpkin.
Again, I was too lazy to dig the steamer out from the cupboard so I just boiled it. It is better to steam it (retains more nutrients) but cooking time is longer when steaming.

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Preparing Pumpkin

Remove the skin of the pumpkin.
Cut into smaller pieces so it will cook faster.
Boil till soft (took me around 8 min).
Scoop out the pumpkin into a clean bowl.
Mash with fork (lazy to take out blender again).
Add a little of the cooking liquid if you find it hard to mash, but pumpkin is generally quite wet so very minimal additional cooking liquid is required.

Due to the LARGE pumpkin, I was pretty sure I won’t have enough Ice Tok Toks so I decided to put some of them into Bebelock airtight containers (120ml) since we are also using it as a bowl to heat up her food.

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Quick Tip on Filling Up those Ice Tok Tok

It is pretty tiring to scoop the puree into ice trays, so I went to my lazy method again. Get a large plastic bag, fill it up, tie it off, cut a small corner and pipe away!
Easy and mess free!

 

What else can I give?

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List of recommended food items to start on

*** Warning: Sweet potato & banana can cause constipation, do give more liquids when feeding these foods. 

It is pretty hard to plan and keep track, especially if you have other kids to manage (like me).

This is an Excel file I use to keep track. You can simply download it from here, upload a copy into your Google Sheets and update daily! You can even share the file on your Google Sheets with your hubby so he is kept updated too!

How much do I give?
I start off with around 1-2 tsp a day, then gradually increase her portion every week. This is to avoid stuffing her tummy too full and getting indigestion. Remember, they are learning to taste, swallow and digest all these new stuff. So don’t overload their system. Give them some time.

Can we freeze baby’s puree?
I personally did it 8 years ago when I was teaching in school and I couldn’t trust the maid to cook daily. I preferred to be in control and made the purees on weekends, and simply took out whatever is needed for the day for the maid to heat up and feed.
And for my Monster, he was super active and we really couldn’t cope with having to cook fresh daily with him climbing all over the house. Freezing his food saved a lot of time and it was better than having to give commercial puree in pouches or bottles.

It is SAFE and common to freeze baby food, as long as you prepped the food hygienically, kept it in covered containers/trays and reheat it properly.

I do not recommend reheating in microwave. You just need to defrost it by placing in the fridge a few hours before you need it, then steam or use a bottle warmer to heat up.
This is why the Bebelock airtight containers come in very useful. You can place it into an electric bottle warmer or a cup of hot water to heat up the food like you would to expressed breast milk.
Korean mummies prefer to simmer the food and they use Bebelock airtight containers + Bebelock Silicon Suction Pads.

Picture12.jpgRead more about freezing baby food here: http://www.annabelkarmel.com/food-parenting/weaning/freezing-baby-food

 

I hope this has been a useful start for you!
If you wish to know more, you can check out my weaning blog: www.weaningyourlittleones.blogspot.com

My favourite book on weaning: Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron
They now have apps and loads of information online if you do not like books. I still prefer hardcopy books. 🙂

Audrey Wong Profile
Mummy Audrey
Mother of 3 & Owner of TLO.com.sg

Note: Mummy Audrey has a Diploma in Food Science and Nutrition. She is a trained Home Economics Teacher, previously teaching in MOE schools.

[Sharing] You are not alone – Of Breastfeeding & Challenges

Breastfeeding for #1

First, let me share my old banner for this blog… I can’t bear to part with it so I’m sticking it here. ^^

Lilypie Breastfeeding tickers

Writing an entry to share my breastfeeding journey for my first girl. I’ve been wanting to do this for the longest time but haven’t gotten down to writing this and it’s over 1 year late (this entry has been ‘in progress’ for the longest time and was completed on 2 October 2015). In fact, I’ve shared my stories on various other platforms, usually with fellow mummy-friends in mummies groups and forums. I couldn’t have done it too without the support of my pro-breastfeeding mummy-friends who have been very supportive and helpful in giving me information to find out more about breastfeeding on my own, as well as sharing their experiences with me. Thus it really spurs me to want to do the same to help other breastfeeding mummies. =)

The very first 2 days 

I did not get to latch immediately, and being a very blur first-time mum, I didn’t know I could request to latch my girl immediately after delivery. I cuddled her for a while and she’s sent to clean up and rest in the babies’ nursery room. When I finally get to rest in my premiere ward after wolfing down my lunch in the delivery ward, and then she’s brought into my room to latch for the very first time, she stopped after suckling a couple of times. The lactation consultant was like, “Woah, your baby’s very smart! She knows there’s no milk so no point suckling, conserve energy first.” Yes, my smart girl totally freaked me out as I was worrying that if there’s not suckling to induce the milk flow, the supply would not come.

This happened another once or twice. In the end we gave in to giving her formula milk. The lactation consultant was kind enough to bring a set of the Medela Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) for me to try, with formula milk flowing down a tube attached to my nipples, so my baby would get milk when she suckled, and thus would continue suckling. She suckled alright, so there was no problem with her suckling at all. Thank goodness. However, the lactation consultant also pointed out that my nipples were quite flat, so introduced nipple shields to me. I started using nipple shields then. She also suggested that we buy the SNS, nipple shields and Pigeon nipple puller to help with my situation, and my hubby went to buy all of them immediately at the pharmacy in TMC.

It was quite a hassle to use them actually and I didn’t like them at all. However I needed them for my girl to continue to suckle and hopefully my milk would start flowing soon. I didn’t start using the SNS immediately as we didn’t bring anything to sterilize it, plus hubby and I thought that it was really expensive to buy the plain plastic box and sterilizing pills from TMC. *stingy parents alert*

Dr Tham, my gynae, also prescribed me some pills for boosting my milk supply, and my hubby went to the pharmacy to get fenugreek supplements on recommendation.

Going home from TMC
On the morning of day 3, my last day in TMC after staying for 2 nights (oh man, how I miss those staycation-style nights in TMC!!), my milk supply started flowing~ I was ecstatic! In fact, I was engorged on day 4.
Jaundice hospitalization woes
My girl has to be hospitalized for jaundice and as a first time mum, I’m super upset as it’s my first time not being with my baby 24/7 since we were discharged from TMC and I cried. I guess it’s actual very common for first time mums with same experience. As my girl won’t be by my side, I had to go on a pumping frenzy and then bring to TMC for her as she stayed in TMC for 2 days 2 nights of phototherapy.
And confinement continued

I continued to nurse my baby, sitting up in the single bed which I slept in while having confinement at my parents’ place. However, my baby has no regular feeding time and I was simply feeding on demand and struggling to keep up with baby. In fact I started to go a little bonkers with the irregular hours of nursing and resting that I had to face. The struggle was REAL. Trust me, new mummies, when I said I understand what you’re going through. The struggle was totally wrecking me. Plus I was still hanging onto the nipple shields, and I had to sterilize them with hot water each time I needed to nurse my baby. It was really a big hassle. Eventually it seemed likeall my hours were spent nursing, washing, sterilizing, pumping, nursing… the list goes on. In fact, I’ve been latching and latching and latching nonstop. I needed a reason for it… perhaps it’s growth spurt? The latching was making my nipples super sore and painful. 😦

Often, I wonder if I was the crankier one or my baby, as she went wailing in the middle of the night.

Week 3 low supply woes

My nipples were sore. I was cranky and an emo wreck. I cried and cried. I needed sleep. That’s really all I could handle, and then my supply dropped. It was the ultimate devastation. I cried for days, and my milk supply went lower and lower, to a mere 10 ml per pump. I was beyond miserable, I was defeated. I was depressed. We were still supplementing my baby with formula milk each evening/night since her jaundice episode, and it seemed like we need to give her even more formula milk to make up for the dip in my breastmilk supply. But that too had passed, and eventually my milk supply went up, and then went up even more!

At the same time, I ditched the nipple shields as my pro-breastfeeding friend encouraged me to directly latch my baby, and offered many insightful articles that stated that nipple shields should be used as the last resort. And so, baby and I started learning all over again. Baby now has to latch on my barely-there nipples, and I have to learn to pinch my breasts into her opened mouth. It’s day one all over again for us. It’s not easy. And I couldn’t get it under control.

Finally all’s good from week 6

At 5 weeks, she was latching nonstop. I wasemo again and again, tired of being her pacifier as she latched nonstop through the days. It was so not easy. SO NOT EASY! But that too shall pass…

From week 6 onwards, it seems like my supply has been established and stabilized, and she’s become very proficient in latching in all positions. We lie down to latch in bed often so we could both rest. And she stopped taking formula milk from week 6 as I latched her full time and was giving her 100% breastmilk. Finally, a proud mama moment!

She continued to 100% latch on demand(sometimes nonstop!) until she started solid food.

Latching on the go
In fact I’ve been directly latching her, it’s so easy to go out. We didn’t have to bring any milk powder, bottles, hot water for heating up milk or ice bags for expressed milk. I started with looking for nursing rooms in the malls but eventually I graduated to simply using a nursing cover. That’s all I need in my bag, besides the usual – diapers, wet wipes, extra set of clothes and hanky. I usually checked out malls with nursing rooms for my own convenience, and I love nice, clean nursing rooms and nice, clean diaper changing facilities. But if it’s inconvenient to get to the nursing room, I could sit in eatery, cafe, fast food outlets or restaurants, and latch away with my nursing cover.
Pumping pumping
I pumped too so that when I wasn’t around, my MIL could feed her the expressed milk. So I tried to pump whenever I have plans to go out, and of course before I went back to work.
Frozen milk
I managed to build up a small stash of frozen milk… yes, quite a small stash. No extra freezer unit required. And then suddenly, my baby rejected frozen milk. Like… duh. What’s gonna happen to my milk in the freezer now?! I tried making milo with the packets of frozen milk in the freezer but seriously they smelled so much like puked and didn’t taste any better, I ended up puking the milo out and so my milk literally ended up going down the drain…
Going back to work

Eventually it’s the time I dreaded but couldn’t avoid. It’s time to go back to work. My only consolation was I took half a year of no-pay leave after my maternity leave and so my baby has been on breastmilk for 10 good months.

I continued to pump but it was difficult to find time to pump regularly. I ended up pumping only once at work. Or twice but rarely. The nursing room was a CCA room for photography club to store their cameras and it was very stressful to pump inside as often I encountered students or teachers trying to unlock the door while I was pumping. Fortunately, the school installed a bolt on the inside, but it was still very unnerving with my boobs out in the open air. And to make matters worse, the room was situated between two classrooms and the walls are thin. I could here the two teachers on either side teaching when it’s lesson time, and the students bustling. I was totally imagining that if the earth shook, the walls crumpled and I’ll have 80+ pairs of eyes on my naked breasts. Paranoid me always have thoughts like that and it’s driving me crazy.

As baby rejected my frozen milk (eventually MIL discarded ):), I pumped fresh milk for her everyday and put the bottles in the fridge for her to take the next day. When I was at home, I would continue to latch directly, and she continued to be latched to sleep at night. I was willing to let her latch to sleep for as long as she wanted to.

Weaning
Eventually I stopped pumping when she was close to 15 months old. It was a good 15 months of breastfeeding… a journey full of ups and downs, full of cries and crankiness, full of stress and emo wreckage. But I’ll not exchange it for anything, because I know my baby has benefited well from my milk. She slowly could drift into sleep without latching and my breastfeeding journey officially ended. I could not remember how I got ‘dried up’… I didn’t eat anything for it to happen. I guess it just naturally happened as I stopped pumping and latching, since I was already pumping lesser and lesser at work.
Grateful
I am eternally grateful for my mummies-friends who have been very supportive, encouraging and motivating. Thank you for sharing with me and spurring me on, which led me to eventually breastfeed my girl fully for over a year. Some of the links before are links shared by my friends. I find them very helpful and I hope they can be helpful to you too! 🙂

Helpful links
KellyMom: evidence-based breastfeeding and parenting
Ask Dr Sears – breastfeeding topics
La Leche League International – resources
Australian Breastfeeding Association – information
How to express breast milk using hand expression
Mummy V
Mother of 2 girls
Note: Follow Mummy V at her blog!