breastfeeding

My Breastfeeding Must Haves

Breastfeeding is one of the noblest responsibilities of a mother.  While everybody knows that it’s not an easy task, there are things that will help make a mother’s breastfeeding journey as smooth as possible.

A certified nursing mom, whether she’s exclusively breastfeeding or mixed feeding, certainly has her very own breastfeeding kit.  It’s now as important as those girly pouches filled with blushers and lippies.

Sharing the contents of my breastfeeding kit with my fellow breastfeeding mommas 😊

Breast Pump

Whether it’s manual or electric, a sturdy breast pump is a must-have for every nursing mom.  Working moms will surely use a breast pump to express milk at work, but even stay-at-home moms may sometimes need it to express milk when experiencing difficulty in direct feeding.

I’m so blessed to have borrowed Philips Avent Double Electric Breast Pump from my good friend Dette.  This breastfeeding gadget is heaven-sent to a working mom like me. With just a few minutes to spare, I am able to quickly express milk at work.  I typically express 4 oz of milk for 10 minutes.

Avent Dual Electric Breast Pump

Nursing Cover

Thanks to breastfeeding advocates, nursing your child is now acceptable even in public. But for those like me who still need privacy when breastfeeding, a nursing cover can serve as a curtain separating the world from our intimate moment with our babies. I’m blessed again to have borrowed this nursing cover from my sis-in-law Karen 🙂

Nursing Cover

Breast Pads

To avoid embarrassing moments when milkflow is just surprisingly heavy, I depend on super absorbent breast pads. I prefer the washable ones over the disposable as I proved it is more reasonable on the budget. I bought my breastpads from online store 4R Sisters Nursing Wear for only Php35 per pair.

Breast Pads

Breastmilk Storage Bottles/Plastic Bags

For storing my expressed milk, I prefer breastmilk storage bottles than disposable breastmilk plastic bags.

In the first few months I was expressing milk, I used sealable disposable breastmilk plastic bags. I’ve tried brands like Orange and Peach, Autumnz, and HoneyZuckle.  They all are a big help, but it realized the extra cost of buying these disposable breastmilk bags is not very helpful to our parenting budget. 😊

Thus, I decided to invest on a set of quality breastmilk storage bottles that’s perfect for long-term use. I just bought a set of BPA-free Looney Tunes breastmilk bottles from the department store. It’s an affordable yet quality alternative to costly branded breastmilk plastic bags.

breastmilk storage bottles

Insulated Cooler Bag and Reusable Ice Packs

A working mom like me needs a quality cooler bag with reusable ice packs to store and transport her expressed milk from office to home.  I am using Autumnz insulated cooler bag with three reusable ice packs that last for 12 hours. This dynamic duo makes me feel confident that the breastmilk I expressed at work will remain fresh for my baby even if I get caught on traffic on the way home. I bought my cooler bag and reusable ice packs from online store Mamabella Nursing and Maternity Wear.

insulated cooler bag reusable ice packs, breastfeeding

Nursing Bras

Comfortable nursing bras are a must-have when breastfeeding. These undergarments are needed to ensure fast and easy access for my baby during breastfeeding time.

Supplements

I am not a fan of veggies like malunggai and sabaw (thin soup), so I relied heavily on supplements to increase or maintain my milk supply.

During the first two months, I took Lifeoil Malunggai Capsules three times a day and Fenugreek capsules twice a day.  Lifeoil Malunggai can be bought from Mercury Drug Store, while Fenugreek capsules are available at Healthy Options.

When my milk supply became stable, I switched to the more affordable yet equally effective Natalac capsules, which I am now taking once a day.

 Sachet of Milo

My breastfeeding essentials list won’t be complete without the choco-malt drink Milo. Milo contains malt, which is a popular galactagogue. So aside from beating the “energy gap”, I make sure that I drink a cup of Milo every day to boost my milk supply.

Bottle of Water

There are still differing opinions when it comes to whether or not water can increase breastmilk supply.  Nevertheless, I make sure to get enough water for cleansing and hydration.  Breastfeeding is a tough task. I need water, water, water to be refreshed.

I am happy to say that my baby and I are on our 5th month in this breastfeeding adventure. I’m hoping to continue as long as possible. 😊

mommy event · motherhood joys

Bringing Out the Well-rounded Mom in Me through Unmother’s Day at Eastwood City

Our children deserve the best in everything — including the best mom ever! And though we may have our own definitions of “best mom”, we all ought to work on achieving that mom goal of being the best person that we can be for our little one.

But before we can give our best self to someone else, we gotta work on keeping that well-rounded, passionate women we truly are. Let’s admit it. After the birth, it’s so easy to focus on just being a mommy — changing diapers, washing clothes, nursing babies. It’s as if the painter, the fitness enthusiast, the poet, the musician or the baker in us took an indefinite leave.

I’m grateful that on my 1st mother’s day celebration, I got an opportunity to participate in “Unmother’s Day”,  a special event for moms at Eastwood City.

With the aim of letting mothers celebrate mother’s day their way, the event organized by Megaworld in partnership with Millennial Moms PH featured activities that moms like me would love to do again if given the chance. Zumba and hiphop dancing, make-over, nail art, wall climbing are just some of the activities of the event.  These may seem ordinary for single ladies, but becoming a mom can turn these normal activities into a luxury that we can only dream about.

The millennial mom that I am, I eagerly joined the babywearing zumba and hiphop dance. It made me reminisce the zumba classes I joined when I was still single. Back then, fun and fitness were a must.

The babywearing zumba session in the Unmother’s Day event made me realize that fun and fitness need not be sacrificed just because we have a baby. Babywearing is a safe new practice that can help us moms multi-task and dance our way to fitness.

Watch the video of the Babywearing Zumba here.

The event also featured a fashion show of moms and their kids. I wasn’t part of the show, but simply watching moms all dolled up with their children reminded me that beauty and fashion sense need not be sacrificed just because we are now labeled as moms. In fact, I believe a woman should be more beautiful as a mom because there is an inner strength that comes with the pretty face.

A talk on discovering our purpose also encouraged me and the other moms to recall the activities or projects that we are passionate about. It reminded us that aside from being a mother, we also have another calling that we should pay attention to.  Our talents should not be forgotten just because we need to take care of our little ones.  Alongside being a loving mom, we still need to be that venturesome entrepreneur, prolific writer, creative artist, competitive soccer player or diligent professional that we are. 🙂

The three Ps mentioned in the talk — Passion, Potential and Profitability– need not be sacrificed just because we are busy being moms.   We need to give time to pursue our passion, work on our potential and find ways to be profitable at the same time.

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Other than the exciting prizes and giveaways, and the new mommy friends, being reminded to be a well-rounded mom is the best gift I got from this mother’s day event. We just need to be “unmothered” once in a while to become the best mother that we can be.

Happy mother’s day! 🙂

motherhood joys · pregnancy

4 things I did to conquer my fears of pregnancy and childbirth (Featured in The Asian Parent)

I am grateful for another exciting opportunity: being a contributor for The Asianparent, the largest parenting website in Southeast Asia. 🙂

featured content contributors

The Asian Parent By Line

4 things I did to conquer my fears of pregnancy and childbirth 

Many women in my generation keep an awful picture of labour and child birth in their mind. Blame that on exaggerated movie scenes, grandmother’s anecdote, or the stressful child birth video clips presented during Biology class. Thanks to all these, the thought of another human coming out of your own body is now as disturbing as zombie invasion.

Read the full article here

breastfeeding

Nursing / Breastfeeding Room at Trinoma Mall

Finding a clean and private place for nursing / expressing milk is a major concern for any breastfeeding mother.  In the Philippines, it is still uncommon to find a nursing room / lactation area / breastfeeding station in public places like malls and corporate offices. Hence, while I was walking around Trinoma mall, and felt the need to express milk, I was delighted to find out that the mall has a dedicated room for breastfeeding / expressing milk.  Since it offered me great convenience at the time I needed it most, this facility of Trinoma mall deserves a space in my blog. 😊

The huge and clean breastfeeding / lactation room of Trinoma can be found inside the Family Lounge at Level 3 of the mall.  While the other amenities in the Family Lounge are exclusive for VIPinoy and BPI Amore Visa credit cardholders, the nursing room can be used by every breastfeeding mother free of charge. 😊

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The nursing room has 3 private cubicles and a huge sofa.

Each cubicle has a comfortable seat, a foot rest, and an electrical outlet where mommies can connect their electronic breast pumps.

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The nursing room is strategically located next to the washroom, where moms can easily freshen up after breastfeeding. There is also a diaper changing station inside the nursing room.

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It is good to know that a famous mall like Trinoma already has such facility. So to my fellow breastfeeding Pinays, there’s a secure place to nurse our little ones (or use those breast pumps) even on shopping day.   #normalizebreastfeeding

graceful ageing · motherhood joys

My 31st Birthday 

31. Pasok pa sa kalendaryo ng mga piling buwan. 😂

With a growing number of younger people calling me ate/tita (and yes, Mom for Tash), I’m getting used to this “adulting” phase.

But unlike what I imagined, this 30 something stage is becoming my favorite. Over my happy-go-lucky single life, I enjoy more being a wife, a mom, a tita ninang, an ate, an independent daughter and sister, a kumare, a working mom with no household help (yet). It’s a joyful calling I’m so grateful for.

Thank You Lord for life and bonus blessings! 😊

Estrels, carsmel cake, birthday cake

date idea · family

The Serranos at Kandle Cafe :)

We started the long weekend catching up with one of our favorite couple friends, Gene and Toni. Since Baby Tash was with us, we wanted to hang out in a cozy, comfortable, not too crowded, baby-friendly place. So we chose to spend our holiday afternoon at Kandle Cafe, a nearby resto/cafe we’ve been eyeing since it was opened in 2016. 😊

The calm and laid-back ambiance of Kandle Cafe makes it an ideal place for quality chat time with the hubby, working remotely, start-up business meeting, brainstorming or simply catching up with good old friends.

Kandle Cafe offers a variety of gastronomic delights, from meats and seafoods to coffee and pastries.  I haven’t tried everything in the menu, but the Matcha milkshake, Matcha cake and Banoffee cake we ordered were satisfying.


Kandle Cafe is located at 113 Mother Ignacia Avenue, South Triangle, Quezon City.

date idea

New Date Place for Ice Cream Lovers by Novotel Manila

 

I have always been a huge fan of anything sweet — from the very Pinoy kakanin to cakes and chocolates and ice creams!  So one night, as I was casually looking at my Facebook news feed, something caught my sweet tooth’s attention. A post by Novotel Manila that says “Ice Cream Lover… The search for the Ice N Cream Dream Team begins!” Did they just call me? The ice cream lover in me panicked! 🙂

With a promise of free scoops of ice cream and a chance to win free staycation package, one year free supply of ice cream and many more, the Novotel iScreamers Search simply requires netizens to post their answer to the question “Why should we pick you to be part of our Novotel iScreamers Dream Team?”  And because I wasn’t busy at that time, I posted my no brainer answer.

A day after, I received a message from Novotel Manila saying that my answer was one of the lucky few deserving of two scoops of free ice cream and a chance to win a free staycation package! Well, more than the free staycation package and the other perks, I really want the free ice cream scoops! So to Novotel’s newly opened ice cream store, I went. 🙂

I was actually expecting typical Vanilla, Choco Chip and Strawberry flavors, but Ice N Cream by Novotel welcomed me with a sweet surprise – a set of new and unique flavors of ice cream (well, at least to my taste)!

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Unique flavors like Green with Envy (Avocado with Choco Chips), Tijuana Surprise (Cucumber Dalandan Tequila), Wazzup Soursop (Guyabano), It matcha been love (Matcha), Oh honey honey (Calamansi and honey), and Papa Don Preach (Rum raisin) were perfect alternatives to my usual straight-from-the-supermarket ice cream fix.  Of course, these not so ordinary flavors come with a not so ordinary price tag. A single scoop costs up to P120.

For the ultimate ice cream lover, the store’s signature Le Mont Gourmand is a must-try. It is an extraordinary bowl of ice cream and sherbet scoops topped with macarons, nuts, mixed berries, choco sauce and whipped cream!

Ice N Cream by Novotel also serves mouthwatering pastries.

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Located at the ground floor of Novotel Hotel in Araneta Center, Ice N Cream by Novotel is worth a visit, especially for those ice cream lovers in Quezon City.  The small cozy store set-up is perfect for those moments when you just want to enjoy an unhurried conversation over a cup (or cone) of ice cream.  However, as it only started its “scooping” operations last April 16, the store has limited space, which is not ideal for huge groups.

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As a launch promo, Ice N Cream by Novotel has a buy-1-take-1 offer until the end of April. So mommies, if you have sweet tooth like me or if your kids (and hubby) are crazy over ice cream, this is a great date place for the family. 🙂

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baby product · mommy event

Baby Company Baby Gear Sale 2017

Our Baby Tash turned 4 months recently, and she is now strong enough to join Dad and Mom’s simple getaways.  Whether it’s a quick trip to the nearby store or a long “pasyal day” far from home, hubby and I are always excited to bring with us our baby girl. And since Tash is now a bouncing 6.9 kg baby, it’s no longer easy to carry her in our arms the whole day.

It’s time to get that reliable stroller!

Just when we thought of buying a stroller, I found out about Baby Company Baby Gear Sale. Great timing! 🙂 With a promise of up to 50% discount on select strollers, baby carriers and car seats, the Baby Company Gear Sale was logged right away in my calendar.

Our visit to Baby Company’s SM Aura Premier branch did not go to waste. Baby Tash rode on her new red Chicco Liteway umbrella stroller on her way out of the store.

Aside from the fact that we bought it 20 percent less than its original price, the Chicco Liteway stroller was our top choice because of its portability.  This lightweight stroller can easily be folded just like an umbrella. Perfect for parents (and babies) who are always on the go! Plus, our baby can use it until she’s about 3 years old.

Since he looks forward to daddy-baby time outdoors, my husband also bought the Picolo Baby Hip Seat Carrier. The hip carrier is popular nowadays as this baby gear features a contoured and cushioned seat comfortable for growing babies. It allows parents to carry baby in various comfortable positions.  Sadly, this baby carrier is not included in the Baby Gear promo.

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Here are other frugal yet fabulous finds at the 2017 Baby Company Gear Sale:

50% discount on Graco Classic Connect baby car seat

10% discount on this cute walker/rocker by Baby 1st

10% discount on select Avent products

Even soon-to-be moms will surely benefit from this promo.  Up to 50% discount on select maternity clothes!

Since I’m sure that this won’t be the last time we will be needing something for Baby Tash, I got myself a Mom Card, my “pass” for future baby stuff discounts and freebies!


My fellow prudent parents can avail of great discounts at the Baby Company Gear Sale until April 30, 2017.

For upcoming promos and events, mommies and daddies can check out Baby Company’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or website. #BabyCompany #BabyGearSale #EverythingForYourEverything

Happy shopping! 🙂

 

*This review is sponsored by Baby Company, but the items purchased by the blogger are her personal choice and not dictated by Baby Company. Blissful Blooming was featured here.