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Monday, May 31, 2010

Help Me Win a Pump for my Sister!

I recently joined a contest hosted by Manila Fashion Observer and BabyMama.  To join the contest, I sent photos and a short story of the weirdest/strangest place I breastfed at.  Here's my entry:


MFO x Baby Mama Entry #11: Everywhere, Even a Wedding

After more than 2 years of breastfeeding (and still going), I have breastfed in several regular and strange places - on a public beach, at weddings (before a wedding and during a wedding at Manila Cathedral)...
...at the Legarda Mansion (La Cocina de Tita Moning), at the grocery, on the metro on the way to disney HK, while shopping in the mall and in a plane - several times!  I even have an entire blog post about nursing in public!  I've realized that Filipinos are more accepting of the fact that babies do need to it and have the right NOT to do eat in a toilet.  In fact, I've actually influenced my daughter to nurse her own "child"! :)

What's the prize?

It's a Spectra 9 Breast Pump plus 10 boxes of breast milk bags!
I want to win this for my sister who is working while nursing her baby Anya.  Anya was born at 32 weeks and is now almost 5-months old.  My sister is also continuously breastfeeding Anya and has gone back to work in March 2010.


You can help me win this contest by going to Baby Mama's Facebook page and voting for my entry. Voting starts today and ends on June 6, 2010.  Please go and vote!! :D

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What "breastfeeding essential" did you really use?

At the back cover of this month's Baby Magazine, SM Baby Company had an ad entitled "breastfeeding essentials" which included breast pumps, breast pads, breast shells, maternity bra, nursing pillows, diaper bag, anti-stress cream/elasticising oil/breast enhancing serum/firming cream.
In last week's giveaway, I discussed about asked moms to share their most useful and most useless purchases.  Several moms stated that their most useful purchase was their breastpump.  
As a working mom, I certainly  found my breastpump to be a very useful purchase.  However, I did have some "breastfeeding purchases" which I never got to use like the nipple shield and lily padz.  
Aside from my well used pump (I actually have 3!), I have also maximized the use of my nursing bras and nursing clothes.  My bra size increased 1 cup and 1 size up so all my old bras don't fit anymore.  I haven't purchased any new bra yet since I'm still nursing and I'm not sure if my bra size will shrink once I stop.  Besides, I'm quite happy with the nursing bras I have :) (shameless plug!).  Similarly, my nursing clothes have been put to good use.  I find that a lot of the new brands of nursing clothes are quite fashionable and you really wouldn't know that they are for nursing. 
However, there are several "breastfeeding essentials" pictured in Baby and Company's ad which I didn't think were necessary at all!  Would you apply anti-stress cream, elasticising oil, breast enhancing serum or firming cream on your breasts while you are nursing your child?! And what has nursery bags got to do with breastfeeding? I know some moms who never purchased anything for breastfeeding - so there are definitely no "breastfeeding essentials" that you need to purchase.  I don't recommend coming up with such lists especially since each mom varies with what they really find useful for breastfeeding!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bath Fun

It's my last giveaway and this week, I will be giving certificates to Big and Small Co.  This week, I was hoping to giveaway certificates to a product related to bathing.  Remember last month when I posted a rubber ducky and announced Lactacyd's Baby Care Village?  In exchange for that, I was supposed to get certificates.  I thought I was going to get gift certificates or gift packs from Lactacyd so planned a bath themed post for the last week.  But what the agency gave me were gift certificates to Big and Small Co. instead.  I'm sure moms would still love to get gift certificates! :)
I still want to hear about your bath time experiences so I'm sticking with this theme.  Naima and her cousin Julian loves our bathtub.  When we first moved to our place, I told Stan that I didn't want a bathtub in the master's bathroom and asked him to covert it to a shower stall instead.  He refused since he said that he was sure that our future baby was going to love the bathtub.  He was right!!  
Naima's bathtub time is scheduled on weekends and she ALWAYS looks forward to it.  She has books, crayons, letters and numbers which she plays with and associates with bathtime. I'm certainly glad that I listened to Stan and decided not to take out our bathtub yet.



How to join this contest?
Leave a comment about sharing your favorite bathtime stories or moments with your babies.  You can also get extra entries (total of 4 entries) by:

  1. Becoming a fan of Mama.Baby.Love on Facebook.
  2. Tweeting about this giveaway (please leave a link to your status update.  Right click in the time stamp and copy the URL).
  3. Blogging about the giveaway (please leave a link to your blog entry)
Leave a separate comment for each entry so it will be counted separately.  One comment = 1 entry.  However, both most useful and most useless baby purchase should be in 1 comment and counts only as 1 entry even if you write down xxx number of purchases in separate comments.
If your email address is not in your public profile, leave it with your comment in words (e.g. fabnaima[at]gmail[dot]com) so I can contact you if you win.
This contest is open to readers within the Philippines and items will be shipped to you for free using Xend.  Contest will end on May 28, Friday at 11:59PM.  Names of winners will be posted in this entry and will be contacted by email.  Please respond within 48 hours – otherwise, I will choose another winner.  Two winners will be chosen using random.org.  Winners can win once per week.


CONTEST CLOSED.  Winners to be announced by Tuesday.  

Congratulations Ally and me (Entry 3) and Madammisismommy (Entry 11)! You win gift certificates to Big & Small, Co. - courtesy of Creative Juice.  Please check your emails for details how to get the prizes :)  Thanks everyone for joining my 4-week giveaway!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

1st La Leche League Meeting in Makati

Finally!! A La Leche League meeting in Makati City! This is great news for Southern Manila moms like me who didn't want to waste Saturday weekend mornings in traffic going to Greenhills.  :D  Previously, there was only 1 La Leche League monthly meeting for the whole of Manila and it was held in Mary the Queen in Greenhills.  I think I attended just one or two meetings and gave up because going to Greenhills was just too far.  Happily, La Leche League Leader Abbie Yabot was able to organize a meeting in Makati City.  The 1st Makati La Leche League meeting will be held this Saturday, May 22 at 10am at the 3rd Floor of Rustan's Makati (Play Area).  Attendance is free and expectant and breastfeeding moms are welcome!  RSVP to Abbie.  See you there!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Breastfeeding Mechanics

Check out this video from Bumpology showing how a baby takes out milk from the breast as revealed through an ultrasound.

The video was prepared by Donna Geddes of Western Australia who was also a speaker during the 5th International Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium organized by Medela.  Dr. Geddes states that what happens during sucking is not a milking action but rather, "what we see is that when the tongue is lowered and the vacuum applied, that's when the milk is coming out of the breast, and that doesn't involve any compression of the nipple."  She goes on to explain that "infants who struggled to breastfeed generated much weaker vacuums" and for women with these babies, "keeping the milk flowing using a breast pump and using this to top up breastfeeding until the baby is strong enough to suck effectively may be a better option than giving up on breastfeeding altogether."  For women who find breastfeeding painful, Dr. Geddes' team explained that they found that the infants involved had "a particularly vigorous action" and as strong suckers, some were distorting or crushing the nipple.  
Some lactivists and breastfeeding purists may react and say that putting baby to the breast is still the best pump and is the best way to encourage baby to strengthen their weak suck.  However, for exclusive pumpers and even for working, pumping moms like me, understanding how babies really get out milk and knowing how a pump company is taking time, effort and funds to do this type of research is exciting.  Yes, babies are the best pump but for every pumping mom, being able to express as much milk within a shorter time is a goal to be achieved - especially since you are often pressed for time (at work!) and certainly don't enjoy the company of a cold machine (as opposed to your baby's warm body).  
As a pumping mom, I welcome this research and hope that this will pave the way for Medela (or some other pump company) to develop an effective pump with the goal of MORE MILK @ LESS TIME for moms.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shopping Tips for New Moms? - Giveaway Week 3







As a nursing mom with a 24/7 nibbler, I realized how difficult it was to go out of the house and shop for clothes, bras, etc. etc.  So, I thought about compiling a list of relevant shops - online and brick/mortar for nursing moms - and my Nursing Mom's Shopping Guide was born.  Currently there are 5 posts in this series - clothes and more clothes; nursing covers; nursing bras and malunggay.  I have a post about breast pumps which has been languishing in my drafts folder for several months now.  I also want to make a guide about nursing accessories (storage bags, nipple creams) locally available.
Despite having a shopping guide and having an online store catering to nursing moms, I still maintain that you don't have to buy anything to successfully breastfeed your child.  As Kellymom says - you only need 1 breast and 1 baby.   But for shopaholic moms like me out there, I hope that my shopping guide compilation is useful - especially during the first few weeks when new moms are still learning the ropes.
Apart from shopping for myself, I was excited when Naima was born because there were more reasons to shop!  To begin with, I was already a shopper when I was younger and single.  With online shopping on the rise, I'm now hooked on baby/toddler stuff shopping for Naima and my niece Anya and nephew Julian.
However, I found out that some items on every baby shopping list and that I also purchased are really useless.  For example, Naima's high chair is parked in 1 corner, eating up my precious space.  This high chair was used for about 3 months - when Naima was eating solids.  The chair was supposed to "grow with my child" but Naima has stopped using it since she turned 1.  Another useless purchase was the crib - which is now a glorified toy box. Naima still sleeps with us so we just stack her toys - including a humongous bear (bigger than her) in her crib.  Meanwhile, my most useful purchases would be my breast pump and baby carrier.
I'm sure moms have their own list of useful/useless purchases.  For the giveaway this week, moms are asked to share their own useful/useless purchases. 


There will be 2 winners.  Prizes for this week are:
1. Wall Candy Arts Count Border (winner chooses between pink or blue) and 
2. 2 wooden toys - spinning toy and hangman






How to join this contest?
Leave a comment about your most useful baby purchase and most useless baby purchase.  You can also get extra entries (total of 4 entries) by:

  1. Becoming a fan of Mama.Baby.Love on Facebook.
  2. Tweeting about this giveaway (please leave a link to your status update.  Right click in the time stamp and copy the URL).
  3. Blogging about the giveaway (please leave a link to your blog entry)
Leave a separate comment for each entry so it will be counted separately.  One comment = 1 entry.  However, both most useful and most useless baby purchase should be in 1 comment and counts only as 1 entry even if you write down xxx number of purchases in separate comments.
If your email address is not in your public profile, leave it with your comment in words (e.g. fabnaima[at]gmail[dot]com) so I can contact you if you win.
This contest is open to readers within the Philippines and items will be shipped to you for free using Xend.  Contest will end on May 21, Friday at 11:59PM.  Names of winners will be posted in this entry and will be contacted by email.  Please respond within 48 hours – otherwise, I will choose another winner.  Two winners will be chosen using random.org.  Winners can win once per week.

CONTEST CLOSED.  WINNERS TO BE ANNOUNCED BY TUESDAY

Congratulations to the winners - Anne and Dark (darkhalf888).


Anne, please check your email.  


Darkhalf888, please email me at fabnaima[at]gmail[dot]com.  Your profile is marked private and you didn't leave your email address. 


Please include your prize choice in your email.  Person who emails first gets to have the prize preference/choice.  Thanks for joining and check out the giveaway for week 4!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Preventing Freezer Burn on Breastmilk

With the frequent rotating brownouts all over the country, one of the concerns of pumping moms is freezer burn on their frozen breastmilk. I found this informative video on how to prevent freezer burn:

Meanwhile, if your frozen milk already shows signs of freezer burn, should it already be discarded? According to Britannica Online, freezer burn occurs when "improperly package frozen foods lose small amounts of moisture during storage, resulting in surface dehydration. If you have lots of extra stored milk, I would suggest that you throw out the frozen milk bags exhibiting freezer burn. However, considering that freezer burn is really just loss of moisture and doesn't mean that the milk is spoiled, my opinion is that you can also do the taste and smell test. Thaw out your milk in the refrigerator, then smell and taste if it is sour and spoiled. If you're lucky to have a baby who is not picky (like Naima), then you wouldn't have problems giving it. But if your baby refuses it, you can either throw it out or donate it to a milk bank with a pasteurizer. Don't forget to inform the nurse that it has already been thawed out and should be pasteurized immediately!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Creative Kids - Giveaway Week 2


Naima just finished her summer class and this proud mama just wants to share her artwork.  She has been quite busy this summer - summer classes with music and arts at Abba's Orchard and swimming classes with AquaLogic.  She continuously amazes us with her progress and development and the new things she says or does every day!  Some will tell me that I put her in school too early.   Naima started going to school in November last year when she was 1 year and 11 months old.  She went to Toddler Class every day for 2.5 hours.
For the 1st week, she didn't cry and even told me to go outside.    Surprisingly, she had the separation blues in the 2nd week.  But after that, going to school was normal and she looked forward to doing so everyday.  She loves music and arts.  I'm sure most kids do too.  


This week's prizes will be for your creative kids - 1 box of EcoStars and 1 pouch of Crayon Rocks.


There will be 2 winners - one for the EcoStars and one for the Crayon Rocks.  





How to join this contest?
Leave a comment about how your baby surprised you with their comments or antics.  You can also get extra entries (total of 4 entries) by:

  1. Becoming a fan of Mama.Baby.Love on Facebook.
  2. Tweeting about this giveaway (please leave a link to your status update.  Right click in the time stamp and copy the URL).
  3. Blogging about the giveaway (please leave a link to your blog entry)
Leave a separate comment for each entry so it will be counted separately.  One comment = 1 entry.  However, a comment about how your baby surprised you counts as only 1 entry even if you write down xxx number of antics in separate comments.
If your email address is not in your public profile, leave it with your comment in words (e.g. fabnaima[at]gmail[dot]com) so I can contact you if you win.
This contest is open to readers within the Philippines and items will be shipped to you for free using Xend.  Contest will end on May 14, Friday at 11:59PM.  Names of winners will be posted in this entry and will be contacted by email.  Please respond within 48 hours – otherwise, I will choose another winner.  Two winners will be chosen using random.org.  Winners can win once per week.


CONTEST CLOSED.  Winners will be announced by Tuesday.   

Congratulations to the winners:
Rosette Ecleo-Sacil (crayon rocks) and Ricci (ecostars).  

Please check your email, Rosette.

Ricci, please send me an email at fabnaima[at]gmail[dot]com.  Your profile is marked private and you didn't leave your email address.   

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Klean Kanteen Recall

I'm upset!! I just received an email from CPSC that Klean Kanteen is recalling its Sports Cap 2.0 water bottle spouts. Since the SIGG brouhaha last year, we've migrated to Klean Kanteen. I was able to purchase Naima's bottles from Babysteals (excellent site!) and purchased the sports cap from Amazon. I'm not too happy to learn that these caps are now the subject of a recall! There is no official Klean Kanteen distributor in the Philippines. I went to Klean Kanteen's recall website and filled up the customer's form - which luckily allowed international customers! Hopefully, the new spouts will get to the Philippines. We still love our Klean Kanteens and happily, the newer ones I purchased (again from Babysteals - you can tell I love that site!) came with the 3.0 sports cap!

*Update 29 July 2010. Medela Mom Maricel is the exclusive distributor of Klean Kanteen in the Philippines. You can contact her through the Medela House.

Details of the recall below:
Klean Kanteen Recalls Water Bottle Spouts Due to Choking Hazard

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Sport Cap 2.0 water bottle spouts

Units: About 1.2 million in the United States and 102,000 in Canada

Manufacturer: Klean Kanteen Inc., of Chico, Calif.

Hazard: The water bottle spouts can break or crack, posing a choking hazard to children and adults.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received six reports of incidents of the water bottle spouts breaking or cracking in children's mouths as they were drinking from the bottles. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The Sport Cap 2.0 water bottle spouts are made of black plastic and have an attachment loop. "Klean Kanteen" is stamped into the side of the cap.

Sold at: Outdoor sports stores, including LLBean, and grocery and specialty stores nationwide, and on the Web at www.llbean.com from April 2009 through April 2010 for $5 for the spout and between $15 and $28 when sold with a stainless steel water bottle.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product and contact Klean Kanteen to receive a free mailing envelope to return the water bottle spout and to receive a free replacement.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Klean Kanteen toll-free at (877) 546-9063 anytime, or visit the firm's website at www.kleankanteen.com/safetynotice

Note: Health Canada's press release is available at http://cpsr-rspc.hc-sc.gc.ca/PR-RP/recall-retrait-eng.jsp?re_id=1039

To see this recall on CPSC's web site, including a picture of the recalled product, please go to:
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10218.html

Monday, May 3, 2010

Breastfeeding stations and clinics

In 2006, SM set-up its first breastfeeding center in SM Megamall. SM currently has 24 breastfeeding stations in its various malls nationwide.  In fact, in March 2010, SM even won an Anvil Award of Merit for its Breastfeeding Program. Among the 24 stations, I've had the opportunity of using only the one in SM Mall of Asia.  It used to be located inside the main mall, near the ATMs.  I've used it several times and I really wasn't too happy.  Sure there was a private room, but it wasn't too clean.  Some moms reported that there were cockroaches and creepy crawlies there, although I've never seen any when I was using the room.  The room is quite small and once, I had to share it with another nursing mom, her yaya and her mom.  I was there with Naima and Naima's yaya and it was a tight fit for all of us.  Previously, the glass door was covered with blinds.  But some of the blinds got ripped off so management decided to use gauzy curtains instead - which to my opinion was a big mistake because I could see people lining in front of the ATM trying hard not to look inside the breastfeeding station.  If I can see them, I'm sure they can see me.  
Recently, a new wing in the Entertainment Mall opened - with shops focused on kids and families.  During a visit, I saw a "breastfeeding station and mall clinic" sign.  I was pleased that there was going to be a 2nd station.  But, it turned out, they were closing down the old clinic.  Now, with 390,193 m² of retail space, Mall of Asia is not exactly small.  I'm happy that they have 1 breastfeeding station but was actually hoping that they would maintain 2 - one for each wing.  Plus - what I didn't like about this breastfeeding station is that it is located inside the mall clinic!  Sure there was a nurse on duty all the time and the breastfeeding room was enclosed with walls and a real door.  But before you get to the breastfeeding room, you'd have to pass through the clinic examination area.  Seriously, would you want to bring your baby to an area where there is a possibility for him/her to be in close contact with sick people?!
To give them credit, the room was better furnished than the old breastfeeding station.  There were 2 sofas and some plastic chairs.  Plus there was a clean sink, with thermos.  What I didn't like was that when not in use, the breastfeeding room was being used as a stockroom.  You can see from the photo that wheelchairs, extra toilet papers and boxes are being stored there. 
Also, the new breastfeeding was cleaner.  I told the nurse on duty about my observations and she admitted that the breastfeeding room now was better maintained than the old breastfeeding station because there were doctors and nurses constantly in the room - thus, maintenance cleaned it more often.  
The nurse also mentioned that they had brought up with SM Management  the issue of having a breastfeeding room inside the clinic.  SM Management was non-committal on whether they would be transferring the breastfeeding room to a separate location.  But from the looks of the breastfeeding room and the set-up in other SM malls, I would think that SM Management is planning to combine breastfeeding rooms with their mall clinics permanently.  I hope SM Management will realize the importance of why breastfeeding rooms and clinics should be in separate rooms.  The SM's breastfeeding program is laudable but there just has to be some tweaks to make their rooms responsive to the nursing mom's needs.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pumping Moms! - Giveaway Week 1

I’m a working, pumping mom who never got the hang of hand-expressing milk.  So the pump was definitely a very good friend for 2 years.  When I first went back to work, I pumped 4x a day at the office, 1x when I woke up and one more time before I sleep (if Naima drank a lot that day).  That's about 2 hours of pumping per day or 60 hours per month for the first 6 months.  Pumping sessions slowly waned and now I am just at one pump a day - storing milk for my preemie niece.  
My most recent post on pumping was about the Time Magazine article on exclusive pumpers.  I also previously wrote about how pumping moms can increase and maintain their milk supply to ensure a long-term nursing career.   I compiled tips on proper milk storage and even wrote about how we set up a lactation program at my workplace.
Pumping is definitely not easy and I'm sure every pumping mom has a story to tell about their pumping challenges - from plugged ducts, to no let-down as well as have their own tips to share to new pumping moms.  For this week, the give-away will be 1 box of Honeysuckle Breast Milk Storage Bags which consists of 25 pieces of bags.  I will be giving away 2 boxes which means there will be 2 winners.  

Honeysuckle Breast Milk Storage Bags are the new solution to your milk storage needs.  A superior double zipper closure lets you know when you've sealed the bag.  Our bags have an excellent tamper evident top to insure sterility and a large writing area for you to mark the date and other information.  Wide side seals and a reinforced bottom offer leak protection not available with any other brand.  These bags are made from FDA approved, BPA free materials,  to far exceed today's demanding ecological and safety requirements.
What sets these Breast Milk Storage bags apart from others is that they are the first line available that are environmentally conscious.  With the inclusion of the Oxo-Biodegradable technology, these bags will deteriorate in the environment in approximately 18 months after they are disposed of.  This will provide a better future for you and your child.

Read a review of the Honeysuckle Milk Storage Bags here






How to join this contest?
Leave a comment about your biggest pumping challenge with a tip to pumping moms.  You can also get extra entries (total of 4 entries) by:

  1. Becoming a fan of Mama.Baby.Love on Facebook.
  2. Tweeting about this giveaway (please leave a link to your status update.  Right click in the time stamp and copy the URL).
  3. Blogging about the giveaway (please leave a link to your blog entry)
Leave a separate comment for each entry so it will be counted separately.  One comment = 1 entry.  However, a pumping challenge + tip counts only as 1 entry even if you write down xxx number of challenges/tips in separate comments.
If your email address is not in your public profile, leave it with your comment in words (e.g. fabnaima[at]gmail[dot]com) so I can contact you if you win.
This contest is open to readers within the Philippines and items will be shipped to you for free using Xend.  Contest will end on May 7, Friday at 11:59PM.  Names of winners will be posted in this entry and will be contacted by email.  Please respond within 48 hours – otherwise, I will choose another winner.  Two winners will be chosen using random.org.  Winners can win once per week.

CONTEST CLOSED.    
Week 2 Giveaway already up HERE.  Winners will be announced on Tuesday.   

Congratulations to the winners!
Mavie and Nachobing.  Please check your emails.  
Deleted comments not included in count.



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