Saturday, July 4, 2015

Helpful breastfeeding sites and pages

Remember when I mentioned in this post that I would share with you some of the websites and forums that really helped me out when I started breastfeeding? Well, here goes! First, know that there's a wealth of information out there on the topic. You can actually go crazy with the number of resources open to you when you go online. After spending so much time researching in preparation for breastfeeding, I found that some articles would conflict with the information that I would read in another article. I started to get confused: one would say pumping milk is bad, the other would say pumping could increase your supply. Or one would say don't freeze your breastmilk while others would say it's perfectly okay to store your stash in the freezer. When it started to stress me out, I decided to select only a few websites that I would check regularly for tips and news. And they are (tan-tan-an-an!) ~
- A very organized website that explodes with information! Everything from how to establish a proper latch, how to deal with sore nipples and even breastfeeding children with special needs.
The Boob Geek
- Similar to Kellymom, this is an evidence-based breastfeeding support website from certified lactation consultants. Very insightful on some issues such as milk supplements and stuff.
La Leche League of the Philippines
- Something closer to home, this site gives information on certified lactation consultants depending on the area you are closest to.
Breastfeeding Pinays
- I didn't realize how important it is to have a support group when one decides to breastfeed. But honestly? The group of people behind Breastfeeding Pinays lend mothers so much support and encouragement and faith that they just bolster your confidence in breastfeeding. It is also another venue to air your concerns, and no matter how little you think your worries are, these moms freely share their tips, ideas and suggestions.
Mommy Mundo
- A page that basically shares information on events centered on breastfeeding, parenting, childbirth preparation, even seminars for your yaya or house help. These events also feature retailers and suppliers of things you may want for when your little one pops out.
If you're a visual person (like me) and think that tutorial videos are a gift from God, this is the video series that worked wonders for me. Especially after giving birth and my baby and I were still trying to figure out the right latch.
- I like the video on hand expression as well. Really, you won't need to look at other videos on breastfeeding after watching Dr. Jane Morton discuss it because these are very comprehensive.
So there you go, I hope this helps you and eases you as it did for me. Happy breastfeeding!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

There are so many women out there who beat themselves up for not breastfeeding their child. I know,  I was one of them. Hey, breastfeeding is tough. Not everyone can do it and if youre a parent and you choose to breastfeed you child - congratulations! If you decided to go with formula then I'm not going to judge you and will, in fact, support you all the way. 
I had so many excuses, er, challenges with my firstborn, Z, and why I had to give her formula:
  1. She wouldn't latch on to my breast when she was born
  2. I felt like she wasn't getting enough milk
  3. I felt so sorry for her when she would cry and fuss
For my second baby, E, I wanted to make sure that I stick with breastfeeding and not find a convenient excuse to fall back on. Basically, I didn't give myself any other choice but to breastfeed. Here's what I did:
Research like crazy.
I devoured breastfeeding blogs and articles. I copied the tips they gave out and compiled them into a notepad. I took note of the different positions they tried for breastfeeding success as well as the problems they encountered in the event that I would face them myself one day.
Reach out to other breastfeeding mothers.
Having a support group is invaluable. I was absolutely motivated by the wife of one of my closest friends, she exclusively breastfed her firstborn and had a couple of freezers full of her milk. She cheered me on. Gave me so many tips on her successful breastfeeding journey and she made sure that the gifts she gave me from the baby shower and the other celebrations after that, fully supported breastfeeding. She directed me to other breastfeeding sites/forums on the internet and these also helped me so much in terms of knowledge and support.
Don't buy formula/bottles.

When Z was born we had a checklist of things we needed to buy, from diapers to crib sheets to baby bottles and cleaners, and we made sure we bought them and completed the list. This time around, we deliberately chose not to buy bottles for the baby or even formula. The very idea of having the formula and bottles close by would be too tempting for me to resist. And at the slightest hurdle, I knew I would cave and bottle feed the baby. So I decided to eliminate that temptation altogether. This was probably the best and easiest tip ever and it super worked for me. 
Don't put unnecessary pressure on yourself.
I told myself that my ultimate goal would be to breastfeed E exclusively. But I also told myself that if I did not get to reach that goal, then I wouldn't punish myself or think of it as a form of failure. I told myself that I would give it my all and if there's really nothing there, then there's nothing much I can do about it. It would not make me less of a good mother if I cannot breastfeed.
Remember, the first few weeks after you give birth are already stressful. As a new mom, make it a point to focus on your lovely baby rather than obsess on breastfeeding. 
I'm no expert when it comes to breastfeeding but these were what worked for me and I'm happy I stuck to my guns. I am still breastfeeding E and my volume or supply is still pretty good. How about you? How did you prepare for breastfeeding your little one?
I will share some of the links to the blogs and forums that helped me out so please check the next post for that! 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Second baby! Back to blogging.

I've forgotten my password. It's been that long since I last accessed this blog and thank goodness for password retrieval options, I've finally managed to get in!

So hello…again :) My eldest, Z, has just turned 3 and I gave birth to my second girl, E, last April 12th.

Isn't she lovely? I got back to reading a lot of parenting blogs and they have inspired me to write once again.

Being a parent is never an easy thing. Personally, I find motherhood to be the most terrifying, rewarding, exhausting 'job' ever. And when, last December 2014, we found out that we were going to have another baby, I realized the 2 girls would be three years apart and I had completely forgotten about the sleepless nights, the colicky baby, the fussing, diaper-changing, the various baby cues I had researched to no end with my firstborn. Now, it's back to scratch. (Yet another reason for me to 'start' again with this blog, seeing as I was spending so much time reading so many.)

Let me share with you some of the dilemmas and solutions I have encountered, some tips for would-be parents and some funny stories of my kids as well. Let me offer you a peek into the life of an average, middle-class family and how we make it work.

And if you're a parent and would like to share your experiences, well, I would love that too!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Postpartum a year after?

Everything happens for a reason.

This is something I've been telling myself constantly over the past few months. I got married. Got pregnant. Gave birth. I'm raising a lovely, active daughter. I'm working. Trying to be the best wife, mother, sibling, friend to the people I love.
And often I feel like I'm going out of my mind.

Can you have postpartum depression a year after giving birth?
Maybe I don't know what to call it. Lately, it seems as if I can't get my bearings straight and I am desperately trying to get my head above water. Rising water. Strong current. Madness.

It's a constant feeling of being overwhelmed. I thought that after I have the baby, everything would fall into place. house is still so disorganized, my "to-do list" keeps extending, I'm always tired when I get to work and when I get home. I'm uninspired, unhappy and drowning.

Help! I don't want to be here.

I've got a loving family, great friends, a stable job. I've been repeating those three things in my head as well. It will get better, right? I know God has plans for me and that everything happens for a reason. I know that He will not forget me. He will be my pillar of strength in this sea of loneliness.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

New Blog Project!

I've created a new blog to chronicle my baking adventures and mishaps! 2013 is the year for me to organize my blog, after all. Please do check it out, its

The first entries are all re-posts of the baking posts I've already published here, I will be adding more of my baking ramblings in that blog and I would love it if you visit :) Thanks!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Royal Red Heart Cupcake Toppers

I've got a couple of new stuff I've baked recently and am extremely happy with. For peanut butter lovers and chocolate lovers alike. Problem is, it is almost midnight as I write this, I have to wake up early tomorrow morning and my recipe book happens to be on the top shelf of a cabinet about 12 feet away. So I'll post the pictures and recipes some other time.
Instead, I want to share with you pictures of these vivid red cupcakes toppers I made out of royal icing.
It's almost February and a lot of people are already busy with orders for Valentine's! Personally, I don't treat Valentine's Day any differently, it's NOT a non-working holiday so it certainly feels like a regular day. Plus, the whole bouquet of flowers on V-Day? It doesn't really work for me.
But give me a box of chocolates or cupcakes...and I will instantly follow you like a lovesick puppy!
These photos show my first attempts at royal icing. I piped the hearts on acetate that I wiped a bit with shortening. I didnt realize the toppers would take so long to dry! I made the hearts for my sister-in-law's birthday dinner the following night and the royal icing was still very soft and terribly fragile. I should have let them dry for at least 2 days. Oh well.
I managed to get all the cupcakes decorated and that's what counts. I am tempted to do this again for Valentine's day to give to my relatives. Apart from the drying time, you finish so much in less than an hour!
You don't even have to wait for Valentine's Day to make these!
Because everyday should be Valentine's Day! (Cheesy, I know haha!)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Creamy & Dreamy

I know I've mentioned that Cream Cheese doesn't seem to agree much with me, but after making so many red velvet cupcakes over the holidays I have finally found my go-to recipe for tasty cream cheese frosting that hasn't failed me so far.
I don't even have to put this in the chiller since it holds its shape after piping. That means I get to finish decorating my cupcakes sooner without compromising the taste of my frosting.
So I hope you try this out and if you've ever had problems with cream cheese frosting, you can now kiss them a sweet goodbye with this recipe!

What we'll need:
1 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup shortening
 3-4 cups icing sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream butter, shortening and cream cheese. Once well combined add the vanilla extract and salt. Add the icing sugar gradually. You don't have to use up all 4 cups of icing sugar, if you like the consistency of the frosting with 3 cups you can stop there. 
My cousin likes a sweeter frosting so when I made her cupcakes I used 5 cups of icing sugar and added 1/2 teaspoon milk. 
But that's basically it! Cream cheese frosting that's stiff and rich and oh so delicious! 
Now I never have to worry about making cream cheese frosting! In fact, I now come up with all sorts of excuses to make this kind of frosting!