Monthly Archives: October 2015

Our Little Gift for the Hardworking Padede Mommy

Standard

Breastfeeding is not easy.  To someone who have not experienced to nurse a baby, it may seem like an easy task.  They see nursing mommies, sitting down or lying in bed with baby.  They think it’s something that can be done without any effort or hardwork.  What most people don’t realize is that breastfeeding is difficult.  It can be emotionally, mentally and physically draining most especially for a new mother.

Having gone through the challenges and drama of breastfeeding a baby with an appetite, I have always wanted to reach out and help another padede mommy who may be going through a tough time nursing their baby.

I am not a certified lactation consultant, a peer counselor or a doctor.  I am just a simple stay at home mommy who can sometimes be shy and aloof around people.  With my limited resources, the best help that I can think of is to run a Random Act of Kindness giveaway of milk boosters to mommies who are in need of support.

When I first opened the giveaway, I was terrified that it won’t generate interest with people because the items are pretty basic and not bonggabels enough.  I thought I would be baking oatmeal cookies for days.  (I am not a good baker. hahaha)  But seeing the number of entries and shares, made me tear up. (Naiyak talaga ako, pramis!) We are overwhelmed with the number of people who joined and subscribed to our page.

Thank you so much, Fluffinay friends.  You made our family happy.

And now for your most awaited announcement:

The winners of our mommy care package are:

Congratulations!

Congratulations, mommies Flor Ortiz Intes and Carmen Dela Cruz.  Please send me a PM. 😀

Thank you again for your support, friends. If we didn’t draw your name tonight, don’t worry because we have more RAOKs in store for you. Malapit na ang Christmas. hihihi.

xoxo

Anne

Advertisements

Baby Foody at the Mandala Weekend Market

Standard

It was a day of celebration for the Fluffinay family because this frazzled momma has reached a milestone last Saturday. Fluffinay turned a month old! Hooray!  (*danced the jig. Baby looked at me and thought I was cray-cray. ) I was able to successfully commit to writing 2 blogs per week despite the challenges of running a household without a maid, caring for a hyperactive toddler, hand* sewing an epic halloween costume,  managing a random act of kindness giveaway, and making sure I get to shower everyday.

Jpeg

Epic Halloween costume (I’ll tell you more about this badass DIY project soon. ❤ )

Since this foody family wanted to celebrate with good, organic, and healthy food,  we trooped over to Mandaluyong to experience the gastronomic delights of the Mandala Park Weekend Market.

12119185_1693830794183237_1514293662538417109_n

IMG_20151026_3

Mandala Park is a 3.2 hectare eco friendly community where you can unwind with great food and soulful music after a stressful week at work or at home with a mischievous toddler. Formerly known as the Liberty Center it now blooms as the city’s first wellness haven and pioneer of urban sustainable living.

October 24 marked the second installment of this feast and we were greeted with warm smiles, mouthwatering aroma and a relaxing ambiance.  The lineup of merchants curated by chef Yulo and the developer Litton & Co, Inc. were chosen for their involvement with the sustainable movement and their support of local businesses and industries.

12036975_1686004418299208_3448900408498579076_n

What better way to start our food adventure than with dessert! Sophia enjoyed her cheatday with sweets by having a mouthful of creamy Vanilla Malt  ice cream from Fog City Creamery.  This delectable treat gave Sophia brain freeze but she didn’t seem to mind because she kept asking for more.  Their Vanilla Malt ice cream tasted like rich vanilla milkshake with chunks of Malteser chocolate.  It was so delicious! Their organic preservative-free ice cream was perfect for this little miss who only gets to eat sweets twice a month. (Yes, mommy is a meanie.)

They have a long list of ice cream flavors that made me wish I wasn’t on the corset diet so I could eat ’em all. Ferrero Rocher with Nutella Swirl, Salted Caramel, Bourbon Pecan, and Strawberry Shortcake were just some of their offerings.  You can check their website here for more information on Fog City Creamery. But please be warned, it may give you an intense ice cream craving today.

Fog City Creamery Their ice cream contain no preservatives or artificial stabilizers. <3

Fog City Creamery Their ice cream contains no preservatives or artificial stabilizers. ❤

Malt ice cream made of malteasers. Baby likes!

Malt ice cream full of maltesers. Baby likes!

Having satisfied our sweet tooth, it was time to look for something savory. And what luck! Guess who we bumped into at Mandala Park? It’s our favorite neighborhood cevicheria, Po’ke Boy. 🙂

Poke Boy owner

Po’ke Boy’s Patrick Roa (Photo by Pat Roa)

Po’ke Boy served their signature dish Tuna Ahi Po’ke (Hawaiian kinilaw) with cabbage slaw and Kalua Pork Rice on caramelized onions, pineapple chutney, and coconut lime rice. Yum! Yum!  The tuna was so fresh it melts in your mouth.  It was delightful!  I wolfed it down so fast, I wasn’t able to ask my husband if he wanted some. (sorry-not-sorry!)

Poke Boy

Photo credit: Pat Roa

Here’s a trivia for you. When I was pregnant with Sophia (around the 3rd trimester) I had this uncontrollable craving for kilawin or ceviche. I know, I know. They warn pretty preggy mommies not to eat raw fish. But their ceviche was so fresh and delicious that I couldn’t help myself. Plus, I made sure that the fish was “cooked” well in its lemon bath. Po’ke Boy’s (Patricio’s along Bayani Road) ceviche will always be one of my healthy food favorites.

Right next to Po’ke Boy was another sweet treat, Mr. Fluffies. They offer lip smacking fairy floss made from locally sourced organic sugar.  It’s a guilt free indulgence too.  Mr.Fluffies serve gluten free, low fat and low-cal (100 calories only) sweets . Candy enthusiasts would have a hard time choosing their cotton candy flavor because they have 30 unique options to choose from like watermelon, mango, lychee, cheesecake, black forest, and custard.  We sampled their cinnamon cotton candy and it was delightful! You could really taste the cinammon and you end up smelling like Christmas. (No cotton candy for the spritely baby though!)

Fluffinay meets Mr.Fluffy

Fluffinay meets Mr.Fluffies 😀

To wash down the sticky sweetness of sugar, we dropped by the Stanford & Shaw Ginger Ale booth. Ginger ale is brewed from fermented ginger, lemon and sugar. Stanford & Shaw has the best ginger ale ever. Period. It was so refreshing and fizzy, I gulped down a cup like a thirsty fishie.  Plus points to ginger ale because it can help increase milk in lactating mommies. (Hooray! More milk for Sophia)  Instead of drinking beer, padede mommies could drink ginger ale instead. It has less alcohol at 1% and it was so so so delicious! I drank almost 2 bottles.  (Loved their bottle!) When we got home later that evening, I was surprised to be engorged and Sophia seemed to like the taste of ginger ale because she wouldn’t let go of the booby.

However, nursing moms be warned. Ginger or ginger ale in the early postpartum is not recommended if there was significant blood loss during birth. Do not take ginger immediately after birth due to danger of hemorrhaging. Ginger tends to compound and increase the effects of medication being taken. Talk to your doctor if you are taking medication, especially diabetic, blood-thinning, or heart medicine.**

IMG_20151026_6

IMG_20151026_7

More food finds at the Mandala Park include Ribs Manila’s smoked pulled pork, Fruit Magic’s cold pressed juices, B&T Mexican Kitchen, and Pedro Brewcrafters beers.

While Sophia was enjoying her Pork Niku Soba from Ramen Iroha, Jason was busy with his Sausage Bap from IAmKim by Chef Him Uy de Baron and Nutella shake with choco chip cookie from Scouts Honor. And me? I was chilling to the soulful voice of Kat Agarrado of Sinosikat? with my bottle of ginger ale. Ah! Life is good, (sigh!)

Sophia had a great time running around the area with its enclosure of greens. She even tried several times to climb the stage to join Sinosikat?. hahaha! (This little girl has big dreams.)

It was an evening of great food and beautiful music. We can’t wait to go back to Mandala Park next month.

IMG_20151026_9

Don’t know how to get there?  Check out this map from Mandala Park’s FB page. 🙂

12065895_1694718287427821_7404225486464965484_n

For more information on this awesome organic food haven, please visit their Facebook page Mandala Park and their Instagram account @mandalaparkph.

Hope to bump into you at the next Mandala Weekend Market on November 18, fluffinay friends! 🙂

xoxo

Anne ❤

** Lactogenic Food and Herbs (Based on the Book, Mother Food: A Breastfeeding Diet Guide by Hilary Jacoson CH.HU.SI) 

My Formula That Stopped Formula Feeding (How I Ditched Formula Milk in Less Than 3 Months)

Standard

15 months ago, I gave birth to my rambunctious, funny, sweet and adorably naughty baby girl. It was the happiest time of our lives but it was also the most difficult.  We were first time parents who were clueless in caring for a newborn, I was battling with high blood pressure from my eclampsia, fighting off post partum depression, and my husband was desperately trying to earn money as a freelance writer.  To make matters worse, our plan to breastfeed exclusively was not panning out.  We were both stretched to the limit at all fronts  –  emotionally, mentally, and financially. (Read about our birth story here.)

IMG_20140816_035400

When I found out that my precious baby was dehydrated and lost almost 18% of her birth weight, it was with a heavy heart that I mixed fed her.  I felt as a failure as a mother that I starved my baby for more than a week.  But, I knew that all hope was not lost and I could still work on getting Sophia back to EBF (exclusively breastfeed) status. (More on our breastfeeding journey here.)

I continued to nurse Sophia while I was still on anti-hypertensive drugs.  I would give her formula then have her latch to my breast after she finished a bottle. I would breastfeed her for hours and she would use my breast as her pacifier.  We would have breastfeeding marathons every day. I would sit in a chair for 2 or 3 hours nursing.  I forsook combing my hair, bathroom breaks, visits from friends, and household chores just to nurse my baby.  The best way to increase your milk output was to keep on latching and doing so also helped with my emotional and mental state as it made me feel that despite my low supply; it was I who was filling my baby’s tummy with milk.

A month after giving birth, my blood pressure went back to normal and I started taking malunggay (moringa) capsules.  My mother bought me a pack and I took 3 capsules religiously everyday.  But after I finished my supply, I wasn’t able to sustain taking the herbal supplement because it was an additional expense that we could not afford.  😥 Luckily, we have 2 malunggay  trees in our yard. Why pay for something when you can get it for free, right?

Jpeg

I would harvest malunggay leaves every morning and I would add the leaves to our meal or boil it into tea. If we’re not having soup like tinola or halaan, I would make a simple broth with only malunggay, garlic, onion, and ginger. Sometimes the plain broth got a bit boring so I would add the leaves to this instant noodles.

Malunggay noodles

Malunggay noodles

After each meal, I would feel engorged and that made me really happy and motivated that I was finally feeling my milk come in.  I increased my water intake to 3 to 4 liters per day and added a big glass of Milo after each meal.

Milo is rich in malt and malt is a well known galactagogue.  I noticed an increase in my milk supply as I was also pumping 2 or 3 times a day. What other beverage contains malt? Well beer of course!  I tried drinking alcohol but I absolutely dislike its aftertaste that I couldn’t even finish a glass.

From less than 10ml from both breasts to this was an achievement for me

From less than 10ml from both breasts to this was an achievement for me

Another milk booster that worked brilliantly for me was oatmeal.  It would have been better to have used rolled oats but as it was difficult to find and more expensive than the regular ones, I opted to use the instant oatmeal instead. However, I am not overly fond of eating boiled oats and sugar. To make it more palatable, I turned it into arrozcaldo and champorado. Yum! Yum! I would also mix it with my Milo drink for my homemade Oishi Oaties. 🙂

After more than 2 months of my milk booster regimen, Sophia was finally back to being nursed exclusively. No more formula milk for her and I was able to restore my baby’s virgin gut. It took a lot of hard work and patience but everything paid off. My baby is now a toddler and she continues to breastfeed from mommy. It was the combination of the following that helped me finally ditch formula milk:

  1. More padede, more milk. Unlidede to the max.
  2. Water, water, water and soup every meal
  3. Malunggay everyday (capsule or fresh leaves)
  4. Oatmeal
  5. Belief in your ability to produce an abundance of milk for your child.

Our situation now is a complete reversal of what we were going through last year. My blood pressure remains to be normal, I have overcome post partum depression, and my husband is with a stable company and earning enough for me to be a stay at home mom (SAHM). We feel immensely blessed because we have our dear Sophia and she is healthy, smart, and oh so active.

She raided daddy's snack bin!

She raided daddy’s snack bin!

Having gone through the stress and anxiety of needing to produce enough milk for your baby, I know how hard it is for a mother to increase milk supply with limited resources. Hence, we would like to pay it forward to one padede momma who may be going through a breastfeeding hurdle. For more information on our little random act of kindness (raok), please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Fluffinay

See you on FB, mommas!

xoxo

Anne

Firespiral Slings – Cinnabar Sand Vortex <3

Standard

January 2015.

I was falling in love with wrapping my baby using woven wraps.  I was so besotted with wrapping that I have purchased wraps from all the available local weaving houses at that time.  I wanted to try more wraps and I was excited to explore.  I stalked international babywearing groups on Facebook and read up on wrap recommendations from experienced babywearers around the world.  If I were to brave astronomical customs charges, that international wrap better be worth it!

Mommies were raving about Oscha, Artipoppe, and Woven Wings but sadly; they were all expensive and beyond my wrap budget.  Then, I heard about Firespiral Slings. I checked their website and fell head over heels with their Gamma Crucis Starmap wrap. (I didn’t know this wrap was extremely hard to find and highly sought after. Silly me for thinking I could own a unicorn!)

0baf3b444e09e4bd811f32a475843ded

Firespiral Slings jacquard woven wraps are made in North West England.   They employ small, local producers and suppliers and they believe in ecological and ethical production.  The owners, Jen and Tamsin are very hands on with Firespiral.  They are involved with every process from the wrap design up to its shipment as well as their after sales service.  (They have amazing customer support!  It’s either Jen or Tamsin who will respond to your email.)

logo

They have 2 design lines, Alchemy and Elements.  The Alchemy wraps are more lush as they use a looser weave for the ultimate in softness, mouldability and cush. They use a wider range of designs, fibres and techniques; thus, a lot of Alchemy wraps are highly sought after.

dryad_dendron_birch_trees-7small

Dryad Dendron Birch Trees

cir01sherbet6

Sherbet Curves of Pursuit

Obsidian Cyano Starmap Wrap

Obsidian Cyano Starmap Wrap

The Elements range is their budget line and are perfect beater wraps. They have a tighter weave and comes in limited designs.  All Elements wrap are 100% cotton.  It needs very little breaking in because it is already soft once you receive it but you need to use it frequently for it to reach Alchemy softness.

Brimstone TS

Brimstone Tentacular Spectacular

dsc_0883-1024x680

Graphite Starmap

magenta_kaleidoscope_flat_-2

Magenta Kaleidoscope

Screenshot_2015-08-24-14-54-54_1

I have never tried purchasing from abroad and I was terrified of the package getting lost or of the  customs officer overcharging me with taxes.  But I can’t stop thinking about Fispi.  It was on my mind all the time whether I was awake or in dream land.  I dreamt that I was on the website purchasing a wrap and then the following night, I dreamt that our postman was at our gate with my fispi goody.  I had to give in to the inevitable, I created an account on Firespiral and ordered my first international wrap.`

Cinnabar Sand Vortex

Cinnabar Sand Vortex

It took about 2 weeks for the wrap to arrive here in Manila and another week for it to be forwarded to the Taguig Post Office. (Thank you Sybelle for the help!) Since I wasn’t familiar with the process of picking up parcels from the post office, I called the Taguig PO and inquired about my package.  Luckily, the lady who answered the telephone was friendly and she offered to check if my wrap has arrived.  I gave her the tracking number and when she confirmed that it was there, I immediately changed my clothes and left for the PO.

At the post office, I was asked to pay one hundred pesos (php 100) for the handling fee and was directed to the customs holding area.  I was met by the post master and he told me that I was lucky that the customs officers were not there and as it was my first PO pick up; I would not be charged with customs fees. However, he gave me a stern warning that next time I would have to pay taxes.

I was ecstatic!  So happy that my wrap was in my arms and I did not pay for taxes.  As soon as I got home,  I took obligatory fluff mail photos. 🙂

IMG_20150408_140031

IMG_20150408_140056

 

Here’s some Cinnabar Sand Vortex geekery from the Firespiral website:

Cinnabar Sand Vortex is a spiralling undulation of large and small circles which bring to mind a distant galaxy but also the swirl of bubbles in the crema of a freshly stirred espresso or bubbles in a washing up bowl. The warp is a warm cream colour and the weft an alternating brick red and deep purple. This is a medium weight wrap, weighing in at around 245 gsm, the weave structure that we use making it supportive for heavy toddlers yet so soft on the skin of a newborn.

IMG_20150408_155739

IMG_20150408_155635

IMG_20150408_155602

FB_IMG_1437584986915

As it’s 100% combed cotton, the wrap is floppy out of the bag. I wasn’t able to resist doing a quick carry with my baby.  (I know I should have washed it first but it was so so so soft.) After it’s first bath, it became ridiculously softer like a well used baby blanket.

Cinnabar Sand Vortex is under the Alchemy line of Firespiral Slings.  The loose weave makes it airy and perfect for our weather.  This is my favorite wrap and we wear it at least once a week and I cuddle with it at least once a day. 🙂

FB_IMG_1437584972439

Its weight 245 gsm doesn’t feel heavy or thick on a humid day. In fact, it offers the perfect amount of cush as I never had sore shoulders or back when I carry with this wrap.  It wraps like a bandage and it molds perfectly with the right amount of grip.  The marshmallow softness is perfect for little squishes.   My ovaries ache to wrap a tiny baby in this fluffy cloud. (sigh!)

At 9Kgs, Sophia is starting to get heavier and when worn on my back, I had to make adjustments every now and then because it will start to sag.  For toddlers, you need to tighten properly to avoid this.  The loose weave of the vortex design makes this beauty extremely prone to pulls.  I make sure not to wear any jewelry and I keep it away from objects that may snag at the threads. Sometimes pulls do happen but the loose weaving also makes it easier to fix.

IMG_20151019_1

Fispi is popular for its marshmallow softness and it has been speculated that Jen and Tamsin pre-wash their wraps in pixie dust and unicorn blood.  If you want to coccoon yourself and your little one with the softest wrap in the planet, then try a fispi.

IMG_20150805_1

 

You can purchase your first Fispi by logging on to their website:

http://www.firespiralslings.co.uk/

If you buy directly from them shipping fee to Manila is GBP13.90.

 

They only have 2 authorized retailers (that I know of):

Wrap Baby Boutique in the US

http://wrapbabyboutique.com/collections/firepsiral-slings

Mom’s Little Ones in Malaysia

http://momslittleones.com/firespiral-slings-c-86_151.html

I have only purchased directly from Firespiral so I’m not sure how much the shipping cost will be from their retailers.

 

 

If money is not an issue, which Fispi wrap would you like to cuddle with? 😀

 

FB_IMG_1437584990128

xoxo

Anne

My Baby is a Foodie. How I Raised a Toddler with an Appetite

Standard

When baby is hungry and want a bite to eat. Wanna know what I give her?

Banana, broccoli, watermelon, and avocado. She also likes tinola, sinigang, salmon, and prawns. Fried chicken, macaroni soup, cream dory, mung beans, and bread. Yogurt, pasta, dimsum, arrozcaldo, and rice balls.

There are a lot more to include in this list of nyum-yums and it would probably fill an entire page if I write them all.

You see my friends, my baby has a very healthy appetite.

She couldn't wait till we got to the check out counter. She just had to eat some bread.

She couldn’t wait till we reach the check out counter. She just had to eat some bread.

When Sophia was around 3 months old, I started to get nervous about introducing solid food.  As a first time mom, I was worried about the kind of food that I would feed her and if she would become a picky eater.  I was terrified at the prospect of chasing a toddler with a spoon and plate full of food. Judy Ann Santos’ Lactum commercial gave me nightmares for days. (shiver!) The search string, “How-to-avoid-picky-eating” was always on Google as part of my preparation for her introduction to solid food. (No, I don’t have any plans on giving her follow-on milk.)

lactum

I came along Baby Led Weaning Philippines and was so impressed with how well the babies were eating.  They were independent eaters too.  You can find videos and photos of little ones as young as 18 months old eating  on their own with a spoon. I was intrigued. So I trawled the internet for more information on this new weaning approach.

images (1)

Baby Led Weaning (BLW) simply means letting your baby eat on her own. You offer food cut in strips or sticks.  No purees. No mashed veggies or fruits. No food processors. No airplane or choo-choo train spoonfuls. No Gerber and no Cerelac.  It’s easy, healthy, and has been around for a very long time.

If you have more than one child, you may already be doing BLW but just don’t realize that what you are doing has a name.

Sophia eating her first solid food - avocado!

Sophia eating her first solid food – avocado!

What convinced me to give BLW a go? Here are some of the benefits we can now see with Sophia after 8 months of baby led weaning:

1. BLW babies have adventurous palates.

Have you seen the list above? Those are just some of the foods that she like to eat.  With BLW, your baby gets to explore taste, texture, color, and smell. Ampalaya and okra? No problem. Baby will eat ’em all.

Guess what she's eating? It's slimy okra!

Guess what she’s eating? It’s slimy okra!

2. BLW babies are independent and confident.

She prefers to eat on her own but I must confess that I would sometimes spoon feed her. However, after 2 (3 at most) spoonfuls, she would get fussy and refuse to open her mouth. I would then hand her the spoon and she would smile triumphantly and promptly resume eating on her own. She does take a long time to finish her meal though but once she’s done, she would hand me her plate and cutlery. Since she is independent at eating, mommy can eat along with her 🙂 No more cold porridge for momma bear!

Sophia eating pancit at her granny's birthday party.

Sophia eating pancit at her granny’s birthday party.

3. BLW helps to develop baby’s  hand-eye coordination and chewing skills.

Picking up food on her tray also helped Sophia develop her pincer  grasp. Her grasp is so good, she can quickly open zippers.

She opened daddy's bag and tried to hide inside.

She opened daddy’s bag and tried to hide inside.

4. BLW babies are not picky eaters.

There’s no begging or bribing and there’s no Juday Lactum drama at the Fluffinay household during meal times because Sophia loves to eat.

All healthy babies can begin to feed themselves from about six months. They just need to be given the opportunity.

But it’s not always lala land with BLW,  there are some serious setbacks too most especially if you’re a neat freak like me.

1.  It is very messy.

Think food on the wall, on the floor, inside her clothes,  in her nappy,  on mommy’s clothes,  on her hair,  behind her ears, food on the dog.  You get the picture?

But once the little ones get a bit older,  they do help mommy and the dogs with the clean up.

She's doing her own clean up. :-)

She’s doing her own clean up. 🙂

2. Food is wasted.

Please see item no. 1. It’s very messy.  Some people are put off BLW because of the wasted food.  In our home,  we have an effective and efficient solution to BLW food wastes.

Meet the dobermonster clean up crew.

The Dobermonster Furies. Top photo: Alecto Bottom: Tisiphone

The Dobermonster Furies.
Top photo: Alecto
Bottom: Tisiphone

To start our BLW journey, we had to stifle all excitement and eagerness to watch her eat for the first time. We waited till she was 6 months old and was able to sit unassisted on her own.  Practical that we are, we borrowed a high chair from her cousin so she can join us at the dining table for meals.

Sophia sits on the highchair for the first time.

Sophia sits on the highchair for the first time.

Her first solid food was creamy avocado. I cut it in strips and placed it on her tray. She played with the food first but eventually started putting it in her mouth.

After avocado, we experimented with other foods that are easy to pick up like broccoli, carrots, camote, and okra. I would steam the veggies and put it on her tray. We have long stopped using bowls and plates. They all ended up shattered in a hundred pieces on the floor. (Sorry, Ninang Charley.  Sophia used the plate and bowls you gave her as UFOs.)

We always make sure to have mealtimes together. If we eat, she eats too. We tried to feed her the same food that we were eating. If we were having sinigang, I would give her sitaw, kangkong, gabi and some bits of meat. I just made sure that her food was unsalted. No salt for babies below 1 year old, please.

Before she turned 1, I nursed her before we had lunch or dinner to make sure that she wasn’t hungry. If hungry Sophia had solid food first, she sometimes would get frustrated and impatient in trying to grab the food from her tray.

Food before 1 is for fun that was my mantra. When Sophia was younger, she played more with her food than eat it.  I didn’t stress myself out though because breastmilk was still her main source of nutrition. Now that she’s 14 months, it’s the other way around. She’ll have solid food first then nurse if she wants to. Our milk-milk sessions are usually to help her sleep or for comfort nursing.

We also never left her eating alone. I watched her like a hawk for signs of gagging or choking. Luckily, we never had any scary gagging or choking episodes. I must admit that watching her eat sometimes make me nervous.  But I learned to trust my baby’s ability to regulate and control the amount of food that she puts in her mouth. However, to make sure I don’t panic like a chicken who lost its head; I made sure that I knew the difference between gagging and choking.

When a choking, a child’s airways are blocked so they will be silent, may change colour and will look wide eyed and very scared. They may flail their arms and legs to alert you but will not be able to make a sound. If your child is making noises, making retching gestures or coughing and spluttering they are more likely gagging and should be left to deal with the food themselves. Choking on the other hand requires immediate medical attention.

You can read more on choking vs gagging in BLW by clicking on this link.

We still have a long way to go in our BLW journey and Sophia is getting better in using a spoon. She’s still learning to scoop food with the spoon and put it in her mouth. Half of the time the contents spill out before it reaches its destination but we’re getting there.

She's still learning how to use the spoon.

She’s still learning how to use the spoon.

This is how much she loves mommy’s cooking.

I’ll be posting more information and recipes for Baby Led Weaning.  In the mean time, here are some resources you can check on BLW:

You can save and download this leaflet and guidelines by Gill Rapley, she’s the health visitor and midwife who coined the term.

You can click on the links below for a youtube first aid videos:

Baby CPR

What to do if your baby is gagging

More good reads on BLW:

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a1007100/baby-led-weaning

http://www.babyledweaning.com/

When it comes to your child, it doesn’t really matter whether you choose to follow traditional weaning or baby led weaning. The bottom line is, we all want what’s best for our child.  So how about you mommies (and daddies!)? What weaning method have you used or are using with your little ones?  Tell me more about it. 😀

xoxo

Anne

For the Love of Babies, Slings, and Cake – IBW 2015

Standard

What has 4 arms, 4 legs, and 2 eyes at the back of its head?

 

 

It’s a babywearing mom!

IMG_20151010_6

Look, mommy! Ask daddy to buy you a new necklace.

October 10 marked the end of this year’s International Babywearing Week (IBW) celebration.  It was a family day out as daddy, mommy, and baby Sophia dropped by One Rockwell East to celebrate IBW 2015 with sling-crazy parents of Babywearing Philippines (BWP).

International Babywearing Week is an annual outreach event sponsored by Babywearing International.  It’s a week-long celebration which help promote, advocate for, and focus media attention on the benefits of babywearing. (Carry all the babies!)

Babywearing Philippines (BWP) is one of our local babywearing groups who hosted IBW here in the country. Established last year,  it now has more than 24,000 members.  The group has helped introduce babywearing to countless parents and we wouldn’t have adapted and explored this advocacy if not for this group.

 

*Photo credit: Babywearing Philippines

*Photo credit: Babywearing Philippines

The first time I met another babywearing momma was at the IBW 2014 sling meet at Bonifacio Global City.  Sophia was only 2 months old then and she was the youngest baby in the group.  It was my first opportunity to cuddle an international brand wrap – Girasol and finally got to touch and try out a Tula. Hurray!

10626474_10204886594824435_1429521492764845682_n

Sorry, TICKS wasn’t followed. Please be nice it was my first time with a Tula.

Tula Ahoy Matey courtesy of mommy Cheryllad Pineda. <3

Tula Ahoy Matey courtesy of mommy Cheryllad Pineda. ❤

10665663_10204133623513576_2376866616603586441_n

OMG! The look on my face. My thoughts were, “Why is this wrap (Girasol DW) so expensive?” I’m now embarrassed by my naivete. sigh

10616159_10204133681315021_833274507296849641_n

Can’t believe there are 24,000 members now.

10408790_10204133682115041_4073819746404629317_n

It was my first giveaway jackpot and Katrina Ambion’s one of many wins! (You lucky momma, you.) Thank you mommy Christine of Izzy Breezy. 😀

And hey, we were also seen on GMA 7’s Balitanghali.

Spot us in the background!

Unfortunately, this year’s  limited space and BWP budget meant that not all mommies, daddies,  and bubbas were able to join the celebration.  Only 200 slots were available. So,  what did an eager wrap-obsessed beaver do? I stalked the event registration of course!

Having secured a slot for myself and Jason (It was 100 petots per slot),  we enthusiastically awaited for October 10.

BWP had the following fun activities lined up for the day.

12071457_10207766320935788_1302290373_n

*Photo credit: Babywearing Philippines

And they also prepared loot bags for the first 100 families to arrive at the event.

12116558_10207765853404100_204547539_o

Someone’s happy with his goody bag 🙂

12119557_10207767624248370_107730313_o

Look at all those goodies!

They had some of my favorite retailers on site.

CEO

CEO Emporium

little yeoh

Little Yeoh Trading 🙂  I look extra fluffy beside Claud.

shupeas

Urban Heat by Jackie Crasco. Sophia was so enamored by one of the Shupeas shoes (see that empty spot?) She had a mini melt down when we didn’t get her one. Oh no! Another shoe-a-holic in the Domantay household.

nanay at ako

Nanay at Ako Boutique with Earlie Pasion-Bautista

12112598_10207765117785710_996290793_o

Lovely colorful ringslings

car go

Nanay at Ako Car Go

little boss

With Mommy’s Little Boss’ Mav Galang. They have Sophie Giraffe Teethers. 🙂

Mommy's Little Boss lactation cookies. They made me mighty hungry.

Mommy’s Little Boss lactation cookies. They made me mighty hungry.

Raak Naturals for Cloth Nappy Mommies :-) Unfortunately, we weren't successful in using CDs :-(

Raak Naturals for Cloth Nappy Mommies 🙂
Unfortunately, we weren’t successful in using CDs 😦

More cool stuff from Raak

More cool stuff from Raak Naturals. Lookie, they have Mother Nurture Choco & Coffee Mix for lactating moms. 🙂

 

There were more shops on display but baby kulit was so cranky and suplada, we weren’t able to check out the other goodies on sale. 😥

The following retailers were also on site:

The Baby Depot

Micaela’s Closet

Babies are Blessings Ph

Suzanne’s Emporium

(If I wasn’t able to include you on the list, I’m so sorry. Please let m know and I’ll update this post. 🙂 ❤ )

Some of the key note speakers who shared their expertise with the lucky attendees were the following:

She is so statuesque and lovely! Too bad we weren't able to chat with her.

She is so statuesque and lovely! Too bad we weren’t able to chat with her. (Photo credit: Babywearing Philippines)

It's been almost 2 years since my last yoga class. I don't think I can reach my toes anymore.

It’s been almost 2 years since my last yoga class. I don’t think I can reach my toes anymore.

Fresh from the UK, mommy Ann is the mommy of BWP. She is the founder of the group. She talked about sling DIY and she offered free Babywearing consultation that day.

Fresh from the UK, mommy Ann is the mommy of BWP. She talked about sling DIY and she offered free babywearing consultation too. 🙂 (Photo credit: Babywearing Philippines)

FB_IMG_1444477984590

Photo credit: Babywearing Philippines

FB_IMG_1444478005488

Photo credit: Babywearing Philippines

 

Sadly, we weren’t able to stay long at the event and listen to Nona Andaya-Castillo and Doc Shary May Baton. It was grandma Bing’s birthday and we had to leave early or we won’t have cake. Unfortunately, our love for cake trumped our passion for babywearing. 

 

Happy birthday, grandma! We love you and your pancit. <3

Happy birthday, grandma! We love you, your pancit and of course, your cake.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading about yesterday’s adventure. Say hi to us next time when we bump into each other at the 2016 International Babywearing Week sling meet. 😀

For the mean time, here are some pictures with the lovely mommas that we met at #bwpibw2015

 

Mona and baby in Kitty Steps-Day. It's so soft! Meow!

Mona and baby in Kitty Steps-Day. It’s so soft! Meow!

Diane and baby in a Shadrach Collection wrap. The colors are so pretty IRL. :-)

Diane and baby in a Shadrach Collection wrap. The colors are so pretty IRL. 🙂

With one of BWP's lovely admin, Margaux. :-)

With one of BWP’s lovely admin, Margaux. 🙂

Sophia and I in Mokosh wrap. Thank you Claud for letting me wrap with this beauty. I'm Mokosh curious no more. :-)

Sophia and I in Mokosh wrap. Thank you Claud for letting me wrap with this beauty. I’m Mokosh curious no more. 🙂

IMG_20151010_4

IMG_20151010_1

IMG_20151011_6

Babywearing group photo. I can’t wait to see the shots from the professional camera peeps.

Let us know how you celebrated IBW this year. Please send us your comments, rants, and raves. We would love to hear from you.  Like our page on Facebook at Fluffinay, follow us on Instagram and Twitter too. 😀

 

Xoxo

Anne

Of Milk, Tears, and Milo. Our Breastfeeding Journey

Standard

 

I gave birth to a healthy, lively, plumpy-umpy little baby girl at 5:46 AM on July 26, 2014. She was 50 cm long, weighed 3.61 kgs and had an Apgar score of 10.(Read more about Sophia’s birth story here.) Part of my birth plan was to exclusively breastfeed my baby and we discussed this with my OB, our pediatrician, and my family.  After a quick clean up, the nurse brought her to me for our “Unang Yakap”.  She was such a beautiful baby! She had chubby cheeks, dimpled elbows, round tummy, and chunky thighs. While I was lying on the operating table getting stitched up, Sophia snuggled on my chest and she took her first suckle.  I was ecstatic! She was a pro at breastfeeding and I felt confident that I would have more than enough milk to fill her tummy and start a stash.

 

wpid-img_20151009_16.png

Unang Yakap with Sophia. The nurse is holding baby on my chest so she could suckle.

 

I knew that I would be breastfeeding my baby even before I got pregnant.  For me, a mother nursing her child is one of the most beautiful things only a woman can do.  To prepare myself for our breastfeeding journey,  I read books, consulted Mr. Google,  talked to breastfeeding mothers and joined breastfeeding support groups.

 

image

image Healthy baby at 3.6 kgs. Lookie, you can’t see her neck! 🙂

 

My little one continued to nurse as soon as we got back to our room. I didn’t mind the pain of my C-Section incision nor the magnesium sulfate injections. Never mind that I was unable to sit up on my bed or have it reclined.  I asked for a nurse to help Sophia latch on to my breast so she could drink the colostrum that she much needed. Everything was going as planned as far as breastfeeding was concerned.  But I did not anticipate my Preeclampsia to develop into Eclampsia and that Calcibloc was not enough to control my hypertension. To help manage my blood pressure, my OB prescribed stronger anti-hypertensive drug.

 

image

2 days after my operation and I was already able to sit up and nurse Sophia.

 

We continued nursing after being discharged from the hospital and the doctors and nurses were happy that we were determined to exclusively breastfeed our baby.  She had a great latch and I would remind myself that my nursling would always have a full tummy because I have an abundance of milk. Your success in breastfeeding is based on your confidence to breastfeed, right? A mother needed to believe in her capability to produce enough milk to nourish her child.

 

image

Getting ready to go home with little Sophia. ❤

 

However, I noticed that she would always cry even while she was nursing and if she wasn’t sleeping; she was crying.  I thought it to be normal. Babies cry all the time. Probably she was cold, she wanted to be held, or she needed a nappy change.  Maybe she had colic.

 

image

Non-stop baby meltdown 😥

 

Three days after we got home, I started to get extremely worried because she hadn’t pooped yet. Newborns were expected to poop at least once a day. But Sophia only produced 3-4 wet nappies and no dirty ones. And although breastfed babies lose about 7-10% of their birth weight on their first week,  I was scared that her weight loss was not normal.

 

image

Baby was looking more lean each day. Her lips were cracked and her skin was dry.

 

We took Sophia to her first pediatrician appointment a week after she was born and when she was weighed, she was only 2.98 Kgs. My suspicion was confirmed. She lost almost 18% of her birth weight!  The doctor also helped her poop and my heart sank when I saw that she still had meconium in her system.  I was devastated.  This wasn’t part of the plan.

As I feared, our pediatrician advised us to supplement with formula milk. 15 ounces of breastmilk and 15 ounces of formula every 2 hours.  I cried in her clinic while we listened to her instructions.  A part of me was still in denial that I didn’t have enough milk to feed my newborn.  I wanted to give her the best and I knew that there were no alternative that can compare to a mother’s milk.  I felt betrayed by my body and I felt like a failure as a mother.  I starved my baby for a week.  Why wasn’t I producing enough milk for her?  Our pedia tried to comfort me and said that it was not my fault.  The hypertension medication that I was on affected my milk production.  She asked me to consider supplementing for the mean time while I was still on the meds.

image

8 day old Sophia on her first pedia appointment.

 

12119497_10207756237083698_683519430_o

She lost 18% of her birth weight. 😥

 

image

Baby lost her double chin 😥

 

On our way home, my husband and I discussed our options and I expressed my reluctance to formula feed our baby. I told him that I would contact a lactation consultant, increase my intake of galactagogues, and I would even ask for breastmilk donations if needed.  I would do anything because I wanted to stick to the original plan of exclusively nursing Sophia.  But my baby was hungry.

That night, she had been suckling for an hour and I could see her frustration on not getting enough milk.  Tears poured out my eyes while I watched her cry for more milk.  I saw her ribs poking out of her chest and I tried to look for her double chin  and dimpled elbows, but they were all gone. She was plumpy-umpy no more and my heart broke into a million pieces.  I only wanted what was best for my child and I did not want her to be hungry any longer.  So I asked my husband to buy  a can of formula milk right away.

That evening, Sophia stopped crying because finally, her tummy was full.  She wasn’t a colicky baby.  She was just hungry.

 

wpid-img_20151009_8.pngwpid-img_20151009_7.pngwpid-img_20151009_5.pngwpid-img_20151009_6.png

She was happy,content and hungry no more. We were able to see her cheerful and bright personality. She was a quiet baby who rarely cried.


It took one month for my blood pressure to get back to normal.  I was so relieved that I could now focus all my energy on taking care of my happy baby (she rarely cried now) and not worry about my health.  The medicine left a chemical smell to my milk and I was happy that she didn’t have to drink my amlodipine-laced breastmilk.

We had been supplementing for more than a month but I was determined to wean her from formula milk and get her back to the breast. I moved Sophia from the crib to our bed while my husband was away for a work project. During daytime, I would give her formula milk then had her latch to my breast after she finished a bottle. But at night, I ditched the formula and nursed her solely.  It was a wonderful arrangement because I didn’t have to get out of bed and make formula milk, I just offered my breast and that was it.

 

wpid-img_20151009_3.png 12116339_10207756240523784_2097842994_o

 

Her chubby cheeks were back! At 1 month old she knew how to hold her bottle.

Her chubby cheeks were back! At 1 month old she knew how to hold her bottle.

 

I researched on galactagogues, food that can help increase milk production; and stocked up on rolled oats, fresh malunggay leaves, malunggay capsules, and Milo. Malt is a galactagogue and Milo is rich in malt. I even tried drinking beer for its malt content. I was chugging on water and Milo, day and night. (Gosh! That’s why I gained so much weight!)

download quakeroats malunggay

My milk booster stash

 

About 2 weeks before Sophia turned 3 months, I observed her refusing the bottle.  She wouldn’t even swallow the milk.  She would reach for my breast instead.  This went on until we wasted probably half a can of formula. I was amazed at my wonderful smart baby. She weaned herself off formula milk. Babies do know which milk is superior and she chose mine.

Sophia is now 14 months old and I am happy that we are still exclusively breastfeeding. It would have been easy to have given up and say “Oh, we failed at breastfeeding because I didn’t have enough milk.” Or, “Not all women can produce milk.” I would have shrugged my shoulders and acted nonchalantly but deep inside I would have been seething with frustration and disappointment with myself. I knew that I would have felt anger and envy towards all the mothers out there who proudly breastfed or breastfeed their children. So I tried my best not to give up and my baby felt my will and determination so she didn’t give up nursing from mommy either.

12112995_10207758751786564_1042151322_o 12119488_10207758753626610_751741272_o

 

Mothers only want what’s best for their child. My journey taught me that sometimes plans get derailed but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get back on track. It took us less than 3 months to resume exclusively breastfeeding. It may take longer for others but it is possible to ditch formula and get your baby back to the breast. All you need is a lot patience as well as support from the people around you.

I also learned to respect mothers who chose to formula feed or mix feed their babies. They have their reasons for their decision to give formula and they don’t have to defend themselves all the time to people who judge how good a parent they are based on the milk (breastmilk or formula) they feed their babies.

I hope you enjoyed reading about our story. Please feel free to send us your comments, rants and raves. We would be thrilled to hear from y’all.

Have a great day!

Xoxo

Anne