Monday, February 20, 2012

Breastfeeding Station @ SM Centerpoint

Prior to the incident that happened to my friend in SM Megamall, I have been a big fan of the SM breastfeeding stations.  Don't get me wrong.  I do not have any problems nursing my toddler in public.  There are just days when I want to have a little privacy and a little quiet time.

Our regular trips to the Pedia often involves a stopover at SM Centerpoint in Sta. Mesa.  And when we're there, I often go to their Breastfeeding station to nurse my son while my husband goes and have his "me" time.  Aside from nursing my son, I would like to check too if my suggestions were "considered" since I have been writing the same one month after month.  I'd also love to see if the room was properly maintained.

For some who do not know where it's at, it is located in the basement (Yes, near the foodcourt); adjacent to SM appliances.  Just look for a clinic and you'll see the sign. 

The room is very clean and very quiet.  There are two chairs inside the room which I don't really think is enough given the size of the mall.  Although, most of the time, I am the only one using the room.  There was only one instance that there were three of us there and the staff had to pull one chair from the clinic.

The couch doesn't look comfortable but it actually is. 
I'm quite satisfied with the way they maintained it - at least for SM Centerpoint.  The only suggestion I had and still have is if they could add a couple of throw pillows to make the moms more comfortable.  Other than that, I'm one nursing mom who will keep coming back to use their facility.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Playtex Insulator Twist 'n Click Straw Cup: A Review

The Playtext Twist 'n Click Straw Cup is a 9-ounce insulated Cup recommended for toddlers 18 months onward.  It is BPA free and insulated so it can keep the drinks cold for sometime.  To use, just pour the liquid inside the cup, twist the lid and wait to hear the click to make sure that the cup is completely closed.  

The cover of the straw slides back and forth which makes it easy for toddlers to open.  The straw has two pieces.  One is inserted through the lid and the bottom straw has a valve that controls the amount of liquid that the toddler sucks in.

Experience with the Cup
We bought the cup at the SM Grand Baby Fair last January for 335 Php (original price Php 479.95 Php).  The cup is very durable.  It has been dropped, thrown and kicked by my active toddler and yet I didnt see it being damaged.  I've had a Playtex Insulator in the past and I trust that when it says that their cup is leak proof, it really is leak proof.  

My toddler didn't have any problems opening the cup on his own.  I notice though that there are times when my son gets impatient with the flow probably because of the valve. 

Another plus for this cup is that they have a replacement straw available in the market.  Unlike some straw cups, you dont have to buy a whole new cup in case the straw breaks.  The design is attractive even if it didn't really feature any "famous cartoon character."

Cleaning the cup is a bit difficult because it has four parts to wash.  Like the Avent Insulated cup, you need a brush to reach down to clean the bottom.  

The only negative experience I had was when we put the pineapple juice inside the cup and forgot to clean it right away.  The smell of the juice stayed and I had to wash it several times to remove the smell. I used a dish washing liquid then. We had the same incident with pineapple juice (again) and this time we used Smart Steps Baby Bottle Cleanser and surprisingly, the cleanser was able to removed the smell.

Will I be getting one for my son again? Most definitely.

Photo courtesy of

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Stubborn Me! Sure Glad I Didn't Give Up

"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (February). For this month, we focus on back to basics. Participants will share advices - either the best breastfeeding advice they received OR/AND the best breastfeeding advice they can give to new moms.  Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries."


     I knew I was going to breastfeed my kids.  I thought breastfeeding is as simple as offering your breast to your baby when they're hungry.  I thought wrong.  I soon found out that it's a skill developed by both the mother and the baby.  It's just unfortunate that I learned that the hard way with my firstborn.  The wrong latch and the pain made me quit at 1 month.  Back then, formula feeding seemed like the best solution.

Second Time Around
     Fast forward to a few years later, I got pregnant with my son and breastfeeding was at the top of my list.  The pain must have missed me because it was still there when I started nursing.  I keep reminding myself that I am more determined this time.

     My son being the first grandson (our families have been having granddaughters for years) put so much pressure on me.  I heard a lot of comments such as "I dont have enough milk." and that I am "starving" my son.  I'm sure the lolo's and lola's mean well but as early as one month, my son is already mix feeding.  His crying was interpreted always as being hungry.  I thought this could not be happening again. 

     Reaching out to my colleagues who have been successful with breastfeeding was probably one of the best decision that I made.  One of them  told me "You're the mother.  You know what's best for your child.  Just listen to your instincts.  And don't stop breastfeeding." Come to think of it, this advise did make sense.  

     My stubbornness and persistence must have worked.  I refused to feed him formula milk and offered him my breast instead.  I eventually figured out what his cries meant - and I became more confident about my ability to supply the milk that he needed.  Month after month his intake of breastmilk increased as the formula milk became almost like a history.  And when they say I'm not producing enough milk, I help myself with galactagogues and try not to mind the comments.  

To the New Moms

     Every breastfeeding journey is different.  You will find a lot of people challenging you simply because you can't see the amount of milk that your baby is consuming. The best preparation that you could ever do is by arming yourself with the right information.   You are the best person to filter out which ones are facts and which are fiction.  

The smile that greets me when I wake up in time for his morning milk.
     Having gone through the experience has made me become the advocate that I am now.  The journey was challenging but definitely the most rewarding.  To date, my son is 19 months old and is still not showing any signs of weaning off my breasts.  Pretty soon I know he'll grow out of this but  I know I can always look back and say "I'm so glad I didn't give up."

Please check out the other carnival participants

The Articulate Pen's Breastfeeding needs Patience
Diapers and Stethoscope's Back to Basic
Ms. Masungit's From One Mom To Another
The Odyssey of Dinna's Breastfeeding Words of Wisdom
I Am Clarice's Paying it Forward
Planet Marsy's Better Than None
Mommy {T} Coach's Saved by the Nursing Mommas
Adventures on Planet Mom's Stubborn Me! Sure Glad I didn't give up
Starting at Twenty-Five's My Husband's Best Breastfeeding Advice
Mommy Mama Rat's My Breastfeeding Mantra
Apples and Dumplings' One Word of Breastfeeding Advice
Touring Kitty's Just Do It
the canDIshhh tales' My Breastfeeding Advice
Mec as Mom's Enough is Enough
Chronicles of a Nursing Mom's On Breastfeeding Number Two - Redux

Friday, February 10, 2012

Life Without Yaya

We suddenly found ourselves without a nanny and a helper.  With a toddler wandering around the house, and a school girl with quite a number of projects, it seemed impossible to juggle.  But yes it can be done.  It may be difficult at first but it takes a lot of hardwork and teamwork. 

First Things First
Sit down with your husband and list down the things that needs to be accomplished and when it is needed.  You could go down to the very basics but the important thing is that youa re able to identify what the priorities are.  

Who does what, is up for the family to decide.  Now that my daughter is old enough, she was given simple chores that she can do on her own such as setting up the table during mealtimes and teaching her brother to pick up the toys after playtime.  She does a great job looking after her younger sibling while I was up and cleaning the house.  We even paide hr a rate of one peso per minute that she happily keeps inside "Mr. Coconut."

If you are a working mom like me, ensure that your tasks are finished on time because that would mean you dont have to spend extra time at the office.  More time at home would mean more chores to finish.

It takes TWO....or more
Keep in mind that your family is your team and you are bound to make this work.  Keep an open line of communication especially if one feels tired or completely worn out.  When this happens, stop and look at the things that you were able to pull off together.  Take it one day at a time, and pretty soon you'll be in the groove.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Smart Explorers Smart Tots Session 3

We were again late for Andre's session.  Thanks to the excruciating traffic at Pasong Tamo, we arrived at 1130am.  They must have started on time because when we got there, the story time was over.  But good thing he was still able to participate in other activities. 

One thing that I observed is that my son continues to cling to me and would not join the activity especially when everyone played with the musical instruments.  I continued to coax him until he ran towards me saying "takot. takot."  It was only then that it dawn to me that he did not like the noise.  It was too much for his ears to bear.  He is scared.

What I loved about this session though is that I saw him enjoy during "bubble time."  Teacher Noemi and Teacher Happy blew bubbles and the toddlers (including my son) ran after each and every bubble blown and pop them.  It may sound like a simple activity but this could improve hand and eye coordination.

Must catch the bubble!!!

More singing after the bubble time and then it's time to go.  My husband ran a little late in picking us up too so my son had some more playtime at school.  It was only when the kids left and the music died down that my son started singing "1-2, I love you" by the Brainy Babies.  He scrambled down the slide and he sang "Sit down, sit down, you're rocking the boat" while riding on the "Turtle."  It was like he turned into a different person and it got me thinking. 

Does he need more time to get used to the environment at school?
In terms of learning, I think he is picking up things in school.  But is it the best venue for him to learn? 
Or should I just teach my child at home and bring him to play areas to get him to interact with other kids?