Originally, I wanted to nurse my baby till she is a year old, but I found this hard if not impossible to achieve. Mother Nature didn’t work the way I wanted as I found my breast milk insufficient to satiate my baby’s hunger. I had to supplement her feedings with baby formula.
I wanted to nurse for a number of reasons: 1) nursing promoted bonding with my baby 2) the temperature of my breast milk was always right and I didn’t have to warm up refrigerated milk or deal with cleaning up afterwards. This works well if you have to get up every 2 hours every night to feed a newborn. 3) nursing allowed for production of a immune substance that forms a protective layer around your baby’s mucous membranes.
After one month of nursing, I gave in to pumping. I couldn’t tell if my baby was having enough milk while nursing so I decided it was time for me to start pumping.
I had to first decide whether to use an electrical pump or a manual pump. Luckily, my sister had a Medela electrical pump that I could try out. The electrical pump was powerful but a bit noisy when pumping. I had to use it in a separate room while the baby slept. It was also bulky and wasn’t very portable. I decided to search for manual pumps to see how they stacked up against electrical pumps. After trying the manual pumps, I never looked back.
After research, I tried out 2 manual pumps. One was a Philips AVENT breast pump which my sister-in-law gave me, and the other was a Lansinoh breast pump, which I bought at a local Rite Aid pharmacy store.
Avent pumps are more powerful and can stimulate more breast milk production (but it bruised my breasts initially) than Lansinoh pumps. As an added convenience, Avent pump bottles can be used interchangeably with Avent feeding bottles. Avent breast pump bottles and parts also have larger openings and thus easier to clean than Lansinoh breast pumps. However, Lansinoh breast pumps do come with a tiny long brush to aid in cleaning.
One bad thing to note was that the screw ring on the Avent pump loosens easily while pumping. I also noticed pumped milk collects between the pump breast shell and the tip of the breast pump. If you do not pour this milk out after pumping, it can leak out the next time you pump.
Overall, I prefer Avent because it stimulates more breast milk production. If not for this reason, I would have chosen Lansinoh because it doesn’t leak and has a better feel when pumping.
** Breast Pumping Tip **
I found that by using both pumps at the same time, more breast milk would be produced.
I would say that my pregnancy wasn’t a typical pregnancy, but then again what is a typical pregnancy? Often times, my emotions were like a roller coaster, riding the highs and lows of everyday life. There were times when I felt helpless and desperately searched for a guiding light or a helping hand. I’m just glad my husband was there to support me through this blessed and yet anxious times.
In the world of modern medicine, turning 35 and having a baby for the 1st time isn’t the best combination. Modern medicine deals with numbers and upon turning 35, hospitals will lump you into the high risk pregnancy group. Being lumped into this group isn’t a badge you want to wear as all diagnostics metrics become stricter.
My first shock came with what’s known as the integrated screening test. This test is used to help determine the probability of your baby having a genetic disorder such as Down syndrome or Neural Tube defects. This test is carried out in two stages at 10~13 weeks and at 15~16 weeks. I was surprised to learn at 5 month that one of my test markers, plasma protein came in lower than the average. My midwife told us that this increases my chance of a having a DS baby and referred me to an OBGYN. (We later learned that the plasma protein marker is correlated more to an early pregnancy and miscarriage rather than Down syndrome). I can tell you the week leading up to the doctor’s visit was one of the longest weeks of my life.
However, a meeting with the OBGYN put our mind at ease as she explained that one marker does not undermine the entire test. It is the combined results from all the markers that make this test accurate.
I am now officially a Chic New Mom! Our baby girl arrived healthy and happy in early August, the same day as her expected due date! The chances of a baby arriving on her due date is 3%. What a gift to her dad and myself!!!
Due to my new role as a first time mom, I’ve been missing in action from blogging for a couple months now. However, as a certified new mom I have even more tips to share with other soon-to-be moms. I also think it’s important that I share my labor and birth experience with other pregnant women in the hopes that my experience will help prepare them and relieve some of their pre-birth anxieties.
I will be updating my blog in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
I just downloaded this to my droid and think this is a wonderful app to have. This app usually costs $4.99 but can be downloaded today for free. There are 2,000 recipes to choose from and they use ingredients from brand name companies. The recipes feel a little promotional because of these brands inclusions, but that doesn’t really bother me. A good recipe is still a good recipe in my book. However, I noticed the text are a little small on my droid phone as I couldnt’ zoom in to enlarge them. This app is best for droid tablets, but I’m still pretty satified with it on my phone.
For those who have read my previous post on BreathableBaby, you would know that I advocated this product because I found it a novel way of keeping your baby safe from suffocation and injury within the crib. I wrote the previous post on my free will and on a good conscience as I was not receiving compensation nor a free sample from the supplier. It was only after I wrote my recommendation that the supplier graciously decided to send me one.
After installing the mesh crib bumper myself, I can tell you that it’s even better than I originally thought. The material of the mesh is much softer than I imagined and I even covered my face with it to see how breathable this material is. I also like the simple installation and it’s appearance on the crib. All in all, I think this is a great product to have and will definitely give me some piece of mind for my soon to be born baby.
BreathableBaby Mesh Crib Bumper ($21.49)
Searching For The Holy Grail Of Baby Bottles
If you have ever been to the feeding section of a baby store, you are certain to be overwhelmed by the rows of baby bottles and bottle nipples. How in the world can you ferret out the good from the bad? Does buying the most expensive baby bottle equate to the best for your baby? Not necessarily.
So, the million dollar question is how do you find the Holy Grail of baby bottles? Well, I’m going to tell you the answer right from the start. Read tip#1 and you are done! It’s as simple as that. But, if you want a little more information then read on through.
Tip #1 – Borrow one from someone you know and try it out
The best tip for finding the best baby bottle is to borrow different ones from family and friends and try them out with your baby. Different babies have different needs and what works for one may not work for another. If you could not borrow them, you should purchase individual ones from stores and test them out. You can buy your own baby bottle nipples for sanitary reasons. Read more
I just wanted to pass this information along. The federal government has issued new regulations on baby crib safety and these regulations are effective starting today. Beginning June 28, 2011 all baby cribs sold in the US must meet the new federal requirements. It will be illegal for ANYONE to sell baby cribs that does not conform to the new regulations.
Child care centers and places of public accomodation will be required to use Federal compliant baby cribs by Decemeber 28, 2012.
The main changes are as follow:
1) Traditional drop-side cribs cannot be made or sold; immobilizers and repair kits not allowed.
2) Wood slats need to be made of stronger wood to prevent breakage.
3) Crib hardware must have anti-loosening devices to keep it from coming loose or falling off.
4) Mattress supports must be more durable.
5) Safety testing must be more rigoruous
You can find more details of the new baby crib safety requirement at Consumer Product Safety Commission.