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By Mummies For Mummies (and Daddies too)

Breastfeeding and pumping: What you should know

We recently attended Medela’s Conference with the theme “Overcoming Breastfeeding Difficulties”. The invited speaker was Mrs Christa B. Muller-Aregger, a certified IBCLC Lactation Consultant with over 20 years of international experience. She’s currently an International Education Manager at Medela.

medela-conferencechrista

We would like to share some gold nuggets about breastfeeding and pumping with you. We hope – as an expecting mom, a breastfeeding mom, an exclusive pumping mom – you will be empowered with the knowledge about benefits, challenges, and strategies to be successful in your breastfeeding journey. Same principal applies to all supportive husbands, colleagues, bosses, and companies. Let’s make breastfeeding an empowering journey for all mothers!

We will make this article short, sweet, and packed with necessary information:

 

BREASTMILK IS BEST

  • Human milk is for human babies.
  • It’s readily available at the right temperature and with the right amount of nutrients.
  • It contains immunoglobulin and other live immunity factors that are essential to protect your baby against childhood diseases.
  • It meets your baby’s needs throughout the day and as they grow.
  • Breastfeeding is essential for the mother’s health and wellbeing.

 

COMMON CHALLENGES IN BREASTFEEDING

Now that you know that breastfeeding is beneficial and natural, but there’s also a learning curve between the mother and the baby. When this learning process is in progress, there will be challenges. Here are the common ones:

  • Breast engorgement (common scenario when milk kicks in within 3-5 days after giving birth)
  • Blocked ducts
  • Mastitis (inflammation of the breasts, the mother will have flu-like symptoms and high fever)
  • Inverted / Flat nipples
  • Cracked / Sore nipples (nipple pain)
  • Blisters
  • Thrush

If these challenges are not overcame, it can lead to a decline in milk production, a fussy and frustrated baby who wants to feed more often or who refuses to suckle, and finally, early weaning.

 

TIPS TO OVERCOME DIFFICULTIES

See a lactation consultant/professional if you face challenges and issues in breastfeeding, especially during the first two weeks after giving birth. Don’t be shy and don’t delay!

Remember this golden rule when you are building up and maintaining your milk supply: Less stress = More oxytocin = More milk ejection reflex = More milk!

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BREAST PUMP

Use a pump only when necessary. A statement from Medela: Breast pumps are meant to complement breastfeeding, not replace it. Choosing the right breast pump when needed, can make a big difference, both in initiating and sustaining breastfeeding.

Guide chart

Reason to use the pump Recommended Medela breast pump
A missed feeding Swing
Away from baby for a few hours Swing
Working part-time Swing, Swing Maxi, Freestyle
Working full-time Swing Maxi, Freestyle
Breast infection Swing, Swing Maxi, Freestyle
Sore nipples/breast engorgement Swing, Swing Maxi, Freestyle

 

Swing = for single pumping

Swing Maxi & Freestyle = for double pumping

 

WHY DOUBLE PUMPING?

  • Saves time
  • Drains 18% more milk compared to single pumping
  • Milk has 1% higher fat content
  • Mothers have an extra milk rejection reflex

 

When pumping:

  • Relax
  • Watch your nipples/breasts
  • Switch from stimulation to expression mode (or vice versa if necessary)
  • Adjust the vacuum/suction strength (you shouldn’t feel any pain when pumping)

These lead to better drainage of the breasts and an increased milk production over time (varies among individuals), so don’t compare the amount of breastmilk from one mother to another mother!

The main difference between Swing Maxi and Freestyle:

Freestyle comes with hands-free option, rechargeable battery, and memory button settings. You can alternate between stimulation and expression modes as and when needed.

 

Founding Women Get Together And Tea Party

It was truly lovely to be able to spend our Saturday afternoon with a bunch of driven and talented women who all owned and ran their own businesses. On 9 April, I attended tea organised by Moms4Projects (www.moms4projects.com) to meet and share experiences with other women entrepreneurs.

We heard stories from women who left the corporate world after over 15 years to start something on their own…others who were stay at home mums who lost the confidence to go back out and do something for themselves, but who persevered, tried anyway and came out successful because of it.

Here are some pictures and a few stories to share with all of you. FullSizeRender (10)

This is Angie who owns and runs Moms4projects. A community dedicated to helping women (and especially mothers) succeed in business.

FullSizeRender (15)Meet Emily who decided to turn her passion in arts and crafts into a business of her own. She runs Emuniqueletters which you can follow on Instagram to check out her unique and beautiful designs. Very useful as gifts and for those who want to decorate their kids rooms!FullSizeRender (9)FullSizeRender (8)We also met the girls who run Kunyit Grocer who run out of a Facebook account. They deliver fresh organic produce straight to your doorstep! Very interesting and healthy alternative to all the chemical and preservative infused food of today!FullSizeRender (14)This is Joyce of http://www.joycescapade.com who blogs about healthy eating tips for kids! Check out her blog for some very interesting recipes to try out for your little one.

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Can’t remember what I was sharing but someone must’ve said something funny🙂IMG_4845

Missed out on the group picture as I left just before! But it’s ok because will be catching up with all these lovely ladies again at the fair on 7-8 May at The School, Jaya One. Do join us if any of you are free as there will be lots to buy and fun filled activities to entertain the kids!

 

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Babydash Coffee Morning

Lavinie and I have been talking a lot lately about how we do not want to just end up another faceless e-commerce site. We wanted to meet our customers and listen to them, find out what they think we could do better or more of.

That’s why we decided to have our first ever Coffee Morning last week at the Aether Cafe (Taman Tun).

We want our customers to know that we are mummies too and that we know what they are going through. We also want our customers to know we don’t just add stuff to sell on our site, we do lots of research, read reviews and really understand the products before we decide to add them to our site.

We’d like to thank our sponsors, Mustela Malaysia for sponsoring some lovely goody bags for the event! We also gave out Goo.N diapers for our customers to try and see if they liked.

YW_0028_20160219 Baby Dash event

We met lots of other mummy entrepreneurs as well! Like Joyce who runs a food blog http://www.joycescapade.com; Angie who runs http://www.moms4projects.com, Liyana who owns MananaCovers, Sangeeta from Mama Preloved Books KL…and many more.

We shared a bit about Babydash…how we started and where we’d like to get to. Listened to great feedback and suggestions on what we could do more of! Thank you everyone for your valuable feedback and ideas!

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There was great food…hmmm…didn’t get a photo of the nutella and salted caramel mille crepes (they were yum!)

Adorable bubs…

Books and products on display…

And excellent conversations!

Thank you all for joining us! We hope to have many more of these to come. It was so nice to have a day out, meet our customers who have now become friends…and to share experiences with like-minded mummies!

 

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Which breast pump?!?!

best-breast-pump

I just wanted to put a simple post up to help give mummies a view in terms of which breast pump they should use. A quick google search got me completely confused….there were so many review sites filled with technical jargon and intricate details about the differences in valves, tubing and electric parts it was like discussions about car motors as opposed to just breast pump motors.

This post is meant to keep it simple. It’s based on what most mums tells us about the pumps they’ve bought from us.

When we ask mums which brand they trust for breast pumps – the answer is usually Medela or Spectra. More recently we have been hearing the other brands like Lacte and Unimom being asked for.

To break it down. We think you mummies should ask yourselves 2 questions:

  • Manual or electric?
  • If electric, do I want effectiveness or portability?

 

  • Manual or electric

To figure out whether you want a manual pump or an electric one is simple, it’s a question of how much you want to manually pump versus have an electric motor do it for you. Mums who are used to manual pumps say that it’s easier as after a couple of pumps, the milk pretty much flows on its own. Those who are used to electric ones will swear by those instead though so it’s really a personal preference. If you don’t mind trying manual, you could get this Medela Harmony (http://www.babydash.com.my/products/nursing-feeding/nursing-category/breast-pumps-accessories/medela-harmonytm-breastpump-with-calma-teat.html) to try it out and see if you like it. It’s not too expensive so worth giving it a go to see if you might prefer manual pumps to electric ones.

  • If you’ve decided on electric pump

Then you need to decide whether you value effectiveness of the pump versus portability. Most breast pump brands will have the lower end range which tends to be less effective but smaller and much more portable, and the higher end, double pumps which are generally more bulky and difficult to lug around. If you plan to do most of your pumping at home, then go for the higher end models which have stronger motors.

All our pumps can be found at this link: http://www.babydash.com.my/products/nursing-feeding/nursing-category/breast-pumps-accessories.html?limit=all

If you want portable but not as effective: Spectra Dew300 (RM371), Spectra S1 (RM769.56), Medela Swing (RM699), Unimom Allegro (RM274.54)

If you want to top-end bulky but effective ones: Spectra M1 (RM430.36), Medela Freestyle (RM1999), Medela Swing Maxi (RM1499), Spectra 9 (RM689), Unimom Forte (RM338.14), Lacte Duet (RM417.89)

If you ask us which brand to go for, we really have to say it’s a personal preference at the end of the day. We have heard different things from different mums about the same breast pump. For example some love Medela and swear by them….whereas other mums love Spectra and say that’s the best by far. We’ve also heard lots of good things about Unimom and Lacte Duet.

Feel free to call us on 016-6761101 if you want a more in depth discussion about the different types of pumps we have.

We hope this post has been able to help some of you.

Medicine Cabinet Musts

I’m down with the flu (caught it from my baby) right now and I can tell you this is not fun at all! Don’t be like me and wait till you are down and out before wondering what you could buy to help reduce the discomfort…both for baby and yourself. By the time you feel sick…you are already too tired to run out and get these things but if this should happen to you, don’t forget you can also buy online and have it delivered straight to your door!

Here are some things you should definitely have at home in your medicine cabinet:

  • A steam vaporizer – to remove the dust, clear the lungs and make it easier to breathe
  • A working thermometer – why is it the one at home always seems to be out of battery when you need it!
  • A good chest rub – to reduce congestion and help you get some rest
  • Medicine dispenser – this helps to reduce the chances of baby’s tongue touching the icky tasting medicine

Our website has a list of just the things you need here: http://www.babydash.com.my/products/care-safety-1/care-category/medicine-cabinet.html?limit=all12342477_914406108613673_624498840807078908_n (2)

Why is the expiry date so close?

We hear this question a lot! This is one of the most common questions we get about organic and natural baby food. The question you should really be asking is not why is the expiry date so close….but rather, why is the expiry date so far away.

If you think about it, food can be made to last longer by using chemicals and preservatives. So our advice is, do take a good look at the list of ingredients included in any products which you will be giving your babies.

One of the baby food brands we tell our customers about is Organix (www.organix.com) because of their No Junk Promise. Their promise is that there is nothing in their food which cannot be found in any normal kitchen – absolutely no preservatives, no chemicals, always organic and nothing unnecessary.

Take a closer look at the list of ingredients they include in their products. Here’s an example: http://www.babydash.com.my/products/formula-food/food/organix/organix-finger-foods-organic-carrot-sticks-stage-2-from-7-months-20g.html

For a full list of products by Organix, head to:

http://www.babydash.com.my/products/formula-food/food/organix.html?limit=all

http://www.babydash.com.my/products/formula-food/food/organix-goodies.html

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The Babydash Mummies’ Top 5 Sleep Tips!

Firstly, have a quick look at this sleep chart we’ve included so you know how much sleep your child really should be getting. Don’t worry too much if your child isn’t getting all this sleep though, the reality is not all babies do!

sleep 2

We’ve read loads of websites and books about how to get your baby to sleep but this is coming from our own experience (we’ve got 4 kids between the two of us!) and feedback we’ve gotten from other parents.

Tip #1: Stick to a routine, whatever that routine may be…we find a soothing warm bath, followed by massage, a bedtime story, and then some quiet time is a good way to help calm a baby down.

Tip #2: Give your baby a good bedtime massage before getting ready for sleep. YouTube has lots of good videos on how to give your baby a massage. Check out baby massage oils by Mustela, Weleda and Buds which are all natural and safe for babies.

Tip #3: Make sure there are some sleep inducing smells and sounds around. Lavendar is a good scent to have that calms babies down. We also sell natural sleep balms which we have been told work well – try out Badger’s Night-Night Balm or Buds Calming Tummy Rub. If you have Lavendar essential oil, sprinkle some around your baby’s room as well.

Tip #4: Ensure your baby takes naps throughout the day…trying to put an overly tired/overly stimulated baby down to sleep is near impossible.

Tip #5: Keep yourself calm and remember they are only babies for a short while….enjoy the moment because before you know it, they will be loud opinionated teenagers with a mind of their own.

Having said all that, here’s a picture of how my little one falls asleep sometimes🙂

Raeka sleeping!

Good luck mummies and daddies! Call us if you ever need any more tips or help with this!

Which is the cheapest diaper brand in the market today?

I’m sure lots of you have thought about this. It isn’t always just cost that’s the issue though…we as parents also need to be concerned about the quality of the diapers and whether or not our child has sensitive skin. Some diapers may cost less per piece but because they do not hold as much liquid, and you have to change your baby more often, you may just end up spending just as much as if you had spent on a higher quality diaper brand with better absorbency features.

Putting all that aside…in Malaysia….what if we just wanted to know, which is the cheapest diapers on a per piece basis. Below is a list of diaper brands available on Babydash and the cost on a per piece basis of L size diapers (just to standardise it).

Untitled-1From this table, you can see that the cheapest tape diapers are Pet Pet and Diapex which on a per piece bases, cost the same, RM0.51. As for diaper pants, the most cost efficient pants to get are by Goo.N which works out to RM0.50 per piece at the moment. Having said that….we hear from lots of parents about quality of diapers, and they would usually name Merries, Pampers, Mamy Poko and Goo.N as diapers with higher quality, so don’t choose your diapers just based on cost alone…check out the other features. For more information about the different diaper brands available on Babydash, check out our site at http://www.babydash.com.my.

Cow’s milk? Goat’s milk, Soy milk or Organic milk?

What’s the difference and which should you choose? This is one of the most common questions we get asked. Firstly, we’d like to say breastmilk is obviously the best choice for your baby. But for whatever reason you have had to stop breast-feeding, then it’s time to consider which formula your baby will take to best.

We always tell our customers, each child is different and has their own sensitivities and preferences when it comes to taste.

Baby_food_section_at_Best_Price_smallA common problem found when introducing any milk other than breastmilk to a baby is lactose intolerance, where the baby could experience anything from mild to extreme discomfort (usually flatulence or diarrhea…we’ve even heard about green poo). Lactose intolerance is a common digestive problem where the body is unable to digest lactose, a type of sugar mainly found in milk and dairy products.

Breast milk, cow’s milk and goat’s milk, all contain lactose. The reason why people always say goat’s milk is closer to mother’s milk is because it contains less lactose than cow’s milk and has a similar chemical structure to breastmilk, which may make it a better option for those with mild lactose sensitivities.

Once you have consulted your doctor and are sure that your child is lactose intolerant, some parents have given soy milk formulas to their babies. For those considering soy milk as an option…please note that soy milk is not recommended as substitute milk for babies under six months due to phytoestrogens and its high sugar content.

Another thing to consider is whether your baby is sensitive to cow’s milk protein. We have heard from some parents whose babies are allergic to cow’s milk protein itself but not allergic to lactose. In this case, then goat’s milk would be ok for their babies. Note, babies who are cow’s milk protein allergic are likely to be allergic to soya protein as well.

This brings us to the final type of milk we thought we’d give you a bit of information on. Organic Milk. Organic milk refers to milk from livestock raised according to organic farming methods. So you could have organic cow’s milk or organic goat’s milk but again, in both cases, it would also contain lactose.

The most important thing we can tell you is that, if you have any health concerns, and are concerned about lactose tolerance or any other sensitivities your baby might have, the best thing to do is consult with your health care practitioner.

All the different types of milk and the different milk brands have varied chemical structures and ingredients which may or may not suit your baby.

At Babydash, we have lots of different brands available…call us anytime if you would like to find out more about a particular type/brand of milk.

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