Our Daily Routine – Breastfeeding Mom, Infant + Pet Dog + 2 Puppies

I have sooooooo much things and ideas in my mind for my blog, vlog and even just simple house chores. However, nothing is close to possible doing everything if you are a mom of an infant especially if you are still breastfeeding your little one. Writing this blog while nursing JD is such a bonus. I can’t do any thing because all we do is nurse, latch, nurse, latch and so on. Even when he’s asleep, he didn’t want to let go of the boobies. Others say they’re waiting for their kids to sleep so that they can do something but it’s the other way around for me. I can’t do anything while he’s asleep because he don’t want to depart from the boobies. I can actually do some work while he’s awake because I can either put him in his crib or let him play on the bed (with lots of pillows on the side so he won’t fall down). However, I must be really quick because he easily gets bored. Ending, still no chores done.

Below is a timeline of what we typically do on a daily basis:

7:30 AM – cries from sleep. Sometimes, nursing is the answer but often, he just want to be rocked/cradled again then falls back to sleep. Plus, nurse again.

8:00 – 10:00 AM – this consists of nursing every 30mins and/or rocking and cradling again. It’s still morning yet I’m already physically tired.

10:00 AM – this is the time when he usually wakes up.

10:00 – 10:15 AM – play a little.

10:15 – 10:30 AM – make bed, eat my breakfast, feed the dogs, wash dishes (depends), heat up water for JD’s bath time. Yup, you have to be really quick!

10:30 – 12:00 NN – bath time, play time, messing around time, make bed.

12:00 – 1:00 PM – he’s usually sleepy around this time. Either rocking or nursing will put him to sleep.

2:00 PM – awaken again from his first nap.

2:00 – 2:30 PM – a little play time, eat my lunch, feed the dogs, wash dishes.

2:30 – 5:00 PM – play time, messing around time. Sometimes this is the time when I can sweep the floor or anything else but this should be done in less than 5mins, make bed.

5:00 – 5:15 PM – we go out to the veranda so we can watch neighbor kids play around and also the birds, trees, clouds, dogs, etc.

5:15 – 7:00 PM – he’s usually sleepy around this time. Either rocking or nursing will put him to sleep. I have to squeeze in my bath time here.

7:00 – 7:30 PM – 2nd nap.

7:30 – 8:30 PM – play time, waiting for Jek to arrive from work.

8:30 – 10:00 PM – eat dinner, feed dogs, finally have some me-time (about 10mins), make bed.

10:00 – 11:00 PM – he’s sleepy already and want to always cling to me.

11:00 PM – next day – consists of sleeping, nursing, crying, rocking/cradling, nursing, nursing, sleep and so on.

Listing this down is really exhausting already to me. I can’t do pretty much anything else aside from nursing. That’s what I do best. You can easily say, “manage your time” or “you have to multitask”. Yes, I know, and I’m already doing it. I tried my best. It’s just really hard to do since we are exclusively breastfeeding. JD nurses every 30mins to 1 hour interval. He’s so clingy to me. Plus, I don’t want to leave him alone for a long period of time just to make sure that the house is clean or the dishes were cleaned or I already ate. No, that’s just not my priority. Having an exclusively breastfed infant is already time-consuming and I won’t complain. I know this too shall pass. I won’t be breastfeeding forever. This is just for a few more months/years. It will be beneficial to the both of us in the long run.

If someone will see how messy/cluttered our place is, others will be easy to judge that I’m not cleaning the house or I’m just a mess. If you ever exclusively breastfed plus you’re left alone with an infant, a dog and 2 puppies, then I’ll accept your comment. But if not, well, I have nothing to say. To me, I really hate untidy places. My husband knows this. I always nag at him if there is a tiny bit of a mess. I want everything to be clean and organize. Now is just the opposite. I’ve accepted the fact that I can’t do everything on my own. I have to look after my little one first. I’d like to thank my husband for being so supportive in our breastfeeding journey and for being a good husband. He do the laundry, he cooks for me, he prepares JD’s food, he wash JD’s cloth diapers, he cleans the mess of our dogs, he plays with our baby, he wakes up in the middle of the night if he hears JD cry (and cradle him), he just loves us always. Remember, this too shall pass. 😊😊😊

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Our Hospital Bag Checklist

Photo not mine. CTTO.

Hi guys! This is long over due but it’s never too late. Hopefully I still remembered everything, haha. I know there are lots of expecting moms out there who are still clueless on what to bring to the hospital.
PS: I’m a FTM and not expert or whatsoever. This is based on my own personal experience.

On my last part of my pregnancy, about 7th month, I started googling and asking my sisters on what to bring to the hospital. I was taught to start packing early so that when the day comes, we’ll just bring our bags and go straight to the hospital. 

Here are what’s inside baby’s bag:

Baby bag – My sister gifted us a baby bag and I just fill it up. 

Tie-side shirts and pajamas– First of, the very famous tie-side shirts. Upon my reaserch, they included a long-sleeved one but I preferred to use just the short-sleeved because having a tiny baby with still soft bones, it’s very difficult to put on a long-sleeved shirt. We just stayed in the hospital for about 30 hours so we just need 3 tie-side shirts and 3 pajamas.

*I brought a onesie that baby should wear upon delivery but the hospital didn’t allow them. They preferred the easy-to-wear tie-sides and pajamas.

Bonnet, Mittens, Booties– You should need about 3 depending on your stay but 3 should be enough. It’s easier for me to use the tie ones instead of the garterized mittens and booties. It’s a hassle to tie, yes, but garterized ones were easily taken off everytime.

Receiving blanket/Swaddle – 2 should be enough. 1 will be given to the nurse to cover baby and the other 1 is just extra incase baby spits up on it. I preferred the ones with hood because it might be cold for baby once outside.

*Just always look after your baby, the hood might be too big and may cover the baby’s face. This too is also applicable with bonnets.

Baby blanket without hood – 2 is enough. This one is like a mattress (sapin) for baby. You don’t want your baby to be lying on the bed “unprotected”. 

Blanket (kumot) – Others don’t recommend this because it might cause suffocation. But it’s a mother’s instinct and you have to look after your baby. We use blanket just below his tummy to avoid suffocation. 

Baby Wipes – Just a pack of about 80 pulls is enough. Your baby will poop almost every time so you’ll need this.

Bib/Burp Cloth/Lampin – whichever you prefer to with your baby when he spits up.

Diapers (Disposable or Washable) – I bought some cloth diapers to use for my baby however I was also told that the baby poops a million times in a day so I ended up buying disposables. We used Huggies and it’s really a good one. No rashes, no leaks.

Changing Mattress – just 1. Used for changing diapers so that the bedsheet won’t be soiled.

Baby Wash – bring a small bottle for baby’s first bath. The nurses will do it for you for the first time. We used Lactacyd Baby.

70% Alcohol for cleaning your baby’s belly button until it fell off and for sanitizing your wands first before you hold the baby.

I brought some feeding bottles (Avent Natural) but we didn’t used it because I wanted to exclusively breastfeed my baby which I still do up until now for nearly 6 months as of writing.

—Also brought baby oil but tend not to use it because it is better not to give anything like powder, lotion, oil, etc for babies below 1 year old. I read this online and also advised by the pedia afterwards.

*Separate 1 tie-side shirt, pajamas, bonnet, pair of mittens, pair of booties, blanket/swaddle, diaper, baby wash to give to the nurse for baby to wear.
For mommy’s bag:

2 sets of clothes – consisting of pajamas and loose shirt that you can easily breastfeed in to. You may also want maternity or nursing shirts.

A pair of socks – it might be cold in the hospital. You will be needing this after the delivery.

Undies – bring as much panties as you want. My water bag broke when I was on labor so bringing extra panties is very much needed. Also, you will discharge lots of blood after the delivery. For bra, I just brought I nursing bra for going home. 

Towel and toiletries – if you wish to take a bath. I didn’t took a bath yet in the hospital because I was too sore down there and also on my whole body. I bathe after a day at home with warm water. Shampoo, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste,deodorant. 

Betadine – the once meant for wounds. I dilute it in warm water to wash my pempem. However, my OB told me that normal room temperature water is okay rather than hot water because hot water might weaken the “thread” used to stitch you.

Kikay/ cosmetic kit – bring whatever you might need for taking pictures when you have a visitor. 

Maternity pads / Adult diapers – you’ll be bleeding a lot after the delivery. Others don’t want to use diaper because it’s too bulky and may give a hot feeling but I preferred it because it catches more bloody discharge rather than the pads.

Bed pad – some hospitals provided this one but our hospital asked us to buy some of this.

Nursing / Breast Pads – you might leak if your milk comes in already. This will be very helpful. Trust me. Disposable and washable are available in the market whichever you prefer.

Pillow and Blanket – you might need extra pillow and blanket for your companion. The hospital I gave birth in, provided an new pillow that you can take home.

Going home clothes – wear comfy dress that you can easily pull out your breasts if you intend to breastfeed. Avoid jeans. It might hurt down there. πŸ˜€

Extras:

Snacks – You might want to stock up some food to bring so that you and your partner can munch on something even in the middle of the night after the delivery.

Drinking water – you’ll need lots of this because you’ll be very thirsty after the long and dreadful labor and delivery.

Phone/Camera/Gadgets – these will help you pass out time while waiting for ‘the moment’. You can ask a nurse to capture videos or photos of you and baby while inside the delivery room. Don’t forget the chargers.

Hair ties – if you have medium to long hair, you’ll need this for comfort. It might get hot while you’re in labor. However, when I entered the delivery room, they took it away from my hair and handed it to my sister.

Documents – SSS, Philhealth, Health Card, etc. You need to ask your companion to hand these over to the hospital staff.

Cash/Card – no need for explanation 😁

Name Card – provide a small piece of card or paper and write down the name of your baby on it. You might still be sleeping or groggy when the nurse will ask you this or you partner would still be at panic mode 😁. Better write it down to avoid mispelled names.

Hopefully this list would help you out to avoid over packing and under packing. I guess I covered almost everything here, lol. Good luck on your labor and delivery. Have a safe one. πŸ˜‰

Our Breastfeeding Journey

I have 4 nieces and 1 nephew that I got the chance to take care of or look after. I can say, I pretty know almost everything about the basics, how to carry a baby, feed the baby with bottles, change diapers, how to put a baby to sleep and so on. I took note of those learnings and told my self that I will do the same to my own child. One of which is that I want Avent feeding bottles and pacifiers for my future baby. As per experience, Avent bottles lessens the chances of colic because minimum to no air was present when the baby sucks its teats. As for the milk, I opt to give my future baby, Enfalac for newborn as well. My nieces were all smart and advanced in development compared to other babies with different formula milk. Until one day while I was still pregnant, while searching the web for cloth diapers, I stumbled upon an FB group named Breastfeeding Pinays. I was intrigue because it is very popular in the cloth diapering group that I joined, Cloth Diaper Addicts PH. I’ve learned many benefits of exclusively (meaning no water, no formula, no bottles pacifiers) breastfeeding not just for babies but also for the mommies. Below are what I learned:

For baby:

  • Healthier baby – breastmilk contains vitamins and nutriets that your baby needs. It contains antibodies that will help protect baby from illnesses. It also protects baby fro developing allergies.
  • Smarter baby – Experts explains that the emotional bonding during breastfeeding sessions probably contributes to the brainpower benefits.
  • Fitter baby – Breastfeeding protects the child from being overweight and obese when they grow older. Breastfed babies tend to have more control in feeding when they are already full. They will automatically refuse the breast once their tummy is full. Breastmilk also contains less sugar that the sugarry formula.
  • Safer baby – Breastfeeding lowers the chances of risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

For mommy:

  • Reduces the stress level and risk of postpartum depression. Oxytocin aka the happy hormone was released during BF sessions. Making you more relaxed.
  • Reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Helps you return in your pre-pregnancy body faster. The breastfeeding body burns 500 calories per day.

Knowing all these things helps me decide to ditch the formula milk. I was convinced that breastmilk is really best for babies up to two years and beyond. However, when I already gave birth and finally came the time to nurse my baby for the first time, stress hit me really hard. Below is my breastfeeding story.

I thought you will just offer the boob then the baby will suck to it easily. Dream on! That’s not going to happen for a newborn baby. They still don’t know how to suck. Stupid me! Of course! He’s been in my tummy for 37 weeks. How will he learn how to suck? He can’t practice while he’s inside, you fool! So what happened was, my baby cried and cried because he can’t find the nipple (I have small nips). Having a small mouth and feeding in these gigantic boobies really stressed out my baby and I too. I kept offering even though he cried for minutes then finally finds and sucks the nips. And it wasn’t that good to feel. It hurts! Why does nobody told me that it would be this hard to breastfeed. Why does it feels like he’s biting me even with just his gums? On the 3rd and 4th day, wow! It really do hurts! With cracks, wound and blood on my nips. Every BF session is like torturing my own body. While my baby is crying having trouble finding the nips, I was also crying due to severe pain. All I do is clenched my teeth and shut my eyes hard. I often read from Breastfeeding Pinays about others’ experiences and questions then checked out the comments for possible answer or solution. It was indeed helpful. I’ve learned that you can actually apply nipple cream on the affected area to heal the wounds and cracks. However, if it wasn’t available, you can just let it air dry after a BF session. They say, your own milk plus your baby’s saliva is the most effective cure to it. And that’s just what I did and it worked. After the bloody nips for about a week, another challenge occurred to me, the great ‘Let Down’. It is the overstreaming milk from your boobies. Ending with wet and sticky clothes. I ended up changing clothes 3x because of the over flowing milk. What I did was put “lampin” under my shirt to prevent the leaking but it didn’t help. I was still left with milk-soaked shirt on. From that moment, I thought of hand expressing my milk so that I won’t waste any liquid gold. Of course you’ll need storage bottles ang bags where you can peacefully store your milk. Don’t worry because you can store them in the freezer and won’t be spoiled for 3-6 months. So I bought storage bottles from Bebeta at Waltermart for P199.00 pack of 4 4oz bottles. Initially, I thought 4 was enough but I ended up buying another 4 because having a newborn, I can’t wash the bottles as much as I wanted to. At that moment, I thought I would be fine, but no! There is also a ‘let down’ from the other breast while JD was latching on the other which I can’t hand express during nursing because I only have two hands (one for holding the baby and the other for holding my boob for support). Whenever Jek is available, I asked him to catch the milk using the bottle but when he’s not around, I just let the milk ‘down’. Since it hurts to see my liquid gold being wasted, I resorted to posting a question in Breastfeeding Pinays. One mommy advised to use Haakaa silicone breast pump. I immedietly looked for it in Shopee. To my dismay, we don’t have a budget to get one. I tried searching for silicone pump and yes! I found a much affordable version that costs P375.00 only. I bought it at YouhaPH (in Shopee). I also bought from them storage milk bags for P135.00 for 20pcs (There are sellers that offered it for just P100.00. I just chose YouhaPh because of the silicone pump.) Once I received it, I washed it with Enfant Nipple and Bottle Liquid Cleanser then sterilized it. On our next feeding, I used it and it was a game changer, life saver and my holy grail. I was able to collect as much as 4oz of breastmilk while my baby is latching on the other, it is a hands-free device, btw. This lasted until our 5th week. Since JD is latching directly on me, to my surprise, I already have lots of milk stash in the freezer. I don’t know what to do with them so I posted in another FB group called Breastfeeding Bulakenyas. I looked for someone who’s in need of our stash until I contacted Mommy Nica (hi mommy) who happened to undergone surgery due to Mastitis. She was left with one breast to feed her cutie baby Naya (hello cutie cutie Naya) until the other one is fully healed and the milk comes back in. If I remembered it correctly, we were donating breastmilk to them since December 2016. We are very happy to help them even in this little way. They are very friendly, easy to talk to and generous. Aside from the pasalubongs that Mommy Nica gave to us, she also gave me a bottle on M2 Malunggay Tea which is unbelievably yummy. I took it with hot water and added a little honey in it. Also, she shared with me her pre-mixed of oats, flax seed and I forgot what the other ingredients are but it is also delish. I added Smackers Chocolate Syrup in it for better taste. These are milk boosters to the point that after a few minutes of taking them, you’ll feel hardening in the breast which means they are full with milk. On the 6th week, my body finally knows how much milk to produce that JD (and Naya) needs. Milk supply was already stablished although there are still let-downs but not that overflowing than before. I can now discard the lampin to avoid wet shirts. I used washable nursing pads (P90/pair) that i bought from KMC Baby Stuff in Shopee. We are almost fine with our set-up at home but going out is a different story. Almost every FTMs who breastfeed their baby knows how challenging it is to breastfeed in public. I am guilty to bring a feeding bottle and some of my expressed milk when going to feed JD. In my thinking, using Avent bottle won’t give JD nipple confusion between the bottle and my breasts. But after few weeks of guilt, I finally ditch the thought of using feeding bottles. JD was not nipple confused, however, he doesn’t want feeding bottles at all. He just cried and pushed the teats with his tongue. That was good but not when I was about to go out, poor me. Jek’s rest day from work is every Friday. So we always go out to buy errands or just to eat out. Often times, I nurse JD in the car before we go out but when we were in malls, I always look for their Breastfeeding Station. We were once in SM Marilao and we were eating at Tokyo Tokyo when JD cried out loud from sleep. I knew what that means, it’s boobie time! So we hurried to find the breastfeeding station which was very clean and well-maintained. Another incident was when we were at Jollibee Lolomboy, as usual, when I was about to eat, JD will automatically cry. Good thing I was babywearing (another post for babywearing) that time using my ringsling (P550) which I bought from Eribiellascloset from Instagram. It served as a nursing cover (which I don’t have and still contemplating if I should get one) so that my breast won’t be exposed to Jollibee’s customers. Often times, we just hurried in whatever we were doing and waited until we get to the car for JD to latch. I am still kind of shy in breastfeeding in public. That’s why I salute the other breastfeeding moms who have the guts and courage to do what is right and not to be ashamed of it. I’m hoping that someday, breastfeeding will be a normal act in public places. Our babies have the right to eat freely whenever and wherever he’s hungry. Hopefully, I can also breastfeed my baby in public and not be ashamed of it. Is eating in public illegal? I guess not. Next time, I’ll try to gather some courage to do so. As of writing, we are 12 weeks of exclusively breastfeeding (EBF). I’m happy that on JD’s last check-up last February 3 (2months old), he weighed 6.2kgs. I wonder how heavy he is now because I’m really having a hard time carrying him, haha! I’m looking forward for more months or years of breastfeeding for JD. I won’t stop him until the very last drop of milk from my boobies. Or if baby #2 will be present at that time.

Here are some more tips in breastfeeding as per my experience:

  • Be prepared and dedicated.
  • Formula milk is not an option unless prescribed by a breastfeeding advocate pedia.
  • Do not think that you’re not making enough milk for your baby.
  • Breastmilk can help in nipple wound, insect bites, cradle cap and scratches.
  • Always bring extra clothes when going out. I suggest to use printed/patterned tops so that leakage won’t be that obvious.
  • Eat whatever you want but make sure to always eat soupy foods and foods that are milk booster such as Malunggay, oats, green leafy vegetables, etc.
  • Join the groups mentioned above.
  • Do some research in breastfeeding.
  • Do not believe all those breastfeeding myths.
  • Sleep when the baby sleeps.
  • Stay away from stress. It will lower your milk supply.
  • Always ask support from your husband/partner, family and friends.
  • Your baby, your rule.
  • Do not buy formula milk, feeding bottles and pacifiers unless otherwise needed.
  • You may use nursing bra, nursing clothes, nursing pads, nursing cover to help you with your breastfeeding journey.
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Always tie your hair.
  • You may drink alcohol, yes! But in moderation and stay away from hard ones. Beer is enough!
  • Enjoy every breastfeeding session. 😁

    Silicone pump.

    Bebeta milk storage bottles. (With spoiled milk which you can use in baby’s bath for softer skin.)

    Who Am I? – First Blog

    Alright! First blog ever. Woohoo! Honestly, I have no idea where to start. Well, I’m here already. No turning back. Just so you know, it’s hard setting up a blog (even though this is free). Or maybe it’s just me who had a hard time. πŸ˜‰

    First of, who am I? I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Abi Santiago, 27 years of age, from Bulacan, Philippines. I’m married to my long-time boyfriend of 10 years last March of 2016. I’m preggy as of the moment to our first. By the way, I hope you’re interested to know my husband’s name. If I may say, he’s Jek. Same age as mine. A professional photographer and loves to eat… A lot! Haha! Enough of him. This will be mainly about me.

    You might be wondering why I’m blogging. To be honest, I myself too. I’m really new to this thing. Although internet, specifically blogs, are my major source of information and knowledge, I don’t know how this thing works. While being pregnant and nothing to do at home (aside from eating, sleeping and peeing a lot), I guess it is my main motivation that pushes me to get up (not literally, though. I’m just here sitting on a bed side, haha!) and force myself to do something. I don’t want to look like an elephant or hypopotamus when I reach my 9th month. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against plus-sized ladies out there but from me, being at 98lbs in my early 20’s and now being almost 140 lbs (nooooo… I hate those numbers), I’m not used to seeing myself this big and everybody’s looking at me like they saw a whale shark (grrrrrrr….). You may be raising an eyebrow, “Aren’t you just sitting and writing when you blog? How will you lose weight with that?” My answer? Please just excuse me, I’m sooooo pregnant, haha! Well, okay, I just realized my 2nd reason why I started blogging. I guess I just wanted to promote motherhood. As a new mom-to-be, I would like to share my journey and hopefully you’ll get something good about what I do. Also, if the internet decided not to put this blog down (I hope not), my future kids will be able to read this too. And lastly, if you have already observed, I have no formal training/lesson in writing. Grammar isn’t perfect. Punctuation marks not used properly. Well, don’t mind them. As they say, it’s the thought that counts. Literally, thought, as in the content and context of the blog. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

    I’m already thinking if this post is too long.. I hope someone’s still reading at this point, haha! For my ending, I’d like to share my thought on what I would like to be covering in my future blogs. Being a new wife and mom-to-be, I wish to cover things about being pregnant, cooking, about babies, cloth diapers, breastfeeding, baby wearing, loving yourself and almost everything being a lady.

    I hope to see you soon in my future blogs. Don’t hesitate to like, comment or share this if you want to. Please….. Do it for a preggy here! Haha.

    PS: Next post would be our journey in preparing for our wedding.

    Thank you and may you have a wonderful day! 😊