Friday, 31 December 2010

Travelling Without Baby

After much consideration over our dilemma, we have decided not to bring baby J to Batam. Practicality has reigned over emotions as usual. Even my mother smsed me to warn me not to bring her for fear of sea sickness (although babies this age do not have travel sickness).

I will miss her so much! *Sigh*

I'm sure you're wondering how I managed to go overseas without my baby while still nursing? And I did it more than once. The first time I did it was when the hubby and I went with a bunch of our churchmates to Phuket, Thailand, just 5 weeks after baby J was born (big mistake though I still managed to pull through). The second was with the hubby to Brunei for his work trip and now to Batam.

If like me, you're crazy about travelling enough to go overseas without your baby but you still want to continue to breastfeed, ensure that you prepare the following:

(1) A Trustworthy Babysitter

Her beloved 奶奶 (paternal grandmother)

Ok I supposed this is a given. You need someone you trust to take care of the baby, otherwise you will not leave in peace. And a vacation where you are worrying all the time is not a vacation at all.

(2) A Trustworthy Breast Pump

Mine is from Philips Avent. Highly recommended by me.

Treat it well as it is going to be your best friend for the days that you are away. And how often do you pump? The same as if you were at home with baby. If your baby feeds every 2 hours, you should pump every 2 hours (ideally). Of course when you're overseas, you might not have the luxury of doing that but you should still try not to exceed a maximum of 5-6 hours interval between pumps.

(3) Bring both the electrical and battery operated power supply
If you have a electrical breast pump like mine from Avent, you will have a wall socket that provides electricity directly to your pump motor as well as a battery operated device. The latter is useful when you are not able to find an electrical point to power your pump. Bring both.

Don't forget the extra batteries.

(4) Milk Storage Bags
Instead of lugging bulky plastic storage containers around, buy these compact and easy to use storage bags to store your breastmilk. They take up less space in your luggage making it great for travelling.

(5) A store of milk in the fridge

Milk stored for baby J in our fridge

Before you leave, ensure you have a store of breastmilk ready for your baby so that she still has your milk to drink even when you're not there. In order to store enough milk, you should start pumping extra milk (about 100-200ml depending on your milk supply) everyday at least 4 weeks before you are due to travel. If you don't have enough stored up, you may have to consider allowing your baby to drink formula temporarily.

(6) Check that your hotel room has a fridge with a freezer
Breastmilk, once expressed, can only last 6 hours at room temperature and 48 hours in the refridgerator. If frozen however, it can last for 3 to 4 months, so you would want to store it in a freezer. Most hotels have bar fridges with a small freezer compartment but call ahead to be sure. You don't want to end up not being able to bring back the precious milk for your baby.

(7) Apply to check-in your luggage if you're flying by plane
Remember that your milk is liquid. It will not be allowed in your hand-carry luggage.

Hopefully these tips will help you to travel overseas without baby. It may be troublesome, but it is worth the time spent to relax and most importantly reconnect with that love of your life.

Will update more on my trip when I get back, until then...
See ya next year!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

One More Day to a New Year

The hubby's brother brought his two kids over to see their grandparents today. Baby J woke up from her nap to see her two 'gor gors' (older brothers) playing with toy cars.

Assorted 'boy' toys belonging to cousins C and D and baby J

My girl is crazy about cars. I don't know why, but one of her favourite hobbies is to sit by the full-length windows of my room or at the roadside and look at different cars drive by. So all the lights and sounds of the toy cars kept her attention while I fed her pumpkin porridge. She was also really excited when cousins C and D started playing sword fighting. I bet if she was able to walk and wield a sword she would join in too.

Let's see, baby J likes cars, likes sword fighting, likes soccer... is this a result of 7 months of daddy calling her a boy, thinking and praying that she would be one, when she was in my stomach? (Her dad only finally acknowledged that she was a girl when he saw her ovaries in the ultrasound) -_-"

Anyway the oldest of the grandchildren, cousin C, was a great big brother to baby J, always watching over his 'mei mei' (little sister) whenever we would leave the room for a while.

Baby J & Cousin C

Isnt't he sweet?

As for mummy, after a hectic month of December full of theme parties, weddings, volunteering, playdates, and christmas celebrations, I was happy to have this week to work on packing my room and it's now up to my neat freak standards (which include books arranged numerically or alphabetically and items arranged by type and height). I know right... I'm sooo the 'Monica' of F.R.I.E.N.D.S (my all time favourite show by the way).

Courteney Cox's character Monica (3rd from the left) is the super neat & uptight one in the group

Sister bought the entire 10 Seasons worth of DVD sets and the siblings and I love to watch it over and over again. I think I've watched certain seasons like so many times that I can memorize the lines. Anyway, I also finally started to work on my thesis. It's a necessary evil that has to be done as I have a meeting with my professor next week.

We also have to pack as we're off to Batam, Indonesia, tomorrow with the hubby's friends. I'm am still undecided about whether or not to bring baby J along with us. On one hand, it'll be such a hassle dragging all her stuff there and she might not enjoy the bumpy ferry ride. On the other hand, I would totally miss her (although this is not the first time I've been overseas without her) and it'll be fun to hang out, swim and countdown to the new year together as a family.

As you can see, I just can't decide. Everyone around me is telling me to do the former, but my heart is to go with the latter. The former is practical, the latter is emotional. So I don't know. Guess you'll find out about my final decision in my next post =)

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Pupsik Studio Nursing Covers

For the past 5 & half months, I have been searching for nursing rooms to use whenever I'm in a public place, allowing me to come up with a review of the nursing rooms that I have used before. I knew about nursing covers but didn't want to use them as I wasn't very good at the whole nursing thing yet.

However, in recent weeks I started to think about getting a nursing cover. Reason being...

(1) Bad luck in looking for a nursing room
In the past, by some twist of fate or God-ordained miracle, the nursing room was always available whenever baby needed to feed. It's like God knew my baby will scream the whole building down if she did not feed like right now! But recently, as baby's patience grew, so did the length of time we took looking for an available nursing room. There was once we combed every single floor of the whole entire building and all of them were in use (true story!). Plus people, especially men, keep stumbling into the nursing room while I'm still nursing so it ain't that private anyway.

If I had nursing covers, I could just nurse her in some corner of a public place.

(2) Baby and I are getting better at the whole breastfeeding routine
Both she and I know what to do when the time comes. No need to struggle like crazy just to feed her.

(3) Saw some mother use it recently and saw how easy it was
It convinced me that I need it. You know how it is, someone has it, I gotta have it. Ok not really.

Anyway, I was just mentioning to the sister that I think I need to buy nursing covers and lo and behold, she and JM got me just that for Christmas!
Pupsik Studio Nursing Covers
The one that they got me was from Pupsik Studio. I like it because it is funky and lightweight.

Recently I used it while feeding baby in the car, something I tend to do when I can't find a place to nurse her. Usually I'll just pull down the window screen and cover with a pillow but I always feel so exposed. With the covers, I can do it more privately without worrying that my you-know-what will be seen. Baby doesn't really care if it's there or not. She is all focused on the feeding. But she did take her hand and push the covers away when she's done, leaving me to go, "Hey! Mummy's not covered up yet!"

Since when did she become so smart?

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Baby J's 1st Christmas!

While baby J's Mummy is usually super excited about weddings, baby births, birthdays, Christmas, etc, her daddy is usually not as enthusiastic about celebrations of any sort. Mummy's the sort who goes, "OMG yesss we should have a party... Let's make it a THEME party! A Christmas party without a theme is not a Christmas party!! Oooo let's get sparklers!!..." (this could go on and on with super fired-up excitement). Daddy on the other hand is the sort who goes, "What's there to celebrate? Let's just eat and go home." Super 'pour cold water' (direct translation from the Chinese phrase which means to dampen other people's spirits).

So you can imagine my surprise when as we walked pass some Christmas trees, the hubby suddenly said, "Hey shall we get a Christmas tree?" I was like, "What? I keep asking you to get a Christmas tree for our house and you said no. Why this year?"

"Baby's first Christmas mah," was his reply, "must make it a good one for her. Must have a tree so we can put all her presents under it."

So get a Christmas tree we did.

All our presents beside our Xmas tree - can you spot your gift to us?

Ok granted that it is a tiny tree. We figured a small one will suffice since baby's so small, she wouldn't realise it anyway. We'll probably buy a bigger one in future when she's older =)

But now come to think of it with all our presents combined, it's almost overpowering the tree! Thanks to all for your generosity and love, we really appreciate it!

So anyway, hubby said that we should all open our gifts only on Christmas morning. As it was time for baby's nap after her morning feed, the hubby and I went ahead and opened our presents first.

Mummy's presents

I like all of my Christmas presents this year (thanks peeps!) but there were 2 that stood out from the rest. The first was a scrapbook for newbies given by my good friends Mr & Soon-to-be-Mrs P.

I love scrapbooking because it is so pretty and creative but have never been really good at it 'cos I didn't know how to go about doing it. But this album is so great because it gives you a step-by-step guide and everything is pre-cut for you. So convenient and perfect for a busy mother like me! 


The other present (or more like two presents) was from the hubby!

External hard disk and iPad

Love ya dear, so touched! =)

Anyway, when baby woke up from her nap, we got her to open her presents. She has many presents this year thanks to generous and doting grandparents, grandaunts, 姨姨 (maternal aunt), 叔叔 (paternal uncle) and friends.

"These are mine ok... ALL mine!"

Baby loved opening every single one. Which kid does not like presents?

Her favourite? "Our present!" declares her daddy.

Present from mummy & daddy

It was a great first Christmas for baby J, although I think we enjoyed it more than she did.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

T'was the Night of Christmas Eve

It was Christmas eve and we brought Baby J for church service where we watched the Christmas drama put up by our own drama team. Initially Baby J had a really hard time sleeping because of all the sound effects. Plus my laughter during the comedic scenes did not help. After much struggling she finally gave in to the 'Z monster' and slept like a log throughout the rest of the drama, which allowed me to enjoy the rest of the performance. I must say the script was very innovative. I was glad that I could watch it in peace...

Wearing her 'Baby's 1st Christmas' suit her dad bought for her

When baby J awoke later, I let her play in this colourful play area found in the nursery.

"Ahhhh I'm going to fall!! Not..."

After church, we decided to send baby home to sleep before joining the rest at Wangz Hotel's Halo Rooftop Lounge located along Outram Road, just a couple of blocks away from our home.

It was the first time that we were there and I must say I really like the ambience and panoramic view of Duxton & Shenton Way.

Got a table with a great view

The drinks were nice and reasonably priced but the food was ridiculously expensive.

At the hotel lobby

Was a really enjoyable countdown to Christmas!

Friday, 24 December 2010

There's a Lovin' in the Air

Outside City Square Mall
Something about celebrating Christmas this year with a baby in tow puts me in the mood to give back to society, more specifically to other children. Partly because I love kids and partly because I want to set a good example for my kid.

So this Christmas I volunteered for the first time to paint a wall mural at the CSLMCH and also sponsored a present for one kid at the Melrose Home: Children's Aid Society. The latter was organised by Daphne at Mother, Inc who wanted to make a difference in the lives of the 50 children who live there by giving them vouchers each to buy themselves a nice christmas present.

Let's all play our part to help out the less fortunate and make this christmas a memorable one for everyone.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

First Ever Playdate

I brought baby J for her first playdate with the other baby J at my friend Belle's house yesterday. 

Flower Princess & Queen Mummy!

When both of us first found out that we were pregnant at around the same time, I had in mind that one day our kids would meet and they would be best friends too. Coincidentally, both girls have similar names (it's only differentiated by one alphabet). Belle and I have similar taste =)

Playing together in Host Baby J's playroom

Initially both baby Js looked apprehensive. The host frowned and whined a little. The guest followed suit and whined back. It was like that back and forth for a good 15 minutes while their mums laughed at them. It was like two old ladys grumbling and whining about their sad life.

Host Baby J & Guest Baby J

Then they started to warm up to each other and played side by side. Babies at this age are not very developed socially so they do not know yet how to interact with each other. For both baby Js especially, they have been used to being the only baby in the house that they are not used to being with another baby just like them.

Playing in the living room

But Belle and I were pleased that both of them had a chance to interact. She was happy that her baby J could meet someone her age and learn to share her toys. I was happy that my baby J can meet someone older than her (by 3 months) so she can learn from her. Both of them copied each other a lot. When one wanted to eat, the other did so too. When one threw the blue ball, so did the other. It was really fun and interesting to watch!

"Wow so many toys!"

After a while though, Guest Baby J was more excited about Host Baby J's toys than anything else. I think the abundance in new toys to play with was the reason she didn't kick up a big fuss when we were there.

On Host Baby J's swing

She especially loved this swing! I'm so tempted to go buy one for her but then I remembered that she'll probably outgrow it very quickly so there's no point. I was happy that she was happy and thought she didn't ever want to leave.

Except she did. Punctually at 6pm, she started crying her ok-I-have-had-enough-let's-go-HOME! cries. When she's in that mode, absolutely nothing will calm her down except for me to actually go home! The minute I strapped her into her carrier she stopped fussing. Seriously.

Although it was a long journey back, I think both baby J and I really enjoyed the time we spent there. Too bad Belle lives some distance away from me (sigh) otherwise I'll bet we would meet up more often.

Till the next time we meet again =)

Monday, 20 December 2010

Charity Patience Devotion

Like I mentioned previously, the sister and I were volunteering ourselves to paint a mural on the wall for the Parent's Corner at the Chen Su Lan Methodist Children's Home.

Blank wall at Parent's Corner

Our job was to incorporate the kid's drawing into one picture and then paint that picture on the wall. The organiser LP said we have to allow the children to help paint so that they will feel included. Sounds like a massive project to me. We felt we really needed some backup so we roped in my sister's bf to help out.

First we started out by drawing a sketch on the wall.

If you look closely, you'll see the sketch on the wall...

Then we mixed the different paints donated by a sponsor and got on with the actual painting. This was the toughest part of the job because of the children's involvement. We had to make sure they will not get themselves dirty or paint haphazardly. Most of them took on the painting without complaint and were very cooperative but others were less enthusiastic. There were 2 boys in particular who started to get unhappy when people started to paint over the small minute details that they had drawn. I tried to reason with them but they didn't understand that drawing/painting on a piece of paper is very different from painting on the wall. Small details don't go on a wall till after we have finished painting the background. But they wouldn't listen to me and one even showed us the attitude and insisted he will not participate anymore since it's not his design. Like whatever. I have a baby dude. I have become very good at tuning out tantrums. The sister, not so much. She was super frustrated.

So anyway, when they couldn't listen to reason, we (or actually more like me) were very strict with them. I told them they couldn't help out if they refused to listen to us. And they didn't help out anymore after that. Which was actually a real blessing for us 'cos we could finish it quicker.

Thankfully, there were also many helpful teenagers who were really good and helped us paint the bulk of the background. Sort of balanced the bad experience with a good one.

Putting on the finishing touches...
I did the words on the wall freehand - nope, no stencil =)
My favourite part of the wall was this waterfall
During our painting, I started to get a spur of inspiration and went all artistic on the rocks. I have ever painted a waterfall before so this was easy for me. One of the girls wanted to help me and I taught her how to paint so that the waterfall looked more realistic. She was ecstatic when she saw how nice it looked. Was so happy with the way it turned out =).

JM doing final touch ups

We also decided to leave a part of us in the painting.

Do you see where it is?
Look closer...
There it is! M cube, for the Ms in our names/surname

This experience has taught us a lot of patience. Throughout the whole thing although at some point we were unhappy or frustrated, we learnt how to just let it slide and move on. And we really worked well together as a team!

Group photo with the final creation

I'm glad we managed to finish the whole wall in one day. We started at 8am in the morning and completed it at 5pm. Amazing right? God is good =)

With sister at the main gate and a present we received from the home as a token of appreciation.

I was very proud of us, especially my sister, for doing this as she has zero talent in the children or painting department. Yet she was still willing to help out. Shows a lot of dedication! It was exhausting but we were glad that we did it.

Not bad for a nursing mum eh =)

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Celebratus Galores

Yesterday was a busy day for the hubby and I. For some weird reason, 18th of Dec seemed to be a great day to have a wedding/1st month party/christmas party.

In the morning at 11am, we attended my friends F & C's wedding at CHC Jurong West.

C & her Dad

Pastor Y was the officiating pastor and I enjoyed the candid and playful ceremony. I also really enjoyed the buffet spread, especially the dessert section (*licks lips*) yum! Luckily I didn't bring Baby J =)

After the wedding, we head back home to pick baby J so that we could continue the celebrations at our friend AK's house in Tampines. Her son is 1 month old and they were throwing his 1st month party. The party was supposed to start at 12 noon and we were obviously late. Hubby likes being the last to arrive as it meant more time to talk to the host.

AK looked like any new parent would look: exhausted from lack of sleep but extraordinarily excited about her little babe. Baby A looked really healthy and happy. He kept smiling intermittently the whole time that we were there. What a cheerful little boy!

Baby J: "Meet my new friend!"

Baby J could not resist of course. She kept hitting him in her enthusiasm to make a new friend. I quickly stopped her and steered her away in my effort to prevent her from hurting him. After a while she got bored 'cos her new friend couldn't do anything except lie there. That was you last time ah girl!

After that we went to expo for our church's Candlelight Christmas Service. Baby J was really tired so after her milk she fell into a deep sleep only to be awaken by another screaming baby. She sure wasn't happy about that but I got her to sleep again after a few pats. When her daddy came to look for her later, she looked as happy as a bee with his legs full of nectar.

Doesn't she look just like Daddy? Sigh.

Too bad I couldn't join in the lighting of the candles =(

By the time we got to dinner, both the hubby and I felt so exhausted we didn't join the rest for drinks. Plus baby J and I are still battling the cough so we had to go home to rest. All in all a very eventful weekend of fun! =)

P.S. In case you're wondering about the title, I'm a Harry Potter fan *grinz*

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Mad Hatters & Secret Santas

Yesterday was our annual cell group christmas party again and this year it is held at a private room at Waraku, Marina Square.

Like I said in my previous post, I was in charge of the welcome gifts. Aren't they lovely =)

Finished Welcome Gift!

I did the handphone chain and the sister did the cardboard and words. Heard her fingers really ached after that... but I think we're both really happy that people liked it =)

The theme for the party this year was 'HATS' so all of us had to wear our most interesting hat to the party. Prizes are given out to the Most Creative Hat and Best Salesperson. To win, we'll have to give a speech on why we deserved to win and everyone will vote for the one we think best suits the category.

As usual, the word 'prize' lit the torch of competition in me and straight away I went to work hunting down and designing the perfect hat.

I deliberated for many weeks between getting a classic Audrey Hepburn country style hat...

...which can be bought from Forever 21 (not exactly the same of course) or to jazz up the classic Fedora that I already own courtesy of the sister.

Which did you think I chose? =)

After much consideration, I decided on...

The one-of-a-kind fedora of course!

"It's very me. Cool, Creative and Collectible. Cool 'cos I'm cool, creative 'cos I attached the brooches on myself - the gold one was also made by me - and collectible 'cos the three brooches belong to a collection of brooches which I amassed over the years. I don't collect brooches anymore but I still collect snowglobes, pins, keychains, etc... Vote for me!" *bright smile*

That's the speech I gave on why I should win. Ok not exactly. *laughs*

Anyway everyone voted and... *drum rolls*

Most Creative Hat

The winner was A with the over-the-top pink One Piece style hat (apparently shipped over from Japan). I got 2nd place though. Was so close to winning... haha but I don't mind. At least I was a contender... THANKS TO THOSE WHO VOTED FOR ME! =)

Best Salesperson Award

The award for best salesperson went to my friend SF who I have known since we were Primary 4. She went into so much details that people actually thought she sold hats for a living. For the record, she doesn't. She's an engineer for crying out loud. Goes to show she really deserved the award!

After giving out gifts to appreciate various people in the cell group (thanks for the gift I appreciate it!), it was time for Secret Santa/Gift Exchange! Each of us were to say something about our mortal while the rest tried to guess who it was. It was really fun. My secret santa was Yaowen who handcrafted my present...

So pretty right?!?

After all the eating and exchanging of our Christmas gifts...

I'd say overall the whole event was a resounding success! Don't you agree? =)

Friday, 17 December 2010

Jumperoo, Who?

An ex-churchmate of mine, Elaine, runs a business renting out toys to mothers at Rent That Toy. I found out she was running this business out of pure coincidence. I read about it in the parenting magazines that I bought and went online to find out more about their services. When I read the "About Us" section, I recognised her from the pictures!

So I told my mum-in-law about their service and she thought it was a great idea. We've been wanting to get the Fisher Price Deluxe Jumperoo for Baby J since she loves to jump (have you seen her thighs?) but it's a little pricey. She'll also outgrow it in 2 months and we have nowhere to keep it. Renting it became our solution!

Anyway I registered on their website and Elaine messaged me on Facebook to ask me when I would like it to be delivered. She also informed me that my friend Belle (the one I mentioned in the previous post) also used their service too. Small world eh.

Baby J on the Jumperoo

Initially baby J was super apprehensive. She looked really scared and cried when she realised that the thing actually moves when she kicks. Plus the music together, it all seemed to overwhelm her. So we took her out and kept trying every few hours.

As you can see, she finally got the hang of it and now really likes it.

I intend to not extend the rental period of one month as it says on the site that the maximum weight that the jumperoo can take is 12kg and my girl is already 9+kg.. We'll most probably rent another toy for her to play with. Wonder what we should get... any suggestions?

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Just Me

I know most of you that read this blog read it because of my adorable baby girl. But for those that are not super crazy about kids, especially all that breastfeeding stuff, I thought I will do a post on me for a change *grinz*

This december has been really hectic for me. I recently got back my thesis after the examiners have had a chance to look at it and it's not positive. They didn't fail me (THANK GOD!) but they needed me to do a lot of editing and corrections to it. It is a real downer on the morale if ya know what I mean. This means I have to postpone going out to work full time and work on this for the next few months. Sigh.

Anyway since Christmas is coming, I thought I will postpone looking at my thesis and work on preparing for the Christmas party that is coming up. I volunteered myself to be in charge of the welcome gifts.

Door gifts in the making...

I finished all 24 of the actual product in 2 days. Have to admit I'm actually pretty good at crafts. Haha. Will post more on the end product in the xmas party post. I'm actually looking forward to it seeing this year's theme is HATS and all. Plus me and sis will be coordinating the gift-exchange/secret santa segment. Hopefully everything will turn out well =)

Besides working on the party, I was also roped in by the sister to volunteer at the Chen Su Lan Methodist Children's Home. They have a parent's corner which has a blank white wall that requires painting. Sister has very little talent in the painting department so she asked me if I wanted to help out. If you didn't already know by now, I love kids. And I love painting. So of course I said yes. However, we underestimated the amount of time and effort needed though. Hopefully we can finish the whole project in one day. More on that in another post.

Anyone free on the 20th Dec 2010 (Monday) and want to help paint a wall?

Don't know if I love or hate Xmas. On one hand there's all the gift giving and sales. On the other hand, there's the itching fingers and emptying bank account... Love, hate, love, hate?? *both palms facing the sky, one hand goes up while the other goes down and vice versa*

Don't we all? *laughs*

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Got Mummy's Milk Too?


I know what you're thinking, "Oh no not breastfeeding again?!?"
(If you don't then please see this post)

Well... this particular activity has occupied 10-30 minutes (10 if I feed direct, 30 if I pump) every 2-4 hours (every 2 hours when she was 0-3 months, every 3-4 hours when she was 3-5 months) every day for the past 5 months, that's at least 400 hours (if not more) of milk, milk, and more milk! So yeah, you can say I've become somewhat of an expert on the subject. At least in my own opinion. Haha.

With my sister's encouragement, these posts are therefore the products of me wanting to share my 400 hours worth of experience.

Firstly, to all mothers-to-be out there who are considering breastfeeding, I say, "DO IT!!"

According to most sites (for e.g. this), there are infinitely more pros than cons of breastfeeding. The best benefits in my opinion include being able to lose weight, the health of your baby and the tons of money you will save from not buying milk powder. However, all it takes is TWO cons to make you give up: i) excruciating pain (especially in the beginning) and ii) extreme tiredness (cos no one else can do it except you).

Hence, be sure that you are prepared or you will not succeed in doing it. From my own experience, I realised that the key to long term breastfeeding lies in:

1) Your knowledge about breastfeeding
Positions, latch on, let down reflex, typical length of feedings & amount of milk, how do you know if your baby gets enough milk, breast engorgement and its problems, mastitis, what not to eat, what to eat... the list goes on and on and on! Make sure you are well read on the topic. Buy books and magazines. Or better still, read it for free online. Google 'breastfeeding' and tons of websites tell you what you need to know. Check out the Truth about Breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding outside is also made easier with nursing rooms located in various public places like shopping malls. Here are their locations and my ratings.

2) Managing your expectations
Although women have been doing this for centuries, don't and I mean DON'T expect this to be natural. It is a skill that you need to master. Something like learning to swim or ride a bike... you need time and patience. You need to practise, practise and practise. Get a lactation consultant to help you. In the beginning when I breastfed Baby J, I really didn't know how to do it so that my nipples wouldn't hurt. I thought it hurt because she had damn powerful suction (which she does ok). Anyway, the lactation expert observed me and realised I was doing it wrong. That's why it hurts. After I got it right, it didn't hurt as bad (still hurt a bit but not as bad). After weeks and weeks of practice, I soon got the hang of it and actually enjoyed it!

Until she starts sprouting a tooth that is...


3) Perseverance
The beginning of learning every new thing is always the hardest. You fall and fall and fall when you're learning how to cycle. Same with breastfeeding. You just gotta grit your teeth through the first 4 weeks of it and trust us it will definitely get easier!

And resist the urge to stop feeding directly in the 2nd week thinking that you don't have enough milk for your baby. The human body is an amazing thing. If your baby needs it, your body will produce it. Give it time. Keep latching on your baby to establish your milk supply and you will have plenty of milk.

4) A lot of Support
Make sure you have got someone who's also breastfeeding or has breastfed before to support you. There was a point when I felt no one understood me because no one around me has ever breastfed before. Only another mother going through or who has gone through the experience could truly emphathise with you. Then Belle, my friend who was also breastfeeding her daughter, came along and offered me a lot of understanding and encouragement. I really appreciated it.

Support from your hubby and family is also extremely important. It will not help you at all if all your hubby can say to you is, "So difficult why don't you just give up?" Or if your mother keeps saying, "What's wrong with milk powder? All of you grew up with milk powder what..." Get them to understand that breastfeeding is important for your baby's health.

5) Tools that can help
Pain can be overcome with help from nipple creams and nipple protectors . Breast pumps can also help you to catch up on your sleep by allowing others to feed the baby on your behalf.

Use them =)

With this in mind, go ahead and enjoy the journey. Although it was the most challenging thing that I ever had to deal with after giving birth, it was also the most rewarding. It is really the best thing you can give your baby which you and only you can give =).

She may not wear 'I heart MUM' on her clothes but we all know who she wants when she's hungry. It certainly ain't daddy...

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