Webinar on expressing milk and Little’s Manual breast pump

I was very young and naïve when I had my daughter. She was a micro preemie, and I was getting a grip on not just being a mom, but also running back and forth to the NICU. She was too little to be able to suckle on her own, and that was the first time I consciously thought about pumping milk. You see, it’s ironic that for years we have been surrounded by women who have given birth, and have breastfed, but we still don’t know much about the subject. Or, at-least we don’t speak about it as much. I learned a lot along the way, the internet helped me, the doctors too. I was super glad to attend a webinar by Dr. Asavari Dongre on ‘Millennial mothers and breastfeeding challenges’

Gynecologist, Dr. Asavari Dongre started off by discussing some undeniable facts. Motherhood has forever been challenging for all moms. There are plenty struggles that I share in common with my mom, and fellow aunts. However, as moms of this generation we definitely have access to more information, not restricted to parenting, pregnancy and mommying, but also when to venture into parenthood. We have options, and many of us have the support system, or simply the guts to follow our instincts. I however was only 20 when I had my daughter, and my biggest struggle was breastfeeding, because I simply couldn’t! My daughter was a micro preemie whom I fed breast milk, but because she was tiny and weak to be able to feed on her own; I was left with no choice but to pump. Awareness on the importance of breast milk is crucial for all moms, regardless of age. The milk constitutes all the necessary nutrients in perfect quantity, which protects the baby from infections, allergies, sicknesses, cancer, diabetes etc. It’s easily digested and tastes perfect for your baby.

Breastfeeding has plenty good effects on the mother too; it helps in weight loss if diet is balanced. It also protects the mother from breast and ovarian cancer. Risk of Type 2 diabetes is also reduced. Probably the best is that the mother and baby get to bond with each other. As the choices for everything in life increase, moms are making conscious decisions and preparing to breast feed their babies. Gone is the time when you had to skip feeds because you weren’t around, or because you were out in public; you can pump in advance and take it along, or leave it with the baby sitter. This will enable the new mom to be able to get a little extra sleep, or go out to run important errands or simply just have some well-deserved ‘me time’. Dads can feel involved too by feeding their infant the expressed milk.

As the webinar proceeded, Dr. Asavari informed us about the proper way to store and use breastmilk. Breast milk should be stored at the back of the refrigerator where it is the coolest; it can be stored for a couple of hours in such a temperature. When feeding the baby, it has to be thawed in room temperature water; breast milk should never be heated in a microwave or thawed in hot water. It can however be kept in a bottle warmer which brings the milk to the right temperature without spoiling it. Expressing milk can be convenient for moms with multiple children, pumping milk helps from dealing with engorgement of the breasts, and it helps build supply if your baby is fussy or isn’t feeding on regular intervals. Babies who drink milk expressed and directly from the mother tend to accept both options readily.

In the webinar we were introduced to the Little’s Comfort Manual Breast Pump and its features. I discovered through this session the significance of having suction control on your breast pump, as it is this natural suction that not just helps in expressing the milk, but also initiates let down. The Littles Comfort Manual Breast Pump has 5 suction levels, the mother can find the one that’s most comfortable for her. This is due to the SFR technology in the pump, another stand out feature of the pump are the two modes of expressing milk i.e. stimulation and expression. The pump comes with silicon massaging pads that protect the delicate skin of the breast while using the pump. The pump is safe for the baby; all its parts are BPA free. There aren’t many tiny parts to the pump, and assembly is easy too. If you’re looking to venture into breast pumps, do give the Little’s Comfort Manual Breast Pump a go and see for yourself.

The last bit was a Q and A, Dr. Asavari was patient to answer the many questions we moms had about breastfeeding, the Little’s breast pump and other related queries. I was glad and happy to use my blog as means to share what I have learned and spread the love.

Say hello To Himalaya Extra Large Gentle Baby Wipes

Wet wipes- I would define them as the savior for all moms. They’re multi-purpose and handy like no other baby care product. Himalaya baby wipes have been\n around for ages, and I always trust the brand with all their baby care products. I was super excited when they contacted me to review their extra-large size baby wipes, and put them to the test as soon as I received them in my mail!

If you have been a mom for longer than a minute, you already have come across, or tried the Himalaya Gentle Baby Wipes. But since the size is the main focus of this launch, I will tell you more about that first. They are twice the size of their regular wipes! The package describes the purpose of the product to enable convenient cleaning from head to toe with just one wipe.

In simple mom words, if your kid looks like he hasn’t had a shower since 2 days, in just two hours of his bath, this wipe is for you. If you’re the kind who prefers a wet-wipe to a napkin to wipe off your baby’s face and hands after his meals, this wipe is for you. Simply because you can get all these tasks done in just one, or max 2 wipes! I for one hate pulling out wipe after wipe, because let’s face it; they’re not as easy to pull out as tissue paper from its box. And another plus side is, that if you have an elder child, like I do, they too can use them to wipe their face, or feet, or knees etc. easily. These “baby” wipes are truly versatile for all aged children because of their size.
Moving on to the other product details; they contain two main ingredients i.e. Indian Lotus extracts and Aloe Vera. The former helps in cooling and moisturizing the skin and the latter helps maintain the moisture of the skin. For added skin care, the wipes are enriched with the Himalaya baby lotion. These wipes are free from Alcohol, silicones, Parabin, lanolin and artificial colour. Himalaya’s XL gentle baby wipes also have skin conditioning, wound healing and soothing actions which protect the baby’s nappy area from infections. My elder was a preemie and the doctor had recommended me to not use chemical infused products and only try mild products. I had done some research and only found Himalaya the trust worthy company. Also because it’s Indian and easily available. I feel in love with the brand and am still a fan to this day! It’s no doubt that they’re one of the most reputed brands in country!

The pack of 12 wipes retails for INR 66 (5.5/wipe) and comes in a broader packaging to accommodate the large size. You can easily distinguish them as the size is very clearly displayed in the center of the product. I would happily give this product a 5 on 5 for the size innovation and recommend it to all moms to at-least give it a shot. If the price point is a little higher for you, you can reserve it to keep in your baby bag for outings or long trips, where it may come to most use, and be worth your money. In fact apart from the price, there isn’t anything else worth thinking about, because the quality is great.

Himalaya range of baby care tend to be on the affordable side compared to other brands.
If you have any questions or opinions do share them in the comments below. Leaving you with a tip: Always store wet wipes face down, that way the moisture/wetness doesn’t seep below to the last wipe making the ones on top dry out faster. Even while keeping in your baby bag keep them that way. Happy wiping mommies.

YouTube gurus I am loving right now

Always looking for a way to unwind. I seem to get bored with even my new unwinding ideas! YouTube has been one of the steady ones. And I am glad that in the smart phone world we are able to access YouTube whenever, wherever!

I would go the the lengths of saying that I have a relationship with my YouTube subscribers list, we are BFFs at this point. There are days I tend to lose interest in some of my subscriptions. However in the recent past I have been steadily enjoying few and wanted to share the love 🙂

  • Lily Pebbles – A UK based beauty and lifestyle blogger whose vlogs I am addicted to. She puts up a video every Sun and has recently also started podcast series with another YouTuber. I love her accent, her take on things, and most of all, I totally enjoy how honest and down to earth she is. In her recent two part Q and A video she embraces each question and is super open about her experiences as a YouTuber and the business of things. I also follow her on Instagram, and enjoy her Instastories.

  • Emily Norris– A mommy blogger from the UK. Yes Mommy bloggers are my saviors at times when I feel isolated in my motherhood madness. Her vlogs and videos are fun to watch, I get a lot of inspiration from her parenting with her three kids. I feel if she can do it with three, I should be fine!. I particularly enjoy her vlogs and she is extremely relatable because of her soft spoken nature, and truthful opinions.

  • Danielle Mansutti– She recently moved to the UK and I am totally enjoying her moving vlogs. I somehow feel empowered by his big move on her own to a new city. It’s a good feeling to see young girls following their dreams and taking control of their lives. Let’s face it, moving to a new country ain’t a joke! (She was living in Australia prior to her move just in case you’re curious). I totally loved this particular vlog where she unites with her pug after moving….I am not ven an animal kinda person, but this was emotional!

  • Niomi Smart– Also from UK (OMG are we seeing a trend here!) Niomi is a beauty and health blogger. I am thoroughly inspired by her healthy lifestyle. I am looking for inspiration to loose the baby weight at the moment, and anything that keeps me in the mind set is welcome. Aside from her health, I like that as a beauty blogger she has not lost her head while becoming famous. She’s humble and grateful for her achievement and I feel like I can relate to her in her vlogs. I also love the minimalist yet beautiful make-up she wear. I get appalled by beauty gurus who have a tonne of makeup on all the time, it’s not realistic and doesn’t appeal to me.

  • Kaushal Beauty – An Indian but in UK! She is hands down the most creatively inspiring beauty guru I have found on Youtube. Her looks are easy to do, and are beautiful. She knows how to transform simple looks to glam with her creative eye liner tricks. I think it’s the Indian in her who is not afraid of bright colours, especially in eye makeup. Most importantly, she is the sweetest and it shows through her personality. My favourite videos from her are the Indian get ready with me makeup looks. It’s nice to see her take on makeup when wearing Indian dresses.

  • The Uphill– A mommy from UK, also has another channel called A model recommends. I am subscribed to both, and discovered her on her first channel. Even though I still enjoy the beauty videos on that one, I am enjoying her mommy channel more. She has two kids under 2 and her day in the life videos are fun to watch. I relate to her as a mom who works from home and has a little baby. Her baby and Abbas are around the same age, and so I have been following her videos through her pregnancy 🙂 I like that her content is mature, and real. Mommies don’t have a glam life all the time, and she is not afraid to hide that. In fact I appreciate it and am inspired by her.

Over the years I have grown out of some YouTubers and seen some grow into people I can’t relate to anymore. I do appreciate how much YouTube has helped talented people show their talents and eventually become a brand. However, I personally enjoy YouTubers who stick to the aesthetic of making videos with the same passion, even though YouTube is their bread and butter, they don’t compromise on the roots of their channel.

Do you have any favourites? leave suggestions in the comments below, I shall happily expand my YouTube subscription list.

 

 

 

 

 

The IGP experience

As a mom the most frustrating times I have are when I am unable to get out of the house and buy my friends or family members a gift on a special occasion. It is extremely annoying and makes me feel like a proper failure. There are gifting portals online, but I have never been able to find anything interesting or found the websites reliable. However now I do have a savior. Tried and tested! The Indian Gifts Portal aka IGP were kind enough to send me a voucher to try out their website and also purchase gifts. Here’s a lowdown of my experience and what I purchased from the website:

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IGP is Indias largest online gifting store in India, they started their website in 2001, which also makes them the oldest and most experienced in the industry. They specialise  in personalised gifts, flowers, cakes, festival merchandise among others gifting ideas. The website is clean in design, simple to browse and such that you can find a gift easily because of the various links on the home page itself. They have a simple animated video on ‘how it works‘ for anyone who is new to the website.You don’t have to browse through the whole website to find what you are looking for, they have four major categories ; ‘Personalised Gifts‘, ‘Gifts by recipient/occasion‘, flowers and cakes‘ and ‘Gifts by country/city‘. Apart from these, you can also find other filtered links like ‘Gifts for anniversary’, ‘gifts for Birthdays’ etc. They keep in tune with any special days that come up in the calendar like valentines, mothers day, etc. All this helps in streamlining the search and finding the gift.

I had taken this opportunity to buy gifts for my kids; purchased two for Baby Abbas and one for Batool. Fisher-Price Rock-a-stack and Snap-Lock beads and Funskool Sun Catchers. The price sticker for all of these was either removed or scratched,  which is very important if you’re having the gifts wrapped and delivered directly to the recipient. All items of the order were delivered together and on time, I shall leave you with pics of the same now…

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I am aware of a couple more gifting sites, but haven’t dared to try them. It was very nice of IGP to approach me to try it out as a courtesy.

My experience with the customer support was satisfying, I was having some issues with placing the order because of crappy internet, and wanted some information on a product as well, so I had reached out to their customer care and they were very helpful. The helpline operator, made a note of my query, gave me an estimate of when she would get back to me with the information I needed, and she stuck to it. I was very pleased with their service. When it comes to buying gifts for someone you want to make sure that everything is perfect and there should be no room for mishaps.

Nothing in the world is perfect is it? Critically analysing the website makes me want them to have a larger range especially for little kids, it would be nice to purchase products that I or anyone may not otherwise find on other retail stores in India as gifts. Also, since I was placing my order around the Mothers day the website was very slow, which also I got clarified by the help-desk that it was because they were constantly working on the website by adding new products for mothers day. But still it kind of was annoying.

Having said that , I will give IGP 4/5 and will definitely turn to them for future gift purchases. Especially since many of my friends and family reside in Dubai I always tend to lose out on doing something special for them, sending a bouquet of fresh flowers, or a personalised gift from here, would enable me to express my love for them. IGP delivers to over 90 countries, and over 350 cities have same day delivery option! Isn’t that impressive?

Highly recommend the site, have you ever purchased anything from there?

Trying food at La Mexicana

I am not a foodie, but when I step out of the house and have planned to eat somewhere the food better be good. As a mother who is the cook of the house I take my meals outside very seriously. It is my opportunity to eat something I haven’t sweat myself into cooking, which is also why I try new cuisines whenever possible or at-least something different.

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With baby Abbas’ demanding schedules it has been rather difficult to get anything done, let alone going out for lunch or dinner. I got a good reason to break that jinx when La Mexicana invited me to taste some of their food. Going all the way to KPHB from old city was 100% worth it, the food, ambience, staff everything is just wow at the place. Here are some of the dishes I tried:
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bean Fritters- They were crispy and filled with beans and cheese, just yummy.

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Nachos Rancheros with chicken- in every bite the black beans just gave a burst of flavour I have never tasted before. The crispy tortilla chips and the cheese with the pica de gallo topped with the chefs custom made sour cream is just wow. It is a must try appetizer. I must say, for an appetizer it was pretty filling even though me and the husband shared it.

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La Burrito-half of the burrito was taken home for two reasons, one; we couldn’t just manage to eat it all, and two; we had to have people at home taste it. It is my sincere advice to order a take away for family while you’re there. The burrito is basically a large flour tortilla wrap which contains the black beans, salsa, rice, Mexican cheese and chipotle ranch dressing. Ours was with chicken, there’s vegetarian option for all their dishes.

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Quesadillas- This has to be my favourite dish served at La Mexicana (Although I haven’t tasted the whole menu). The flour tortilla is grilled and gives a slight crispiness and the  grilled peppers give it a rustic flavour even though they retain their juiciness.

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The next two were tried with a purpose, I could not have left without exploring their salad. It looked super appetizing in the pics on their facebook page. hence the Southwest Chipotle Salad was dug into. It is difficult to find salads that don’t make you feel like you’re missing out on flavour and good ingredients, this was obviously with chicken. And I loved every bite of it, till the end I could taste every ingredient, all of them were in balance. It was a good filling portion as well. The crispy Tortilla chips took the salad to another level!

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Enchiladas I was told the chilli in these were imported from Mexico, how could I deny not tasting then? I am not a chilli person but this dish wasn’t going to kill you. I have eaten some really dangerous food in Hyderabad when it comes to red chilli involvement. It was served with a generous portion rice and black beans.

And for dessert the Sopapilla, I loved it because it was the ideal dessert after eating all that food. It was light and sweet but not too sweet, the cinnamon powder and icing sugar gave it a melting texture in the mouth. This dessert should definitely be eaten fresh at the restaurant.

They have an open kitchen and the ambience is creative, there’s plenty Mexican inspired decoration on the walls, even some humor. It kind of transfers you into another place. This is the only quick service Mexican restaurant in Hyderabad and they’re good at what they do. The only problem is that it’s super far. I have been told that they are going to open up more branches in the city, hoping for one in Banjara Hills area (Fingers crossed).

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Totally recommend it, they have a kids menu as well, so if you’re a mom like me, take your kids to La Mexicana and have them experience a different cuisine as well. The good thing is even though it’s fast food, it’s healthy. They make their dishes from fresh ingredients and everything is made to order. Everything I have eaten was just bang on, I am looking forward to tasting their guacamole, they make it only when the avocados are in season, I respect that about La Mexicana, they definitely are focused on providing fresh ingredients to their customers, otherwise frozen avocados could very well be used like other restaurants.

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried anything at La Mexicana, and what have your favourites been…

Baby Skin myths busted

Us moms have heard more than our fair share of unsolicited advice and have been bombarded by information that’s just false!. Some of us discover through experience, or via reading, or from using our own brain that some of these things are just not worth paying attention to. It’s only a matter of time that we realise that our instincts are the most reliable and mommies know what’s best for their children!

Here’s a post I wrote on World Of Moms on the same….Click below to read up and share the love!

http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/things-people-told-me-about-baby-skin-care-and-what-i-eventually-learnt/1280/2?utm_source=vidya_suri&utm_medium=hyderabadimom.wordpress.com&utm_content=ithings-people-told-me-about-baby-skin-care-and-what-i-eventually-learnt&utm_campaign=influencer_campaign_baby_dove

 

 

Himalaya for moms body butter review

The excitement is uncontrollable. I have been on the Himalaya bandwagon for over 6 years now, and it just keeps getting better with new products, new packaging and now a whole new range of products for moms! I was delighted to receive the hamper from Himalaya and am even more intrigued to try them all and review them for you. Being half way through my current pregnancy it was just great timing!

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Let’s familiarize ourselves with the ethos behind this launch; as per the brand ‘Himalaya FOR MOMS is a range of safe, effective and gentle products specially formulated for women during pregnancy and beyond. Combining the best of Ayurveda with years of scientific research, these products effectively restore natural health and vitality of the skin’. The products in the line include body butters, anti-rash cream, nipple care butter and toning massage oil. Today I will review the Himalaya FOR MOMS soothing body butter.

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There are three body butters in the range that provide these three main benefits;
1. Smoothen and soften extra dry skin
2. Provide long lasting deep moisturisation
3. Intensely nourish and hydrate skin
I have been testing out all three from the range, that have different fragrances to cater to the likes of the moms; namely rose, lavender and jasmine. The formulation of all three is the same and I liked the fragrance selection, all three appeal to a large audience of Indian moms, and aren’t super strong. During pregnancy the sense of smell is heightened, and me experiencing that right now, find the mildness of the fragrances in all three comfortable. Also, they don’t seem like they would bother the new baby when I continue using them postpartum.



The body butters are essentially induced with ‘rich cocoa butter’ providing that thickness to the consistency and also moisturising. I personally love the lavender, and jasmine variety, rose is a little too rose-like for me. Ingredients and directions for use are mentioned at the back of the packaging; the products can be applied all over the body and are recommended for twice a day application for best results. They are all white in colour and have a thick creamy consistency. Pregnancy tends to dehydrate the skin, with all the stretching, changes in hormones, higher body temperature etc. the body butter delivers in its promise to rehydrate extra dry skin. I enjoy using it on my feet and hands, especially with winter approaching; it’s a great hand cream substitute that is rich and most importantly herbal!
Soothing Body Butter is available in packs of 50ml, 100ml & 200 ml priced at INR 120, INR 200 & INR 320 respectively. I have to mention, since it is body butter, it tends to get slimy if the area where it’s applied comes in contact with water, even after hours of application. It’s something that’s common with every body butter/moisturizer I have tried in general. Just a heads up.

For the product I give a 4/5. I do see myself running out of the lavender one quickly and buying it for further use. Have you tried any of the Himalaya FOR MOMS products?

 

Diaper dreams- Gender-specific diapers from Huggies

There is not end to ‘new and improved’ in the world we live in. Huggies has launched their gender specific pant-style diapers in Hyderabad. It took me some exploration to get to them, and while there’s still time for the diaper days to begin again for me, it was nice sharing my experience on world of moms.

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Catch the blogpost here. Leave comments with your experience/excitement for the gender diapers below and share the love….

 

 

Himalaya gentle baby wipes review

There are some products that live beyond the ‘baby’ period, and you may end up making them a staple for yourself too! This has happened to me, I have been a fan of the Himalaya baby wipes since years now, and the brand has changed the packaging along with their other baby care range products, but the product remains the best still.

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I got sent the 12 wipe pack from Himalaya Baby care which retails at Rs.40. Each wipe measures 20cmx21cm, and has multiple uses. Focused on mainly wiping your baby between nappy changes, the packaging comes with picture description of how to use it. The contents of the wet wipes and their effects are also mentioned clearly in pointers on the packaging; it has Aloe which ensures moisture balance in the baby’s skin, Indian Lotus to keep the skin soft and supple, skin friendly pH . The wipes are clinically tested for mildness, so that they do not irritate the baby’s skin, as baby wipes are used multiple times during the course of the day.

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The sea green and purple packaging of all the new Himalaya Baby care products is very welcoming, it’s a unique colour combination and very soothing to the eyes. The Himalaya wipes  aren’t the only baby wipes I have tried, and through experience I have learned that the brands that I tried tend to induce heavy scents in their wipes, I can understand maybe it’s to fight the poo smell!, but it’s just appalling to me. I love the light scent of the Himalaya wipes; I also enjoy wiping my face with them, just to feel fresh.

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Some tips to increase the longevity of wipes, is to keep them upside down, to make sure the moisture doesn’t seep to the bottom, leaving the wipes on top dry. The 12 wipe pack is great for on-the-go, it’s small, and the size of the wipes is big enough. I personally don’t restrict usage of wipes to only diaper changes, I use them to wipe dirty hands, feet, knees or anything, it’s like a quick clean up. Because the wipes are herbal I used to let my daughter explore using them as well, no alcohol or harsh chemicals in them to worry about. I stick the tab over after opening that helps in easy removal of wipes from the package; the flap doesn’t keep annoying you that way. Here’s a pic to show you what I mean:

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I would recommend moms to always read up the content on packages before buying baby products, Himalaya always keeps the consumers informed, and there’s content on every side of the packaging. Even though you may not pay attention especially if it’s a small pack like the 12 wipes one, it’s always good to know how you are treating your childs skin, and what ingredients have what effect. The Himalaya gentle baby wipes are free from alcohol, silicons and lanolin. All three of these have incredible harmful effects on baby

The product is instructed to be used 3 years from date of manufacture, and is readily available online, in larger packs too. I give these wipes a 5 star, what has been your experience with them?

Postpartum massages, Necessary I say!

‘It’s been 6 years since my daughter was born. And every time I look back at the good and bad I think of the right decisions. We make many as new parents, not just for our kid but also for ourselves. For me the best decision was to get body massages post-delivery‘…..For more check out my  new post  on World of Moms.

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I have a few posts up on WOM that I shared links to on my blog. Comment, Share and Like. If you have any particular topics you want me to talk about leave suggestions in the comments below.

🙂