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.

Batools Birthday Part 2 of 2

Continuing the Birthday fun from Part 1, I shall briefly review the presents she received on her birthday.

1.EduScience Globe. This was from me, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to get for Batool. We’re been traveling quite a bit in the recent past, and I thought it’s the best time to introduce the world to her so she can understand countries and things like that. This is actually for 6yrs+ but I bought it anyway for the reason I just mentioned.

So, this is a huge globe, and is meant to introduce geographical content at the pace of the child. It has nothing labeled, there are erasable markers, and a list of contents and information for parents to refer. You can basically introduce whatever part of the world you want to the child, and move further as and when needed. This is the best feature about the globe, the child won’t feel overwhelmed by the many countries, continents, oceans etc. already marked on the globe. It has a loop on top, so that it can be suspended from the wall. Batool was excited about getting the “earth” for her birthday and she loved it.

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2. Educa: The Human body puzzle. Batool knows the basic human body parts, we are familiar with the ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’ rhymes. But this puzzle has three layers of human body parts; the upper body,  the muscles and the bones. It’s for4-7yr olds, In terms of relevance and understanding, Batool can only comprehend the bones and the upper body. We sat together and made the puzzle the first time. And they have separate puzzles for boy and girl in the top layer as you can see. The puzzle pieces aren’t to many or too small, they’re a good size and all fit into the same body outline stencil.

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3. Educa First words– This particular one is great because I am venturing into spelling land with her. And anything that motivates or helps her is fantastic for me. There are three, four and five letter words in the puzzle box, and it’s kind of like picture scrabble. In fact this game can be made with scrabble tiles and printed images. This helps in building vocabulary and boosting confidence. I played this with Batool only after I came back to Hyderabad, and I started off with three letter words, and some simple 4 letter words. The good thing was that she was familiar with all of these words, and was looking forward to learning the spellings. To promote independent play there’s a magic loupe in the contents, which helps children correct their own spelling mistakes.

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4. The Hueys in ‘None the number and ‘The new sweater’  by Oliver Jeffers

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I am a big Oliver Jeffers fan, and this trip got only the above two books. They both have humor in them and teach good concepts. ‘None the number’ introduces the value of and number zero. It’s beautifully written and it helped me make Batool understand too. Because sometimes, zero can be a difficult thing to explain!, the introduction of “none” to the vocabulary is an added bonus.

‘The new sweater’ is a book about finding your own uniqueness, and not being afraid to embrace your own personality. It’s written in a simple story form, and is a great concept to introduce at the childhood level, tolerance, acceptance etc are some concepts that the child can grab from this book. I think it’s a beautiful book that even adults can learn from. And all Oliver Jeffers books make great gifts.

That’s all for now. I need to become more prompt with my posts, if you have any suggestions please leave them in the comments below….

Happy reading mommies!

Batools Birthday Part 1 of 2

May 19th! Batool turned 5 years old!. I can’t believe it, I don’t feel as though the 5 years just “flew by”, however I do feel like her getting older is making her less controllable hehe. I have to beg for hugs and kisses, and I know soon she will be too heavy for me to lift and grab and squeeze….IMG_2693

It’s an accomplishing feeling, we are so career driven and women in general especially younger women, my age group tend to weigh their accomplishments in terms of educational qualifications and jobs. There’s nothing wrong in that, whoever for me no matter what the most significant thing in my life would be that I am a mother. It’s the most satisfying thing.

Stopping my random ramble, I am dividing her birthday post into two parts, the first part is going to be about what we did, and second part about her presents. I will review and discuss them. So here’s what happened…..

The day started off with a visit to Dubai Festival city play area, which she enjoys a lot.

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Then came the cake cutting….

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Next post coming soon…

Potential

There is magic in potential. The first time i had heard of the term , it was my 5th grade PTM at school. I looked up the word in the dictionary and since then that word has had a significant space in my mental vocabulary.

As a mother It’s sad that I have to take time out to remind myself that I am human. And I deserve to be cared for, and most importantly, I should be supported implicitly to realise my potential. We end our lives at marriage, or kids, or just the camaraderie of homemaking. And it’s not just exclusive to a stay at home mom, this is something every mother faces. We lose ourselves.

I firmly believe in the beauty of potential. We all have some significant areas of potential, and it is our responsibility to make sure we struggle at attaining that. It’s important that we aim to achieve it in our lifetime. And this struggle has to be support. Human beings weren’t meant to live separate lives, individualised like the settings of our phones. We are meant to co-exist, be educated about our way of life and help each other realise their innate potential. The world will be at its best when everyone in it are focused at being the best that they can be.

Sadly I have experienced the loss of support. And I have struggled thoroughly to build that support system within myself. It’s not easy. And definitely not required. The positivity of our lives stems from having the right kind of people around us. If we want to grow, we have to grow together, if we want a break, we have to take it together. Be patient, be empathetic, discard judgement and just be there for each other.

Potential is in all of us, mine didn’t die after PTMs. It’s still there, and in many areas. As I explore the person that I am, I understand the person that can be. And I advice all mothers to take time out, think about yourself, find out what you need to do, to be the best version of yourself. Demand respect, demand closure, demand support. Its our right, we’re answerable for all the slacking we do in our lives. Our children won’t understand random excuses, they want to be led by actions not mere words passed on from generations.

And I promise in this struggle you will find your true friends, and family. You will find truth.

Why so dependant?

There are all types of women in the world, but when you become a mother, when you do the mothering you change. I believe there is something that takes over, a form of dependency. Because we spend endless amounts of time taking care of a little person who is dependent on us, we want similar pampering, we want similar over the top love. We forget we are adults and supposed to take care of ourselves.

Within India, I find so many girls that look forward to the yearly vacation or monthly escape to their moms homes. That’s a sorry way to live. It’s sad, and against everything an adult should be. We forget that life is about everyday not the few days of vacation with the parents and siblings. Why does it become so difficult for us to take a stand and demand a few minutes of peace everyday? Why can’t we have a vacation where our true family now is?. It’s an Indian thing, no matter where in the world you go, Indians want the extra mommy love, no matter how old they are. And here’s where the double standard also come in, as women we want the mommy escape, and given a choice maybe all of us would live with our moms forever, but when our husbands want the same; it seems off. Lets both get independent, independence is not a gender specific characteristic. Lets both become sufficient for each other, take from the parents the extra not everything. Lets make each day our everything, lets focus on growing together. Lets stay positive.

Image courtesy Happinessnslavery.

Happiness is where you want it to be, there will always be hurdles in life, and your mom isn’t going to be around all your life shielding you. Instill values of independence in both your sons and daughters, so that they are stable human beings able to handle what life brings their way. Why be dependent? Why not be happy instead?