Breastfeeding Basics

When I started to breastfeed it was like learning a whole new language! There were so many “terms” that I needed to study and look up to be able to articulate what I need and what I mean.

What is a let down? What is exclusive pumping? Websites like kellymom.com, instagram account of legendairy milk, and fb group Breastfeeding Pinays helped a lot!

Also I didn’t know there were different types of breastfeeding. I didn’t have a plan because I initially thought breastfeeding was just baby feeding from the breast. But pumping your milk and having baby feed through the bottle of expressed milk is also considered breastfeeding. 😱 Anyway… it was my goal to breastfeed my child not only because of the bonding but also the benefits. I feel that this is the design of our body to be able to nurture our child.

I was not able to prepare for breastfeeding and only learned as I went along with the help of friends and breastfeeding groups. This was what I understood and have read so far and sharing with you the basics should you decide to embark on this beautiful journey.

Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong:)

As you begin the journey of breastfeeding you have to decide if you will directly breastfeed / bottle feed / cup feed / mix feed.

1. Direct breastfeeding – when baby will latch on to your breast and feed from there

2. Bottle feed – when baby will take your milk from the bottle.

3. Cup feed – when baby will take your milk from a cup.

4. Mix feed – when baby will drink breastmilk and formula milk. It may also mean drinking from the breast and bottle.

Of course when you decide to bottle feed you’d be needing either an electric or manual pump, sterilizer, milk bags (Orange and Peach has breastfeeding essentials like milk storage bags, nipple balm, nipple puller), a freezer to store the milk bags and a bottle / cup. This is usually an option for working moms or even SAHM’s who would want a break from the breast at times / for whatever reason. I couldn’t get the hang of this since my son was hungry all the time and latched all the time that I could barely pump milk. When I did I could only produce 0.5 oz!! Rare are the times I could produce max of 2.5oz. I found it pointless to keep collecting a measly amount and had to keep washing, and sterilizing big and small pump parts that I gave up altogether.

The basic rule: The more you empty / drain your breasts efficiently, the more milk you will produce.

For around 2-3 weeks we mixed fed baby G, then opted to directly breastfeed eventually. It is more convenient.

Some breastfeeding positions we tried:

Got this image from youbabyandi.com

At the hospital they usually teach the football hold and it is so difficult to be honest. It needs a lot of practice! This is recommended for CS moms as it does not put pressure to the abdominal area.

Cross cradle – I use this when outside when baby can’t support his head yet.

Side lying – is the most comfortable and I can also rest while doing this. A friend taught me how to do this and it has saved me a lot from sleepless nights.

Now that baby can stand up with support at 10 months, forget these positions! he nurses in different positions as he pleases 😂

The battle of directly breastfeeding though are common breastfeeding problems

1. Clogged ducts – which happens when baby does not drain milk from your breast. Needs to be drained asap or else may lead to mastitis.

2. Milk blebs – blisters in your nipples caused by poor latching. Has happened to me several times and I wish I could get the hang of how to treat it but it’s different at times. There are times I could handle it myself, but recently I needed the help of a lactation consultant.

3. Sore nipples – usually just happens the first two weeks / when baby is teething

4. Mastitis – the worst possible to have. Thank God this has not happened to me.. and I hope it won’t ever during this journey but it could have if I am not able to release milk from my clogged ducts. An indication of this is usually sore breasts and fever. Ouch!!

When those problems happened, it felt like holding my breath because I didn’t know if it would resolve like the last time. I held my breath for I anticipated another sleepless night as I keep hand expressing and keep urging Grey to latch and suck the clog out – he is usually the solution but it’s challenging for him because they say that the milk tastes different when we have clogged ducts. When all that’s done it was like a big whoosh! and a sigh of relief as the pain would disappear and Grey and I would go back to our breastfeeding symbiosis.

When you breastfeed you would usually have several let downs (when milk would gush) I was only aware of this on Grey’s third month when I would see long and drawn swallows, then it would be back to his usual short sucks. It would usually make you feel drowsy. 🤪

Breastfeeding must haves for me:

1. Nursing pillow! I used one from Bloom given as a gift. This was essential during the first 3 months as baby could not support his head yet and he would usually drink long and seemingly endlesssssssss hours. 😳

2. Nipple cream – I used one from Medela and Lansinoh. This was so important during the first few weeks to heal my breasts. I also had to bring it out again from my drawer when baby started teething and I developed blisters. I had to keep moisturizing it.

3. Nursing cover – At first the ones that you hung over your head – the apron type worked. But when Grey was getting more mobile I used one that’s like a poncho for more coverage as he would kick and pull down the top part.

4. Nursing bra – You will need around 3 or 4! There are lots in department stores, and for tops that are off shoulder I use Bench’s bandeau. Be careful though not to wear this for long periods as to not restrict the milk flow and to avoid clogged ducts.

5. Breastfeeding friendly tops / dresses – button down or those with cut outs underneath. Try searching in Shoppee, Valiannes Trends, Elin. There are actually a lot of online shops offering these. I prefer to use my old clothes, sadly some don’t fit anymore 🥴. But for those that do, a friend recommended Uniqlo’s airism top that you can wear underneath any dress or top. Just pull up your top, pull down Uniqlo and nurse anywhere! :)

6. A support system 😂 I wouldn’t have continued this journey if it weren’t for the moral support of my husband and friends whom I can ask and share my burdens with.

If you decide to pump, there are more things that you need to bring like a cooler, milk bags, bottles, pump etc. Exclusive pumpers are those who just pump and wouldn’t let baby latch. But since I directly breastfeed I would just need a cover and that’s it.

10 months in and it has been a wonderful journey of bonding with my son. I initially planned at least 6 months but I am currently pushing to a year and I thank God for providing me with ample milk for my little one. Not too much and not too little, just enough for his appetite. This is one of the memories I wouldn’t forget and I hope Grey doesn’t too! :,) Seeing him satisfied the first time, his first smile as he paused momentarily from feeding, our little game of nose-nose-mouth as he looks up at me and I would hold his hand and point it to my nose and mouth as he feeds, when he would teeth / have his first cold and he would be comforted by latching, when he would be in a new place and hide under the nursing cover. I hope he would remember our bonding! This journey is just beautiful with its hills and valleys, I hope I don’t have to wean him and he would just wean on his own. For now enjoying this time while it lasts :)

Applying for Philippine passport for minor and Renewal for parent

One of the to-do things for us for Grey’s first year is to apply for his passport. It was timely too since my passport was expiring this July 2019 and I could renew my passport while applying for his. We found out that children aged 7 years old and below had a courtesy lane so no need to set an appointment!

On that day, we planned to leave when Grey first wakes around 5AM for a diaper change but he chose to wake up at 7AM! 🤪So we rushed out of the house and were greeted by bad traffic. We took our chances even if we arrived a little past 10AM at DFA Sm Megamall and friends advised to go early since they would just serve the first 100 or so for the priority lane. At 10AM on a Thursday we got #65 (given by the guard at the entrance).

Jason was allowed to accompany us inside and it was convenient for me since I had to photocopy the front page of my passport (i only had 1, but apparently we needed another to be attached to Grey’s documents) and rush around. Plus we were still breastfeeding so the bags and documents were just everywhere. 😳

To apply for a renewal I needed the following:

1. My Birth certificate

2. Front page of my passport – photocopy

3. My original passport

4. Application form filled out

Application Form – Renewal Adult

For a new application for minors we needed the following

1. Grey’s birth certificate – photocopy

2. My marriage contract – photocopy

3. Front page of my passport

4. Application form for minor filled out

New Application Form for Minor

Step 1: Check documents

If you’ve filled out the forms and completed the requirements, you can have it checked immediately at the counter and they will give you a new number for queuing. It could have been faster but I just filled up the application form there.

Step 2: Check documents

As our number was flashed on the screen we went to window 2 for our documents to be checked again. My passport was also disregarded and I am unable to use it already although the visas inside will still be valid.

Step 3: Cashier

Cashier. We paid around 1,200 each for 6 business days.

Step 4: Photo

There will be someone along the hall to hand you a number for queuing again for Passport picture to be taken.

Of all times, this was the time Greyson got sleepy and had to breastfeed. As soon as he went under the cover my number was called! Had to fuss around underneath the cover and in a hurry too. Note to self: get a bigger and more enclosed nursing cover.

Greyson at 9 months had to sit atop a box so he would be leveled with the camera. They were pretty good at catching the attention of kids so he would look at the camera. (They used a laser pointer pointing to the camera, and one guy played Pikachu in Youtube and he was pretty serious doing this it was so funny 😆 )

Just a few reminders: For ladies please don’t wear earrings, hairpins etc. I had to remove this. I totally forgot how it’s done!

And double check all information as they encode it!

Step 5: Pay for courier

I had to pay 150 each for both mine and Greyson’s even if our address is the same. I wonder why?? They said that it is the protocol. Huhu. But it would still save us time, traffic and effort of going back to pick it up.

We were done at about 11:45 and had our lunch. Greyson got tired after that he dozed off soon.

Finally! New passport applied and renewed for Grey and I! 😄 yay we’re ready to fly ✈️ when we can 🤪

Veue Beach Cabins in Bolinao

If you would like to wake up literally beside the beach and enjoy a wonderful view of the ocean you might enjoy Veue Beach Cabins in Bolinao.

For the annual family trip last December, we were able to stay at Veue Beach Cabins in Bolinao, Pangasinan. It was a 6 hour drive from Manila and probably the farthest resort in Bolinao. Bringing a 6 month old along was quite a challenge especially it was his first long drive and out of town trip – we didn’t know what to expect! We had to buy a car seat immediately for the trip. It proved useful… at least for the ride going there. But from there going back to Manila, baby wanted to be breastfed and carried. Hubby had to be extra careful!

We arrived around 12:30pm and were famished! There was only one restaurant at the resort (and what seems like a coffee shop beside it) and of course being the only one, the prices were a tad high at G Resort just right beside Veue. They served Filipino dishes such as bulalo, bangus, pinakbet. We had our lunch and soon it was check in time. There wasn’t any receptionist in this place. There were only 2 caretakers who would clean the 6 cabins and communication to them can be made through a two-way radio.

Each cabin had 2 sofa beds (can probably accommodate 4 adults), a dining table, cable tv, kitchen with all utensils, cooking equipment,microwave, fridge etc, and a shower room. It also had an outdoor shower so as when you go the beach you can remove the sand and go straight to the bathroom. You need not pass through the main door of the cabin.

Veue Beach Cabins was a self-service type of place. Your home away from home. Everything you need is there (except food!) I forgot to read the memo so I just brought snacks and coffee with us thinking that we could order food there anyway! But but but….. unfortunately this place is ideal for bringing and cooking your own food. All utensils for cooking and dining were complete. We realized we were the type of travelers who would go out of town or out of the country not just to explore, have an adventure but also to rest a bit from the daily household chores! Haha 😛 Seriously!! Thankful to the in laws who shared their baons with us and cooked for the family 😅

There was only 1 pool in the area surrounded by the 6 cabins. It was not deep maybe around 4 feet something. As for the beach, Bani beach was not that ideal for swimming especially with the kids since it was too rocky. The main beach was more “swimmable” but you had to trek over mountains of rocks. It was a nice little adventure for families with toddlers and young adults since the obstacle would be suitable for their age. Since we were carrying baby, we decided not to because a minor trip on the rock could be fatal. Oh well maybe next time when he’s a bit older. :)

For breakfast, you could request through the radio and the server of G Resort will just go to your cabin. If there are lots of visitors, prepare to be served last since they would prioritize those at the restaurant than the cabins. This was where our snacks came in handy. We got the Danggit, Pusit, Tuyo combo for breakfast and it seemed a bit worth it for that price.

There wasn’t much activity to do here but you have the option to go outside the resort, visit the lighthouse and the caves.

Some thoughts if you decide to stay in this place.

  1. Bring your own water. There is a water dispenser but it was in G Resort.
  2. Bring your own food to cook! – You would be able to save a lot since the food served here was pretty much ordinary home cooked food :)
  3. Bring insect repellant… there were a lot of insects especially at night. And lastly,
  4. Deeply breathe in the salty air of the sea and enjoy the wonderful view at Veue. Because it’s not everyday that you wake up next to a view of the rising sun and the calm waves of the ocean. :)

Wore a breastfeeding friendly swimsuit from Float! so baby can nurse anytime anywhere while on the beach :)

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Veue Beach Cabins

https://www.veue.ph/

Float Swimwear

https://www.floatswimwear.com/

Blue Water Maribago in Cebu Review

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Long Weekend Coffee Review | Marikina

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New Marikina Restaurants: Long Weekend, Ikay’s Seafood SuTuKil, Bubba Lab, Delicere

I embrace being a Marikena now being married to a certified Marikeno. And I would always want to check out the new things around the area! We love eating and exploring the different places here in Marikina and share with you our new discoveries. So briefly here are the newest restaurants we explored around our neighborhood. Click on the link to know more about it :)

LONG WEEKEND COFFEE 

The newest coffee shop in town which boasts of its medium roast Arabica beans and its very affordable Frappes! This coffee shop is your new Coffice in Marikina for the entrepreneurs and young professionals. It has free Wi-fi, ample parking space and aside from the pastries and cakes they have food offerings like all-day breakfast, pastas and waffles.

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Long Weekend Coffee

2nd Flr. GMT Building

#438 JP Rizal St., Sto. Nino Marikina

*closed on Mondays

IKAY’S SEAFOOD SUTUKIL

Probably the only Dampa in Marikina, it aims to bring the Cebu sutukil vibes here. “Su” stands for Sugba / grill , “Tu” for tula which means to stew the food and “Kil” which is kilawin, a type of cooking wherein the raw ingredient is soaked in vinegar.

We tried it twice here and di kami nabigo! The seafood is really fresh and it wasn’t that expensive too! I’m feeling the shrimp in butter garlic cravings coming on… now!

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Ikay’s Seafood Sutukil

#18 Aquilina St., Marikina City

(behind Crave Park)

BUBBA LAB

We tried Bubba Lab in Lamp Quarters which is the newest hang out place along Gil Fernando Avenue. The place had fun vibes and every wall and corner had a concept. Instagrammable? Check! Free wi-fi? Check! But when it came to their drinks it was pretty ordinary and okay. :)

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Bubba Lab

Lamp Quarters, Gil Fernando Avenue, Sto. Nino Marikina

DELICERE

We are so glad to have stumbled upon this place! It is quite hidden – near the local gym in Marikina, Maic’s Gym. It had a very relaxed feel inside and you wouldn’t think you were in Marikina. It felt like Tagaytay with the lodge look. No not Veronica Lodge. Anyway they serve burgers, pastas, rice meals. I’m not quite sure what their specialty is but they had coffee and cakes as well here. It’s a nice place to chill and it is a bit upscale here in Marikina. :)

There is also an enclosed area for events :)

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Delicere

Delicere

#24 Ditchoy St., San Roque Marikina City

Bataan White Coral Beach Resort Review

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Journey to the Past: Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar

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Morganfields, Hobing and Genki Sushi review | Ayala at the 30th

Talk about Food trip! We didn’t intend to but it just happened. Now we have to work double time to burn off all those calories. :p One Sunday we took on Mystery Manila with our friends at Ayala at the 30th but before we get brain drained, we had to load up so we decided to eat lunch at

MORGANFIELDS

We decided to have Barbecue spareribs which was good for two and a side of rice. Their Barbecue spareribs came with a side of fries and coleslaw. What I liked about their spareribs was the tenderness of the meat. It was so soft that it easily tore away from the bones and the serving size was enough for a man who enjoys meat and a woman who is so so about it. 😛 It was pretty much okay although I prefer that the meat be marinated in flavor for a longer time. I felt that it lacked a little flavor and I added a dash of salt to it. But other than that we are satisfied with it. We barely noticed the coleslaw since we were too engrossed with the ribs. :p

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It was a family friendly place and it kind of reminded me of Friday’s. Comfort food and big servings.

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Our next stop…

HOBING

Actually we had two stops right after our Mystery Manila activity. Jason bought at Taco Bell (Yey taco bell here!) and I ordered my snack at Hobing which was a Korean dessert of shaved ice. Nomnomnom. Nothing like sweets and ice in this humid weather! When you’re melting eat something melting…… like ice or ice cream! Ok nevermind. But anyway, I loved Hobing! It was jampacked when we went here and I had to be on my toes to grab the next vacant seats.

While waiting I checked out the counter and decided to get one of their best sellers, Mango with Cheese! I just got the regular size but surprisingly it was big and it can be shared by 2-3. :)

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Just look at all those mango, cheese and shaved fine ice goodness! I was in love at first bite. We found it a bit expensive though. It costs around 200. (Can i put a shocked emoticon here?) If you want to splurge a little to beat the heat, go for this sweet icy treat!

That same day we ate at Genki Sushi too but I wasn’t able to take photos besides I only ordered a plate. So we went back one Sunday to eat here.

GENKI SUSHI 

Warning 1: Give yourself a budget or else you’ll overspend!

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Seriously. Because it’s just so fun ordering via a touchscreen monitor and in a few minutes, it will be delivered on a…. train!

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It was a self-service Japanese sushi bar and we really enjoyed the ordering process (but not the shock of our bill). Anyway more on that later. There was a hot water dispenser per table and green tea so we can make our own. The prices of sushi per plate seemed harmless costing around Php 90 or Php 130. Seems harmless right? So we just kept on ordering until it piled up. But no regrets :p

Above is the Salmon Roll (Php 90)

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Shrimp Roe (Php 90). To be honest I found the nori a bit chewy / rubbery. But the shrimp roe was fine and these are the rare times when ordering in restaurants that the actual dish looks like the photos in the menu.

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Jason got this Salmon Oyako Don (Php 380). The salmon and roe was fresh and after some sushi by this time, it was filling for Jason. I enjoyed poking my chopsticks on what he couldn’t finish :p

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Spicy Tuna (Php 90). It wasn’t that spicy and was tolerable to non spicy eaters.

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Yellow Tail Sashimi (Php 290). Jason says it’s rare so we got this order too. It does taste different from salmon sashimi and it looks pretty too. hehe.

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Chicken Teriyaki Roll (Php 160). I would like to say that we intentionally ordered this but really we didn’t. I must have made a mistake and accidentally pressed this. We were surprised as this was delivered to us and wondered how it got there. So this is

WARNING 2: All orders are final and cannot be returned.

Please be careful in ordering! Because you can’t return your order! Huhu well if you made a mistake in ordering you just got to chew it and swallow it… literally. We were full by this time because this was the last that arrived. But it was ok nonetheless, something cooked for a change! Chicken teriyaki.

Overall it was an enjoyable sushi experience and when we’re out to splurge on sushi eating and interactive dining then we’ll definitely come back. It was a unique experience that we would recommend.

So these are the restaurants that we tried at Ayala at the 30th. It was nice eating here but there are still lots of unopened stores. The venue is quite small but if you’re living near the area it’s a nice place to hang out as there are opened restaurants, several coffee shops and it’s not as crowded. :)