Personal Picks – Medela Freestyle Breast Pump

It’s my first Friday in this blog. I will try to make every Friday a Personal Pick Friday… Weekly, I intend to blog about products and services that can be useful for baby and mommy. Its my personal review of a product or service we have used and inform readers how they fare.

Today, I want to share with you a really good investment. For those breastfeeding, you will need to invest on a breast pump. I know there are many brands out there and comes either automated or manual styles. Before I invested, I asked my other mommy friends what they use. Many of my friends prefer the Medela brand. So, I went on to research on Medela and how to purchase it. Medela has many kinds of automated breast pumps. They have Medela Swing, Medela Pump in Style, and Medela Freestyle.20130208_071113

My twin sister, who is a certified Lactation Peer Counselor uses Medela freestyle. Since she recommended it, I followed suit in researching this model. The great thing with the freestyle is it is a double pump (you can pump both breasts at the same time). Its main machine is small and handy and can fit in the palm of one hand. It also has a belt clip where you can attach this machine on your waist. Like its name, freestyle, you can really walk around and do other chores while pumping. Its kindda cool!

The reasons why you pump is to express milk so moms don’t get engorged, and to store milk for your baby’s mealtime in case you are away during feeding time. It also helps in tricking your body to produce more milk. Because your body is designed to produce milk the more it is stimulated by either your baby’s sucking or thru pumping.

I bought my Medela freestyle on Amazon. If you have friends or relatives who can bring this pump for you from the US, then buy it on amazon because it is cheaper. Now like i said this is an investment but it is worth the investment because this product can last you years even to the next child.

I bought on Amazon and it costs US$341 or less than P15,000 for the Medela Freestyle Breast pump package. It includes the following: A bag with the Medela Freestyle pump and its accessories, rechargeable ion batteries and charger, 2 Breast shields, 2 bottles, Ice pack with bag. If you buy it locally, it can be around P19,000 to P30,000. It seems pricey but I look at it this way:

Breast milk + Medela Freestyle cost per month:
P15,000/ 6 months of breast feeding = P2,500/month
P15,000/ 12 months of breast feeding = P1,250/month
P15,000/ 24 months of breast feeding = P625/month

If you go formula – you can use one can of milk at P900 in one week. That means your average monthly spend on formula is about P3,600/month. The breast pump and mother’s milk will still come out cheaper especially if you do it longer. Plus, breast milk is more nutritious for our babes.

Medela House in Manila can also tune up your breast pump if you buy your Medela breast pump from them. I have friends who have used their Medela breast pumps until their 3rd child. Which is why it is a good thing to buy and keep. 🙂


Feeding the BEST

I’ve heard it, you have heard it… Humans are probably the only specie that would offer their babies another specie’s milk. That is probably not true for all humans, but that line was the introduction of the Lactation Consultant during our breastfeeding class.  I asked my twin sister to accompany me to a breastfeeding class to help me prepare for my baby.  It was a real eye-opener and these are some of the truths I learned from the class about Breastfeeding:

1. It is complete.  Did you know that breast milk is a complete super food? You don’t need to supplement because it is sufficient with nutrients and vitamins that our little one needs.  It’s like manna from heaven, the perfect health food for babies.

2. It immunizes. A child that breastfeed for 6 months and drinks breast milk up to 2 years old have immunization from many diseases up to 12 years of age.  Even the COLOSTRUM which appears 3-5 days before the milk is a special super antibody provided specially for the baby. All this is produced by the body naturally.

3. It is good for the tummy. No constipation for newborns that feed on breast milk. It easily digests and is safer for the baby’s stomach. Constipation usually happens with formula.  Also your baby will not experience lactose intolerance (this refers usually to an allergy to cow’s milk).

4. It is good for bonding. A mother and child develops a stronger bond when they breastfeed. They spend more time together thus providing the child a sense of security, comfort, and love.

5. It makes mommy sexy. Two benefits go to the mommy when she breast feeds.  First, she can get her pre-pregnancy abdomen quicker. As the mom breast feeds her uterus contracts and goes back to its normal size sooner than those who don’t.  The second benefit is breastfeeding can be a natural birth control.  It delays the return of the menstrual cycle which protects the mom from getting pregnant again (but this is not a guarantee, so still be careful!)

6. It is convenient.  There are no need of bottles that crowd the baby travel bag.  There is no need to carry along water and powdered milk (that makes the bag heavy). Also no sleepless nights for daddy in trying to mix formula into the bottle.  The mom is all that is needed!

7. It saves MONEY. Do you know how much a family saves if the mother breastfeeds?  The family can save in 2 years more than P200,000.00 !  This is the part of the class where the husbands mouth drops, and looks intently at their wives to encourage them to breast feed.  Then the Lactation consultant gives the wives a come back ” This is why you can demand from your husband vacations in exchange of the savings!”  Hahahha… that is true!

I am amazed at how God provides for us.  Naturally, breast milk is the BEST milk with all the benefits that other milk cannot completely provide.  This encouraged me to also breastfeed my son by God’s grace.  Now that I know, why would I not provide my child the very BEST?


Genesis 49:25 (NLT)

May the God of your father help you;
    may the Almighty bless you
with the blessings of the heavens above,
    and blessings of the watery depths below,
    and blessings of the breasts and womb.

Sleep, where art thou?

I can hardly believe that I’m actually alive with the sleep I’m getting. When my date of delivery was nearing, I read about new-born baby sleeping patterns. However, I don’t remember reading up what happens to the mother during this period. Either I missed it completely, or every mom was just too tired to write an account of what happens to them.

At 0 to 1 month, the baby just loves to sleep but would wake up in 2 hour intervals to drink milk. If you are a breastfeeding mom, like I am, then you would be feeding your baby every 1-3 hours round the clock! Just when you think you got your child satisfied and sleeping, and you heading for zzzz land, then that’s when you hear another cry for the baby’s next meal time.

This period I can guarantee that mothers are at their worse looks (eye bags and messy hair), worse moods (easily irritated and cranky) and worse source of normal intelligence (Hahaha! That’s what happened to me!). When my husband would ask me the simplest question, I could not give him an answer. I was too tired to think! I felt so sorry for him because at that stage of my 2-3 hour sleep a day routine, I was really too exhausted to do anything!

I have to thank God for His grace in sustaining me. I can really see why some women do fall into a postpartum depression after birth. You are physically tired and if you can’t soothe your crying baby, a mother can feel frustrated, unfit and discouraged. I know that apart from God, I can’t have the strength to go on with joy in this journey.

joshua sleep9
My daily multivitamin to overcome these negative thoughts is prayer. Every time I try to rock my son to sleep, I call unto God to help me. When I feel so tired that I may not have enough milk supply, I declare God’s truth, “I am sufficient in Christ Jesus”. When I feel down, I am reminded to praise and thank God for the gift He has given me.

I am encouraged when mothers tell me, “Enjoy this time, enjoy your baby”. They are speaking from hindsight that this time shall soon pass. It is true, my baby seems to be changing and growing every day. I would not want to miss every milestone in his early life.

Definitely, this sleep-depriving, mind draining, and physically fatigued occupation as a parent is HARD. It can be so difficult because it requires sacrifice and commitment. In exchange there is joy to see your baby sound asleep, comforted, and growing.

I miss my sleep and wonder when I will get my 8 hour sleep schedule back… but for now, I’m going to take other moms advise — I’m going to enjoy this time and enjoy my baby!

Named with Significance

     It was my friend Marlene Suarez of CBN Asia who one day asked me a question,    “Michelle, do you know the meaning of your name?”  I honestly have never checked the meaning of my name.  She then said, “your name is like a prophetic utterance to who you could be”.  Marlene pointed out to me, that my name has the name of God in it.  “EL” means God. So I took the liberty of looking at the meaning of my name.  It is of Hebrew decent and was derived from Michael, and it means… “One who resembles God”.

    I thought to myself… Wow, that is powerful!  The gist of that conversation stuck with me.  I have decided on naming my child and future children with an intention of a prophetic blessing over their life. 

      After the knowing the gender of our baby on the fifth month, my husband asked me what should we name our son?  For some reason I was drawn to the name Joshua.  I loved the account of his life in the bible.  He was a young brave warrior, obedient to his leader which happens to be Moses, and he saw things in a different perspective — with a godly pair of eyes.  He finally led the Israelites to the promised land and on the final account about his life it says, “Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, and had known all the deeds of the Lord which He had done for Israel.” (Joshua 24:31).  His legacy was a generation that served the Lord even after his death.

    We would want to bring up our son to love and serve God just like Joshua did. We want his name to speak that blessing upon his life. Joshua literally means “God saves”.  It is a powerful reminder of the heart and character of God.

    Of course, we named our son a much longer name — because of the long wait for a child, our first son gets 3 names which may post as  a challenge on his future documents… hehehe…  But we chose these names with the intention to speak a blessing over his life 🙂


God does move mountains!

Initially, I was planning to deliver the baby in manila, so I saw my sister’s OB-GYNE when I was about 5 months pregnant. She looked through my medical history and decided its appropriate for me to get a Congenital Abnormality Scan (CAS). This scan is done via 3D or 4D ultrasound to see if the baby has any problems or is in the pink of health. It will be the time also that one would know the gender of the baby and to see a bit of the baby’s features. With lots of joy on this pregnancy I was excited to see my baby.

I asked my sister-in-law, Pria to join me for this momentous occasion. We were both giddy and excited to see the baby.

The scan is about 30 minutes long. The doctor shows us via screens in the room the baby in the uterus. My baby was moving, kicking, and responding to our voices! I was smiling from ear to ear. Then the doctor asks, “do you want to guess the gender?” … I said a quick prayer “Sana Lord, boy” … But whatever is the gender, I’d be happy. My prayer was granted, when the doctor revealed we are having a baby boy. Suddenly, I can hear Pria with tears in her eyes reporting via phone what we both could see to my husband… We were so elated!

After checking, my baby has complete fingers, complete toes, no cleft lip… Then the doctor became silent. She kept going back to the heart. Then she told me, “you need to see your doctor”. I asked her what she could see, and she refused to explain to me. In minutes she called another sonologist to come in our room, and she checked my tummy again… They both concurred that their findings was the same. I did not know what they saw, but I knew it was not normal.

Having our celebratory merienda at Landmark, i opened the results and the finding was a probable DEXTROCARDIA. I was not sure what it meant but cardia is definitely heart… I researched it and it meant that the heart was not pointing to the left and the possibility of other organs to be on the opposite side as well… As I told my husband who was at the province at that time, he worried so much and asked God, “Lord, why?” He was upset and he did not want me to be disappointed with this circumstance. I laughed and told him, “I am not worried, we are on God’s special lane, I know He will do something.”

That night, I felt God assuring me He is in control. I talked to Pria and told her not to tell anyone because I believed God will do something about this. We kept it a secret until the prescribed 2D echo doppler has been done. The only thing is that procedure can only be done a month after. So it gave us a month to pray and practice faith. We entrusted this update to only a few friends who prayed with us.

I embraced this verse and declared it over my baby “Every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17). I kept saying out loud, my baby is a perfect gift from God, so he will be perfect! I surrendered, trusted and believed in this promise.

Sept 7, 2012 we got a schedule with the head of pediatric cardio in St. Luke’s global for a 2D echo doppler test. Dr Jonas del Rosario was very cool and made me and hubby relaxed. He was not going to say anything until he sees the heart of the baby. Holding hands, my husband and I prayed and thank God for this baby and the test. In about 20 minutes of scanning, he shows us.. “Look, his heart is pointing left, his valves are all normal, his stomach is on the left, your baby is normal.” Looking at the screen and seeing my baby’s heart beating, I smiled! All I could say was “thank you Jesus, thank you Doc, thank you Jesus!”

We experienced a miracle that day. God is in full control. Out loud, I would declare like a little kid, “I knew it! I knew that God would do something”. Indeed He has, and with increased joy, I believe God still moves mountains in this modern-day. He moved my son’s heart… He can move anything!

52 days

Its been 52 days that I got my official badge that I’ve become a mom! I’ve got the c-section mark to prove it. Its been a long journey and a test of faith. God is so gracious and faithful to me and my husband… We have waited for 7 years for a child and now every time I gaze at my son, it is so surreal. We have become parents!

The faithful day was December 12, 2012. God gave us our healthy bundle of joy… We named him Joshua Ruben Emmanuel.  A reminder forever of the giver of this child…

God has answered our prayers! Out of this joy we received from God, I am wanting to start sharing the stories and insights of motherhood and parenting that God will be revealing. In this blog, I would hope to encourage and be encouraged.

So let the Mommyventures begin!

via 52 days.