Alternative Milk

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I was trying to wean my son from breastmilk to cow’s milk, suddenly he contracted amoeba. My personal suspicion– it was triggered by lactose intolerance. Finding the right milk for him suddenly became secondary because I decided not to wean him. Breastmilk has so much antibodies that it strengthens a child who is afflicted with some kind of sickness.

In reality, Joshua even having his amoeba continued to play, continued to run around as if he was not sick at all. Of course he had the runs, but overall he seemed very well. I have to say that the breastmilk has really given him some kind of booster that makes him quite strong. Even when everyone got the virus, he too got it. But again, he just continued to play, run around, laugh and he was not difficult at all. I have to really thank God for giving me a child like that.

However, I also know that reality will set in, I have to find an alternative to breast milk. I am really planning to wean him slowly. My schedule is filling up with activities and meetings which means I am often out. I have to start finding another milk that Joshua is not allergic to. I was told to try goats milk, or soy milk. However, there are two mothers who have recommended another kind of milk. Nut based milk is their choice and specifically, the Almond milk.

So when I was in Manila, I entered Rustan’s and there was a section of Silk’s Almond Milk. What made me happy was seeing that it was NON-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism), Lactose Free, Gluten Free, and Soy-free! Wow, its calcium content is higher than cows milk, and it tastes just great! Also a box is not so bad it costs from Php 144- Php152 a box.
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A box is about 946 ml. To my son a box is good for about 7 days. You must be thinking, “how can that be? Isn’t that too little?” Remember, this is just an alternative.. It only supplements when I am unable to directly feed. But just think about it… How much is formula canned milk? Its 9 to 10 times the price of this one.

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In Sarangani, the focus of the agricultural program will be on naturally grown food which is really the kind of produce God intended for us. But today most of our food come from genetically modified sources. They are also causes of cancers and other degenerative diseases. So, going all natural is the best!

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Overall it has been such a relief to find something suitable for my son. Unfortunately this milk is not available in Gensan or Sarangani. We have to fly them in from Manila for now (until purchasers of our groceries here find it worth bringing in.)

Thank God for quality products like Silk that help moms with kids who are lactose intolerant.

Personal Picks – Nipple picking

It is another of my Personal Picks Day! Today I’m going to share with you my choice of nipple for bottle feeding.

different brands of nipples and bottles

different brands of nipples and bottles

I take the night shift with my baby. He wakes up about 3 times from 10pm-6am and I breastfeed him, change his nappy, and sometimes even play with him if he is super awake. From 6-9am I try to catch on sleep. I leave my baby with the yaya, and she feeds him breast milk via sippy cup.

As my son grew, the sippy cup became too small for his mouth. It made it harder to control the flow of the milk into his mouth. So, my milk often spilled and Josh is underfed or chokes with the way we administer the sippy cup. It was time to move him to the bottle. But I was concerned of nipple confusion so I needed to test which nipple would be the best.

I tested Breastflow, Medela CALMA, Medela slow flow and Dr. Brown natural flow. I did not realize I could be this OC (obsessive compulsive) over nipples!

Breastflow has a nice large nipple with a center control that only allows milk to flow upon squeezing or sucking. The flow from this nipple is a strong, straight squirt once it is sucked. The Medela slow flow and the Dr. Brown natural flow both drips naturally even if it isn’t squeezed. The Dr. Brown has a a straw-like middle attached to the nipple that works to control the air inside the bottle to prevent babies from gas and even colic. Lastly, Medela Calma is a specialized nipple designed with a long tip to imitate a stretched nipple when sucked. It took about 4 strong squeezes before a soft drip is released.

Other mommies including my twin sister uses the Medela Calma nipple. The Lactation Counsultant told us that it is important for baby to exclusively breastfeed from the breast for the first 6 weeks to allow both baby and mom to get used to the latch. If there is a need to drink breastmilk from the bottle, the nipple should still encourage the baby to suck so that they would not get lazy and would prefer mother’s breast and direct feeding rather than bottle feeding. The basics on breastfeeding is more latching and sucking on the breasts means more milk. Less sucking on breasts means less milk. Bottle feeding in my opinion is only a temporary substitute to the breast which means the primary source of feeding should be mommy’s boobs. 🙂

Let me be clear, Josh is feeding once a day breast milk using sippy cup and we are now moving to use a bottle once a day… I introduced the Calma nipple to Joshua on his 7th week. At first I got worried because he might get frustrated because he has to suck hard so the milk would flow. But to my surprise he was totally fine! He finished 2oz in about 10 mins… And he latches well with me on direct feed 🙂 … In later days though, the calma nipple was just too long for my young babe. He looked like choking so he would let go of the nipple and cry.

We moved to using Breastflow. Again I was worried that he would not take it because he was lazy to suck the nipple (and I was around watching him). Later, without me around, he finished his milk in about 10 minutes. I guess he was hungry and he had no choice.

The other bottles I will reserve when he is bigger. Yey! No more spilled milk and so far no nipple confusion using BREASTFLOW! I can take my 3 hour sleep without worrying because my baby is satisfied and well fed!

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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. 🙂