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About breast feeding

Breast feeding is not a smooth journey 

1. Breastmilk production 

This my breastmilk yield for the morning during first week post delivery

2. Breast engorgement

I got bad breast engorgement on one of the day when my baby admitted to Hosp nursery for NNJ, used breast pump 

3. Power pumping 

I learn about Power Pumping

4. About nipple crack

5. About milk booster

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Breast pump - Spectra S9 plus review

Breastfeeding is the best gifts a mother can give to her baby, but it really takes effort for its success

Breast pump is always in my to-buy-list since I know I'm pregnant, cause I know after my maternity leave, I'll definitely go back to work, therefore the only way to ensure adequate milk supply for my baby is by me pumping out breastmilk and start storage as many as I can. 

I spend hours searching for reviews for different breastpumps, also talked to few friends about their choices, then I narrowed down my choice to these 3 brands - Medela freestyle, Spectra S9plus and Eve's love. 

Medela Breastpump is definitely the dreamed breastpump for all breastfeeding mother, however, it's much more expensive compared to other brands, cheapest deal I can get after surveying in different shops and baby fair is RM 1899 with free Avent bottle sterilizer. 

Spectra breastpump is recommended by my cell group member who just delivered few months earlier than me. While visiting her in the confinement centre, she showed me her breastpump, she is using spectra M1. I'm amazed by how quiet it is during pumping, and most important the accessories are lesser and easily assemble. However, my friend to me the suction of her breastpump make her feel painful, so she suggest me to buy S9plus if I'm buying spectra breastpump, cause it has more suction level to adjust.

Eve's love breastpump is recommended by my Malay colleague in Melaka. She just back from maternity leave that time and she told me she loves her Eve's love breastpump cause it's pink color... =_=lll. Then she told me it's a product from Malaysia, which makes the price reasonable and affordable. However, most of the baby shop in Seremban didn't sell this brand.

After much consideration and discussion with Nick (cause he wants me to get the Medela breast pump), I decided to buy Spectra S9 plus breast pump, cause the review is quite good and the price is reasonable.... I got it from my favorite baby shop in seremban - BB dot Com, at uptown avenue, it cost me RM 680 with free cooler bag, 10 bumble bee bottles and ice pack.

Here's some description of my breast pump - Spectra 9 Plus Portable Double Electric Breast Pump, quote from the company website:

Spectra S9+ Breast Pump is a new compact breast pump from South Korea with the feature of single/ double sided pump, massage (Let Down) mode that help in stimulating your body's let down reflex to speed up the start of milk flow.

What features does the Spectra 9 Plus have?
  • The Spectra 9 Plus comes with a complete double kit so you can double pump – pumping both breasts at once saves so much time, which as a busy mum trying to find time to express, you will really appreciate. Double pumping also ramps up levels of prolactin (the milk producing hormone) in your blood, so is better for supporting milk supply.
  • The Spectra 9 Plus has a nozzle for each milk collection kit, making it easy to swap from single to double pumping. Just attach a milk collection kit to both nozzles if you will be double pumping, or if you only want to single pump, you can just close off the second nozzle.
  • Letdown mode – switch with a touch to the letdown mode, which is a light, quick mode designed to speed the start of milkflow, just the way a baby does. This will get you expressing faster and help your body get on board with the job of expressing milk.
  • Easy adjustment of cycle speed & suction strength – touch button controls allow you to adjust suction strength and cycle with one touch. As you increase the suction, the speed will slow down.
  • Inbuilt rechargeable battery – yes, we know you love this feature. Use your Spectra 9 Plus while plugged into mains, or just use it wherever you like from its inbuilt rechargeable battery.
  • LCD display so you can easily see where you’re at with vacuum and cycle settings. There’s a battery indicator so you know how much charge you have left on the battery AND there’s a timer so you can keep track of how long you’ve been expressing.
  • The Spectra 9 Plus is  our most portable pump – lightweight and slimline, it will slip easily into your handbag. If you are a busy mum running around after kids or needing to pump on the go, then you will love being able to hang the Spectra 9 Plus from your wrist or around your neck, team the pump with a handsfree pumping bra (to hold the breast shields in place handsfree) and pump on the run!
  • Closed system – like all Spectra breast pumps, the Spectra 9 Plus has a closed system, which means that there is no way for milk to get into the pump motor. Milk particles in the pump motor can lead to the growth of mould and is a potential source of virus transmission.
  • As always with Spectra breast pumps, the Spectra 9 Plus has high performance vacuum with maximum suction of 300mmHg.
  • Slow-flow teats are suitable for newborn feeding
Very long and lengthy right, here's the short n sweet description of Spectra S9 plus breast pump:
  1. Feature of Single/double sided pumping in a tiny package - the pump weights only 300gm!
  2. Closed system - prevents breast milk backflow into the motor
  3. 5-level Massage mode and 10 Level Suction/Speed adjustment
  4. Much quiter than traditional electric breast pumps
  5. Built-in rechargeable battery
  6. Suction pressure of 300 mmHg
  7. Super easy to clean - only the funnels needs to detached and washed after every pumping
  8. Automatically shuts off after 30min
  9. LCD screen
  10. Timer
This the motor of the breast pump:
Side view:

Spectra actually have many different breastpump, here's the table for comparison.

The breast pump comes with :
  • 1 x Spectra S9 Plus main pump
  • 2 x Wide neck breast shield (28mm size) - (you can purchase 24mm and 32mm shields separately)
  • 2 x Wide neck Bottle (extra ones can be purchased separately)
  • 1 x Slow flow soft teat 
  • 2 x Tubing
  • 2 x Disc
  • 2 x Cap
  • 2 x Backflow protector (New version)
  • 2 x Valve
  • 1 x Power adaptor
Battery Information :-
  • 3 LED bar battery indicator on display = Operating 2 hours
  • 1 LED bar battery indicator on display = Operating half hour
  • Battery indicator flashes = Operation less than 30 minutes, it need charging

So, here's my breast pump..

I used it 5-6 times nowadays. It's very convenient and easily to b used. Just need to connect the funnel to the bottle, then connect to the breast pump, then can start pumping edy...

This the bottle....

Got that " made in Korea" printed on it one, lol...

The funnel. I wash this after pumping for two times...
When u buy the breast pump, it comes with two 28cm funnel. If u have bigger or smaller boob, can buy either size 32cm o 24cm to suits ur breast...

Oh ya another good thing about it is , u can use it as either single pump or double pump. Most of the time I'll use double pump, but there's sometime, when I need to breastfeed my baby, I'll use the single pump mode to pump out the breastmilk from the another side of the breast. It save my time from waiting my baby finish feeding then only gets to pump, cause sometime u really need to multitask to complete ur daily chores... 

This the amount of my breastmilk after pumping for 30 minutes...

And thanks God I manage to stock up my breastmilk ! 

Till then.

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Hyaluronic Acid as Filler and Moisturizer

Today I’d like to tell you about hyaluronic acid, one of my favorite skin care ingredients. And the reason it’s one of my favorites is because it’s so important both on the surface of the skin and inside the skin.

On the surface of the skin it, is a great humectant ingredient in moisturizers, so it makes moisturizers work very well.

Humectants are simply materials that retain moisture and the reason hyaluronic acid is such a great moisturizer is because it holds so much water because it is a very, very long molecule, longer than most humectants and as a result there are a lot of different interstites or little spaces in that molecule where it can hold water, so it just holds lots and lots of water.

But in reality, we don’t normally find hyaluronic acid on the surface of the skin, we normally find it in the dermis inside the skin in the second layer and inside the dermis of the skin, it’s this pink material, in that pink material you have a lot of hyaluronic acid and a lot of water.

Well because the hyaluronic acid binds water, it binds it very well there so it forms a lot of volume and that volume helps support the collagen fibrals and all of the organs and it’s very important in maintaining the volume of the dermis. Anything that maintains volume here helps prevent lines and wrinkles up here.

As we get older we normally lose collagen and hyaluronic acid both as a function of age and also as a function of sun damage. And as a result, lines and wrinkles form because this area contracts and everything falls in. So, hyaluronic acid is a very valuable ingredient in filler materials that dermatologists use to inject into the skin to help restore volume and thereby fix lines and wrinkles.

But here’s the catch, for the same reason that hyaluronic acid is such a good moisturizer because it holds onto so much water, and for the same reason it’s such a good filler material, you can’t get it into your skin by rubbing it into your skin to fix lines and wrinkles because that molecule is just much, much too big. So, while I encourage you to look for moisturizers with hyaluronic acid in them as ingredients, enjoy your hyaluronic acid as a topical moisturizer but if you want it to fix lines and wrinkles, you’ll have to see your dermatologist.

Should People in Their Twenties Use Wrinkle Cream ?
Even women in their twenties ask me, should they be using anti-wrinkle creams, and actually, the answer is, yes, even though they don’t have any wrinkles. When I say anti-wrinkle creams, I’m talking about things like the newer peptide creams which have become very popular in the past five years, the older retinoids like Retin-A and Renova, and even the exfoliants we’ve been talking about which have been popular in the last 10 or 15 years, like glycolic acid and salicylic acid.

Wrinkles are caused by a loss of collagen, and the material in the skin that the collagen sits in which is called a semi-liquid matrix. Think of Jello with fruit. The fruit is suspended in the Jello. The fruit is the collagen and the Jello is this semi-liquid matrix. And as you lose either of these components in the skin, the skin loses volume and it sags and falls in, and that’s what causes a line or a wrinkle.

All of these anti-wrinkle creams work the same way. They all make the body either produce more collagen or produce more of this semi-liquid matrix, both of which occupy volume and help to prevent the skin from falling in and preventing wrinkles, Now, even though people in their twenties don’t have wrinkles, they’re already losing their collagen and the material it floats in. They just haven’t hit critical mass, so you actually don’t see the line or the wrinkle because they haven’t lost enough of it, but they’re losing it.

So if you start these anti-wrinkle creams early in your 20s, you’ll start the production of both of these materials and, as a result, you’ll delay the onset of your wrinkles and lines by 5 or 10 years. You may not have been destined to get lines until your 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s, but whenever you are going to get it, either determined by your genetics or by the amount of sun you’ve had, you’ll delay the onset of them because you will be producing the material that helps to fight their recurrence.

Think of it as preventive maintenance for your skin and started early. Wrinkles are caused by a lost of collagen and the material in the skin that the collagen sits in which is called a semi-liquid matrix. Think of jello with fruit, the fruit is the collagen and the jello is this semi-liquid matrix. As you lost either of these components in the skin, skin loses volume and it sags and falls in and that is what causes a line or a wrinkle. All of these anti-wrinkle creams work the same way, they all either make the body produce more collagen or produce more of the semi-liquid matrix. Both of which occupy volume and help the skin from falling in and prevent wrinkles.

Even though people in their twenties don’t have wrinkles they are already losing collagen and the material that it floats in, they just haven’t hit critical mass so you actually don’t see the line or wrinkle because they haven’t lost enough yet but they are losing it. So, if you start these anti-wrinkle creams early in your twenties you will start the production of both of these materials and as a result you may delay the onset of these lines and wrinkles by five to ten years.

You may not have been destined to get your lines or wrinkles until your twenties, thirties, forties, or fifties but whenever you were going to get them either determined by your genetics or by the amount of sun you have had, you will delay the on set of them because you will be producing the material that helps prevent their occurrence. Think of it as preventative maintenance for your skin.

What Is Retin A ?

Today I’d like to talk to you about Retin-A and tell you what it is, what it’s used for, and what the issues or side effects are that some people experience when they use it.

Retin-A is a brand name for a drug called tretinoin, and tretinoin is a derivative of Vitamin-A; it’s really the acid form of Vitamin-A, so another name for Retin-A is retinoic acid.

It’s a fairly versatile prescription medication which is used both to treat acne and to treat photo-aging. Both of those treatments are based on Retin-A’s ability to decrease cell turn over which is really what all exfoliants do.

In the treatment of acne its exfoliation powers, just like other exfoliants, results in extrusions of the clogs in the follicles and actually dissolves the clogs in the follicles to make them come out easier and also help to prevent more clogging of more follicles.

When treating photo-aging it again works like other exfoliants, first in helping to remove the dead cells in the surface of the epidermis which makes the skin look brighter, more lustrous and more even, also helps to remove some of the dead cells which have extra browns in them. So it helps to correct brown pigmentation and like most other exfoliants, it sends a message to the dermis to fibroblasts to wake up and make some more collagen. When that happens, it helps to fill in fine lines and wrinkles.

Some people who use Retin-A do experience side effects and the most common one is irritation and flaking and that’s because it’s a fairly potent, strong medicine. To help reduce that irritation, it was reformulated into what’s called Retin-A Micro and in the micro form its encapsulated in these little spheres that are time release capsules so it releases the active ingredient which causes the potential irritation more slowly and helps to avoid the irritation.

Anyone who uses Retin-A can become more sensitive to the sun which means you more easily get a sunburn so of course you need to have strict sun protection with sunscreen. In addition, people who have used Retin-A for long periods of time can increase the appearance of some small broken capillaries in their skin. And lastly, because Retin-A can have potential harmful effects to a forming fetus, you can’t use Retin-A if you’re pregnant.

Retin-A, like all other forms of tretinoin like Avita, Renova and Yanova, should be used only under the direction and by prescription of a physician. Retin-A is a fairly good exfoliant, but as chemical exfoliants go, I prefer glycolic acid because I prefer to be more versatile, more effective, and have fewer side effects.

Can You Use Retin-A and Antioxidants?
There is a lot of confusion about what you can use Retin-A and other retinoids with and what you cannot. The real issue here is the fragility or instability of retinoids like Retin-A, adapalene, Atralin and Tazorac. That instability means you cannot use those chemicals with acids, acids like glycolic acid or salicylic acid, both of which are used to treat acne and also for exfoliation.

However, you can use Retin-A and other retinoids and those acids as long as you are using them two opposite ends of the day, so one does not touch the other.

However, when it comes to antioxidants and retinoids, I am happy to say: there is no conflict, there is no problem. They can be used together as long as they are layered properly, so they both can come into contact with the skin. So, with acids like glycolic and salicylic, they cannot be used at the same time as retinoids, but at opposite ends of the day, and with the antioxidants, they can be used with the retinoids. And do not forget one other thing: In order for antioxidants to work, they cannot be used in sunlight. So use your antioxidants at bedtime.

The Difference Between Retin A and retinoids?
I would like to make a very important distinction for you between retinol and Retin-A. Retinol is a cosmeceutical ingredient which is put into skin care preparations.

Retin-A is a prescription cream which has been shown to be effective for acne and helps to reduce wrinkles, and is also useful for facial rejuvenation. Now, first of all, there is no retinol in Retin-A. And, second of all, when retinol ingredient in a preparation is applied to the skin, 5 or maybe 10 percent of that retinol can be converted into Retin-A.

Retinol is a soluble form of vitamin A, and the manufacturers of skin care preparations promote retinol as an ingredient that helps to reduce wrinkles and helps in facial rejuvenation. And what they are hoping is that you are going to confuse retinol with Retin-A because Retin-A does do those things, but retinol is very, very weak.

I mentioned that there can be a small conversion. At best, if 5 or 10 percent of retinol is converted into Retin-A in a cream that you put on your skin, you are just not going to get a meaningful result. And there is no assurance that that small amount of Retin-A that is created will be absorbed into your skin because no studies have been done to demonstrate that. So, the bottom-line here is: retinol is not a very effective wrinkle fighter or facial rejuvenation helper. And if you do want those benefits, if you want the real result, then use the real product, then get a prescription for Retin-A.

But again, in the United States, Retin-A is only available by prescription.

How to Remove Acne Scars?

Despite good hygiene and even despite good dermatologic care, people with acne sometimes still get acne scars and they ask me, "What can I do to get rid of them?" First and most importantly, we have to get your acne under control.

There is no point in treating old acne scars if you are still getting breakouts of bad cysts which is what new scars usually come from.

Assuming that your acne has come under control there are two types of acne scars that people get. 

First is called an "Ice Pick Scar" because the shape of the scar almost looks like an ice pick has pierced the skin. As an example [Dr. Schultz holds up a cone-shaped disposable drinking cup] this drinking cup is very tapered and angular and deep compared to the width.

So ice pick scars tend to be deep and angular and the only way to really get rid of them is by cutting them out.

Two weeks ago a patient of mine with both types of scars came in to have twenty-two ice pick scars cut out.

It was an hour procedure, a little bit of local anesthesia, one or two tiny plastic surgery stitches, and a week later they healed beautifully and he is very happy. Really, that is the only way to treat those types of scars.

When you have the more common shallow "Crater Scars", [Dr. Schultz holds up a dinner plate] they are much wider than they are deep, and these scars can be treated in several different ways.

Temporarily, fillers can be injected under the skin to lift up the bottom of the scar to make it flat. The fillers can be permanent, or they can be temporary depending on what you and your doctor decide to use.

If they are temporary, they probably need to be freshened up and retreated every three to twelve months. But there are also procedures that will get rid of these types of scars permanently. They are called ablated procedures.

We used to do dermabrasion for that but today instead we usually use laser procedures that ablate or remove the upper layers of skin. It does cause about ten days of down time during which time the skin has to heal and reform and it looks like you have a really bad sunburn during that period. It is a time where you would not be going to work.

After the procedure is done and the skin has healed (in about ten days to two weeks), you will have pinkness for about a month to two months which is easily covered by makeup. But, most importantly, you then have permanent improvement if not curing of the crater type scars.

So the good news is if your acne is finished, it is time to fix your scars and depending on the type of scars you have, there are procedures that will remove them and put a smile on your face.

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Confinement Period - journal of a first time mother

Day 27 into my confinement period ...

Most of the first time mother probably have no idea what do we do during the confinement period, so I wanna share what I had been doing this month here...

I deliver my baby girl on 2/10/15, it's a Friday evening, via SVD, after PROM and going through about 16 hours 1st stage of labour plus about 30 min 2nd stage of labour, analgesia only IV pethidine cause I refuse epidural analgesia, augmentation of labour start in labour room, total 4 hours of augmentation prior to 2nd stage, episiotomy was done on crowning after given LA, baby girl with birth weight 2.9kg delivered, Apgar score 9/9. I was sent back to ward 3 hours post delivery, then discharge well the next morning. Erm, just ignore this paragraph as this is how a doctor document her own delivery story.

Let's back to my topic, my confinement lady reach my house after I was discharged from ward. So 3/10 mark the first day of my confinement period and oso Day 1 of life for my baby girl (cause she was borne on 2/10 evening, so the Matron told me that day consider day 0). It's abit chaotic on the 1st day, cause my house is not equipped at all since we seldom cook, so my husband and my mother in law needs to go around to buy lots of things esp some kitchen ware. Then cause I was sort of 'grounded' on upstairs (because post delivery lady not suppose to walk here walk there n not suppose to climb stairs), so I can't help with the kitchen, I can only stay in the room with my baby, trying to breast feed.

First few days was bad, for me, my husband and the whole family esp my mother in law, cause my husband need to go around from shops to shops, then go to market and Chinese herbs shop to buy my confinement's meal ingredients. He also need to buy a lot of cooking utensil or fetch my mother in law to her house to bring some of her cooking utensil here.

For me, on the day I reach home, I felt so sweaty and smelly, so after my confinement lady cook the "bathing water" (it's actually boiled water with the packet of "confinement herbs pack" inside, those herbs can be bought from any Chinese herbs shop), I immediately took a shower, including washing my hair... Then I was "advised" to wear socks and shoes in the house, cause I am not suppose to let "wind" go inside my body. =_=lll

Unfortunately, once i finish showered and blew my hair with hair dryer, some relatives start coming to my house for "baby visitation", and since my baby is inside my room, so everyone came into my room, including the confinement lady. Then I was being nagged again "har, u so fast wash ur hair edy?! U not suppose to shower at so night! Where's your socks and shoe? etc etc....." I just reply with an embarrass smile and continue entertain those who came visit the baby.

That night, my husband came back very late, cause he is out there buying things. When he came home, apparently everyone in the house already know I wash my hair edy and they ask my husband to "inform" me to follow those confinement rules and give cooperation to the confinement lady. I agreed to shower only once a day, using the confinement bathing water, and wash my hair every other day. Cause since I will be staying at home most of the time, so there's no need to wash hair everyday.

Oh one more thing, about breastfeeding the baby. I will blog about it next time, but I do remember, that first day, I am quite depress that my breast milk production is not so much and my baby is still crying even after I feed her for so long duration. Then my husband and his family decided to buy some milk powder to top up the feeding. I know it's ok to top up on the first few days since my milk production is still less, however, the way they told me about topping up the milk powder made me felt so insulted.

After that, I researched on the daily requirement of infant, and found this:

So I am sure my breastfeeding was enough for my baby, just that too many over-concerned parents and relatives with lots of "useful" advice made me feel so stressful. Just like the saying "Too many cook spoil the dish", so my baby end up need to start on powder milk on the first day of life, and I become very very stress up for not having enough breast milk. Now reflect on the news " Young mother commit suicide due to lack of breastmilk ", I roughly can understand that lady's feeling, and I am sure those relatives could be the co-murderer in this event due to their negative word and comments, such a tragedy. This call the "Power of Word", in a negative way.

That's summed up my first day back from hospital. Tired physically and mentally.

Second day, it's a Sunday, early in the morning, nurse from Klinik Kesihatan already called me wanted to come for Post natal Home Visit. They arrived at about 830am, check the baby and measure my vitals plus examine my episiotomy wound. Then, my nightmare started... Cause my baby was found to be slightly jaundice, and my episiotomy wound is not well sutured (according to the nurse), so I was advised to seek treatment at hospital for the wound and also baby's jaundice. My husband was on the way to church for Sunday service initially, he drove back home to fetch me and brought me and my baby to private hospital (cause we don't want to go to GH's A&E department).

We struggled abit cause I still felt painful at my wound area, then need to carry my baby, thanks God the staff at Columbia Hospital Seremban was quite friendly, they gave me a wheel chair and offer to push me to registration counter while my husband park his car. Cut the story short, end up my episiotomy is just fine after check by the Gynae consultant, and my baby TSB level is just at the borderline level, no indication for phototherapy yet. We went back home and many people start visiting and asking questions on the visitation to hospital, it's so damn annoying! During that time, when the baby cry, I wanted to breastfeed the baby, but soooooo many people around, and they just don't have the common sense of giving me and the baby some space so we can established the breastfeeding relationship. My second day end up with me being more depress on unable to breastfeed my baby well despite the nurse from KK keep telling me I actually have more than enough breast milk for my baby, and also annoyed by those people who lack of common sense.

I started to use my breast pump on the third day post delivery. Based on my experience, Be Consistent and Not Giving Up at the starting period is the key of successful breastfeeding. This is the proof...

Ok, I am suppose to talk about our daily life during confinement period. My "established" daily routine only started after 3 weeks post delivery (it's actually the last month of my confinement period) because of my baby's jaundice and again... those lack of common sense people and those "useful" advice. Thanks God we hire a confinement lady and she take care of the baby at night, so we got to rest during night time.

Basically, my day starts goes like this:
630am wake up and then start to pump milk
715am drank milk and supplement protein powder, check on the breastmilk stock, sort out the earliest packet and defrost it by putting the bottle under room temperature
730am brush my teeth and wash my face abit
8am check on my baby, if she needs feeding, start to breastfeed her, or bottle feed her with pre heated breastmilk.
845am breakfast, it's red wine Mee sua (omg can't believe I had been eating this daily for 27 days edy)
930am pump mik
1030am feed the baby
1130am shower for the baby, with the help of confinement lady of course
1230pm lunch 
1pm feed the baby
130pm pump milk
230pm rest and shower with the "confinement bathing water"
330pm rest ( finally....., but booo~~ this the time usually people will b in my house "visiting" baby and disturb my baby's sleep)
4pm feed the baby 
430pm pump milk
530pm rest (and reflect on life, lol)
630pm dinner 
7pm pump milk 
730pm feed the baby
8pm rest (ok this will only happen if ppl don't come camp in the house again... )
830 help baby to wipe face and change clothes, preferably long sleeve, as sleeping clothes
930pm drank some herbal soup
10pm feed the baby 
1030pm pump milk 
11pm push the baby cot to confinement lady 's room, baby will stay with confinement lady at night.

In summary, ur daily routine is only pump milk, feed the baby, and eat the confinement food. In between, help baby to shower, change diapers and busy entertaining those visitor who always appear in the house, routine usually b disturbed once there's visitor.

I m abit worry as I finishing my confinement period. 
To b accurate , I edy finish my confinement period cause I edy shower the "flower bath" today, and my confinement lady told me I can go out anytime I want and no need to wear "confinement attire" edy.
After this, I'll need to take care of my baby 24 hours /7 days edy, and oso cook for myself, do my own laundry and work up to lose weight!! Pray that I can handle this, i actually prepared to face this alone edy, but seem like so many "kind" person wants to interfere my plan, so annoying. Anyway, pray that my baby can grow well, and I can continue breast feeding as long as I can.

Till then.

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Half way through confinement period

So I edy half way pass my confinement month. Just few rants and thoughts and comment on this. I really hope those ppl who had no ' common sense ' can understand .

The first month after delivery is call confinement period !!

It's the time for mother to REST and oso bond with the baby - NOT to entertain all the guest and whoever relatives who are over concern and wanna come visit the baby. It's common sense right, if u go to visit the baby EVERY SINGLE day , how can the mother and baby rest? 

My baby is now Day 18, but I NEVER had a day which I can really REST and spend time with my baby , because so many ppl keep coming over my house. When these ppl came to my house, they will stay for so long, and even if the baby is sleeping , they wanna bring the baby out to 'play'. HELLO!!! My baby is a human being , she is NOT a Toy ok. Just because of their selfish act, sometime, when my baby almost wanna sleep, these ppl come n disturb baby, they will said 'oh, baby wanna sleep edy', then they still keep teasing the baby, said something like 'baby, open ur eyes, ur XX come n see u lo', 'baby, can u hear me', 'baby u r so cute, b a good girl ya'... Very INCONSIDERATE right ?! Just imagine, if I know u almost want to sleep edy , but I still teasing u, talking to u, don't let u to sleep, what will u feel?!

The first week worst, everyone came, then keep bring my baby downstairs, say wanna see baby, but I see that as a form of DISTURBING baby sleep. I don't understand, can't these ppl just leave me n the baby alone , at least for the first month, let us rest, let my baby establish some normal routine. It's so obvious that when so many ppl around, how can I breastfeed my baby ? Then I pump out breast milk, but when ppl come and 'play' with the baby, if my baby needs feeding, then they will said' ok, let's feed the baby with the breast milk in fridge '. Oh yeah, we memang feed the baby these way, but can't they just consider my feeling when saying this in front of me . Usually if I'm alone with the baby, when baby wanna feed, I'll feed the baby first, then only ask my confinement lady warm the stored breastmilk and continue feed her with bottled breast milk. But once so many ppl is around, I can't just told them, 'can u guys just go back now and let me breastfeed my baby'... I don't understand, really don't understand why some ppl just so lack of Common sense!!!

Second weeks onwards I decided to b cruel and nasty abit, I told those ppl who visit Do not bring my baby to downstair! Yeah I remind my husband so many time about this until he felt annoyed. But yeah , after that, ppl start giving me n my baby some space . I felt glad i manage to reduce the disturbance to my baby by setting that nasty rule. 

Oso, when those ppl come, I need to answer to their weird questions, over and over again. ESP my baby got jaundice for a long period, I'm already very very tire bringing her to hospital/KK to for check up and follow up. And I'm quite sure it's due to breast milk jaundice and I know the jaundice will resolve as time goes. Then here come many 'Smart' and 'experience' relatives, who likes to give lots of different advices. I'm someone who don't like to argue back, so will just smile to them even in my heart I deeply disagree with them. But I'm very tire of answering ppl's question, and listening to those negative comments given by those '38' aunties....

Then when I mention about breastmilk jaundice, someone told me, why not u no need give breastmilk edy, just give powder milk. This really makes me feel hurt and shameful. Really, when a mother decides to breastfeed the baby, and work hard to pump every 3 hours in a day, and research and try all sorts of ways just to increase her breastmilk so that her baby can get the best nutrition, how can someone just said this type of thing to the mother? I really really hurt after hearing that. Seriously, if u leave me and the baby alone, I think prob my baby and I will b fine, she prob won't have prolonged jaundice. If those 'concerned' relative leave me and my baby alone , don't come my house so often, I think prob my baby will b healthy today....

But, today, my baby admitted to hospital because of prolonged jaundice due to UTI. Yeah, when so many ppl keep come to my house, how can I take care of my baby well? Sigh . I know I shouldn't simply put the blame to others, but I felt really really sad cause my baby needs to b subject to intravenous antibiotic. She is just 18 days old. 

Anyway, yeah , because my baby is in hospital nursery , where the parents are not allowed to room in, so I'm back home , alone, without my baby. I miss my baby. Thinking on positive way, prob it's good as well cause the nursery don't allow visitor other than parents. So my baby finally can b feed and rest well there, without disturbed by others ... 

Dear Beatrice baby, mummy pray that u will recover soon. Mummy wants to bring u home as soon as possible, but mummy hope u can b feed and rest more in nursery without disturbance, so we will pray that you can b discharged as soon as you are completely recovered.

Till then. 

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My pregnancy Diary - Week 36

Coming to the end of this pregnancy, many things had change, be it physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I thanks God for all His grace. 

Got transfer back to the department and state hospital I requested for work earlier this month, just nice after I served one year in a so-called district Klinik Kesihatan in melaka. Yea, I saw few of my junior colleagues complained and blamed the Ministry of Health for not approving their transfer or put them in waiting list or didn't give them an earlier transfer date, for whatsoever reason they claim. I felt those are childish comments and statements, some more coming out from people who hold a Professional position in government setting. I know I'm consider very very lucky compared to many others, and I had God's favor all this while, so I'm not in the correct position to judge, but I thanks God I didn't make those childish comment on public web page when I felt down or discourage. It's really a disgrace.

Once completed the 2 years compulsory housemanship training in HKL, I was given my MO-Ship placement in Perak, the state where I originated from. I was about to accept the offer until the 
last day of my HO-Ship, I decided to change my mind as that's the time when my wedding preparation gets hectic and I realize I have lots of things to settle in KL and Seremban area. So I submitted my appeal letter for new placement and at the same time accept the offer to float in Admin department of hospital. Since then, I spend about 4 months there till I finally got my MO-Ship placement in Melaka. Though I can't get into the department and hospital I requested in melaka, I thanks God for putting me in a Klinik Kesihatan where I only work office hours. 

By the mercy and grace of God, I manage to juggle between work and wedding preparation while I'm in melaka. So that's sum up my journey in Year 2014. Coming into 2015, I plan to stay in melaka till completed one year service then start apply for transfer back to Negeri Sembilan. With this, at least I don't have to travel to n fro melaka weekly and only see my husband once a week over weekend where we both will spend most of the time serving in church.

However, God has a bigger plan for us. 

Following the discovery of my pregnancy in end of Feb'15, I started to apply transferring back to Negeri Sembilam state on March15. It tooks about 6 months from the time of applying till the time Ministry of Health to approve until my current transfer, which took place on Sept15.

In between this 6 months, I had gone through disappointment, pressure from family n peers. My in law family keep asking me when m I transferring, I had to stay calm and told them to b patience all the time. Then my in law family oso keep pushing me to get support from some Datuk o Dato from political background to help (an usual way typical chinese always do when come to government procedure), but I keep reject the offer and don't want to use the 'back door', cause I felt shameful doing that! I really hate it when someone said I got the transfer because I use 'backdoor'. Now that I got my transfer without using any political help, I can proudly tell ppl off when they query about how can I get transfer so fast....

Anyway, my main concern now is the date of delivery, it's really an unpredictable date, only God knows what will happen next. I prayed for a smooth SVD and a healthy baby. 

Till then.

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My Pregnancy Diary - About Confinement Period

Citing from the book "The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth", written by several Professors and Doctors from KK Women's and Children's Hospital (a member of the SingHealth group)....

Confinement is a period for your body to recuperate and recover from childbirth. The idea of confinement is familiar to Asians but foreign to Westerners. In the past when infant and maternal mortality rates were high, it was a practice to keep both baby and mother indoors during the period of confinement. This was meant to protect mother and baby from ill health....Many of these practices or ideas are originated from our Asian culture and hence, possess no scientific basis at all. They range from the prohibition of doing certain daily tasks to the restriction of certain food intake - with the strong belief that these can provide adequate rest and replenishment during this period.

Read this from a blog while I was browsing through different website for information on confinement period. This pharagraph gave me a big laugh especially the last few sentences...

Many moms reported not adhering to the (confinement) program explicitly. For example, they showered and brushed their teeth, but made sure to use space heaters and scalding hot water only. Many ditched the no reading/Internet rule, while others didn't stay in bed the whole time but agreed to simply stay at home. The problem is that for each exception they make, they have more reason to blame themselves when future ailments take hold—or, at least, this is what their elders will have them believe. 

That migraine headache? It’s because you showered during your postpartum confinement period. That abscessed tooth at 40? It’s because you brushed your teeth during your postpartum period. Endometriosis or fibroids at 50? That’s because you didn’t stay home and rest long enough postpartum. You need glasses? It’s because you read a newspaper during your postpartum confinement.

Yea, I am so going to use this phrases to answer back those people who insist others to follow the Chinese traditional taboo.

Oso wanna share this here, from http://www.euyansang.com.sg/beware-these-6-confinement-myths/eysfertility1.html

Beware These 6 Confinement Myths

In TCM, a woman loses large amounts of Qi and blood during childbirth, putting her body in a “cold” phase. This is why Chinese culture recommends a month-long period of “confinement” for the new mother. These weeks of rest and a modified diet are intended to restore the mother’s balance and return her to full health.
While certain confinement practices are common, it’s a bad idea to follow them blindly. Discover the truth behind the myths from a TCM perspective.
1. Myth: Do not drink plain water
This comes from the belief that drinking plain water causes water retention or will cool down the body too much.
The truth: There is no harm in drinking plain water. In fact, because new mothers tend to sweat heavily because of hormonal changes, they have all the more reason to drink water and keep hydrated. However, new mothers should be encouraged to drink warm water instead of cold water.
2. Myth: Consume alcohol
Drinking alcoholic beverages or eating dishes cooked with alcohol is thought to boost blood circulation and warm up the body.
The truth: It is correct that alcohol is used in TCM to expel cold and promote circulation. That said, new mothers should not regard alcohol as essential to their recovery. In fact, nursing mothers should avoid alcohol, since it can be passed on to their baby through breast milk.
3. Myth: Do not shower or wash one’s hair
Contact with water is thought to cause “wind” to enter the body and lead to headaches and rheumatism later in life. This taboo may have originated from northern China of the past. Since water quickly became freezing because of the cold weather, it was easy to catch a chill from bathing.
The truth: It is perfectly fine to continue one’s bathing habits. Besides maintaining personal comfort, regular bathing helps prevent skin and wound infections. However, the mother should not bathe with cold water. She should also dry her body immediately after bathing to prevent exposure to cold air.
4. Myth: Consume plenty of herbal supplements
Since childbirth drains a woman of Qi, it is recommended that she stock up on specific herbal soups and dishes that boost energy and blood.
The truth: Since every woman’s health profile is different, she may not benefit from the same remedies that help others. It is better to consult a qualified TCM physician for personalised advice and treatment.
That said, one dietary recommendation can be generalised to all new mothers. In TCM, it is best to avoid cooling foods during confinement. Eating such foods carry a risk of harming one’s Spleen and Stomach and hampering recovery. Foods to avoid include bamboo shoots, bananas, crabs and oysters.
5. Myth: Do not read or cry
Childbirth is thought to weaken the Liver, which is linked to the eyes. Therefore, one should avoid putting stress on the eyes by reading or crying. Otherwise, one might experience eye problems later in life.
The truth:There is no basis for the belief that reading or crying would lead to eye problems. However, TCM experts do hold that the large loss of blood during childbirth may weaken the eyes. This is because blood is related to the Liver, which is associated with the eyes. Regular consumption of Liver-protecting foods, such as Chinese Wolfberries, would help maintain eye health.
6. Myth: Wear warm clothing and do not use fans and air-conditioning
As with bathing, any exposure to cool air is said to cause “wind” to enter the body and lead to health problems later in life.

The truth: The key here is moderation. The new mother should do what makes her comfortable. In a hot and humid climate, fans and air conditioners may even be essential for preventing heat rash. However, the new mother should not let the fan or air-conditioner blow directly on her.

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My Pregnancy Diary - Worries

Week 28 now, and I had been thinking a lot recently. Had bad backache + insomnia for the past few nights, even if I fall asleep, I will wake up to an horrible nightmare.

The bible said " Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

However, once we face real situation, it's hard to stop worrying. I'm trying my best, learning to lean on God more, learning to not think negatively, learning to b positive... 

Being pregnant is not an easy thing - esp when it's not a planned pregnancy. Coping with the stress, juggling between work, staying alone most of the time, not having a proper support care most of the time, and the stress of listening to all sort of nonsense traditional old folk's advice makes me feel so tire of this pregnancy.

I never think so much during the first and second trimesters, as I don't really feel that I'm pregnant, given the fact that the bump is not so obvious. Ok, I admit this is because of all my effort to keep it as small as I could. However, I know I couldn't slow the progression and growth of the fetus. Time flies, fetus grow, the body size and weight will change eventually. 

Many thought that I had accepted the fact of pregnancy and will continue stay strong in this process. But I know very well, even when I step into 3rd trimester, I still wondering around the Denial stage , or prob in Bargaining stage which I wish I could start all over again - take the Postinor pill earlier, or calculate my menstrual cycle more accurately.
I try to categorize my worry in order to organize my thought well...

I know I shouldn't think this way, it's not good for my baby. We all know it very well, to have a happy and healthy baby, a pregnant mother need to have positive thinking and stay cheerful all the time. I know I know. It's not I don't want to do so, but it's difficult. I love my baby very much, I know I would do anything to take care and raise her up in future, but I just dono how to cope now.

Watch one TV reality show recently, and one of the celebrity give an important advice - if you are sad or unable to cope with stress, try writing journal. So here m I, trying to pour out all my feeling in my blog. 

I had tried to categorize my worry to organize my thought...

1. Progression of pregnancy - the ultimate weight GAIN problem

The bump is getting bigger by days n weeks n months. I need to try my best to control my weight and my body shape to not let this pregnancy ruin my body shape and weight. From the start of pregnancy, during the first follow up, once I know I gain ONE kg over one month, I was so shocked and depress ! Apparently, u can only gain 0.5 kg per month for the first five month of pregnancy. 

Getting know about the 1kg gain is a very depress news for me, and my anorexic mode being switch on since then. I told myself I cannot take so much of food, I need to exercise more than usual, I need to make sure I drink enough water to stay away from constipation. Yea, for one week, I took only Apple for dinner, sometime, I restrain myself from eating dinner because I'm so depress about my weight. I step on the weighing machine daily to check my own weight, sometime I'll hit myself for eating too much. I hate myself being such a gluten. I wish I could b as thin as during my wedding period. I hate being fat. Until now I cannot accept my own body weight still. I'm still trying hard to reduce it. 

Sometime I felt guilty for my baby, cause I know she needs nutrient, but I have no choice but restrain myself from eating. It's still a hard task for me, I cannot imagine myself looking in a mirror recently cause I will cry. I cannot accept the fact that my stomach is bigger than my husband's. I cannot accept when ppl told me "Wah, can see the bump edy". I cannot accept when those aunties ask me why can't see the bump and then try to advice me to eat more. And the most irritating part is when ppl start touching my stomach, I just feel like slapping these no-manners and low class ppl.

Having said that, I still eat alot, which makes me hate myself more. I keep reminding myself not to take heavy meals and eat just half portion of the food each time, however, sometime I just couldn't help but finish my food. Then after the meal, I will feel very very guilty and try my best to stop myself from eating the next meal. 

Last week, someone told me "wah, u really gain alot of weight now!".. I nearly gone crazy over this statement. I know the person who say this statement has no bad intention, but she dono that she is talking to an ex-anorexic patient, who is very very sensitive about the weight issue. Whatever it is, I know, the weight battle is still going on, so I will continue to watch out for my weight, thanks to that person who indirectly say I am very fat now. It's really a good reminder.

2. The delivery process - Where, When, How

As a government servant who works in hospital, I had been working in maternity ward, labour room, maternity OT and even maternity HDU before, therefore, I am not clueless about all these. However, when it comes to my own delivery, I had been wondering alot - when can i deliver? can i deliver before the due date? what will be my baby's birth weight? can the birth weight be smaller so it's easier for me to deliver the baby? can i deliver via spontaneous vaginal delivery? will i need to undergo cesarean session? who is going to deliver the baby for me? if i delivery via vaginal birth, will I need to undergone episiotomy? how big and how long will it takes for my episiotomy wound to cure? where should i deliver the baby? government hospital or private hospital? etc etc etc questionmark.

I guess no one except God know the answer. Even for now, I had my antenatal follow up at my own Klinik Kesihatan. Most of the scans done by my colleaugue. Some detail scan I did at O&G specialist clinic - Klinik Vincent and Liu in Ayer Keroh and Klinik Noor Shila at town center. My nurses at MCH clinic are awesome as they did give me valuable advice However, when come to the delivery process, I am very scare.

My EDD falls on mid October. But i know EDD is 40 weeks of gestation edy, I wish I don't need to wait until 40 weeks to deliver my baby. My prayer is that once my baby reach term (~37 weeks), I will go into active phase of labour and deliver the baby before 38 weeks of gestation. Ok, I know i sound so damn desperate to end this pregnancy, yea, I really hope so.

About the labour process, I know I will subject to VE - Vaginal Examination by either a nurse or a doctor, then if the cervical opening is more than 2cm plus the regular contraction, I'll be admitted to ward for latent phase of labour. Once the contraction become more frequent, and cervical opening more than 4cm, I'll be sent to labour room for active phase of labour. Then waiting for the one hour 1cm opening period. Put on Partogram and IV Oxytocin to fasten the labour progress. Oh, not to forgot the CTG monitoring and 4-hourly VE.

Then when cervix is fully effaced and cervical opening reach 10cm, the delivery process or 2nd phase of labour start. I wish my baby won't be more than 2.6kg so I can bear down more easily. This is the time I am most scare of, I really scare of the episiotomy and all those shouting and screaming and scolding by the labour room nurses. Once the baby is out, it's time for placenta delivery or 3rd phase of labour. Then uterine massage, then episiotomy wound repair and time for mother to rest and start breast feeding.

Thinking and imagining the whole process just makes me feel that I am so not prepared to be a mother...

3. The confinement period

Most of my cell group members are mother with few kids, they had experience the confinement period. Most of them hire a confinement lady, and one of them, who just gave birth to a cute baby boy in June, had chose to stay at confinement center for one month. All of them have different experience, but I guess, unless I experience it myself, I can't gain much from other's experience, cause everyone have different expectation.

My mother in law had been very nice to contact one of her friend and confirm the booking for me. Apparently she is an experience confinement lady. Although the cost is so damn high (actually till now I still believe that that confinement lady just cheated our money just because she is my mother in law's friend). And we also are force to pay RM 500 for deposit money. The cost for the confinement lady employment itself is RM 4800 plus RM 200 ang pao money, which makes it to RM 5000. Imagine this price in Seremban.... if it's in KL I still can accept, this type of pricing in Seremban is really sound like a cheating scheme.

Not only that, the RM 5000 had not include the cost for the ingredients for that so-called confinement food, the living cost for that confinement lady, those pampers and basic necessaries for the mother and baby etc. I still felt being cheated!! Should have contact that lady myself and don't leave these job to other people!!

Whatever it is, since that confinement lady charge so expensive, I am going to do more research on the confinement period and make sure I have a list of things-to-do or check list to make sure I won't be fool by this scheme.

The idea of staying in confinement center sound luxurious, most of the Chinese celebrities stay at confinement center postpartum. Initially I don't really buy the idea of staying at confinement center, however, after I visited the confinement center that my friend stayed, I started to wonder should I just forfeit that RM 500 deposit money and go stay at the confinement center instead.

4. Care for baby in future

This is the most headache part. Really, I cannot imagine myself working and taking care of the baby. Some people will say probably your mother or mother in law can help. But, yea, it's better don't depend on others. No one is responsible for your child. You give birth to a kid and you are the one responsible to take care. I still don't have in-depth imagination about this yet, cause guess it will worsen my nightmare...

Anyway, these are just all my thought. Probably I will be fine when the time comes. And I really need to hold tight to God's promise.

Till then.

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My Pregnancy Dairy - The Discovery

By the Grace of our Almighty God, I got married on 6th December 2014 - to my awesome Bola husband and held an amazingly grand wedding ceremony in Seremban.

Still remember during wedding ceremony, so many ppl wish us - hope u guys fast fast get a kid, don't let both ur parents wait for so long. My response to this is always the same ' hhm, thanks for ur wish but no thanks cause I don't think I wanna get pregnant so fast '...

On our first night of marriage, I still remember, it's already very late when we reach home, but for the sake of contraception, Nick went to 7-11 in the middle of night to buy Condom. That's his first time buying and he came back telling me 'Condom is so expensive huh'. Lol.

So we went on our marriage life. Yea, Fairy Tale always end with a grand wedding plus the phrase 'And they live happily ever after' ... That's what most single person think about marriage as well.

But as a married woman (ok I can't believe I had step into the 'Aunty' world), wedding is not the ending, it's just a starting point for a new life. We both took another 3 days leave after the wedding, to settle all the post-wedding issue, such as returning bridal gowns to 3 different bridal houses, bank in the Ang pao money we received during the reception, clear all the pending debts for wedding as well as house renovation, go ikea buy some pending furniture that we don't have time to buy before wedding, etc.

Life goes on. I had my menstrual blessing on Jan 2015, which then I decided to plot a strict menstrual dairy for Calender Method plus Barrier Method family planning. Let me tell u this is the MOST unreliable family planning method. Failing rate ~99%. 

We had an unprotected sex on the week after my menstrual bleed because I forgot about the date and thought my body was in non-fertile period that time. Then I keep forgot to take Emergency Contraceptive pill until 72 hours later. I bought Postinor from Guardian 3 days after the unprotected sex cause I'm busy with work in melaka and forgot to buy each day after finish work.

Yea, I admit I took the Emergency Contraceptive Pill - Postinor, 2 tablets, 12 hours apart. One week later, I took one course again. Cause I'm so afraid of the conception. My LMP is 12thJan2015, the unprotected sex is on 20thJan2015, I mark it clearly on the Calender and hope for the next menstrual bleeding-to ease my worry for the conception.

Then life goes on, I'm just quite upset by my increasing weight and the amazingly good appetite I had. I blame all these to the pre-CNY season and post-wedding syndrome. I had my first Chinese New Year celebration in Seremban, as a daughter in law in my parents in law house. We then went back to my hometown in Ayer Tawar, Perak for few days. 

When we came back, I realize I'm getting easily tire, sometime felt nauseated for the most normal thing, and most importantly, my menstrual bleeding period which I had been waiting for, did not come after one week of the expected date. I was so so worry. Prob its the occupational habit, I keep have the thought of getting a pregnancy test done. 

I was so afraid to tell Nick about this, I know he did notice about my anxiety, mood swing as well as the concern about having delaying in menstrual bleeding, however he attribute all this to my negativity and my attitude.

On the 5th day of CNY, after I came back from my hometown, I manage to took the courage to ask Nick drop me at Guardian pharmacy to buy the Pregnancy Kit. I bought two.

I did not use the strip immediately after we reach home. Because I just think that I am not prepare to face the truth. From the day of my marriage, I never had the thought of 'having a baby'. This 'having a baby' thing is just beyond my imagination.

Nick watching Astro downstair when I finally felt the urgency to urinate. That's the first time I'm using that strip. Its a very convenient strip where u just need to hold the strip and urinate towards that labelled area. Then wait for few minutes. Alright, the line move quite fast, and by the time I calm myself down to look at the result, it's showing TWO lines... I was abit blur initially, as I thought two lines means no pregnant. Then when i look at it again, I was like " Oh... My..........." ......... *stunt+speechless+shock+silent for 5 minutes"
I shouted for Nick from the toilet upstairs and he came towards me. I am sure he had the same feeling as me because we both didn't expect this at all... He comfort me for a while, then went on to sit in front of the dressing table. So that afternoon, me sitting in the toilet, Nick sitting in front of the dressing table...SILENCE. 

I test it on another strip on the next day and found the same result. 

So after two time UPT strip postive, both Nick and I called our parents to inform the news, its on the 5th day of CNY... Of course our parents are happy. Just my mum heard the fear and my trembling voice, and ask me what happen to me. Yea, i admit i almost cried when I called my mum, cause i know I am not ready at all...

However, at times goes, we had accepted the fact.

I used the pregnancy calculator Apps on my iPhone to check the EDD. This the result. I do hope that the delivery date will fall at the end of Sept or early Oct.

Will update on the pregnancy progress soon.

Till then.

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