Updated: Feb 11
This month's hints and tips rolled into one
Do you worry that you have "emptied your breasts" when pumping and therefore can't latch your baby again until they are full?
Think again! It’s actually a common misconception many people have about breastfeeding.
In reality, you can never truly empty your boobs, they work on a supply demand basis, and milk is being produced at all times, so the breast is never empty.
What is true (as research shows us) is that the emptier the breast, the faster the breast makes milk. So when your baby, or your pump, removes a large percentage of milk from the breast, milk production will speed up in response. So, instead of thinking of nursing or pumping as “pouring milk out of a container” think of it as flipping on the “high speed production” switch! You learn something new every day, right?!
Do you have a favourite Breastfeeding friendly cafe? Mine is definitely @theritual.sg
The food and coffee are amazing, but they also have the most amazing comfy sofa's and private corners - perfect for breastfeeding mums!
Go along and see what you think - and keep an eye out for more posts about The Ritual Community and Tribe, as we have some exciting things in the pipeline.
Leave a comment and let us know where your favourite breastfeeding friendly cafe is. Help all the other mumma's decide! Because we all need coffeeeeeeeeeeee!
Not in Singapore? That's ok, join in and let us know where is good to go with our bubba's when all this craziness if over and we can travel to your world, we all need to dream right now!
These are images from my daughters first ever trip out the house with mummy, on our own. I remember being so scared to take my hands off the handle bars to take these photos, and yes of course I was using the break, I was just a bit nuts at the time.
Our daughter was 3 weeks old and I had taken her to 'Bangkok Breastfeeding Cafe' in a taxi, but the location made it hard to get picked up on the way home, so my mummy friends patiently talked to me about being brave and taking public transport home. I was so scared!
But I did it, and we never looked back. We went out every day since then. I never ever missed a day without taking her out for fresh air and to hear, see and smell the sights and sounds around us. I'm so thankful to my friends, and my own bravery, for getting me past that stage.
What are you most worried about right now? What can Empowa help you with? Did you know that Kathy offers a service to help new mums on their first trip out the house - including help with your car seat, public transport, breastfeeding, nappy changing, logistics. It's actually one of her most popular services.
Every once in a while, you come across a quote that completely hits home. This one does for me!
I didn't make time for my wellness when I was a new mum. As a result I had ongoing problems with incontinence, depression, hemorrhoids, back pain, numbness and of course my confidence.
Don't put your own wellbeing on the back burner. A happy, healthy, mum leads to a happy, healthy, baby. Everything is easier when we are well!
Read my story below about how I finally got round to focussing on some of my own wellness.
FREEBIE ALERT! I've had a ton of fun showing you a little more about what Empowa is all about are these past two weeks. But behind the scenes I've been busy too.
Empowa is very pleased to release our BIRTH PLANNING GUIDE FREE for all new families that prebook their post natal support before their EDD.
I know you’re going to love it because:
✏ It gives you 50 things to consider when preparing your birth plan:
✏ It gives you quick exercises to do to ascertain how informed and prepared you are
✏ It gives hints and tips on how to approach your health care provider(s) about your birth plan
✏ It gives template ideas for your own birth plan
✏ The 70 page guide is crammed full of things to help you
To claim your freebie, PREBOOK your postnatal support now. Enjoy!
DID YOU KNOW ... Empowa has Antenatal classes too | Private online sessions with a Midwife and your Postpartum Doula, with 100% continuity of care into your postpartum recovery. BOOK HERE >>>
It’s time to share some #empowavillage love! We have a great discount to announce!
My daughter was in cloth nappies for the first year of her life (mostly), in fact that's a picture of her in a cloth nappy when she was just a few weeks old.
I'm a big cloth bum fan but I'm also pragmatic so, for example, we didn't start at newborn ... we were first time parents & had a enough to learn, & enough to do, without thinking about cloth nappy systems & extra washing cycles.
But after we started getting into our stride I didn't like the frequency of nappy rash I was seeing from disposables, nor the amount of waste we were producing. So we slowly switched.
You get into a rhythm with cloth bumming, the washing really isn't too onerous if you have the right amount of nappies, & the poo really doesn't smell bad with the right storage, soak or wash system. I absolutely saved money, & given how quick it was to air dry them in Thailand we definitely felt like we were being more environmentally friendly.
Why @big_snug_nappies in particular? *** environmentally friendly *** sustainable *** functional & affordable *** made with love in China *** made from high quality materials ***super absorbent bamboo/cotton inserts *** reduce the impact you have on the environment *** They even reduce the amount of waste they create when sending out products
Click here to become a member >>>
Did you know that it is estimated that 15m, or 1 in 10 babies, worldwide are born prematurely. In Singapore, about 3,500, or 1 in 11 babies, were born prematurely in 2017.
Singapore is very well equipped with appropriate resources & expertise to support premature infants. The neonatal mortality rate fell from 17.7 neonatal deaths per thousand live births in 1960 to 1.3 per thousand live births in 2018, that is probably one of the lowest in the world.
Singapore’s first Donor Milk Bank was launched in 2017 at KKH. They follow stringent international guidelines to ensure a supply of ready, safe, donor breast milk for vulnerable babies who need it. More than 1,000 babies nationwide have since benefited from this valuable resource! Amazing!
But, what if you baby is so tiny, or ill, that they can't even bottle feed? Tube feeding is often used for premature or sick babies. Babies born premature or sick have a low supply of energy and nutrients, so it is important that they are able to have small nutritional feeds often, without lowering their energy. The coordination of sucking, swallowing and breathing needed for effective feeding is usually not fully established until about 32-34 weeks’ gestation (although this is different for different babies). Babies born at term & sick may also take longer to co-ordinate feeding. Tube feeding helps babies receive enough nutrition to grow & develop. Staff on the neonatal unit will encourage you to be as involved as possible. If you feel comfortable doing so, they should even show you, & your partner, how to give tube feeds.
Transitioning from tube feeding to breastfeed at a later date may have some challenges, but you should be guided by trained lactation consultants that can instruct you, in the majority of cases it is achievable, so don't worry if you goal was always to breastfeed, you will get there!
Of course, the transition to home life is also very challenging in itself, but you don't have to be alone. Many of my clients have been NICU parents that just need a little extra guidance and support, I'm here for you!
Scared of having an emergency c section?
If the thing you’re most scared of is having an emergency c section, then honestly, don’t let anyone judge you for doing the only certain thing and booking a planned c section.
Again I’m saying things out loud that you may not hear very often but I think it’s important to empower women to have a birth, and a postpartum, that they feel happy, informed and positive about.
Before making that decision of course it’s also important that they’ve been informed of the many ways to minimize the risk of an emergency c section (including hypnobirthing, doula participation, mindfulness, practices to help with optimal positioning of the baby etc), but all births are different and even the best of birth planning and preparation can’t predict everything. If your birth prep hasn’t overcome your worst fear, if you still don’t feel empowered to truly handle the emotional (or physical) side of an emergency c section, then empower yourself by taking control and discussing a planned c section. This is your birth, your journey to motherhood, and the most important thing is that you make informed decisions and are empowered to choose for yourself (when at all possible).
As a postpartum doula often my first visit is engulfed by the mother’s birth journey, discussing, crying over, analyzing aspects that she needs to process in her mind, and the physical attributes that this brings to her postpartum journey may only come to light as our time together continues.
I think without exception every birth parent that I have worked with that has experienced a birth that left her feeling less than empowered has resulted in some postpartum “work” to do. That may be initial difficulties with breastfeeding, bonding or dramatic impacts from lack of sleep and physical recovery of the mother. These are normally the very real obstacles that I help new mums overcome.
From a practical perspective I also enjoy some of the more strategic things that I can help families plan, to help their recovery of c sections.
🛌 Little things like how to arrange your bedroom for the first few nights ( PRO TIP: dad on the side of baby to reach over and pick up for night feeds)
*** How to organize and position the nappy change so that you don’t have to bend over or move far for anything (PROTIP: have everything at the same level, and next to, the changing mat)
💦 Even practical tips like securing daily items to the wall with velcro so that they are where you want them when you need them (PROTIP: use velcro to secure your tube of nappy cream or coconut oil to the wall above your changing mat)
I love to help new mums and families in any way I can. Whether that is practical, physical or emotional, every day in my job is different
Yep, we've all heard the phrase, but until you're a breastfeeding mum you don't quite understand the significance.
TODAY IS OFFICIALLY "Don't cry over spilt milk day" - yes, that is a real thing pa ha ha but there is so much
significance to this for @empowa.sg and
Spilling breastmilk is one of the most upsetting things that can happen to a pumping mum.
Pumping mums work so hard for that breastmilk, like really really hard!
YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING!!!
Not everyone realises that some mums have gone to extreme measures to increase their supply. From not only changing their diet, getting up at awful times of the night, packing and carrying around ice packs but also negotiating with employers and sometimes even hotels, restaurants and airlines to help them store it. There is nothing easy about pumping breastmilk!
There are some new products that are making some mums lives a little easier. The @haakaa silicone pump has the suction cap on the bottom, @elvie is fast becoming a game changer in the world of on the go pumping (you seriously need to try it out, it is available in Singapore now).
My other top tips are quite simple ones, but can help:
***store breastmilk in small quantities, in the early days I recommend as small as 20-30 mls per storage container
***if using bags, ensure they have double ziplocks
***use a pumping flange to siphon breastmilk into storage bags
***consider glass storage, it is heavier and less likely to tip over
***after pumping, initially chill your milk in the container it was pumped into. Transfer into a different container later in the day when you are more focussed, and less rushed
CAN WE PLEASE HAVE A SHOUT OUT FOR ALL THE PUMPING MUMS!!!
HIP HIP HORRAY, You are all amazing!
Has motherhood made you feel like doing this???
Yeah, in the early days it made me feel that way too sometimes. In fact most mums ask me when, and if, it's ok to have a glass (or maybe a bottle ha ha) of wine....#justtotaketheedgeoff
Well, I have some VERY EXCITING NEWS
That bottle of wine is my hand is a bottle of Natureo Rose from the famous Torres winery. It is made from a blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes grown in the Catalunya region of Spain. It is a brilliant dark pink in colour....are you salivating yet??
It gets better ....
The alcohol is removed (yes it is ALCOHOL FREE) by using an innovative spinning cone technique, which ensures no chemicals are used and the full flavour and antioxidant properties are maintained. Torres is a world class winery that has previously won the Drinks International award for 'The World's Most Admired Wine Brand' beating other wineries such as Penfolds, Jacobs Creek and Chateau Margaux.
AND IT GETS BETTER ....
because if become an Empowa'd member you can get 10% discount on your first order with @freespiritasia Tap the link in my bio for more info -> @empowa.sg Free Spirit specialise in sourcing, sampling and importing the best non alcohol beverages the world has to offer, quite frankly it was a partnership made in heaven when I spoke with them to help out my pregnant and breastfeeding clients! At Empowa we simply 💜 💜 💜 @freespiritasia
Click Here to become a member >>>