Friday, November 04, 2011


"Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (November). For this month, participants share their experiences on extended breastfeeding. This includes tips to moms with young babies, as well as barriers and myths which discourage extended nursing. Please scroll down to the end of this post and check out the other carnival participants."

I breastfed my now 6-year old daughter C until she was 2 years old. I am still breastfeeding my baby B who is now 14 months old.

Whether one is breastfeeding an infant or a toddler, one thing has remained the same--breastfeeding benefits the child and the mother. Having this evidence-based fact in mind, I made a conscious decision to breastfeed for as long as possible.

The issues and concerns that I have in breastfeeding a toddler are the same and yet different from the concerns I've had while breastfeeding an infant. 

Pain. With my baby B, I dealt with sore nipples for the first two weeks due to improper latch. When he started teething at around 6 months, I had to endure the occasional bites until he learned that he is not supposed to "bite" the "goose that lays the golden egg", or in this case, the mom who produces the liquid gold. (Sorry, my Tax Law Review class is about to start. I've been reading a number of cases where the Supreme Court used this idiom.)  

Now that B is more than a year old, he has suddenly transformed into a Manny Pacquiao boxing wannabe and a football striker, rolled into one. My days and nights of reading while breastfeeding have ended. I have to be alert to make sure that B does not get a lucky kick straight to my jaw. Gentle hands and gentle feet, something that I've learned from my daughters' pre-school teachers, has become a favorite reminder to my baby B.

Supply. "Is my baby getting enough?" This is one of the common concerns of breastfeeding moms, especially during the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Fortunately for me, this was not a problem. That was until my daily yield of expressed breastmilk (EBM) went down from 24 ounces to 15 ounces when B was around 9 months old. The decrease, coupled with the fact that B is not as chubby as his formula-fed counterparts, made me question myself if B is getting enough milk and nutrients. 

But my worrying about my milk supply in relation to B's weight gain was short-lived. Why should I needlessly fret when B is an active, healthy toddler who drinks breastmilk and eats complementary solid food, and is regularly seen by his pedia? And instead of using the growth chart in B's free baby book which is most likely based on the growth of formula-fed children, I used the WHO growth chart after learning that this new chart "makes breastfeeding the biological 'norm' and establishes the breastfed infant as the normative growth model."

Besides, a study showed that in the second year (12-23 months) of life, 448 ml (about 15 ounces) of breastmilk provides:
  • 29% of energy requirements
  • 43% of protein requirements
  • 36% of calcium requirements
  • 75% of vitamin A requirements
  • 76% of folate requirements
  • 94% of vitamin B12 requirements
  • 60% of vitamin C requirements

Time. As a full-time working mom who is usually out of the house from 6 am to 8 pm every working day, I need to express milk several times in the office. I need to do this in order to maintain my milk supply and ensure that B will have something to drink while I'm not with him. It's a good thing that Republic Act No. 10028, otherwise known as the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009 (EBPA), grants nursing employees paid lactation breaks of not less than 40 minutes for every 8-hour working period. And as I've written in my previous post, nursing employees who are breastfeeding children up to 36 months of age are entitled to this break. Yes, up to 36 months!

Support. I am fortunate to have supportive family, friends, employer and co-workers who never questioned or commented on, no matter how well meaning the comment may sound, my decision to breastfeed my daughter C until she was 2 years old. I even brought C, who was then 17 months old, to an out-of-town strategic planning session. 

If you don't have a support group, then this is a good time to join one. You'll be surprised at the number of local breastfeeding support groups we have here in the country! 

Breastfeeding in Public. It is possible, however, that you may get unsolicited comments and stares while breastfeeding an older child in public. You may consider these suggestions from

  • If you're bothered by unsolicited comments and stares, you might find it easier to nurse your child at home before heading out to the store or the park. Some moms find it more acceptable to nurse at set times during the day — like in the morning, before naps, or before bed — and teach their toddlers to drink from a cup during meals and snacks.
  • If you don't care what people think or say, then have some snappy responses ready when someone asks you the inevitable question: "Is she still nursing?" Sometimes a simple "yes" is the best conversation stopper. Or, the next time you're nursing in public and someone asks, "Are you ever going to stop breastfeeding?" say, "Yes, in about ten minutes."
Now, I happen to fall under the second category!

What about you? What concerns did you deal with or are dealing with in breastfeeding your child beyond 1 year?

Please do take the time to read the posts of the other blog carnival participants:

J and the Three Boys - No more "de-de"
Life of a Babywearing and Breastfeeding Mommy - Still breastfeeding after 2 years
Got To Believe - Breastfeeding Room Story
Homeschooling Mommy - Yes, I've Got Milk


Thursday, September 15, 2011


I just discovered photo books. And I'm hooked.

Just like most moms, I've taken lots and lots of pictures of my three children. But in this age of digital photography, most of our pictures have not been printed, much less placed in albums or scrapbooks. They are just posted on Facebook and saved in my computer's hard disk.

That was until I found out about photo books. To put it simply, a photo book is like a coffee table book and a personalized photo album rolled into one. And since my baby B's first birthday is fast approaching, I felt that this a good time to give photo books, which I intend to show around during the party, a try.

Edit Your Pictures. I read somewhere that it is important to edit your pictures before using them for your photo books. I edited mine using Picasa, a free photo editing software from Google. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a techie. The extent of my editing prowess is limited to crop, highlight, fill light, increase shadow, and sharpen. But the pictures came out a lot better even with my minimal editing.

For my initial venture, I tried two photo book makers, one of which is Photobook Philippines.

1. Software. As a newbie, I want a software that is ultra user-friendly. Photobook's software meets this criterion. In fact, it even offers a number of ready books--photo books that have pre-designed templates.

A sample of a ready book. All you need to do is add your pictures.

Since I want a personalized photo book, I decided to make my own from scratch. I never had trouble with Photobook's software. It was very easy to use. The instructions were clear and even a non-techie like me had no trouble following them.

Just drag the page style of your choice to the page you're making
then add your  pictures.

This is another page style that I like.

It was also easy to insert text. Just click then drag the text icon (A+)
to the page you're editing. 
You can also change the color of your page background.
You can also use a picture as your page background.
Unfortunately, and this is my only beef so far with Photobook, it does not have readily available page backgrounds to choose from. (Or it may have but it was not apparent to me.) I still need to ADD images that I can use as background. Contrast this with Picturebook, the other photo book maker that I used, which has lots and lots of available backgrounds in solid colors and in prints. But I guess this is a small price to pay for a stable and error-free software.

Just drag your chosen background (right side) to the page
you're editing.
Picaboo, another photo book maker, also has lots of wonderful backgrounds. However, I didn't want to pay US$24.99 for shipping alone so I said adios to it.

The other thing which I wish Photobook has is the online sharing capability that Picturebooks and Picaboo have. The best that Photobook could suggest is for the client to create proof files which can be combined into a PDF file and then emailed to family and friends.

A sample of a proof copy.

But as you can see, with the words "Proof" prominently appearing on the page, it was easy to understand why I decided not to email the proof files.

 2. Customer Service. I am pretty impressed with Photobook's service. I called its Philippine office and requested if it's possible to have my photo book delivered by Friday, or barely 4 working days from the day I sent my order online. The girl I talked to politely said that it normally takes 7 working days to finish the book and another working day to deliver it. However, she said that she would take note of my request.

And guess what? My photo book has just been delivered to our house this afternoon, 3 working days from the day I made my order. That was fast, really fast!

I can hardly wait to see my photo book!

(To be continued. My next post would be about the photo book's quality.)

*I added an image zoom effect on the pictures. I hope it works. (It does work!)
** I paid for the product mentioned here. I don't personally know anyone from Photobook Philippines. I have not received any compensation to write this post.
*** I've already discovered how to download the frames and images which I could use for the background. Upon opening the Photobook software, click the "Check for Updates" tab, then click "Start". A list of frames, images, etc. will appear. Just click those you want to download. Note that you have to be connected to the internet to do this. (Updated on 08 November 2011)

Monday, September 12, 2011


Disregarding tradition, my baby B had his first haircut yesterday, a week before he officially turns 1 year old.

Getting ready for his haircut.

What will happen to me?

"Excuse me, but what are you going to do to me?" 

The barber had an easy time. B was so well-behaved!

Call it overacting but I really felt emotional about it. It was like I was saying goodbye to his "babyhood". Unlike my experience with my two daughters whose hair I just trimmed myself, the change B's first haircut brought was so drastic. 

B with his new look!

All of a sudden, I now have a little man!



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