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9 Tips for Collecting Colostrum

An account by a mummy. She would like to share her experience on collecting of colostrum so that mummies would not make the same mistake as her. A kind hearted mummy indeed! ( Permission granted from her to share this but she would rather remain anonymous) 🙂

This is what roughly 100ml of colostrum looks like. 🙂  

When pregnant, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes and was told by Gyne and midwife (at 35 weeks) that there was a high chance for baby to be born with low blood sugar. I was told that I may want to hand express colostrum into syringes so as to feed baby as a top-up should sugar levels be too low.

In the beginning (I started collecting from 36 weeks pregnancy), even getting out 0.5ml would take me 1-1.5hours, would literally collect drop by drop. Over the course of the next few weeks, I was able to slowly increase the amount and express 3-4 ml at a time; and was told to do 3 sessions a day. That’s how I built the stash as shown in the pic. 

Although i asked many questions, gynae and midwife werent really able to say how much colostrum i’d actually need for top-up as they said its dependent on baby’s birth weight and severity of low blood sugar. They also didnt provide specifics on how the collection should be done. So i took about 75% of my stash to the hospital on the day of my induction and kept it in the room bar-fridge’s freezer. (Even after handexpressing so much, i had no signs of labour or pain and gyne said baby was too big so cant wait past 40 weeks, hence induced).

Keeping it in the room fridge was a HUGE mistake. The nurses said it would be okay but by the time baby was born (emergency c-sec, head got stuck when pushing; thankfully his sugar was normal), all the colostrum had thawed within the freezer. 😦

Ive lost count as to how long i spent collecting and expressing the colostrum and it was definitely painful to see all that colostrum defrost and become unusable (we had no idea how long it had been thawed and we were away for more than 24 hours. Also, i didnt know i needed to use a cap on my syringes and the ward nurse said she didnt find it suitable to feed since it was uncapped.
I hope this experience will be helpful to any expecting mums. Here’s my advice:

Tip 1: 
You can check with ur gynae if handexpressing colostrum is suitable for your situation after 36 weeks. Really depends on the individual’s nipple sensitivity and also if there is a need to do so. 

Tip 2:
You could start with 1ml syringes and slowly work up to 3ml as supply increases. This may take 1-2 weeks in my experience. Syringes are available at Guardian. 

Tip 3:
Please buy syringe caps! Apparently can ask the Guardian pharmacist for them.

Tip 4:
Remember to label each syringe with date and time, as feeding would be done with the earliest expressed first

Tip 5:
If i couldnt fill a syringe, i didnt continue to fill the same syringe at the next session. I started again with a new syringe. Im not sure about reusing same syringe.

Tip 6:
I would keep massaging and hand expressing with one hand and use the other to hold the syringe and extract the drops. If you had a syringe cap, i think can directly collect into the syringe without leakage or needing to deal with the piston. Immediately after collecting, use the piston to “seal” the syringe, label/date it and pop it into the freezer

Tip 7:
The nursery at your hospital would have a proper freezer. The moment you are taken to the ward upon arrival for delivery, pass it to the ward nurse and ask for them to keep it in their freezer. Once baby is born and blood sugar measured, you can retrieve the frozen syringes. Just remember to let the ward nurses and midwives at the delivery suite know that you have colostrum on hand and dont want to use FM as top-up.

Tip 8:
Even if the baby doesnt have low blood sugar, this would have been ideal for the ultra-painful initial latch period. After trying normal labour then going for c-sec, everything hurt haha my child’s vaccum suction was something i hadnt expected at all. I got zero sleep in the hospital cause the moment he finished a feed i sat up trying to calm and soothe my nipples before the next feed. Having the option to syringe feed him my colostrum would have been nice.

Tip 9: 
If you take antibiotics for bacterial/fungal infection need to wait 48hours before expressing. The meds does seep into the colostrum (lol ya i tasted and saw the difference). Possibly the same with other meds too, so please check with gynae on how long to pump and dump if needed.

So… i decided to give my boy a colostrum bath. No idea if it would have any benefit as its been 3 months and thawed before, but no heart to just dump it too. Took too much effort and love. 🙂

Thanks for reading!

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Thank you mummy for sharing. We hope more mummies will learn from the sharing. And congrats on the newborn baby! 🙂

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Shopping at Toddle

I love to shop online and jump at every opportunity to! It saves us the trouble of going out especially when we have to bring lots of baby necessities along with us and also saves us the trouble of having to lug all the shopping home. I love free home delivery! 🙂

So there’s this new online shopping website that sells baby stuff in Singapore! At Toddle, you can find things like bags, high chairs, strollers, toys, feeding items, baby toiletries, just to name a few.

Being perma-mobile, I am also particular about how convenient the shopping is using my phone and on the go. Here’s my review of shopping at Toddle.

Here’s what you see when you go into Toddle. It is brightly coloured in blue and orange and the website is very simple to navigate. At the drop down menu box, you can find the categories of the items that you may be looking for.

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Before you shop, you might want to register an account with them. I am always afraid of long registration processes where they ask you for many details. And I am thankful that this is not one of those websites. 🙂 Registration was very fuss free and this (picture below) is just what you have to enter to register. Simple and done in less than 1 minute!
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So I went back to surf to see what I would like to buy. I like it that I can choose to sort the items for easier viewing, and I like it also that I can select to “view all items” so I can simply scroll down and not keep having to load the next page.

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For every item, they give you a lot of information and detail on the product. They also show you what items are similar, just like for Amazon. There is even a tab for customer reviews, but however, since it is a relatively new website, do not expect too many reviews there.

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It is also very easy to add an item into the cart. You can just click on “Add to cart” and the item will appear in the cart. It is just as easy to delete and item from the cart and to change the quantity of it. as shown in the picture on the right.

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Checking out was a breeze. This is so especially if you have registered with them previously and entered your shipping address as it will be saved in their system. I could skip the billing and shipping information. Shipping is via courier and it is free for orders above $70. You can choose to pay via paypal or bank transfer. If you have a preference for the delivery time, or any issue with the order, you can contact time directly via the website. Their reply is very fast and you would be able to settle your issue with them very soon!.

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After checking out, you should see this screen to thank you for your order and receive an email with your order details in it. My email was sent to me less than 5 minutes after I completed the order using paypal as payment.

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Indeed, the delivery was very fast! I received my order via delivery by Ta-Q-Bin and it was packed in this paper bag. There is staples on the bag though so be careful when you open them especially if it is done in front of your children.

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And here’s my loot that I am very happy with. The items are original, come in excellent condition and some toys that I have ordered are also bubble wrapped to ensure the excellent condition they would arrive in! They enclose an official receipt as well (in the brown envelop in the photo). The skip hop bagpacks will be for school, and the educational toys by Melissa and Doug will be for the kids to play with at home as we believe in learning through play. 🙂

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Thank you Toddle for this opportunity to shop at your website. 🙂

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Staycation – Oasia Hotel

Each year, the Daddy runs a seminar for the Jeet Kune Do enthusiasts in Singapore. He would invite Tommy Carruthers all the way from Glasgow for this purpose. For the first time though, we have 2 kids this time. So the Daddy decided to treat our family to a staycation, to be at the same hotel as Tommy so he could juggle both the seminar as well as the family whenever needed.

We went to Oasia Hotel.

This was the room. It was a small room but we managed to get a corner room and that made it look more spacious. It was a simple room. The floor was not carpetted fully and there is laminate areas on the floor. That’s probably cleaner as our 8 month old Lil Nugget is busy crawling everywhere now. (PS, yes that’s my mum using a Tula!)

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There is a built in table and shelf at the other side of the room where it was good for us to put all our items. This was Day 1 of toilet training for the Bub. So you can see him holding a surprise egg which was a reward to him successfully pee-ing in the toilet! 🙂

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This glass panel behind the bed separates the toilet from the bedroom. The glass panel is translucent. So it is a bit odd if you are there with friends instead of family. Hee hee. (Somehow I lost the photo I took of the bathroom, so I do not have one for the review. Sorry!)

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Lil’ Nugget claps in approval of the room. She didn’t sleep well at her first staycation which was at Fairmont. I think it is because it is a foreign place. I was hoping she doesn’t repeat that and she didn’t! 🙂

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I shared in an earlier Staycation post that one tip to let the kids sleep well is to bring their pillows along. And anything they usually sleep with for that matter. Here’s both of them with their pillows from home taking a nap.

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This is the corridor outside of the room. It is clean and carpeted. The Bub was on his way to the pool.

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He really loves the pool. During our stay of 3d2n, he went there a total of 3 times! He loves the pool there! Oh, since Tommy stayed one day more than us, we actually went there a 4th time after we had already checked out! There is a warm jacuzzi at the other side of the pool as you can see in the pic. The adult pool has an ankle deep section for people to lie there to sunbathe. For the Bub, it just means that there is another section where he could play at.

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Back in the room and while waiting for the Daddy to finish his seminar, it is TV time. Lil’ Nugget was not supposed to be watching TV. As you can see, I love the bay windows as it means more space for me to put my things! I use it to do diaper changing for Lil’ Nugget too.

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Oasia Hotel is good also because it is next to Velocity which means it is also close to Square 2 and United Square. There is a sheltered path all the way there but the sheltered path is a longer pathway so usually we take the non-sheltered path. We like hotels next to shopping malls as we can then hang out there or buy any necessities that we may have missed out.

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We stayed at the lowest end hotel room. If you were to upgrade to the club room, there is an exclusive pool for only club room users!

For more information or to make reservation, you can go to their website here.

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Friso Experience Play Set with Friso!

The weather recently is crazy. It is either haze with PSI above 100, or heavy thunderstorms. Outside is either hazy or wet. The kids are hardly able to go out to play at all! We really thank God that this Friso Play set came in just in time for us. The younger one was having a fever due to the haze and the elder one was just restless.

The little one (7 months old) was overjoyed to see new toys. And she mustered a smile, the first one I had seen in 24 hours as she nursed a fever that reached a peak of 39.5deg.

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We were setting up halfway and she fell into a slumber when she crawled into the tent. She probably felt safe there and slept for quite a while. I placed the mattress from the playpen there and it fit just nice.

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We finished setting up just in time for the 2 year old brother who just reached home from school.

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He was instantly delighted at the set up and scooted off to play at the “playground”!

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and he just couldn’t stop!

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He really liked the basketball hoop that was attached to the slide as well. And the set came with a pink ball too.

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So the question now is, how and where can you get this Friso play set? Here are the details.

From 1 September 2015 to 31 October 2015, parents who spend $350 on any Friso participating products at participating retailers will receive the Friso Experiences Play Set. It will consist of a tent, a slide with a basketball hoop, 2 cushions, a storage box and a green (grass) carpet.

The participating Friso products included in this promotion are Frisomum, Friso Gold Cereal and Friso Gold 2, 3, 4. It excludes all infant formula for 0-6 months.

For more info, you can visit the Friso website at http://apps.facebook.com/frisoexperiences

If you would like to try out the play set, there will also be special Friso Experience Play Zones at selected outlets (details below). Friso ambassadors will be on-site to snap photos during the weekends.

1 FP Xtra JEM Mall 1to 30Sept
2 FP Xtra AMK Hub 1to 30Sept
3 FP Xtra Sport Hub 1 to 30 Sept
4 FP Xtra NEX mall 7 to 30 Sept
5 FP Xtra Jurong 1 to 30 Sept
6 FP East Point 14 to 30 Sep
7 Guardian Plus Taka 17 to 30 Sep
8 Guardian Compass Point (B1) 21 to 27 Sept
9 Guardian Causeway Point (B3-4) 28 Sep to 4 Oct
10 Cold Storage Compass Point (Atrium Space Level 1) 27Sep to 4 Oct
11 Sheng Siong Woodlands 6A 1 to 31 Oct
12 Sheng Siong Bedok 209 1 to 31 Oct

Here’s our photo taken at the JEM Friso Experience Play zone!

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When you do go down to the playzones or after you have received your playsets, do take your photos and post on social media with #frisoexperience.

Thank you Friso for the Experience! 🙂

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Play Doh Challenge 2015

It was a very good idea by Rise and Shine to come up with a challenge that enables parents and kids to team up to participate in a competition to complete simple tasks. Of course the response was overwhelming. It was at a good location at Raffles City too!

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There were some booths at the venue that Rise and Shine brought in. However, not many people were interested in these booths though. But to get the goodie bag, everyone still had to go through all the booths there which consists of insurance, credit card, expensive vacuum cleaner, etc.

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Although our stated timing was 12nn and we reached there by 11:40am, we were told we had to join the 12:40pm batch. I was totally not prepared for this and was afraid the toddler would go cranky as his nap time was near. He did. He turned cranky and asked why he was not able to go into the area to play with play-doh like the rest (as competition was on-going). However, one of the manager (i think) was really nice and loaned him a play-doh of his favourite purple colour to play with first! Cranky boy no more!

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And then it was finally our turn to play! He took the paper and started building the mascot immediately. He was really engaged and enjoyed the activity.

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Of course I chipped in to help. This was after all, a parent-kid collaboration. And as the category was 1-3 years old, they wouldn’t expect the 1-2 year old to do this by themselves. He did the bear, i helped to trim the edges a bit and added in the hearts. This was our end product!

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We finished our product quite fast and I thought it was quite presentable. 🙂 As the criteria for judging as stated in the terms and conditions were fast and nice, I thought we had the chance to win something! Alas it was not true. The emcee that day was the judge and he changed the rules of the competition without telling anyone. The judging was not done AFTER the entire competition was over. It was actually done DURING the making of the Similac Mascot itself. And the criteria had changed to the one whom the kid create by himself/herself! So sorry, no chance to the 1-2 year olds in the category because we will never be able to win. The 3 year olds are the ones who can win. This lady in orange actually pointed to our product to nominate us for the prize, but the Emcee told her no cannot, cos the mummy helped. (I overheard). Was there a rule that parents cannot help? Wasn’t this a parent-child collaboration? Apparently not. So hubby and I were of course disappointed.

This was one of the winners for the competition. And she won because she did the bear by herself (quoting the emcee).

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I really like these kind of fun experiences where the parents and kids are supposed to come up with something TOGETHER. And I hope Rise and Shine will continue to come up with such brilliant ideas. I just hope that the rules and the running of the programme/event would be better next time.