0

Why You Should Not Get A Massage Lady To Clear Your Blocked Ducts

I realised I had blocked ducts on Friday morning when I woke up, even though I latched a few times in the night. They were painful. by 9am I was in so much pain, I took panadol to soothe it. Fever kicked in too. I called all the recommended Massage Ladies from my mummies groups and managed to get a particular Mdm Y*** to come down to help me. She was a very nice lady. And I think she did manage to clear some.

My breasts were still really painful the next day. Mdm Y*** even messaged to see if I was better. Very good service follow-up! 🙂 I then started taking the anti-inflammatory pills from the GP. And continued with my panadol. By Monday (just 2 days of taking the pills) most of the pain was gone and I had no more fever. But I could still feel lumps.

On Tuesday, a particular Mdm I** came to clear for me. She stayed for less than 1 hour and I think my lumps were maybe slightly better, but they were still there.

I was at my wits end. I want to continue breastfeeding. The blocked ducts were irritating me. I was in pain. Should I call another massage lady in? After speaking to some mummies, I decided to call an LC the very next day for help. I had no idea why getting an LC was not one of my options earlier.

I asked for an appointment with a Lactation Consultant at Mount Alvernia Parentcraft Centre, and got a slot with Sister Kang at 11am. I was hopeful. 🙂

Sister Kang is a very nice lady and she is very skillful too! She saw me for about 45 minutes. And through this 45 minutes, not only did she help me clear my ducts, I also managed to learn a lot from her about blocked ducts. And I hope to share all these with you, because in future if I get a blocked duct, I will go straight to an LC and not an ML, and I hope you do too!

  1. Most massage ladies do not know how to clear the blocked ducts properly. They end up making it worse for some, and injure the breast tissue for some. Note that I have only ever called recommended massage ladies who are good at the breast to massage for me. Previously some have helped me clear before. But maybe those were easy to clear cases. This time, the 2 recommended ones have not been able to clear.
  2. Sometimes lumps you feel might be dilated ducts or breast tissue. For eg. sometimes the breast is hard, but disappears when you pump, and it comes back again. Those are not blocked ducts. those are dilated ducts. Or, after you pump and sometimes you can feed tendon like things. those are not blocked ducts either. They are breast tissue! So yes, I had both of these and they were “diagnosed” by both the LCs that saw me that they were blocked ducts!!!
  3. From the day you realise you have Mastitis, even if you do go and see a doctor to take antibiotics, it can escalate into abscess within 2 days if not cleared properly. You will need to get it massaged and cleared as soon as possible. Best is to see an LC to clear once you feel the first onslaught of pain.
  4. The milk from blocked ducts can be quite salty, so some babies might not like it. And when they don’t like it, they refuse to latch. And the blocked duct gets worse. And maybe you think, why is my baby on a milk strike? This information is new to me. I had not known that breastmilk can be salty!
  5. On Friday when I found out I was engorged, I pumped out some milk at 9am (Shown in the pic below) When left to settle in the fridge, there was a very obvious brownish or dark yellowish paste in the milk too. I was horrified. Was that pus? Did I have abscess?? I found out, the yellowish/brownish milk is just thick milk. They are not pus as pus is in the breast tissue and not in the milk ducts.

Moral of the story, is to recognise the pain and get an LC to attend to it as soon as possible. The only time it cannot be massaged is when there is abscess but then they can refer you to the breast specialist immediately. The LC will be able to access and differentiate which area is blocked, which is a dilated duct, which breast tissue. They will be able to access to see if it is a serious case where you have abscess already and need to be referred to the breast specialist to remove the pus from your breast tissue.

Damage done: $110.(It is $90 for those who gave birth at Mt A) or $160 for a house visit. I had spent more to give to the massage ladies and endured the pain which did not clear my breasts and added more distress to me. I think it is very worth it. And I gained valuable experience and knowledge too. In future if I do get blocked duct, or if any of my friends get a blocked duct, no more recommending massage ladies. I will only recommend lactation consultants from now on.

10

Birth Story – of My #3

(Here are the Birth Stories of my First-born and Second-born if you are interested)

Our third baby was not a planned one. When I found out I was pregnant I was happy, but I wanted to cry too. I knew my hubby would be angry when he found out. I kept it from him as long as I could. But soon I had morning sickness and we were about to go for a holiday, so he was told. Throughout the pregnancy, all I wished for is that the baby would come out fast. I hated to be pregnant. There were so many things I couldn’t do. We didn’t find out the gender. We had a girl and a boy. Gender didn’t matter. Not knowing the gender made the pregnancy more fun, somehow.

Fast forward to 9 months down the road….

From 36 weeks onwards I was visiting the gynae every week. At the 37 week check up, baby was estimated to be about 3.2kg, which was korkor’s and jiejie’s birth weight at 39+ weeks! I started to go on a diet. Not really so much of a diet but I skipped all the snacks that I usually ate. 38 weeks check up. Dieting was a success! For me only though! I lost 700g, but baby gained 300g??!! So baby was already 3.5kg. My gynae was pro-natural though, so he said let’s wait one more week to see. Maybe baby will decide to come out this week. Well, not true. 39 weeks check-up came. Baby was (yes, to my horror) 3.8kg. Gynae then decided that maybe we should induce the baby before the baby got too big and risked emergency c-sect. So we made plans for it.

Friday morning at 12 midnight, I checked into the delivery ward to sleep as procedures will only be carried out at 6:30am in the morning. At 6am I was woken up to have the enema inserted to make me poo. The inducing drip (oxytocin) was then started at 6:30am. I was dilated 0cm. Cervix shut tight. (And it was super painful when the nurse checked it.)

7:30am – They checked the cervix again. This time I had dilated 3cm! So fast. My hubby was not in yet. He was on the way to send the kids to school. He reached the hospital at 8am.

8:30am – My breakfast was delivered. I was so hungry and so thankful that my gynae allowed them to serve me a full breakfast! I could feel the contractions already but they were still painless.

9:25am – I started feeling more pain and asked for the nurse to teach me how to use the gas.

9:30am – Waterbag suddenly burst! Maybe because I was trying to breathe in too hard from the laughing gas mask? No idea. They checked the dilation. I was still 3cm.

10am – The pain escalated and I asked for the thigh jab. I had no idea why they took forever to give the thigh jab to me.

10:15am – Super pain. Dilation check: 5cm. only??!! I gave in and asked for epidural. The nurses were smart though. They also contacted the gynae at the same time.

(no timings already as everything was a blur)

I kept grabbing the gas mask but it was useless and the mask came off several times.

They gave me the thigh jab. But later on I was told it takes 15-20 mins to take effect.

The nurses just put her fingers in my cervix during each contraction to see how I dilated.

First contraction at 10:15am was 5cm. Second contraction came, still 5cm. With each contraction the pain was worse. Third contraction came, I was so happy to hear her proclaim “Ok, She’s ready to deliver”.

At that same moment, doctor stepped in. (They had called him when they were trying to get the anesthetist as well. Good move. And also good thing his clinic was in the same building. He ran all the way to the delivery suite)

Next contraction, they told me I could push. So I did. I felt the head come out. And not sure if it happened in the same contraction or the next, for my second push, the baby was out. 3.9kg, with a small tear. My hubby suffered a scratch on the neck. Small harms done.

Born at 10:34am on 30th December 2016, weighing 3.895kg, 53cm tall. Thank God that baby is healthy, and that pain was short-lived.

It was a baby boy!


Welcome to our world Baby B! 🙂

11

Toilet Training the Toddler

So all of a sudden, one fine morning while preparing to go to school, my toddler at 2.5 years old proclaimed, “NO DIAPER!!”. I was stunned and I panicked. I was not prepared for this at all. I have not yet read up on any toilet training tips other than some of my friends’ sharing on facebook posts. Does this mean he was ready to be trained? I was not sure at that point in time. We were in a rush. And we decided, ok, just let him go without diapers to school. We kept telling him in the car, if you want to pee pee (this is the term they used in school), please tell Teacher A ok? This happened at 7:30am. At 9:05am, the daddy messaged me “He peed”. And then he was on diapers the rest of the day.

So well, after having one episode of that, I decided to read up more and find out more on WHEN I should toilet-train and HOW we can do that. I also started to shop for underwear for him. SO here are some tips and my experience as well on what we did.

1.Whenever possible, get them to remove their diaper to pee.
By the time he declared “NO DIAPER”, he was already peeing into the urinal or on the bathroom floor just before bath-time everyday. We didn’t know, but this process helped a lot in the toilet training process.

2. Let them tell you when they are ready. Do not force it.
So we started the process when he was 2 years 8 months old. 2 whole months after that fateful proclamation of “NO DIAPER” and a few instances after that of telling us to remove the diaper and that the diaper was wet. All these were hints that he was ready to be toilet trained. Basically that they were starting to dislike the feeling of wearing a diaper especially if the diaper was wet. If they prefer a diaper, just let them have the diaper and try again maybe a month later. If they are deterred by the process, it would be more difficult. Make the process fun! 🙂

3. Do a crash course
I am a FTWM. So at the max I would only have the weekend to train him. This was too short I felt so I took 2 days of leave and had a 4 day stretch to spend with him. I coincided this with a family staycation. We had to bring the kiddy urinal along.

4. Prepare goodies
When my friend advised me to do this, I had no idea what to pack in a goodie bag that my boy would like. I can’t think of presents small enough that I can give it to him every time he pees at the correct place. After thinking and searching, I found the perfect solution! Surprise Eggs by Kinder Surprise! My son was really into it and this made the perfect “goodie bag” for me! I found the surprise eggs at Valu$ shop for reaonable price! They are sold at Cold Storage as well but for more expensive. IMG_6255

5. Buy enough underwear/shorts
I prepared about 10 pieces of underwear and shorts for this entire process. It was barely sufficient. I had prepared less actually and went out to Mothercare to top up more. (BTW, I tried Carters/Oshkosh/Mothercare undies and I find Mothercare undies the most comfy!) His favourite shorts are the Panda Shorts from Taobao. I thank my dear friend Vryn for helping me with that!

IMG_6147

Here is him with his first surprise egg from mummy! He was wearing Carters undies here

6. Keep reminding
I kept telling my boy, if you want to xuxu/peepee, who do you tell? He will reply Mummy!, I will also keep asking “Do you want to xuxu?” On the first day, I think I kept asking him every about 15 mins. I also reminded him that if he peed in his urinal, he would get a surprise egg!

7. Encourage and Perservere
On day 1, even with the many reminders, he leaked in his pants. but once he leaked and I saw urine dripping out, I would rush him to the toilet to finish his business there. By the end of the first day, he could tell me he wanted to xuxu AFTER he leaked ALOT in his pants. But we will rush him to the toilet anyway. If he does continue peeing in the urinal, he will get the surprise egg. And lots of praises from the mummy.

IMG_6252

Tired from toilet training and loving his surprises from the surprise eggs so much he holds on to them at naptime.

By Day 2, for the first time, he managed to tell me he wanted to xuxu just after leaking a little in his underwear. That was progress. I think he was adjusting to the feeling of wanted to pee but didn’t know how to. So leaking a bit and feeling some wetness in his undies was his sign of needing to pee. This process continued. He would always leak a bit before he was able to tell us he needed to pee.  On day 5, he returned to school. First time away from mummy after being toilet-trained. We had pre-empted him to tell his Teacher A if he wanted to pee. We were nervous but went ahead to do so. And he was ok in school! It took a while for him to be able to tell us that he needed to pee without wetting his pants at all. About a week or so. He was toilet-trained because he would even tell us he needed to go to the toilet when he was at the swimming pool or when he was wearing a diaper getting ready for bed. But yay! After going through about 8 boxes of Kinder Surprise Eggs, he was toilet-trained! 🙂

IMG_6457

This was his prize for pee-ing in the urinal 🙂

Problems I faced:

  1. Initially he could only pee in urinals when we were out. I had to search for shopping centres with kiddy urinals to go to. I will update that list in another post. Good thing he managed to overcome this when we encouraged him to pee at other places like in the potty or the toiletbowl. That made going out easier.
  2. He still sleeps with a diaper (It’s been about 1 month since we started him on toilet-training). For both nap and bedtime. I’m not sure how to go about training this. Any suggestions? Naptime he sometimes have a dry diaper when he wakes up. For night time, his diaper is always soaked.
  3. He sometimes poops into the potty, but prefers to poop in his underwear. He tells us that he doesn’t want to poop in the potty. Any suggestions on this as well?
  4. He only tells daddy, mummy and teacher that he wants to pee. He had an accident and peed on the sofa once when it was just his granduncle and grandauntie alone with him at home. He knew them well but still does not tell. We had to tell him that they can also bring him to the toilet for him to be more comfortable telling them.

Any other tips for toilet training the little one? Please share here! 🙂

10

What if you have Fussy toddler during mealtimes?

Just now while having dinner at IMM, I noticed a family nearby our table with a toddler of about 1.5-2 years old, his daddy and mummy, and their helper. And I was shocked because they were trying to force feed the poor boy with porridge!

I turned to look at first because I heard the boy crying. And at first glance I saw the mummy holding him, with him wailing and throwing his head backwards and the helper took the chance to stuff a spoonful of porridge into his mouth. He choked of course and regurgitated that whole spoonful out and of course got a scolding.

The mum then carried the boy away probably to soothe him. While the helper stayed behind to prepare more porridge. When they came back, they tried to stuff porridge into the boy’s mouth again.

I really wanted to go up to tell them this is not the way to feed their toddler. I didn’t have the guts to as the mum and helper both seem really frustrated. And the dad appeared nonchalant while finishing up his dinner.

What they probably do not know and I hope someone tells them one day is that they are just going to make the poor child dread meal times and dreading mealtimes will not make feeding them any easier.

My toddler used to not like to eat. I almost wanted to force him to eat and came across an article that told me otherwise. I will share what I have learnt and tried. 

  
In their first year of growth, they have a very good appetite. Mine used to finish 2 bowls of porridge from 8m to 12m. After 1, their growth slows down. And sometimes the intake of food lessens. Sometimes it lessens a lot. It may appear that they are choosing food to eat, but it is usually not so. It is simply that they are not hungry. Why are they not hungry? Their bodies are growing slower as compared to just a few months ago and they require less nutrients from food. So yes we can try to encourage them to eat. But there is no need to force them to do so. Sometimes a bottle of milk in the evening is sufficient for them. 

So how did I try to encourage my toddler to eat during the period where his growth slowed A LOT? Mealtimes became challenging. I would try all sorts of ways to feed. But when all else fails, I have learnt to just leave him be. 

1. Put half a blueberry on top of every spoonful of dinner. (Or any small fruit that he likes)

2. Let them self feed. Yes it will be messy. 

3. Have your meals together with them. 

4. Keep them entertained. With a toy or book or drawing materials. 

5. Turn the spoon into a zooming aeroplane that flies into the mouth or a fish swimming into their mouth. 

(Please add on to the list if you have more ideas!) 

If all these fail, don’t fret. Move on to soup or fruits. And if they still do not want, just give that bottle of milk before they go to bed. My aunty used to take it to heart that the toddler does not like her cooking. But it is really not true. There are good days when he eats and finishes all his food. 

If you have a kid who loves eating, please really appreciate that! 🙂 my boy is now 2.5 years old and some meal times are still very challenging. Let’s continue to be patient and try to make their (and our) mealtimes easier and more pleasant. 🙂

0

Play-Doh Challenge 2015 – with Giveaway and Discount Code!

Looking for some activities to do with your kid on a Saturday? Why not pop over to the Play-Doh Challenge held at Raffles City Shopping Centre on 26 September 2015 (Next Saturday!). You have to register as a tag team with your child aged 1-6 years old and the competition includes working together to create a Similac.Gain mascot.

Here are some details of the Challenge. Do continue to scroll down for a discount code for registration and also a giveaway!

COMPETITION DETAILS: 

1. Register online and come down to Raffles City Atrium (Level 3) on 26 September 2015 (Saturday).
2. Contestants will need to create a Similac.Gain mascot mould assigned
3. Top 3 fastest parent-child teams with the best-looking model wins a prize (worth $100 each!)
4. Registration fees: $10.70 for a parent/child team. You will get a goodie bag worth $30 for participating. (Scroll down to get a discount code of 20%.)

REGISTRATION DETAILS:

Toddler Category: 12pm-4pm (3 Different competition timings available)
For child participants aged 1-3 years old
Pre-Schooler Category: 11am-5pm (4 Different competition timings available)
For child participants aged 4-6 years old

11.00am – 12.00pm: Pre-Schoolers’ Category (Aged 4 to 6 )
12.00pm – 1.00pm : Toddlers’ Category (Aged 1 to 3)
1.00pm – 2.00pm: Pre-Schoolers’ Category
2.00pm – 3.00pm: Toddlers’ Category
3.00pm – 4.00pm: Pre-Schoolers’ Category
4.00pm – 5.00pm: Toddlers’ Category
5.00pm – 6.00pm: Pre-Schoolers’ Category
RULES OF THE GAME:
1.There are 7 slots of competition timings available across both age-group categories and 3 teams from each slot will be awarded with the top 3 prizes worth $100 each.
2. Registrants must report on time. Late comers will be forfeited of their participation, goodie bags and registration fee.
3. No changing of slots and refund of registration fee is allowed.
4. Time reflected on ticket includes registration process, competition and prize presentation.

Giveaway for Beautiful Chaos readers!

We will be giving away 1 parent/child team tickets for the Play-Doh Challenge. Giveaway will close at 2359 on Saturday 19 September 2015, and the winner will be selected by Sunday morning.

1. Like Beautiful Chaos facebook page.
2. Like and share the post on the Play-Doh Challenge Giveaway.
3. Comment on the post that you have already done so!

If you would like to register directly, you can get 20% off with this code: VBC20 This code is only valid until 21 September 2015, Sunday, 12am.

0

Breastfeeding Challenge 2015

On 29st August 2015, in celebration of World Breastfeeding Month, Thomson Medical partnered Phillips Avent, Spring Maternity, Passion Card, NTUC Ufamily and HeyBaby SG in an attempt to break the Singapore Book of Records for the largest ever breastfeeding event in Singapore.

At 9am, mothers started to stream into the Suntec Convention Centre, Rooms 300-302 to take up the Breastfeeding Challenge.

IMG_3949

At 10am, mummies have gathered to breastfeed together in the same hour. Daddies have been told to move aside as some mummies might not be comfortable. Jaime Teo, a fellow mummy, was the emcee of the day, and renowned lactation expert Mrs Wong Boh Boi, Senior ParentCraft Educator of Thomson Medical Centre, was also present to share insights on breastfeeding to encourage mothers to breastfeed.

IMG_3958

I attended this Breastfeeding challenge with some friends whose babies are all about the same age as my LO. They were all about 6-7 months old. We have succeeded in breastfeeding what is the recommended timeframe by HPB! Here is some of us during the session itself. The lady from the SIngapore Book of Records who was in charge of counting the number of babies breastfeeding was strict. She would only count if baby was latching. (By the way, Stephanie, mummy in the middle, was using the nursing cover from Spring Maternity that was given to us as part of the goodie bag!)

IMG_3959

Here is the entire group of my friends who went for this event together!

IMG_3978

After about an hour or so, the results were out! We had been part of a record breaking event! We had been part of a record-breaking 154 mothers breastfeeding at the same time with the Singapore Book of Records, 3 babies more than the previous record! Our nation’s golden jubilee celebrations were made more meaningful as the event involved our Jubilee babies coming together to break a national record.

Just some fun facts, according to Health Promotion Board’s National Breastfeeding Survey 2011, most mothers in Singapore would initiate breastfeeding after birth. However, only 30 per cent would continue to do so exclusively for at least two months.

We have breastfed for more than 6 months. That is an achievement. Some mummies and babies who were present have breastfed for even longer, some coming to 2 years! It helps to have a group of mummy friends supporting each other through this parenting and breastfeeding journey. 🙂

To end off, here are our breastfed babies!

IMG_3964

12

Abbreviations and Acronyms Used Frequently by Mothers

Just found out you are pregnant and started joining facebook groups and forums but have no idea what all the mummies there are talking about because everything seem to be coded? Hope this list helps you! If you have any to add, do comment below! 🙂

In alphabetical order:

BB – Baby

BF – Breastfed

BH – Braxton Hicks Contractions

BIL – Brother-in-law

BM – Breast Milk

CC – Child Care

CIO – Cry-It-Out (One of the sleep training method)

DD – Darling/Dear Daughter

DH – Darling/Dear Husband

DL – Direct Latch

DS – Darling/Dear Son

EBM – Expressed Breast Milk

EDD – Expected Date of Delivery

FBM – Frozen Breast Milk

FF – Formula Fed

FIL – Father-in-Law

FM – Formula Milk

FTM – First-time Mum

FTWM – Full-Time Working Mum

IFC – Infant Care

JTS – Just to Share

LO – Little One

MIL – Mother-in-law

ML – Maternity Leave

MOTN – Middle of the Night

PD – Pediatrician

PIL – Parents-in-law

PTWM – Part-Time Working Mum

SAHM – Stay at Home Mum

SIL – Sister-in-law

STTN – Sleep Through The Night

TIA – Thank you in Advance

TTC – Trying to Conceive

US – Ultrasound

VBAC – Virginal Birth After C-Section