Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Breastfeeding "Secrets"

A few people had been requesting for my secret on how to get a plentiful milk supply after reading this tweet of mine.

Honestly, it's not really a secret. You probably know it already. All the stuff that you've heard/read on how to increase milk production - nurse/pump regularly, take herbal supplement, don't stress, etc - those are the secret!

But ok, I'm gonna share what I do everyday.
Let's start with my daily pumping and eating schedule, shall we?

8.00 am: Breakfast (Herbalife shake)
8.30 am: Pump milk for 15 minutes
11.00 am: Drink maternal milk (currently drinking FrisoMum)
1.00 pm: Lunch
4.00 pm: Herbalife shake (if I'm not taking a nap)
8.30 pm: Dinner
10.00 pm: 2 slices of wholemeal bread
1.00 am: Drink maternal milk or Horlicks + oats
2.00 am: Pump milk for 15 minutes
3.00 am: Go to bed

Of course I don't go to sleep at 3am and wake up at 8am everyday. Some days I sleep really really late (after Subuh) and woke up at 10am. Some days I go to bed as early as 11pm and woke up at 5am so my pumping sessions depends on what time I sleep/wake up. And of course I don't always eat so healthily. I indulge myself with some yummy treats once a week - ice-creams, cupcakes, pancakes, whatever-cakes, etc. But that's roughly how my daily eating and pumping schedule looks like.

*My Herbalife shake = 2 scoops Formula 1 + 3 scoops Formula 3 + 2 scoops oats
*My lunch and dinner is usually chicken breasts/salmon/halibut/steak/beef patties with steamed/roasted veggies.

I only pump my milk twice a day which is in the morning and at night before going to bed. Raina usually wakes up at 10am (kalau tak dikejut or kakak dia tak kacau, pukul 12 noon baru dia bangun!) and I breastfeed her on demand which is every 1 or 2 hours from the moment she wakes up until she goes to bed at around 12am. Yes it can be tiring but at least she sleeps well through the night! I do wake her up around 7 or 8 am for feeding and then she goes back to sleep.

To date, I have only been breastfeeding Raina exclusively for 4 months and it's still pretty early, but if you ask me how do I manage to get an abundant supply of milk during these 4 months, then I can only think of these 2:

1) Double pumping

Double pumping has shown to increase Prolactin levels which is the hormone that stimulates milk production, plus it saves your time too. I know there are moms who can breastfeed their child for 2 years using only a manual pump or even no pump at all! (my MIL didn't use any breast pump yet she managed to fully breastfeed my husband until he was 2 years old). But for me, I need a good pump; a double pump even tho I am a stay-at-home mom because of my previous experience with a single pump. Increasing milk supply is easier when you have a good breast pump especially if your baby jenis tak kuat minum as you need to empty out the breasts in order to make more milk.

You see, I was one of those moms who had issues when I was breastfeeding Ayra. Just like many first-time moms, my first breastfeeding experience was a bit of a struggle. Ayra wasn't exclusively breastfed for the first one month. I had to mix with formula milk because my milk supply wasn't enough - or so I thought. Lepas sebulan baru exclusively breastfed Ayra until she was about 8 months old. At that time I used Avent ISIS iQ Uno breast pump which is a single pump. I was struggling with my milk supply and the most I can get was 4 oz and that was after pumping for an hour! Sometimes it could take up to 2 hours! Most of the time, I only get 1 oz in 15 minutes. It was hard work and very very frustrating! After using the Avent breast pump for 6 months or so, the motor went kaput so I stopped pumping. My milk production began to drop especially because Ayra bukan jenis kuat minum.

Anyway, back to double pumping.

At first I was thinking of getting one of Medela's pump but some of you readers recommended Ameda breast pump. I looked up on the internet and found really great reviews - some even said it's comparable to Medela Freestyle but at wayyy cheaper price so I bought the Ameda Lactaline Dual Breastpump and I just have to rave about it! I love this pump because it has helped with my milk production. Thank you for recommending it to me! *hugs*

My husband bought this pump for me from FabulousMom (it's also available at Mothercare). It was about the same price as my previous Avent pump but works SO much better and SO efficient. What I love the most about this pump is that it has custom control for suction and speed (cycle) so you can set the dials on highest speed to encourage let-down and adjust the suction that is most comfortable for you (I always use the highest suction by the way).

Most narrow-neck bottles can fit just fine with the pump,
including Medela, Snappies and Mom's Precious bottles

I know there are other good breast pumps but to me, Ameda Lactaline Dual is good enough. I think it's a powerful breast pump. For each pumping session, I could get on average 6-10 oz in 15 minutes; sometimes I could get up to 12 oz! Seriously I never thought I could get that much milk. I am beyond happy!

Of course I didn't get that much milk the first time I pumped. In fact, my milk only came in a few days after Raina was born so before that I had to mix with formula milk as advised by the hospital's lactation consultant. But I kept on breastfeeding my baby every day to stimulate the breasts and Alhamdulillah, my milk came in on the third day and as soon as I found out that I have milk, I threw away the formula milk! (that was one of the lessons I learned from my previous experience. Tak payah simpan formula milk for just-in-case tak cukup susu because you will tend to give your baby the formula milk instead. Harus confident susu sendiri cukup, insyaAllah cukup). I only started pumping my milk on the 4th day and at that time I only managed to get 2.5 oz in 15 minutes. It wasn't that much but eventually my milk increases little by little.

First time pumping: 2.5 oz

Since then I have been breastfeeding Raina exclusively and Alhamdulillah, I can pretty much say my milk supply is more than enough that I had to discard hundreds of packets of my expressed breast milk sebab dah expired, tak sempat guna *sobs*.

This is how my freezer looked like previously before tumpang my MIL's freezer.
Tak cukup tempat!

2) Herbal supplement

I only started taking herbal supplement about 3 weeks ago when I noticed a decrease in my milk production (I skipped pumping 2 nights in a row and then again selang beberapa hari sebab mengantuk sangat and also missed a few feedings on one of the weekends sebab keluar sepanjang hari without Raina. Oops!). That also happened when I ran out of Herbalife Formula 3 last month (that stuff somehow helps to boost milk supply, if taken 3 scoops). Instead of at least 6oz per pumping session, I only got 3oz so I decided to try Motherlove More Milk Plus Vegetarian capsules which I purchased from

It's herbal liquid concentration in vegetarian capsules which contains fenugreek seed and blessed thistle among other herbal ingredients that helps to increase milk supply. I took the recommended intake which is 1 capsule 4 times a day and followed the instructions to wait 15 minutes before and after food or drink. This thing works for me! My milk supply was back on track after just one day. I began to feel the tingling sensation on my breasts after the third capsule, which I believe is the sign of more milk coming in. You may want to give this a try if you're experiencing a low milk supply.

Reading breastfeeding books helped a lot too to fully understand how breastfeeding works. When I was pregnant for the second time, I was very determined to breastfeed my baby exclusively so I bought this book because I don't want to repeat the same mistakes again. I admit, my lack of knowledge in breastfeeding is one of the reasons why I didn't get to breastfeed Ayra until she's 2 years old. But I'm still grateful that I get to fully breastfeed her until she was 8 months old and stopped completely when she was 15 months old.

If you're pregnant or currently nursing your child and you think you might need a book on breastfeeding, then I would recommend this one. It's a great book, very informative and practical. It breaks down the breastfeeding experience into specific time periods: the first week, the first 2 months, months 2 to 6, etc and it also provides guidance and solutions on various common and uncommon breastfeeding problems. It's very helpful!

So there you go. Those are my "secrets".

I know breastfeeding can be a sensitive issue to some moms, but I hope I don't make you feel bad about not being able to nurse your baby for whatever reasons. We moms do the best that we can for our babies based on what we know, and I will never look down at moms whose babies are formula-fed. Hey, I was a formula-fed baby too! It's okay to formula-feed your baby, but it would be best if you can breastfeed your baby at least for the first 6 months. Allah has created women to be capable of being pregnant and giving birth, and he has also provided every woman with the potential to breastfeed her baby in abundance so let's make use of this God-given gift as best as we can.

My breastfed baby at 4 months old


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 6:00 AM |

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Online Shopping with Debit Card

My credit card is about to expire and my husband forbids me from renewing it. I feel like crying. I only use my credit card for online purchases. How do I shop online without one?? I rarely have time to shop at the mall these days and online shopping is my ultimate retail therapy. He cannot do this to me!

And then, as if he could read my mind, he casually said, "You can use debit card to shop online instead, even at international websites". I was over the moon! Using debit card to shop is actually a lot better - I don't owe anyone, anything and I won't purchase things that I can't afford like Becky Bloomwood. ;p

Anyway, a few people had been emailing me asking my favor to purchase something online because they don't have credit cards (sorry if I haven't replied to some of the emails!). Good news, you can now shop online using Maybankard Visa Debit! Yes people, no need credit card to shop online! How awesome is that?

I'm gonna show you the step-by-step how to register your debit card. It's easy-peasy! (I'm not sure for other debit cards tho)

1) Login to your Maybank2u account. At the Home tab, under Utilities, click on Maybankard Secure Online Shopping Registration.

2) Select the card you want to use. If you only have one card, it will be chosen by default. Fill in the required details - MSOS password, Personal Assurance Message, Expired Date, CVV, Hint and Answer. Click Submit.

That's it! You can start using it as soon as your registration is successful.

However, some online shopping websites and eBay don't accept payments by credit cards that are not issued in the US so in this case, you can use Paypal. It's actually more secure to shop online using Paypal because you don't expose your debit/credit card number to merchants. You can even use Paypal to make purchases from websites that don't ship internationally via HopShopGo (I've blogged about it here).

Here's how to link your Maybankard Visa Debit with Paypal.

Login to your Paypal account (if you don't have one, just register). At the My Account tab, click Profile, then click Add/Edit Credit Card. Fill in the details of your debit card as required. Click Add Card.

You will receive an email from Paypal saying that you have added a Credit Card. In your Paypal account, go to the Add/Edit Credit Card page, click on the Confirm my debit card and click Continue. You will get to this page:

Paypal will charge RM10 from your card and they will refund it back after you have confirmed your card.

After about 24 hours, login to your Maybank2u account. Click on Accounts & Banking tab and click on your account number for your account details. Then click Debit card history. Look for the code in the statement, which is a 4-digit numbers.

Now login back to your Paypal account. Click on Profile, then Add/Edit Credit Card and click on Enter Paypal Code. Enter the code from your debit card statement and click Confirm Card.

Done. Now go to that shopping websites that you wanted and start shopping!

By the way, I've already made my first online purchase using my Maybankard Visa Debit at The Children's Place via HopShopGo.

Everything is so cheap cheap cheaappp! And on top of that, there's 15-25% discount on your entire order! How can you say no to that?

is also having a massive sale - 50% on ALL regular priced items even the new arrivals! *rambang mata*

Happy shopping!


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 12:30 AM |

Monday, December 20, 2010

Sometimes all you need is a new haircut

I was bored and annoyed with my long, messy, shedding hair. My hair was all over the place - on the bed, pillow, floor, bathroom, sink, my baby's face - they even got tangled in my baby's hands. It was driving me nuts! Having long hair when you're in the postnatal hair loss state isn't helping. It just makes it even worse! A haircut was what I needed, and this time I decided to get a haircut at SAW Hair Salon in KLCC.

I requested to have my hair cut in the private room. It was so much better than the one I went at Mid Valley (I forgot the name of the salon already - it's the one beside Toys"R"Us and they only used curtains instead of a real room). And unlike Jantzen, you don't have to pay extra for the private room.

My hairstylist was really nice and friendly and I like her even more when she thought I was younger than I really am - and a mother of two kids! ;p We chatted about hair (apparently my hair loss is not really severe as I don't have bald spot - thank God!), being married, having kids... and I found out that besides datuk-datin and muslimah, local celebs often go there to have their haircuts in the private room too including Dato' Siti and her husband, Nora Danish and Sheila Majid. I was like, wow I thought celebs only go to super expensive hair salon!

Anyway my hairstylist suggested that I don't cut my hair too short; just shoulder length. She gave me soft layers and long sideswept bangs, something like this. My hair looks so much better now. I love it! And it doesn't shed so much like it used to.

You're probably wondering about the Nioxin hair products that I've been using. To be honest, I'm not quite sure. Maybe it's still early to tell? But I like the cooling effect of the shampoo and conditioner. It makes my hair feels and smells like I just washed it with a toothpaste (in a good way). So refreshing!

Anyway. Have you guys seen the TV ad about Liese Bubble Hair Color?

I am so tempted to try it! Macam senang and best jer. My husband is giving me green light to color my hair. I have never colored my hair before and a new hair color sounds nice (don't worry, I won't go blond!). But I wonder if coloring my hair would only worsen the postnatal hair loss....


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 12:00 PM |

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Good Cake Gone Bad

A few weeks ago I made my very first Red Velvet Cake.

It looks not bad, right? The bright red cake looks so sinful and the creamy white frosting topped with chopped pecans looks rich and scrumptious....

But it's not.

My Red Velvet Cake turned out nothing like I hoped for. And not to mention, I spent 4 hours baking it! It was almost like breastfeeding and changing diapers were a part of the recipe:

"Mix flour, salt and cocoa powder in a bowl. Set aside. Go breastfeed your baby because she just woke up. Then beat butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract using an electric mixer. After that, change your baby's diaper..."

I finished baking at 1 am -_-

I followed this recipe for the cake, by the way. As for the cream cheese, I asked for Yantie's recipe because hers was so good. I think I measured the ingredients wrongly as I was kelam kabut nak cepat-cepat. Or maybe I used the wrong technique. The cream cheese frosting turned out SO sweet, I felt like I almost had kencing manis after the third bite!

The cake was even worse. It was so dry and hard that at one point, it looked kind of like a giant red macaron!

That was actually my second time baking a cake. The first time was when I was about 14 I think - I baked a butter cake as I wanted to surprise my mom. But my cake turned out tawar because I forgot to add sugar!

I suck at baking. Maybe I should just buy one instead of trying to make one from scratch.


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 11:30 PM |

Monday, December 13, 2010

GAP Casting Call

So we went to the GAP Casting Call a few weeks ago at The Gardens. Did y'all go? I met one of my readers btw *waves to her if she reads this*.

We arrived at 3-ish pm and people were already queuing. Each participant was given a number based on first come first serve. Raina and Ayra were the 127th and 128th participants of the day!

There were GAP clothing provided for the photoshoot. I was hoping the lady would give Ayra that hot pink jacket but I guess it wasn't in her size - Ayra was given a purple logo hoodie to wear instead. Raina didn't wear any tho. It's either because they didn't provide size 0-3 months or maybe because Raina was "GAP enough" as she was wearing everything from babyGap that day, except for her booties! ;p

Ayra fell asleep in the car and she was cranky when she woke up. She was even crankier when we arrived because the place was crowded (she hates crowds)! I was worried she might throw her tantrums - melalak/meronta-ronta depan camera or throw the word-thingy or baring atas lantai or whatever that would be embarrassing.

As for Raina, budak kecik ni cool saja. She was in her own little world, sucking her fingers and minding her own business in mummy's arm.

In fact she was so lost in her own world that she didn't see the cameraman yang duk agah-agah dia sampai orang lain pun join sama. It was kinda funny! She did smile in the end, altho I don't know what or who she was smiling at.

Ayra came to make sure no one kacau her "abik".

And then it was Ayra's turn.

"Ayra, look at the camera!"

"Smile Ayra. Come on, SMIIIILEEEE!"

But she didn't. Heck, she didn't even want to hold that word-thingy.
Oh well, at least she didn't cry even tho there was a crowd of people watching!

So here are the photos of Ayra and Raina.

Voting ends 31st December 2010 (for entries from The Gardens). If it's not too much to ask, please cast your votes for my girls - Sharifah Ayra Adelia and Sharifah Raina Aryssa on the GAP Casting Call Facebook! :)

p/s: Thank you so much for those who had voted!


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 10:00 AM |

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The "No Rice" Diet Trial

My husband was determined to start a "no rice" diet after reading the Paleo Diet book and so he requested me to cook meals as suggested in the book. I was more than happy to do so! Well, I don't know about you but I find cooking rice and lauk-pauk is so much of a hassle; that explains why I haven't been cooking rice (selalu tapau saja).

The Paleo Diet consist of mainly meat, fish, veggies, fruits, nuts and eggs. We listed down all the ingredients from the book, went grocery shopping and bought lots of stuff! Chicken breasts, salmon, halibut and dory fillets, ground beef, sirloin steaks, veggies, nuts, some herbs and spices and a few organic stuff. It was the best grocery shopping ever!

These are some of the meals we had for the past couple of weeks (I rotate it of course, with slight modifications).

Grilled salmon with chopped pecans, served with
roasted green beans and carrots.

Pan-seared sirloin steak with steamed broccoli and carrots.

Marinara pasta
(the book actually says to use Kelp noodles, which is made of sea vegetable but we couldn't find it so I used what's available in the kitchen - the tri-color pasta. It's still made of veggies right?)

Baked dory with sauteed baby spinach.

Milk-poached halibut with cauliflower and roasted green beans.

Baked chicken with grape tomatoes and steamed broccoli and cauliflower.
(this is my hubby's favorite!)

Homemade beef patty with spinach, tomatoes and capsicum omelette and salads
(another hubby's favorite)

The meals were seriously so easy to prepare and SO delicious - even for amateur cook like me! Just season the fish/meat with salt, pepper and some herbs/spices, pop them in the oven and while waiting for them to cook, I steamed the veggies. The whole process took only 30 minutes! Sometimes lesser, especially for chicken because I've prepared it the night before (marinate it) so the next day I just need to take it out from the refrigerator and bake it. I usually start cooking at 12-ish noon and everything is prepared by the time my husband gets home for lunch.

We don't completely cut off rice in our diet tho - we make exceptions for weddings and lunch/dinner at my parents' (my mom cooks the best lauk kampung ever, it's hard to resist). This is after all, just a trial! ;)


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 10:00 AM |

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Security Blanket

My husband bought this book a few months after we got married and paksa me to read it.

It's a pretty good book (although I haven't finished reading it yet). This book tells how husband and wife should work together as a team to manage their money based on 9 steps, and one of the steps, which is Step 6 is "Build Your Security Blanket".

Uh-huh, insurance!

Some people take insurance for granted and think it's just an unnecessary expense. Well I was one of that people. It never occurred to me just how important it is to have insurance until I read that book. Having an insurance policy is very crucial because nobody knows when they will fall sick.

I remembered a story by my mom about how her classmate during her uni years died because of a pimple. This is a true story, I'm not making it up! That classmate of hers was a guy and mom said he had a lot of pimples on his face but they seemed normal until one day when he got one huge pimple on his forehead, near his eye. Semua orang tegur dia about his huge pimple and that night he poked his pimple and well.... he died. I can't remember the exact detail of the story but he died because bacteria/germs from the pimple that was infected masuk dalam otak dia or something like that (and because of that, my mom always tell me not to poke pimples yang kat area mata ke atas sebab bahaya, dekat dengan otak). Shocking right?? I mean, it was just a pimple! Nauzubillah. Of course the chances of this are very little, but it just shows that life is unpredictable. Anything can happen.

"You and your partner may be perfectly healthy now, but who knows what the future will bring? Tomorrow, you could find a lump on your chest or a spot on your back. Why sacrifice your freedom to see the doctor you want just to save $20 a month? It's simply not worth it. Eat out one less time a month or cancel those premium channels on your TV cable, and you've covered the cost of going with the most expensive health-care option that has the most flexibility." - excerpt from Smart Couples Finish Rich.

My husband and I realized that it's important for our children to have insurance as well. There's no such thing as too young to have insurance! In fact the earlier you sign up for insurance the better.

We signed up for PRUmy child for both our kids when I was pregnant with Raina. And I'm glad we made that choice because it gives us a peace of mind as it secures our children's future with complete protection as well as education plans.

Our health is our most valuable asset and we never know what would happen in the future, so it's only wise to have it insured. It's always better to prepare yourself for the uncertainty, no? Ignorance is not always bliss!

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She slipped off her pink stilettos at 10:00 AM |

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Ayra turns 2

I still remember the day when I received the weekly email from entitled, "My Toddler This Week" when Ayra just turned 1 year old. Toddler! It sounded strange. I was used to getting "My Baby This Week" emails that I couldn't get my head around it. My baby is not a baby anymore! She's a toddler!

It took me months to finally realized that she is no longer a baby. Then just a couple of days ago - on December 6th, I got an email from "My Preschooler This Week". No! Why is she growing up too fast?! It's kinda scary how fast time flies, isn't it? Makes me want to appreciate every moment with her, even her tantrums and meltdowns. Such bittersweet moments.

We celebrated her birthday a day earlier by the way. No party; it was a mini celebration with just us family. Went to the Gap Casting Call too but more on that later.

Lepas makan, lap meja.

This house costs RM1000+. Ada sesiapa nak belikan? ;p


She slipped off her pink stilettos at 10:00 AM |