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Mastering the Breast Pump

If you're a working mother or are just unable to breastfeed the natural way, the breast pump is an invaluable tool that can help you give your baby your milk, ensuring they've got the proper nutrition, even when you can't physically be there to do it yourself. Here are some tips on how to master the breast pump and how to choose the right one for you:


Have a plan. Determine how often you plan to pump your milk. Some pumps are designed for frequent, daily pumping, while others are designed for occasional pumping. If you're using a pump that's designed for occasional pumping, it may be more prone to wear and tear. 

A typical session of breast pumping lasts about 10 to 15 minutes for each breast. Meanwhile, a double breast pump helps increase milk production and cuts pumping time in half.

Learn the effectiveness. A traditional breast pump will pump up to 45 to 55 times per minute. The closer your breast pump is to that range, the more effective it will be. If it's lower than 25 per minute then it will not be as efficient and can cause some nipple and breast pain.

An auto-cycling breast pump is more effective than a pump that requires you to adjust it manually. So the range should be from 0mm Hg to 25mm Hg. Anything above that might cause severe pain. 

Find out the cost. Manual breast pumps can cost around PhP3,500, while single electrics go for about PhP5,000. Double electric pumps can range from anywhere between PhP10,000 to PhP20,000. 

Accessorize. No, we don't mean you should bust out some bling while pumping. Invest in equipment that can help in the breastfeeding process like hands-free bras to hold the pump in place, and a nursing cover, for the times when you'll have to pump in public. 

Keep it clean. All parts of the breast pump that come in contact with breast milk should be cleaned regularly. This means the valves, breast shields, and bottles need to be sanitized after every use. Dishwashing soap and warm water should do the trick. Remember to dry each part before reassembling. Leave the parts on the rack to dry; do not use a cloth to dry them as this can leave behind materials that may carry germs.

Baby Bath Time: Tips and Tricks

Spit-ups, spills, and poop. It may take more than just a wipe when it comes to these baby ‘dirty deeds.’ But should your child go straight to the bath after every little mess? Here are answers to your questions about bathing your little one.

When and how often should my baby bathe? 

While the umbilical cord is attached, opt for sponge baths. Once the umbilical cord stump falls off and the area heals, you can start with tub baths. For both sponge and tub baths, twice to thrice a week is advisable during the first couple of months. More often than that and the baby’s skin can dry out. In between baths, frequently wash his face and hands and thoroughly clean the genital area after every diaper change. 

How do I give my baby a bath?

For sponge baths, wash your child from head to toe with a warm, damp washcloth. To do so, undress your infant in a warm room with windows and doors closed to avoid wind draft. Fill a bowl with warm water and place him on a clean towel over a sturdy surface. Using a washcloth damped with water only, wipe the eyes gently. Move to the nose, ears, and neck creases. Clean your washcloth after every wipe to not spread dirt or goo on your child. Wet the washcloth with a bit of mild soap and wipe the baby’s body, cleaning the creases, behind the ears, and the genital area. Gently dry him off and apply a mild moisturizer to his body if needed. Wrap him in a towel to keep him warm.

Tub baths can seem like a daunting task, particularly when you don’t know how to go about it. So first things first – make sure you’re ready and confident to make the experience a stress-free one for you and your baby. Opt to use a baby tub with a bath cradle so that you’ll have a good grip on your child. In a warm room with closed doors and windows, fill the tub with warm water not more than three inches deep. Check the water’s temperature with your wrist. Support your baby’s head with one of your hands and guide him feet-first with the other hand. Keep him from getting chilly by pouring water on his body regularly throughout the bath. Use a washcloth to bathe him. You may use baby shampoo for his head, although you do not need to do this often (you can shampoo once a week since babies produce little oil on their heads). Carefully rinse your child’s head by placing your hand across his forehead to avoid suds from entering his eyes. After bathing, wrap him in a towel and dry him up gently. Keep him warm while drying. The entire bath should only take five to ten minutes.

Never leave your child unattended. A baby can drown in an inch of water under a minute. Also, have everything you need ready near you, such as bathing supplies, towels, diapers, and change of clothes.


Bath-time Tips:

  1. Always keep in mind that newborns are sensitive to temperature changes and can get cold easily.
  2. Add a bath emollient to the water to keep the baby’s skin from drying. Firmly but gently hold your child while he’s in the water since the emollient can make him slippery.
  3. Go for an unscented and mild baby cleanser to avoid irritation.
  4. If you’re using a regular tub, use a rubber bathmat. Turn off the tap before placing your baby inside since the water may rise quickly or become too hot.
  5. Train your kid not to touch taps and discourage him from standing up to steer clear of accidents.

Keeping Your Kid Flu-Free

As a parent, keeping your family safe and healthy is of paramount concern. But you can't always be there to keep an eye on your child, especially when he goes off to school and is exposed to many different germs and potential viruses. The best you can do is ensure that he's prepared for whatever may come his way, and that includes the dreaded flu!

The flu is a respiratory infection of the nose, throat, and lungs caused by influenza A, B, or C. A person is infected when he’s exposed to the virus-carrying droplets from an infected individual. This can be transmitted through exposure to a sneeze, a cough, or touching contaminated surfaces. In the Philippines, flu season is from July to December. Children between the ages of six months to five years are most vulnerable to complications from the flu.


Here are some tips on keeping your kid flu-free: 

  1. Get vaccinated. You know what they say about a good defense being the best offense. Well, that's exactly what a flu shot is. Getting a flu vaccine just before flu season can make a world of a difference when you're dealing with children.
  1. Stay away from sick kids. Make sure your child is protected and isn't interacting with any sick children. The flu virus is highly contagious for kids and could be easily passed along without a thought in the world. 
  1. Keep his/her hands clean. Teach your kid to make washing her hands a habit she practices regularly: after every trip to the bathroom, before meals, and when she gets home from school. 
  1. Cover nose or mouth when sneezing or coughing. Should your child get sick, make sure she knows to cover her mouth when coughing and nose when sneezing to prevent the spread of the virus. 
  1. No touching of the face. Make sure your child isn't touching her face or mouth too frequently. Observe her if she absentmindedly does this. If she's been exposed to the virus, the only thing that's stopping it from infecting her is what she does with her hands. If you notice that she can't help but touch herself, make sure she always carries hand sanitizer with her and see that she makes using it a habit. 
  1. Keep surfaces clean. Use anti-bacterial wipes to clean surfaces in your home, like the kitchen counter, the dinner table, and especially the computer keyboard and study table where your kids tend to spend most of their time, and which are popular breeding grounds for bacteria and germs.