Monday, February 25, 2013

Book Review: Praying Through Your Pregnancy

My friend was telling me I should pray for my unborn child and emailed me some material which consists of praying a part of the baby weekly. Hence, since she only e-mailed me in my 2nd trimester, I thought I should get a book which will guide me to pray weekly for my child. Finally, in the beginning of my 3rd trimester I managed to go to Canaanland and found a book which fits my requirement. Better late than never!

Praying Through Your Pregnancy

I've started reading from week 28 onwards to now week 39.
Gosh time flies...  initially, my doctor mentioned my baby is underweight and might deliver early but during a growth spurt in between week 30 and 35, I managed to gain 3kg myself which consists of 0.7kg for my baby making him no longer underweight..

Phew, but now doctor says he might be big!! Argh.. never ending worry and he might come out late. My doctor requested I walk more and do more housework to allow a more smoother delivery... Here comes the worries.

Hence, reading this book, has helped me understand other expectant mother's worries too as shown in the short experiences at the beginning of each chapter. For example, I'm worried about delay so I skipped to week 41 in the book which the authoress shared her experience of delayed birth. She shared God's plan and time in when her baby will be borne. I learn to be patient and respect God's plan too for my child.

In fact, when I heard about my friend's baby in breach position at the week 36 which caused her to have a C-section, I was worried. Reading chapter 38 shows the miracle whereby the authoress' baby turn at the last minute so that she didn't need to have a C-section delivery. Praise the Lord! :)

Excerpt of the contents taken from Amazon.

I do highly recommend this book or anything similar to help you focus to pray your baby in your womb and yourself too as it reminds you that God has already plan everything for your child. You should not worry and leave it to God. :)

I pray God will give me a smooth delivery of my baby boy and pray He will learn to listen, respect and fear God. I pray God will use my child to His purpose. Thank you for protecting me and my child during these past 39 weeks and I hope God will continue to cover us with the blood of Jesus.

Other reviews can be found in Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Jennifer Polimino's website.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Gina's Breastfeeding Class Review

I stumbled upon Gina's class through her website: Love breastfeeding.

Coincidentally, my friend invited me to a few groups related with motherhood and also breastfeeding. That's where I found out about TBAN : The Breastfeeding Advocates Network in Facebook.

I saw their comments about the breastfeeding class and decided to signed up for it for my own knowledge. Based on the comments, apparently antenatal class only touches about less than an hour on breastfeeding while Gina's classes is about 4 and a half hours (will review the topics so you'll know why).

Hence, I paid the RM168 which consists of a teatime and her breastfeeding book called "Got Breast Milk?" which you can only buy in mummy/baby related retail outlets or from her directly.

I haven't read the book - will leave it for a book review next.

Classes are normally on one Saturdays from 1.30pm to 6pm in Bonda Villa, Kota Kemuning. The classes alternate from English language to Cantonese language.

What is Bonda Villa? Apparently the brainchild of Gina - a confinement centre with about 5 rooms to cater for mummies and their newborn babies during the first month (known as confinement month) to allow the mothers to rejuvenate without worries.

Description taken from the website:
Bonda Villa is the brainchild of 3 friends. With their entrepreneurial spirit they set up Bonda Villa Sdn Bhd to facilitate their vision of a modern breastfeeding friendly, post-natal confinement care service.

Bonda Villa aims to be an elite post-natal confinement care centre which follows healthy logical traditions, providing healthy and delicious meals, while giving super breastfeeding guidance and support. We aim to help the new mother and father gain the confidence to be the best parents for their baby

Class started about 1.40pm. Supposed to start at 1.30pm but due to traffic some couples arrived late.


Images taken directly from Gina's blog.
Off-hand, prices ranges from RM9k to RM11k (As of early 2013) depending on which bedroom, with or without en-suite bathroom and with or without television.  Contact them directly for more details.

Review of the Breastfeeding Class

Back to the class, started slightly late (10mins) due to traffic but in the end finished later.
Topics covered are as follows (based on my memory):

1. Gina's breastfeeding story (She shared her testimony about an hour on how she didn't know how to breastfeed her first child plus the discouragement of her family members. How during then in the 80's not much information on breastfeeding was found. When she moved to US, she got exposed to more info and help on breastfeeding and eventually by the time she has her 4th child, she fully breastfed him). She highlighted the benefits and difference between her BF children's health and the non-BF children's health.

2. Formula milk from cow - background on why it is unhealthy plus cow's milk allergy with some rough estimate on the cost for formula milk.

3.Breast milk production - contents, capacity of baby's stomach, types of milk (colustrum, transitional milk, matured milk)

4. Delivery tips: eg informing the nurses that you are breastfeeding. She highlighted nurses change shift so is important to tell the nurses all the time. Birth plan tips (more during Q&A)

5. Breastfeeding (BF) techniques - position to BF, how to ensure baby latches on to drink instead of comforting, equipment to aid insufficient breastmilk like lactation aid, spoon and syringe.
She only touched how to breastfeed during the last hour with slide shows and videos from the internet ( to show the correct and incorrect way a baby's latches on.

6. Food to increase breast milk e.g. fenugreek supplements, chicken boiled soup with black beans and red dates.

7. Common problems with breastfeeding, Types of breast pump. Milk storage.

There was a short break with organic soya milk, cakes, "ang ku" (sort of a promotion for the caterer who also does package for full moon gifts).

And obviously, have to have a little product promotion and introduction to the packages available in Bonda Villa. Good thing to note is that you can actually request for a week stay to get help on how to BF correctly. She couldn't give the price off-hand; so I would suggest that you call her directly.

Most of us bought the postpartum mesh panties which is fully covered unlike the normal disposable bikini style panties. RM31 for 5 pieces. Some even bought the pre-packed herbal bath or the fenugreek pills (to increase breastmilk supply).

On a whole, technically, this class is lengthier because she shares her own personal experience and goes into the extra length to explain why she thinks formula milk is unhealthy. Only complaint is the plastic chairs is definitely very uncomfortable for people for the whole 4-5 hours duration, let alone pregnant women!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Labour: Perineal Massage

I was doing some reading on birth plans and also stumbled on this term in babycenter's e-mail to me. In fact, knowing this helps as the midwife in my antenatal class also recommended doing perineal massage to prevent tearing (no guarantee or proven research it works - but no harm trying).

Basically, you need to understand the term "tearing", "episiotomy" and "perineal massage" in this post.

In layman's term, for natural birth, your baby needs to come out through your vagina and your vagina will expand to accommodate it. Some mothers opt for natural birth - meaning the vagina might tear during the pushing.

Some mothers opt for episiotomy which is a surgical cut to the perineum to allow your baby to come out and avoid tearing.

Personally, I thought it is not advisable for episiotomy due to stitching and maybe slower recovery but after asking around, apparently it is the same. But my doctor seemed confident that episiotomy is not needed and I've seen that specifically mentioned in a few birth plans I have obtained.

What is "Perineal Massage"?
(taken from

Some practitioners recommend massaging the perineum (the area between your vulva and your anus) to help you avoid having an episiotomy or tearing during childbirth. Not everyone is comfortable doing this but if you'd like to give it a try, now's the time to start. 

How to do it?

Here's one method: 
 • Wash your hands and then sit in a warm, comfortable area, spreading your legs apart in a semi-reclined position. Put vitamin E oil (from vitamin E capsules) or pure vegetable oil on your fingers and thumbs and around your perineum.

 • Place your thumbs about 1 to 1 1/2 inches (up to or just past your first knuckle) inside your vagina. Press down toward your rectum and then out toward the sides. Gently and firmly continue stretching until you feel a slight burn or tingling. Hold this stretch for about 2 minutes – until the tingling starts to subside. 

• Slowly and gently massage the lower part of the vaginal canal back and forth, hooking your thumbs onto the sides of the vaginal canal and gently pulling these tissues forward, as your baby's head will do during delivery. Keep this up for 3 to 4 minutes.

 • Be gentle, as a vigorous touch could cause bruising or swelling in these sensitive tissues. During the massage avoid pressure on the urethra (urinary opening). This can cause irritation or infection. 

Other options
Besides this, my Obgyn also recommend having sex often to soften the perineal area. My husband got annoyed when I asked him directly to have sex just for this reason... .lol

Postpartum perineal care

Babycenter has a list of to-do and advice on how to care for your perineal area.
But I've prepared 2 things for this too.
1. Epsom salt (below RM5 from pharmacy) to be soaked in a basin for your bottom. Apparently it will soothe the pain. Do this by making a sitz bath. (haven't checked out on the sitz bath but thought a basin should do?)

Twenty-four hours after you give birth, you can start taking warm soaks in the tub or in a sitz bath for 20 minutes three times a day. A sitz bath is a shallow plastic basin that you fill with warm water and position over your toilet seat. It makes it convenient to soak your perineal area several times a day without having to fill a tub and completely undress each time. Most hospitals will provide you with a sitz bath to use while you're there, and it's a good idea to take it home with you. Sitz baths are also available at most drugstore.

2. New Mama Bottom Spray - this is highly raved by mummies to with the same effect as above. :) Spray directly to your perineal area to soothe the pain.

Wish me luck that I'll have a smooth natural delivery (which could be anytime now!!)  and speedy recovery! :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Maternity clothing: Sharing is saving!

I never expected generosity to come to me during my pregnancy.

Seriously, it is really not worth getting new wardrobe for pregnancy body shape (unless you intend to stay in your pregnancy shape after you delivered!)

So thank you my dear friends.. :)

1. B for lending me her pregnancy clothes especially the long pants and some nice tops for work.
 - Tips: Do get these kind of stretchable black pants especially from Scarlet Jusco which are quite affordable. Also if you can get those with stretchy support at your tummy - it's the comfiest! :)

2. S for loaning me 2 nice tops for work.
3. A for passing to me some nice pregnancy dresses even though during the last few weeks of my pregnancy

I also managed to find bargains from Miki Maternity under the Padini group. They have out-of-season or clearance corner for RM19 each! I've bought a nice pair of jeans and comfy t-shirts from there.

Hence, remember your mother friends who might have stored some maternity clothing deep in their wardrobe and don't mind sharing around or passing on the clothes if they have decided enough children! :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Emotions and Feelings

I thank God and baby too that I personally feel I do not have too much of mood swings during my pregnancy (my hubby might beg to differ) but I generally do feel good.

I do get annoyed and break down in frustration sometimes but I do need to release the worries and tension inside of me.

To date, these feelings have plagued me on and off which I release to God to help take care for me:

1. Worry about baby in the womb
Due to early pregnancy bleeding and stress from wedding planning plus a last-minute trip to Europe, I couldn't do much but leave it to God. Thank God, He has always been faithful to help me pull through this largest worry.

2. Worry about getting a babysitter
I've only visited 2 potential babysitters which thank God, were introduced by friends - found one couple who seemed nice and not to calculative; hope all goes well and when the time comes to pass my baby to them, they will love my child too.

What helps me through times of worry? God's words from Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV):

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I get irritated when these happen and during these period, I feel no shyness in voicing my annoyances.

1. People complaining about things beyond their control - what I did was smile and try to walk away from the conversation
2. People giving unnecessary opinions - Just tried patiently to "listen" and hold my tongue especially when the people are "older people" which in our culture should be respected.
3. Work thrown to me because I was around during then even though I was not in charge and the new person-in-charge wasn't.
4. Colleague always switching off the air-con when a pregnant lady is usually very hot - I wear very thin top and avoid a squabble because that particular colleague will make it such a big deal by putting on a scarf around her neck. SIGHHHH... no respect.

and the list goes on....  God I pray for more patience.... and hope the annoyances-feelings will not be passed down to my child.

Virtual shopping spree

 I learned another way to shop virtually.

What some "mothers" did is to go to warehouse sales and take picture of the stuff there. They will post the pictures in the Facebook group you are in. If you are interested, you can send a private message to the mother and she will help you buy. It is good because good deals are usually on the first day of the warehouse sales which falls on the weekday (working day). Hence, full-time working mums (FTWM) will grab the opportunity to get help. Or if you have friends going and don't mind getting on your behalf if you roughly know what you want.

It's good that I have helpful friends and helpful "mothers" to help me buy stuff during warehouse sales. In fact, I'm quite amazed of the extend some "mothers" do. Some take orders and help to buy for the others on top of their own purchases. Some charge a percentage of fee or some just do it for free out of own good will. :)

If not, you have to take leave and queue as shown in the picture below which I found online for the recent Mattel warehouse sales.

Makeup Artist Review: JAP Station, Kepong

I actually threw caution to wind and took a makeup artist which I didn't really test out. I bought a trial makeup session from an online deal website and wasn't too please with the result.  It was done by a student of the makeup studio and then the "teacher"(Kat) came and added some touch ups. I was intrigued and decided to take her instead.

Anyway, the offer of RM29 is as follows:
Your trial make-up run will allow you to take a look at exactly how you will look on the wedding day; the trial will consist of:

 - hair styling
 -  make up
 -  and, the application of ANY accessories that you'll be using on the wedding day (i.e. lashes, veil)

What happens during the trial makeup is as follows:
1. Half your face will be the "day makeup" which is usually a subtle natural look
2. The other half of your face will be the "night makeup"

*Will upload sample pics when I find them later*


On the actual day, she was late because she came from Sungai Buloh to BKT town and got lost. Poor thing. To make matters worse, we both communicate with each other like chicken and duck because she's not fluent in English and my Mandarin is passable.

Anyhow, thank God, she finally arrived half hour later. She spend lots of time doing my makeup with face contouring and eye defining. She added a large flower to my hair (which normally I don't fancy) but turned out very nice. She is so nice also to help me sew part of my gown and suggested I wear double bra since my gown was too loose (I lost weight!!). Ironically, I found out this happen to my friend too who is the first owner of the gown! Lol

Dinner time, I was half hour late for my makeup because our "jam cha" (tea ceremony) session finished late. More like guests left late about 3.30pm and we didn't realise we didn't have much time tille 5pm!!

Anyway, again, dinner makeup was nice also. She even helped me put my additional short Shu Uemura lash with stars to give me the glitz I wanted. She did something I didn't request again - she puffed up my hair to the front that it looked faked to me and she put my necklace in my hair. I find it a bit too much but my friends reassured me it was nice for dinner. Thank you Kat from JAP Station, Kepong. Really appreciate your personal touches for my day.

Here are pictures of me before and after for your comparison. Do drop me a comment should you need her contact. I really am thankful she is efficient and dedicated in her job plus the fact that her charges is not as high as others. :)

Before picture:

After picture: