Apr 092010

It is good to know that more and more people are declining shark’s fins soup. Instead, people are now turning to fish maw and bird’s nests. Both of these Chinese delicacies are believed to be rich in nutrients. Let me talk about fish maw in here.

Simply put, fish maw is the dried gas bladder in larger fish. Chinese usually (right, usually, there are always exception) do not consume the gas bladder as is. The gas bladders are usually deep fried or dried. Since I am not a big fan of deep fried food, I always go for the dried ones. In addition, fish maws are believed to be a rich source of collagen. So, it is especially good for women and unborn babies in pregnant women.

One fact you have to consider is that many parts of the ocean today is contaminated with heavy metal. There is the fear that we might come across heavy metal fish maw. So, some people are concerned that consuming fish maw will lead to fatal consequences. I would like to think of the whole thing this way: in today’s world, there is pollution all around us. Everything, including the air we breathe and the water we drink, is contaminated to a certain extent. As long as we don’t over-consume anything, we should be in good shape.

Feb 282010

One of the problems moms-to-be face is their skins. Our faces may look dull or oily due to horomonal changes. Also, our skins may become itchy and dry. So what should we do?

What I did was I switched to organic products, completely. Most of the cosmetic products are safe for pregnant women. However, I just want to be on the safe side, since organic products are free from harmful chemicals. This is also because one of the major concerns that pregnant women has is skincare products penetrating into our skins. So, please take the following advices:

1. If your skin is free from problems, congratulations! You can pretty much stay with your usual skincare products if you don’t feel like switching and you are certain that the products you use are not harmful to the unborn babies.

2. If your skis in oily and getting an unusual amount of acne, do not attempt treatments at home by yourself. Go talk to your OB or a dermatologist and explain your problems. They will be able to help.

3. Whatever treatment you are to receive for your skin, make sure there is no retinols (a type of vitamin A) that are considered by some experts not suitable to moms-to-be as the substance can be harmful to the unborn child – remember, they penetrate!

4. As our skin stretches, it tends to get itchy, especially around our lovely bellies. Many will use lotions or moisturizers that are safe for the unborn children. What I used was just olive oil everyday after I showered. After patting myself dry, I put some olive oil on areas that tended to get itchy – the belly and the bottom. Yes! Olive oil, as simple as that! I am proud to tell you that it worked magic. I only have the slightest trace of stretch marks, they are hardly noticeable. Try it!

5. Always use sunblock – this is extremely important in preventing melasma – they are brown patches on our faces due to the combination of sun exposure and hormonal changes. Trust me, they do occur, no matter how hard you try. So, do your best to minimize their amount.

If you run into serious trouble, don’t hesitate to let you doctor know. They are always there to help.

Feb 212010

One of the million dollar questions to the many moms-to-be. I am sure you all have done your researches and read about the advantages and disadvantages of breast feeding. Hey, but those are only reports from researchers. Let’s hear it from the people who actually did it – me!

Only my younger son had the opportunity to be breast-fed. My older boy could not latch onto my breast properly so I was not able to breast feed him. I was longing to breast feed my second son. I was getting anxious and excited. I was very well prepared and also had enough Chinese soup to ensure my ‘supply’ was abundant.

As soon as little Ron was able to latched onto my breast, there was a sense of relief! I thought to myself: I could now breast feed, I am a real mother now. The warmth, the intimacy, with my baby in my arms, everything was just right.

Alright, time to face the reality. That was THE upside of breast feeding. All the other upsides about health and stuff are just bonuses. Let’s come back to the real world. The bad news is – the downsides are plenty.

First, you are pretty much on-call 24/7, whenever, and wherever. This is tough, especially when you are extremely tired and need to rest; and when you have to be away. Here you will need the help of modern technology. Get a good electrical pump and prepare some milk for you babies what you have to be away during his / her feeding time. For the worn out part, well, I got up whenever the little boy called me. I was not able to get enough rest. I guess that’s one of the reasons why breast feeding mothers will lose weight faster.

Second, you have to plan your life carefully. What I mean is, a trip to the mall could be very different now. This is because you have to take your baby with you. In that you will have to make sure there is baby care rooms in the mall, if not, you will have to go somewhere else. Also, there are places that you must go, but certainly cannot accommodate your breast feeding. In these cases, you may need to take milk powder with you, which is a debatable alternative since many mothers are against mixing the two milks. If you are adamant about breast feeding only, you will have to carefully plan you routes. Well, you will get used to this.

Third, you are what you eat. To be more correct, your milk is what you eat. So, the diet is very plain, well-balanced, and can be boring some time. No caffeine, spices, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. And you have to let your doctors know should you get sick, because the medication has to be safe for the babies. Last, but not least, for those of you who don’t like milk, you are in for a long time. You have to ensure your calcium is replenished.

Well, that were the worst parts of breast feeding your lovely babies. When you are a new mother and everything seems already chaotic to you, these downsides will just make you go crazier. However, I can tell you, no matter how tired you are, no matter how troublesome things might look; as soon as you hold that baby in your arms, right next to you, that feeling is worth everything in this world. Yes, I mean everything.

To All Mothers!

Feb 062010

Many friends have complaint to me that they were losing memories after giving birth. I can tell you that this is not true.

I actually kept a very close eyes on myself on this claim as soon as I gave birth to my first boy. I didn’t feel that my memory was deteriorating. So, why did my friends feel that way?

It is simple – we now have to remember things for another person. With two boys, I have to remember things for three persons. So, I keep telling my friends that we are not getting forgetful. As a result, they should not be too worried about this. What I do is I keep a simple calendar and write all appointments down. And I am in good shape (why I am not using digital devices is another story, I will save it for later).

Back to us losing memory. My theory has real support. I was reading the newspaper this mornning on this topic. A study done by the Australian National University shows that we, mothers, do not suffer from memory losses after giving birth. The study confirms my theory that we are simply too occupied with the baby thing and lose track of things here and there.

So, mommies, don’t be silly. We are not getting older and more forgetful just because we are mothers now. Take some rest, and you will be reset tomorrow morning.

Jan 182010

You doctor will advise you not to travel during the first trimester, and do not travel when you are in the third trimester. Airlines will not allow you to board the plane when you are, for example, 36 weeks pregnant. Nevertheless, some of us need to travel out of business; while some of us want to travel for leisure. Whether you are travelling by air or by car, take the following precaution:

1. Always talk to your doctor before you travel. You will want to get the ‘approval’ from the doctor.
2. Air travel

  • Avoid places that require immunization.  Not all immunizations are considered safe for the mom-to-be. If you have to go, check with your doctor.
  • When aboard on the plane, try to get a seat with more leg rooms. Also, remember to take bathroom breaks as well as breaks to stretch, exercise, and walk around.
  • Try to travel light, and try not carry heavy luggage in order to protect your back

3. Car travel

  • Always wear your seat belt. The waist belt should be below (not across) your belly, and across your hip. The shoulder strap should be between your breasts. If the shoulder strap gets too close to you neck, reposition your seat or the seat belt so that you would be more comfortable.
  • Take breaks – this will include bathroom breaks, and breaks that would get you off the vehicle and walk around a bit. Again, this will bring more comfort to your long ride.
  • If you are the passenger, take off your shoes, rotate your ankles and wiggle your toes often. This will help alleviate the swelling during long hours of immobility.

Last, but not least, remember to arrange for medical insurance in case anything happens. Remember, life is full of surprises, you never know what will happen next. So, travel safe!

Bon voyage!

 Posted by at 10:30 am