the unnatural mother

embracing mother-ing and all its glory – from wet diapers, spit-ups, tantrums to first smiles, hug-a-bugs and sweet cuddles

Handmade with love April 24, 2012

Filed under: Crafts — reeseyenko @ 6:23 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I’ve been very busy the past March and April. I didn’t even have time to post during the hot days of Holy Week! And why? it’s all because of CROCHET! So far, I’ve made a baby poncho, several hats and several granny squares for an ambitious afghan – but that’s hibernating right now :p Don’t expect any booties right now because so far, they just don’t interest me.

These are the boys with their caps. N’s cap is just a simple beanie. I haven’t learned how to properly decrease at that time so his cap had bits of gaps in them. SKY’s cap is a bobble beret (bulutong cap as i call it).

Boys with their caps

I learned how to bobble (popcorn stitch) via youtube from mikeyssmail

Bobble bonnet

This is a baby kingston cap for my girl. And yet again, I learned from youtube the Crochet Geek

Kingston cap


Behavior of little humans April 20, 2012

Filed under: Parenting — reeseyenko @ 1:24 pm

I stumbled upon this site and it’s very very very good! A must read for new moms ūüôā

It helps you to read baby’s body language even when they’re very small and have limited movement.


Pregnancy nutrition April 19, 2012

Filed under: Food,Pregnancy — reeseyenko @ 7:23 pm
Tags: , , ,

I believe eating healthy during pregnancy is a must regardless of the mother’s age, medical history and background. Some would say that since they don’t have a history of diabetes or heart problem in their family, it is acceptable to binge on ice cream or burgers during ¬†this time. But let it be known that it is during pregnancy that all those that were harmless prior to pregnancy are exacerbated just because the mother is pregnant. This simply means that if a mother is not diabetic before she became pregnant, there is a risk of her being diabetic during pregnancy only (gestational diabetes) or diabetic for the rest of her life after pregnancy. And not only is there concern for the mother’s safety and well-being, it is mostly also for the precious life inside her.

So what is a good pregnancy eating habit? And how much should I eat if I’m pregnant? Different sites recommend different caloric requirement for pregnancy and there are a number of factors that would affect the number like age, lifestyle, activities. To make it simple, my take on it is that you DO NOT really need that much more calories during the 1st trimester (and with morning sickness, pressuring yourself to make up for lose due to vomitting won’t help) . The saying “eating for double” is a misnomer and a pregnant woman should only eat (healthy) until she is satisfied. For the 2nd and 3rd trimester, my research (¬†tells me that you need 300 more calories a day and that should be about a sandwich. As for the weight gain, my doctor recommends 2-4 lbs a month.

Below is a list of healthy foods and eating practices:

  1. Brown rice instead of white rice; wheat bread instead of white bread
  2. Skim or non-fat milk instead of full cream milk
  3. Snacks such as nuts or whole-grain cereals (sans the sugar) is good to munch on in between meals so you don’t starve yourself to death and binge during mealtimes.
  4. Increase fluid intake especially during summer months. Mineral water is good to deter cramps. Fresh fruit juices or shakes without the sugar is healthy.
  5. Substituting more vegetables for another half cup or a 2nd cup of rice to satisfy your hunger is good
  6. Fresh fruit or non-fat yogurt instead of cookies or cake ūüôā I found this very hard to do since I’m a chocoholic! but fruits are very nutritious and easy to come by in the Philippines so remember to eat your pineapples (they say for baby’s good skin), not too much mangoes and bananas (as they are jam-packed with sugar and calories), watermelons (for the extra fluids)
  7. Eat your vegetables – broccoli, kangkong (watercress), beans, cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, okra and eggplant
  8. Take your prenatal vitamins – multivitamins with folic acid, iron supplement, calcium supplement. Some naturalists would say that vitamins are not essential if you eat a healthy balanced diet – TRUE. But busy working mothers do not always have the time to search out a balanced diet and may have to rely on supplements to avoid the risks of lacking one or two nutrients
  9. Frequent small feedings is a good practice whether pregnant or not.
  10. This is a chart I often referred to while pregnant and I actually found it fun to make sure I eat the foods listed on.

Here is a list of foods to avoid:

  1. Raw fish or meat. This means any type of sushi or medium-rare steaks.
  2. Salty foods – french fries, canned goods, instant noodles, chips, bagoong, chicharon
  3. Unpasteurized milk or cheeses. It is healthier but you run the risk of getting bacteria.
  4. Exotic foods – dinuguan, frogs legs. It’s just better to be safe than sorry.
  5. Foods prepared in unsanitary places. I personally have a more sensitive tummy while pregnant and cannot take vegetables that are not washed properly so I always take my vegetables cooked during this time.
  6. If you have the luxury of preparing your food yourself or at home, do so. You can never be too sure what other’ ingredients restaurants put in the food (like MSG).

So hope this helps and if I missed out anything, please do tell me.


Tips on expressing milk April 18, 2012

You may have noticed that I have 3 children – one I breastfed for 13 months and one I am currently breastfeeding. The youngest is 4.5 months and though she was born preterm (close to just 35 weeks), she is now 6.1 kilos and more than 60 cm all with just my breastmilk – no vitamins, no formula, no mix feeding.

I attribute my success in breastfeeding partly to breastfeeding bloggers who share inspiring stories or useful information. One that really helped me the first time around is Chronicles of a Nursing Mom. Her articles are information-ladden! And of course, Kellymom. com. I’ve had my share of breastfeeding challenges but because of resources in the internet, I’ve gotten through them all. ¬†Though I am more confident the 2nd time around, I still need support and research from time to time. So to contribute to the pool of information out there, here are my tips for expressing milk away from baby and good breastfeeding practices.

  1. Just keep pumping. This was an advice given to me and this is the best advice I can give. Whether your output is low or high, just keep pumping.
  2. Stick to your schedule. It doesn’t matter if you have a truck-load of work in the office or you’re busy with a million things in your chore list, pump when it’s time to pump. If your schedule will be disrupted for one reason or another, pump earlier rather than later, pump more rather than less.
  3. Every concern has a workaround, every problem has a solution. There are a lot of blogs out there that offer inspiring stories on breastfeeding success. Choose those that are run by certified lactation experts or doctors like and
  4. Confidence is key. Blame everything else but yourself (that you just can’t produce enough). I am telling you, under normal circumstances, YOU CAN PRODUCE ENOUGH. This works well if you are well-informed.
  5. Do what you have to do to be in the mood. Being in the mood for pumping usually means you are relaxed and calm. If  you have to take the same number of steps to the pumping room or brush your teeth or take a leak before pumping then do it. Some would set up pictures in the pumping room or dim the lights and listen to sounds of running water to loosen up. It may not have anything to do with milk production but if it relaxes you then, do it!
  6. Hydrate during the whole day, not just before and after pumping. Living in a tropical country like ours, it is very crucial to keep taking liquids. If you work in an airconditioned office, you may not get thirsty often and may not drink enough, so remember to hydrate. Personally, I take hot  water throughout the day and it somehow helped my output.
  7. Think of baby. Some sites recommend calling the house and knowing what baby is doing before your pumping session.
  8. Bring a charm. If it helps to have baby’s worn socks in your pocket or stuffed in your bra (away from the nipple), then be it ūüôā
  9. Always be prepared. Bringing extra bottles or breastmilk bags is good practice. You never know, you might just pump a little extra for storing away.
  10. Practice and prepare early. When your maternity leave is nearing the  end, practice bottle feeding (if you choose the bottle ) 2-3 weeks before. Train the nanny on how to properly bottlefeed a breastfed baby ( Yes, there IS a proper way to bottle-feed a breastfed baby to avoid nipply confustion.
  11. Pump when away, nurse when you’re together. With my 2nd child (my 1st fully breastfed baby), I would pump during the day even when we were together and only nurse when we were co-sleeping. This time around, I always nurse when we are together. It’s more convenient especially when we are out, plus I get to spend more time with my baby. Yet, it is a ¬†bit tricky making sure that you have “fresh” breastmilk in the refrigerator when Monday comes around. See the next post on of tips for this situation.

Reusing Diapers

Yes, I am an avid recycler just like my mom. We recycle everything and we’re the type that brings reusable bags to the grocery even if we live in QC where it’s not (yet) prohibited to use plastic bags – I’m wishing it were. We also segregate our garbage and do composting since 10 years ago. So what next? My baby’s diapers!

Even when I had my 1st child 5 years ago, I’ve heard of a mother my age actually using cloth diapers on her girls. I tried it the way I knew ¬†how – using the age old “lampin” (muslin cloth and the “curity” birdseye cloth). However, it did not work out for us – my baby was always wet all over – lampin, shirt and socks every 15 minutes! I wondered, “how did she ever do it??” I never asked and to this day, I don’t know what her secret is and I don’t really mind not knowing because I have discovered the wonderful (& colorful) world of CLOTH DIAPERING!

Cloth diapers

Cloth diapers – locally bought

I use cloth diapers just like any disposable. Once it’s full of urine or poop, I put it in a pail for washing. ¬†Others, I’ve heard, would change the insert and use the cover again (if urine only)- that also works if you don’t have a lot of “inventory”. I have 9 cloth diapers with inserts and additional 6 inserts I bought separately. This is enough for 1 baby even during the rainy season as I use up only 2-3 diapers a day (I still use disposables at night because they tend to leak…boo!) depending on how many times he poops. These were all locally bought and of the same make. ¬†See below.

Cloth diapers make

one size fits most with snaps

This type of diaper is known as a “One size pocket diaper”

Advantages of this type of cloth diapers:

  • I don’t really believe in “one size fits all” hence, it’s a “one size fits most” for me. Having those 3 rows of snaps in front makes the rise adjustbale. It can replace a disposable diaper of the size Small to Extra Large ¬†and thus is more practical than buying cloth diapers by size (not available in the Philippines as of this post)
  • Dries fast. Since the pocket diaper is composed of an outer leak-proof cover and an inner lining of microfleece (only 2 layers), this dries fast. About 4 hours in really sunny weather and 10-12 hours in rainy weather. The insert which is made of 3 layers of microfiber takes longer to dry and that is why I have extra inserts.
  • Can opt to change inserts instead of the whole diaper. As I said above, some mothers opt to change just the insert if its full of urine and reuse the pocket diaper. This is okay because the inner lining (made of microfleece) stays dry most of the time.
  • Snaps are harder for babies to play around with. At some point, your baby will begin exploring the diaper and try to open it. Snaps just keep in place and very difficult for baby to pry open.
Cloth diaper insert

Cloth diaper insert

Disadvantages of this type of cloth diapers (Most of the advantages above can work against you in certain situations):
  • The¬†¬†“one size fits most” is just too ambitious. It cannot fit a “new born” baby very well and thus, will leak whatever happens. Most “One size pocket diaper” manufacturers in the U.S. have come up with their “mini” versions (e.g. Happy Heiny’s) if not another line of cloth diapers that is by size. On the other hand, bigger babies or toddlers outgrow this eventually. My SKY is 1.5 years old to date and he is not big at all. He’s using this diaper at its largest and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to last him more than a few month more.
  • As snaps are harder for baby to open, it is also hard for caregivers to put on! When you have a baby eager to walk or a toddler who is fussing to get on his feet then, this does take a little time
  • “Leak-proof” – not really. I have had leaks with this diaper – both for urine and poop – even if its not that full. For us, it usually comes out at the inguinal area (“singit”) where the inner liner and the outer cover meets. For the 2 months that we’ve been using this, we’ve had about 3-5 leaks only… still not bad
These disadvantages, however, are not enough reason for me to give up cloth diapering. In fact, I’ve done research and to overcome these, I¬†have ordered an imported brand that’s unique in design and proven “leak- free” ¬†– Thirsties diapers. That would be on another post.

Other types of cloth diapers:

  • All in ones (AIOs)
  • Fitteds
  • Hybrids

Some brands that can be purchased locally and where…

  • The most common type of cloth diaper:¬†One size pocket diaper with snaps. I say common because there are several brands that carry the same make, material and position of tag – even the print is the same.¬†Can be purchased from these brands at the following sites:
  • Choochoobaby¬† ¬†I bought 6 pairs from her because she has discounts for bulk order. Buy 1 for 350 pesos, ¬†buy 3 for 1000 pesos, buy 5 and get 1 free and so on and so forth. She also sells extra inserts for 120/pc (as of this post). Her shipping is 120 pesos because it comes from Davao and when paying at BDO, the buyer needs to shoulder the “access fee” or whatever you call it for 50 pesos.
  • Babyland (
  • Babyleaf
  • Next 9 are available at the following resellers:
  • MamaBabyLove
    Mothering Earthlings
    Pinoy Baby Store
    Indigo Baby
    Mom and Baby Essentials
    Brussel Sprouts
  • Alva diapers is another kind of One size pocket diaper with snaps . From what I know Alva is made in China (not that the others are not -I just haven’t confirmed their manufacturer). I haven’t used or seen one ¬†on hand but from their website, they have the biggest assortment of prints. These can be purchased from¬†
  • Haute diapers is a little different from the rest – it’s a one pocket diaper with velcro. This is being sold for P400/pc. (
  • Bamboo Dappy( is a one size diaper also ¬†but it is made with bamboo. You can choose between snaps and velcro. ¬†It’s also ¬†being sold at the Medela house for P450/pc (with insert) if I remember correctly. (#29 1st street, New Manila; call for appointment)
  • Grovia is an imported brand and can be bought from¬†¬†Sunshine Babies boutique¬†. They have one-size, all-in-two’s, hybrid diapers, diaper covers and other accessories. Since this is imported, one set would cost about 1500 pesos.
  • Landmark Dept Store @ Trinoma. I’ve seen an assortment of pocket diapers being sold for P599 each – way expensive – but their insert is the cheapest I’ve seen, P99.75

Forever Summer April 11, 2012

I like this look… just like it. But for a mother of 3, this is quite hard to pull off without getting injured one way or another :p But this is definitely me.

Forever Summer

H&M jean shorts

MICHAEL Michael Kors strappy sandals

Monsoon woven jewelry

Elie Saab multi strand necklace

Stella dot jewelry

Prada round sunglasses

Nude lipstick