I still can’t believe that it was almost fourteen years ago that Gia joined Nino and I as we began our adventure in parenting. As a new parent, I wasn’t so sure of myself. I actually thought I might bring my daughter home from the hospital and somehow break or damage the princess that God had given me. As is the case with many jobs, the “on the job training” is the best education you will ever receive in honing your Momma instincts and figuring out your Momma (and baby) routines.
I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my children. I had an older cousin who I looked up to and admired because she breastfed her son openly in front of me. Her son is two years older than Gia, and Nino and I spent quite a bit of time with their family because we were (and still are) very close. We vacationed together, and whenever they visited NY they were sure to spend some time with us in our home. I was amazed at how natural she made breastfeeding look, and I remember watching her when she would feed her son and thinking how much I wanted to feel that closeness with my would be baby, once God gifted me with an angel.
But after giving birth, I realized breastfeeding wasn’t as easy as I thought. I didn’t know as much about breastfeeding then, as I do now so it was a real challenge to stay the course. I was young, and my role model for breastfeeding lived in the Philippines. My mom breastfed me and my siblings for different amounts of time but her advice seemed so far removed from what I was going through at the time. (Chalk it up to the anesthesia and the fact that my youngest sibling was already 20 years old?) Instead, I relied on the books that I had bought to help Nino and I through first few months of parenthood and the advice of my cousin and my sister who both had kids before me.
Initially, I was worried that my daughter wasn’t getting the nutrients she needed when I brought her home because my milk still had yet come in. After a few days, a friend of mine gifted me with an electric breast pump. While I was amazed at what this new machine could do in terms of stretching, contorting, and maximizing the size of my nipples, I still was not able to produce any milk for my darling daughter.
By the fifth day, my milk finally came in. I wanted to pump and store my milk for my baby girl, but was unsure of the new fangled contraptions (another friend lent me her old pump) that I was given to aide me in this process. I knew that I wouldn’t always be with my baby, and that at some time she would need a bottle, and if she was going to have a bottle I wanted to be sure it was my milk that she was drinking.
It seemed only natural to look into the Avent line of products when my disapointment with my breast pumps led me back to the nearest baby super store. Just a few months before, I was registering for all my baby’s needs and Philips Avent bottles were first on my list! Why didn’t I think of getting an Avent pump at that time too?
I invested in the Isis handheld pump with the hope that like the bottles I had already bought for my baby girl, this pump would be of quality as well. I couldn’t have been more right. The ease of having a manual pump made expressing my breast milk for Gia less of a chore. In fact, back then, I actually let down faster with my reliable Isis pump than I did with the electric counterparts I had been given or passed down. I know that Avent still makes the Isis pump, and for many Mommas who do not want to go the electric route, this is the natural pump of choice.
That is why when I was asked to be a Philips Avent Trusted Mom, I didn’t have to think twice. I have known and trusted Avent products for many years. Fast forward those years and three more kids later, I have rediscovered Avent not because I stopped using their products, but because they recently launched the New Natural line of bottles, and the improved Comfort Breast Pumps.
As many of you know, Gelli was born with Down Syndrome. One the many responsibilities I fulfill every day, as a mom, includes therapy for Gelli. Every week Gelli completes different sessions with her physical, occupational, and speech therapist. These therapies are vital to her development and reaching the goals and milestones we set for her. Much of what we do together during our daily routine follows the guidelines set forth by her therapists. Because she has Down Syndrome, she has to work so much harder to reach many of the milestones that typical kids’ parents might take for granted.
For instance, Gelli’s tongue is a little bit bigger than typical children. This is one of the physical characteristics of having Down Syndrome, and it might impede her ability to talk early on. For a child to develop verbal language properly she needs to have ample control of her tongue, lips, chewing, and even swallowing. Prior to Gelli using the Natural Grown Up Cup, I had bought a variety of different “sippee” cups (including one my sister hand carried from Singapore that I found online from a speech therapy center) to help her gain better control of her tongue. When Gelli is tired or not engaged, her mouth will sometimes be open, with her tongue protruding. When she would drink from a cup, her tongue would protrude, causing overflow of what ever she was drinking.
When we tried the New All Natural Grown Up Cup that I was given, as an invitation to become a Trusted Mom, I couldn’t believe that without any coaxing or training, she figured out on her own that it would be easier to drink her water with her tongue safely tucked away. The ergonomic handles and non-spill top made it easy for me to leave her alone with the cup, and know that I wouldn’t come back to a soaking wet baby. This cup (along with her therapy which she participates in weekly) had just helped her achieve one of the goals in caring for herself. She was able to drink from a cup with minimal spillage.
Hooray for one small step towards independence!
Even as Gelli is now entering the mobile world of toddlerhood, I have repurposed our storage cups for breast milk into “to go” containers for her grapes, cheerios, and cubed cheese.
Hooray for repurposing and saving money!
When you are a mom on the go, balancing all the different responsibilities of raising four children there is no “easy” button. But there are things we can buy and do to save time and make things more convenient. This is why Philips Avent continues to have a presence here in our home 14 years after welcoming our first child into the fold.
Thank you Philips Avent for asking me to be part of the Trusted Moms circle.
(This is a Philips Avent sponsored post. They have asked me to represent the brand as one of their Trusted Moms. Trusted Moms are chosen mommas who are active on social media and share the latest in parenting information, experience, tips and tricks with other Filipina mommas who might be looking for inspiration.)