Recommended Baby Registry in Manila: A fun experience preparing for the arrival of your baby

Shopping is one of my favorite activities and I am sure it is also goes for majority of the women out there. So imagine the excitement I felt when I found out I was pregnant. My urge and instinct to shop for the baby kicked in right away. I remember my boyfriend telling me that it was too early to go buy baby items since I was just 3 months on the way. What I would do during my first and second trimester was go to baby stores during weekends and browse baby online shops during my free time to get ideas on what I wanted and needed to buy. I made sure that I researched on all available brands and products in the market– from its specification, to ratings and reviews, to safety hazard and even compared prices. I wanted to make sure I will choose items that’s best suited for my daughters needs and of course the best value for my money.

But Oh My! What I thought would be really fun and easy ended up being so confusing and overwhelming.  I had so many questions and doubts. First of all, I did not know what I needed to buy. What should I prioritize? I was on a strict budget after all. Second, there are so many brands and products in the market and people I asked had different preferences (online mommy groups, brand reviews and Mommy friends) and Third, which store can I get all the items I need without any hassle?

When I found out the gender of my baby at 21 weeks, I was already so excited to start nesting. I knew that my family and friends were going to throw me several baby showers when I reached my 8th month. I was very fortunate because I had 3 planned baby showers (1. high school, college and other friends 2. officemates 3. family and family friends).

My friends and family were going to give me (my baby actually) gifts in the baby shower (Yes, nagassume po ako. lol). Therefore, the first thing that popped in my head was creating a BABY REGISTRY.

Advantages of a BABY REGISTRY:

  1. Guests/friends can give you what you really need and want (specific brand and quantity)
  2. Prevents from duplicating gifts
  3. Saves time and money for the guests. They don’t need to go from one store to another and have a list of choices depending on their budget

The search for the best baby registry was ON! My choices were SM Department Store, Mothercare Philippines (limited choices, very expensive, bad reviews on their service from my online research), Rustan’s (very expensive, high end brands, limited branches and choices, products and service are really good though, sosyal pa!) and Baby Company stand alone branches (guests can only purchase from the specific branch, SM Dept has baby company inside). I ended up choosing SM DEPARTMENT STORE. No regrets at all!SM-Gift-Registry_2

WHY DID I CHOOSE SM DEPARTMENT STORE (not a paid ad btw):

  1. Everything you need is there. Once I registered for the baby registry, they gave me a checklist of all the baby essentials I will need once the baby arrives. Let me tell you, they have all the brands and products available from different parts of the world and from all price points. They have everything you need from age 0 above. I did not need to go anywhere else. It’s a one stop store. I was 8 months pregnant and could hardly walk and stand for a long time. This is why SM was very convenient for me since I could sit down anytime in their benches, I had a sales person push the cart and be the runner for me and I was able to choose 90% of all I needed in one day.
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    One side of the baby section in SM Makati

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    I can spend one whole day in this place

  2. So many choices and options to choose from. There is one whole floor for the baby section. It can get overwhelming at first but it gives moms and dads choices and not limit themselves to one brand or product. One of the hardest decision I had to make was choosing the stroller and bottles. For the strollers, it took me a few days to decide. I was very impressed because the SM sales people knew their products very well. They compared each one and explained to me the advantages and disadvantages of each. They weren’t pushy and answered all my questions.  For the bottles, I had to make sure I wasn’t just going for the best brand but I wanted the best features such as the size and shape of the nipple. There were so many options of bottles in every brand and I was happy with the variety of options.
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    strollers to choose from and a lot are on Sale

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    Bottles to choose from in all shapes and sizes

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    This is just one side of the baby clothes section

  3. Service is fantastic. I was a bit hesitant in the beginning because SM is not really known for their service. but I was pleasantly surprised. I had no problems in choosing the items because most if not all were available. I came on a Saturday morning to choose the items and they assigned one person to assist me and my mom. She was with us for 4 hours choosing each item. So many sales people assisted us and helped us choose. They brought up all the items we chose to the gift registry and gave us 60 guests’ cards that we could give to our guests. They told us that in 24 hours the list with pictures and prices will be up for viewing online. And it was up in less than 24 hours! The whole process was smooth and they were really helpful. Good Job SM Gift Registry!

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    This was a sample of my gift card that was given by SM

  4. Free Delivery–  Guests can have the gifts delivered for free at any location of choice within the city. Guests must purchase the item in the SM where you register though. It was hassle free for me and the guests who will buy big items.
  5. Free Gift wrapping- SM Gift Registry offers free gift-wrapping with so many choices of colors. Infairness, Hindi tipid sa wrappers and soyal tinggnan.
  6. There is a 10% Discount on all regular items purchased and points on SM Advantage cards – This is valid for one (1) month before the event and 7 days after your event date
  7. You can choose additional items to be added to your wishlist and all items can be viewed online.This was really awesome because guests can see which ones have already been taken and which one they want to buy prior to going to the store.
  8. SM Department Store is EVERYWHERE– This was a major deciding factor for me. I didn’t want my guests to have a hard time buying a gift specially with the traffic in the Metro. Guests can purchase gifts at all SM Stores nationwide except SM Quiapo. Check out the SM nearest you store locator
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    Gifts I received from my baby showers

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    Delivered in my house by SM

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    I received so many gifts in different sizes and different colors of gifts wrappers. I couldn’t fit them all in my room anymore.

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    Gifts I received from my baby registry. I honestly did not need to buy anything else because my friends and family wiped out my registry

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    I am one lucky Mommy to receive all of this from my Family and Friends

Please do visit their website to learn more about their services smgiftregistry

If you are planning to create a Baby Registry, I highly recommend SM Department Store. It will be a fun experience for both Mommy and Daddy. In my case, even the Grandmother enjoyed the experience. If you are wondering which branch I registered in, It was in SM Makati. Happy Shopping and Nesting!

I hope this helps you!

Love,

Cams

The struggle to latch and increase my milk supply to exclusively breastfeed

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Supply of breastmilk after the struggle

The struggle was real Mamas! I never imagined in my 27 years of existence that I would have a hard time breastfeeding. I assumed that since my breasts were huge (cup 36 C) that I could produce milk for a village. But again (let me emphasize) the STRUGGLE was real!

I gave birth via emergency c-section after 36 hours of Labor last September 16, 2017 at 9:27 pm. My baby and I were in distress when I gave birth and my family had no choice but to order breastmilk from the hospital. Thankfully, St. Lukes BGC has a milk bank.

My baby was roomed in with me the next morning and I was so excited to breastfeed. I mean this was the moment I was waiting for, the first connection between me and my daughter. I requested for a lactation nurse to guide me because I had no idea how to do it. Thankfully, I had nurse Joy to help me out.

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First time I tried to breastfeed in the hospital with the help of the lactation nurse

The moment came and sadly my baby was NOT able to latch on my breasts and I was not producing milk. We tried several times but both my baby and I would get disappointed every time. I think this was one of the saddest moments for me but I did not want to show my disappointment to my family and friends. I wanted to stay positive and not give up. I told myself that I will do everything  in my powers and I will be keep trying (push lang ng push). The pediatrician visited me that day and she told me not to worry because the milk normally comes on the 3rd or 4th day (but it didn’t) after delivery. She advised me not to feel down and stay positive because it can cause postpartum depression.

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The frustration in my daughters face trying to latch on me. I felt so mad at myself and sad seeing her this way

I kept trying. Every 2 to 3 hours, I would try to latch and every time I would get more disappointed in myself. At one point, I really felt so guilty and mad at myself that I wanted to just give up but I stayed positive. In the 3 days in the hospital, I was not able to exclusively breastmilk with my own milk but we tried different ways to feed my baby while in the hospital. Let me share to this to you:

  1. Nipple Shield– I used this since my nipples were inverted. I attached this to my nipple to mimic my real nipples and help my baby latch on me. This will allow maximum skin contact between me and the baby. But since no milk was coming out, we had to inject donated breastmilk inside the shield with a small mouth syringe. I did not buy one because I felt that my baby was not really able to get as much milk.

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    Ameda Nipple Shield – 1 Piece WHERE TO BUY: babymama.ph (Php 750)

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    Medela Contact Nipple Shields 2pk with case WHERE TO BUY: Mothercare

     

  2. Manual Pumping–  I decided not to buy an electric pump before giving birth since I assumed that I did not need it right away. I was given 2 kinds of manual pumps in my baby shower.  I tried it out while in the hospital and It did not work for me. I found it painful and hard to use.
  3. Cup Feeding– This was my first time to see a cup used for feeding a baby. St. Lukes BGC used a cup to feed my baby and I was so amazed. The reason why a cup is used rather than a bottle is to avoid nipple confusion.

    This is my baby cup feeding. She was only 2 days old here. Galing noh!

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    Unimom Cup Feeder / Feeding Cup WHERE TO BUY: babymama.ph (Php 95)

  4. Continuous Latching– I made sure I latched every 2-3 hours with the help of the lactation nurse in the hospital. Practice makes perfect!

I went home 3 days after giving birth. I did not want to go on formula milk so I immediately posted on my Facebook feed if anyone could donate breastmilk for Lily (my baby). God was good because I received several messages from my cousin and High School batchmates. For the next few days, I relied on the donated breastmilk. This was the time when I worked on myself to produce milk. I sought advice from mommy friends, my pediatrician, my OBGYBN and mommy groups online (Do not be afraid to ask for help). I believe I tried every lactation aid available and ways to produce milk. I would like to share them with you because after 2 weeks of struggling and finding the right formula, I am able to produce an average of 1,200 ml a day or around 250 ml in one pumping session.

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the amount of Milk I am able to pump in one session after 3 weeks

Tips on how to increase Breastmilk supply:

  1. Lactation Massages– My breasts were engorged and really painful because for the first week I had no milk coming out. I did not want to get an infection so I was advised to get a lactation massage. I was very fortunate to meet  ESTELA PERONA (contact number: 0926 5494984) who does home service. She is very gentle and she even taught me how to properly latch. I really do recommend her. After one session, I started to watch youtube videos and I decided to do it myself. I would massage my breasts always before I pump or latch. I use VCO to massage.
  2. Malunggay Tea/ Freshly cooked Malunggay– I drank all kinds of Malunggay from tea bags, to concentrate, ice tea and cooked fresh Malunggay that I would mix with my meals.
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    Moringana Pure Malunggay Tea – 12 tea bags WHERE TO BUY: SM supermarket or https://babymama.ph/products-page/moringana-pure-malunggay-tea-12-tea-bags/ (PHP 150)

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    Nature Earth M2 Malunggay Okra Luya Concentrate Tea Drink 1L (Php 250) WHERE TO BUY: https://babymama.ph/products-page/nature-earth-malunggay-okra-luya-concentrate-tea-drink-1l/ , all Andoks outlets and Robinsons Supermarket

  3. Soup– Every meal from breakfast to lunch and to dinner, I make sure that I have soup. I loved Tinola and Nilaga. This really helped me.
  4. Lactation Cookies– I believe this helped me a lot but mostly I love them because they tasted good. I’ve tried several brands but my favorite would be the classic milking bombs I saw on IG . They are so addicting. I would eat 3 a day ( if Only I could eat more)

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    Classic Milking Bombs by ABC ( Php 420/ Dozen) WHERE TO BUY: Instagram is milkingbombsbyabc

  5. Fenugreek– They sell this is Healthy Options as pills but I did not want to take any pills. I saw a Milk drink in babymama.ph and decided to try it. I would drink it once a day together with my breakfast. Infairness, Masarap! tastes like Milo Drink

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    UpSpring Milkflow Fenugreek + Blessed Thistle – Chocolate Flavor – 18 sachets WHERE TO BUY: https://babymama.ph/products-page/upspring-milkflow-fenugreek-blessed-thistle-chocolate-flavor-18-sachets/ (PHP 1,350)

  6. Water– Keep Hydrated all day
  7. Hot Compress/Hot Baths– I would take hot showers and before every pumping session, I would use a hot towel to wipe my breasts before starting.
  8. Electric Pump– Not everyone will agree but this is the best investment for me. The moment I started pumping using an electric pump, my milk supply started to increase steadily. As mentioned, I started with an inverted nipple. The pump helped me produce milk and bring out my nipple.

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    Spectra M1 Double Electric Breast Pump (Php 7,800) WHERE TO BUY: https://babymama.ph/products-page/spectra-m1-double-electric-pump/

  9. Pigeon Bottle and Dr. Browns Bottle– I am not that lucky to exclusively latch my baby. I bottle feed  with my breastmilk. I tried a lot of brands and I found Pigeon and Dr. Browns the best in terms of the nipple shape and size.
  10. HAAKAA– One of the best inventions ever. This helps suction the milk from your breasts. while I pump one breast, I attach the Haakaa on the other breast and milk would just flow out. It helps to make sure no milk is wasted.

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    Haakaa Breast Pump 150ml (PHP 1,250) WHERE TO BUY: https://babymama.ph/products-page/haakaa-breast-pump-150ml/

  11. Keep Latching and pumping every 3- 4 hours– I make sure that I still latch even if it is a struggle. After 3 weeks of trying, Lily is now able to latch properly. I also make sure I keep pumping. 8 am, 12nn, 4pm, 8pm then I latch during the evening until morning again.

I hope this helps! Here is my baby now at almost 1 month. Very Healthy and 100% breastfed.

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