Category Archives: UNCATEGORIZED

formuLIE

it’s been almost a year of breastfeeding for us, and in this time i have come to realise how incredibly simple breastfeeding can be and how out of touch with our own nature we have become. 

sure, women and most other mammals have been breastfeeding since the beginning of our existence. it should be instinct. but breastfeeding as a human at a time where everyone wants convenience poses and entirely different challenge.

a generation ago, our mothers were made to believe that formula was better than breast milk. a generation sold on the convenience and comfort that modern day life had to offer. bombarded by advertisements paid for by the very corporations who had everything to gain with no other reliable or available source of information, how could we blame them?

fortunately things have changed since then and for those of us who want to be educated now, there is an entire world wide web of information for us to tap into at our fingertips. but in large part, the damage has been done.

i’ve been told a whole ton of different stories where it comes to unsuccessful breastfeeding. low supply, fussing baby, painful latching, rejection of direct latching and the list goes on. but all i hear is the same issue of inadequate education on the true journey that is breastfeeding and a preference for convenience with formula as an opt out. the easy albeit expensive alternative.

i understand. when ella was admitted for jaundice and had to undergo phototheraphy, after latching for half an hour and falling asleep, i put her back down for light where she woke up and started crying. wanting to calm her down (or shut her up), the nurse asked if i minded her giving ella some formula. worried about my child and not wanting her to be crying in the nicu, i said okay.

at this point, my milk had not kicked in yet. it sometimes takes a few days. especially for first time mothers. but no one had informed me. all babies do at that stage is latch latch latch. nonstop – to bring in the milk. but no one was informing me.

no information from the nurses and doctors. the people we look to for advice when we find ourselves in those situations. only formula. and then we turn to the people around us for help. if we’re lucky, someone has the necessary information on what to do. if not, we find ourselves surrounded by people telling us to supplement. confinement ladies, mothers or friends that believe formula is alright. 

for any mother who has just gone through the process of childbirth after a long pregnancy, who is emotionally and physically drained and in need of care, who is willing and needing to trust her caregivers – such misinformation at this critical time is dangerous. it causes a lot of mistakes with feeding and supplementing with formula because why not, right? formula is accessible, reliable, measurable, less stressful and healthy.

except that it is not. healthy, that is.

formula is inferior to breast milk. contains all sorts of additives, preservatives and sugars. destroys the natural gut flora and should only be used as an absolute last resort when needed – as opposed to starvation. after direct latching, expressed breast milk and donor breast milk. 

formula is sold as a necessity. but it is not. formula is promoted as a healthy option. but it is not.

breast is best. always.

but you can’t go up to a mother or friend and start giving them directions on what to do. you can’t tell them what’s better or healthier or natural. you just have to stand back and watch silently, because no one wants to be told. because no one is asking. we know plenty of situations where women receive a ton of unsolicited advice from a know-it-all relative. no one wants to be that jackass.

so we keep our mouths shut. i keep my mouth shut. and let everyone journey their own journey. 

but what if someone would rather know if there’s something more they could do. if they’re making the healthy choice. if what they’re going through is normal. 

what if i just put it out here, in case someone stumbles upon this and could use the help.  

breastfeeding is not just an act of feeding one’s youngling. breastfeeding is communication between mother and child. after delivery (especially for first time mothers), milk may take a couple of days to kick in. this is normal. don’t supplement. a baby is expected to lose a percentage of their weight in the first week before they begin to gain weight and can go without milk for those few days without issue. as milk kicks in, baby is given a good dose of colostrum – which provides all the essential antibodies for a newborn.

how much milk a mother produces is a matter of demand. more demand = more supply. in the early days, baby may want to latch all throughout the day. you may wonder why baby is constantly hungry or cranky. if you are making enough milk. the solution is to offer boob when baby stirs. even if it seems like all your time is spent with a baby on your breast. this is normal. don’t supplement. the frequency of feeding will reduce as as baby’s tummy grows.

then just as you think you’ve gotten into a routine and know what baby needs, baby will go through a growth spurt which causes baby to need much more milk and seem unsettled. for a day or two, it may feel like you have a newborn again. this too, is normal. don’t supplement. just offer baby the breast as much as needed once again. repeat until no longer breastfeeding. 

babies should be breastfed for at least 6 months where they do not need water or anything else other than breastmilk, but continue to benefit from breastmilk and the bonding associated to breastfeeding for years. in times of sickness, a mother’s body makes antibodies to be delivered to the child through breastmilk. after 1 year shall you decide to stop breastfeeding, your child no longer needs milk – not formula, not cow’s milk – and can adequately receive all needed nutrients from a good diet. 

you don’t ever have to buy into the formulie. save yourself the money. nature has already given us all we need for the best chance of survival. 

when in doubt – always trust nature. 

ishvara pranidhana

i’ve gotten back into the swing of yoga. after 3 years of waiting. wanting. trying. i gave myself a break and looked for a class. the truth is, i just wasn’t able to get into the flow of it on my own. 

the first time around, the both of us had no commitments in life. we were renting a room, making ends meet with part time work and hadn’t quite figured out what we wanted to do with life yet. we were wanderers. free. it was easy. we made time for yoga every morning. sometimes a few hours. 

and then life took over. and the past 3 years have been different from what life was back then. so, i guess counting on myself to be able to practice yoga the same way just caused more strain. 

after renting the room, we moved to an empty house with a much bigger rent and no furniture. yoong went to work full time as we tried to build a home. i struggled to practice yoga. 

then opportunity came calling and we moved to another empty house in taiping. we had no jobs as we tried to set up a land and our house at the same time. i struggled to practice yoga. 

after a few months we got pregnant (by choice). we pushed to start our own little business while maintaining our old side business while setting the home up for baby. i struggled to practice yoga. 

3 years passed. i had planned to be the perfect mum in waiting. eating all the good stuff while pregnant. practicing yoga. stretching. meditating. breathing. but the truth is our schedule was so packed that i continued to struggle to practice yoga. 

then baby came. and i still had all these crazy ideas on being a perfect baby-wearing yoga mum. but before i could get there, my body gave way. 

the years of hard hard hard work had taken it’s toll. all the long hours + heavy lifting + bending over + incorrect posture + caring for a baby = one painfully herniated disc. 

the truth is my back has been in pain for years. a pain i pretended to not see and somehow thought i could ignore away. 

i tried qi gong & tai chi massages. acupuncture and physiotherapy. and somewhere along that process i realized it’s completely fine for me to seek and accept help. if i could with these things, why not for yoga. 

and so i did. and a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. i can schedule the classes into our daily life and make time. for yoga, with support. 

the truth is that my back and legs are still in a lot of pain. some days are good. some days i struggle to walk.

the truth is that my physiotherapist tells me to drop yoga but i’m not listening.

because the truth is that i love that i have yoga again. i just restarted. i don’t think i can deal with a reality in which I don’t have yoga anymore. 

this time, i blindly believe that if i practice right and push in the right ways, yoga will heal and not hurt. 

sometimes i look back at the past and ask myself what i was thinking, doing what i did. but the problem is that in the present, all of life is really a gamble. a future unknown. 

i can’t say where this will lead me. but i believe in always following my gut instinct above all else. and right now it’s chanting softly but strongly… 

yoga 

yoga

YOGA

and if yoga doesn’t lead me out of pain. or worse, leads me to more pain, then i shall accept that pain as part of the rest of my journey back to self. 

because all of life is just that – a journey – to which i surrender myself wholely.  

in this now, this ever fleeting present, i am just thankful to be one with yoga again.

namaste. 

welcome to school

*the bell rings*
good morning class.
sit down. don’t move. be quiet.
SSHHHH!

you just turned 6 last year and like running around to explore your world? too bad. sit down. you’ve spent all your life so far learning to stand taller, move faster, reach further, climb higher? too bad. sit down. you have this burning desire to interact, talk, be heard? too bad. sit down. shut up.

only speak when spoken to. raise your hand if you have something to say. only speak if noticed. only speak if chosen. only speak if liked. only speak if not challenging. don’t talk back. don’t question. don’t bother.

who do you think you are? tiny little voice. tiny insignificant object.

*the bell rings*
good morning class.
sit down. don’t move. be quiet.
hand in your homework.

you didn’t do your homework? no excuses. stand up. you didn’t have time to get to homework because you were more interested in playing with your sibling? no excuses. stand on your chair. you didn’t bring your book in because you didn’t have time to properly pack your bag? no excuses. stand on your table. you couldn’t get to your homework because of tuition and other classes? no excuses. stand outside of the classroom. you didn’t do your homework because you’re not interested in the subject? no excuses. arms crossed, hold your ears. ketuk ketampi.

receive your punishment. be quiet as you are punished. behave. do not question authority. put your head down and look at the ground as you are punished. be shamed. be shamed in front of your peers. be ridiculed.

who do you think you are? tiny insignificant object.

*the bell rings*
negaraku.
line up. two by two.
stand straight. don’t move. be quiet.

show me your shoes. not white enough. clean. show me your socks. too low. too high. change. show me your nails. not short enough. cut. show me your hair. too long. cut. too messy. tie up. coloured hairbands? only white, blue or black allowed. don’t come back tomorrow looking like this.

follow the rules. rules are there for a reason. obedience is rewarded. don’t stand out. don’t express individuality. fit in. be accepted. be one with the herd. be standard. refer to stock image.

who do you think you are? tiny insignificant object.

*the bell rings*
go home. eat. no time. study. go for tuition. eat. no time. finish your homework. prepare your books. no time. sleep early. wake up early. no time. get dressed. eat. come back to school.

*the bell rings*
stand straight. sit down. don’t move. be quiet.
don’t think.

there is no time to think. memorize. memorize chapters. memorize books. memorize subjects. memorize everything. good. regurgitate. time’s up. put your pen down. here is your score. your worth. your value. good job. try harder. did you not study? what kind of answer is this? were you not paying attention? fail. not smart enough for this class. not smart enough to keep up. compete. compare.

who do you think you are?
no effort is ever going to be good enough.
you’re never going to amount to anything.

tiny insignificant object.

*the bell rings*
goodbye.
school is out.

but don’t for a second think you are free.
don’t forget the lessons you have learnt and all that school has taught you, tiny insignificant object.
repeat these things to yourself for the rest of life.

keep hearing that bell ring.

Replacement Ring!

The things two people do to each other they remember. 
If they stay together, it’s not because they forget; it’s because they forgive.

If we deny love that is given to us, if we refuse to give love because we fear pain or loss, then our lives will be empty, our loss greater.

Creative Minds

Came across this and thought I’d share.