Sunday, October 29, 2017

Autumnz Silicone Breastmilk Collector Review

It felt like not long ago I had stopped my breastfeeding journey ever since R self-weaned at one year old. In end July 2017, I had started back my breastfeeding journey once again with the birth of J2.

I thought I had experienced it all throughout my 3 other breastfeeding journey so I did not bother doing anymore research. However, a picture posted by a Facebook friend piqued my curiosity. She had just delivered, and her photo showed a strange looking cup with breast milk inside. I asked her what it is, and she told me it is a silicone breast milk collector, or some calls it silicone breast pump. She also mentioned the original brand who came up with this silicone breast pump is Haakaa, but there are plenty of generic brands out in the market, which she is currently using as well.

I did a brief Google search on this silicone breast pump, and then right away search for this item on Lazada. There were many options and different price range. The original Haakaa costs around RM100 on average, while the generic brands was going as low as RM15. I decided to go for Autumnz Silicone Breast milk Collector, as the Haakaa was beyond my budget and I don't really trust the generic brands. I am currently using Autumnz's storage bags, so I am comfortable with this brand.



So how it works is pretty simple - The milk collector works as a suction, just attach it to one side, and it will draw milk by using the suction function. Once done, just detach the milk collector and transfer the milk into a storage bottle or bag.

I put the milk collector up to test right after my delivery at the hospital. While breastfeeding my baby in the nursery, I placed the milk collector on my left side while baby nursed at the right. Within 15 minutes, this is how much colustrum I managed to collect, without much effort! Even the nurse was impressed!




I ended up buying one more so I have a pair, in which I can use interchangeably either when I nurse or pump. 

It has been 2 months of regular use, and below is my observation of using this milk collector:

PROS

  • No assembly required - Just the milk collector and cover will do
  • Easy to clean. It is made of 100% food grade silicone, and is safe to use with sterilizer. 
  • Easy to use - No instructions needed, just attach and let the suction work.
  • Affordable - This may not work for all moms, but I have seen some moms swear by the milk collector doing the job of a breast pump. The Autumnz brand cost around RM30 each, definitely cheaper than Medela or Avent pump.
  • No more wet t-shirts or wet towels - I still remember the early days nursing my eldest i just had to stuff towels under my t shirt else it will be wet. Now it is a thing of the past!
  • No more balancing act - When I was nursing my 3rd baby, I would try to balance a storage bottle on my knee/tummy to collect leaking milk. I really think I could work in the circus back then!
  • Compact, good for travel - Nowadays I will pack one milk collector, one storage bottle and one ice pack into this Tollyjoy thermal bag, which I can use it anytime I nurse.


CONS
  • Hard or tricky to make the suction work - I have came across forums and even Youtube stating which is the best way to attach the milk collector. Most of the days I don't have this issue, but there are bad days whereby I had to try at least 5 times to ensure the milk collector won't fall off. I'd probably say it is trial and error. I also found that it works better on an engorged boob.
  • Milk collector tumbling down - Argh! Nothing worse than having your half-filled milk collector tumbling down while nursing, resulting in spilled milk, a cranky baby and upset mummy. After this happened twice, I learned my lesson and decided to empty my milk collector when it is one third full to avoid any accidents. 
  • No secured cover - The round cover on the milk collector is just literally a cover. It does not in any way prevent the milk from spilling out if you knocked over it accidentally. I strongly recommend transferring the milk into a storage bottle or bag immediately after use.

Overall, I am very happy with my Autumnz Milk Collector, it has helped me to collect and store more milk without the hassle of balancing act, and definitely a life-saver when it comes to relieved engorgement. I only wish this was available much, much earlier!


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Poke Bowl for Kids

The Star recently featured an article on Poke Bowls that piqued my curiosity. I live in Johor hence it is my first time to come across this fascinating dish. I really wish I could try it one day...

I noticed some of the ingredients are also my kids' favourite food - avocado, salmon, cherry tomatoes. Inspired by the Poke Bowl, I made this dish for my children.

Ingredients

1 piece salmon fillet
1 avocado
5 - 6 cherry tomatoes
white rice/brown rice, cooked
1 tsp chia seeds

Optional
Garlic lemon butter sauce or
Kewpie sesame sauce

Method
1. Cook some white/brown rice.

2. Pan fry the salmon fillet until cooked. Let it cool and cut into small pieces.

3. Scoop out one avocado and cut into small cubes

4. Slice cherry tomatoes into half.

5. I make my own lemon butter sauce by heating up butter then mix in some lemon juice and stir.

Assembling the dish

1. Scoop rice into a small rice bowl, filling it up to half a bowl, or whichever amount your child can eat. Do not fill up to the brim of the bowl, else the toppings will fall out.

2. Arrange the salmon, avocado and tomato (and any other ingredients) around the bowl.

3. Add sauce and sprinkle chia seed on top of the dish.

4. Dish is ready to be served.



For my first attempt, my kids gave me a thumbs up! My eldest, being a fussy eater, quickly finished up her dish and asked me to make more of these. I am so happy!

I have thought of adding japanese cucumber and some dried seaweed in my next attempt, hopefully they will like it as much.

One more easy to cook item for the kids on my list. Yay!