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Thursday, 22 February 2018

The Club (A note about The Mummy Club Bangkok)

The Mummy Club Bangkok has become synonymous with being an expat mum in Thailand. 

It's boundless resources and quick fire responses cannot be matched on any other Facebook Group or Webpage in Thailand.

But it does have one fatal flaw....administrators sometimes rule with an iron fist and becoming a member in the first place can be fraught with emotional hurdles.

The Mummy Club admin team pride themselves, quite rightly, in running a closed group, a safe environment for mums to seek support, information and resources without worrying about judgement, trolling, cruising or solicitation. But in so doing they have a simple, seemingly innocuous, rule that can inadvertently cause much heartache....you have to be a mum before you can join.

They claim to be open to "mums-to-be" but in reality it can be hard to get accepted as a member unless your profile picture contains a bouncing baby or tumbling toddler.

I fell foul to this strict approach by admin and was upset to be initially refused membership, despite being 26 weeks pregnant (our fourth, final and successful pregnancy).

With hindsight I can see that the job of policing and protecting this 'haven for mums' is not an easy task, so here is my quick guide to getting yourself onto The Mummy Club before your bundle of joy arrives, and without any unnecessary tears or tantrums.

All approaches to join The Mummy Club should include:
  • Confirmation that you live in Thailand
  • Motherhood status - TTC, pregnant, mum to x children etc
  • If you know other people that belong to the group it is worth name dropping them
  • Details of other relevant groups in Bangkok that you belong to can also help, especially if you are TTC. For example IVF Bangkok Support and BAMBI. This is to show that your TTC status is real, and not a hoax to get onto the group

There are two ways to join:

(1) If you have a friend on The Mummy Club get them to add you, including all of the details as above

(2) If you do not have a friend on The Mummy Club then send them a detailed note on their FB messenger link, including all of the details as above

If all else fails and you still cannot obtain membership, feel free to message me and I will try to investigate further on your behalf. Whilst it should not be an excuse, the admin team are all busy mums themselves, and they often get overwhelmed with the amount of work that such a great support group can generate.

One last thing I will leave with you. It's an amazing resource, but think about when is the right time to join for you. Whilst you are TTC might not be the right time, after all it is full of questions about newborn babies, toddlers, schools, paediatricians etc. Later in your pregnancy, when you may wish to pull of the resources and experience of other mums is probably the most useful time.

Good luck mama-to-be, you will rock it no matter what!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

How to get the birthing experience you want (in Bangkok)

I haven't been able to find much time to start writing again, but then I realised that life simply isn't going to give me a few spare hours a day anymore, pa ha ha. So I've promised myself that I will focus on short (and hopefully sweet) posts for a little while. Hope you like them and find them useful...

Here are my top five tips on how to get the birthing experience you want. This is from my experience at Bumrungrad earlier this year.

Ensure you have discussed your wishes with your Doctor
Emergencies happen,
and its important to listen to the professionals when they do,
but at the very least your Doctor should know your basic wishes
before you get into the labour room

Use your partner to be your voice
(they listen to dads more)

Hire a Doula
She will empower you to have a voice when it matters most to you
Article: Doulas - a friend in an hour of need
Article: Doulas Do More

Attend an Antenatal Class

Politely insist on anything and everything you want
You will ultimately get it if you stick to your guns

We insisted on skin to skin, which admittedly was more of a long awkward cuddle but we got some ✅

We insisted that dad went with bubba to the nursery for her basic checks, and that it was as quick as possible ✅ (they had her back to me before I’d even left the labour room) 

We insisted that bubba came back to me for her eye drops and vitamin k injection ✅ (as above, this was done in the labour room) 

We insisted that she stayed with us ✅ (in fact she stayed with us so much that they almost forgot to do her hearing test and BCG) 

We insisted that I was with her for her hearing test and BCG ✅ (we threatened to not pay if they didn’t allow me to have physical contact with her for her BCG)

So, other than a very quick trip to the nursery with dad, I was with her for everything. We had to be politely forceful, but it’s your child, and no one should/can dictate to you.

You've got this mama!


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Booby Biscuits

Otherwise known (to grown up people) as Lactation Cookies

You may be like me and think that all the talk about eating things to make you produce more booby milk is hocus pocus but I found out it wasn’t simply by accident.

I was attending a BAMBI playgroup at Steps with Theera one Sunday morning and happily munching on a plate of biscuits, they were gorgeous, oaty, crunchy yet soft, sweet but with some background bitterness, they were so yum I ate at least 4 of them. Then I found out they were so called ‘lactation cookies’, I rolled my eyes and thought nothing of it. Until I pumped later that day and, to my surprise, pumped 30mls more than I normally would….since then my husband has been making booby biscuits (as they are called in our house) every week and he’s getting rather good at them.

He uses a well known recipe from www.bellybelly.com.au which he has tweaked a little, and I provide links below of where to find the less than obvious ingredients. We try to find the best quality products possible, but I appreciate this isn’t always possible. I’m also quite certain that there must also be a placebo element to this, but if my placebo is a yummy cookie, then hey ho, bring it on! The raw dough is meant to be a bit more potent than the cooked cookies, but obviously be careful about raw egg products and definitely don’t eat raw cookie dough if you are pregnant.

Prep time: approx. 15 minutes
Oven temp: preheat to 170C or 338F
Makes approx. 14-16 cookies

Ingredients and Method:

In a large mixing bowl, cream together
½ cup butter 
¾ cup of brown sugar

1 egg 
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
Mix well

In a separate bowl, combine
2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal 
2-3 tablespoons of water
Let them sit for a few minutes before adding to mix

Add the following dry ingredients
1 cup Flour 
½ teaspoon Baking Powder 
½ teaspoon Himalayan salt 
1-2 tablespoons Brewers yeast
Mix well again

Finally, stir in
1 ½ cups of oats 
½ cup of chocolate pieces 
½ cup of raisins

Make the biscuits (roughly a dessert spoon as a rough size guide) and place them onto a lightly greased or lined baking tray

Flatten them a little with your fingers or a spatula – if you like a soft centre, don’t squash them down too much

Bake for around 10-12 minutes, depending on how well cooked or crunchy you like your biscuits

What is so special about Lactation Cookies?

Some of the key ingredients in these cookies are individually believed to help increase milk supply i.e. they are believed to be Galactagogue’s

Oats: Although there is no scientific evidence regarding oatmeal and milk supply, oatmeal does seem to work for some (myself included). Oatmeal is a source of iron, and low iron levels can result in decreased milk supply, so it makes sense that eating something high in iron might increase milk supply. It is also thought that there may be a link between decreasing cholesterol levels and increasing milk production. Oat bran, which is in oatmeal, is also known to help lower cholesterol. (1) 

Flaxseed: Flaxseed meal has been included as an ingredient in the lactation cookies recipe because it's high in omega-3 and dietary fibre. It contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and potassium (2)However please note that there have been studies (in rats) that suggest flaxseed can affect the adrenal glands of offspring if taken by the mother during lactation. It might be worth noting that the rats had consumed the equivalent of what would be 9 spoonfuls (200g) a day and this recipe only calls for 2 spoonfuls (30g) for approx. 14 biscuits (3).

Brewer’s Yeast: This contains protein, iron, and B vitamins, as well as chromium, selenium, and other trace minerals. It comes from a fungus called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It can be used for baking, brewing beer, and making wine, is thought to be a galactagogue and increase energy levels, and elevate mood. I haven’t found any specific studies to explain why (or even, if) brewer's yeast increases lactation but I also haven’t found any studies that disprove this. Many women (including midwifery and lactation specialists) report that it helps. But, it might not work for everyone. It is also worth noting that it has been proven to reduce the incidence and duration of the common cold, so if nothing else that has to be a good thing (4)Some studies show that it may help lower cholesterol levels (5), which again might explain the link to improving breast milk supply.

You can tweak the amount of brewers yeast if you would like to try to better results, although it does add a bitter taste so you may need to adjust the sugar or chocolate and raisins to accommodate.

The bottom line for all lactation queries is your lactation professional.

Speak to your Doctor or your lactation specialist.

If you live in Bangkok I highly recommend attending Bangkok Breastfeeding Café and speaking with Lia Segall

Click here for Lia's Top 6 Breastfeeding Tips

(5) www.verywell.com

Personal Notes on Ingredients and Where to get them - Click on the links below:

1 cup
If can get Self Raising you don’t need the Baking Powder
½ teaspoon
Not needed if using self raising
½ cup

¾ cup
We like to get the best quality soft brown sugar we can
2 tablespoons
We grind flaxseed’s in a coffee grinder

1 tablespoon

½ teaspoon 
Any good salt would do, but I don’t think table salt would be nice
1 ½ cups
We use Rolled Oats, but I’ve been told that there are healthier Oat alternatives like Steel Cut etc.
½ cup
Chocolate broken into pieces
Good quality is best. We use Green & Blacks from back home.
½ cup


DO NOT SUBSTITUTE for any other type of yeast We use Solgar powder.
2-3 tablespoons
Mix to get the right texture