Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Three In The Bed !

When I gave birth to Xene, I spent two nights in hospital, being my first baby and to keep an eye on my rocketing blood pressure due to pre-eclampsia.
After two nights I was fed up and wanted to be home in my own house.

That first night at home, I remember so clearly, we had a chair in the corner for me to sit in and feed her, a place for changing her nappy and her lovely little moses basket in the corner of our bedroom, just as I thought it should be set up. When she woke up I dutifully picked her up, then changed her nappy, she probably didn't need it changing but that was what it had said in the book, then I sat in the chair to feed her, after she had finished I winded her and placed her in the cold moses basket, to which she immediately began screaming and proceeded to return most of the milk that I had given her!!

This routine went on for a few nights and I began to realise that I couldn't physically function on zero sleep, so something had to change....

Nappies were no longer changed at every feed during the night, in fact very seldom did I change it during the small hours, and I began feeding Xene lying in our bed, which settled her quickly and she no longer screamed.

I began to feel more confident about caring for her and knew that the slightest murmur from her and I was wide awake (the same could not be said of my husband, who still doesn't hear them 14 years later!!) therefore there was no harm in me sleeping with her next to me in the bed.

At the time it was quite a big issue and I was constantly reading information telling you not to share a bed with your baby, that it was dangerous and you could suffocate them, but I knew that my instincts for taking care of Xene were too great to put her in any danger, plus I was doing her no good being a zombie mum all day.

And so, our journey with co-sleeping began, and it has continued with every child that we have had. I have never made a secret of the fact we co-sleep, it just doesn't come up very often in conversation, a bit like the feeding past age one!!

However I have been rather shocked by some reactions whenever I see an article about co-sleeping, which is the reason I decided to write my final post about this subject.

I have read comments that you will have the child in your bed forever, which is not the case, occasionally we get a visit from Eowyn aged three, but that is usually if she has had a bad dream or needs something. I don't actually think all eight of us would fit in our bed to be quite honest, although at the weekend they do try!! Each child has moved easily and stress free into their own little junior bed, when they have been ready.

I do not drink or smoke, therefore my children are not being put at risk, and I think having them so close to you makes you very aware of their movements and breathing, which I find comforting.


Thankyou for reading my post, if you have any comments please feel free to leave them below.

If you have enjoyed reading, you will find more articles about breastfeeding at these locations.

The fabulous Boobie Milk is giving away a £50 voucher as part of the Grand Prize Draw, they have also kindly given my wonderful readers a chance to win a £15 voucher to be spent on Nursing Bras or Nursing Vests on the site, here

Thank you for reading. Please complete the following Rafflecopter to enter the competition for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Grand Prize Draw.

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Saturday, 16 June 2012

Peer Supporters Rock !

When I began my breastfeeding journey over fourteen years ago, the level of information and support was very limited. I attended a breastfeeding workshop, which was a two hour group session with my midwife, who happened to be the breastfeeding expert in our area.

I knew that I wanted to breastfeed and was adamant that I would, regardless, I never bought any bottles, or a steriliser. I am one of those people that needs to know as much information as I can about a subject beforehand, so I went to the local library and found as many books as I could about childbirth and breastfeeding, and spent the pregnancy reading them all.

Many things have changed over the past fourteen years, and the level of support and information about breastfeeding has increased quite significantly.
When Tyrus was born last June I was offered a telephone call from the local breastfeeding team, however I felt quite well equipped to deal with my sixth, but it was nice to know if I did have any problems that someone was at the end of a telephone.

The breastfeeding team consists of a group of trained nurses and midwives who are always on hand to answer any questions or queries, they arrange visits to see new breastfeeding mums and their babies, if ever there is a problem someone is always available to help. They also have a  number of voluntary peer supporters who work alongside them.

As the months went by, I made the decision that I had been very fortunate with my breastfeeding journey, although I knew many that hadn't and as it is something I am very passionate about, I enquired about using my knowledge and experience to help others.
In March 2012 I undertook a two day UNICEF training course to become a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter.

The area that I am in is Great Yarmouth & Waveney, and the group of supporters that we have are just fab.

Below is a little bit about us :

Breast Friends are a dedicated group of peer supporters, trained in Breastfeeding Management by the UNICEF trained NHS East Coast Community Healthcare Breastfeeding Team.

We are all mothers with personal experience of breastfeeding who come from a variety of backgrounds with very different experiences of our breastfeeding journey.

We are always available at the local Baby Cafes to support mums before and during their breastfeeding experience.

You will also find us offering help and advice at the local hospital, on the maternity ward, delivery suite and Special Care Baby unit.

I love visiting the Baby Cafe and spending time with the new mums and their bundles of joy, and love helping in any way I can. In the future I would like to help pregnant mums with their feeding decisions and possibly go into high schools and give the teenage girls the correct information about feeding before they even begin on their parenting journey. I remember a mum coming to talk to our Nursery Nursing course and that stuck with me, throughout my late teens.

Who did you go to for support and how did they help you with your breastfeeding ?.

If you have enjoyed reading, you will find more articles about breastfeeding at these locations.

The wonderful Ardo have provided a breastpump for the Grand Prize Draw, take a look at their website they are WHO compliant and fabulous!

To be in with a chance of winning the Grand Prize Draw,
please enter via the Rafflecopter below.
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Friday, 8 June 2012

Ten Things My Midwife or Health Visitor Never Told Me About Breastfeeding

The information that we receive before we begin our breastfeeding journey is wonderful, and can help us greatly, this post however with the theme of mum-to-mum sharing hopefully will have you nodding in agreement or laughing along with me, these ten things are my own personal experience, but I hope you get what I mean...

1.       Leaky boobs !

I knew that mums who breastfed were prone to slight leaking, but never knew that each mum had a different amount of milk. I found out after having my first daughter that my milk was in abundance, I vividly remember sitting at home feeding her and my favourite shirt becoming completely soaked, much to the embarrassment of my sister’s boyfriend, who was sat in the room!! Each subsequent birth has been the same, I could probably feed most of Norfolk and Suffolk… as my mother in law says, I certainly have Gold Top!!

2.       Breastfeeding is Orgasmic!

Don’t panic ladies, I don’t mean the scene from `When harry Met Sally’ that every time we breastfeed we started banging the table and shouting Yessss but when we breastfeed Oxytocin is released, also known as the happy drug, and also present after an orgasm, which is why every woman should breastfeed, that way we could all be happy for most of the time - when we are not sleep deprived zombies!!

3.        My Baby looks Drunk!   

If you have a baby that enjoys good long feeds, then you will understand what I am talking about, when they finish their feed they have a glazed look in their eyes and look as if they have had far too much beer!! Not to forget the hypnotic power of feeding your baby, how it is possible just to drop off to sleep, no matter where you are or who you are with, I have been known on a few occasions to actually fall asleep whilst sitting feeding and having a conversation with members of my family, or be watching a film, then realise it has ended and you have no idea what has happened!!

4.       I have my own fountain!

I am still amazed at how far I am able to shoot milk from my breast, my poor babies have all been covered in it, my husband has been soaked by it and if one of the children pulls away whilst feeding I have no control over where it sprays or how far it reaches… Only the other day I was hand expressing whilst in the bath as I felt one of my ducts was becoming blocked, my three year old walked in and stared in amazement, “Wow mummy your booby is like a fountain” for the past few days this has been her main topic of conversation…

5.       I have My Own Cannonballs !

As most of you will know from reading my last post, I have never been blessed with large breasts, only whilst breastfeeding, but what shocked me the most was when the milk comes in, or I haven’t fed for a while, they really do resemble a pair of cannonballs, and I feel so sorry for the baby trying to feed at this stage, it looks like a very difficult job, they really look as if they are working overtime to latch on.

6.       Yes They Are My Own Boobs !
Following on from Cannonball boobs, I was quite amazed when I had full breasts, how many people thought I had gone and had a boob job, I had heard one of the ways to tell was when lying on a beach, someone whose boobs stayed upright and didn’t flop to the sides had probably had a boob job, well let me tell you, someone with engorged breasts or full of milk also keep them in place.
Three years ago I was playing in a Beach Rugby tournament and we had a few well known rugby players taking part, we all had our t-shirts signed by them, one very cheeky chap signed across my chest, and another girls,making a comment about boob enlargement and how he could tell just from looking, I didn’t want to embarrass the rather lovely man, but my breasts had other ideas as they began leaking all over my newly signed t-shirt, the look of confusion and embarrassment on his face made me smirk all day, and now when I see him playing rugby on TV I do chuckle to myself….

7.       Bullet Nipples

And finally, the last part of the breast in this discussion is the nipple, I am still amazed how something so sensitive can turn into what I can only describe as a bullet, I am beginning to see where Madonna got her idea for the cone bra, I read somewhere that they thought it resembled a wet puppy’s nose, and I guess they are right when feeding, however get me out in the cold and I seriously think I could take someone’s eye out!! Thank goodness for padded bras and breast pads…

8.       The Thirst

Is it me, or does everyone find that when feeding they could drink an entire two litre bottle of liquid, seriously, if you suffer from the thirst, you will know exactly what I mean, whenever I sit down to feed one of my little ones I ensure I have a large glass of squash, or if I am feeling particularly low on energy a glass of fizzy (sshh don’t tell my diet, that bans all junk and fizzy!!). I found that with baby number one, when I stayed in hospital for two days I drank lots, I think this was mainly due to boredom as I was the only BF mum, so was in a whole six bedded bay by myself, but when I returned home, I didn’t drink so much, but boy did I start drinking again, the lack of liquid did nothing to dilute the wee and it stung like mad, therefore I would recommend that every new mum drink lots of fluids, to avoid that stinging sensation…

9.       Baby Makes a great bib

Another thing I was never told was just how much it was possible to do whilst breastfeeding your baby, read a book, write a letter, type a breastfeeding post (yes I am doing that now!!) and also to eat your meals, because you can guarantee as soon as you sit down to eat a meal, your little one will feel the need to eat too. Over the years I have learnt never to eat a meal that is either hot or that could stain, as no matter how careful you are, every now and again, a little bit of your meal will find its way onto your baby’s head or arm, sometimes even leg… or is it just me that’s a messy eater !!

10.       ALWAYS label the breastmilk in the fridge.

This may seem like an obvious one, but I thought I would mention it, as my husband has been caught out a few times, and almost had cereal a la breast milk, now I know some people are OK with it, but I am still torn, yes if it was the only thing left in the world I would obviously drink it, but it’s the own body fluid issue I think. There are recipes available for breast milk ice cream, lollies, in fact a few websites list lots of recipes, where you just substitute cow’s milk for breast milk. I remember being at college doing my nursery nursing course and being given the opportunity to try breast milk then, but it has never really grabbed me….

These are just my observations throughout my last 14 years of breastfeeding (OMG really..), if you have any others, please comment below.
If you have enjoyed reading, you will find more articles about breastfeeding at these locations.

The fabulous Boobie Milk is giving away a £50 voucher as part of the Grand Prize Draw, they have also kindly given my wonderful readers a chance to win a £15 voucher to be spent on Nursing Bras or Nursing Vests on the site.

Thank you for reading. Please complete the following Rafflecopter to enter the competition for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Grand Prize and £15 BoobieMilk voucher.


a Rafflecopter giveaway