It’s National Breastfeeding Week in Ireland. This means it’s time to celebrate all that is good and great about supporting women feeding their babies. It’s not something I feel particularly well-experienced in to write much about. My experience revolved around 9 weeks of supplementing, of panic and of not enough support – not exactly a ringing endorsement. There’s definitely a lot I’ve learned since. There’s lots that will be put into practice if there’s another baby to make it a better experience for everyone. However, this year the slogan for the week is “Every Breastfeed Makes A Difference”. Here is a stash of breastfeeding resources which I have found to be EXCELLENT. In celebration of the boob-tastic women who fuel their kiddies themselves, I hope you find this helpful.
Parenting is a learn on the job kind of gig. There’s no training course, no book, no YouTube series that will prepare you for how full on it all is. I read a LOT when I was pregnant, and through the sleepless nights of feeds and windy babies. But the experience itself is something that you have to live through – which sounds like one of those things THOSE parents say, the ones we all resent “oh you just don’t know, you don’t have kids”. It’s life in a war zone. A beautiful, funny war zone that will leave you with scars and tears but laughter lines and good memories too. I learned a lot about life, about myself and about the whole keeping-a-human-alive thing. So, what would I do differently on a second baby?
When E was born, I was keeping an open mind when it came to breastfeeding. I’d told myself it wasn’t a big deal if I wasn’t able to do it. However, I Â found it incredible to be able to feed my baby myself. From the beginning, E was fed using a mixture of boob feeds and pumped feeds. I was advised by medical staff in hospital that supplementing his milk would be necessary to up his weight. As much as possible, I wanted to stick to breast milk as I knew it was best for baby. So I pumped. I found it incredible to be able to see the liquid gold in front of me, and ensure my baby got the goodness. It also meant that his Daddy or grandparents could do a feed, while I got some well needed rest.
There’s been a lot in the media in the last few days about Jamie Oliver. Having struck a victory over the addictive substance infiltrating young people worldwide (sugar) with the incoming sugar tax in the UK, he wasn’t one to rest on his laurels. While announcing another new addition to the Oliver clan (this will be their fifth child), Jamie Oliver stated in a radio interview that he would look to campaign about the benefits of breastfeeding babies as to hopefully increase the numbers of breastfeeding mothers in the UK. His comments, in particular his description of the task as “easy”, have seen him slated around the various social media outlets and certain publications – he is being demonised for “mansplaining” breastfeeding to women who know better.
But you know, I think he has a point, and his use of the word “easy” isn’t what you should be getting angry about. (more…)
I don’t know whether this is the same for everyone or not, but during my pregnancy, it was preached to me from my 12-week appointment how important it would be to breastfeed. The midwives were encouraging and full of information, and leaflets outlined the various benefits that breastmilk would give to the newborn babies. That said, I never found them to be overly pushy or preachy, they did leave it up to the individual, but it was not left as something vague just how much breastfeeding was expected of each mother to give the best start to their child in life.
As I have said previously, none of my peer group of close friends had had babies when I was pregnant, or indeed had my own baby. This left me at a distinct disadvantage with regard to planning play dates or even just socialising – the best cafes (newer, hipster, slightly better coffee) always seemed to be inaccessible and as cute as they did find my son, the lack of conversation on his part (and the lack on my own, between only having baby things to talk about and being distracted by him) was definitely a deterrent. I noticed them pull away a bit and so was left in a bit of a twilight zone. Enter the Mammy and Baby groups. (more…)
Going from LearnerMama‘s Blog Linky, “Ten things I’ve learned as a Mother”, I’ve decided to add my list of discoveries of the last eight weeks to the pile. Being a new Mammy has certainly been a journey of discovery, and while I’m fully aware this is only the beginning, I feel like its been a hell of an education so far. Eight weeks, ten things, here we go.
Its been a long week. Little Man came into being at 7.05 on Monday morning, and since then its been a mix of sleep deprivation, wondering why he won’t eat, wondering if he’ll ever stop eating, wondering if he’ll ever wake up, wondering if he’ll ever just go to bloody sleep… and some more sleep deprivation on the part of Mammy. (more…)