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May 2007
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July 2007

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Stories Wanted!

Your Story Here? Fancy getting some extra traffic for your website or blog or just some recognition for yourself as a mother (or father)?

I'm putting together some more pregnancy and breastfeeding stories for my website, BreastFeedingMums, and would love to include some from visitors to this site!

I've already had quite a few breastfeeding stories sent to me over the past year or so and as I've written before, I am diversifying the site to include more pregnancy information.

I know that when I was pregnant I loved reading other mums' pregnancy stories and spent an absolute fortune on pregnancy magazines. I delighted in finding stories from women at the same stage of pregnancy as I was and reading about how they coped with morning sickness, heartburn and even labour itself!

Then, when my baby was born and breastfeeding became an issue, it was great to read about how other mums coped with the endless sleepless nights or to get some positioning tips or ideas for treatments during bouts of mastitis!

So, if you'd like to see your own story featured on BreastFeedingMums then please email it to me. Don't forget to include your name (let me know if you want to remain anonymous!) and your website url so I can include a link!

For pregnancy stories, include details such as:

how soon you realised you were pregnant; whether your pregnancy was planned; how you felt when you found out; symptoms you had and how soon; your feelings on seeing your baby on a scan and feeling it kick; any pregnancy problems you suffered; family and medical support you received; your birth choices; the big day.

For breastfeeding stories include information such as: why you breastfed; how you got on; problems you had; what support you got or would have liked; whether you enjoyed breastfeeding; if you are currently breastfeeding, how long you think you'll continue; if you've finished breastfeeding, how long you breastfed.

I look forward to receiving all your wonderful stories and please know that they are all very much appreciated and will undoubtedly help many other pregnant and breastfeeding mums.


Breastfeeding - Let's Get Educated!

Thanks to Abel Cheng from ParentWonder.com for forwarding this report to me pointing out how in the UK, formula companies are putting children's health a poor second when it comes to spreading their product propaganda.

I'm not going to go through the whole article - I'm sure you're all well able to read it for yourselves! But basically what it boils down to is that lack of education and government complacency add up to a nation of ill-informed and mis-informed young people who appear to be mostly unaware of the benefits of breastfeeding, many believing that formula-feeding is as good as, or even better than, breastfeeding!

And, thanks to Tanya for this story, that's not all they're up to - believe it or not there is a new website, Moms Feeding Freedom, doing the rounds purporting to offer support for new mums regarding how they feed their babies!

Guess how this new site is funded? Wait for it... it's funded by the International Formula Council!

Isn't that nice? I wonder where their priorities lie. Does anyone out there believe that this site is genuinely interested in helping mothers to make informed choices regarding how they feed their babies?

Within moments of browsing this new site, I could see through its smoke screen straight away. Although on the surface it appears supportive of breastfeeding and to be the work of a couple of mothers, the message it spreads boils down to this:

As soon as you hit a hurdle grab that box of emergency formula you've cleverly stocked and all your problems will be solved. And you'll be a happy mum. And your baby will be a happy baby. And your husband will be a happy husband. All in all, you'll be a happy little formula family...

As for choices? I'm all for mothers making choices as long as the choices they make are informed choices. And that means presenting mums with facts.

Breastfeeding is better for babies.

Breastfeeding is better for mums.

Breastfeeding is better for society.

Breastfeeding is better than formula.

Full stop.

Most mothers are well able to breastfeed. Lots of mothers do breastfeed. Lots of mothers succeed.

The site in question implies that those who don't breastfeed do so because they can't or don't want to, or have certain conditions or medications that mean they shouldn't breastfeed. It's not as simple as that...

Yes, some mothers are vehemently opposed to breastfeeding. Some have concerns as far as their own health and medication go. Some simply don't feel confident about breastfeeding.

But mostly, the reason women don't breastfeed is down to lack of support and lack of knowledge about the scientifically proven benefits of breastfeeding.

This could all be avoided if there was more funding available for breastfeeding support workers. And who could help to make the biggest changes? Umm... wouldn't that be mothers who are currently breastfeeding, or who have breastfed their own babies?

Most mums resent some medical person (who probably hasn't breastfed but has read lots about it) at an antenatal class telling them to breastfeed. I know from my own experience of talking to mums who both have and haven't breastfed that many women enter those classes expecting to be bullied into breastfeeding. So they go in, all guns blazing, adamantly declaring to anyone who will listen, "No-one is going to make me breastfeed!"

Here in the UK there is a chronic shortage of breastfeeding peer support workers. Why? Well, guess what? They're expected to work for nothing!

Which brings us neatly back to the role that our government plays. Start paying more attention to the importance of educating women (and men) about breastfeeding. Stop expecting women who can help breastfeeding mothers to do it free of charge. Most can't afford to. And think of the money that the health service could save if more babies were breastfed! The money spent on support workers would be more than made up for by lives saved and the lighter strain on much-needed resources!

All pregnant mothers need to be aware of why breast is best ; that means offering proper support. Not one short talk at an antenatal class.

Teach it in primary schools.

Teach it in secondary schools.

Teach it in college.

Teach it in the workplace.

Invest in the breastfeeding message - take a leaf out of the formula companies book! Let's learn a thing or two from them about how to spread that message...


Free Breastfeeding Videos

Looking for free breastfeeding videos?

It isn't always the easiest thing in the world filtering through free breastfeeding videos as some are obviously of much better quality than others, but I found that the following, which I've added to my website, BreastfeedingMums.com, were all excellent:

Successful Breastfeeding: A Beginner's Guide to Getting Started

Breast Feeding

Breastfeeding Positions

Breast Feeding Problems

Infant Gas and Burping

Newborn and Infant Weaning

I'm a great believer in learning from other people, particularly where breastfeeding is concerned, and that's why I chose these particular videos. They are all expertly put together, very informative and well worth having a look at.

I'll be adding more free breastfeeding videos in the future... as and when I can!


British Library Archives Breastfeeding Blog

The_british_library_reading_room A couple of weeks ago I was invited to submit this site to the British Library for archiving!

"The British Library is building a collection of blogs. This collection will form part of the UK Web Archiving Consortium (UKWAC) initiative to archive websites of research interest.  Please visit www.webarchive.org.uk  if you wish to see the current online archive which is publicly accessible.

We would like to invite you to have your site included in this important collection for Internet research.  We will be selecting some 150 key sites to form the basis of the blog’s collection until August 2007 but archiving will continue into the future."

Of course I am both thrilled and excited by this. Firstly, that they consider my site worthy of such an honour and secondly, because it means I'll be chatting to breastfeeding mums for the rest of eternity... or for however long the archive lasts!

I like to imagine some day someone finding my archived blog on a dusty old shelf somewhere, deciding to take a peek and walking away thinking how unusual it was that breastfeeding in public was something that was frowned upon in the 21st century, or that only a minority of western women breastfed their babies!

I hope things have changed drastically in the future and that breastfeeding is perceived as the norm rather than the exception.

I hope that women who breastfeed can do so openly, without feeling uncomfortable if they choose breastfeed in public for fear of negative reactions.

I hope that women who breastfeed are in the majority.

But maybe most of all, I hope my great great grand-daughter stumbles across my blog and thinks, "Wow, my great great granny had one of those strange blog things... and she breastfed all her children... and she helped other breastfeeding mums too. Cool! I can't wait to tell my friends about this!"

Eternity here I come...


Father's Day Wishes

Dad, your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever.  - Author Unknown

Happy Father's Day to my hubby, Stan, the perfect father to our perfect little rascals!

Happy Father's Day to my own Daddy, the greatest father I could ever have wished for - I feel very blessed to have a dad like you :)

Finally, Happy Father's Day to all the daddies in the world, especially those of you who have offered wonderful support to your breastfeeding wives or partners!!

Enjoy Father's Day, all you Fathers!


Breastfeeding Celebrations!

It's celebration time! BreastfeedingMums, The Blog, has reached a new milestone... this is the two hundredth post! Who would've believed it?

So where did it all begin?

Well, it all began one day when I was feeling a bit down about the fact that I was stuck at home all day with a toddler and a new baby, with the school run for my eldest rapidly becoming the biggest social event of each day! I just lived for Monday mornings when I attended a local breastfeeding support group simply to get chatting to other breastfeeding mums.

I had reached a point in my life where I was seriously questioning why I had bothered with four years of university education, completing an English degree and a teaching qualification - when my chosen path was so obviously full-time mummyhood.

However, as I deliberated with myself, I quickly came to realise that I still had a burning ambition to educate.

Once a teacher, Always a teacher!

Continue reading "Breastfeeding Celebrations!" »


Beach Thing!

Beach_ThingAnyone got any idea what this is? I noticed it in the water on a local beach. At first I thought maybe it was an unexploded grenade! But on closer inspection, I don't think it is. It looks a little more organic than that...

All thoughts appreciated!


My Hubby, My Best Breastfeeding Buddy!

Hey, it's time for the seventh Carnival of Breastfeeding! This month, in honour of Father's day, we have some great posts (listed below) looking at the role that dads play during breastfeeding.

So without further ado, here's my contribution:

My Hubby, My Best Breastfeeding Buddy!

How did my hubby support my first tentative attempts at breastfeeding?

Well I guess you could say if it hadn't been for his unwavering support I may well never have breastfed for so long. He did all the things a supportive husband of a breastfeeding mum does. He made sure I always had a glass of water by my side, cooked endless meals over the first few weeks, saw to the visitors and insisted I rested plenty.

Never once did he question my decision to breastfeed, nor did he ever ask me when I intended to stop; as far as he was concerned that decision was one for me to make.

That doesn't mean we didn't discuss it.

Of course we did, mostly during the dark days when I felt exhausted from sleep deprivation or suffered from yet another bout of mastitis. Occasionally he felt duty-bound to point out that I needed to take care of myself too, not just the new baby... but ultimately he respected how much my decision to breastfeed meant to me and he let me get on with it.

As our family has grown (now we are on number three!) and breastfeeding has become part and parcel of family life, I often ponder on how different things may have turned out if I'd formula fed. In fact, just this morning my seven year old quipped, "Mummy, isn't it a good job you had Jack, because if you hadn't had him them you'd never have had BreastFeedingMums".

How true - and somehow I can't see myself as the owner of FormulaFeedingMums. LOL

When I told Stan about this month's Carnival he was bemused that I wanted him to write on my blog - and I must confess I was hesitant because his writing style is oh so different to mine (Have a peep at his blog to see what I mean!!).

However, he happily obliged and here's what he had to say (By the way, I was sorely tempted to edit it a lot, but I thought it was too good an opportunity to share with everyone what I have to put up with LOL :

My wife is pretty fantastic person as well as being a fantastically pretty person.

For the past seven years she has been able to function remarkably well on a mere 4 hours sleep a week.

I wouldn't say that she functions 'normally' as such, but then again she has got three mad children and me to wash, dress, cook for, clean up after and tuck into bed at night, so I'm really not complaining.

As for support? I try to remember to help out every once in a while:

Put the bin out (every other week). Cut and strim (three times a year).

On four occasions I have stepped into the florists to make the ultimate sacrifice:
I bought a large bouquet.

I don't know as much as I probably should about breastfeeding, but one thing I do know is that babies need breastfed to help build their immune systems. When Jack was only 9 weeks old we all spent an anxious few nights in hospital while he got over a serious lung infection.I still shudder to think how bad it could have got if he hadn't been getting his hourly doses of Supermilk(TM).

Don't forget to check out more great stories about dads and breastfeeding from the sites listed below and make sure to check back regularly throughout the day as more posts will be added as and when they become available!

Regular Contributors:

Guest Contributors:


High Fives!

Hey this was fun... Csara at BabyTalkers memed me!

What were you doing 10 years ago? (5 things)

  1. Finishing my PGCE (Post-Graduate Certificate in Education)
  2. Moving to Jersey, CI
  3. Planning my wedding
  4. Eating out far too many nights!
  5. Running and swimming

Five Snacks You Enjoy:

  1. Crisps
  2. Bananas
  3. Ryvita with lots of Philadelphia
  4. Black pitted olives
  5. Bowl of noodles

Five Songs That You Know All The Lyrics To:

  1. Winnie the Pooh!
  2. New shoes
  3. Groovy Kind of Love
  4. Papa Don't Preach
  5. Set the Fire to The Third Bar

Five Things You Would Do If You Were a Millionaire:

  1. New House
  2. Holiday
  3. Buy gifts for all my family/ clear any debts!
  4. Donate to charities
  5. Hire a personal shopper and buy lots of new clothes!

Five bad habits

  1. Nail biting
  2. Too much time working on my sites!
  3. Sitting up too late at night
  4. Eat too much rubbish food
  5. Drink too much coffee

Five Things You Like To Do:

  1. Sleep
  2. Surf the web
  3. Eat Indian food
  4. Go out for daytrips with my family
  5. Meet friends

Five Things You Would Never Wear Again:

  1. Leggings
  2. Leg-warmers
  3. Skinny jeans
  4. Fluorescent anything!
  5. Denim mini skirt

Five Favorite Toys (I’m assuming these are for me?)

  1. Laptop
  2. My old teddy bear
  3. My Canon 5D DSLR
  4. Plasticine
  5. Colouring pencils

Five people to tag:

Instructions: Remove the blog from the top, move all blogs up one, add yourself to the bottom.

A Beautiful Life

Absolutely Bananas

CrunchyCarpets

BabyTalkers

Breastfeeding Mums


Breastfeeding, Sex... and all that Stuff!

Ever wondered about sex and breastfeeding?

Ever worried about sex and breastfeeding?

It's a topic most often avoided, but Angela over at Breastfeeding 123 has bitten the bullet and written a fascinating post entitled, "Everything You Wanted to Know about Breastfeeding, Sex and Breast Milk Fetishes but Were Afraid to Ask."

Every breastfeeding mum (and dad) needs to read this great article!