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August 2007
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October 2007

Timewasters!

It's Saturday morning and right now I'm sitting on my sofa feeling absolutely furious, not to mention more than a little bit tearful. I've been up since 7.15 am because a joiner told me he'd be here at 8am to put a few badly-needed shelves in my hotpress.

When it reached 8.35 am I just got that feeling you get when you know you're being stood up. (Remember way back when you were a teenager...)

Now what makes me really mad is that I spent all day yesterday preparing for him - clearing out the hotpress, making arrangements for my daughters to stay overnight with my parents so they'd be out of his way and even buying in snacks for his coffee breaks. We also rushed back home early last night from a rare night out together just so we'd all be able to get up bright and early this morning.

Considering Saturday is about the only day of the week that I get any sort of rest I feel robbed of that too.

Why the heck don't people like this have the manners to phone their customers if they can't honour their arrangements? Why do they bother agreeing to take on the job in the first place? Is it just plain greed, or a true lack of respect for other peoples time? - "I'll take on the job so no-one else gets the chance to and tough cookies if something better crops up in the meantime..."

Imagine if we as breastfeeding mothers were to follow this trend:

"Oh my goodness you're starving aren't you? I'll feed you right now, buttercup. Oh actually, I''ll just vacuum first and then go shopping and I think I''ll phone around a few friends for a bit of a chat... you'll just have to wait until I can can be bothered to squeeze you in..."

To top my frustration all off, I now have another day's work ahead of me putting all the stuff I took out of the hotpress back in, I have to go and collect the children and I'll be on tenterhooks all day just in case he does turn up! Grrrrr... 

If only more women were in trades I'm quite sure things would be much better run - and that's coming from someone who is by no means a feminist. I just happen to believe it's true.

Timewasters... just tell me why?


Specialist Maternity Lingerie

Amoralia_maternity_and_nursing_lingerieWhen I was both pregnant and breastfeeding I often lamented the fact that I found it extremely difficult to find pretty, feminine lingerie. Normally the most that was on offer, was pretty plain and rather mumsy!

However, in recent years the trend has changed as more manufacturers appear to have realised that mums-to-be and breastfeeding mums are looking for much more than mumsy!

Even though I'm no longer either pregnant or breastfeeding, I still take an interest in what's happening in the world of mothers' lingerie...

So, just a few days ago when I discovered a London-based specialist maternity and breastfeeding lingerie site, www.Amoralia.com, I thought I'd share it with any of you mums out there looking to spice up your own collection a little!

Amoralia offer many beautiful and unique nursing bras, maternity bras, nightwear, swimwear, briefs and camisoles... and I'm not the only one to think so as they've featured in many national pregnancy magazines and newspapers.

Make sure to check out their fabulous nightwear - you'll be looking forward to having an excuse to show it off!


Free Pregnancy Podcasts

Although this is predominantly a breastfeeding blog, my website (which started out as such) has evolved over time to also incorporate lots of pregnancy information. As I said here before, I realised soon after starting the website that I needed to reach out to pregnant women as well as those women who were already breastfeeding in order to get the message across that breastfeeding is nature's way to feed a baby... and for good reason.

Over time I've noticed that the majority of my website's visitors are actually searching for pregnancy articles particularly Preparing for Pregnancy, Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Morning Sickness During Pregnancy. And for this reason I thought I'd mention here that these articles, as well as lots more both pregnancy and breastfeeding related, are now also available as podcasts on my other blog, BreastfeedingMums Podcasts and below.

So if you're thinking of getting pregnant in the near future, wondering if you might already be pregnant, or trying to cope with the debilitating waves of nausea that often accompany pregnancy then have a listen to the following podcasts:

Download podcast-preparing-for-pregnancy.mp3

Download podcast-early-pregnancy-symptoms.mp3

Download podcast-pregnancy-and-morning-sickness.mp3

And please, do keep checking out BreastfeedingMums Podcasts for new additions!


Breastfeeding Mum on Coronation Street

Violet, breastfeeding-mum-to-be Yay for Coronation Street! I'm a huge fan of this wonderful British soap and although I'm often too busy with my children to watch it at its scheduled times, I do record every single episode to watch when they've all gone to bed.

So, whilst catching up on a few recent episodes I was thrilled to hear Violet, the very pretty and pregnant Coronation Street barmaid, reveal to her ex, Jamie, that she'll be breastfeeding her baby after the birth. Not only that but she also jokingly lamented the fact that since she's pregnant she's unable to drink alcohol during her pregnancy... and that was whilst drinking a mineral water!

Let's hope now that we see some positive images of Violet actually breastfeeding after her baby is born.

If only more popular television shows tried to get such important health messages across I have no doubt many young parents-to-be would sit up, take notice and as a result would give their babies a much healthier start to life by reducing the risks associated with alcohol consumption during pregnancy and advocating the benefits of breastfeeding afterwards.

Now, anyone got any ideas on how I could get the programme makers to drop in the name of my oh-so-wonderful pregnancy and breastfeeding website, www.BreastFeedingMums.com? ;)


September Carnival of Breastfeeding - Breastfeeding and Sleep

Welcome to September's Carnival of Breastfeeding, the theme of which is Breastfeeding and Sleep.

As usual, there are many great posts to follow from both our regular participants as well as our guests bloggers! These are listed below and will be updated throughout the day!

Here's my post:

Sleep, Oh Sleep! Wherefore Art Thou, Sleep?

The days are cold, the nights are long,
The North wind sings a doleful song;
Then hush again upon my breast;
All merry things are now at rest,
Save thee, my pretty love!
~Dorothy Wordsworth, "The Cottager to Her Infant"

Breastfeeding and Sleep... ah, is there really such a thing? I ask because in all the time I was a breastfeeding mum not one of my three children respected this ever-increasing burning desire of mine. Oh yes, they breastfed alright and they slept alright... at one point half-hourly day and night! As a result, it was my own lack of sleep that I found troubling. Pre-baby days had allowed me to enjoy lazy lie-ins after late nights out. My first experiences of my partying baby didn't afford the same luxuries!

Recently, my sister-in-law gave birth to her first baby, a precious little breastfed girl. On our first visit to see the new baby my husband and I couldn't help but smile when we were asked how long it would be before she slept through the night... I didn't have the heart to point out that newborns sleep a lot more in the early days than in the following weeks, nor did I like to tell her that growth spurts at 4, 8 and 12 weeks would leave the whole family craving sleep like a desert craves water. They are at the beginning of their journey. And they'll find it all out soon enough.

What I could share with the new parents was that hard as it may be to cope with the lack of decent sleep that accompanies the arrival of any newborn, it is certainly preferable to be breastfeeding at these times than formula feeding.

Night-time breastfeeding allowed me to stay tucked up in bed with my hungry baby. It enabled me to feed her as soon as she squirmed, rather than rushing downstairs to prepare a bottle all the time listening to her distressed hungry cries.

With each baby I fed at night I have the most beautiful memories:

I recall gently lifting my cuddly terry baby-gro'd baby into our bed for each breastfeed, tender moments when I snuggled close to my baby, breathing in her sweet baby smell.

I rejoice in remembering the satisfied sound of greedy baby breaths as she gulped her milk from my breast.

I relive magical moments spent absorbing the silence of the night, time spent gazing at baby perfection.

Of course I also fretted over the sound of the bedside clock as sleep-lost minutes whizzed by and wondered if I'd get a full night's sleep ever again. I trod the stairs to bed wearily each night know that what stretched in front of me was not peaceful slumber but rather multiple awakenings...

Looking back it seems incomprehensible that I ever persevered with breastfeeding particularly when I began to experience sleep-deprived hallucinations!! But I did and I'm glad I did because, touch wood, I have three very beautiful, very healthy children and I'm quite sure breastfeeding played a big part in this.

At the end of it all I can say with certain conviction that breastfeeding and (lack of) sleep isn't so bad really.

Now formula-feeding and sleep... I'd really rather not go there!

Make sure to check out the following Breastfeeding and Sleep posts :

Tanya at Motherwear Blog: Sleep

Angela at Breastfeeding 123: Why Sleep Training Makes Me Want to Cry

Jennifer at The Lactivist: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream

Andi at Mama Knows Breast: Breastfeeding and Sleep

Isil at Veggie Way: Breastfeeding and Sleep

Nicole at Leche, Baby!: Breastfeeding and Sleep

Jen at Mama's Magic: So Tired

Amy at Crunchy Domestic Goddess: Co-Sleeping For Sanity

Jodi at Life With  Twins: Breastfeeding and Sleep

Hathor the Cow Goddess: Visions of Yummies


My Nearly Book of Breastfeeding!

Recently I revealed how I've started podcasting.

Now there's something else I want to share with everyone...

Some months ago I decided it was about time I followed my heart and started to do something I've dreamt about for a very long time - write a book. Many moons ago, when I was still a schoolgirl, I briefly considered journalism as a future career. Whilst I later obviously changed my mind, instead becoming an English teacher, I've always enjoyed composing and writing my own articles.

So, following in the footsteps of fellow blogger and author of Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner's Guide to Breastfeeding, Andi Silverman, I'm excited to reveal that I've just completed the first draft of my very own breastfeeding memoirs!

I must admit it's been a lot of fun revisiting my ageing diaries, ancient blog posts and cherished memories and I've thoroughly enjoyed putting the past seven years all in one place!  Although I've still a few anecdotes to add to my book-to-be and some serious polishing is required, I'm almost at the point of searching for that all-elusive publisher - any tips much appreciated :)

All in all, I haven't really had too much time to dwell on the fact that I'm no longer a breastfeeding mum. Instead I'm chomping at the bit, as they say, as I embark on yet another learning adventure, one I have absolutely no doubt I'm going to truely enjoy...

(Oh and before I go I must just reveal there's another revelation coming very soon...)


Breastfed Baby Makes Breakfast in Bed!

Having been a breastfeeding mum for so long (five out of the last seven years) I thought it was just the breastfed babies that got to have breakfast in bed in our house!

So imagine my delight and surprise when my first breastfed baby, who is now 7 years old, presented me with mine this morning!

When I awoke Tara was standing beside me with the morning mail. Then she went back downstairs only to reappear with a glass of orange juice and two slices of toast! (What makes this momentous event even more special is that she knew exactly how I like my toast.)

I remember doing the same for my mummy when I was around the same age and feeling so grown up.

Looks like it's my turn to be on the receiving end now... so I'll make the most of it, albeit with tears in my eyes, as I realise just how quickly the years are passing!


Inspiration Injection?

Ever had one of those days when you just can't get inspired to write? Today is one of those days for me... I know there's plenty going on in the world of breastfeeding, not least the latest research stating that breastfeeding doesn't protect against asthma or allergies - but to be honest I can't get motivated about it! Maybe it's because I know that in a few days, weeks or months another report will show the opposite to be true!

Some days wine is good for your heart, then it's bad for your liver. Tea is great for reducing your risk of contracting cancer, then it causes insomnia. Red meat is bad for your cholesterol levels, but it's great at preventing iron-deficient anaemia! And so it goes on...

So today I'm just going to keep my opinions to myself... and try to think of something else to write about next time.


Wet-Nursing

What would your feelings be if you walked into your lounge to find your child-minder breastfeeding your child - without any prior discussions with you about it?

I ask the question after reading this story.

Personally, I would be horrified. I'm not against wet-nursing and certainly it was normal practice in days gone by. But, as it apparently begins to make a reappearance, it's of concern to me that people may be practising it for the wrong reasons and without any health checks.

No matter how well I knew another breastfeeding mother, and regardless of whether or not she was currently breastfeeding her own child, I would be very concerned about any undiagnosed illnesses she may be carrying and passing on via her breastmilk, not to mention the breach of trust involved in this case.

Remember, before any breastfeeding woman is cleared to donate her expressed milk to a milk bank she has to pass some rigorous health tests. That's the way it should be and the way it has to be in order to protect the defenceless and often very ill baby who will be fed her milk.

But wet-nursing is often practised between family and friends. I have a big problem with that. Quite apart from the interfering with the special breastfeeding bond between mother and child, the over-riding concern I feel is in regard to the health issues.

For me, breastfeeding is a time precious to mother and child.

Yes, wet-nurses serve a purpose - but surely that purpose should only ever be with consent and after proper health checks have been carried out... not because the other woman felt it was inappropriate to disturb the mother (who in this case was taking a telephone call in the next room)?

Would you wet-nurse? Would you be happy to let another family member or friend wet-nurse your baby? Would you insist on health tests first?

I'd love your opinions on this one.


Join Our Carnival - Breastfeeding and Sleep

It's very nearly Carnival time again and for our September Carnival of Breastfeeding, the theme is "Breastfeeding and Sleep".

We're searching for posts that have anything to do with breastfeeding and sleep issues, such as co-sleeping, sleep deprivation, sleeping through the night...

If you're interested in joining us, (male bloggers also welcome - share your take on this month's theme!) and would like to be considered as a guest blogger for the September Carnival, please ensure that you follow these criteria before submitting your post:

    1. Please write your post in a clear and concise manner.
    2. Check your grammar and spellings.
    3. Stay on topic.
    4. The overall quality of the rest of your blog and its relevance to our readers will be taken into account when choosing participants.
    5. If your blog post is chosen, on the day of the Carnival you will be reminded to include permalinks in a summary post to each of the other permanent blogs in the Carnival  (ie. BreastfeedingMums Blog, Breastfeeding 123, Mama Knows Breast, Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog and The Lactivist Breastfeeding Blog) and to also include links to the other guest bloggers.

Please email me your post by September 11th.

Enjoy!

See examples of past carnivals here.