Me, Myself and I!

It's been quite a while since I blogged on here and mostly that's because I've been incredibly busy with my growing family. My children are now aged 12, 9, 7 and almost 1!

Actually, I cannot quite believe that my baby will be 1 year old next week and how quickly she is growing. She's still breastfed and I'm pleased to say has got through her first twelve months without so much as a sip of formula. Hooray! She still feeds frequently but most of her feeding is during the night which is not so good. I realised this during the week when she slept for a solid two hours during the previous night without waking and couldn't believe how good I felt the next day! Normally she only goes 90 minutes between night feeds but all my others were the same despite everything I tried. On the positive side, she doesn't really ever cry at night and since birth we've only had one night where she woke the family - and that was during this past week when she kept biting me so I put her in her cot next to my bed whereupon she went bonkers...

Anyway, you can maybe understand why my blogging life has been somewhat sparse of late with all the little people in my life taking up all my days and nights.

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Debenhams Can't Spell!

Oh dear, one of the biggest high street names in the UK has made a HUGE spelling error. 

As I drove past my local Debenhams yesterday, my eye was drawn to their window display. Although I briefly glanced at the pretty celebration dresses, the real thing that leapt right out at me was a giant spelling error. 

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Follow on Formula Adverts are not a Problem says UK Food Watch-Dog

Watch these two ads which are often on UK television and then tell me what message you would get about formula if you were a mum considering breastfeeding or feeling a bit undecided/ having a few problems:

The first ad is of course adorably cute and the second is just plain underhanded and of course both make out very clearly that follow-on formula is as close to perfect as it gets. However, what is so frustrating for me, and I'm sure for many other mothers, is that these types of adverts are something UK mums are constantly being shown on television. Every time a new one appears I feel a deep despair that they are allowed at all.

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Help!!! Western Digital WD800 Passport is dying!

Wd800 I'm feeling a lot sick right now. I have a Western Digital WD800 Passport which I use to back up all my photos and other important stuff. Last time I used it one of the children ran into me knocking it flying onto our wooden floor. However  it was still working after its little accident so I thought no more of it... until yesterday. I had decided it was time to maybe try and sell a few of my best images rather than leaving them unseen on the computer. So I joined a stock photography site and got my WD800 out of its cupboard.

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MyTickerScript.com - Customer Service is Appalling!

MytickerscriptOkay, so I don't like using my blog to post negative reviews about products but this is one I really have to post about because I am incredibly angry about how I've been treated by the company, MyTickerScript.com.

Here's the story. As you know I'm a work at home mum as are many of my blog, forum and website visitors. A week or so ago as I was trying to come up with ways of attracting more traffic to my website I thought to myself, hey, why don't I get one of those scripts that create a ticker that people can use in their forum and siggies. So I started hunting around and found MyTickerScript.com.

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Time for a Ban Follow-on Formula Advertising

Anyone see the new follow-on milk television advertisement on UK television last night?

A new mother holds her newborn whilst the baby's father makes lots of lovely promises about what he will and won't do as his family grows. All the time we see the baby growing bigger and healthier. It's all very sweet and moving... apart from the fact it is a blatant attempt on the part of the manufacturer to make formula feeding appear acceptable from birth onwards. (You see, they're not allowed to advertise formula anymore in the UK, so they have to get around the ban somehow. And as follow-on isn't covered by the ban, they get their message out by manipulating the rules.)

But then what else can we expect from the makers of formula?

It time for an outright ban altogether on all forms of formula... if for no other reason than to stop this sort of stuff once and for all.

By the way... were you aware that there is absolutely no need whatsoever for follow on milk. From 12 months a baby can safely drink cows milk. Follow-on is just the formula companies attempts at playing on parents fears and profiteering from these.

As per usual then!


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?


One Exhausted Breastfeeding Mama!

I've been having a couple of really bad days...

A few months back I decided it was time for a complete overhaul of my breastfeeding and pregnancy website, BreastFeedingMums.com, which I feel is beginning to look a bit dated.

Now, fortunately for me, my husband is a programmer - so getting a nice new template put together was a breeze. Add to that a little bit of my own photoshop wizardry and the resulting new look is much less busy and much more attractive.

However, it is still nowhere near ready for its relaunch...

I have had to go through every single article I wrote (60+ to date) plus all the Dr Jack Newman articles to add links and to work on my titles and keywords. Easy as this sounds, it is absolutely exhausting.

Particularly when you consider my other roles as housewife, mother and referee to my own three children.

Last night I was discussing with Stan how frustrating it is being a WAHM. I was explaining to him how he is in a much better position than me as a WAHD because he has the advantage of going into his office and closing his door behind him, allowing him to work completely uninterrupted.

I don't have that privilige!

As a WAHM, it is obvious to me that most people who know me think I've got some wee website that I futter about with now and again.

They also think that because I'm not making huge sums of money from it, that I must be mad to work on it at all. So they completely miss the point that I see my work as a vocation of sorts.

Breastfeeding is something that means a great deal to me; I desperately feel the urge to educate women about why they should be breastfeeding their babies.

I've mentioned before how I was a qualified teacher until I gave birth to my second baby. Somehow it appears that when people can place a label on you then that's okay. So when I was a teacher, it was okay to everyone that I went to work every day, did my job and then came home.

But when you work from home, then people can't put such a simple label on you.

It's not surprising really, I suppose, considering that I find myself struggling to come up with a label that works for me!

Sometimes to keep things easy, I just say I'm a stay at home mum - only for people to question when I'll be going back to work!

When I admit that I work from home and they ask what I do, their eyes to glaze over when I mention the word breastfeeding. (It's almost as if they expect me to start lecturing them there and then!!)

But if I use the term "self employed" they look at me as if I must be loopy - how can I possibly be self-employed when I am at home with three children all day?

It seems I can't win whichever way I turn!

So as I struggle with a mountain of tasks for my unmentionable website, pull the kids off one another and race around trying to keep the house half respectable looking, you'll have to excuse me if I have a bad day and do a bit of a rant here :)

I just hope it's all worth it when I do finally get the new look BreastfeedingMums up and running (hopefully in the next couple of weeks)...

Then I can focus on trying to think of an appropriate job title for myself that will be acceptable to everyone, myself included :)


Should a Mother Avoid Breastfeeding if she has a Peanut Allergy?

It never fails to annoy me how much misinformation is still circulating regarding breastfeeding.

Just yesterday my mother was chatting to a childhood friend who told her that her daughter, who has a severe peanut allergy, had recently given birth.

This young mum wanted to breastfeed.

Her GP's words of wisdom? Don't breastfeed because breastfeeding can make peanut allergies worse! ARRRRGH...

Now you would think that before offering such blatant "advice" the GP would have checked he had got his facts right.

Before I go off on one, let me make it very clear that I am not out to slag off all GP's. I have the utmost respect for GP's and fortunately my own has always given me wonderful breastfeeding advice.

I am also acutely aware that GP's have extremely demanding jobs and can't possibly be expected to know everything about everything.

But surely the fact that breastfeeding is being so widely promoted at the moment should have made him question himself. By telling this mother not to breastfeed he has quite possibly condemned the baby in question to the very same allergy that has blighted her mother's life.

If the doctor in question had known even the basics about breastfeeding he would have advised the mum to avoid the foods to which she was allergic or sensitive, especially before a breastfeed. (Some schools of thought further suggest that mother's with a family history of allergies should also avoid other common allergens.) And he would have been able to reassure her that breastfeeding may actually help to protect her baby from developing the same nut allergy - or at the very least have lessened the severity of any allergies the baby may have inherited.

I am not a GP but I am a breastfeeding mother who has read and researched a lot of freely available breastfeeding information.

Since this particular GP obviously didn't know the answer to the mum's query about whether or not to breastfeed, couldn't he instead have referred her to a breastfeeding support group, counsellor or advice line where her question could have been answered correctly?

That way everyone would have been much wiser and happier - and the baby much healthier.

Plus the damaging rumour he instigated (and which is now rapidly circulating around this young mum's friends, family and community) would never have started in the first place...

For more information on food allergies, Dr Sear's has a great article here .


MySpace Bans Breastfeeding Image

Myspace_banned_photo Thanks to Tanya at Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog for this story.

MySpace.com has banned a Washington woman's MySpace page showing a picture of her breastfeeding baby (picture to the left) because it apparently "violates MySpace policies against nudity and sexually suggestive images".

Can you believe it?

And not only that but furthermore they have also issued a threat to her stating that they will delete her page if she continues to post the image!

Please show your support for breastfeeding and sign the e-petition asking MySpace to reverse their unacceptable actions. Remember the power of the breastfeeding community does make change happen and every signature will put further pressure on MySpace to review their ridiculous behaviour.