The ‘B’ Word

Parenting

Breastfeeding is sadly, quite the contentious subject. Whether it’s die hard advocates who make formula Mama’s feel like failures, or strangers that shame breastfeeding Mama’s in public, everyone has an opinion and they’re not afraid to share it with you.

Personally, choosing to breastfeed has been a no-brainer even if I previously found the idea of it more daunting than labour (yes, really). Maybe it had something to do with the fact that throughout the majority of my pregnancy, I never heard a positive or encouraging story about breastfeeding. My Mama and Nan chose not to breastfeed, and the few friends I have that are Mothers, also didn’t breastfeed. Reasons ranged from not producing enough milk, to problems with latching or quite simply, it hurt too much.

My anxieties kicked in almost immediately. What if I didn’t produce enough milk? What if my baby refused to latch? What if it was so painful my nipples flew a white flag without even consulting me?

Thankfully a two hour breastfeeding session run through an NCT class, put my mind-and worries- at ease. The session leader separated fact from fiction, and by doing so put to us that we had all the tools needed to be able to successfully breastfeed. Sure, it wasn’t going to be easy. Breastfeeding is indeed an artform. But the important message that was put across to us was not to give up at the first hurdle. To be unafraid to ask for help- be it from a midwife, friend or even your local GP- if and when you need it.

Thanks to our NCT leader, who led the session with a reassuring and positive approach, without bias or judgement, I left the group feeling informed but above all, confident! The horror stories told by work colleagues and friends faded into the background and I felt huge affirmation in my choice to breastfeed.

So here are just some of the reasons (and facts) why I have chosen to breastfeed my baby:

For Mama’s 

  1. Proven to reduce the risk of breast cancer- the longer you breastfeed, the better!
  2. Helps the uterus contract, returning to its normal size significantly quicker.
  3. Burns calories- who doesn’t love a hardcore workout that they can do whilst sitting down?
  4. No warming/sterilising bottles, readily available and IT’S FREE!!!

 

For Babies

  1. Reduces the risk of SIDS
  2. Great for bonding
  3. Tailor made- Believe it or not, your breastmilk is constantly changing in order to provide the nutrients your baby specifically needs, at any given time.
  4. Colostrum is GOLD- the small stuff your boobies make prior to milk, is full of so much goodness that athletes have been known to take it prior to competing (yes, really!)

 

Anxieties relieved I’m now both determined and excited to breastfeed. Yet I’ve decided to keep a flexible and sensible approach to the whole process because the last thing I want to do is put pressure on myself. (Studies have shown that the more stressed you are, the less Oxytocin you’re likely to produce- otherwise known as the ‘love’ hormone-  which is vital to producing lots of breast milk)

Because the simple truth of the matter is that if for whatever reason, breastfeeding doesn’t work out, I’ll just use formula and you know what, the world will still be here in the morning! Because when did you ever meet anyone in your adult life, who didn’t get a great education or an amazing new promotion, all because they were given formula as a baby instead of breastmilk?

I would encourage any new Mum to do their research thoroughly, before deciding that breastfeeding isn’t for them. As much as it might frustrate, there are thousands is a reason why the NHS rolled out the campaign “Breast is Best.” But that said, it doesn’t mean that you or I, are any less of a woman or a Mother for deciding to use formula.

All newborn babies need is love, care, and milk. Whether the latter comes from you or a cow, your baby really won’t mind!

 

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A Letter To Our (Unborn) Little One

Parenting

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Little One,

There is so much we hope for you and yet so much we’re yet to learn about you. Will you inherit my no-nonsense attitude or Papa Bear’s stubborn streak? His unwavering selflessness or my fierce loyalty ? Will you adore fruit as much as I do or will you unapologetically hassle me for biscuits (like Papa Bear does!). Maybe you’ll have traits and quirks which will leave us both in awe, wondering “Where does he/she get it from?!”

There is so much left to chance. Like how tall you will be, what colour eyes you will have and if you’ll end up with a smattering of freckles underneath those eyes. Ok, so it’s not all down to chance, but it still feels like a roll of the dice when it comes to which of our genetics will help to shape you.

There is so much we want to teach you. Not just the fun things like how to whistle, swim or ride a bike, but how to grow up valuing the people (and world) around you over the pursuit of money and materialism. How to have the courage and bravery to live this life being true to yourself, and to always be kind to others, even when they haven’t been kind to you.How to be a true gentleman, compassionate, loving and respectful to women. Or how to be a strong woman, unafraid of the glass ceiling or glossy magazines which will try to undermine your self-esteem.

There is so much you will teach us, without even trying. Like how to let go of our fears and worries and simply love you with abandon. Trusting our instincts as parents, no matter how inept we may feel at times. How to lean on one another, instead of pushing each other away, when times get tough or tiring.

There is a story yet untold but in the past nine months alone, you have been showered with so much light and love from friends and family both near and far, that I know your story will be a great one. By having you, we have been reminded how lucky we are to have such beautiful people in our lives, and now they are in yours.

From the moment we planned to have you, from that first kick felt inside my womb, from the first time we heard your heartbeat, we fell head over heels for you and that unwavering love will never change.

There is so much we dream for you but more than anything we dream for you to be happy, whatever you decide to do and whoever you decide to be in this life.

 

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Bedroom Update- Minus A Few Finishing Touches

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So you may have seen in my baby shower post that our bedroom is suddenly a lot darker, compared to anything you might have previously seen on Instagram. That’s because in the last couple of weeks our house has undergone some serious amounts of DIY in preparation for our new arrival!

Knowing that the spare room/dumping ground was about to become a nursery, it was time to rehome our belongings back into our room in order to give baby as much space as possible. With that in mind- and a new chest of Ikea Hemnes drawers on the way- I thought why not kill two birds with one stone and redecorate, breathing new life into a clean but otherwise boring room.

I’m absolutely terrible at taking before photos (something I promise to try and get better at!) because I’m simply too eager to begin a new project, but in summary our bedroom was bare except for a coat of ‘off-white’ paint and a mix of new and old furniture, which meant that nothing quite matched. It wasn’t as terrible as it sounds, but it wasn’t as glossy as it looks now!

Ored was convinced that four dark walls would create a “dungeon,” but with one wall comprising of just windows, and an abundance of white furniture, I knew that it would still manage to look light. As my interior tastes are changing and evolving, I’m learning that sometimes you just have to be brave and not be afraid of colour- no matter how bold!

There’s a few things still to do (we’re toying with sanding down and painting the door and skirting boards white, and we desperately want new white curtains along with a whole heap of H&M bedding)  but the room is practically finished which not only means another thing is finally crossed off our never ending ‘list,’ but it also means a beautiful new space for our Little One for the first six months!

Oh and guess what? Ored LOVES it!

What recent renovations have you embarked on? Please let me know by commenting below, as I can’t get enough of online inspiration!

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