The ‘B’ Word


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!







A Letter To Our (Unborn) Little One



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.



The Baby Box



This weekend marked our first Antenatal class (hurrah!) and when asked by the course leader what we had bought for our newborn to sleep in, Ored with a wry smile declared “A very expensive cardboard box!”

I first read about the baby box in an issue of Gurgle (for UK Mamas I can’t begin to recommend this magazine enough, which offers insightful, informative and above all a non-judgemental approach to parenting, products and plenty more besides). The piece was small but it certainly grabbed my attention.

97% drop in infant death rate thanks to a box

Finnish-style baby boxes are being trialled in the UK. Mums at the Queen Charlotte & Chelsea Hospital will get a sturdy cardboard box and mattress (from The Baby Box Co) for baby’s first eight months. The small size compared to a Moses basket is thought to prevent babies rolling onto their tummies, believe to be a factor in SIDS. Finland’s seen a drop from 65 deaths per 1,000 births to 2 as a result of using them.

My interest was instantly piqued by statistics that seemed hard to fault. On further research I found that the stats run from 1938 to 2015, so one could argue that it isn’t the box alone but also a better understanding of cot death as a whole, which has contributed to a more informed and safer style of parenting. Either way I was sold.

As with any new parents, one of our biggest anxieties has been about the safety and wellbeing of our child.”How will we know if our baby is warm enough?” “How will I know if I’m producing enough milk to satisfy a very small but very hungry tummy?” Whilst a lot of these worries will disappear once we start getting to grips with parenthood-or so we’ve been told-  the baby box seemed to provide the perfect solution to one of our biggest niggles, “what is the safest space for our baby to sleep in?”

So we ordered our box from The Baby Box Company choosing the basic ‘Bed Box’ package because quite simply, we’d already begun amassing a ton of essentials from friends and family. Out of the four different prints available, we went for  ‘lovable lions’ as our Nursery ‘theme’ seems to have organically evolved into something resembling a safari!  And anticipating that I’ll always need to have one sheet in the washing machine, I also added an extra mattress sheet, bringing the total (including shipping) to approx £66 which is totally in keeping with the average price of a moses basket, if not slightly cheaper!

The box took about a week to arrive and when it did we were both pleasantly surprised.

The box was…

  1. Bigger than I expected- For some reason the official measurements (26 3/4 X 16 3/4 X 11 1/2 inches) hadn’t quite resonated with me, so in my mind I was picturing something significantly smaller.
  2. Sturdier than I imagined – Prior to ordering, I was a little dubious at claims that parents leave the box on the floor. I kept imagining myself tripping up over the box in the middle of the night! But the reality is that due to the size and structure of the box, it simply doesn’t need a stand like most moses baskets do.
  3. Of a very high quality- When I ordered the box, I had no idea what to expect. So I was delighted and relieved to find the box exceeded all expectations!



It seemed like more than mere coincidence when less than a month after buying our box, Scotland announced that it was trialling baby boxes in every hospital from the start of summer, 2017. Another great reassurance for us!


I will do another post once baby is born, because currently I feel like I’m reviewing a film that has received rave reviews but that I haven’t actually seen. In the meantime what I will say is that whether you chose to buy a moses basket, box or let your little one sleep in a bassinet for the first few months- trust YOUR instinct, because if it’s one thing I have learnt throughout this pregnancy (and particularly in our antenatal class) is that there will always be conflicting, contradicting and sometimes confusing advice given to you about almost anything and everything . You just have to trust your natural instinct as parents!