Month: October 2014

Is breast really best?

Posted on Updated on

IMG_0188.JPG
So whilst I was pregnant, I decided I wanted to exclusively breastfeed my little one from when she was born. Why? Well because that’s what’s best of course?! Everyone in healthcare and the media tell you if you want your child to have the best in life, breastfeed for 6 months minimum!

Now, to my surprise my daughter was born at a hefty 9lb 14oz! (I’m 5’1″ and a small build…. NO SHE DID NOT COME OUT NATURALLY!). So in order to keep her blood sugars stable they had me breastfeed her for 10 minutes and top up with formula, so she was getting everything she needed until my milk came in. We continued doing this for the first week, until our midwife said we could exclusively breastfeed. I.had.no.idea.how.hard.this.would.be! Exclusively breastfeeding takes a lot of time and patience. You can’t ask your partner to give baby a feed, you can’t really leave your baby for more than an hour tops, and if you can get them taking expressed milk from a bottle… well, that’s just another thing to add on to your list of things to do. EXPRESSING MILK!

I used a medela swing electric pump, which was a great investment. It was a little pricier than some of the other breastpumps on the market but definitely worth it. It takes half the time compared to manual pumps, suctions on easily and is pretty quiet for an electric.

So at 5.5 months my partner and I decided we would start to reintroduce formula milk. We gave ludoo a combination of 50% breast milk and 50% formula milk. To our horror she became lethargic, pale and started projectile vomiting all over the place 20 minutes after the feed. She got a rash all over her body, her lips and eyelids were swollen. So we rushed off to A&E where we were told it was most likely cow’s milk protein allergy. But we were shocked, she’d had no symptoms 5 months ago when we were topping her up on formula at every feed? So I decided to continue breastfeeding.

Now I’m no expert, but maybe we shouldn’t have introduced the formula top ups with little one so early? Especially if we were planning to take it out of her system altogether and take up exclusive breastfeeding. Is that something that could have contributed to this allergy? I found this article from La Leche League an interesting and thought provoking read.

As a mum, you always look back and try to think what could have been done better, and would I do the same next time round? I don’t know is the honest answer… but I felt I should at least share the pros and cons of breastfeeding. Everything out there paints a rosey image of a natural breastfeeding mother and fails to tell mums-to-be about what a commitment it actually is. So really, you go into it with half the information. I stopped breastfeeding 2 weeks ago and am proud to say I breastfed Ludoo for 11 months. But it wasn’t without sacrifice…

Cons
– You are solely responsible for feeding your baby for 6 months minimum
– You can’t ask your partner to feed the baby during the day/night… unless you chop off a boob or express some milk! (not all breastfed babies take to the bottle either)
– Forget about having an evening out/to yourself
– Discretion in public places is difficult. You can buy breastfeeding aprons, or find a quiet place when at weddings/parties… I used to go back to the car!
– It is exhausting

Pros
– You don’t need to worry about sterilizing bottles in the middle of the night (or at anytime!) and its always going to be the right temperature!
– Travelling whilst breastfeeding is easy, no need to worry about carrying bottles or formula.
– The bond between you and your baby is indescribable… I do miss it sometimes!
– It is actually quite a relaxing experience when feeding your baby in a comfortable environment, I used to enjoy having some quiet time out.
– Its all natural and FREE

At the end of the day, it’s a very personal choice whether to breastfeed… but I feel there should be more information available which gives a balanced argument for and against. Everything I read in the lead up to giving birth was BREAST IS BEST! And in a way, you feel guilted into doing it. Obviously we all want the best for our children, but if its not for you, you shouldn’t feel judged. I, and most of my generation, were brought up on formula milk… and we all turned out fine, didn’t we?? 🙂

IMG_5286.JPG

Advertisements

Its off to work I go!

Posted on

IMG_5876.JPG
After almost a year of being mummy I’m about to step into the working world again which means my baby girl will be going to nursery! Thanks to my dear husband I am able to go back part time and little ludoo will be at nursery just 2 full days a week… But that’s enough to make me nervey! I’ll be working every Sunday too unfortunately, but at least that means one less day of childcare and baby girl will have a day with daddy!

So the nursery we chose is around the corner from our home and en route to work for me. They can give her breakfast, lunch and an early dinner which means on working days I wouldn’t need to worry about her food… Provided she eats everything they give her! Nursery do dinner at 3.30pm?! Am I naive in thinking that’s extremely early? I’d guess she’ll need a snack when we get home before her bedtime milk.

Anyway, we’ve had numerous settling in sessions and every time I leave… She cries! Every time I return, she also cries! But only once she sees me back in the room, she’s a little rascal. I think she does it to make me feel bad for leaving her! Eeyore seems to be a favourite at the moment, he makes everything better! I tend to leave him in her nursery backpack and the teachers say whenever she’s upset they give her Eeyore and she calms down. He’s a pretty cute little cuddly, I think she enjoys tugging on his ears!

Due to the tears (from the babe AND me!) I’ve had her start nursery a few weeks before I return to work, that way she’s fully settled and I’m not pulling my hair out at work fretting about whether she’s doing ok. (I’ll probably do that anyhow!) So far I’ve tried not to call more than once a day to check on her. The nursery have a communication book between home and nursery so we can read what she’s been up to on her days there and how she’s eaten etc. It does put my mind at ease reading it after picking her up, especially when it describes the cute things she been up to! This one after her first day made me smile 🙂

IMG_5890.JPG

I know I’m not to first or last working mummy, and let’s face it, in today’s day and age very few families would be lucky enough to survive on just one salary… Those bills won’t pay themselves! At least that’s the case in our household. On the flip side, childcare is like taking out a second mortgage in itself! I knew the first year of childcare would be a lot, but wow! It really makes you realise the advantage of living close to family who can help.

I don’t know how the role of working mummy is going to be for me… So far it feels like juggling a whole load of balls! But I think the art of keeping all those balls in the air is being super organised!

I used to hate my husband for wanting to plan out all our meals for the week… But I’ve finally seen the error of my ways! Planning in advance means less trips to the supermarket, and knowing what I’m doing when I get home from work, rather than rummaging through the fridge to see what I can find. Allocating a day of the week to do the laundry and shopping online wherever possible are a couple of other changes! And cooking in bulk! If I’m cooking a chilli or curry I try and make double what I need and freeze a portion for the following week.

If there are any mummies out there with helpful hints on how to manage work and home life successfully please share!!! I’m sure I’ve got a steep learning curve ahead of me and many mistakes will be made… GULP!!!