National Breastfeeding Awareness Week 2012

This week, 24th – 30th June has been National Breastfeeding Awareness Week.

I have seen a lot of awareness being raised this week in regards to breastfeeding and I’ve read a lot of blog posts about other experiences.

I thought I would add my own experience as a mother who unsuccessfully breastfed her first baby, not allowed to breastfeed her second, and then went on to successfully breastfeed her third for 14.5 months.

When I had J I was 21. I thought I would give breastfeeding a go after hearing about how good it is for baby. Little did I know how hard it is to breastfeed! I thought I’d give birth, baby would take to the breast and voila. Breastfeeding is hard work and does not come easily, to baby or Mother.

Support is essential. This is something I didn’t get. I was not shown how to latch my baby on correctly. Therefore, I became sore rather quickly. We endured a 2 night stay. J had colic from the get go and continuously screamed. Every time he cried, a Midwife would tell me he was hungry, and as they knew best, despite having already spent over an hour trying to feed this baby, I tried again and put him back on the breast.

My mother visited and tried to “help”. Unfortunately this “help” was to pull my breasts out and put J on to them….with my curtains open and my Father-in-Law, Brother-in-Law and his girlfriend looking on in utter disbelief. I was mortified and embarrassed. Needless to say they all made a quick exit.

It wasn’t until our 2nd night, and after I broke down in tears with J crying in his cot at my bedside, did a different Midwife come to my rescue. This is when we discovered his colic. We also discovered he just liked to suck for comfort, and was more than likely using me as his comforter, which would also be whilst I was sore. The Midwife recommended getting him a dummy to settle with.

When we got home we had visitors all turn up at once, and all at feeding time. J was the first baby to be born in our group of friends, so everyone was eager to see him. They were all trying to catch a glimpse of him as he fed. I felt uncomfortable and ended up sitting in my bedroom with the baby.

I continued to feed and battle through the pain and screams for 2 weeks. One night he wouldn’t settle at all. I was tired, sore and J was visibly upset. I made him up a bottle of formula which he guzzled down and quickly settled. I continued giving him formula and he became a much more contented and happy baby.

When J was 4 months old I was put on to anti-depressants to treat Post Natal Depression. Whilst on these, I fell pregnant with K. I continues on my medication throughout the pregnancy. I was told that due to the medication I would not be able to breastfeed. I felt awful about it. Awful that I was inflicting this medication on my child in the womb, and then I couldn’t even feed her myself. She was bottle fed from birth.

When I fell pregnant with A, I was in two minds as to what to do. I was no longer on my medication but having unsuccessfully breastfed before, would it be easier to just give her formula from birth? Then I ended up in hospital with complications and possibility of a premature baby. This changed my mind for me and I decided to give Breastfeeding a go, even if it’s just for a few days. I knew I was being delivered under a General Anaesthetic, so I ordered in some formula and disposable bottles for hospital so she could have a feed whilst I was still unconscious. However, I made sure it was marked that I wanted to try to feed her if I could.

Once I had come round and was alert enough, the Midwife showed me how to latch A on and she took to it like a pro. It felt a lot different to it did when I first attempted breastfeeding all those years ago with J. The first few seconds were sore for a while but that soon settled down. She needed a formula top up in hospital as she couldn’t control her blood sugars, but she was cup fed so as not to confuse her.

I managed to feed her throughout our hospital stay. I was visited by a lactation nurse who made sure she was latching on correctly. I felt a lot more confident third time round, and had the support that I didn’t get first time round.

I set myself mini goals to get to with breastfeeding. To get through those 3 days in hospital, to get to 3 weeks, to get to 6 weeks and so on. I had days where I felt like giving up. Growth spurts take their toll and I felt like she was permanently attached to me. So I turned to my support network of breastfeeding friends who reassured me and told me it would get easier. It did! I fed A for 14.5 months!! I never dreamed I would EVER feed a baby for that long. I had to go in to hospital for throat surgery, which is the reasoning behind us stopping feeding, otherwise I think she would still be feeding now at 20 months old.

I am now more confident about breastfeeding our new addition when he comes along. I know it might be hard, he might not take to it, he might not latch properly, but I’m confident in my own abilities as a mother and I’m not afraid to reach out and ask for support.

Support is VITAL for breastfeeding mothers! It’s hard work and not as easy as it looks….but it’s the most natural and beautiful thing in the world.

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Review: Bio-Oil

The past 5 weeks I have been testing out Bio-Oil for my stretch-marks.

When I was asked to review this product, I was slightly sceptical. I used creams all through my first pregnancy but still ended up with lots of deep and wide stretch marks. They were hideous. They’re all over my belly, side, thighs and some even run down to the back of my knees.

It really upset me for several years. Thankfully no new ones appeared during the subsequent pregnancies, but obviously they got red as my belly grew.

I am very conscious about my body. I always have been, but even more so now I’ve had children. I cover up all the time. I hate looking at my belly.

I decides to give the Bio-Oil a try. After all I’m pregnant again and what harm can it do? If it doesn’t do anything, then I’ve lost nothing.

Bio-Oil is Specialist Skincare for Scars, Stretch marks, Uneven Skin Tone, Ageing Skin and Dehydrated Skin. It contains the breakthrough ingredient PureCellin Oil which reduces the thickness of the Bio-Oil and makes it easily absorbed.

Even though this is called “oil” and looks greasy, it’s really not. It rubs nicely into the skin and doesn’t leave you with that horrible greasy feeling on your hands or body. I’ve actually noticed my hands are slightly softer after applying Bio-Oil.

Bio-Oil instructions state that you should massage the oil into the skin twice daily for a minimum of 3 months. If pregnant then start using from the 2nd trimester on stretch mark prone areas.

Now, I’m a mummy and I’m very busy running around after 3 kids and a pup. I am also pregnant and have the elusive “baby brain”….therefore some days I forgot to apply twice a day.

But, as you can tell by the below picture, this stuff does actually work! I can clearly see that it’s reducing the tone and colouring of the stretch marks. They’ll always be there, but I’m hoping if I continue using the oil that gradually they will fade and become less visible.

I’m definitely going to carry on with the Bio-Oil during and after this pregnancy. I’m not expecting miracle cures, but to give me back a bit of body confidence will be great!!

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*Disclaimer – I was sent the bottle of Bio-Oil in return for this Review. However, the review is purely from my own experience of the product.

Getting To Know Me

I decided to join in with Tania at Larger Family Life and her “Getting to Know You” link up.

Tania has posted 10 things you probably don’t know about her on her blog and has asked that others do the same, so we can get to know each other better, and of course our readers can find out more about us.

Here are 10 things you probably don’t know about me….

1. My eldest child and I share a birthday! Yup the little monkey was 8 days late and decided he’d gate crash mummy’s 21st Birthday!!!

2. I had been planning to go to University to become a Midwife before falling pregnant with J. Had my interview letter through and everything!!

3. I worked as an Auxillary Nurse for 3 years at a hospital. Probably my most favourite job I’ve ever had!

4. I chased my husband for the best part of a year before he agreed to go out with me!! (He was worried about the 8yr age gap).

5. Growing up I was a Tom-Boy. My best friends were boys, I loved going motor racing, getting dirty and my favourite past time was racing my 100cc Yamaha Scrambler round the field near where we lived.

6. I HATE getting dirty!! Yup, a lot changed when I hit about 16. I became a Girly girl! I hate getting mucky, and it makes me cringe when my kids are covered in dirt

7. I love cars! I have been driving for 10 years and in that time I am currently on car no 7. I can tell you the make, model, and most of the registrations to cars I have owned. (There’s obviously still some of that Tom Boy in me!!)

8. When I was younger I had planned on having the same amount of kids as a football team. Not sure if I’ve actually ever mentioned this to my husband. He’ll probably faint now! 4 is plenty (he says).

9. I dropped out of High School in my last year for 6 months. I returned to take my GCSE’s but didn’t do that well (unsurprisingly). Instead of my predicted A’s and B’s I received C’s and D’s.

10. I LOVE to learn!! I attended Night School at 19 and did an Access Course in Social Science (Psychology & Sociology) as well as Health. I am a qualified Beauty Therapist and I have a qualification in Payroll.

So, there you have it. 10 things you most likely didn’t know about me.

Head over to Tania’s blog to read all about her, and link up if you blog…or I’d not, why not leave me a comment underneath with a few things about you? Would love to get to know you!!

Week 25

Today see’s me reach 25 Weeks. The closer I get to the 27 week point, the more nervous I get. I think if I can get past 28 weeks with no problems then I’ll start to relax more.

I’m getting bigger as the weeks pass and my SPD is getting really bad at the moment. I’m seeing my midwife again on Thursday so I’m going to mention it and hopefully get a referral to Physio to help try and ease the weight of bump a little bit.

I have also gained another pound this week, bringing total weight gain to just 2lbs so far. Considering that probably all of baby and water, I don’t think it’s too bad?

With regards to baby this week, he weighs approx 660g and is 35cms long. He will soon start to plump out and look like a real baby. Oh, and apparently if we could see him now then would could see what colour hair he would have!

I’ve attached 2 pictures this week. My usual bump pic, along with a picture taken from the back. I don’t think you can tell I’m pregnant from the back. What do you think?

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Birth Reflections

Last week we had a meeting with the Birth Reflections Midwife at my local hospital. This service is provided by the hospital for people who have gone through birth trauma to help you understand what happened. Men are just as welcome to use the service as much as women are.

When I was pregnant with A and spent all those weeks in hospital I had already met with one of the Birth Reflections Midwives to discuss what was happening at that time and what could happen. I came to terms with everything, whereas P didn’t get much help or support and was affected quite badly, so as to be expected, he wasn’t overly happy with the news of this pregnancy to begin with.

The meeting with Birth Reflections was really helpful and helped reassure P that the same complications shouldn’t arise this time around. The fact that the placenta is at the back and not the front is good. It’s not low lying either, so the chance of the placenta being attached to my previous scar is very low. The Midwife has recommended that my consultant re-scan me in a few weeks just to double check the position of the placenta for reassurance as the placenta wasn’t low lying with A at our 21 week scan but by 33 weeks it was.

I managed to ask questions that had been whizzing around my head. What are the chances of Placenta Abruption? Could I give birth naturally after having had 2 previous C-Sections? If I decide I don’t want to be sterilised at the time of delivery, could they still do it a few months/years down the line? How many C-Sections can I have, if we were to increase our family? What are my chances of going into Premature Labour?

Thankfully she managed to answer all my queries and put us both at ease that things should be uncomplicated this time. Obviously, they can’t foresee the future and what might happen during this pregnancy and birth, but so far everything is going well and no signs of any issues.

Now, just got to get through the next 3.5 months and meet this little fella!

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