time flies when you're being a mum

From mum of 2, Sarah

18 Oct, 2013

When I ask questions on the Mum’s Days facebook page I get some brilliant, interesting, constructive answers and advice. From what should I put in a packed lunch to how do I get Reubs off his bottle…these mums know their stuff. So a couple of weeks ago I figured I should share this amazing resource with the other Likers! If there were any questions or issues they were currently struggling with, they could send me a message and I would post the question for them. It’s resulted in some really interesting discussions about a whole host of things that hadn’t even crossed my mind.

Now, Sarah posted a comment saying she’d be interested to hear from the other mums about bottle feeding because when she couldn’t breastfeed she was made to feel awful. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the breastfeeding/bottle feeding debate is a killer. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t, and you know who beats us up the most about it? Us mamas! You can read my story about stopping breastfeeding after 7 months here.

So, to get the ball rolling, I asked Sarah if she would be willing to share her story in the hope this could help other people who are currently going through the same thing, or those who still feel guilty for having not breastfed whatever the age of your babe now! And, kindly she has written this for us about feeding her 2 adorable girls. (more…)

one comment.

07 May, 2013

Side Note: Breastfeeding is a funny thing. Whatever I say here will be judged, whether I’m pro breastfeeding or bottle feeding. So, just so you know, I’m not trying to sway anyone to do anything one way or another, I’m just going to say how I feel and what I think about stopping breastfeeding. I wrote this next section back in March but was a bit too afraid to publish it!

Stopping breastfeeding - this is how we really felt!

27th March 2013 – stopping breastfeeding

It’s just sort of happened. Last week there was nothing left (well I found out when I squirted Mike in the eye that there is a bit but not enough for Reuben). After all the gearing up to stopping breastfeeding, I did feel a little bit sad about it!

Since Christmas I’ve only been breastfeeding Reuben at bedtime, during the night (which he rarely needed) and first thing in the morning. Cuddle times. So I guess, little by little, my supply has been drying up as he has been demanding less. I suppose it was the least painful way to do it. A friend of mine had to stop quite abruptly (after a teared nipple incident – Babies can be cruel!), and the full boobs/engorgement wasn’t much fun. She told me you just have to go with it, cold turkey, no expressing, and it’ll stop in the end.

We struggled with breastfeeding to start with as Reuben wouldn’t latch on so I had to use nipple shields for the first 3 months. Sterilising every time I had a free minute did my head in! I also felt like a failure, like I didn’t have the right bits or the bits I had weren’t good enough. I didn’t realise then how lucky I was that I was able to feed him at all. Then one day he didn’t need the shields anymore, so for 1 glorious month it was easy. No sterilising, no making sure I’ve packed tons of shields whenever we went out, no awkward public breastfeeding with lots of nipple waving (because nipple shields make it much harder to be discrete!), bliss.

But then he started to refuse a bottle. Now, my cousin’s baby went through a stage of refusing the bottle and the stage didn’t end until he was 9 months old! I wasn’t very keen on the idea of that so I introduced a bottle of formula a day. This worked out nicely as I was starting to feel ready to have more time to myself. I love Reuben so so so much but, selfish as it may sound, I wanted time to think, make food, clean the house, workout, whatever, but essentially a bit of baby-free time. But then I found breastfeeding really tricky to manage. I wasn’t sure how much he was getting (which I was obsessed with as he was still waking up LOADS in the night!) and because every day wasn’t the same, I’d find myself engorged when he wasn’t around and I hated expressing.

By Christmas Reuben was thriving and I was ready to get my body back. So, after discussing it with my family and dealing with issues of guilt (mainly because I didn’t want other people to think badly of me for CHOOSING not to carry on breastfeeding) I moved all daytime feeds to the bottle. Phew! I felt so much more in control! I could tell how much he was having, he started sleeping better and we were still able to have lots of cuddles and feeds at night time.

7th May 2013 – Stopping Breastfeeding

There, you may think I was having my cake and eating it! Which of course I was and all good things do come to an end… but they get replaced by other good things. Ha!

It was sad when I was stopping breastfeeding but I think the only reason was because I thought we wouldn’t have the closeness anymore. This isn’t true, we still have lots of cuddles and he’ll still fall asleep on me so I can bury my face into his face and neck without him squirming away! What I’ve learnt is whichever way you feed your baby is special because you are doing just that, feeding them, looking after them, loving them, cuddling and smiling and cooing at each other. It’s the most precious thing, wherever his nourishment comes from, to see him grow day by day.

stopping breastfeeding and learning to crawl. Alnwick castle

At Alnwick Castle – He’s been threatening it for weeks but he was finally crawling yesterday (of sorts. He doesn’t necessarily move forward but it’s good enough for me!) 

Other side note: My body after stopping breastfeeding…my boobs are now half the size (and are in fact smaller than before I got pregnant), which I love! I feel like a different person. On a less pleasant note, I’ve had a period every 2 weeks, my first in a year and a half. Boo. Finally, everyone says you’ll pile the pounds back on when you stop breastfeeding. I haven’t so I think that’s a myth.

18 comments.

07 Apr, 2013

On 26th February I started training with Dan from Sound Mind and Body, a personal training gym in Benton, Newcastle. I set myself 2 weight loss after pregnancy goals. The first was a beach holiday in Gran Canaria (bikini alert). The second was 3 months after we started (I want to be buff!).

Well, we’re at the deadline for goal 1 as I’m off to Gran Canaria tomorrow!! So how have I done??

Weight loss after pregnancy

Here are my stats…

Weight = I have lost 4.4kg (9.7lbs)
Body fat = from 24.2% to 21.4%
Measurements = I have lost 19 cm 

 

Weirdly, or maybe not, I have lost cms and fat from everywhere except my thighs. They are EXACTLY the same as when we started! Dan says it’s likely that they are the area I put weight on first (all true), therefore they will be the place I lose it last. What a cruel world.

Weight loss after pregnancy

Weight loss after pregnancy – 6 months

weight loss after pregnancy - 8 months

weight loss after pregnancy – 8 months (5 weeks after starting at Sound Mind and Body)*

How has it been so far? HARD!! I used to be able to go on a diet and be able to tell the difference within a week. Now, it has taken 5 weeks, and despite my best efforts most of the weight loss happened in the last 2 weeks when I stopped drinking (booze) and I started juicing (I also stopped breastfeeding Reuben then too but I think it’s maybe a coincidence?). The 2 main things I’ve learnt so far from the experience with Sound Mind and Body is:

1. Working with someone else motivates me – Dan was more excited than me when we got the stats back. It gives me a focus as I hate to let people down. Dan’s working hard with me so when each week I step on the scales and they have barely moved I feel really bad and, therefore, motivated to lose the weight. Something I don’t think I would have achieved on my own, or at least not this quickly.

2. A strict diet works for me – now by strict, I don’t mean in the sense that juicing is like an endurance exercise, far from it. I love it! What I mean is that all I have for 2 meals a day is juice, therefore, I don’t have to think. I’m at my best when I don’t have to think. If I think, I then start to talk myself into having a slice of toast with loads of butter. Or a coffee and a cake when I’m out. You just have a couple of juices (and no I don’t feel hungry) and then fish/chicken/lean meat with a salad for tea. Easy. And it works.

Right, bon voyage for me! We’re off at 5:30am so I have to go get my beauty sleep… too excited to sleep!

What have you been doing to achieve your weight loss after pregnancy goals? I’d love to hear what your goals are and any of your tips! Also, what motivates you? I’ve been keeping motivational pictures on my pinterest board, thinspiration – Let me know your pinterest accounts and I’ll follow you.

*Apologies for the lack of nautical pants. There were in the wash!

8 comments.

12 Feb, 2013

They say that a newborn baby becomes a baby around 3 months old so following on from the Newborn Months, here’s what we got up to once Reuben turned that happy 3 month corner!

Baby Reuben – 3 to 6 months old

Baby

  1. With the new freedom Reuben has given me I have done a lot of thinking about exercise after pregnancy and losing weight after pregnancy – I haven’t however been doing much talking about it, there is more to come starting tomorrow!
  2. Reuben went from accepting a bottle to refusing it, which made me panic. So we started to combination feed as I needed to know that when I needed a rest he would be happy without me and able to feed from a bottle (image courtesy of Nuby UK.
  3. I then did A LOT of talking about when do babies sleep through the night…?! I looked at the tips and then went with acceptance and then discussed self-settling…in the end it seems a combination of his own room, combination feeding, weaning and generally being a bit bigger has resulted in sleeping through!
  4. With the anniversary of finding out I was pregnant, I was feeling a bit lost and went quiet for a few weeks – I ended the silence on New Years Eve as I contemplated my new identity as a mum. Mum’s Days turned 1, which made me finally come up with some New Year’s Resolutions…one of which was to READ which resulted in one of my favourite posts thus far!…Free Games for kids
  5. Reuben tried lots of new things in this day of firsts
  6. We fell out of love with tummy time (I got loads of good advice about this that I still need to write into a post)
  7. We fell in love with Nuby teething toys
  8. And I am back to how I was feeling 6 months ago – Neurotic. This time about cot death. Thankfully there is a lot of advice about how to prevent it and it is rare. The fact I am neurotic again suggests that I might be back to my old self too. (This image is from the FSID guide to preventing cot death)
  9. Finally, I’ve been thinking about breastfeeding in public – 6 months on, and a whole bunch of embarrassing moments later, I had forgotten how daunting it all was!

I’ll leave you with the papaya song – a song I made up for Reuben this morning when he tried papaya for the first time…

2 comments.

11 Feb, 2013

I’ve done my fair share of public breastfeeding and now I have pretty much stopped breastfeeding during the day it has given me chance to reflect on the fact that I became a pretty dab hand at it.

To begin with it was the most stressful thing for me and often put me off going out. I used to have visions of being in the middle of ASDA with a screaming newborn and having to abandon my trolly full of food (heaven forbid) in order to find a secluded spot (often in my car) in order to feed him. So I shopped online.

There were 2 issues for me with breastfeeding in public:

1. a) Breastfeeding a newborn is tricky because they often want it RIGHT NOW. There’s no time to fanny around and the more you do the more baby screams and the more baby screams the more you flap. Horrid cycle.

1. b) Now imagine, if you will, adding nipple shields to that hideous cycle and you’ve got a whole lot of attention grabbing flapping/nipple waving/screaming.

2. There was always the fear that someone would tell you off or give you evils for getting your tits out in their cafe.

So, at first I used a BabaSling to feed him.

Breastfeeding in public

Here we are in Alnwick Gardens enjoying some public breastfeeding when Reuben was 3 weeks old.

I grew in confidence when I discovered the joys of the Marks and Spencer’s ‘Firm Control body suit’ (which is perfect for both controlling those post-baby wobbly bits and for breastfeeding because it pulls to the side without having to unclip anything so you can quickly cover yourself up again when baby pulls off unexpectedly reviling a whole lot of boob).

I also discovered that we are now protected by law to breastfeed in most public places. It’s incredible to think that this is even necessary but some people have serious issues with seeing those bumpy things on the front of a woman that were made to feed children… *shudder*

But woe betide the place that tries to prevent a woman from public breastfeeding – a cafe in Bristol certainly made a tit of itself (see what I did there?) when a waitress told a woman to never breastfeeding in their cafe again…a few days later the cafe was flash mobbed by hundreds of breasting mothers! Power to the ‘mother suckers’!

So, armed with the knowledge that I could get my boobs out quickly (and more importantly put them away quickly!) and that I was protected by law to feed publicly, I soon braved the cafes and restaurants of the North East minus the sling and discovered no one minds anyway! This has made me wonder whether the North East is just particularly laid back about it because I  have done a bit of feeding elsewhere in the UK, most notably in wagamama in Milton Keane’s when the waiters eyes nearly popped out of his head, and I felt a little bit more self conscious…

Has anyone else out there got any public breastfeeding stories?! Good or bad very welcome!!

I have now stopped breastfeeding – if you’re worried about how you will feel, please do read this post and hopefully it will shed some light and make you feel less guilty all at the same time!

 

4 comments.

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