HOSPITAL BAG MUST HAVES

Your due date may be quickly approaching like mine and you may be left asking yourself, what do I really need to pack? I know this was a big question of mine with my first pregnancy. Second time round, I am hoping to be slightly better with my packing so I thought I’d share with you all what my hospital bag must haves are.

I have narrowed down my packing into four different bags with also an extras list that may or may not suit you. Also have given a bit of a mum hack at the end if you want to take an easy way out of packing some of the essentials!

So let’s start with the beginning! Labour bag. Believe it or not, it is smart to have a certain bag packed just for labour! It doesn’t need to be massive, it will just contain a few crucial things.

  • Drink

Have a water bottle handy so you can keep refilling it as you please if need be. I also found I felt like some sort of juice so wish I had something like powerade on hand for the first labour!

  • Phone Charger

You may not need it but it is better to have it! Especially if you are due, a phone upgrade like myself and your battery dies after a few hours. You want to be able to let all your loved ones know when your bundle of joy arrives!

  • Snacks

I did not have time for snacks the first time round but who knows for the second time! It is also handy to have some snacks on hand for partner and whoever else may be present at your birth.

  • Something to labour in

I personally find it easy to just chuck on a hospital gown but I know some people would rather not. That will be what I do again this time but if you prefer your own clothing, pack something loose and comfortable. Even pack some bikini’s if you plan on trying a water birth.

  • Copy of your birth plan

It’s a pretty stressful time and things can be forgotten when you are having your baby. This may or may not bother you. I personally do not have a birth plan; my only plan is to have a healthy baby and me. If you do have more of a structured plan, make sure to have a copy to ensure you can do what you have planned as well as possible.

  • List of who to contact once baby is born

Might sound silly – like, you wouldn’t forget who to contact but believe it or not you probably will! I am so glad I had this planned out before I had Harlee and then Ben and my mum could contact everyone who was necessary without pestering me.

  • Camera

If you are like me, the last thing you want is photos of yourself but trust me it is nice to have photos to look back on, especially of your new little bundle of joy.

This stuff may not even get used during your labour but it is super handy to have. I found that my labour was so quick we never had time for snacks or time to even go on our phones but I know of people who have been in labour for over 24 hours – which is a super long time so all of this would come in handy!

Everyone may not need this next list. The Dad bag. For anyone who lives in a small town can probably relate to this. We have to travel an hour away from home for my labour but will hopefully be back to recover in Hawera Maternity. However, this also means your partner will need a bag that can live in the car if he plans to stay close by! I won’t go into too much detail with this bag, I’ll keep it pretty simple.

  • Clothes

Males are pretty carefree when it comes to clothes, well Ben is anyway – Hah. Just have a couple of comfortable outfits for him. Don’t forget UNDIES and SOCKS!

  • Toothbrush

Because who doesn’t like to brush their teeth and feel nice and refreshed!

  • Phone Charger

We all know how important this is, you want to be able to contact each other when he isn’t able to be at maternity.

Very basic list but a lot of people forget about their partners! Some people may require more but like I say Ben is super easy and does not require a lot at all.

Next is the most important bag! Mum’s Bag. If you are a new mum you will probably be stumped on where to even start and in all honesty, even as a second time mum, I didn’t know where to start! However, here I am now giving you my list!

  • Clothes
    • Comfy, loose fitting pants. I am taking comfy, harem like, type pants. I found these the best after I had Harlee. The warehouse have some great ones for only $20 if you are looking for something comfy yet nice.
    • Loose tops. Loose tops for many reasons, a couple being – one, to hide the new acquired mum tum and two, a top that makes breastfeeding accessible and easy.
    • Maternity bras or/and sports bras. If you are breastfeeding you may also find taking maternity singlets helpful. Number one priority is comfort for me though!
    • PJ’s! We all love pj’s so don’t forget them! Whether you’re a nightie gal or a shorts and singlet gal, make sure its nice and accessible for breastfeeding.
    • Comfy undies! The last thing you want is uncomfortable undies when your vag is all swollen and feeling like its hanging down to your knees – haha! Some people prefer the bigger the better but I found bonds boyleg did the trick for me!
    • Socks and slippers. Always need a couple of pairs of socks on hand!
    • Some kind of Jersey or cardigan. I found Maternity really bloody hot but I will pack a couple of loose knitted tops just in case.
    • Going home outfit. This may or may not interest you. However, I wanted to look half decent in our photos for going home so I have some trusty stretchy ‘jean’ like pants that still fit at 37 weeks that will be my go to, going home pants with a nice top!
  • Toiletries
    • Shampoo and conditioner. Bonus points for travel size!
    • Body wash/soap. Something sensitive is probably a bit better for the downstairs apartment.
    • Facewash
    • Facial wipes
    • Toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Make-up. As much or as little as you prefer as everyone is different. I will most likely stick to the basics – Foundation, eyebrow kit, eyeliner, mascara (waterproof for the baby blues days :P), blush and maybe a lippy for going home. This is my everyday make-up and I find it helps me feel half normal after pushing out a baby!
    • Deodorant
    • Body, face and hand moisturisers come in handy but it is up to you which ones you actually need/use.
    • Lip balm – your lips will most likely be dry as the Sahara desert.
    • Nipple cream – there are plenty to choose from but I found good old Bepenthen worked best for me!
    • Hairbrush, hair ties and bobby pins. You may even be a headband wearer!
    • Breast pads
    • Maternity pads. When I say maternity pads I mean anything that resembles a surfboard for your undies because you will need it!
    • The hospital do have these but I am a bit funny about using these on my face because one, someone may have wiped there fufu with it and I don’t care if its been washed, I still don’t want to put it near my face – hah! Two, the ones at hospital aren’t nice and soft like my ones from home!
  • Medications and supplements you may be on

I will be personally taking some Panadol and Spatone – for my iron levels and some vitamins. I may even look into something to help with my breastfeeding!

  • Pillow

Nothing beats your own pillow and the ones at hospital suck!

  • Phone charger

I did mention this in the above list for labour but it is better to mention it again then forget it! I will also be taking my apple watch charger if any of you guy’s need this too!

  • Snacks

Hospital food sucks in my opinion so make sure to pack yourself a few healthy and unhealthy snacks :P.

That is my rundown for mum’s bag. The next bag is the second most important bag. The Baby bag! All that brand new baby stuff you have brought can finally be packed into a bag all ready for your bundle of joy!

  • Clothes
    • Singlets
    • Merino all in ones
    • Bodysuits
    • Sleep gowns
    • Knitted cardigan
    • A couple of outfits – keep it simple, but just in case you do feel like dressing him/her in something other than bodysuits.
    • Socks and booties
    • Mittens
    • Hats
    • Going home outfit. Obviously this isn’t a necessity but I like to have a going home outfit which will be an awesome keepsake once they are older. Yes you want it to be cute but make sure it is still practical!
  • Muslin wraps and/or swaddles
  • Bibs and burp clothes

You may end up with a reflux baby who likes to spew everywhere like Harlee was!

  • Blanket
  • Dummies and bottles

Obviously not all people will be willing to take bottles but I am a firm believer of fed is best and if breastfeeding doesn’t work for me I will have my bottles and formula ready to go this time around!

  • Nappies and wipes
  • Baby bath stuff

We personally prefer using Ecostore baby products so I will be taking this brand of the following-

  • Baby sleepytime bath
  • Baby shampoo
  • Baby moisturiser
  • Baby Nappy balm
  • Breastfeeding pillow or tri pillow

This helped me so much when I was feeding Harlee so will definitely be doing it again!

  • Capsule and capsule cover

That should pretty much cover everything you need to know for your little bundles bag! Keep in mind babies sizes can vary so much! I had packed nothing but newborn for Harlee and found a lot of it didn’t fit! So just have a few varying sizes to accommodate a big or really small baby!

The next little list I am going to cover is just a few extra things you may like to pack. Definitely not must haves but they are things I will be taking and figure they may be some other mama’s out there who would too!

  • A gift for an older sibling from the new baby

It can be a whole new ball game for an only child who is getting a sibling so a nice way to make them feel special is to give them a gift from there new brother or sister! For Harlee, I have just purchased a book from Kmart called ‘You’re a big sister!’. She is still young so I didn’t want to spend a fortune on something because she won’t even understand! This book was only $4 however! Bargain!

  • Hair straightener and Hair drier

I may not even use these but I like to have them on hand!

  • Milestone cards
  • Cuddly, baby shusher, lulla doll or some sort of comforter

All of these are definitely not needs but I’m all for trying things to help settle babies so we will be trying the baby shusher which worker wonders for Harlee. Ill also take the lulla doll which was Harlee’s but she didn’t like it and a sleepy tot teddy!

So, that is my lists, I am well aware that we are all so different and tend to find different things important so I have tried to keep it as generic as possible! I do quickly want to tell you about how I am going to be a bit of a cheat this time around though. I am not sure if you have heard of this awesome NZ business or not which has recently been started this year – Bundles for Bumps.

Bundles for Bumps specialises in pre-packed hospital bags! Bundles for Bumps was started by a fellow NZ mama, Shelley. She has three girls of her own and wanted to take the stress out of packing hospital bags! They come with all the essentials and offer all natural and organic products which is a total bonus!

She sells things for mum and for baby and even for the rest of the family, I recommend you go and check them out! Let me just point out that this is in no way sponsored, I genuinely love this idea that I have gone and purchased my own pre-packed hospital bag!

I have purchased the Mum essentials – pre packed hospital bag. I am actually really slack and have only just purchased it so haven’t received my bag as of yet but I know I will love it just from reading about it and I will do an update on my Instagram stories once I receive it so make sure you check it out later this week sometime! And never fear if there are things I do not love about it, I will be sure to share that with you too! This bag contains the following-

  • Tom & Luke Snackaballs 70g x2
  • The Moa Body Range Miss Foxy 100ml (Great for massage during labour)
  • Ruby Blue Hair Ties x2 (Can also be worn on the wrist as a reminder which side to breastfeed off next)
  • Wotnot Natural Face Wipes with Travel Case and Mirror 25pk
  • Ecostore Beeswax Lipbalm 4.5g
  • Sorbent Travel Tissues
  • Terry Cotton Slippers
  • Jockey Cotton Full Brief Black x2
  • Jockey Ankle Socks Black
  • Ecostore Essentials Mini Pack (Shampoo 35ml, Conditioner 35ml, Body Wash 35ml Moisturiser 35ml)
  • Bamboo Hairbrush
  • Mama Bear Bamboo Toothbrush
  • Grin Natural Toothpaste 100g (Allergy warning: Contains Propolis)
  • Tankis Natural Deodorant 70g
  • Haakaa Natural Breast Pads 36pk
  • Natracare Maternity Pads 10pk
  • Manuka Health Breast Gel Discs (Store these in the fridge when not using during feed times, and when you reapply they are like magical cold drops of bliss for sore and cracked nipples )
  • Purelan Nipple Cream 7g
  • True Blue Organics Hand Sanitiser 60ml
  • A list of additional items you may like to pack from home

You also may choose to receive your package in a Bundles for Bumps Calico drawstring bag or a Herschel Novel Duffle Bag. They are both different prices depending on which you choose. If you want to know more details head over to Bundles for Bumps here for more info on pricing and all there other awesome products!

So, I have just gone and knocked a few things off my packing list because of my awesome pre packed bag on its way but either way my hospital bag must haves will hopefully be helpful for you! It may be the perfect list for you or maybe just a helpful guide but I hope it has helped you in some way! I hope you all have an awesome week and come back and check the blog out next Sunday!

Lace xxx

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THIRD TRIMESTER UPDATE- WEEK 35!

 

Just like that, we are at week 35! Five bloody weeks to go. In just over a month, we will have not one, but two tiny humans to care for! Super exciting but yet super scary! I have an app on my phone, which happily reminded me I have 33 days to go. When it is said like that, it really does not feel like that long! So, since I am nearing the end, I thought I better give an update on pregnancy and life in general!

I find it so crazy how fast; this pregnancy is going/has gone. I think I almost feel bad for this little babe because I cared so much with Harlee and was super organised but I guess it is not that I don’t care about this pregnancy it’s just that I have got a nearly one year old keeping me on my toes constantly. With your first, you kind of spend your days in the last weeks waiting and waiting, this is definitely not the case this time. I still have plenty to do! Here’s just a few things on my list off the top of my head-

  • Little mates nursery is still not finished! I do have most of the necessities but the room itself is nowhere near done but hey, as long as he’s got clothes and a bed we will be right – hah. I do plan to get most of his room sorted over the next couple of weeks so fingers crossed I stick to it and once it’s done I’ll do a little blog post on it! Well hopefully!
  • I haven’t even thought about my hospital bag yet! In my head I’m definitely going to make the 40 week mark so I haven’t been stressing about this too much. However, we all know things don’t necessarily work out the way we think, especially when it comes to babies – hah. So, I’ll get onto packing that bag in the next couple of weeks too, just in case! Again, I do plan to do a blog post on this too, to try take away the hassles and the ‘have I got everything’ questions when packing your hospital bag!
  • NAME! We still have no idea whatsoever what this little guy is going to be called! We get ideas of what we think we like then a few days later one of us goes off the idea. I always knew I liked Harlee for a girl so always had my heart set on it. Her name was so easy, I expected it to be just as easy this time but I could not be more wrong!
  • House renovations. For those of you, who know us; know we have been renovating our house! We have ripped out two walls, put in a completely new kitchen, put in new bi-folding doors in our lounge, repainted all the bedrooms and had a supporting beam put in where one of the walls was taken out. We have accomplished a lot but we still have a lot to do! We still need to build a ‘fake’ wall around our pantry just to give it a nicer look, gib over the new beam and a tiny bit of the wall, rip the rest of the wallpaper off, and repaint ceilings and wallpaper. In the perfect world, this would all be finished before the baby arrives however, this may not be the case! We will try get as much done as we can but between Ben being a shift worker and my dad being a shift worker (who has been helping us) and just life in general, we are running out of time!
  • Harlee-Jae’s first birthday is just around the corner! In fact only 10 days before her brothers due date! So, on top of all of the above, I’m also planning a first birthday! We are keeping it pretty chilled for her first birthday. It’s more of just a gathering of family and a few close friends but even this requires preparation! I think I’m doing pretty well so far though, most things are organised for the party side of things and I have most of her birthday presents sorted! Lets just hope baby brain hasn’t let me forget anything major!

That is just a little run down of a few of the big things that are left to do. On top of that there is still all the little things like birthdays – august is an extremely big month for us with birthdays! Getting the house sorted and ready for baby life again and just life in general! It feels like one day I had six months to go, now I have practically one month to go!

If you read my labour uncut blog post, you will probably remember me talking about haemorrhaging with Harlee. If not I will just give you a little bit of a run down. My mum is a known bleeder and my midwife was also her midwife so she was pretty on to it with my labour and wasn’t willing to take any chances! I had an IV line put in my arm about an hour before Harlee was born and lucky I did because as my midwife thought, I did haemorrhage. From what my midwife tells me, it was pretty bad, although I never realised this because she remained so calm and got it under control pretty quickly. I did know something wasn’t right when every doctor at our little hospital came running in but didn’t think too much of it!

However, I recovered well and everything was good! Until I got pregnant again and I found out it is likely for this to happen again and generally the second time is worse than the first. As you can imagine this has made me pretty dam nervous for labour. Labour is nerve wrecking enough on its own, minus complications! My mum bleed extremely bad with her third – my brother and this makes me pretty nervous. I have a tendency to follow my mums footsteps, problems and all. I have to give birth at Taranaki Base Hospital this time just in case they cannot stop the bleeding. So, if worse does come to worse I can be taken into theatre to stop the bleeding. Our little hospital in Hawera does not have these sort of facilities but I am hoping everything will go smoothly enough for me to come back to Hawera Maternity because I do not really fancy being an hour away from home!

I even contemplated asking to have a caesarean but my midwife was quick to tell me I can still bleed in a caesarean, and quite badly too! The worse thing about it with a caesarean is if they can’t get the bleeding under control then they will give you a hysterectomy and that’s not really a decision I want made for me! So the plan is to go in with no plan – Hah. If I have him naturally, cool. If I have a caesarean, that’s cool too. All I want is the best option for a healthy baby and a healthy me! I’ve decided to stick to that plan because I’ll be honest, its freaking me out a lot! I could be freaking out over nothing because I may not hemorrage but then again it is likely I will. I just have to keep positive!

My pregnancy symptoms this trimester, have consisted of low iron = meaning no energy, excruciating back pain, nausea and indigestion! My iron levels are extremely low! So low that my midwife was contemplating me getting an iron transfusion, mostly because low iron levels mean more likely to haemorrhage and more likely to haemorrhage worse. So as you can imagine getting on top of this is very important! Iron tablets are not my friend though. They make me extremely constipated which make me get the worse sore tummies which don’t make pregnant life any better. I have found an alternative called Spatone, which is great! The only downfall is that it is about $38 for 28 sachets which works out a hell of a lot more expensive than iron tablets that are subsidised!

That awesome excruciating back pain I talked about in my second trimester blog post has been back in full force! Ben has even had to take days off work to stay home and help me out because I was not able to lift Harlee! I don’t even know how to explain the pain but it is my lower back and it sends shooting pain down my legs and through my whole body. It really is not much fun at all! The only things that I find that help are my back belt and a hot water bottle. Even these two things aren’t great but they are better than nothing.

My indigestion has come back with vengeance in this pregnancy also! I think it may be a little bit of acid reflux as well, it’s not great but luckily my old mate gaviscon is up in the cupboard ready to come to my rescue everyday – Hah! The old wives tale is that indigestion means a baby with lots of hair which was very true for miss Harlee so hopefully that’s what it means for this one too!

The one thing I didn’t experience with Harlee’s pregnancy that I have in this one is getting morning sickness again in the third trimester! It hasn’t been extreme morning sickness like some people get but, it has been enough to put me out make me feel pretty blah! The only thing I have found to help is to take it easy! Put all the house chores to the side and save all my energy for Harlee and rest when I get the chance. Oh and a bit of ginger beer always seems to settle my tummy too!

And like every pregnant women in the last few weeks, sleep becomes a distant memory! I am a tummy sleeper so getting comfortable is extremely hard! I also feel the need to pee 10,000 times a night and seem to have really bad insomnia. So any sleep is good sleep at this point – hah! I also feel massive this pregnancy! I constantly find myself feeling uncomfortable and in some sort of pain – especially at bedtime! I don’t remember being this uncomfortable with Harlee until I hit the last couple of weeks. So, five weeks is actually still sounding like a long time to feel this way! Even the most simplest tasks, like getting off the couch are so bloody hard – hah.

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Photo on the left is 36 weeks with Harlee-Jae. Photo on the right is 34 weeks with little man.

So despite all the unenjoyable things, the end is near! I complain a lot and say how much I dislike pregnancy but one day I will probably miss it! I hope that was a good little update for you all and I hope to do another one closer to my due date! If you have any questions about anything, do not hesitate to ask me! I am an open book! Catch you all next week or head over to Instagram and give us a follow and keep up to date with our days on Insta Stories!

Lace xxx

EXPECTATIONS VS REALITY

YAY! We are now classed as mums – who would have known this comes with a whole lot of unrealistic standards. Not only from friends, family and other mums but also from our biggest critics, ourselves. It is amazing being a mum, I know all my fellow mama’s will agree but man, it has its challenges.

I did not realise how much of a controversial topic motherhood is until I became a mother. Many things come into this when you become a mum, even more so when you are a new mum. Some of them being-

  • Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding (Read my breastfeeding journey here.)
  • Co-sleeping or not co-sleeping
  • Cry it out method or cuddling method
  • Routines or no routines (Read about routines here.)
  • Solids early or solids at recommended age
  • Swaddle or not to swaddle

That is just a list of a few things, we all know there is plenty more though! The main thing to remember is – it is your baby, you know best. Don’t let people come in and give their 10 cents of what you should or shouldn’t be doing. Yes, its okay to give advice but no it is not okay to make someone feel like they should be mothering there baby a certain way! Society is a bitch, don’t fall for the tricks. You just do you.

So your biggest critic – yourself, will often have you questioning yourself. I think that a lot of this comes with the hormones and lack of sleep when you first become a mother but man, the things I would question if I was doing right when I first became a mum was unreal. Especially as a first time mum, because of the pressure from society, friends, family and social media. Do not beat yourself up, just take every day as it comes and live in the moment. Enjoy it all and take it all in while you can because before you know it, your newborn baby will be a toddler and you will enter a whole new ball game – one I am only just about to enter and learn about!

A big difference to parenting now to parenting 10 years ago is social media. We all love to keep up to date with our fav mum bloggers through snapchat and Instagram. While we also love joining all the helpful mum groups on facebook to ask all the questions we have. All of these definitely have some awesome benefits, being-

  • Support

The amount of support I see given on mum pages on Facebook is awesome! It is nice to know there is a place to go and ask your questions and get some advice for what you are going through.

  • Internet friends

I don’t know about you guys but, for me, I almost feel like mum bloggers allow us into their daily lives enough to feel as though we get to know them well enough to call them our ‘friends’. I know it is not a normal type of friendship but when you are busy with #mumlife, it may be your only escape. A day with just babies and no adult conversation can drive you a bit crazy until you find yourself on snapchat or Instagram, feeling like you are in a conversation with your fav mum bloggers!

  • Relatable

Some days you just need to feel like you can relate to someone and you find that in your Instagram followers from a post they have shared!

Now there is the ups but there is also the downs. Yes, like I said above it can be so relatable sometimes but at the same time, it can be very non-relatable. Some days, you will find yourself scrolling through your feed looking at everyone’s, what seem to be perfect lives in little squares. It can really get you down feeling so far away of what you have built in your head as the ‘perfect’ life.

I know if you are a fellow Instagram mama, you will be sitting saying to yourself ‘OMG I have definitely felt this feeling’. It may have only been once but we have all been there. It is hard to remember that everyone has bad days and not all of us chose to share our bad days. So, what we may think is such a perfect life, it may most definitely not be. However, I know that is easier said than done.

You can sit there scrolling and looking at all these perfect pictures of smiling happy babies when your truth is only that your baby has screamed all day long. You may see mums looking fabulous only a short few weeks after birth in amazing clothes while you haven’t managed to get out of trackies and hoodies for the last week. You may watch snapchats and Instagram stories of fortunate mums whose baby is sleeping 12 hour nights while your nearly one year old is still waking 5 times. You may watch as they prepare amazing dinners after spring cleaning their house while you can barely find the energy to whip something half decent up in your messy house.

It is super easy to fall into this trap of feeling not good enough, but please do not! I know that is easy enough said because the truth is, I find myself in this trap more than often! I am forever comparing myself to these awesome mama’s and forgetting about my own life. How do we try to stop this I hear you ask? We need to remember that what they are sharing is what they are choosing to share. They have bad days too; things are not always perfect, as it may seem in the little perfect Instagram squares. There is probably someone out there looking at your profile and feeling bad too – your life is likely to be better than someone is out there, we just do not realise it. Most of all though, take a step back and remember you are doing great! This mum gig is bloody hard but it is bloody rewarding too – It is one of the hardest things I have ever done, some days I find myself questioning my sanity. But, then that little girl with her big brown eyes looks up at me and gives me a massive smile and I remember why it is all worth it.

Try let social media be a benefit in your life. Don’t let it be a negative. Don’t let it give yourself unrealistic expectations of yourself. Just keep doing you and remember that it all comes down to perception! If your baby is dressed, fed, healthy and loved – you are doing something right and giving your child all they could possibly need!

Basically, what this blog post is about is learning the magic of not giving a fu*k! Do not fall into the dark traps of self-doubt and comparison with others. Everyone does this mum gig differently – you just have to find what the best is for you! Focus on the positives in life and what you are doing right! Block out the unwanted advice from friends and family. Give yourself a break and believe in yourself. Find yourself some real and raw mum bloggers to follow on social media and I guarantee they will help you remember that life is not all daisy’s and rainbows on those crappy days. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel mates! I hope this has given you all a little bit of perspective on all things unrealistic about motherhood. Come over and follow us on Instagram stories to see what we get up too during the week! Hope you are all back for next Sunday’s post!

Lace xxx

IS BREAST BEST?

What better week then World Breastfeeding Week to do a post on breastfeeding or bottle-feeding. This topic, as we all know, that it is a very controversial one. Sometimes it really does bring the worst out of people and I dislike that. We should all be joining and supporting each other no matter what our feeding journey may be.

I am not really sure where to start this post so how about with – Breast is best. There is no doubt about the fact that yes, breast is best. However, this does not mean it is the best for you. Breast milk contains so much goodness that we just cannot put into formula. This specific term does not mean that this is the best option for you – just like it wasn’t the best option for me.

Formula feeding is such a great alternative. We as mothers should not have to feel guilty buying it from the supermarket or giving our babies a bottle in public. It is pretty dam amazing what people can do these days, we are only going forward in life! Formula is only going to be made better and better. Truthfully, I believe they would not sell formula if it were not any good for our babies! You know, people are doing far worse things like smoking drugs while breastfeeding or abusing their children constantly but here we are still stressing and bullying mothers who are doing far less worse – formula feeding. Why do we focus on something so minor when there are definitely bigger issues going on in the world?

I will openly tell anyone who asks, I did not breastfeed. I tried, not for long but I tried. Harlee was born and she was latching perfectly. I thought I was going to have the perfect breastfeeding journey and I was stoked! However, 24 hours later that all changed. We were still latching fine but my little baby was not happy. She started getting really distressed and just shaking her head back and forth while she was trying to feed. I would have her sometimes up to an hour on each boob sucking away until she would again, start destressing herself. I was so confused as a first time mum. She latched and was supposedly, feeding but she would come off the boob and cry and cry and cry.

It turned out that I had no milk. We had one hungry baby and I could not even produce 10mls. However, the midwives ensured me it would come through really soon, I just had to keep putting her on and letting her suck to encourage my milk to come through. So, I was breastfeeding a baby while not giving her any milk at all. We were topping her up with formula at this stage because we could not let our little girl go hungry. I will point out the cool technique they used for this in maternity though – well I will try my best to explain it! I am not sure if it has a name but it is like a thin IV line tube – tiny tube so not much goes through it. I would latch Harlee on and then sneak this handy little tube into her mouth so she still thought she was exclusively on my breast. The tube ended in a tiny little pottle of formula and as Harlee would suck it would travel through the little tube and into her mouth. It tricked her into thinking she was getting breastmilk while also let us keep on going with that precious bond. I honestly thought this was such a cool idea for those first few days to try build our bond but obviously as they drink more it would become harder.

It had been two days of using the handy little tip above, while also trying to pump several times a day. I pumped and pumped and pumped and got absolutely nothing. I was lucky to get 5mls out of each boob. I also tried breastfeeding tea’s and all the other natural things to hurry it all up but nothing was working! It was getting to a point of feeling embarrassed asking for top ups of formula from certain midwives because they were so pro breastfeeding while also starting to lose my sanity being stuck in maternity. They were not willing to let me go home until feeding was sorted. My baby was not happy and I was not happy.

After a long few days and an unhappy baby I finally cracked early hours of one morning. Luckily, my amazing midwife was on and was happy to come in and talk to me. I was and am so lucky to have her. I said to her that I did not think breastfeeding was for me, I was starting to lose my sanity and I hated seeing my new baby so upset and hungry. I remember her exact words being ‘Let’s give bottle feeding a go and if it works we will toss the tits!’ Just from speaking to one person and finally speaking up about how I felt, a massive weight was lifted off my shoulders.

Ben and my family were all supportive no matter what decision I chose. Let me tell you, it was not a decision I made lightly. The pressure and guilt of having to explain to every other person why I was not breastfeeding was daunting. We all know that’s one of the first 500 questions people think is okay to ask and judge you on once you’ve had a baby. Here is the issue with this though – notice how my initial thought and worry was about the judgement I would get for not breastfeeding, not what was actually best for my baby and myself. This is the problem with society – we should not have to worry about this stuff. Becoming a new mum is hard enough as it is without stressing what everyone is thinking about your every decision.

After having a chat with everyone who mattered and having a good day bottle-feeding we decided to turn to formula also known as ‘the dark side which only mothers who don’t care about their babies choose’. I laughed as I wrote that but sadly; this is what many people think of formula feeding. I honestly question if and when my milk would come through. I had no problem when I dried up with leakage or sore boobs because I literally had no milk!

The problem is, many women think they can bad-mouth mums for not breastfeeding but then some formula feeding mums think it’s okay to bad-mouth breastfeeding mums. WHY? Why can we not all lift each other up? Yes, we are all entitled to opinions but there is no need to bully each other about it. Myself as a formula feeding mum, felt like I was constantly judged. Do not get me wrong I had many supportive people around me but the negative always seems to out-weigh the positives. We all know how hard this mum gig can get. Do you really want to be the reason of pushing a mum over the edge because you could not keep your opinion, just an opinion – you made it into a bullying tactic and you absolutely crushed that mother. Unfortunately, majority of mothers that are left crushed, are us formula feeding mums. I am not picking sides here, I am just pointing out the obvious. Formula feeding mums will always be classed in a different category to breastfeeding mums. Formula feeding mums cop so much crap from doctors, nurses, midwives, friends, family and even strangers – it is mentally really hard. Breastfeeding mums cop backlash from formula feeding mums and that is it – everyone else praises them for doing the right thing. I am not saying that it is okay to give breastfeeding mums any slack because they do not deserve it either but I believe that it is society’s fault for putting so much pressure on formula feeding mums.

The core of this will always come back to breast is best and yes factually breast is best. It is what our bodies are supposed to do. However, it is not always that simple. That is why there is this amazing alternative – formula! So yes for the facts side of things breast is best but for a happy, healthy, fed baby and a happy and sane mother – FED IS BEST! At the end of the day when our children are all five and at school, I can guarantee you won’t be able to tell what child was breastfed and what child was bottle-fed. They will both grow up healthy and live their lives.

Basically, what I am trying to get across here is no matter your situation – you are a good mum. We all need to learn how to share our opinions nicely. We all need to support each other whether we breastfeed or bottle-feed. Everyone’s journey is completely different! As I’ve heard a few people say this week on social media – we need to use world breastfeeding week as a time to share our stories to let mothers know they aren’t alone, to share our advice when things were not happening how it should, to educate one another with tips and tricks. We all need to hear the real stories of breastfeeding – not how beautiful and amazing it will be and how easily and naturally it will come because truth is, it may not be like that.

So please ladies, can we join together and support each other. No one should be made to feel like a bad mum because of her choices. At the end of the day, the one thing we are all trying to accomplish is to bring up our children to lead an amazing healthy life. No matter how we get there, we will. Let’s use world breastfeeding week for what it is intended to be – a week to share our stories, educate each other and support each other.

I really hope no one has taken this the wrong way. I am on both teams and understand both sides! However at the end of the day a healthy you, a healthy baby and a fed baby is best! No matter what anyone says that is truly all that matters. Hope you all enjoyed this post and come back next Sunday to hear some more yarns about something mum!

Lace xxx