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

BABIES AND FRIENDSHIPS

Keeping friends once, you have had a baby, sounds simple right? It really is not. When they all find out you are pregnant, everyone is your best friend. Everyone is so eager to know the details and remind you how much they will be around once baby is born. It is very easy to say things and never go through with them. I know for some people, they may be lucky enough to actually have their friends stick to their word and actually hang around but I know a lot of the time this does not happen. I remember many people telling me, ‘you will find out who your real friends are when you have a baby’. Unfortunately, it is a very real thing.

For me, I was the first to get pregnant out of my friend group. As soon as I announced my pregnancy, they were all super happy for me and were fast to tell me how they would all make the best aunties. All of a sudden, they all wanted to be my best friend and know everything. As most people, I have a few friends who I class as my best friends and a couple of them offered to throw my baby shower – which was awesome and the baby shower was a hit! I had a massive turnout of people who all had to be there and I was very spoilt! However, do not be fooled by all these people who come to these and tell you how much they are going to visit… They probably will not. I can count on one hand who has been to visit regularly out of 20+ people who were at the baby shower!

I actually started to pick up that people were not really going to stick to their word and hang around once Harlee was born. However, I just sat back and waited it all out to see what the outcome would be.

You will eventually give birth to your perfect little bundle and then the messages will flow in of asking when they can come visit. Everyone wants to be your friend again! I have a big family and so does Ben so we decided to limit our visitors to close family and friends for the first few days. This did not go down well with some of my friends. Although they never told me to my face that they were not happy, it obviously got back to me. I had just had a baby, I was learning what I was doing as a first time mum and as soon as I found this out I knew they weren’t my real friends and I tried not to let it get to me because I clearly had bigger things on my plate.

I knew that life would be harder with a baby; I just did not quite understand how hard it would be. It is not all fun and games of having all the energy in the world and feeling like visitors all the time. A lot of the time, I just did not feel like any visitors. I just mostly wanted to sleep the day away whenever my baby would sleep. True friends – they get it, little things like these are what makes you appreciate them and have that lifetime bond grow. Fake friends – they will take it personally and think it is because you don’t want to see them. However, all of you with new babies will know it is really just because you are so bloody knackered!

So far, this post has been a bit of a Debbie downer, Hah. So let us finish up with the carryon of fake friends. I do not even know if fake friends is the right term to use. Its more so friends you lose touch with and friends that cannot adjust to your new life as a mum. Try not to let this upset you too much. People go their separate ways in life – it just happens. You may not fully disconnect with them as I still do see friends I would not say I am that close to anymore. Once every now and then something comes up that everyone attends and you do see each other. Do not hold grudges with them; just let it be a nice friendship you do not have to fully invest in as you do with your best friends. You have to remember, especially if they do not have kids, it will be really hard for some people to understand your new lifestyle. Do not stress about it and remember what your new priority in life is!

Making friends with babies – This I find extremely hard. I still would not really say I have many friends with kids since having Harlee. I mean, I am most definitely not shy but making mum friends is just awkward. How do you initiate it? Like ‘Hey, I see you have a little human. I have a little human too – let’s sit and watch them destroy our houses and complain about it at the same time’. I know many people who have had kids, it is just the how to start the friendship I struggle with. So, I’m not really going to offer any tips on this because I actually suck at this, hah! I know I could attend coffee groups and things similar but I am one of those people who prefer to know at least one person at these things so if it were to go pear shaped I would have someone! Stupid I know, but that is just me. I am sure Iots of people feel this way so do not let it stop you! I am sure that all the mums at these kind of things are actually really nice and welcoming.

I literally have three friends who I class as my real friends who are always there for me no matter what. We do not see each other often but when we do, it is just like the good old times. Social media is a massive help to these friendships that I cherish. We may not see each other every week but we keep in pretty good contact on a daily basis thanks to snapchat and Facebook chats. The thing I love about these friends is that if I needed them, they would be here in a heartbeat. They are the ones you need to look out for and keep close! The make or break with these friends all comes down to how understanding they are. Your friends will understand why you can’t go somewhere at a certain time because your baby is sleeping, they will be happy to work a day out around you and a routine and they will just understand why sometimes you have no energy to cart a baby out.

Are you still finding it hard to juggle your important friendships with your new lifestyle? Here are some of my tips-

  • Have a regular catch up

So, we haven’t been doing this for too long but we have started having a regular catch up dinner once a month. Once a month is good and realistic because we all have lives and we all get busy. It is an awesome way to have a catch up and just chill out with your girls.

  • Always try attend special occasions

If it is a special occasion, go! Birthdays for example happen once a year so it is important to make an effort for these. Even if they do not do anything for their birthday, call in for a visit!

  • Make a Facebook chat

This is an awesome idea, if you see something somewhere and you just need to talk about it, just pop it in the good old facebook chat and then before you know it you will probably be messaging all night, hah.

  • SNAPCHAT!

Snapchat is awesome, you get to see what your mates are up too and you can show them what you are up too everyday through pictures! It is like seeing their face every day but you are not, hah!

  • Call in for a random visit

I am actually bad at this, I need to improve on it but call in for a visit! Even if it is for half an hour. Use your spare time on things that will make you feel good!

There is a few little things you can do to keep in touch with your fav gal pals. There is much more but that is just what I find helpful!

Here is a little tribute to my three very close friends. Rylee and Cheri, my friends with no kids but yet so understanding of my lifestyle and Kelly, my friend with a kid but still always there for me :P. If It wasn’t for you three I would go insane. I am lucky to have people super understanding and always willing to be there. Thanks for caring about my kid. She is so lucky that she has been blessed with three more awesome ladies to call aunty. Thanks for wanting to see my baby more than me, Hah. I am glad that she is not a burden to our friendships and you guys are all so welcoming of her. Thanks for sticking around, even when we do not catch up for a month, sometime even two – life never changes we are still the same. I am glad on days that suck; I know you are all just a message away. I imagine you all in my life forever and I am so happy to call you guys my best friends!

 

There is my little bit about friendships after babies. You will lose some, you make some and some will grow stronger. It is funny how so many things change in your life once you have kids that you would never expect. Hope you enjoyed the little read and I will catch you all next week!

Lace xxx

SH*T PEOPLE SAY WHEN YOU ARE PREGNANT…

If there were one thing I have learnt from being pregnant and a new mum, it would be that people love to tell you a whole lot of shit. This shit generally consists of unwanted parenting advice, subtle blows at what you are so called ‘doing’ wrong and what you have to expect through pregnancy and mum life. Some people love it and some people dislike it. I do not hate hearing other people’s experiences or advice because yes, sometimes what people say is totally helpful and nice to hear. However, do not expect me to take on board what you are saying and I dislike it when someone preaches their advice on me.

Let us start at the beginning. All those awesome phrases people love to tell you while you are pregnant. I can guarantee you have been told at least two of the things on the list-

  • WOW! You are huge!

Such a common one people love to spring on you! Well no shit Sherlock, I am pregnant and growing a baby over here, no need to be reminded!

  • Are you sure you are even pregnant? It doesn’t look like it yet.

I got this a lot at the start of both pregnancies, I don’t actually find this offensive, I more see it as just a really dumb question. Obviously I am pregnant, I’m not going around telling everyone that for shits and giggles.

  • You are not having twins are you?

You know what is funny about this one, I had someone tell me how little I was one day and then the next asked if I was having twins – Hah! But really, do I have to explain this one?

  • Your way bigger than the last time I saw you.

Really? I thought I would be smaller since the last time we caught up.

  • You are much bigger then you were last pregnancy.

Maybe because I got pregnant three months after having Harlee so my body had no chance to go back to itself. And just imagine if we replied with something like this -Oh and you are much bigger than when you were last year, what’s your excuse?

  • Live up your free time now.

What? Are you telling me I actually will have to give all my time to my baby and not put them in a corner by themselves? Dam how did I not know this…

  • You have no idea what you are in for.

Funny how people tend to say this no matter what pregnancy you are up to. First time around it was the first time mum card, second time round it’s the, two is way harder than one card. Seriously we can never win!

  • You must be due any day now.

Reality is you are only 32 weeks but thanks for reminding me how far away my due date is…

  • Must definitely be a girl/boy the way you are carrying.

Oh awesome, I didn’t know there was so many baby gender gurus out there!

  • Oh you are having a girl, well remember the sonographer could have it wrong!

Yes this is true, but when did you get your special gift of knowing better than a sonographer?

  • You are far too young to be having a baby!

Oh thanks Nancy, even though I’m still with the father, we own our own home, we have our own car, we a financially stable, mentally stable and the only difference between me and that pregnant lady is I’m 22 and she’s 30. Never mind the fact that we are actually probably in a better position than some 35 year olds having babies… but hey that’s okay – keep reminding me I’m too young to be a mum!

That is just a list of the things that came off the top of my head. Do not get me wrong some of these are not really offensive, they are just dumb questions people feel the need to ask every time they see you. There is a couple on this list that get to me but, a lot of them just make me think ‘seriously’ and I have a little giggle to myself. We all know how quickly those good old pregnancy hormones like to change and throw us off though so maybe add these to the ‘things not to say to pregnant women’.

So, pregnancy is over and you have a new bundle of joy! You would think since pregnancy has left, the dumb comments would have too. I hate to break it to you but they do not! I am 10 months into mum life and 7 months into my second pregnancy and still cop the dumb comments/questions/advice for both!

So what is some of those dumb comments you get once you have your baby? Here is my list-

  • You look extremely tired.

Really? I guess I should be looking like I am full of energy after having 3 hours sleep every night for the last week!

  • You are not breastfeeding.

No, I am not and I do not need a lecture on why I should be nor do I have to explain to you why I am not!

  • Did you have a natural birth?

Actually yes I did but if I needed pain relief or a c-section I would have done that too because my only concern was getting my baby here safely!

  • She should be sleeping through the night.

Every baby is different and we all have different ways of doing things so this does not concern you!

  • She does not look anything like you!

So what are you implying? Was I meant to have a clone of myself? Or, are you questioning if she’s mine? Pretty sure I just pushed her out of my vag so she is definitely mine!  

  • When are you going back to work?

When I’m ready, that’s when. My job now is being a mum!

  • You should do this, this way…

Oh yes, you know my baby far better than me. I’ll change what she’s use to just for you!

  • I had no problems losing my baby weight.

Cool story bro. Are you calling me fat?

  • How do you handle being stuck at home?

Maybe if you had a baby who did not believe in sleep, you would understand being home is amazing.

  • You are so lucky you just get to stay home with a baby all day instead of working.

Oh, yes it is such a holiday being home with a baby and maintaining other mum duties! I have so much free time on my hands… NOT!

  • Enjoy it now because they will be grown up before you know it.

Thanks for being the tenth person this week to remind me that.

  • Don’t you think they need a bottle before you leave?

You are probably right. We have not been on a strict feeding routine for the last 5 months or anything…

  • Back in my day, we would have never done that…

Wow, crazy how times change isn’t it!

  • Doesn’t your mum always have your baby?

No actually, my mum may be around a lot but shes there strictly as a Nanny! Mum duties are my job. Thanks for the interest in who is around and who isn’t though!

These might seem like nothing to some but I am sure most mums agree they get these a lot. It is more the fact of hearing them all a thousand times over. Yes, I am a new mum but I am not dumb. I do have common sense and I will figure mum life out on my own.

It is not just these types of comments that I find annoying. It is also the ones when other people feel the need to burst your bubble of happiness about something. Like one of the following- (Me them)

  • YAY – First night sleeping through the night!

Do not get to excited, it will all change again soon.

  • She is crawling!

You will never be able to leave her alone, she will be into everything and it will only get worse once she is walking.

  • She said her first word!

It may be cute now, wait until she will not shut up though.

  • She had solids for the first time.

Wait until she refuses everything you feed her.

All of these comments leave me thinking – okay shut up and let me enjoy my happy moment and her milestones! Do people not have anything nice to say anymore? On the other hand, have we forgotten the number one rule of if you do not have anything nice to say, then do not say it at all. Everyone is entitled to opinions but you don’t have to be rude. Spread some love and kindness guys! It is not hard!

So the real point behind this post was to make all you mummas out there not feel alone when thinking, did she just really say that to me? Like I said earlier, sometimes those hormones over rule everything else and you cannot help but take what someone has said to heart. Try to laugh it off and remember people are just uneducated. There is always going to be someone who cannot help themselves and has to make that one dumb comment. There will always be dumb shit people say when you are pregnant, so the best thing to do is take it on the chin and be a little bit of a smart ass back. I can guarantee they will get a bit of a fright and be lost for words if you come back with something funny. Chances are it will give yourself a little giggle too and we all love to have a giggle!

So if you are or have been a fellow pregnant mumma, I hope this has been something you can relate to and if you are not pregnant or know someone who is maybe this has been a little bit funny and maybe a bit of insight of what not to say. I would love to have a laugh with you about dumb shit people have said to you while pregnant – go on and flick me a facebook message or Instagram DM! Catch you all next week team!

Lace xxx