Breastfeeding Isn’t Just For Hippies

Fergie recently released a song called MILF $. Now, I personally love everything about this song and this video and let me tell you why. 

A few scenes into the video there is a gorgeous woman breastfeeding her baby. Now this woman looks HOT and you’d be daft to deny the fact that she looks good. She’s also quite clearly wearing false eyelashes and lots of make up and she even has her legs out *shock horror*. Surely a mum shouldn’t have her legs out?! Ofcourse not. *sarcasm* 

There has been huge controversy about this all over breastfeeding facebook groups.  Lots of mums are saying it’s wrong and that it’s sexualising breastfeeding. Well, this is what I say…

There’s nothing wrong with a sexy woman breastfeeding. There IS something wrong with sexualising breasts and only seeing them as a sex object instead of seeing them as multi functional.

It’s a fact that a lot of men find breastfeeding attractive. Not because there’s a baby on the boob but because it’s attractive to see a mother nurture her children. And this video also helps the breastfeeding cause by showing that breast feeders aren’t all hippies with long armpit hair who hug trees (ofcourse there’s nothing wrong with that) and that any female can breastfeed no matter what your ‘style’.

 I think if a man saw this video too it may make him realise that breastfeeding is normal and women can still be sexy whilst breastfeeding and will help them support their female partners to breastfeed. 

All we ever see about breastfeeding on the media is bad things or hippies or mums who never leave their kids. 

If we want more mums to breastfeed we need to make it work for every mum and show that even modern day parents can and breastfeed too. 
You don’t have to fit into a certain mould to breastfeed your kid. All you need is your boobs. It doesn’t matter what clothes you wear, how much make up you wear or how sexy you are. You kid doesn’t give a shit about that, he just wants his milk. 

Every parent is different but there is no reason why all mums who can breastfeed shouldn’t (unless they make that decision not to ofcourse). 

The media and Facebook groups are telling us that if you want to breastfeed then you must be a middle age woman with no sex life, you must buy really fucking ugly nursing bras and you must never leave your child’s side. And there is nothing wrong with all of the above if that makes you happy.

So ofcourse young mums, fashion and make up conscious mums, sexual mums and outgoing mums who need space every now and then won’t breastfeed as they think it’s not for them and they don’t fit into the mould. 

It’s such a shame because I reckon if we made breastfeeding more versatile and fitting for all mums then more mums would breastfeed. 

Newsflash, you can be 16 and breastfeed your baby, wear a sexy nursing bra (they do exist!) And express milk for your baby if you want to leave them for a few hours (recommended age for doing this is over 6 weeks). It is possible and breastfeeding is adaptable to every single situation out there! 

#EmpowerAllWomen

Being a Touched Out Mum


I wish I was one of those mums who can deal with spending every minute of every day with my child. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE spending time with Freddie when he’s not being an arse. But I can safely say that by the end of my weekend off work i am ready to run away with nothing but clothes on my back shouting ‘freedom!!!!!’

Sometimes I don’t even know how I managed before I worked when I never spent any time away from freddie. I thought I would be a bad mum if I left him with granny and pops for a few hours. But looking back now I can see that I didn’t cope very well at all and I am a much better mum now that I’ve started listening to my feelings the same way I listen to freddies.

I was always angry, teary and touched out and I would get frustrated with him so easily.  If I ever have another kid I know not to make that mistake. Fuck you society and all your standards of what being a good mum is. You know what, if I need to have a night off once in a.while in order to charge my batteries and be a better mum then that’s what I shall do and you can go fuck yourself if you don’t like it. 

The truth is; adults, kids and babies are all different. We as a society need to stop expecting all mums to fit into this one size fits all because it’s never gonna happen! 

Just because fanny Anne down the road spends every minute of every day with her 6 children and hasnt had a mental breakdown yet doesnt mean im a bad mum for losing my rag and needing time out. Because there are other times I’m splashing in muddy puddles with him, blowing bubbles, giving him kisses, making him healthy organic food for tea (after having McDonald’s for lunch ofcourse) and he knows I love him. He knows this because I tell him a million times a day, he knows this because I work my ass off for him and he knows this because I’m the only parent he’s got who hasn’t given up on him.

We give kids the opportunity of spending time away from the family home with their friends for sleepovers or even just playing in their bedroom on their own so why don’t we give ourself that opportunity without beating ourselves up? (I don’t mean playing in your bedroom by yourself… unless that’s what you want ofcourse!)

I take my hat off to the mums who don’t need time out to themselves. You are amazing and I don’t know how you do it. But I also take my hat off to the mums who admit they’re not perfect and they need time out every now and again. 

And before I get some negative Nancy comment on this; I’m not justifying leaving your newborn baby who has barely left your vag so you can go and get pissed up down your local pub. I 100% advocate spending as much time in the 4th trimester with your baby as possible as it’s such a crucial time to bond. I 100% advocate spending as much time with your kid no matter what age as possible but sometimes it is not possible when you are going to throw them head first out your fucking window. 

To all the touched out mums out there, do whatever you need to do to be the best mum you can be to your kids. They will thank you for it. 

I Am Now A Breastfeeding Peer Supporter!

Yay!

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I did it!

After 10 fantastic weeks of training, I am now a breastfeeding peer supporter. This means that once my DBS checks are back I can volunteer on the post natal wards, NICU and children’s centres and help mums who are struggling to breastfeed or who just need some support or information.

I cannot tell you how excited I am about this amazing opportunity and I feel so privileged knowing that I will be helping support women to continue to breastfeed and helping baby’s get their yummy milk.

I know it won’t all be fun and games, especially on the NICU ward. But I am up for the challenge and I am so passionate about breastfeeding after the hardships me and Freddie have gone through on our breastfeeding journey.

I believe every woman should be given the correct information to help her make an informed choice. If she still wants to formula feed then that’s fine but at least she is informed. Unfortunately, not many women are informed about infant feeding.

Being a breastfeeding peer supporter isn’t about judging mums who don’t breastfeed, it’s about helping the mums who DO want to breastfeed and about giving mums information so they can make an informed decision. There may be times where I help a mum wean her baby off the breast as she doesn’t want to breastfeed anymore and I will support her and help her. But I will also tell her of the risks involved because she deserves to know.

I’m so excited to start, not only do I get to help mum and baby’s but I also get to see super squishy, newborn goodness!

 

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Why Men Need Feminism Too

Why Men Need Feminism Too.pngSo, I was scrolling through Facebook last night as you do, when I saw a post from another mum on a mummy group.

She was ranting about her husband, fair enough, he sounds like a lazy ass and we all need to rant sometimes. But the comments astounded me and left me feeling sick. She was moaning about how her husband had a day off for the first time in ages and refused to go to the shop to buy her little boy some new trainers so she could take him to the park.

So, the comments.

‘Go beat him senseless with the trainers that don’t fit any more and say if he got them then you’d have no need to do this lol’. 

Yeah because domestic violence is fucking hilarious.

‘Headbutt him’

It’s funny because if your husband headbutted you then you could get a restraining order put against him and he would get charged with assault.

We don’t encourage that type of violence .. Use a phone book, it leaves no marks and doesn’t hurt you a bit’

Why is it okay for women to joke about things like this or threaten violent behaviour but if I posted on a group saying that my partner threatened to beat me with a shoe and headbutt me they would tell me to ring the police?

Violence is never okay. It is NEVER okay to lay a finger on another person’s body without their consent unless you are defending yourself. It is NEVER okay to smack a baby, to smack a child or to smack an adult.

Violent behaviour is always abuse, no matter how you sugar coat it or joke about it. It is NEVER funny.

This is why men need feminism too. Because it’s fine for a woman to joke about harming her partner but it’s abuse when a man does it.

1 in 4 women get abused in their lifetime and 1 in 6 men get abused in their lifetime. Abuse is not a joke.

 

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There’s No Such Thing As ‘Tough Love’

Heather Wolf — ‘There is no such thing as tough love. Love is kind, love is compassionate, love is tender.”

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When it comes to babies, there is no such thing as ‘tough love’.

The closest thing to ‘tough love‘ I can think of is taking control of all finances whilst your partner who is a gambling addict gets help with his addiction.

When babies are in the mix there is either responding to your babies cues or there isn’t. I hate the phrase ‘tough love’ when referring to babies as if ignoring a babies cries is in their best interest?!

Babies have no idea how to manipulate their parents, as clever as babies are they aren’t THAT clever. Sometimes they cry for attention, and that’s okay. Needing attention is as much of a legitimate need as needing a drink.

And there is TONS of research proving that ignoring your children’s cries CAN be detrimental to their health. I don’t want to hear that you left your darling Peter to cry and he turned out fine. My grandad smoked 30 cigarettes a day for most of his life and he lived until 88. Doesn’t take away the fact that thousands of people die from smoking every single day.

Older children however, I have no idea as I haven’t reached that milestone yet, but if you ever hear me say that I’m leaving my 5 year old to cry himself to sleep then I give you permission to drop-kick me in the face.

‘But the more you respond to them the more they will cry for attention’ I hear you say. Well yeah. Obviously. Is it really such an awful thing that a baby trusts their parents to answer their cries? If you ignore your babies cries then they will eventually stop crying. It doesn’t mean they no longer need cuddling or attention, it just means they know there’s no point in crying as no one is going to come.

So yes, the cry-it-out method does work, I 100% agree with you on that, it doesn’t mean its ethical, loving or right though.

Before you get your knickers in a twist, I wholeheartedly believe that there is a massive difference between chucking your baby in a cot at 7pm and ignoring them all night because YOU think they should be asleep and putting your baby in a safe place for 2 minutes whilst you calm down, cry, get your shit together or call someone over to help you on a bad day.

Humans crave attention, we all like to feel loved and wanted. When we are babies, toddlers, children and adults. It’s normal.

 

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Aloe Hand & Face Soap Review

12771888_745034345598414_1008635817731810419_o.jpgWhen the lovely Sian who works at Forever Living sent me this Aloe Hand & Face soap in the post I was at first a bit sceptical to tell you the truth. I’ve never really been overly keen on MLM companies for many reasons but I love supporting small businesses, especially when they are a fellow mother too!

I have to say that I was very pleasantly surprised with this product. Not only is it brilliant value for money (473ml for £11.27) but it also lasts for ages! Freddie, Simon and I have each used it every day for over a week now and the tub still feels full!

I love the fact that you only need to use a small amount instead of having to use half the bottle which I usually do! *oops*

Freddie has had it in his baths for the past week and so have I. This is a big deal for me as I suffer with really bad eczema and I haven’t had a lovely soapy bath in so long because I have to use my steroid based products to wash with. But I decided to give this a go in my bath and I was over the moon. Every time I do use a product in the shower or bath I have a really bad reaction and have to take allergy tablets as my eczema is so bad! (I know, my fault really but I’m a sucker for bubble baths!) So I was over the moon when I could finally enjoy a lovely soapy bath without suffering!

We will definitely be carrying on using this product and I have definitely swallowed my pride and I will no longer be so judgey towards MLM companies! Sian has been so helpful and such a delight to work with.

She also has a brilliant Facebook page where she advertises all of her exclusive deals and you can ask her any questions about her products which I found very useful.

I would definitely recomend this product and even my partner was chuffed with it too even though he wasn’t allowed to use his normal shower gel for the past week!

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Our Gentle Bed Time Routine

A Gentle Bed Time Routine.pngFor most of us gentle parenting folk, the word ‘routine’ is a scary, scary word.

The word routine has such a bad rep now thanks to the likes of Gina Fraud, *vom* and Super Nanny *vom*, oh and I must not forget Tizzy Hall *vom*.

Their idea of routine is chuck your baby in their cot as soon as it his 7pm and then don’t communicate with them again until morning time. I didn’t realise parenting was only part time hours, some how I’ve ended up with full time parenting hours. Ah well.

Anyway, those of you who know me will know that we have been struggling with Freddie’s sleep for about 5 months now. It wasn’t really the sleep itself that was the issue. He would wake up literally every hour and I didn’t really have an issue with that as I know that for a lot of babies that is completely normal and healthy, it was the fact that during the day he was a complete wreck as he was so tired and grumpy. Oh, and because he was so over tired all the time he also stopped having day time naps so he was only getting around 9-10 hours of sleep in 24 hours. For some babies this is more than enough, but for Freddie this was clearly too little due to how grumpy he was.

I could not for the life of me work out what was wrong, at first I put it down to a leap or growth spurt but after 2 months I started to realise that it probably wasn’t that.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I LOVE Sarah Ockwell-Smith. She is an author, gentle parenting expert and attachment parent advocate. I absolutely love her and think she’s the bees knees. She has a very gentle, responsive and child-led approach to parenting and she inspires me A LOT.

So when I was scrolling down my dashboard on WordPress I was quite shocked when I came across her latest Vlog. I’m not gonna lie, the title made me wince but I watched the video anyway as I am always interested in what Sarah says.

‘The Importance Of Bed Time Routines For Babies & Toddlers.’

 

 

If you don’t have time to watch the video or you simply CBA; she basically highlights the importance of the lead-up to the child’s or baby’s bed time. She mentions that the time itself is not that important. A general idea is a good thing so anywhere between 7pm-9pm for example but there is no point attempting to put a baby or child to bed when they are not tired and some days will be different to others if you are going out etc.

Unlike many ‘experts’ *ahem BULLSHIT* *ahem GINA FRAUD*, she says that rocking your baby to sleep or feeding your baby to sleep etc is NOT an issue. Body contact promotes bonding and security and there is NOTHING wrong with meeting your child’s emotional needs because us adults are equally emotionally needy and many of us will cuddle our partners to sleep (if you don’t have a baby in between you both).

Sarah reccomends starting with a wind-down routine after tea. Turn off the TV and limit electronics. Play with some toys or do some painting or crafts and listen to some music. After a while of winding down you can start the bed-time routine. The thing I like about Sarah’s example of a bed time routine is that there are no strict times or schedules. It IS baby led.

Gather everything you will need into the bedroom that they will fall asleep in. So a clean nappy, pyjamas, body lotion/oil and a few bed time stories.

Take the baby into the bathroom and get them into a nice warm bath. After a few days of doing this routine they will begin to connect bath time to the beginning of their bed time and will help them wind down.

Once bathed, take them into the bedroom and make sure the lights are dim and the curtains are closed in preparation for this. Sarah recommends giving the baby or toddler a gentle massage with lotion or oil. By ‘massage’ she doesn’t mean that the baby or toddler has to stay still because from 6 months onwards your baby will probably be moving around more! This massage is more about the skin to skin contact and meeting your child’s physical needs and if your baby/child has this skin to skin contact now they will be less likely to keep waking for physical contact and reassurance (although it’s completely normal for babies to wake up for this anyway!!).

Once baby/toddler is massaged and in pyjamas you can settle down and start to read them the book in a soft and gentle voice and of course, you can breastfeed or cuddle whilst reading to them.

This is pretty much all there is to the routine and I love how gentle and baby led it is.

After watching this video, I realised what the issue was with Freddie’s sleep and well being.

We would go straight from being a hustley-bustley bright, loud front room and taken into bed and boobed to sleep all in the space of minutes. Obviously I wasn’t allowing him time to wind down so he wasn’t getting a good quality of sleep.

Obviously every baby is different, some babies thrive off gentle and baby led routines whereas some don’t need it and can wind down by themselves.

Sarah also highlights in the video that even as adults we have some sort of winding down and bed time routine. And thinking about it, it’s certainly true in mine and my partners case.

It’s been over a week since introducing a gentle winding down and bed time routine and I must say we have noticed a massive difference already and it’s also reallllly helped with getting him to sleep without me there. I’ve recently started doing evening shifts and the first time I had my evening shift was a complete nightmare and ended in tears and a total breakdown from my partner! However, on day 4 of using this approach Simon got him to sleep in the Tula after following his winding down routine and he slept until I came home!

I think it’s important to know the difference between a schedule and a routine. A schedule is a very strict sequence of events at particular times. A routine is a sequence of events in a certain order at any given time and can also be switched and changed.

I’m feeling so much more positive now about leaving Freddie to go to work in the evenings and also about the fact that he is a lot happier during the day and also naps easier. It’s only been a week or so but we are starting to see a massive difference and there has been absolutely no tears or anything traumatic for either of us!

 

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