Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Dexters 8 Month Developmental Check

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I've written anything. We've had a really busy summer with plenty to keep us busy - some bad but lots of good. I'm also back at work. I've just finished my ten 'Keeping in touch days' (If you're not sure what they are you can read about them here) and I'm going back to full time next week - you can read more about that in a later post, today is about Dexter and his 8 Month developmental check.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

World Breastfeeding Week - Sustaining Life the natural way

Happy World Breastfeeding Week Everyone!

This week is World Breastfeeding Week - World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) was launched 22 years ago by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) to focus and facilitate actions to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. The WABA coordinated WBW now involves over 175 countries and is endorsed by UNICEF, WHO, PAHO.

Can you imagine a world where every mother was supported, educated and nurtured by their community? A World where breastfeeding was normal? I was shocked to read that less than 50% of all newborns are breastfed in their first hour of life. There are numerous pieces of research highlighting that immediate skin-to-skin contact and early initiation of breastfeeding could reduce neonatal mortality significantly when the baby is put to the mothers breast within one hour of birth. By placing the newborn on the mothers bare chest for initial skin-to-skin contact the babies temperature, heartbeat and breathing is stabilised. Also early initiation of breastfeeding strengthens the life long bond between mother and child. 

The newborn first receives Colostrum that is rich in nutrients and antibodies - if nothing else I think all babies should be given this essential nutrient. Breast milk provides all of the nutrients and water an infant requires for the first 6 months while protecting against disease and infection. 

Women encounter many issues and barriers when breastfeeding immediately after birth

Millions of women are still giving birth without the care and support that they require to successfully kick start their breastfeeding journey. Educating women during the antenatal period is really important. Supplying or encouraging mothers to use breast milk substitutes (formula) can be quite common in the health profession and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action is focusing on changing this by educating health care professionals on how to council, educate and encourage women to give their newborns the best start in life. 

Breastfeeding  Feeding your baby is the most normal and natural thing in the world, it is why women have breasts so why deny your child the most nutritional meal produced just for them? I understand there are barriers that women must overcome and not every woman can breastfeed due to various health reasons but if you're fit and well, wouldn't you want your child to be too? Yes it hurts but in my eyes that is not a reason to stop, I personally wanted the best for Dexter so I put up with the pain that merely lasted around 10 days. 10 days of pain is nothing when now we have an unbelievably strong bond seven months later. He's a strong and healthy boy, learning and changing every day - I couldn't be more proud of him! I do also feel quite smug because I know some of that it because of me - I know I have given him the best of beginnings.  

There are very few women I personally know that have carried on breastfeeding longer than a few days or that have even tried at all for various reasons. A big reason I hear time and time again is because of the "stares" and "comments" they or others they know have received in public. The subject of breastfeeding has become somewhat absurdly taboo. I am glad that the "professionals" are trying to change this but in my eyes it is taking far too long! It doesn't help that social media platforms have also been known to deem breastfeeding as "explicit" and "inappropriate". In 2009, Facebook was demonised for deleting women's breastfeeding photos even when privacy was set to 'friends and family only'. They responded by saying that photos with nipples showing are a violation of their policies (which permit the removal of photos deemed obscene or pornographic). Facebook has since updated its policies to allow for photos of mothers nursing on their social media site. I was unfortunately victim to their previous policy having had a breastfeeding image removed and although their policies have now been amended I am still unable to post links to my blogs Facebook page because of the photo that was removed. You can see my previous rant on this here. Below is the photo that was removed along with a few others that were also removed.  

Were you a part of "The Global Big Latch On" that took place on the 1st & 2nd August at 10:30am local time?

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Maya Breastfeeding Dress Review

Milk & Mummy
Fashion & Breastfeeding - two words I never thought I would use in the same sentence. 

Dexter is now 6 months old and breastfeeding is still going strong but ever since he was born I haven't really worn any flattering clothes. I have always associated breastfeeding with comfort and clothes that make accessing your boobs easy - which usually involve non flattering tops and sweat pants. To be honest the last thing I thought about after giving birth was my fashion sense but after a few weeks went by and my once HUGE tummy slowly deflated I started to get my confidence back and was frankly a bit sick of feeling frumpy.

Queue Milk & Mummy  you may be thinking who on earth are Milk & Mummy well let me tell you. Emma, the founder of the company knows oh too well how something little like wearing nice clothes can make you feel good on the inside as well as looking fabulous on the outside. As a new mum herself she can relate to all us breastfeeding mammas which is a huge bonus. You can always tell if a product has been made by someone who has a need for it, so much care and attention to detail has gone into the range of products available. Milk & Mummy are still a very young company only established in 2012 but have such an exciting range of products, I couldn't wait to try them out!

After browsing through the website I decided to try out the Maya Breastfeeding Dress in inky blue currently retailing at £49.00. The dress is also available in a lovely vibrant orange colour called Watermelon but I wasn't sure if this would clash with my hair colour so I played safe. The dress arrived within a matter of days by recorded delivery which I prefer over other methods.

I was super excited when I opened up the dress, I couldn't wait to try it on and wore it that day! I wasn't too sure where the access site was when looking at the images online but that wasn't a problem at all as on the website there is a section detailing where to find it. There are also instructions on the packaging showing the empire line access point. 
The colour is lovely and hasn't faded even after a number of washes (Dexter is still possetting somewhat and always seems to get it down mummy's cleavage). The material was a lot heavier than I was expecting but the quality is is obvious. Made from 95% Organic cotton and 5% Spandex you can really feel how well made the dress is. I've still got a bit of a 'Mummy Tummy' and I'm happy to report Maya doesn't make me look 6 months pregnant like a lot of maxi dresses do. It doesn't cling to your wobbly bits, instead it glides over and hangs beautifully. On initial inspection the only thing I wasn't happy about was that the elastic that holds the access site in place is white and I had to keep tucking it under, I think if this was blue it wouldn't have been so much of a problem. 

When it came to feeding I had no problems at all, the empire line access works really well and is very discreet. Unless you were to stand above and peer down you wouldn't be able to tell I was breastfeeding. Dexter was able to access the breast without any problems. I have had so many compliments whilst wearing the dress especially at my Slimming World group, some of the members are pregnant and love the dress that much, I gave them leaflets and they have since been on the website and made quite large purchases. Since the dress arrived I have worn it a few times out and about. The photo above was taken in Bala where a friend and I had taken Dexter our for the day. The sun was scorching but I was nice and cool in the dress. I have also worn it to a funeral so it really can be worn anywhere and for any occasion. 

Overall I am very pleased with the dress and have found it extremely comfortable, the only little thing I would like to see changed is the colour of the elasticated band under the empire line access. I will definitely be purchasing other items from Milk & Mummy and I have already been recommending them to all of my friends. 

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 All opinions  & photography are my own. For my full disclosure please click here.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Lovely Book For Wonderful Women - Review

A couple of months ago I was very kindly sent a copy of Lehla Eldridge's "The Lovely Book for Wonderful Women". It is an illustrated book to inspire happiness.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Family Photo Friday #9

You may remember that I recently posted about Dexter meeting his Great Grandma & Grandad from my Husbands side, if you missed it then you can catch it here. This week Dexter's Great Grandmother (Nanny) and Great Grandfather (Pappa) drove over from their home in Spain to visit. Dexter met his Nanny back in January when he was just a week old but unfortunately it was just a flying visit and we didn't get a four generations photo. This time however I was armed with my camera when we went up to my Mum & Dad's for a BBQ. 

From left to right there's Mummy, Grandad, Dexter and Nanny

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Dexter James 6 Months Old

Dear Dexter,

Two days ago was your half birthday! You're a whole 6 months old and I can't quite believe how fast it has gone. When I wrote about my pregnancy updates I used to say how fast it was going but that's nothing compared to recent months. This past year seems to have flown by and so much has changed.