The hotMaMa Diaries Blog - Breastfeeding blog and parenting blog
Everyone has a different experience of parenting and motherhood and there is no right or wrong path. The hotMaMa diaries is a place to read stories from other mothers and even share your own!
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The 1st-7th August is World Breastfeeding Week. Every year is a different theme, this year it's...“Enabling breastfeeding: making a difference for working parents.”Did you know?Workplace challenges remain the most common reason for women to never breastfeed or stop breastfeeding earlier than recommended.Parents need adequate time and support to breastfeed. Parents with less than 3 months of maternity leave reported shorter breastfeeding duration than those with 3 or more months of leave.A workplace needs adequate breastfeeding facilities to become a breastfeeding-friendly workplace. Only 42 countries mandate workplace breastfeeding facilities.Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding addresses inequalities that stand in the way of sustainable development (source: WABA, 2023).Read more about World Breastfeeding Week hereObjectives of #WBW2023Inform: Inform people about working parents’ perspectives on breastfeeding and parentingAnchor: Optimal paid leave and workplace support as important tools to enable breastfeedingEngage: Engage with individuals and organisations to enhance collaboration and support for breastfeeding at work.Galvanise: Galvanise action on improving working conditions and relevant support for breastfeeding
Burnout is not just something that be associated with your career, it can happen to any part of your life and it's also possible to feel burnt out from motherhood. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress and can affect anyone. Burnout can impact your mental health and lead to depression, anxiety disorders and other serious conditions. It is unfortunately incredibly common in teachers, but how do you tell if you're experiencing it? Here are five ways to tell if you might be experiencing burnout:
1. Chronic Fatigue
Beyond the tiredness of night feeds do you struggle getting out of bed in the morning? Chronic fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of burnout. It's not just about feeling sleepy; it's more like an overwhelming sense of exhaustion that doesn't go away even with rest. If your fatigue seems unrelated to any underlying medical condition like sleep apnea or chronic fatigue syndrome and has been ongoing for weeks or months despite sleeping well each night then it may be related with burnout and it might be worth talking to your GP.
2. Lack Of Motivation
Do things that once excited you now seem tedious? Have tasks become mundane even when they were previously interesting? A lack of motivation is another sign that could indicate an individual is experiencing burnouts.There are moments where we lose interest in activities we once enjoyed due various reasons but if this continues over time then something serious than mere boredom should be considered as a possibility.
3. Difficulty Concentrating
Burnouts can disturb cognitive functions which leads us find concentration challenging.Even simple tasks require more effort,distractibility increases resulting in difficulty focusing on work.This often leads decreased productivity which further aggravates our mood.The brain finds itself unable comprehend information at the same pace as before which leads to frustration and agitation.
4. Mood Swings
Burnouts affect our behavior patterns leading us to have mood swings.We may find ourselves becoming more irritable,angry and anxious even when the situation does not warrant it.There are also instances of feeling down or depressed due to a lack of interest in daily activities that once brought joy leading us down a path of negativity.
5. Feeling Detached
Over time, burnout can lead individuals become detached. This means that they feel disconnected from projects they once enjoyed or relatioships with which they previously valued and this can lead to feelings of isolation.
The Bottom Line
If you're noticing any combination of these symptoms,it could be time take a step back and assess your mental health.Taking breaks, self-care routines such as exercise, meditation or therapy can help turn around the effects caused by burnout. A healthy body needs both physical and mental well-being so if you suspect something isn't right seek assistance immediately.Speak with family, friends, your partner or a professional who will support on this journey towards betterment .Don't let burnout rob you of your life x
While milestones can be a useful guide for what to expect during the first year, every baby is completely different so they're not an exhaustive list of what "should" be happening for your baby at specific times. They can be helpful to know roughly what to expect and when and remember you can always chat to your health visitor, childrens' center or GP if you're concerned. Milestones often take the form of physical milestones as well as cognitive and social milestones.
- Responds to sound
- Can briefly lift head, often to help find a breast to latch on and feed
- Can recognise your voice
- Begins to smile
- Can follow a moving object with their eyes
- Can make cooing sounds
- Can hold head up for longer periods
- Has discovered their hands and can grasp and shake toys
- Begins babbling
- Some babies may start to roll over, although this can come later for other babies too
- Begins putting hands in mouth
- Begins to laugh
- Can sit with support
- Begins to show object permanence
- Begins to imitate sounds
- Can sit without support
- Begins teething
- Begins to recognize faces
- Begins to crawl
- Can pass objects from one hand to the other
- Begins to understand "no"
- Begins pulling themselves up to stand
- Starts to develop separation anxiety
- Can say simple words like "mama" or "dada"
- Begins to "cruise" along furniture
- Understands object permanence
- Begins to point at objects
- Can walk with support
- Begins to develop pincer grasp
- Starts to wave goodbye
- Starts to stand unassisted
- Begins to develop sense of humor
- Begins to understand cause and effect
- May begin taking a few steps unaided
- Begins to use simple gestures like waving
- Starts to say simple phrases like "bye-bye"
Your first Christmas as a family makes the festive season extra special, we've listed a few ideas to think about adding to your Christmas this year!New traditionsThis might be the year you start new traditions as a family that you'll continue for years to come. Perhaps it's a special trip to take or a local festive event. Chat to your partner about things you'd both like to do as a family over the festive season.See the lightsWrap up warm and take a wintry walk to visit some local Christmas light displays. Your baby will be enchanted by the bright contrasting colours and glowing colours.Christmas crafts and keepsakesPerfect as a keepsake for yourself or as a sentential gift for the grandparents. There are lots of ideas online but you can't go wrong making your own footprint Christmas cards. Paint their feet and splodge them on a piece of card, depending on the colour of paint you use you can embellish them to look like any Christmas animal, reindee, snowmen and penguin are great festive ideas. Your baby will love the sensory experience of having the cool paint applied to their skin and you get a gorgeous footprint to look back on and say things like "I can't believe how tiny they were" if your baby is older you can try handprints too although little ones have a habit of curling up their fingers so footprints tend to have a much higher success rate!Take a family photoI bet your phone is filled with photos of your little one but how many family photos do you have? With family gatherings and parties aplenty make the most of those extra pairs of hands and get someone to snap a your first family Christmas photo.Novelty outfitsPerhaps the marmite of the list as a novelty Christmas outfit tends to divide the crowd you'll either love it or hate it! If you love a novelty Christmas outfit you'll find almost every kind of outfit available for your little one from full on Christmas costumes to garments with a more subtle Christmas print. If you're looking to break yourself in slowly to Christmas clothing for your little one try a novelty bib or hat!Create a wish listAll of a sudden people will be asking you what they should get your little one for Christmas. Having a few ideas to hand can be really useful, people often love being directed to a specific toy or item as it makes life easier for them plus it reduces the chance of you ending up with duplicate items.Don't be afraid to keep it simpleYour extended family will likely go overboard on presents for your little one, you might find this especially true if this is the first grandchild in the family. Don't feel pressured to do the same, after all your little one won't remember this year at all. Perhaps just choose something small or sentimental from yourself, maybe a carefully chosen soft toy or a special book you could write a message to your little one in the inside cover to remember this first milestone.Enjoy it!Christmas can also be stressful, as a new mum don't forget to be kind to yourself. Our festive blog post from last year covers lots of tips for surviving the festive season as a breastfeeding mum. Read it here.
Christmas shopping has ramped up in the last couple of weeks, I'm posting our your orders as usual throughout December. If you're ordering something you'd like before Christmas then have a look at the last post dates below. Please note these are guidelines, once I've passed on your order to Royal Mail I can't control the speed of delivery and it is possible there may still be some delays (Royal Mail has been particularly overwhelmed this year). I always appreciate all of your support, regardless of the time of year so if you are thinking of buying something as a gift then please order earlier to make sure your parcel is with you in good time.