The hotMaMa Diaries Blog - Breastfeeding blog and parenting blog

Breastfeeding 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!

To be featured on the hotMaMa Diaries contact us an email to [email protected]

lactation award

 RSS Feed

  1. Parenting is hard. Really hard. There are up's and down's. We do so much to protect our children, from the moment they are in our belly till our last breath. Unfortunately there are some things that are out of our control. I've read a few stories recently where parents have lost their children. Each time you read a story like that your heart breaks, but then after becoming a parent and reading something like that it hits you. it hits you hard. You can never feel what these parents go through, but you understand. We are parents. Parents who are reading every parents worst fear. I never know what to say if someone tells me about a loss of a child, its such a taboo subject, but it shouldn't be. I sometimes feel it best to listen, listen to them remember and live every memory again. We lost our first baby at 12 weeks pregnant. We were heartbroken, but it's not until you go through something like that, that you realise that it happens to so many women, yet you never hear of it unless you have physically gone through it. I don't get it? I remember a work colleague had lost her baby to cot death at 4 months old, i came back to work following our missed miscarriage and she was the only one that came upto me and say "i can't imagine what you are going through, i am so sorry" i just stared at her, my heart sunk. After what she had been through she was so compassionate, why? because she is a mum. A mum to a beautiful angel.

    We were blessed and went on to have two perfect baby boys. Again, you don't realise how lucky you are to be able to conceive and carry a child naturally. We have friends who are going through their second round of IVF, as they were telling me what they have to go through, a pang of guilt ran through me. Guilt that i have been lucky to fall pregnant with my two boys naturally, that Grayson wasn't planned and he just happened, and i feel like shit when i say that to people, especially people who struggle to fall. I think end up sitting there thinking about how i take it for granted. I feel selfish. I know my friend will probably read this and think I'm a wally, but my heart goes out to them, every single person who has to go through so much for something i sometimes take for granted on a daily basis.

    I'm not sure what the reason for this post is, it's just something that has played on my mind.

    There is so much judgement around parenting. It's so wrong and puts so much pressure and anxiety on mums. Whether you had a natural birth or c-section, whether you bottle feed of breast feed, co-sleep or put baby in their cot, jar feed or make all your dinners from scratch, use organic food or freezer food, rememeber this. You are perfect. You have come into parenthood blind sighted - no one prepares you for what happens once you get your baby home. Your children adore you, you are their queens. As long as you and your children are happy thats all that matters. Screw society, do what's right for you and your baby. Not anyone else.

    Anyone can judge from the outside, but until their living it, their opinion is nothing.

    A x

     

    I am a stay at home mum. I has two boys aged 4 and 2 and a crazy cockapoo. Married to my soul mate. Welcome to our fun parenting life, follow us for all our ups and downs.  Read more from me at:

    Instagram: ashleigh_justamummy 
  2. 1

    We have all seen the baby milestone cards, baby’s first smile, first tooth, first steps. This got me thinking about all the mummy milestones.

    The difference between baby and mummy milestones is that the baby ones are things you are expecting to celebrate, I mean who was not the proudest parent when your little bundle of joy gave you their first gummy smile. Mummy milestones on the other hand our completely different……..

    1. Using the bathroom alone.This one I am still waiting to happen, but I’ve been told it will happen eventually and it is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. I can not wait to have a pee in peace without the threenager, the cat or the husband coming to see what I am doing.

    2. Using a bag for just my crap. Do you remember those pre child days where your handbag only contained the essentials, phone, purse, keys and Lippy. Now my handbag resembles Mary Poppins magic bag. I can’t tell you the amount of times I have pulled a pull-up out of my bag in the Tesco que when looking for my purse.

    3. Going to bed at a normal hour. How many of you mummies stay up much later then you should just to get some much needed “me time”. I often stay up until some stupid hour to watch “just one more episode” or find myself dicking around on Facebook/Instagram and instantly regret it when the 6am alarm clock is poking me in the head telling me the sun is up.

    4. Wearing something that isn’t stretchy or practical. My wardrobe mainly consists of leggings, stretchy jeans and stripped tops, the standard mummy uniform. When you wear something fitted and smart you feel like a new woman even if you haven’t washed your hair for 5 days and still have Mondays make up on.

    5. Doing a food shop without anyone throwing a tantrum. Remember those days before kids when the weekly shop was a chore and you dreaded it? Well doing the weekly shop with a tired/hungry/grumpy 3 year old is a new kind of hell. There is shouting (me) tears (sometimes me) and general frustration (also me). But sometimes your darling hubby whispers those magic words to you “I’ll stay at home with the kid you go shopping” These magic words have the same effect as Tom Hardy saying he is going to cook you dinner naked. 2 WHOLE hours alone, browsing oh how I have missed browsing. Actually having time to think about what you need instead of grabbing random stuff in a blind panic just so you can get out without a scene being caused!

    I’m hopeful that one day in the not to distant future I will have achieved all my milestones but at the moment I’d be happy with using the bathroom in peace!

    I’d love to hear your mummy milestones.

    Mummy Em x

    Emma is a mama of one curly haired little girl called Chloe. Married to Mr D. Working full time and trying to juggle everything ????  Read more from her at:

    Facebook.com/mummyemblog

    Twitter.com/mummyemblog
    Instagram.com/mummyemblog
  3. untitled

    Body Positivity, this is a subject that I feel quite strongly about so I wanted to get involved and tell my story. Did you know that 71% of women have received negative comments about their post baby bodies? With family members and strangers being the most common culprits.

    When I was pregnant, It took me a while to get used to my ‘new body’. I did definitely struggle at first to accept the changes, I felt like I had no control over my weight gain and I actually put on 2 stone when I was pregnant with my daughter. Before I fell pregnant, I hated my body – I was very underweight, I thought I was fat, I felt ugly.. I was receiving help for my mental health issues when I found out I was pregnant, and after I had gotten round to the idea of having a baby, I started to fall in love with my body. I felt like I finally had a purpose in life and the horrible thoughts of ‘not eating’ and ‘not looking after myself’ slowly went away. Being pregnant helped me immensely, it helped me feel more confident about my body and a lot more positive about my future. 

    Breastfeeding Blog Image 2

    Despite suffering with a severe anxiety disorder and feeling like “everybody was staring at me” when I walked through the street, I felt more confident in myself. Being a young mum and having my baby at just aged 17, I felt like people would judge me and I’m sure they did.. At first, my dad and my brother both resented me, I didn’t have much contact with either of them for a while and I felt like this was maybe the worst decision I had ever made. However, they soon came round to the idea and realised just how much of a different person I had become since falling pregnant and now I am closer than ever with both my dad and my brother, which is amazing.

    Becoming a young mum made me feel like it was ‘wrong’ to enjoy my pregnancy and because of this I feel like I didn’t really enjoy it as much as I should have done. I was constantly worrying about what other people thought instead of thinking about what was best for me. Next time around, I really hope to enjoy my pregnancy a lot more, take more pictures and document it on the blog. I am looking forward to falling pregnant again with baby number 2.

    Since having my daughter in February last year, I feel like I have lost confidence again. I wasn’t mentally prepared for the amount of changes that would be happening to my body. When I was pregnant I actually got rid of all of my old clothes, pre-pregnancy I was a very small size 6, whilst I was pregnant I put on 2 stone and shot up to a size 12/14. I was convinced that I would be this size forever, however after giving birth I instantly went back to a size 10. Standing in front of the mirror for the first time after giving birth is scary, I felt so different and not like myself. It was almost as if I was looking at a completely different person. It took me a long time to adjust to my new figure and it took me a fair few months to get back into my size 8 body and after feeling crap about my body for months on end, I finally went out and bought myself some clothes that fit.

    Breastfeeding Blog Image 1

    It has now been nearly 16 months since I gave birth to my daughter, the time has absolutely flown by and I am still not overly confident about my body, however I am learning to love it a little bit more. My post baby body is completely different to my pre-baby body but I am slowly learning to accept that.  So, what has changed? Everything has changed and I feel like there are a lot of things that you don’t get warned about. I now have a ‘mum tum’ which I’m not a fan of, before having a baby I had quite a tight stomach.. there was no ‘flab’ on me and I had what I now see as a flat stomach. Now I have a mum tum, a tummy with excess skin. My boobs have changed, when I was pregnant and after having my little girl – they were huge & that is one thing I actually liked about myself, although they were uncomfortable at times, I felt like my clothing looked nicer and my body looked more even. I stopped breastfeeding after just 2 weeks and since my milk dried up, my boobs are now non-existent. Pancakes. Again, not a fan of those either. Although I only managed to feed my baby myself for a short 2 weeks, I still managed it and I am proud of that. 

    Breastfeeding Blog Image 3

    My body is a completely different shape to what it used to be, I’m not as skinny looking.. I feel better about that however I feel more chunky now. My legs are bigger and my hips are wider, I gained lots of stretch marks towards the end of my pregnancy, around my boobs, my tummy and on the insides of my legs. Postpartum hair loss has been a big problem for me too, before having a baby I could wash my hair and not batter an eye lid but now at 16 months postpartum, I wash my hair and half of it falls out. I am actually starting to go bald in some places which is quite embarrassing but I am doing the best I can to keep my hair in good condition and prevent it from falling out, although I am aware that this isn’t really something you can stop completely. Unfortunately I have suffered / am still suffering with postnatal depression, which is something that a lot of mums go through and this has had a huge impact on my confidence.

    “Stretchmarks are the markings of a mother”

    Breastfeeding Blog Image 5

    Don’t get me wrong, I am so so grateful for my body and I love that my body has housed my baby, I still can’t quite believe that I gave birth to a baby but the transition between body changes is something that a lot of us struggle with especially first time mums. As you can tell, I’m quite self conscious about my Mama Figure post baby and overall I have found the transitions extremely hard to deal with but I am slowly learning to love my postpartum body. Finally! As I said at the start of this post, Channel Mum’s topic this week is all about body positivity and they have encouraged mums (like myself) to get involved. Research shows that 85% of mums want their postpartum bodies to be celebrated. 62% of women want celebrities like Kim Kardashian to be more honest.

    There is no shame in being confident & proud of your body, your body grew an actual human being, how amazing is that! You should be proud! You are amazing, you look amazing and you have done an amazing thing. 

    I am passing this message onto all of you lovely mums out there today so that we can start feeling a little bit better about ourselves. These are not photo’s that I ever thought I would share on the internet but I wanted to show you all that its okay to not be body confident, it’s okay to have stretchmarks and a saggy tummy.. it’s okay to be honest.

    Do you feel confident in your body after having a baby?

    Thanks for reading,

    Zoe x

    A little Bit About Mummy & Liss: 
     
    I'm Zoe, 19 years old and a young mama to Alyssia Grace. I run a parenting & lifestyle blog over at www.mummyandlissblog.com where I talk about all things mummy, toddler & baby related and love sharing my experiences as a young mum. I run my own guest post series called the #YoungMumsProject and you can find me on facebook, twitter & instagram. 
     
  4. boys-kiss

    Dear New Mum

    My story is probably very different from yours and you’re probably feeling things right now that I never had to face. You see, River wasn’t diagnosed with Down syndrome until he was 6 months old, it was missed by medical professionals and strangely I often feel very grateful for that. I feel that way because throughout my pregnancy and for the newborn baby period I was just incredibly happy. I wasn’t overloaded with scary medical advice, or told that my baby would have a terrible life, or that it was unfair on the siblings, or that I should have a termination. Nobody told me they were sorry. I suspected River had Down syndrome when he was born, but I was assured by doctors and midwives that he was fine. Even after that I think I still knew deep down, but I clung to the fact that everyone told me otherwise and put it to the back of my mind. Or at least I tried to. Either way, for the first 6 months of River’s life he was just my beautiful newborn baby, without a diagnosis and I fell head over heels in love with him.

    I always wonder whether I’m the right person to be dishing out advice to new parents, whether they learn during pregnancy or at birth. It may sound a bit strange but I often feel a bit left out, a bit on the sidelines because I missed out on such a huge part of having a child with Down syndrome. I never had that life shattering moment of sadness, that moment where you feel like your life will never be happy again. I just didn’t feel it, and the only thing I can put it down to is the fact that I had already gotten to know my son and just knew it was all going to turn out ok. And I guess that because I had suspected and known deep down that River had Down syndrome, that I’d already in some way processed those feelings without them really bubbling to the surface.

    image-47

     

    But I do understand. I do understand the sadness you feel and the fear that you have, because I know I would have felt exactly the same way. I know I would have felt devastation, I know I would have felt angry and I know I would have felt unable to cope or see a happy ending. I know I would have felt lost, not knowing which way to turn and how to make things ok again. I know that I would have felt like a failure, that I’d failed my family and that I had failed my new baby. I even know that I would have felt guilty for feeling everything that I was feeling.

    What I thought I knew couldn’t have been more wrong

    I would have pictured Down syndrome and imagined the outdated and false stereotypical vision that so many of us within society believe. In my mind I would have seen a lonely adult, with no friends, old fashioned clothing, with no understanding and always with their elderly mother. It would have been so wrong and now I can see how views of Down syndrome within society couldn’t be further from the truth, but I’m being honest and that’s how I would have felt. I would have pictured my son as a man without any type of ‘normal’ existence, a man who could never feel true feelings, and a man who would never have anything to offer society or who society would never accept. I would have seen a bleak and grey existence for the life I had wanted to create so much, and I would have wondered if it would be kinder for him to never have existed at all.

    It breaks my heart that I know I would have felt this way, and I know for sure that I never would have pictured River as a man who could lead a fulfilling life. I can now tell you though, that everything I never would have been able to picture for my son, I hand on heart picture it all for him now. With honesty I can tell you that when I think of River’s future I see him with some form of independence, with a circle of friends, with a job, with hobbies, with passions, with ambitions and with love. I envision a school life full of childhood friendships and an ability to learn along with a love of it. I can see a life filled with travel, a life filled with adventure and a life full of substance.

    dsc02959

    I’m ashamed to say it now, but before I knew what I know now, I never would have thought my son’s life could be meaningful, or anything other than just sad and disappointing. I can tell you without any uncertainty that I never would have been able to imagine the feisty, determined, funny, cheeky, sweet, loving, adventurous, fearless, smart, mischievous, social, amazing and totally gorgeous little boy we have been blessed with. I never would have imagined our River.

    I know you’re feeling a huge sense of loss – I get it

    I may not have the initial diagnosis in common with you, but something I’m sure you are feeling is a sense of loss. I know as I felt this loss myself, and I can only compare it as a sense of mourning for the life that you had pictured in your mind for your child. A sense of mourning the life you thought they were going to have. That life that you had let yourself imagine doesn’t exist anymore and it’s a deep feeling of sadness, it can even be compared to a death. We’ve lost the life that we thought our child would live, it’s just not going to happen and that is hard to bare. We all do it as parents, picture a life of milestones, education, careers, marriage, children, etc. We picture our future grandchildren and the life that society has decided we should all lead. We all have our children’s lives practically mapped out before they are even born and when we feel like it’s been ripped away from us it hurts. It hurts and it takes time for those feelings of loss to heal, it takes time for us to move on from those emotions.

    What I can tell you though is this. You will move on and it is all going to be ok, in fact, it is going to be incredible. The loss you are feeling right now will pass. The sadness, the hurt, the fear and the pain will all pass and you will see a light. You will get to know your baby and you will soon come to realize what a blessing you have been given. You will soon learn that you are one of the lucky few, and that your child is exactly what you never even knew you wanted or needed. You will get to a point where you won’t want to change it even if you could.

    dsc00203

    It won’t be easy, but the best things never are

    I’m not for one minute saying it’s going to be easy, it won’t be. You will face hurdles and barriers, and you will have days where it all feels too much. You will worry about your child’s future and you will worry about their acceptance within society. You will worry about their health and you may face dark periods where your child faces illness. You may feel frustrations regarding development and you will without a doubt feel a frustration about the struggles of receiving services they are entitled to. But I promise you this, those worries and fears are nothing compared to the sheer joy your child will bring to your life. You will feel an overwhelming sense of pride and admiration, and you will become their biggest supporter. Your child will show you the world through new eyes and you will become a better person, becoming more accepting of others and really seeing a person for who they really are. You will embrace differences and you will want to teach others to do the same, you will want to make a better society for your family. You will become stronger than you ever thought you could be, you will find a voice that you never knew you had and you will fight with every last breath you have to create a better world for your child.  You will not be able to imagine your life any other way, or yourself on any other journey in life. Most of all you will feel lucky, and you will wonder why the hell you ever felt so lost or so sad.

    dsc02856

    So New Mum, my advice to you is this

    Feel exactly what you need to feel and feel it without guilt. This is a journey for you, and it’s not an easy one. You need to feel these things in order to process them, deal with them and come out the other side. But you will come out the other side, you will get stronger and your life will be beautiful. Your child will shock you, teach you and you will burst with pride every single day. Your life will be filled with love, laughter and adventure and you will adore your child. You will love your child, you will love your life and you will love Down syndrome. You may not believe me right now, but one day you will love Down syndrome. It is part of your child, and it is the part that will show you what life is really about and what is really important. Believe me when I tell you this, one day it will be a part that you wouldn’t want to change in a million years.

    Good luck and Love Always

    From a Mum who is a little further into this wonderful journey.

     

  5.  

     

    1506455289343Donating milk had been something I heard about while on a car journey with another Mum. We were discussing how we were both really fortunate by pure luck to have really healthy and what appeared to be, above average supplies. Through surrounding myself with the world that is breastfeeding through books, Facebook groups, discussing with other Mums and most importantly experiencing it myself, I have come to realise that a lot of women struggle to use breast pumps well enough to make a full feed in one session. Some mums can spend hours hooked up to a breastpump and only achieve a few drops/ few ounces and others can make ounces in minutes.

     

    When I was in NICU I went straight to the pump, which may be why I'm able to create such a high supply but may just be luck. I truly believe, through speaking to a number of women and seeing multiple Facebook posts, that it really is just luck. You can either do it or you can't, sadly. Some women believe eating oats and taking supplements are a few of the ways you can increase your supply and others say purely by having your baby feed more will increase your supply- no supplement or type of food will help. I have never needed to and therefore never tried these supplements, but if my supply was dipping or I believed I needed to make more milk for my baby I would try everything under the sun- so no judgement here. I'm simply repeating what I've read!

     

    A lot of times during the early days, Oscar went through phases of cluster feeding and had I not been properly informed through reading up about the subject or being told by my experienced breastfeeding mama friends, that although it seemed like both my boobs were flat, deflated, empty and I simply couldn't produce any more milk- this was impossible. Breastmilk is a river not a reservoir, as they say. You will always make more milk. Cluster feeding is combined with all sorts of leaps and growth spurs that your baby is going through so it's a tricky time to have faith in yourself and your milk. A lot of women see cluster feeding as that their baby isn't satisfied with their milk and that they're crying because they're starving or that they're sucking and nothing's coming out. Believe me I thought this too when it first started happening. This can then lead to a lot of Mums falling into 'the top up trap'. When you're well informed about cluster feeding it allows you to understand what's happening in your babies life. When a baby cluster feeds it's known as 'putting their order in for the next day'. So if your baby is likely going through a growth spurt, their bodies are smart enough to know that, right, Mum, tomorrow I'm gonna need to feed double what I had today. And how do they do that? By cluster feeding. By feeding over and over and over they're sending all sorts of signals to your body to pick up the pace and that they're hungry. Come tomorrow, your body will start producing more milk to support this growth spurt. Cluster feeding happens every 6 weeks or so in a newborns life. If you've read my previous posts it's all about getting prepared. Having great films to watch, plenty of snacks and water around you and getting comfy in bed. Oscar once cluster fed for three hours. The first time I didn't know what the hell was going on and thought I can't possibly be making any more milk. I was also desperate to go to sleep so I was willing for him to go to sleep even more so.

     

    The 'top up trap' is an unfortunate cycle where by a mother thinks she isn't providing enough milk for her baby due to cluster feeding and wonders why they're feeding so much and not falling asleep as they used to after a big feed. Then they go and buy a bottle of formula to a) fill their babies tummies because they feel like their milk isn't enough b) make the baby sleep.

     

    By skipping cluster feeding and going through the long and tedious process of feeding, baby falling asleep, waking up as soon as they're put down, feeding, falling asleep, waking up, feeding AGAIN, falling asleep, waking up, feeding AGAIN... you get the picture. Instead of going through this process and carrying out the signals needed to be sent from their baby to their boobs, effectively, their body WONT make more milk. The baby will be full of formula, sleep and the Mums supply will remain the same. They make wake up the next day and want to continue their breastfeeding journey exclusively and come night time the baby will do the exact same thing, why? Because their body didn't get the signals needed from their baby to produce more milk for the next day. Their baby went to sleep, skipping all that vital cluster feeding and having a belly full of formula that takes a lot longer to digest than breastmilk, thus letting the baby sleep for longer. Sleeping baby = happy Mum. Skipping cluster feeding for sleep = Mums supply won't increase.

     

    If the Mums supply then doesn't increase and the baby tries to cluster feed again. If the Mum is ill informed about cluster feeding and thinks its 'Night 2 of me not making enough milk for my baby', the Mum will most likely make another bottle of formula. And come night 3, 4 or 5 will go for formula straight away. By missing those lucrative night feeds the Mums supply WILL drop. She then WILL not be making enough baby for her milk and WILL choose formula full time for their baby. (Everything they dreaded in the first place and could have avoided) It's a sad, vicious cycle and sadly does cut a lot of Mums breastfeeding journeys short. There's nothing worse than feeling like you're not enough for your baby and having to swap to formula despite it being the last thing you intended. By being well advised, well prepared and having faith in yourself and SCIENCE - it should all work out.

     

    Formula fed babies also cluster feeding and this can lead to a lot of Mums putting their baby on 'hungry baby milk' as they mistake a baby trying to cluster feed for a baby that's 'extra hungry'. This is simply a marketing ploy by formula companies that take advantage of Mums that will buy a thicker, higher calorie formula to fill their babies tummies to stop them crying for more food (the way nature intended). It is the only thing that truly upsets me when I read other Mums putting their baby on hungry milk, 'bed time milk' or rusks in their bottles just to get them to stop crying/sleep more. Breastmilk digests in 2 hours roughly in a newborn and formula takes a lot longer and therefore baby is more 'content' supposedly. However I would much rather my baby fuss a little to increase my supply, and be breastfed, than fill their little tummy with a powder based milk just to get them to be quiet. (If a Mum tried everything they could to breastfeed and simply couldn't, I don't judge this, but formula just to get some sleep, makes me sad!)

     

    Anyway, enough about cluster feeding and rocking the boat with my formula opinions. Back to pumping. I have never had any trouble with pumping and have always had a great supply. A lot of women who struggle ought to check the 'flange size' this is the size of the hideous bit that goes over your nipple. The pump needs to mimic your baby suckling, a flange too small and it will only stimulate the end of a nipple. And breastfeeding works by the baby suckling way further back and getting a flow from the back of the breast. A baby doesn't suck on the end of a nipple so a flange needs to not just 'tickle the end'!! Too big a flange and the machine won't be able to produce a big enough force when mimicking sucking as there will be too much air/space around the breast for the machine to really latch on. So finding the right flange size is crucial.

     

    Having the right settings is also important. Most machines (I've used two- one from the hospital and my own Medela double swing) and both have settings available where you can start the pump on short, quick bursts of pressure to stimulate the breast and encourage flow. It's also a nice gentle way to ease you into a pumping session instead of going HAM straight away. Once you've done a few short, high pressured pumps (not a lot will come out during these pumps but it's important to stimulate flow) you can swap to long, medium pressure, exaggerated pumps. This is when the pump reeeeeally starts to sound like a cow in a field mooing to the lasted Electro House track. This is when you should start to see the milk coming out. It should feel tingling but by no means painful.

     

    When I decided to donate, Oscar was 8 months old, so instead of trying to increase my supply drastically, I simply let him feed on one side during the night so that I woke up with a FULL side and pumped that, then when I put him to sleep and he began his stretch of around 5 hours sleep, after 2/3 hours I would pump half one side and half the other. These sessions I was able to pump for 7-10 minutes and get 5oz each time. This is something I almost feel embarrassed to share as so many women struggle to get that amount. But I'm sorry, can't be helped! I think by donating it made me feel like I was putting my super strength pumping abilities to better use and really making the most of them.

     

    I wrote on the Facebook page Human Milk 4 Human Babies UK and stated my age, smoker status (non-smoker), good diet, no health conditions and where I was located. I had two women contact me, one was a woman who struggled to breastfeed and baby had really bad reflux so was vomiting a lot of her feeds back up and also didn't take very well to formula so the woman was searching for a donor, the second woman who contacted me lived a little further away than the first, but her baby was born 6 weeks premature, was now 4 months old and was fighting some health conditions. This 'case' was a lot closer to my heart as I know exactly what the Mum went through and couldn't imagine her pain not being able to feed her baby. But thought it was amazing that she went the extra mile to find donated milk for her baby as breastmilk has so many more beneficial factors over formula and will improve the likely hood of her daughter getting better due to the properties of breastmilk.

     

    I ended up pumping for two and a half weeks and donated 150oz of milk. She drove an hour to me and I met her 20 minutes from my house in a pub carpark.

     

    Using the Facebook group to donate milk meant there was no guarantee of the health of the person donating. I felt a lot of pressure to make sure I cleaned my breaspump thoroughly inbetween every use and made sure every 5oz bag I pumped went straight in the freezer so there was no chance of any of it being left out too long.

     

    One day I came downstairs in the morning and found the freezer settings had been tampered with and the box had started to melt so I went down to Currys and bought a chest freezer thinking mine was broken (OH came home and fixed it at the end of the day in seconds after all that) I lost 10oz but just fed Oscar them in a cup and pumped the feeds he would have had.

     

    I'm so glad I was able to give back and do something for the 'premature community'. I stopped after two and a half weeks and donated 150oz and then went on holiday two days later so I'm glad I didn't set myself a goal too high, pump loads and make my supply double only to be left uncomfortable or have to pump on holiday!

     

    Pumping that much brought back all the memories of pumping in NICU and I am so glad we were able to ditch the pumping and just breastfeed because I forgot how tedious it all is! But so worth it.

    IMG_3653

  6. 12751322_1533758183591484_1326684704_n

    10 things I’ve Learnt Since Becoming A Mum

    • The World Is a Scary Place – Everything affects you when you’re a parent, you worry for your children more than ever & you will do all that you can to keep them safe. 
    • Being a mum is bloody hard work – Its not easy, and anybody who says it is (is lying) Whether you’re a mum of one, two or even ten… parenting is hard!  
    • Never Underestimate the healing power of a hug – If you’re ever feeling down, a hug from your little one will make everything better. There has been a few times where I have just broken down in tears & a cuddle from my little girl has made the world such a better place to be. Parenting isn’t easy, so don’t be so hard on yourself. 
    • Parenting is not all sunshine & rainbows –  I hate to say it but quite often its shitty nappies, sweat and tears.. There will be days where you just don’t want to parent anymore, you will be running round the house like a crazy lady packing bags & getting everything ready to go to baby group for your child to do the biggest poonami ever which not only means that they’ve ruined their brand new outfit, but its also made you late for babygroup.. Sometimes its just easier not to bother, have a pyjama day & chill out! 
    • You will probably find yourself crying over the most ridiculous things – But that’s okay, parenting isnt easy. 
    • You need to take wetwipes everywhere you go – We’ve all done it, we’ve all braved it and gone out without the changing bag.. Note to all new mums – Don’t do it! It is 99.9% guaranteed that the one time you don’t take it because its just a ‘quick pop to the shops’ your child will leak through their nappy and you will wish you had taken the changing bag in the first place. 
    • The Mum guilt is unreal – You will worry that you haven’t spent enough time with your little ones even though you’ve given them your full attention for most of the day. This happens to me all the time, I will spend a whole day entertaining my 1 year old but as soon as she’s gone to bed, I miss her like crazy and start to wonder if I’ve spent enough time with her.  
    • You will love more intensely than you ever thought was possible. – This is true, so very true. I have never felt a love like this before it really is amazing. 
    • When your child spills something on the floor, don’t shout & scream – just say ‘uh oh’ mop it up and carry on.. even if you did just spend all morning cleaning those floors. There has been a few times now where I have steam mopped the floors, blitzed the kitchen etc & my daughter has thrown a yoghurt on the floor or poured a drink everywhere.. It’s almost like they do it to test you. 
    • You probably won’t pee in peace ever again – Sorry, but its true. When your baby is young, good luck trying to leave the room without them screaming – the amount of times I used to have to take the bouncer into the bathroom with me just so that I could have a wee without my child screaming the house down. And I hate to say it but when they grow into a toddler you still won’t be peeing in peace, they’ll follow you everywhere.. and even if you close the door behind you I can assure you that they will be their banging on the door waiting for you to finish..

    Is parenthood different to what you imagined?

    Yes definitely, I don’t think you can ever really prepare yourself for becoming a parent.. You can try but nothing will prepare you completely. I have always wanted to be a mummy, growing up I was surrounded by baby dolls and I always loved looking after the other children in the family. Before I had my little girl all I ever saw pregnancy as was cute and exciting.. in which it is, but its not that easy. When I had my daughter I soon realised that the reality of being a mum is actually quite different to what I had thought.  

    Absolutely nothing goes to plan, pregnancy being one of them. There’s not really much point in a birth plan if you progress as quickly as I did (I was 10cm and already pushing when I arrived at the hospital) Weaning being another, I thought it would be plain sailing but Alyssia was diagnosed with a CMPA which made things 1000% harder. I was naïve, I thought that being a mum would be easy (lol) but in actual fact its bloody hard work.. I appreciate my own mum a lot more now. I thought that having children would make relationships so much better and we would be ‘family goals’.. I mean yeah, It has made us stronger in the long run and I love him more than ever now but at first I resented him so much and the tension between us at times has been unreal. If you want to learn about somebody else’s flaws – have a baby with them. Don’t have a good nights sleep for maybe a year? And If you are still in love after that, you know its real haha. Your sweet baby wont always be sweet, they’ll grow up one day and have a meltdown in the middle of a shopping centre. Parenting is hard work at times and anybody that says it isn’t is lying..

    Thanks for reading,

    Zoe x

    Mummy-Liss-33-1-300x200

    A little Bit About Mummy & Liss: 
     
    I'm Zoe, 19 years old and a young mama to Alyssia Grace. I run a parenting & lifestyle blog over at www.mummyandlissblog.com where I talk about all things mummy, toddler & baby related and love sharing my experiences as a young mum. I run my own guest post series called the #YoungMumsProject and you can find me on facebook, twitter & instagram. 
     
     
    untitled