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The hotMaMa Diaries

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  1. Birth
    Nine days ago I gave birth. 
    Well there's a sentence I never thought I'd say. After the trials and tribulations of IVF we finally had a little buglet growing inside of me and for nine months I waited until I would get to meet my longed for daughter. Then, nine days ago I gave birth. I did not only give birth to  a child, I gave birth to motherhood and fatherhood and a family was born. 
    Right from the start I was determined to breastfeed, after all breast is best and how hard can it be when it's something so natural? What a naive woman I was! In the hospital colostrum feeding for me was a doddle and seemed to still give me a good few hours to have dinner, get dressed and shower. But, then my milk came flooding in and oh my goodness it was everywhere. I felt like every time I fed, little girl would be choking and coughing in my body's overwhelming desire to satiate this gift that I had always yearned for. My nipples were raw mounds of blistering stumps and getting a good latch seemed my one purpose in life. My Scarlett was amazing, I felt like my baby was teaching me, her natural instinct so innate and gorgeous that I needed to trust that she would feed when she needed. So, with the help of a team of incredibly dedicated midwives I learnt the little tips to look out for when latching and positioning and Little Miss Scarlett and I began to work as a proper team. The best advice I was given about the nipple pain? Well ladies if you buy a pair of Louboutins and they give you blisters do you give them back? Hell, to the no, you shove your blistered toes in time and time again until that shoe becomes as supple as a double-jointed gymnast. 
    So week one down, breastfeeding in full swing I thought I would give you my top ten tips on getting this shizzle prepped:
    1. Learn how to do everything one handed: opening drinks, eating dinner, carrying shopping, opening cupboards ... everything. In fact, practice now, try using chopsticks with everything and that's about the level of manual dexterity you can look forward to from now on.
    2. MUSLIN the hell out of life... these indispensable floaty tea towels can literally make or break a breastfeeding day. Without one on hand, all kinds of vom, milk floods, and boobage exposure can occur. Don't be fooled by the cute designs and colours these cloths do the business.
    3. A continuation of the MUSLIN theme: don't be afraid to go large. The bigger the better. Don't be modest about it, the larger it is the more uses it can have, a breast feeding cover, com collector, nappy changer, swaddle cover, sun protector...
    4. Be flexible, let's face it baby is going to inevitably pretend to die of hunger when you are in the middle of a packed city centre at closing time in the pouring rain. It's a given. But super mum just needs a pavement, umbrella, muslin and boob and the famine victim baby can be duly soothed.
    5. Master resting bitch face... people will stare, yes it's 2017 but, still the world seems to struggle with the fact that sometimes a baby needs a boob. If you can convey in a look the following (without having to articulate it) -"yes I'm breastfeeding and I don't give a fig what your opinion is on the matter, so jog on and go ruin someone else's view" - then you're saving yourself a lot of wasted energy and milk calories on speech.

    6. Lanosil is the nectar of the nipple Gods. This vastly overpriced (but I would pay the Earth if I had to) cream is the one thing that are going to save and toughen up those nipples ready for the next onslaught. You CANNOT have enough of the stuff. Take it with you everywhere like it's your new best friend... because it is. Baby can also breastfeed without the need to rub it off, which is an added timesaver bonus.

    7. Wear a watch. It doesn't have to be a fancy all singing, all dancing, jazz hands contraption. You just need to know how long you've been feeding for to see if they might need more if they come off for a small milk break and wind. Also... handy to see those booked appointments slip away into oblivion as mummy time takes over!

    8. Hydrate. Feeding makes you as parched as a flower in the Sahara desert, you are literally being drained women and those fluids need to be replaced. Pack those bottles like it's a military operation, because let's face it breastfeeding is!

    9. Snack attack. As well as thirst, breastfeeding turns you into a ravenous wolf, I have been raiding cupboards at 3am in the morning for sustenance, but plan a snack and you're be less likely to resort to half defrosted food (a sad but true occurrence).

    10. Entertainment. As entertaining and exciting as a newborn is, frankly staring at their mouth sucking your boobage after half an hour isn't really the most dynamic of activities. Try to have a magazine or plan a phone call to make sure you're relaxed and/or that baby can hear the soothing tone of your voice as you have a good old gossip with the girls.

    But in the end, never forget that what you are doing is incredible. Mothers I salute you, you are literally keeping a life alive and that my lovelies is a true miracle. 


    Article from the brilliant Lottie at

    Lottie lives in the heart of the Cotswolds in beautiful Cheltenham and is a health and fitness professional teaching Baby Barre, Mat & Reformer Pilates, Dance & PT (both classes and one to one.) She is also available for Skype sessions so don't worry if you're not nearby, just drop an email and get in touch to get booked. When not chasing after baby Scarlett and buying excessive amounts of Lanolin, Lottie sets up Fitness and Food Events with food bloggers, fitness experts, and baby groups, as well as Fitness retreats for both mummy's and non mummy's. She is also a Wellness Columnist for Cotswold Living and Cotswold Allure. Essentially, Lottie is dedicated to empowering women and telling life as is it, so if you would like to get in touch about her services she would love to hear from you. Check out her website and give her an add on Instagram @just_the_girl_fitness
  2. I have two boys, H is 3 in June and A is 6 months. I try and parent them both the same, although I am definitely more relaxed second time round (I haven't had him weighed since he was 6 weeks old..oops!) But there will always be one niggle of guilt there..I formula fed H. Before I start explaining, please let me say that I don't have a problem with formula and I'm not formula bashing. It kept my baby boy alive for the first year of his life, he's rarely ill and he's pretty smart too! The thing I do have a problem with though is the lack of support I had surrounding breastfeeding and that ultimately led to me formula feeding.

    I had a pretty difficult birth. It was an induction at 41+1, he was stuck in my pelvis and I ended up with an emergency section. I was 19 and a first time mum. I thought I had all the knowledge and I was ready to breastfeed. And I did, for 24 hours. Then on my second night, when H was building my supply, the midwives asked if I wanted them to take him and give him formula so I could sleep. I was exhausted and in pain so I agreed. I think this was the beginning of the end. From then on, I combination fed. I did see a breastfeeding support worker in hospital and she was amazing but once I was discharged, there was no help. A woman from the LLL (LaLeche League) came twice but she offered nipple shields and then refused to come again because he was over 6 weeks old. With no support, the breast milk feeds became less and less. I don't even remember the last time he fed from me. I feel so guilty about this because I should have been able to feed and sustain him. I am so angry that the support I needed wasn't there.

    So when I fell pregnant with A, I was so determined to succeed. The perfect prep stayed in the garage, I didn't buy formula and we only bought one box of bottles (for expressing). He fed perfectly off me and I got over the first painful few days and those awful after pains! But after a month, it was still painful. I saw my doctor who told me there was nothing wrong. Confused, I rang my health visitor out of desperation. I described the pain as though broken glass was being dragged through my nipple. Straight away, they said it sounded like thrush. Getting another appointment at my doctors was really difficult so I went to the pharmacy. They gave me oral gel and said it was ok to use on my nipples too. It isn't as it can't be absorbed properly to treat the thrush. In tears, I gathered up both boys and went back to the doctors. I cried and begged the receptionist to find me an appointment with a doctor that evening. By now, it was 5pm on a Friday and I knew if I didn't get help then, I'd give up over the weekend. Luckily, a wonderful doctor saw me and gave me the correct cream. I could have hugged him! Once the thrush had cleared up, it's been pretty smooth and we're still breastfeeding at 6 months!

    I've found wonderful support in online mummy friends (one is a trained breastfeeding support worker so she was invaluable to my success!) and a Facebook group too, especially in the early days. My mum and fiancé are amazing too, not letting me give up, letting me cry and moan whenever it's bad. There's also a breastfeeding support café 5 mins away, I haven't been but I know it's there if I need it.

    Breastfeeding isn't easy. It's painful, hard work and sometimes feels never ending. But it's so, so worth it. Feeding A is the time I have with him. Just me and him. These are moments I'll cherish forever.

    Read more from wonderful mama at her main blog over at