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!

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Category: Mama Mental and Physical Wellbeing

  1. 5 signs of burnout from motherhood

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    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


  2. What is mastitis?

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    What is mastitis?


    Breastfeeding is a bit of a minefield, all of a sudden you find youself faced with things you've never even hear of before.  Mastitis might well be one of them.  It's an inflammation of the breast, usually caused by a build up of milk in the breast leading to an infection. It often happens while a woman is breastfeeding, especially during the first 6-12 weeks.


    - A swollen area on your breast that may feel hot and painful to touch – the area may become red but this can be harder to see if you have darker skin. It usually only affects one breastand symptoms can begin rapidly.

    - A wedge-shaped breast lump or a hard area on your breast

    - A burning pain in your breast that might be constant or only when you breastfeed

    nipple discharge, which may be white or contain streaks of blood

    -  You may also get flu-like symptoms, such as chills, nausea, aches, a high temperature, tiredness or even vomiting.


    What can you do?

    - Soak a cloth in warm water and place it on your breast to help relieve the pain – a warm shower or bath may also help.

    - Rest and drink lots of fluids.

    - Continue to breastfeed.

    - Start feeds with the sore breast first.

    - Express milk from your breast in between feeds.

    - Make sure your breast is completely drained after a feed. You may need to check your baby's latch as a poor latch may mean your baby struggles to do this.

    - Massage your breast to help clear any blockages – stroke from the lumpy or sore area towards your nipple to help the milk flow.

    - Apply heat prior to feedings to promote breast drainage.

    - Wear comfortable clothing and a wireless bra.

    - See a GP if you do not feel better within 24 hours despite continuing to breastfeed, they will usually be able to prescribe you antibiotics. 


    (Sources, LaLeche League, NHS, Medela)

  3. Tips for your first breastfeed in public

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    Breastfeeding clothes

    Your first breastfeed outside your own home can feel scary. What can you do to make it a little less daunting?

    Go somewhere you are familiar with

    There's so much more to think about now you have a little one like if there's space for a pram of if a baby carrier would be better or if there is a baby change is. All things you don't want to be stressing about with a hungry baby.

    Make sure you can sit down comfortably

    Perching precriously on the edge of a wall or having to stand is no good. You'll be uncomfortable and it will have you rushing for the feed to be over. Make sure you can relax so your little one can have time to fill that little tummy and make it a positive experience. Cafes are great at having comfortable chairs for breastfeeding.

    Get your clothing right!

    You don't want to feel flustered trying to get your boob out, dealing with excessive complicated layers. One of our specially designed breastfeeding tops or dresses will make feeding access a breaze even with just one hand.

    Allow enough time

    Again, you don't want to feel rushed and you want to make sure your baby is not overly hungry before you're actually positioned and ready to feed. 

    Take a friend

    Arrange to meet or go with a friend  one with another baby is a bonus.  It's always nice to have someone to talk to and if you're with someone you're comfortable with you'll feel more at ease feeding.

    Have a drink with you or get one Breastfeeding is thirsty work mama! 

    Wear breast pads, just incase you leak! 

    Last of all, don't worry! Remember that breastfeeding your baby is normal and once you start thinking about it you'll probably spot lots of breastfeeding mamas out and about feeding that you just wouldn't have spotted before. Relax, sit back and enjoy!

  4. Breastfeeding at Christmas

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    Breastfeeding at Christmas


    It’s Christmas – a time filled with family, food and fun. But just as often, and especially as a new breastfeeding parent, this time of year can be a STRESSFUL..  To help, we've compiled a  a few handy tips of how to survive the festive season....

    T H E    F O O D
    Yum, definitely one of the best parts of Christmas!
    Once your baby is born, it should be fine to eat all foods that you may have avoided during pregnancy. Most babies are not adversely affected by everyday foods, so although unlikely that your baby will react badly to anything you eat, you may consider temporarily excluding foods if you notice windy or colicky reactions in your baby up to six hours after eating a certain food. Some foods can change the taste of your breast milk, so again, assess from your baby’s reaction what they like or dislike.

    T H E   D R I N K S
    While women are often warned not to consume alcohol during pregnancy given the evidence that this could cause damage to an unborn child, the risks of consuming alcohol while breastfeeding are not as well defined.
    There are so many differing opinions about breastfeeding and alcohol depending on where in the world you live and social norms.
    With the festive season in full flow there are lots of parties and drinks on offer. But what about breastfeeding mums? The NHS guidelines state anything you eat or drink while you're breastfeeding can find its way into your breast milk, and that includes alcohol. But an occasional small drink is unlikely to harm your breastfed baby. However, never share a bed or sofa with your baby if you have drunk any alcohol. Doing this has a strong association with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
    (Source NHS)

    T R A V E L
    Breastfed babies are very portable and if you are able to travel to meet up with friends and family, then breastmilk makes the best travel food! You don’t have to worry about taking feeding equipment as your milk will always be available if your baby gets tired or hungry, or your journey is delayed. But make thinks easier on yourself and plan a journey ahead. Expect it to take longer than normal with Christmas traffic and plan shorter journeys or breaks if travelling by car so you can find somewhere to stop for a cuddle break and breastfeed. If using public transport, a baby sling can be useful for keeping your hands free as well as an easy way to feed on the go!

    F A M I L Y
    Christmas is often when your new baby will be introduced to your wider extended family and if you haven't already noticed, everyone seems to have an opinion on something when it comes to babies... which can be frustrating and stressful. Don't forget that while everyone is entitled to their opinion, you are not required to take on those opinions as your own. You know your baby best! 

    A S K   F O R   H E L P
    Christmas can certainly be A LOT even without a newborn. Don't be afraid to say yes when someone offers to help or to speak up and ask for it. You might ask visitors to bring food contributions instead of making all the meals yourself. It can be helpful to keep a list of things that need doing on your phone so if someone offers to help you can suggest something from it.

    R O U T I N E S   A N D   W H E N   T O   S A Y   N O
    If you’re a stickler for routine, you may find the festive period calls for a bit more flexibility than usual. Your baby will pick up when you are stressed, so avoid the vicious circle and try to embrace the change in routine temporarily. If this doesn't work for you then don't be afraid to say no. The festive season is busy enough and when you're a new mum running on limited sleep, night feeds and juggling the normal Christmas expectations. You just can't do everything. Sometimes you need to find your voice and say no. After all, happy mum, happy baby.

  5. Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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    Breastfeeding Awareness Month - Breastfeeding Blog and Parenting Blog
    They're pretty important to me. They've fed my children, helping them grow strong and without them I would never have ended up running my own business. So they're kind of a big deal in every aspect of my life.  
    Every October, people all over the world show their support for everyone affected by breast cancer with breast cancer awareness month. Almost half of women in the UK don’t check their breasts regularly so here's a little reminder of how you can keep in touch with your boobs, just a little TLC
    TOUCH 🖐️🖐️🖐️
    Touch your breasts, can you feel anything new and unusual?
    LOOK 👀👀👀
    Look for changes, does anything look different?
    Check any changes with your GP 
    For more details about Breastfeeding Awareness Month click HERE
  6. Lactation smoothie recipes

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    Lactation smoohie, recipe, blog, breastfeeding blog, parenting blog, new mu

    These recipes aren't too different to standard smoothies but they contain ingredients that are said to help boost milk supply (Woop Woop!)  According to Belly Belly, fenugreek, oats, brewer's yeast, and nuts can all increase lactation. Spinach and flax contain phytoestrogens which is thought to promote lactation, as well.  Having them in smoothie form can also make them easier and tastier to drink.  Some of these recipes also have added energy boosting  ingredients like bananas which also give sleep deprived mamas a little boost!

    Banana and oat lactation smoothie

    Lactation smoothie, recipe, blog, breastfeeding blog, parenting blog, new muIngredients
    1 Banana
    1 cup of Almond Milk
    1/4 cup of Oats
    1-2 TBS of Honey
    1 TBS of Flax Seed Oil
    1 TBS of Chia Seed
    1/2 cup of Ice
    Sprinkle of Cinnamon

    Place all ingredients into your blender.
    Blend on high for 1 minute, or until smooth.

    Strawberry and banana lactation smoothie

    1/4 cup oats
    1 banana
    8 strawberries frozen
    1/2 cup milk
    1 tbsp honey
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    1 tsp brewer's yeast
    1 tsp ground flax seed

    Put oats into blender and process until the oats are well ground.
    Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

    Chocolate lactation smoothie

    Lactation smoothie, recipe, blog, breastfeeding blog, parenting blog, new muIngredients

    1/4 cup oats
    2 tbsp 100% cacao powder
    1 tbsp Flax seed
    3/4 cup Milk (or almond milk)
    2 cups Ice

    1 Frozen Banana
    2 tbsp Peanut butter
    Honey (for a sweet flavor)

    Place the cacao powder and milk in the blender. Blend for about 30 seconds. Add other remaining ingredients and blend until smoothie consistency.