Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Keep Britain Breastfeeding 4 - After the 1st Month

This is my fourth post in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt in the run up to National Breastfeeding Week 2012. If you've missed my previous posts, you can find them here:
This week's theme is breastfeeding beyond the first month. I thought I'd write about a few of the obstacles we faced after the first month.

"Overall, only 35 per cent of UK babies are being exclusively breastfed at one week, 21 per cent at six weeks, 7 per cent at four months and 3 per cent at five months." (UNICEF)

Far from being the massive pressure group they are often accused of being, women who breastfeed after the first month are in the minority. So, it can be difficult to find out the truth about obstacles you might face as you progress along your breastfeeding journey. Myths abound; horror stories are plentiful; doubt and worry sets in. We hear about hungry babies, who hit 4 months and threaten to consume their mothers. We discover that growth spurts keep on coming, and get longer and tougher. We are told that after 6 months breastmilk loses all its goodness and babies need extra iron. How do we sort the fact from the fiction when it's hard to find women we know who have fed past a certain point?

Monday, 25 June 2012

Bible in a Year - Day 59

I have to admit, I'm really struggling with Numbers - it's just so full of lists, and numbers! It's very hard not to just skim it.

Day 53 - Numbers 7; Mark 4:21-41
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. (Mark 4:39)

Day 54 - Numbers 8, 9 & 10; Mark 5:1-20
For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” (Mark 5:8)

Day 55 - Numbers 11, 12 & 13; Mark 5:21-43
I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone. (Numbers 11:17)

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

How Dads Can Support Breastfeeding - Keep Britain Breastfeeding 3

This is the 3rd post as part of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt in the run up to National Breastfeeding Week 2012. This week's theme is support, so I asked one of my greatest supporters to guest post. So, without further ado, I hand over to my husband, Chris, who will spill the beans on ways to support your partner in establishing breastfeeding:

I've been asked to do a guest post as part of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt. I'm a father of one darling daughter, B, (DD in the mummy online speak) and have been in the profession for nearly 10 months and wow, what an amazing time it's been. My wife, Laura, and I had been married for 1 and a half years before B came along which has also been an amazing time, with more fun times to come.

So...breastfeeding. During her pregnancy, Laura and I had been discussing how we were going to care for our baby and how we were going to feed her, which really helped flush out any issues that could have come up post-arrival. Laura had been breastfed until she was 2 years old and I was breastfed until I was I few weeks old. Laura's mum had lots of support from La Leche League. My mum didn't. Support is key in enabling a mum to establish breastfeeding.

There are so many techniques, books, strategies out there that people follow to bring up their child. Some more than others. But we decided that we would breastfeed B. Well, Laura would. And herein lies the reason for writing this guest post:

How can we support our partners to establish and continue breastfeeding?

Monday, 18 June 2012

Bible in a Year - Day 52

Day 46: Leviticus 20 & 21; Matthew 28
Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any foreigner residing in Israel who sacrifices any of his children to Molek is to be put to death. The members of the community are to stone him. (Leviticus 20:2)
Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head. If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife —with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death. (Leviticus 20:9-10)
 But I said to you, “You will possess their land; I will give it to you as an inheritance, a land flowing with milk and honey.” I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from the nations. (Leviticus 20:24) 
You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own. (Leviticus 20:26) 
He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. (Matthew 28:6) 
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” (Matthew 28:10) 
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20b) 

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Keep Britain Breastfeeding 2 - Mother to Mother Sharing

This post is part of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt in the run up to National Breastfeeding Week 2012. This week's theme is mum-to-mum sharing. I asked several of my friends and family who have breastfed their children, or still are, for their experiences and tips. Here are their responses:

1) What was one thing you wish you had known about breastfeeding before you started?
  • Even though you can't see how much your baby is having, it will be enough if you keep going. 
  • I wish that I'd known it was normal for babies to feed frequently - every 30 minutes sometimes! 
  • I wish I'd been prepared to be made to feel bad about breastfeeding by friends and family who hadn't breastfed their babies. They either tried to convince me that F wasn't getting enough, or that I was making them feel guilty because they hadn't been able to breastfeed, or that I was depriving them of time with F. Really!
  • That it could be so easy, cheap, nutritious, bonding, and a very special feeling that lasts all your life! (I know it's not easy for everyone)
  • That doctors and health visitors don't really know much about breastfeeding - it's not part of their training - and so they can give some very bad advice.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Bible in a Year - Day 45

Day 41 - Leviticus 10, 11 & 12; Matthew 26:1-19
Leviticus is a difficult book so far. I'm struggling to find evidence of our loving God, though perhaps Leviticus 12 shows His love for women. They are unclean from 33 (after a boy) to 66 (after a girl) days after birth. I do not profess to understand all the clean and unclean laws, but I do wonder if perhaps this law was to allow women the chance to rest, recuperate and bond with their new babies. They would be unable to do anything for anyone else, for fear of making them unclean too, so would be free to sleep, to cuddle, to breastfeed, to settle into motherhood. And while it seems unfair that the period of uncleanliness is longer after giving birth to a girl, perhaps this was to allow an extra time of bonding with a new daughter, who would not have the immediate status and importance of a son, and so might need extra love and attachment.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Bible in a Year - Day 40

Day 40 - Leviticus 7, 8 & 9; Matthew 25:31-46

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:40)

I love that our God is so good that He calls us to love Him by loving others, by loving the least of these. God loves the people that society forgets and ignores: the hungry and thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick and the prisoner. I think this includes the unborn child, the homeless, drug addicts and immigrants too. It's about valuing people because they are God's perfect creations, and because He loves us first.

Keep Britain Breastfeeding - 1: Why I Breastfeed

DISCLAIMER: I am glad that formula exists - my girl would have starved without it. I believe that scientists who work to make it "closer to breastmilk" do care about babies and want them to be healthy, but the companies do seem to be solely profit-hunting. I am not judging women who choose not to breastfeed, though I admit that I struggle to understand why they don't.

Benefits of Breastfeeding
This week's theme is 'Benefits of Breastfeeding' which ought to be the easiest thing to write about. There are hundreds of benefits, but they're out there already for everyone to read at their leisure. Why should my repeating them be any better at spreading the word? So, I thought, how to make it more personal, more relevant? I asked myself the following - Why did I choose to breastfeed?

My Breastfeeding History
Mary breastfeeding Jesus
It's normal and natural
I grew up in a breastfeeding family, so to me it has always been normal. The slogan "Breast is Best" really bugs me. It's not best; it's normal and natural; anything else is substandard and unnatural. Hey, even Jesus was breastfed! That slogan is loved by the formula companies because it makes formula seem normal, and breastfeeding better. Who needs better, when normal will do? 1 But, I digress. We're here to talk benefits of breastfeeding, not the disadvantages and risks of formula feeding, although they amount to the same thing. There are many risks involved in formula feeding.
My mum was a La Leche League counsellor. I have great memories of meeting with LLL families and playing with the other children while our mums sat chatting and nursing our siblings. And I remember going to women's houses and waiting while Mum helped them with feeding their tiny babies. It wasn't until I was a teenager that I really realised there was another way to feed a baby.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Bible in a Year - Day 39

Day 26 - Exodus 11 & 12; Matthew 18:21-35
‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped. (Exodus 12:27)

The Lord had made the Egyptians favorably disposed toward the people, and they gave them what they asked for; so they plundered the Egyptians. (Exodus 12:36)

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive someone who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-22)

“The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. (Matthew 18:26-27)

Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ (Matthew 18:33)