The blog

Deciding to stop breastfeeding

I am extremely lucky with my second son, I was able to breast feed. He was exactly what I had hoped for when it came to breast feeding. He was easy! Unlike my first time with Timmy, which you can ready about  Here I was not so lucky! Elijah I could feed straight away. Although those first few days are really really hard. It hurts so bad like someone is slicing your nipples with glass. I was not confident in my ability and kept thinking I was not doing it right. But It turns out I need not have worried because I was doing fine. Once I knew I was doing it right, things went very very smooth and I was very happy breast feeding. I did not like the Let-downs, Especially in the early days, they hurt! The engorged hard boobs you wake up to in the morning, milk everywhere and baby not being able to attached because there so hard and full! But yet, I loved it, because I knew my baby was growing, was happy and healthy all because of me and my boobies.

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Proud Mummy Breast Feeding

My son has just turned 8 months, and I have decided to stop with the breast feeding and just continue with formula. I have a few reasons for this. Firstly I feel ready to stop. I am ready to stop wearing maternity bras and I am ready to get my boobs back to being my saggy, not filled with milk hard boobs with the let downs. I have had enough! the second is because Elijah now has started to get teeth. He has bitten me a couple of times, mostly he is good and manages to avoid this, but still when he does bite, it bloody hurts!! And the third, is because I feel elijah is very very attached to me. I have no idea if this is because of the breast feeding, I just feel that by others being able to feed him it lets him bond with his dad and gives me a little space as I do feel Elijah is constantly on me. In the night, when he wakes all he wants is boob, he is not even hungry, its a comfort thing. He falls straight asleep on them. As we speak, he just got put to bed, screamed until I went in their and gave him boob. He is fine now!  I have considered giving him a dummy instead, however he has not had one yet, and they are more trouble then there worth sometimes!

I am so proud I managed to breast feed him in the first place. I was so determined to breast feed elijah after my bad experience with Timmy, so being able to is a proud mummy moment! I was not even shy when it came to breast feeding him. If I was out I would find a quiet corner or somewhere not to open and sit there happily breast feeding my baby. It was great not to have to worry about bottles, sterilizing ect I did have a bad public breastfeeding experience with Timmy which you can read here and I was not sure how i would go this time around, but once I knew I was doing it right and I was comfortable, I had no problem feeding him in public. I was always discreet of course, but I was proud and did not care what anyone else thought.

But yes, I feel the time has come to stop breast feeding him. I have not 100% stopped yet, I only breast feed him when he wakes up at 5am and will not go back to sleep without a feed. I put him into bed with me, roll over flop out a boob and he falls asleep on there, as do I! We both get another hours sleep before Timmy comes in and wakes us all up! I feel I have done extremely well in the breast feeding department. I always said I would breast feed until 12 months, because that’s apparently when they recommend you do it until. but I guess when you feel its time to stop, its time!

Candice

xx Life In a Mum Shell xx

books we love, The blog

A Routine and why it saved me!

Being a new mum I thought I knew what was coming, what to expect and anything that I didn’t know would come along with mum instinct right? Its a built in thing us lucky mums have that’s just there and will guide us when we get a bit lost….not exactly! I knew I was in for sleepless nights, lots of feeding, nappy changes, the crying, sterilizing and all of that. I understood my life was about to change for the better, but I thought I could still continue my life as much as possible as normal as possible and baby would have to fit in with my life. How wrong could I have been? I honestly had no idea how clueless I actually was until my son arrived. I would feed him, and only 30 minutes later he would be screaming, why is he crying? I’ve just fed you, perhaps I wasn’t feeding him enough? maybe he was just one of those demanding babies I’ve heard about? I had no idea when he should be sleeping or how long for, I just went along with when he slept some days it felt like he slept all day, others he barely slept. Being stuck at home all day with this tiny demanding little person, being extremely sleep deprived (trust me when I say until you have had a child, you really don’t know what sleep deprived is!) add to that the crazy hormones that make you laugh or cry uncontrollably, without any prompting whatsoever. The constant feeding, crying, sleeping or not sleeping, burping, changing, washing, sterilizing, there isn’t a lot of time for much else in your day in those early months. My partner would come home late at night and ask what I had eaten. I would have a think, surely I’ve eaten, but what…then it would hit me, I’ve not eaten a single thing all day! I’ve not had time to think about food, let alone prepare food. I hadn’t even realized I was hungry! It was around when my son was 2 1/2 months I posted to all my friends if there are any routines that they know of that works, or any advice they can suggest as I seriously was at my wits end. I couldn’t go on like this for much longer, it was really really hard. A lot harder then I had anticipated.

Then  a friend sent me a book that she swore saved her life, and I can tell you absolutely saved mine! I have since passed it on or recommended it to other mothers, who all say its worked amazing for them too and so glad I recommended it. I love sharing any helpful advice, tips and trick which can make life easier for everyone. If I have experienced it first hand and its worked for me, I’m more then happy to pass the secret along to everyone! by the way, this isn’t a promotional or paid post. I don’t do those. I just truly love this book!

The book is by Gina Ford its called “The Contented little baby”

newcontentedbaby

The day after I received the book, I started the routine. I was obsessed with it, I had it on my bedside table and read it before bed and first thing in the morning, it did not leave my sight. Ask my partner, he found it funny. But once he saw the difference it made to me and my son, he was glad I found the book!! talk about a baby falling straight into a routine, it truly couldn’t have been easier. Maybe I was lucky and my son is just a routine baby, but he slept when they suggested, he ate when it was suggested and was contented in between his feeds and at 4 months, he started sleeping right through the night. Kid you not. From 7am through until 7pm. it only took me one month of the routine to get him into this night sleeping habit, that’s the bit which truly made the difference, happy mummy! Feedings were making sense, and I really wish I had found this book earlier before as it would have helped a lot with breast feeding and all the confusion I had!

I’m currently 20 weeks pregnant with my second child and I will be looking into her other book, “The contented baby with toddler” my first son is now 2 and a half and I have been worried about how I am going to cope with a toddler and a baby. As I now know how much attention both a new born baby and a toddler need, I’ve worried about how my son will adjust to a new baby. I have not read it yet, but I have put it on my Christmas wish list. I’m sure it will become my new obsession!

So this is my bit of advice for new mums or anyone who just is struggling, this book truly did wonders for me and my sanity. So that is my pearl of wisdom for new mothers. have a read!! If you have read this book, please share your thoughts and experiences with me, or any other books you know of that have worked for you or others. I love hearing all about them!

xx Life In A Mum Shell xx

 

The blog

Breastfeeding in public

There is so much pressure on women to breast feed, yet when out in public, no matter how discreet it is almost shamed upon when a mother needs to feed her hungry child, getting dirty looks, awful comments, almost as though they should have hidden in a bathroom to feed there baby. Its ridiculous! I don’t understand why it is ok to see celebrities posing in almost naked pictures, posting selfies on the internet almost naked in some cases actually naked, yet a mother who needs to feed her baby and you cant see anything, this isn’t ok?

I have had a bad experience myself. Before I tell you, let me say, I’m a really shy and private person. I only breast feed in front of my partner, if we had family or friends over, I would retreat to my bedroom. I’ve always planned my days around when my child needs feeding so this could be done in the comfort of my home, so I rarely ever went far and for too long.

Ok, so one day I had planned a day out with a friend, we would go to the beach. I had prepared the right amount of bottles for the occasion, I was set, but just incase I packed my nipple shields ready incase of emergency. After the beach we decided to grab some lunch before heading home. My son was peacefully asleep and wasn’t due a feed for another hour or so, I had time… or so I thought!. I ordered my lunch then my son woke up and wasn’t going to settle. I had used the bottles I had planned for, as we were longer then expected I only had the choice to attempt a breast feed. I had never done it in public before, I wasn’t going to be able to get home in time, so I had no choice but to go ahead. I found the most discreet place I could find, upstairs outdoors where there was no one else, I had my son under a muslin, you could only see his little legs hanging out the other side and I was facing a corner. I was only up there for a couple of minutes when an older couple came up. They sat far way on the other side of the room, we made eye contact and smiled, then you could see the realization of what I was doing on there faces, the look was awful!  After a bit of muttering between them they got up and left. How much more discreet could I have been, yet I was still made to feel ashamed of my actions. If you have read my previous post on breast feeding, you will understand how difficult it had been for me, and what courage it took for me to actually do this in public. That was the first and last time I breast fed in public. I went back into my old routine of only going out around my feeds.

whenever I see another mother breast feeding her child, I always smile and I feel so proud for her, for one that she can actually breast feed and for 2 she has the courage to do it in public regardless of the criticism she may face. I do understand there are many places who encourage mothers to breast feed and those places are the best!! however there are still so many places which do not and this is just not right. I really hope this issue becomes an issue of the past very soon.

I am currently pregnant with my second child, and I do plan on breast feeding again. I hope I have the courage to do so if out in public this time. I also hope I don’t face the same struggles I did with my son.

xx Life In A Mum Shell xx

The blog

Breast Feeding, Conflicting Advice, Nipple Shields & Mastitis.

Call me ignorant, I figured when my son was born I would just pop him on my breast and he would do the rest! It didn’t quit go that way, being my first child I hadn’t really had a back up plan should I struggle. I only had a small manual hand pump and that was just so I could express so my partner could feed. I had no formula, no sterilized bottles ready, no nipple shield’s, however I hadn’t even hear of nipple shield’s by this point! I went to all the breast feeding classes, and walked away thinking all I need to do is position baby right and your good to go! They didn’t tell you a back up plan, or provide you with other options in the classes. So this is how it went for me.

timmy-bottle

The first time I put baby to feed, he did 2 sucks and stopped completely. The first midwife came in and made sure I was positioning him correctly, showing different positions and techniques yet my adorable bundle would only do the maximum 2 sucks and stop. The midwife said he was a lazy baby and until he learnt properly suggested to hand express to ensure he was still getting fed. She gave me a small syringe I would hand express and suck up what came out through the syringe. A long process and not fun! she told me to do this every 3-4 hours no earlier. Baby should feed better when hungry. The second morning a different midwife came in to see me as I was trying yet again on the breast, yet my adorable son wasn’t having any of it, 2 sucks and release. She was mortified that I explained the first Midwife told me 3-4 hours between feeds. She recommended when ever baby cries I should feed him. So there started my confusion on when I should be feeding him. Well she tried yet again with positioning etc, however she gave me a little sterilized jar to express into and then I would suck up my milk through a syringe to feed. Quicker yet still not what I was expecting. It shouldn’t be this hard I thought. I was starting to feel concerned and upset that my baby wouldn’t feed, whats wrong with me? what am I doing wrong?

On the afternoon of my second day in hospital I had a 3rd midwife come in extremely hands on, trying to express herself, positioning baby herself and yet again offering different and conflicting advice from the previous 2 midwives. This just about did me in, I was extremely confused, frustrated and upset. I was none the wiser as when to feed, how much to feed and knew no other options besides formula, which was discouraged. I was told keep persisting, don’t give up! I felt like I was letting my son down. I kept all my tears hidden until I was alone with baby, I would then hold my son tears flowing and apologizing for not being a better mum and saying I was so sorry I wasn’t good at feeding him properly. I was afraid if I cried in front of a midwife they would think I had postnatal depression. Such a silly thing to think really as had I of told them my worries they may have offered different advice, who knows. I should have told them I was upset by my struggling. I just didn’t want to show it.

So my partner came to visit, and I talked to him about how confused I was feeling by all the different advice and struggling, and I just wanted to go home and try and figure this out by myself. He said if that’s what I wanted to do and if I think that’s whats best then sure. So I arranged to be discharged the following day. Now if you have read my previous post you will know how difficult it is trying to get from Guernsey back to Sark, although I only needed to catch a boat this time, I had to feed baby right before we left so I would make the journey home in time for his next feed as it would be at least 21/2 hours before I would arrive home. However before I left the hospital the “expert breast feeding midwife” who can solve any problems came to visit me. She tried every trick in her book, every position, every technique she knew but my son was stubborn doing his 2 suck minimum and in the end she had to admit defeat. Her pearl of wisdom before leaving, “don’t give up, keep persisting.” At this point if I hear this saying anymore ill crack! so she leaves, and I’ve finished hand expressing and syringe feeding my son, got him changed and were packed ready to go when a final midwife comes (yet another midwife I have not seen before) in to go through discharge papers and ensure I was OK to go. I got chatting with her explaining my issues when she told me about nipple shield’s, there like a teat you put over your nipples which assists baby sucking. They are mainly used for mum’s who find it very painful breastfeeding, but she said these were great in helping baby learn to suck properly…. why had no-one mentioned these before? Straight to boots (a UK chemist) before catching our boat. I brought 2 packets, 4 shield’s in total. There only a short term solution until baby learns to suck properly. Once home I put them in the sterilizer and put them to the test, they were the miracle I had been waiting for! My son was happily sucking away like a pro! Between feeds I would manually express so I had a bottle available when needed, or for my partner to feed. I still however was none the wiser on how long to feed baby.  I don’t think I was feeding for long enough because my son seemed to want feeding constantly and was restless between feeds. I didn’t know I was supposed to keep track of the last breast he fed from and alternate, I was completely clueless. After about 2 weeks on the nipple shield’s, they stop sticking and would get stuck to baby’s face whenever he would feed. I couldn’t just pop to boots to get more as it required a 1 hour boat trip. I managed to get some online from amazon, however, they were expensive and just didn’t do the job. Timmy didn’t like them. So the next stage started. He still wasn’t doing more then 2 sucks on my actual breast, so i would express, feed, sterilize, *Repeat* this was right up until 2 months, it was tiring, exhausting and just hard work. But i was determined to stick with it, mainly out of guilt as “Breast is best” and all that. One day Timmy started sucking correctly, out of the blue one day decided he would get his act together….FINALLY!!!!! However, it was short lived, I got mastitis. Anyone who has ever had Mastitis knows how painful it can be. I felt full of flu, and every time I let Timmy near my breast I would be in tears of pain. The doctor gave me some antibiotics and encouraged me to continue breast feeding through the pain….I tried I just couldn’t, and expressing was even painful. That’s when I decided enough was enough, it had been 2 long months of “trying”. I spoke to my partner as he had seen my struggling for the past 2 months, he agreed if switching to formula was what was best for me and baby then that’s what I should do. As long as Timmy is being fed and he is not hungry and is happy then that.s all that matters.

So as you can see, breast feeding was not easy for me first time around. I wasn’t one of the lucky ones where there baby just latches on and goes for it. I gave it a damn good go, and I cant even tell you the guilt I felt from switching from breast to formula, I cried a lot. There is so much pressure on mums to breast feed, I felt like a failure when I switched to formula, even though my son was happier after every feed and going longer between feeds the guilt remained. The pressure to breast feed is unbelievable, Of course I think it should be encouraged because as they say, breast is best, however it is not easy and it’s a deeply personal decision every mother needs to make for herself and the best interests of their baby.

bottle-feeding-timmy

xx Candice xx