#Bressure and #Brelfies

Yesterday my Twitter feed was ablaze with people bickering over baby feeding. Apparently the "craze" for breastfeeding selfies [or brelfies] is putting pressure [or bressure] on mothers who cannot breastfeed or choose not to. 

I am SO fed up with reading this sort of thing. 

I breastfeed my baby. I breastfeed him because I can and because I want to and because I feel that it is best for MY baby. That's it. Three little reasons. I don't breastfeed him because I want to make anyone else feel bad. I don't breastfeed him to show off. I don't breastfeed him for any other reason you can think of. 

Brelfies, as ridiculous as I think the word is, do something very important. They show other mothers that breastfeeding is normal. That breastfeeding is good. That breastfeeding in public is acceptable. They encourage other mothers. They help other mothers feel less alone. 1% of mothers are still breastfeeding their babies at 6 months old. Breastfeeding mothers are in the minority. We need the support and encourage, even if it's just through someone's Instagram picture.

I know there are mothers who can't breastfeed, or had to stop for reasons outside of their control. And I know that it hurts to see something that reminds you of difficult times. I know, I've been there. But we can't expect others to hide their pride or their beautiful photos or not talk about their positive experiences just because it hurts us to see or read about it. I am a grown-up. I can take responsibility for my own feelings. 

ChannelMum's suggestion that we support mums however we feed our babies is all good and well. But why use a play on words that has a negative connotation towards breastfeeding? When we talk about feeling under pressure, we clearly don't mean that in a good way. So combining breastfeeding with pressure to come up with "bressure", aside from being daft, is dangerous. 

I'll explain why.

Pregnant for the first time, all I heard about breastfeeding was negative stories. My partner tried to discourage me, because his ex had struggled. "You'll get mastitis," he said. "They'll make you get your boobs out," he said, referring to health visitors. Friends, family, strangers, all questioning me on how I was planning to feed my unborn baby, all armed with negative stories of their struggles and quick to assure me that I too would struggle.

That's what made me feel pressured. That's made me feel anxious and worried. That's made me bury my head in the sand. That's what made me decline antenatal classes about breastfeeding. That's made me think, "I'll just deal with it when the baby is here" and as a result, I was totally unprepared when the worst happened.

By peddling all this negativity around breastfeeding, I missed out on crucial information and support. I should have been receiving information, encouragement and support. Instead people were filling my head with horrible stories and telling me that I'd fail before I'd even begun.

How many other mums-to-be are hoping to breastfeed but are being pressured to formula feed because of other people's negativity? How many are being put off altogether because they see these negative stories in the media, negative hashtags on Twitter, negative debates on Facebook?

How I wish someone had shared their positive stories with me. Or handed me a leaflet. Or told me about an antenatal breastfeeding group or where I'd find support once my baby was born. Nobody did, and ironically I'm sure it was because they were too afraid of "bressuring" me. 





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REVIEW: anywayup 360° Toddler Cup

anywayup 360 todder cup

Little N has reached the age where he has totally outgrown sippy cups and now prefers to use open cups. Drinking from an open cup is no problem at all, but preventing him from knocking his drinks over is! The anywayup 360° Toddler Cup* from Haberman offers the perfect solution to this by creating a toddler cup with an innovative circular valve system. This allows toddlers to drink from anywhere around the rim, like they would with an open cup, but without the worry of leaks or spills.



N absolutely loves his brightly coloured anywayup 360° Toddler Cup. He chooses it over any other cup, even his beloved Lego Batman cup. The circular valve truly does allow him to gently sip from anywhere around the rim and the sturdy handles make it easy for his little hands to hold. 

The cup also has a lid which is actually pretty difficult to remove, but it means that we can take the cup out and about with us and not have to worry about it leaking. It's made from very sturdy plastic and I'm confident it could withstand being dropped without breaking. 


I'm always a bit fussy about toddler cups that have valves or other small fiddly parts, as I worry about getting them clean properly. I've had cups before where you can't quite get into all the crevices to clean them and, well, it's not very pleasant! 

The anywayup 360° Toddler Cup comes apart really easily however. The top unscrews, then the valve system unclicks with a simple push from beneath. My inner clean-freak is very happy with this.


N really likes this cup and so do I actually. I think it's the perfect way to transition toddlers from sippy cups to open cups, especially when they're going through clumsy stages. 

anywayup 360° Toddler Cup costs £5.95 and is available in 3 colours from http://www.anywayup.com/



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Disclosure: I was sent the anywayup 360° Toddler Cup for review, however all thoughts and opinion are my own. 





GIVEAWAY: Tommee Tippee Royal Baby Gift Pack worth £14.99

Tommee Tippee is celebrating the new royal arrival with a gorgeous limited edition Royal Baby collection which is available now exclusively in Mothercare.

The range consists of two giftsets containing two bottles and two soothers with a unique celebratory design, featuring bunting and either a royal guard on the blue set or a royal carriage on the pink set. As well as the giftset there is also a 260ml individual bottle available.


I have one of the limited edition Tommee Tippee Royal Baby Giftsets worth £14.99 available to giveaway to one lucky reader! To enter simply follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter widget below.




Terms & Conditions: The Prize is a tommee tippee Royal Baby Giftset. The giveaway will run from 28/05/2015 to 28/06/2015. The giveaway is only open to UK residents aged 18 and over. The Prize will only be delivered to addresses within the UK. The winner will be contacted by email within 10 days of the giveaway ending and will need to claim within 28 days. No responsibility is accepted for entries which are lost, corrupted, incomplete or for any failure to capture entry information. Use of false details will result in disqualification. The entry must be made by the person entering the competition – entries sent through third parties, agencies or by automated means (such as scripts and macros) will not be accepted. Promoted on www.loquax.co.uk and www.theprizefinder.com 








REVIEW: Baltic Wonders Amber Teething Anklet

In 2014 a mum was searching for an amber teething anklet for her baby daughter. Unable to find an amber anklet that she liked, particularly with different coloured threads, she decided to create her own and Baltic Wonders was born. Since then, her business has grown month on month and lucky Baby J received his very own adorable amber teething anklet from Baltic Wonders to try.

Baltic Wonders Review

Baltic amber is a resin which is found on the shores of the Baltic sea. Baltic amber contains succinic acid, a non-toxic acid which is naturally found in plants and humans. It is believed that when worn in close contact with the skin, succinic acid is absorbed by the body, increasing the amounts we already have to provide natural pain relief and reduce inflammation. This is what makes it a popular choice for providing natural pain relief to teething infants, although EU law states that jewellery is not suitable for children under 36 months so parents must use them with caution.
 
When Little N was a baby, he too had an amber anklet. Not once did he experience any pain or trouble with his teeth, unlike so many of my friends' babies. He'd simply wake up one day with a new tooth appearing. Even when his molars came through, which are notoriously troublesome, he didn't show any signs or symptoms of teething. Perhaps he was just a tough cookie and would have coped without wearing his amber, but I was not willing to take it off to test the theory!

amber teething anklet

J's amber teething anklet from Baltic Wonders was made to order with mixed coloured rounds of polished amber and strung on yellow [my favourite colour!] thread. It is knotted between each amber round just in case the thread should snap, not that I've ever heard of that actually happening to anyone. It has a gold-effect lobster clasp at each end which means I can adjust the fit as J grows and by my reckoning it should fit comfortably until he is about a year old.

baby teething jewellery

J wears his Baltic Wonders amber anklet at all times and only comes off when he is having a bath, as I worry about ruining the thread or the clasps. The amber would be fine, after all it has spent thousands of years being bashed about in the sea! He's been happily wearing it for about two weeks now and earlier this week I spied two tell-tale white lines starting to appear under his gums. And guess what, he's not been bothered by it at all! [I hope I'm not jinxing things now!]
 
To find out more about Baltic Wonders and order your own amber jewellery click here.
 
Do your children wear amber?



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Disclosure: I received the amber teething anklet for review, however all thoughts and opinion are my own.



 

Why I Give My Breastmilk To Other Babies

Last week I posted the image below on Instagram. It was 78oz of expressed breastmilk that I was donating to the milk bank, after becoming a donor a couple of months ago. I was preparing the paperwork and thought it would be fun to share a quick snap. I got such a mix of reactions to the news that I donate my breastmilk to other babies.




“WHAT DO THEY DO WITH YOUR BREASTMILK?”

Some people thought that I was donating milk to medical research. While some donor milk does go to research, the majority of it goes to poorly and premature babies to help them grow stronger and get better quicker.


“I DIDN’T KNOW THAT WAS A ‘THING’”

Until my first son was about 6 months old, I didn’t know either! I thought you either breastfed your baby or formula fed your baby. It never occurred to me that you could feed your baby with milk donated by another mother. Before I had children, if someone had suggested the idea to me I would have though they were stark raving mad. Yet now, it seems stark raving mad that more people aren’t aware – I certainly wasn’t made aware when I was having trouble breastfeeding N.


“WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT?”

I don’t really understand the question. I mean, why wouldn’t I?! There are many babies that would benefit from breastmilk but whose mothers, for whatever reason, might not be able to provide any. I have breastmilk and I can express more than my baby needs, so donating it seems the obvious thing to do.


“WHY DON’T THOSE BABIES JUST HAVE FORMULA?”

They could have formula, and many babies do. For premature babies and babies recovering from gut surgery, there are a few reasons why donor breastmilk is the preferred alternative.


“Protection from infection. When a mother is unable to provide any or enough of her own breastmilk, donor breastmilk is often the preferred alternative to infant formula (or artificial milk).  This is because donor breastmilk still contains many of the protective factors (such as immunoglobulins) which help protect premature babies from infection and are not present in formula which is prepared from cow’s milk.”

“Protection from necrotising enterocolitis. Donor breastmilk may also have a protective role against the serious gut condition necrotising enterocolitis which mainly affects premature babies.”

“Easier to digest. A preterm baby’s gut is very immature and is able to digest and absorb breastmilk more easily than  formula milk. Premature babies are fed small amounts of breastmilk to help their gut mature and the volumes fed are increased gradually. This is also true for babies who have had gut surgery.”


“WHAT AN WONDERFUL THING TO DO”

Overwhelmingly, the majority of comments were simply positive and full of praise. Amazing! Wonderful! Beautiful! Lovely! Thoughtful! Kind! Those are the words I saw the most.

And I agree with each and every one of them.




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silent sunday baby feet



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