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Normalise Breastfeeding? Normalise breasts.

Breastfeeding supporters get excited when a politician/actor/presenter feeds her baby in public.  The beauty of social media means that good news travels fast.  The fact that this basic act is news at all is what’s newsworthy.  Shaming and respecting in equal measure follows every breastfeeding article, photo and video.  It’s how babies get their food, drink, vitamins and comfort.  So why all the fuss? My sister-in-law was handed a “thank you for breastfeeding in public” card, acknowledging how this helps other nursing mums to feel comfortable to feed while out and about.Indeed, I now don’t hesitate to unbutton a blouse, or lift a t-shirt, feeding my little one wherever he needs it. But, I wasn’t always like this.
My first public breastfeed was on a hot September afternoon when my eldest was about four weeks old, in a park near our over-heated home.I was incredibly anxious and kept putting it off.I had struggled with the latch and sharp pains.Beyond flustered, I fumbled with a fresh n…
Recent posts

8 Benefits of Flying with Babies and Toddlers

I'd been putting it off. Finding excuses. My pre-motherhood life of foot-loose fancy-free travelling had long gone. I did not want to take our mobile baby (13 months) and active newly potty-trained toddler (34 months) on a long haul flight. I imagined never-ending wails of discomfort and boredom, challenging nappy changes in tiny spaces and meltdowns amongst judgemental grumpy passengers. I'm not the kind of mother to write little anticipatory sorry notes to fellow passengers, or dish out party bags with ear plugs and sweets. Worrying more about my children's discomfort, I dreaded their ears popping, turbulence or worse.

Yet in a rare serendipitous moment, I agreed to a family trip to Canada.  A long overdue visit to see family and friends, including our youngest to meet his great-grandmother for the first time.  Despite all my anxiety and fear, we had eight near-enjoyable hours and by the end, I'd identified all the benefits that flying long haul with babies can bring…

"Don't Look Back in Anger"

I stopped watching the news during my first pregnancy.  Footage of war-ravaged far-away nations and desperate faces clung to my nightmares.  I imagined myself as the mother of every ill-fated child, crossing choppy seas on flimsy boats, shipwrecked on swollen shores. The tragedy of every lost soul shook the walls of my womb.  I wept into my pillow with all the sadness of the world, cradling my unborn child, promising hope and safety.  I gave money to relief funds and futile tears to the moon, but feeling too pregnant to volunteer my sweat or blood, I ultimately felt useless.

Instead, I focused on my changing body and realised that I had to give all my strength to our tiny baby.  It was clear to me that I had to believe that our world was pure and good for this little child who'd one day walk its streets.  By 10pm, the TV was off and my brain was immersed in positive thoughts.  As my body stretched to accommodate his growing limbs and powerful kicks, my mind shrunk away from the r…

#TakeBackTheRebozo

In my last blog post, 'Babywearing: One Mum's Fall Down the Rabbit Hole', I referred to three Babywearing terms that had interested me: 'Shepherd's Carry', 'Candy Cane Chest Belt' and the 'Rebozo'.  I had come across these words during various online tutorials.  I did not know their meaning and to be honest, I'm still not sure what a 'Shepherd's Carry' is.  I chose to use these words to illustrate my ignorance and to induce some empathy to show how overwhelming any new lexicon can be.

I had researched a definition of rebozo to check spelling and context, but I was unaware of its controversial significance in social history and culture.  Rebozo means:
  ".... a handwoven shawl specific to certain Mesoamerican countries.  The colours, weaves, and patterns are specific to regions.  A rebozo can accompany a person from birth (being carried in one) to death (being buried in one) and everything inbetween." [quoted from #takeb…

Babywearing: One Mum's Fall Down The Rabbit Hole.

Before parenthood, my husband and I assumed that we'd need to spend money on a pram.  Wrong.  We assumed that our baby would happily fall asleep in a pram.  Wrong.  We assumed that we could buy one of those cute baby carriers from a reputable baby shop and all should be well.  Wrong.

My other half purchased the best-reviewed carrier online and we (rather uncomfortably) carried our eldest as much as we could, especially for walks, short naps and trips on the tube.We liked the versatility and the cuddles.Our baby liked the comfort and the warmth.We also thought it was some unwritten law to train your baby to sleep in a pram and many unhappy hours were spent jiggling the buggy, or once finally asleep, avoiding potholes, sirens and dog-walkers with their barking packs - we'd avoid certain shops with harsh lighting, or smooth floors, or those with steps and heavy doors.Whatever the ambience though, he always contentedly nodded off in the carrier.I tried to carry him as much as I co…

The "Lost" Months of Blog Silence

Three months of blogging silence.  No, we're not all sleeping through the night.  No, I've not run out of things to say.

Our baby is now 11 months and is more alert, mobile and curious.  His little hands can now touch all the things he's only seen from a static place on the floor.  His increasing teeth can now bite down on all those tasty hard surfaces that he's longingly gazed at from afar.  Within seconds, he's crawled to the shoe rack, smelling rubber boots or stroking velcro straps.  He's emptying cupboards and climbing the stairs.  He's tugging the curtains and teething on table legs.  He's outgrown all the clothes that he was wearing three months ago and has cut three more teeth.

His older brother is wiser, silver-tongued and now nappy-free.  He role-plays with sticks and talks to the toys; he's solving the jigsaws and sowing the seeds.  He's grown 25mm (ish) and expanded his vocabulary by roughly 50 words.  He now puts on funny voices wh…

The Benefits of Being That Mum Who's Usually Late

And we're off! Charging down the street with the wind in our hair, a walk-sprint with a waddle.  Baby in the carrier, toddler finally in the buggy, merrily rolling along the pavement.  I'll admit that we've left the house a little too late, but it's a miracle that we've made it out the door after a broken night of milk feeds and night-terrors, fully clothed and well fed, and I still think we've got a chance, however tiny, of actually making it on time.  A short-cut across the grass should do it.  I manage to push a heavily laden buggy up a hill while singing the baby to sleep *mini fist-pump*. The class starts at 10 and it's now two minutes to.  One more corner and then it's straight along for the sprint finish.  I'm unclicking the buggy straps at 10:03 as there's a buzz of introductory chatter at the open door.  We've made it. Just.

I don't mean to cause offence or show disrespect. I'm not even talking about big sod-off-in-your-face…