Dun dun dunnn and the truth is.... some hungry little walker baby (walking dead fans) rehomes your boobs to themselves, and takes milk like they've never been fed before in their life. The end. Joking , well kind of, they are like little zombies when it comes to feeding! If only the feeding malarky was that easy though hey! So this is a truly honest account and just my own opinion on breastfeeding for 6 months. Here we go (also please don't hate on me)
So being handed that beautiful bundle of joy after hours, or days of pain in labour can be exhilarating and emotional, and also a relief that the pain has gone, and you can go home as a perfect new little family. And then the midwife suggests you try breastfeeding and somehow you think the the hard bit has only just begun. Now comes days of establishing breastfeeding and perfecting the perfect latch as well as looking after this new tiny person. So, I am going to say this now. I am by no means a breastfeeding expert. I mean, can you even be an expert in something that is as natural as child birth? Or is it just experience and time that helps with this process. Yes, process. I say it so matter of fact because to me it simply is a natural process that takes place after childbirth, I mean those boobies dont produce milk for nothing. This is not me standing here preaching some sort of breast is best campaign. I went into motherhood on very neutral ground when it came to feeding. To be honest I would say I was even more slightly swayed towards the formula feeding to breast, so it wasn't until Emelia actually arrived that this changed. As a first time mum, I obviously had no expectation as to how It would go or even wether I wanted this squirming newborn sucking from my engorged boob (glam I know). I brought everything to bottle feed, and just explained to Reggie that I would try, but I wasn't going to put pressure on myself to do it. Whilst I was pregnant Reggie wasn't sure. It wasn't something he had ever really been around, and didn't think I would be able to cope with breastfeeding, but was supportive with the fact I wanted to try (Nothing at all to do with the non surgical boob job that comes with it). He is as proud as me when it comes to sticking it out, and Honestly his support with me breastfeeding has helped me power through, when at times I have wanted to give up. This is purely going to be pretty informal, just sharing a few of my experiences through the past 6 months, in the hope of maybe enlightening the way to any one thinking of breastfeeding, has a newborn, or anyone thinking of giving up.
So firstly to anyone who has breastfed please let me know, but, I would love to meet any woman that has not experienced any pain and discomfort whilst breastfeeding (especially in the first days). I think its very deceiving when you are told breastfeeding shouldn't be painful, and quite possibly why some people dont stick it out. Your milk coming in is painful, having engorged red hot boobs on the front of your chest hurts, and having a baby madly cluster feeding off of your boob for hours on end does not feel natural and easy at first. Yes it becomes natural and easier, but it does take a bit of time to get there. Like riding a bike I guess once you know what your doing you know. I dont know, I just felt frustrated constantly being told that it should not be painful to breastfeed when, to be honest over the first few days some aspects of it were. I was very very lucky and Emelia latched perfectly, and we had no real troubles at all, but it is by no means easy even if you dont have any issues. I can remember Emelia being about 3 weeks old and breathing a sigh of relief that things were feeling a lot more natural with feeding. It finally felt as though things had clicked and finally worked. Now I know some people aren't able to breastfeed for particular reasons and they have to go down a different route of either formula, or I have friends who have exclusively pumped, so I know its not just as easy as saying stick with things, give the feeding a go for a few weeks etc. but for some people it never clicks and there are reasons for this. Or simply you just dont want to breastfeed. Everyone will have seen all this breast is best stuff everywhere I mean, it is everywhere. I posted a picture of Emelia in a milk bath at 6 months and wrote how I was so proud of reaching 6 months of Exclusively breastfeeding. Should I have bothered documenting it with it being something so natural? Am I being controversial to formula fed mothers by highlighting my choice to breastfeed? No, of course not. I am proud to have gone through childbirth, and I am proud to have reached 6 months of feeding. Just like I would be proud of running a marathon! No I do not think I am superior, I am just so happy with my choice. I do think that a lot of the breast is best and body shaming stuff are just excuses for people to be confrontational and have an opinion on something, not the greatest side of human nature. I guess in this day and age there will always be controversies around anything people see fit.
Support is one hundred percent the winner when it comes to dedicating yourself to this challenge. You can be the most strong willed person, but the tiniest comment or action from anyone could set you back, and make you doubt your own ability. Other than a few comments I am lucky to have not received many bad comments or had bad experiences with regards to me breastfeeding. However, during the first few weeks when I was probably more sensitive a few things were said to me. One thing was whilst Emelia cluster fed. This is when babies feed for extended periods of time during the first few weeks, (and beyond through growth spurts) it will seem like they want to constantly feed. This is good and helps keep up your milk supply. Grab a book, enjoy the baby snuggles, put your feet up and chill.. honestly I wish someone had told me that. Instead, I was told Emelia shouldn't feed so much and that I probably wasn't enough for her, and should try some hungry baby milk. Firstly I had no idea about cluster feeding I didn't even know it existed until someone mentioned that was probably happening. Secondly, I was about a week to two weeks into motherhood. I was severely emotional and being told your not enough for your baby whilst trying so hard to establish feeding is heartbreaking. Luckily my determined head switched on and I thought no! I am doing fine and just carried on as I was doing. However, I doubted my ability to breastfeed. Even if it was just for 10 mins that one little comment could have made me throw in the towel. So throughout the last 6 months I have been told to go and feed in the toilet. When trying to feed my daughter expressed milk in a bottle told to shhhhhh because she was crying ( I knowwww !) she was 10 weeks old wouldnt take a bottle, and I was at a restaurant and too nervous to feed. I can tell you now since that experience I do not care where I feed ! I do use a cover up but thats just because it makes me more relaxed and confident. Plus, Emelia is so distracted now she's bigger, with everything going on around her, my boob would constantly be on view. Other than that Ive been okay and I've had only positive comments when it comes to me breastfeeding and also feeding in public which always makes you feel better. Choosing where to feed in public can always be a difficult one especially if you are a first time mum. I was very nervous to begin with but this does not phase me at all now. And fact once your baby is hungry and crying you would feed quite literally anywhere! I have been to a few places which have family friendly signs which basically exclusively say there happy for mums to feed in there shop or restaurant, but theres not many. I guess its nice to see the sticker but on the other hand they don't need it, It is against the law to discriminate against a mother feeding there child in public so you are basically free to go ahead and feed where necessary. Sorry if that was intense, and breath!
Family friendly ( breastfeeding) sign
Mastitis at 6 weeks was horrendous. I have no idea what caused me to get it. As my Dr said unfortunately it is just one of those things that sometimes can happen. I woke up on a Friday morning Emelia was 5 weeks old and Reggie was off work so we Were going to head out to run some errands. I got out of bed to make myself us a cuppa tea and that was when I came over really hot and nearly passed out. I mentioned to reggie how I was feeling but continued to get myself sorted for the day. I had a numb headache that had been linguring for a few days, but just brushed it off as tiredness. As the time went on I started to feel worse and worse, I couldn't concentrate I had no energy and my body ached all over. Before we ventured out reggie passed me Emelia to feed, and as I reached out the pain that radiated through my right arm and side was excruciating, and I couldn't hold her towards my chest. For some reason I didn't twig that I could have mastitis and just carried on feeding as I was through the pain. I began feeling worse and worse as the morning went on, I knew something just wasn't quite right so I took my temperature. It was 38.5 degrees.. that was when I phoned for an appointment at the doctors. Once I'd been examined and the doctor confirmed that it was in fact mastitis and I was prescribed antibiotics and told to rest up. Oh my goodness I honestly never thought mastitis could make you feel so poorly. I managed to sleep much of the first 2 days of taking antibiotics, but was feeding on demand every couple of hours. This is also one of the best things you can do for mastitis, as it can help eleviate the symptoms. But I didn't want to. Everytime I would feed I would wince in pain because it hurt so so much. Touch wood I haven't had this again. I really hated breastfeeding at that point in time and giving up would have been way to easy. Although mastitis can be quite common it doesnt always happen and is just one of those things. I know plenty of mums who have never suffered with it and have breastfed for months.
One thing I get asked a lot is whether Reggie misses out with not being able to feed Emelia and whether this affects the bond they have. The answer to that is no. They have an amazing relationship, if I need him to settle her he can. Obviously if she needs a feed he has to hand her over but i've asked him and he really isn't bothered and he's happy she's breastfed. He still gets to cuddle up with her after I've fed her and with him being a chef theres quite a few days when he works late in the evening, so I would be doing the evening feeds either way.
I realise that to a new mum this could be making you feel quite nervous and scared. But I am one of those people that would much prefer to know a little bit of whats possibly going to happen. Experiences like breastfeeding is going to be different for everyone of course, But in my eyes sugar coating things like labor and feeding ect is pointless, and a bit of prep on maybe what to expect never goes a miss. I will tell you now though there is of course the complete opposite side of all the blood sweat and tears. It is so so wonderful to have such a special bond with Emelia. I have grown to love breastfeeding my baby, and I am so glad I chose to. For me it has been the best decision I have made as a mother so far (I know we are in early days and theres plenty more to come !). It really is so so lovely knowing your giving them the best you can right at the beginning. I can't say I did much in the way of feeding research before Emelia was born, and my choice to breastfeed wasn't an informed choice. However, now knowing all the proven scientific benefits and health benefits, breastfeeding will definitely be my first choice next time. I will always try and look at things in a positive way and yes, breastfed babies maybe won't sleep as much at night and have you waking several times through the darkness. But I would never swap Snuggling up to my little bugg when its so quiet at home and she's so sleepy and cuddly. These are the moments I will remember, when In a couple of years time those sleepless nights will be a distant memory. I read a written piece the other day, and it really couldn't be more truthful. About the nights seeming so long now but how the years are so short. I know this will always be the case as she gets bigger. I will link it at the bottom.
I really do hope this has helped. showing you in my eyes the real side of breastfeeding. This is of course all my own opinion and taken purely from my own experiences, and I am well aware that peoples own experiences will differ so much. Please, if you have any questions though feel free to ask. Thank you for stopping by for a read.
5 months old ! We are loving the little personality that is appearing before our eyes. Little Miss Serious, who keeps all of her best smiles for mummy and daddy (thats how it should be!!). She makes us laugh so much, theres just this little person growing and changing and its utterly adorable.
I'm pretty sure she has done a few new things within this month but they just need time to improve! If I ask for a kiss she will lean in for one! Reggie thinks this is a fluke but I beg to differ strongly ! she does it so many times ! I will ask her for a kiss and she will coyly lean in and plant her mumma a lovely kiss ! its honestly the cutest thing ever! And no doubt in years to come she will pipe up with "mummmmmm" when I ask for one, So I am enjoying every sweet moment of it! I think she waves at people too, there isn't much coordination happening yet so its more of a hand flail but it kinda works. The final thing is I swear she claps her hands together, my auntie was practising loads with her and then she just seems to have been carrying it on, on the odd occasion. I guess these things will improve in time and I mean one day she will be able to do it so its lovely watching her start to learn all these new things. Her sitting is really good, I can confidently leave her sitting playing with her toys which keeps her a lot more entertained. This little girl knows her name too you can be talking away to someone and then say her name, and her little ears will prick up and she will turn to you! I didn't believe it at first but when I researched (googled) babies recognise their name, it refers to them between the ages of 5-7 months.
She cannot roll over ! I let her play on the floor quite a bit when we are at home with her toys sometimes sitting, sometimes I will lay her down and she will turn in a circle on her back (I dont quite know how but she manages it!) But rolling over from back too front, or vice versa is just not happening. She really doesn't enjoy being on her front much anyway to be honest, which may be half the reason why she doesn't roll. But, even if I put her on her front and let her try and roll to her back she just cries! So i'm pretty sure she just won't bother !
We have in a way found an all new game with dummy. If you have read any of my previous blog posts or follow me on instagram, you will have seen my dummy struggles since like day dot! So I tend to offer her a dummy when she's grizzly but if she decides that day/moment she doesn't want it then fine but, lately she will take it then remove it herself ! put it back in and then use it as a bit of a soother, or teether, whatever takes her fancy! (typical girl right here, independent) I guess now she has control over her little hands she can decide if she wants her dummy or not ! and sometimes she will take it out with those little hands and chuck it, yes chuck it! across the floor. So yes I'm going to have my hands full with this one she is so strong willed and determined already.
Since finding her voice more she uses it well to her advantage. Does anyone elses baby tantrum ? (at 5 months old !!??) please let me know. Honestly she may be angel faced but this little girl uses that voice as a vice. The other week we went out shopping and to lunch and her dad was walking her around in the pushchair whilst I looked at something, and I could here this almighty shouting like you would here from a 4 year old having a meltdown. I could then hear Reggie saying calmly "its okay shh shh, lets go find mummy". By the time they got to me Emelia was all red faced (and so was daddy!) and she was rigid in her pram having a paddy. I had to laugh because I am quite used to it with her and tend to just ignore her or say no but, i'm guessing this is normal. Right !? please let me know!! I have to admit she has done this on a few occasions, and she does just sound really really angry ! It's just so so loud and obvious, and I didn't think 5 month olds did this. There is never anything wrong, she just wants what she wants. We have changed Emelia's pram over now to the pushchair. To be honest I think we could of kept it as the pram for that bit longer she was so content in the bassinet, but I just presumed that at approaching 6 months she should be more upright. I guess she doesn't particularly dislike it so I'm sure she will get used to it in time.
Emelia's christening was in the first week of january. It was such a beautiful day and so nice to see so many lovely friends and family. We chose to have Emelia christened in the church in my home village as that is where my mum is buried. It felt really important to have her there at Emelia's day and we layed a rose for her before the ceremony started. We had a floral theme for her day and laced the room where we held the christening party with bunting and fairy lights and added pink and white helium balloons. I made Emelias christening cake and we brought her a beautiful Sarah Louise dress to wear, with matching tights shoes bolero and, of course hair accessory. She looked so lovely and the day was perfect.
We are still exclusively breastfeeding at 5 months and gone are the days where Emelia used to lay quietly in my arms and have a feed ! I know this will only escalate as she gets more mobile too! She loves to have my necklace to play with too or just pulls at my face. Another thing is to punch or slap my chest whilst she feeds sounds funny but it is quite nice when she feeds through the night because she's sleepy she keeps still!!!
We seem to have finally found ourselves a routine in the evening that works too but I feel this needs a separate post as its quite lengthy! I even went to a baby sleep workshop I got that desperate! I can't say anything other than me calming the f@%k down worked though !
All in all its felt like a busy quick month with lots going on at the beginning with christmas, new year, and Emelia's christening. I have to say I am loving doing these updates as part of my blog. Its going to be great to look back on once she's older.
Nursery rhymes ( strange youtube cartoon nursery rhyme thing!)
Sophie the giraffe
So when using products on our little ones, I know I'm probably like every parent in wanting to make sure what I'm putting on my baby is the very best for their delicate skin. I use some really nice skin care, and body products on my own skin so I knew I wanted to make sure I was taking care of Emelia's skin as best as I could too. I also bath her daily because she enjoys a bath so much, and it works well as part of her routine. Her skin is also not affected by this which is obviously really important. We have used these products pretty much daily since Emelia was born,and we really get on well with them, so I thought it would be nice to share what we use and for what!
We love using water wipes! we brought a load when Emelia was first born and intended on using water and cotton wool, and then progress to water wipes as she got bigger. To be honest, we didn't use cotton wool for long. Water wipes work so so well, and they were gentle enough for her skin so never left any reddening or discomfort. They stay so wet when your using them, and each towelet is strong, a good size and super soft. I find they are so much more efficient to use and we use less of these than we do if we are using a different brand. The ingredients are simply water and a tiny 0.1 % of grapefruit extract. NO chemicals . All in all a fab wipe that we use day in day out. Once Emelia turned 3 months Reggie suggested we move on to a cheaper brand. However, I just can't get on with them so have quietly moved back to using water wipes! He does agree that they are much better though.
Earth friendly baby: Lavender Hair and body wash
Our choice of daily bubbles. This calming mild baby wash is lovely. I do tend to think that just water is plenty good enough for little ones bath time, I like to use a little something though so this gentle wash is perfect. It is soothing enough to be used daily. 99.2% of the ingredients are all natural and it is free from nasty additives and parabens. The mix of chamomile and lavender ingredients smell amazing and helps to aid relaxation, so great to use for a nightime bath.
Waitrose Bottom butter
As smooth as a babies bum. Where does that saying even come from ! This midwife approved nappy cream was first given to me as part of a baby shower gift. I had only really heard of the obvious other nappy cream brands, and so presumed that we would probably just use them. However this gorgeous little tub is just lovely! As it says in the name this butter textured product is a great moisturising protective product against nappy rash. I always apply this cream just as added protection whilst my little girl is wearing nappies. Not something I would do if I was to use sudocrem (that stuff gets everywhere!) So yes post bath we use this product. It has a lovely subtle smell too. Another paraben nasty free product aswell. This bottom cream was in the news for being a popular choice for mums as a facial moisturiser. And although I have not tried it myself I can see the appeal with its lovely smell and silky texture.
Okay I know your probably thinking this is weird poor child ect ect however, bare with me. Breastmilk works an absolute treat for certain things. Babies quite often suffer with blocked tear ducts when they are first born. Its very very common and can cause symptoms that look very similar to conjunctivitis. Emelia had this and the only thing I was ever advised to use other than medication was boiled water on cotton pads to clean the eye and then breastmilk . And it worked! Almost instantly, I couldn't believe it but was so pleased she didn't have to have antibiotics or drops to clear it up. I have to say that is the only thing I have used it for, and I haven't used it for anything else ! I don't bath Emelia in it,however for babies who suffer with ultra dry skin or excema it is highly recommended to try. Anything you can use other that medicated products I am all for. (Don't worry scroll freely! there's not a picture of my boobs bellow !!)
No particular brand preference as long as its 100% raw and o natural. A perfect top to toe product that can be used for absolutely everything! We use this to massage with and it's just so nice to use. Obviously because it is hard pressed it need to be warmed slightly before use but everything about using coconut oil is lovely. I'm just going to go ahead a list a few things that it's good for , for babies and children (and us).
-hair and scalp (cradle cap)
-as a mild first toothpaste
- in the bath
I'm going to write down a few things that I have found useful since weaning Emelia. We all know of the obvious things. Soft spoons, bibs, highchair, blender. But there are a few things that I have found to be really helpful along the way that at first I didn't think to get.
Cheap, easy to use and you can do several different foods at once. I've always used a steamer pan anyway as thats how we always cook our veg. So It just made sense to steam cook Emelias fruit and veg in the same way. I didn't want to have to buy loads of different weaning electricals to put on the side so have pretty much made do with the things we had already.
Ice cube tray & freezer bags
For batch cooking all those delicious meals. Great for getting good portion sizes, and saves on time and food waste. Once frozen you can empty the trays into labelled freezer bags and then just choose which meal for baby day to day.
Maybe a more obvious one but, I would say when you start weaning its a good time to introduce a sippy cup or cup to baby. I feel like they just go hand in hand. Even if it just sits there on the tray, it gets them used to the drink they will have with there meals. Emelia is using a sippy cup at the moment but i'm quite interested in trying the doidy cups aswell (they are cups designed for babies, no lid). I'm hoping a sippy cup is going to help us with the transition from breastfeeding too, but again I'll keep you posted. Currently she thinks she owns my boobs so doubt she will be giving them up without a fight!
Splash mat or table cloth
To catch all that food and drink that your little darling just loves to chuck about. Just makes cleaning up that bit easier ! We haven't quite let Emelia get too involved with food just yet and its already messy. She manages to get it everywhere and we're holding the spoon !? So I can only imagine it will get worse as she gets older. This will be placed underneath her highchair so we can keep things as clean as possible.
Obviously if we have a baby we have these items but its quite handy just to have these at hand and ready to use because its likely you will need them to mop up little ones face or hands or neck or head ect!!... I tend to just dampen a baby wash cloth and then they can be washed a reused. Poundland do a great pack of 6 which are perfect sizes too, I just keep them in the basket underneath her highchair.
I have written a post on our weaning journey which is below
We have started the weaning journey ! Oh my goodness, I was so nervous about this part! I know that probably sounds so silly to some people but, I was really intimidated with all the conflicting information. We had only just established breastfeeding, and people were suggesting starting solids already. I just didn't know where to start. Anyhow there really is so much information out there to the point where you can be left not knowing whats best to do at all (me). NHS health visitors ect will advise that a baby can get all there nourishment from milk up until the age of 6 months, and then weaning can commence from there. Grandparents , friends -friends , neighbour down the road will tell you that weaning should commence from 2 months, 3 months , 4 months and just about everything in between. So what is right? when is the right time to wean. I personally think when your baby is ready. I know I say it a lot but I have to remind myself constantly every baby is different. My baby isn't even like how I was as a baby, nor her dad or even her friend down the road, so we just have to work with Emelia what she needs and what works best for her. Does that mean we are wrong for starting her weaning at 4 months. No she was showing signs she was ready. I wasn't doing it to feed her up and make her sleep through the night or any other reason other than the fact she appeared ready. She was holding her head extremely well sitting unaided (all be it slightly wobbly when not secured in a chair) she would watch us eat and show an interest so this made me feel confident she would cope well. And she has. Its funny how you feel like you have to justify yourself to people of your own decisions on doing things. Im saying it now non of us mums are parenting wrong. Anyhow back to the weaning. Its going amazingly and far less scary than I ever imagined.
we started with baby rice as her first taste, mixed with her normal milk (breastmilk) and she loved it. After speaking to other mums I was hesitant that this may not be something that she enjoys, and that it could come straight back out. It kinda did at first, but it worked really from that first day and, I still incorporate it into some dishes for her. One thing I knew I wanted to do was gradually increase her foods until she was onto 3 meals a day, and not just go straight in with it all. This has worked really well for us and given Emelia, and me a bit of time getting used to it. Ive been following Annabel Karmel's book just for extra ideas and guidance. Its great as a go to book for when i'm unsure when I can introduce certain foods, and it has been a real help. We have started with vegetables and once I had tried her on a variation of different veggies we moved on to fruits. As I said before she's doing really well and theres few things she seems to dislike.
Currently at 5 months we are on 2 meals a day and then by the time we reach 6 months I will incorporate the 3rd meal into the day. At the moment she will have breakfast which consists of Either baby porridge (made with her milk) or a fruit puree. Sometimes I will mix in some fruit with the porridge just to vary it slightly, it just depends what I have prepped and ready for her! Dinner time is her second meal at 5pm. She will have a vegetable puree, so again I will vary it throughout the week. I do often offer a desert so this will be again a very small amount of fruit and if its quite a watery i'll add a bit of baby rice to turn it into a creamy fruity desert. I suppose once she's able to have dairy products we could offer her some yoghurt. With each meal we do offer Emelia a sippy cup so she can get used to having water with her meals, and using a cup. If any one has seen my instagram stories you will have seen little miss independent picking it up and drinking from it herself! So absolutely no problems there ! At 6 months once her lunch is incorporated during the day I'm going to give her very soft finger foods to try. Letting her touch and pick up food herself will be good fun i'm sure (and messy! must invest in some full body bibs !). I think at this stage aswell its so important to remember that it is just exploration and first tastes, not how much they are actually taking, or worrying about structuring into a proper feeding routine. I suppose it is just helpful for you as a parent in fitting in time for weaning.
I would also say prep is key too and helps with the variation at this early stage of weaning. I find it so much easier to batch cook Emelias "meals" pre blend them, freeze them in ice cube trays, and then label them into freezer bags. You can then just go to the freezer in the morning and transfer a couple of cubes into bowls ready for the day. I like being able to take a cube of a couple of different things out too, so although I am not directly mixing them she can have a meal which consists of different tastes. I really like the idea of her not having everything blended together so she can try individual tastes of different foods.
As I dont eat meat myself Ive had a few people ask wether I will give Emelia meat in her diet. The answer to that is yes. I cook meat for Reggie so thats not an issue for me, and its important for her to be able to make that decision herself when she's older how she wants to eat. Her diet will not consist of eating meat everyday though, and I will make sure she tries some lovely meat free dishes too!
One thing that has really taken me by surprise with weaning is the fact that she actually chews ! or at least does the motion. She has her two front bottom teeth cut so I doubt she is using them to do much chewing, but she certainly chomps down on the food with her gums. When I was back at home over christmas I cooked up some carrot. At home I usually use my nutribullet to blend her foods which completely smoothes it. The blender I used that day didn't completely purify the carrot, and although soft left it quite lumpy still, which made me really nervous to give it to her. but she coped so well with it. I took my time feeding it to her but she ate it like a pro! If i'm eating certain things like a banana now, I will just break off a tiny tiny amounts press between my fingers and she will eat it as it comes which is so good, and helpful for an out and about snack. When we are on the go is the only time I will actually use supermarket baby food. I tend to buy the Ellas kitchen fruit or vegetable pouches, but to be honest it is very rare that we use them.
I highly recommend a weaning book if you are feeling nervous about it just because it is impartial advice there at hand, with no other conflicting information. Even if its tweaked to suit your own needs its just handy for the important information (when you can give baby's dairy, nuts ect). They are also Great for giving you a bit of food inspiration through the first feeding stages too. I did have a cow and gate weaning book sent to me for free aswell, so take a look at a few websites because some of them will send you one.
I'm sure I'll update you on our weaning journey as we progress, but I hope this was helpful in what to possibly expect in early weaning days. Please also see my Baby feeding Essentials post for all things I have found really useful. Link below
So lots of things happen postpartum. No sleep and leaky boobs being the ones we know best! Here are a few that lets just say, caught me by surprise and, that I didn't expect to happen after having Emelia!
1. Hair loss
I'm malting. Yes like a dog shedding its winter coat. Hm I've walked into that one, well not literally like a dog, but its falling out pretty quick! The hair loss is no joke, and if it wasn't completely normal, than I would be sooo worried right now! My hair really thickened up whilst I was pregnant and, grew really quickly due to the added blood supply and the fact you don't lose much hair whilst your expecting. My hair has always been quite short, so for it to grow so quickly, I was more than happy! I really did not expect to start losing so much hair though. Of course I have heard of "postpartum hair loss" but, naively I thought this meant a few strands of hair not literally enough to make some weird hairy rug (ugh gross). But mine comes out in clumps. It doesn’t help that Emelia just randomly grabs hold of my hair when she feels like it either! I think because it started falling out when Emelia was 4 months, I had half thought I'd got away with it but no. Any way I have decided to not colour it at the moment and try to keep it in as best condition as possible. I'm hoping its going to slow down real soon too.
This was something I really didn't expect to happen after Emelia was born, I was in agony for about 2 weeks after delivery because my hips felt out of place after giving birth. I had slight discomfort throughout pregnancy, with the normal pelvic girdle pain, and ligament discomfort because of growing and stretching. But yes, post delivery, I expected general discomfort, but not barely being able to walk. Everywhere took double the amount of time and effort. Even rising up out of chair was so so painful, and getting out of bed in the night to see to a newborn was near to impossible. To be honest I should of just put my feet up, and not worried about being too out and about, however, for some reason I felt this pressure to just get on with stuff, so most probably I overdid it! I mentioned it lots to health visitors, midwifes ect. who reassured me, and luckily mine disappeared after about 2 weeks, but it really was agony to begin with. The relaxin hormone that is released whilst you are pregnant is necessary to loosen ligaments, and relax the pelvic area,
ready for delivery. However, once delivery has taken place the stress on your joints and ligaments still occurred, so I guess this can potentially cause a certain amount of long term issues. It can take up to 5 months for everything to return back to normal after birth. Needless to say this was something I most definitely did not expect. Also another reason to take it real easy with exercise after birth.
I think I've had more cravings since Emelia has been here, than I ever did throughout pregnancy. Breastfeeding makes you so thirsty, but also peckish for snacky style items. Throughout January, I am going to be re-working on my diet, simply because it makes me feel so much more energised and better when I am eating cleaner. I have become such a grazer when it comes to food, not really eating substantial meals and just going for snacks throughout the day. This is mainly because its quicker and I just dont have the time anymore. With the sweet snacks taking my fancy, I have been more than happy to oblige! When your feeding though, you do just get this sudden thirst and hunger again, more so then I ever expected. I find it really handy to have things like water on hand. Really I should be more organised, and have lunch prepped and ready for when Emelia's feeding too. Wouldn't it be lovely to be that organised ! (I'm working on it !!)
So yes I suppose this kind of goes in the same box as baby blues, but it wasn't just tears and it wasn't post natal depression. The first few days after giving birth were so tiring, not only because of the constant visitors, but obviously the sleepless nights kicking in and recovering from birth. 3 days after delivery, Reggie and I decided we needed a day just us and our new baby, no visitors, just so we could recuperate and enjoy our time with our new baby. We literally shut the blinds and said no to visitors. It was amazing. My favourite day from those first few. The next day went back to normal though and the influx of visitors began again. At this point I started to get over emotional and started to hate people holding Emelia! Totally irrational as obviously, nobody was going to hurt her, but I just really didn't like it to the point where I would have to leave the room sometimes! (okay now I sound crazy).. No I know this is quite common with other mums I have spoken too, and it really is hard to explain. But that emotion is so so strong and especially in them early days, when your hormones are all over the place, you really just want baby all to yourself. We have 100% decided that next time we are going to be selfish and have a few days of us time before having people over. In fact for any new parents that would be my one bit of advice. DO NOT feel guilty for saying come back another day or no visitors in the first week. Its your baby and you need that time to get to know your child. I did decide to breastfeed, and establishing feeding with constant visitors is IMPOSSIBLE. Well in my opinion.
5. You become a mum
Okay that sounds silly. But your whole mindset just changes. I suppose maybe its different for everyone but I just know for myself every thought, decision, and choice ect. is completely centered around Emelia. Its not just about responsibility, its more than that, if that makes any sense! Your world really does shift. Of course that is what being a parent is all about but, I just thought it would be much more subtle. Lets just use a simple example. As most women do, I love a good shop but I find myself instantly going to the kiddies section now instead of spending all that time finding things for myself! I don't know, as I said its so much more than that and obviously not about shopping! But becoming a mum just changes even the smallest movements you make!
Obviously saying all that it is all completely worth it! I would definitely go through it all again as many other women do to :)