Lisa

Nurse. Mummy. Wife. Life.


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Breast In The West

Breasts are a wonderful thing. They look good, they feel good, and come in all shapes and sizes. They are unique to each women, and serve many purposes. Women have learnt to use their breasts to their advantage, and it’s safe to say that men can be very easily persuaded when they have a beautiful set of breasts staring them in the face. They can be a lot of fun, and make a woman feel very feminine.

So what happens when you have a baby, and you and your breasts are faced with a new challenge? When suddenly their main function is now about feeding, and keeping a baby alive for months. How do you balance your need to nuture your baby, but still feel feminine and attractive? Is it possible for your breasts to serve two functions when nursing your child?

It’s a known fact that the western world has over sexualised breasts to the point where some women feel uncomfortable to feed in public, and some men are uncomfortable seeing the naked breast unless it is for arousal purposes. I wonder and can only imagine how many difficulties some women face while breastfeeding because of the pressure their partner or society puts on them. And I wonder how many men make a woman feel like breasts are there only for their pleasure and not for a babies nutritional needs.

Are there really any cultures in the world that don’t sexualize breasts? And when did breasts become sexualized? Or have they always been that way? I personally think there can be a healthy balance, but it starts when both the mother and partner have realistic expectations. I believe it can work if there is mutual respect, patience, and understanding of each others needs. From my experience being a mum, and being able to breastfeed made me feel beautiful. I feel accomplished as a mother that my body has worked the way it is meant to, and supported me and my baby through breastfeeding. I know this isn’t the case for all women, and I haven’t taken this blessing for granted.

So how does one balance feeling beautiful, sexy, and woman while breastfeeding? Or when you are breastfeeding should you just stick to the main task of being a mum? Is it unrealistic to expect a mother who nurses her child to also dress and feel sexy?

I know for me I have felt very guarded about my post baby body. I have been reluctant to wear tight fitting clothes, or anything that is like my old wardrobe. For two reasons- Firstly I feel like my body has changed and still coming to terms with it, and secondly most of the clothes I used to wear just aren’t practical for breastfeeding and chasing after a little one. I miss the days where I could wear what ever I want, and not always have to think about dressing so I have access to my breasts for feeds. But I also feel that during the whole pregnancy, labour, birth, and baby journey I shared my whole body with so many people, that I just want a moment to myself where no one is poking or prodding. I have felt a shift in who I am as a woman since having my son, and breastfeeding is a big reason for this. This is because my body is still not mine. I am still sharing it with my baby.

Some people refer to the months you breastfeed as the fourth trimester. Because in essence your baby is still relying on your body for the majority of its nutritional needs. It is a huge commitment. So don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be superwoman. Just focus on being a mum in those early months. The time flies by you, and before you know it, your child will no longer need to breastfeed. It will just be you and your breasts left once again, to feel and look how ever you choose.


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Mixed Race

I am mixed race. I have a white mum, black dad, and I came out brown skinned with curly hair. Growing up with a white mum had it’s challenges, and I quickly learnt that people really had no idea about interracial dating. I could not tell you how many times as a child I would introduce people to my mum or show people a photo of my mum, to then be asked questions like “but why is she white?”, and “are you adopted?”. Or quite often be told “you two look nothing alike”. I always grew up feeling like I had to prove she was my mum. Like as though saying she was my mum just wasn’t enough for some people.

I always found it amazing that people had the nerve to ask such questions. How strangers just felt the right to know more. But really, who cares if I was adopted? What if I was? And why do you feel the need to share your thoughts about who I look like?

I know I look exactly like my mum, just a brown version of her. To anyone that looks beyond my skin colour, you will see we have the same smile, eyes, and bone structure. But to this day, even in the multi cultural city I live in, I still have people shocked when I say where my parents are from.

I think it is natural when you imagine what your child will one day look like, that you visualise a mini version of yourself. Same hair, skin, feet, height etc. Why would you not. I naturally imagined having a brown skinned, curly haired baby before my son came along. Now that he is here, I can’t imagine my reaction if someone asked if he is adopted, or really mine! I really think it’s irrelevant whether he is biologically mine or not, or why his skin doesn’t exactly match mine. He is still my son, and those variables wouldn’t make him any less my son.

So the next time you meet parents and they may look different to the child, or not what you expected, then don’t make it your business to find out why. If someone feeds, bathes, comforts, houses, and loves a child, then they are its parent – full stop. Accept it, and move on. Don’t be quick to judge.


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Cosmetic Surgery

Nothing changes your body like having a baby does. Over a 40 week period your body swells, and stretches in ways one thought impossible. It does what it has to do to support life. Then you have the baby, and while some ladies bounce back, others can be left looking like a deflated balloon.

I have never put much thought into cosmetic surgery. It is not something I see myself ever doing. But there are two things I would do if I felt it would improve my confidence after having my children. A breast lift and a tummy tuck. Two major surgeries and not to be going into lightly, but I think any woman would agree that these are the two areas of your body that suffer the most during pregnancy. The tummy and the breasts.

I came across a fascinating website the other day. http://theshapeofamother.com Now if you don’t want to see REAL post baby bodies then don’t click on that link. But basically it’s a website where women post a picture of an area of their body that they know has changed because of bearing children. It’s a place where women can share, and compare, and hopefully come to realise that you aren’t the only one out there. Stretch marks, wobbly bits, sagging, cellulite, weight gain – all normal things that happen when having a baby.

We are our own worst critic, and quite often what we see in the mirror is completely different to what everyone else sees. Why do we hate ourselves so much, and focus only on the bad. Why can’t we be kind, patient and loving to ourselves. Having a baby is a miracle, and all women should be proud of the scars and changes to their body. So will having cosmetic surgery really fix things? Maybe, maybe not. My thoughts are if it will make you feel better, then do it. Who am I to tell a women who has had multiple babies, and ended up with saggy skin on her belly how to feel about their body. I reckon if having a tummy tuck will help you become a more confident women, give you the freedom to wear what you want, be comfortable being naked in front of your partner, and in front of the mirror, then go for it!! Life is meant for living, and I am all for living it the way you want.

Having a baby is no walk in the park, and I feel that every woman after having a baby, deserves to feel beautiful, sexy and truly happy with themselves. Whether it is getting a haircut, losing weight, cosmetic surgery, new make-up, exercising or new clothes, do what ever you have to do to give yourself a chance to be at peace and happy with who you are as a mother. There is nothing selfish or vain about wanting to feel and look your best, and truly loving the person you are.


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Ready For Baby #2

After the birth of our son, I felt so wrecked, and remember thinking that maybe one baby was enough for me. I just could not imagine going through that process again. But over the months my body healed, I started getting some energy back, and I really started to enjoy being a mummy as everything started falling into place. It was around the 6 month mark, to my surprise, that I started getting clucky again.

I was so overwhelmed with love, and happiness for this child that I just wanted to make more little ones just like him. I wanted to be pregnant again, and expand our happy little family. Call me crazy, and I don’t know if anyone else has experienced this, but to this day the feelings are still the same. My son is 8 months old and I feel ready to have another one.

There is much debate about how long to wait till the next one. Some people will start trying again straight away, and some people like to wait till their child is starting school. The thoughts and feelings on this matter are so different, and I feel that all reasons are valid. We are all different, and run our lives at different paces. I distinctly remember a patient we had when I worked in the Children’s Intensive Care Unit. The baby was 6 weeks old, born via caesarean, and the mother notified us she was pregnant again. I remember having so many questions I wanted to ask the mother, but it was not my place to do so, and it was certainly was not my place to judge.

Breastfeeding in most cases stops a woman’s body from ovulating, and some people even use it as a form of contraception. I guess it’s your bodies natural way of making sure there is a gap between pregnancies to allow your body to recover, and time to nurse your baby. I find it amazing what our bodies can do. You just have to be honest with yourself, listen to your body, and find what works for you. I personally would love my children to be close in age. I want to go through the nappy changing, breastfeeding, and sleepless nights phase in one big block and get it over and done with! I often think about my fertility, and hope I am blessed with more children. I hope I never have to go through the pain and suffering some families have to go through to conceive, and have a baby.

So with that said has anyone else had this experience? Is it normal to feel ready for the next baby so soon? What is the perfect age gap?


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Take It Outside

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Worried about getting your carpets and floors dirty from your baby throwing food everywhere?

Do what I do and take the high chair outside, and let them go for gold. Little children need the opportunity to explore and feel their food with their hands. They need a chance to squeeze it, moosh it, throw it, drop it, and feed themselves. It’s a learning experience for them, and they love it!!


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Coconut Oil

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When I was pregnant I went on a search to find a skin moisturiser that didn’t have 101 ingredients and chemicals. Every single product that claims to “prevent stretch marks”, or “keep you looking younger” was something I just found hard to believe.

That is when I discovered coconut oil. It can be found at most supermarkets, and all health stores. And the benefits of this oil is amazing. It’s a natural sunscreen, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and one of the healthy saturated fats for your diet. I could rave on about it for days.

Jensen has eczema and I wanted to make sure I use low irritant moisturisers on his skin. Every night after his bath we lather him in coconut oil, and his skin is beautiful. And I feel good knowing that no preservatives or numbers are going onto his skin. I have jars of the stuff everywhere.

We are flooded with so much packaged food and products that it is really hard to know what we are putting on and in our bodies. Organic or not, fresh or frozen, raw or cooked……..it’s very confusing. I try and educate myself about the products I buy, and always look at the ingredients. The wording and labelling of a product can be a very different story when compared to the actual ingredients listed. An example is bread crumbs. I wanted to make chicken schnitzel. The popular brand that was in the store had no joke about 50 ingredients in it, and included ingredients like flavour enhancer (MSG), and flavourings. If I had to choose, I would rather just put some salt and pepper on my chicken than a box of chemicals.

I guess in a dream world I would be growing and harvesting all my own meat, fruit and vegetables. Then I would know exactly what is going in my families bodies. But till I win the lottery I will just have to keep reading the ingredients and rubbing that coconut oil in.


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Single Mum

My husband went away for the weekend. On a boys trip.

I have to admit I wasn’t the happiest about him leaving me with our son so he can spend a weekend bonding with his mates over cars. I was envious of him that he can just take off like that. I don’t have that luxury or option anymore. When you are breastfeeding you can’t just take off for a night. I feel my son is too small and little to spend a night without mummy. I honestly don’t know when I will be able to do it. And most the time I don’t know if I really even want to spend a night away from my son. I feel a duty to him, and a responsibility to be there for him. Maybe it is a mummy thing. Or maybe it’s just me. I honestly don’t know. All I know is that if given the choice I would not be able to go a night with out my son. Not just yet.

So back to my point. After having a weekend alone with my son, all I kept thinking of was about all the single parents out there. I have to say that it takes a strong, dedicated, and super special person to raise a child or children on their own. Here I am struggling for a weekend, and out there this is the reality for a lot of men and women. I just have to say “WOW”!! My mother raised me as a single mum for the most part of my life, and I really don’t think I will ever truly understand the sacrifice, and hard work that goes into doing it on your own. I am a mother now, and know that I would do anything for him. But I can’t imagine doing it alone.

So this post is just a big shout out to all the amazing single fathers and mothers out there who really when you think about it are raising a huge percentage of the children today. I am sure everyone of us knows at least one person who was raised by a single parent. It’s all too common these days.

Thank you mum for everything. Thank you for working your butt off to try and give me the best life possible. Thank you for always making me feel like I was worth it all. Thank you for all the sacrifices, and hard work you put into raising me on your own. Thank you for being an amazing single mum!! I love you xxx