Lisa

Nurse. Mummy. Wife. Life.


Leave a comment

Happy 1st Birthday!!

Next week my son turns 1.

It blows my mind that he has been here for a whole year. Where did the time go? My little baby, is no longer a little baby, but a thriving little boy that is obsessed with walking, water, and wheels!! He has been walking since 9 months, and from the minute he knew he could do it, he has been obsessed with mastering the art of walking.

It was a big day yesterday. I have weaned my son down to one breastfeed a day- a morning feed. So as usual yesterday he woke up and I offered him a feed, and for the first time he pushed it away. All he wanted to do was get down on the floor and play. No interest at all in the milk. That was my sign, and the moment I knew he was ready to be completely weaned. It still gets me teary realising my breastfeeding days are over. It was such a wonderful experience from day one for me, and I feel very blessed to have been able to do it for as long as I have. I am proud of the fact that I persisted even after finding out I was pregnant and through the morning sickness.

I can totally understand why some women hang onto the breastfeeding, and find difficulty letting go. It is an intimate connection to your child. A special little moment you can have with them, that no one else can be a part of. But the way I see it now is that, it was beautiful while it lasted, my breasts served their purpose well, and now it is time to find new ways to share those moments with him. I will always have a bond and connection to my son like no one else. And I don’t need to breastfeed to reassure myself of that.

We all know the health benefits of breastfeeding, and it is recommended to breastfeed your child up to the age of 2, but realistically that that isn’t possible for a lot of women. It takes commitment to keep it going for that long, and I take my hat off to all the women who do it. But in my opinion whether you breastfeed for 1 week, or 5 years, every drop counts, and it just isn’t the same experience for everyone. You just have to do what works for you.

So with that said HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY SON!!! I love you, and thankyou for everything you have given me. You truly are my proudest achievement in life, and so blessed to call you my son xx

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Pregnant and Breastfeeding

So I have had a lot of people ask if I am still breastfeeding now that I am pregnant. The answer is yes, I am still breastfeeding my 10 month old son. I would love to continue to feed him till he is 12 months.

My son is down to 2 feeds a day- morning and evening. He eats so much food these days, I have noticed a significant drop in his demand and my supply. So I am sure in the coming weeks he will be more than ready to be completely weaned.

I have to say there has been no real difference with breastfeeding while pregnant. There are all sorts of opinions, and theories on the subject. But I feel, if you can handle it, then do it. It should be a personal choice. I am in the first trimester of pregnancy, so of course feel exhausted, but to be honest I have been so used to waking up for night feeds for so long that I am used to this feeling. Plus my morning sickness is horrendous this time, so the fatigue is really a minor issue for me. My nausea has taken over my life, and I am literally spending my days trying to come up with ideas and ways to help distract me from the feeling.

I feel very lucky to have been able to successfully breastfeed my son this long, and I hope the next baby is the same. I have moments where I imagine a time when my body will be my own again. When I won’t have a child depending on it to grow and be nourished. It will be a long time till then, and I feel lucky that my body is doing what it was designed to do. Not everyone is that lucky, and I always count my blessings.

 

 


1 Comment

Night Feeds

My son turned 9 months last week. He loves his food, and I am still breastfeeding him. My aim is to breastfeed till he is 12 months old.

Every now and then I will read up about baby development, and what to expect with my son. And I often find it interesting that most books, and websites say that a baby of 9 months does not need feeds during the night, and should be sleeping through the night. Now this is not happening with me, and to be honest I have no problem with it.

My son has always been a great night sleeper. He figured out from very early on that night was for sleeping, and currently sleeps approx 10-12 hours a night. BUT……he is yet to sleep through. He will wake anywhere between 1-3 times for a feed.

Now I know most people will say it’s a bad habit, and he is only feeding for comfort to fall back asleep etc…….But it works for me. Although it’s hard dragging myself out of bed to feed a baby at 2am, I can’t bear to face the alternative. I don’t handle my son crying too well. My stomach goes into a knot, and my heart races. I’m hoping that over the coming months, my son will sleep longer periods, and eventually through the night in his own time when he is ready.

There is a lot of pressure on mothers to have their child on this perfect schedule, and to be super mum. But I am trying to take the good with the bad. You can choose your battles. I feel well rested for the most part, and my son is happy, so do I really want to rock the boat. What if I try and push the whole sleep through the night thing and he turns into a gremlin! I feel he is still so little, and if he needs a little comfort at night, then so be it.

I guess the key is to find what works for you. As long as you are coping, and feel on top of things, then who cares what the books say. Trust yourself, and your gut feeling. I have at times struggled with the whole subject, and with some of the information out there, you are made to feel like you are spoiling them for giving them a night feed. But does it really matter? It is not like the child is 5 and waking for a bottle…..

Maybe I am being naive, and too optimistic about it. But I am willing to see where this road leads us…….

 


Leave a comment

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.


Leave a comment

Bottle or Boob? What’s the point of it all?

I have enrolled this year to do a post-graduate course at university specialising in Child and Family Health. I just completed a three-day workshop at uni and one topic that was discussed was feeding the baby.

Now from a personal point of view I was blessed and very lucky with the whole breastfeeding experience. My son was born with a very strong suck reflex, and I had plenty of milk, so we both have had a very wonderful experience. I was also very confident and excited about breastfeeding my baby during my pregnancy, and had no doubts I could do it when he arrived.

We all know that ‘breast is best’ and there is all this push to encourage breastfeeding to all new mothers. But upon reflection it occurred to me how there are so many steps involved in breastfeeding, and so many chain of events that have to occur to ensure success. From what I have witnessed and experienced myself it has become obvious to me that breastfeeding really isn’t just about a boob, and a hungry baby. There are so many more elements to breastfeeding, that in my opinion are sometimes missed and dismissed when teaching and supporting a mother.

The power of the mind is enormous, and if you have a scared, sore, insecure, afraid, nervous, exhausted mother (to name a few things a mother can feel after having a baby) then how can we expect breastfeeding to come naturally and easily. I am a breastfeeding advocate, but how far do we push a mother to feed if she mentally is not in the right head space. Somehow there is this perception that mothers that formula feed are second class citizens, as though they have failed. I really have a problem with this. I feel that the emphasis and goal should be to help a mother bond with their baby and be encouraged to form a safe and secure relationship. If she has tried the breastfeeding but it is causing more grief than anything then a mother should not in any way feel she has failed if she decides to bottle feed their baby.

We know that breastfeeding helps the mother and baby bond, and we know breast milk is the premium, but let’s not forget all the other things that helps a mother bond with a baby. These would include a supportive family and partner, a confident and happy mother, good nutrition, sleep, time and patience, non judgemental and supportive medical staff. The list goes on, but I guess the point I’m trying to make is that no mother should feel that breastfeeding is the deciding factor of what sort of mother she is going to be. I have had many thoughts of guilt, doubt and worry with things I have done with my son. As a mother you are constantly second guessing yourself and wondering deep down “will this harm my baby?”, but one thing I have never doubted is the love I feel for my son. I have never doubted the fact that I know my baby better than anybody else, and I will not be made to feel otherwise by anyone. Learning to understand your baby takes time. And although I have breastfed my baby, I don’t believe it is that one action alone that has helped  me bond with my baby.

What are your thoughts?