Motherhood and Changing Times

*This post is in association with Benenden

I often reflect on what kind of mother I am and the kind of mother I would like to be, the things I want to do with the children and the traits and things that I would, ideally, like to not pass across to the children. Looking back, my own mother, and her own mother before her, had different ideas of what was important in family life to the ideals that I have now and a lot of this is down to the changes that have happened over the years as society and science have grown and adapted.

Benenden have created this great infographic that shows just some of those changes that have happened over previous years as parenthood has evolved. To think that something I rely on daily – a baby monitor – wasn’t even invented until 1937 and just ten years later disposable nappies were born! Disposable nappies are so commonplace now that it’s hard to believe they have only been around for 67 years.

The evolution of motherhood timelineOne thing that I find incredible though, is that with science and the human race coming so far, that only 57% of women feel comfortable breastfeeding in public and that 20% of women suffer negativity for breastfeeding in public too. For a society that began because people were born and babies were breastfed it is very sad that breastfeeding, and breastfeeding in public, still isn’t accepted as the normal thing to do. I’d love to see a new infographic in a few years time showing that all women are comfortable to breastfeed in public amongst people who are supportive and encouraging of breastfeeding mothers.

Back on Weight Watchers Simple Start

Here I am again, back on my Weight Watchers journey! Since getting to my goal weight I haven’t thought much about dieting – My lifestyle is always fairly weight watchers friendly now although when I’m not weighing myself every week I do tend to have more treats that I usually would. The problem is that for the best part of the last three years I have been breastfeeding and I always said that my weight loss was due to a good balanced diet along with breastfeeding.

I stopped breastfeeding two weeks ago and have now weighed myself for the first time since getting to my goal weight … Back in February! And I am now nearly half a stone heavier than I was! I am putting this down to stopping breastfeeding, Little Man’s Birthday and eating far too many cream teas when we went to Cornwall in March!

So now I am back to Weight Watchers Simple Start. I know it works, I know I can lose weight if I stick to it and so I will be sticking to it, religiously! Last time I did Simple Start I lost 8lb in the first two weeks, I’m looking forward to seeing another weight loss this time!

So here goes:

Today’s Weight: 11st 2lb

Weight Watchers Goal Weight: 10st 10lb

Weight to lose: 6lb

BUT….

I would ideally like to get down to 10st. That has always been my own personal goal and not something I have ever been able to achieve – Not since I was about 18 and tiny anyway! So, here is my official starting point:

Today’s Weight: 11st 2lb

My Goal Weight: 10st

Weight to lose: 16lb

I’ll keep you updated on how I’m doing each week, I’ll try not to fall off the WW wagon this time!

What happens when you stop breastfeeding?

Just over a week ago I stopped breastfeeding Little Man after over a year of breastfeeding. I, naively, thought that my body would automatically realise I had stopped breastfeeding and just… Go back to normal. I was wrong.

I kept producing milk and it felt like the first days of breastfeeding again – Engorged breasts that looked like Dolly Parton and felt like they would explode. I hand expressed to relieve the pressure but I didn’t want to express so much that it kept my supply going. The ‘exploding boobs’ and expressing lasted two days.

From day three I was very, very sore but there wasn’t that painful pressure and rock solid breasts that I’d had for the first two days. I am still sore over a week later but I can live with it. I do, however, need to wear a bra at all times otherwise I leak EVERYWHERE. Again, this is something that reminded me of the early days, leaking milk everywhere, wet patches on clothes, waking up in puddles. I didn’t expect to still be like this over a week since I last fed Little Man.

On top of this, my hormones are all over the place, I am still emotional about stopping breastfeeding and I am hoping that this will get easier when I eventually stop producing milk.

So there you have it. After a year of breastfeeding your body tacts like you are starting your breastfeeding journey again – Dolly Parton boobs and leaking milk everywhere – Who’d have thought it?!

Right now I’m looking forward to my body calming down so that I can get fitted for a new bra – One with underwires and more support! How amazing will that be?! I have worn breastfeeding or maternity bras since the start of 2011. I cannot wait to get a bra that doesn’t have detachable cups and twenty different size options!

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Breastfeeding – The Ordinary Moments

I have been breastfeeding for over two and a half years aside from a few months gap in between weaning LP and Little Man coming in to the world. Breastfeeding for me didn’t come as naturally as I thought it would and I spent nearly three weeks persevering through cracked nipples, blisters and unbelievable soreness to get feeding with LP established. Once we got to that point we enjoyed 13 months of feeding and I weaned LP mainly because I was pregnant again and wanted to give my body a break before the new baby arrived.

Little Man came along just over a year ago and feeding him came a lot more naturally than it had done with LP, I still had soreness at the start but it was nowhere near as bad as it had been with LP and within a few days I had the same wonderful feeds with him that I had experienced with LP.

With both babies I loved breastfeeding, I could feed them anywhere, I didn’t need to buy anything extra to enable me to feed and I didn’t need any preparation to feed – Feeding could be done whenever the baby was hungry and at a moment’s notice. It was one of the most convenient things I have ever experienced and when the babies reached six months it was a shame to introduce food – Going from being able to feed the babies anywhere and with no preparation to needing to start giving them actual food, such a shock to the system!

Don’t get me wrong, breastfeeding hasn’t always been rosy. Aside from the issues at the start there were the times that the babies would bite, the growth spurts that needed constant feeds, the regular night feeds and lack of sleep that went with them. There were times when I felt like not much more than a dairy cow but I knew that it wouldn’t always feel that way, breastfeeding – and feeding every couple of hours day and night – is short lived. In your child’s lifetime, and the scheme of things, breastfeeding is just one small, ordinary moment.

Last Saturday, just over a week ago, I asked Hubby to take a photo of me feeding Little Man. I wanted a photo of me feeding him to use on the blog at some point. Unbeknown to me, that feed would be the last. I had always said I’d feed until a year and since Little Man’s Birthday we have been winding down the feeds – I stopped the morning feed a few days before and had stopped feeding him during the night a couple of weeks before that. For the last few days there had just been the one lovely bedtime feed, a feed where we’d have a cuddle, rock in our chair and have some perfect quiet time.

I have loved breastfeeding the babies. There were hard times, times that made me cry and times when it needed everything I had in me to persevere. But it was also the most rewarding thing I have ever done and something I will always be proud of. As we aren’t having any more children this symbolises the end of my breastfeeding days. My last feed with Little Man was for me, my last breastfeed.

I will always think back fondly to those feeding cuddles, the lazy mornings and nap times laying in bed feeding LP and Little Man’s hand holding my face as he fed.

Breastfeeding has been an ordinary moment for years but it has now come to an end.

Feeding

 

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Dressing for a Special Occasion when Pregnant/Breastfeeding

*This post is written in collaboration with Bibee Dresses

Throughout my pregnancies and the years of breastfeeding I always dreaded receiving an invite to a special occasion. The thought of Weddings and Christenings filled me with anxiety and I worried about them from the day the invite landed on our doormat.

Why?

Because it is nearly impossible to find clothes suitable for any special occasion when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Generally, if you do manage to find a dress to wear it will either make you look like a sack, with no shape or style or it will cost the earth and be one of a couple of designs available.

I always ended up resorting to one of the following:

  • Maxi Dresses and a Pashmina
  • Wrap Style Jersey Dresses
  • Anything that I would normally wear to a special occasion and spending most of the time using ‘feeding rooms’ and having to practically strip to feed the baby!

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I recently came across Bibee Dresses which are a great concept and something I wish I had known about when pregnant or breastfeeding. The dresses come as either maxi or knee length versions and have Bibee Dress Fronts that you pop on and off to help breastfeeding. You can have one staple dress and a whole range of Bibees to suit your mood – One dress that you can tailor for different occasions and people would think it was a whole new outfit!

Bibee Dresses

For me, pregnancy/breastfeeding and special occasions were never a good mix but it definitely doesn’t need to be that way. I would now still probably resort to maxi and wrap style dresses for weddings but Bibee Dresses would add a new option that I wasn’t aware of before.

There definitely need to be more options for breastfeeding mothers and pregnant women when looking for special occasion outfits. Have you been in this situation? What did you wear?