The village takes vulnerability

“What’s wrong with the baby?” a child asked at a music event when my youngest was a few weeks old. The question innocently reminded me that the intense rash all over her face and body was unmissable. I kept telling myself it would go on its own. I hoped it would. I also hoped her bubbly poo would settle down. It was the right colour so I was confused about what it could be and I wondered whether the two symptoms might be connected, along with the colicky evenings. By then, I’d been a breastfeeding peer supporter for four and…

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Ten things that happen when you’re tandem breastfeeding

Despite the universal-sounding title, this is just how it’s gone and is going for me, breastfeeding older and younger siblings at the same time. The first thing you learn when you start asking other tandem breastfeeding mothers about their experiences is that nothing is exactly the same for everyone. No one can predict how they’re going to feel or what they’re going to need to do. We can share ideas and offer solidarity but there’s no roadmap, no rulebook. I tandem breastfed for sixteen months the first time around, until my eldest, Talitha, was four years old. Who knows how…

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Things I’ve learned while breastfeeding through pregnancy

I’m 24 weeks pregnant and this is my second time breastfeeding while pregnant. Believe me when I say this is not something I imagined doing once, let alone twice. Struggling for months to establish breastfeeding with Talitha (y’know, tongue tie, low milk production, the most stressful experience of my life), the idea of making it to a year seemed a vague “maybe”. So I couldn’t have expected that not only would age two find us still breastfeeding but that I’d fall pregnant around then and wind up breastfeeding her for two more years. As I said before, baby number three…

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Support breastfeeding help for refugees

So many times this blog has been a place to talk about breastfeeding; about what it can mean for mothers and children, and about how we can protect it. As more and more Syrian refugees make their way to the Greek islands of Kos and Lesvos, we’re faced with a situation in which supporting breastfeeding is absolutely vital. UNICEF states “artificial feeding with breast-milk substitutes in an emergency carries high risks of malnutrition, illness and death and is a last resort only when other safer options have first been fully explored and deemed unavailable.” I think of the breastfeeding support…

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How weaning happened – the end of our breastfeeding journey

I didn’t set out to breastfeed my older daughter as long as I did. I doubt anyone gazes into the face of their newborn and imagines breastfeeding them for four years. Certainly, at the time, I felt like we’d be blessed to get to six months. When the difficulties with her tongue-tie and my low milk supply kicked in, my goal became to take it one feed at a time. By the time her first birthday came into view (a landmark I was just relieved to make), I’d learned a lot more about breastfeeding, through reading, meeting other mothers and…

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When it’s hard getting breastfeeding started

I had a hard time establishing breastfeeding with my first baby, Talitha. From the start something didn’t seem right but we didn’t suspect a tongue tie until a lactation consultant suggested it at six weeks in. It was confirmed and cut by the infant feeding midwife at our local hospital when Talitha was eight weeks (it had to be cut again at twelve). By that time, my milk supply was damaged. I wasn’t making enough milk, my baby was literally attached to my breasts from morning until night (and I mean “literally” in the conventional sense of the word). Her…

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ARDO Breastpump videos I made

I don’t often mention work on this blog but I recently made a couple of videos which are pretty relevant so I thought I’d share them here. ARDO, manufacturer of top quality breast pumps, is a company whose ethos and products inspire me and so it was a real pleasure to work with them in putting together videos for their YouTube channel. The videos demonstrate their hospital-grade hire breast pump, the Carum, and their double electric breast pump, the Calypso. I was really impressed with both. Let me know what you think and do pop over to “like” the videos…

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