Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
Cucumber (easy and good for teething)
Peach (stabbed a bit onto a baby fork and he had no trouble)
Mini shredded wheat (dry or soaked in formula)
Mango, Melon and Pineapple (supermarkets often sell these presliced for £1 for lots of slices, almost as cheap as buying the whole fruit, easier and less waste and effort! Perfect for holding).
Toast (spread with unsalted butter, or cream cheese, or puree [free samples of, I hasten to add])
Red pepper (raw, sliced)
Rice cake (plain or with butter or with cream cheese)
Crumpet (with butter or puree)
Lasagne (Jacob just stripped each layer off and sucked it, he completely demolished it)
Easy-peasy breakfast biscuits (see recipe on the BLW forum, use more flour as they're sticky. I made loads and froze them, they're brilliant for breakfast if you can't think of anything else).
Pitta bread (with houmous)
Plain yoghurt (or with puree mixed in)
Porridge (or porridge pancakes, see BLW forum for recipe)
Roast butternut squash/sweet potato
Apple fried in cinnamon
Soup (with bread to mop up).
Drop scones (i've made banana or blackberry)
Tuesday, 15 September 2009
Friday, 11 September 2009
Wednesday, 9 September 2009
- Take a pack of Milton wipes wherever you go, as highchair trays are not necessarily clean.
- Long sleeved bibs are a must, the food gets everwhere.
- Take off (baby's) trousers before you start, as most food ends up in his lap and it's silly going through 4 pairs of trousers a day.
Monday, 7 September 2009
At no point during my pregnancy, did any health professional provide me with information about antenatal classes or suggest I attend any. My husband and I decided not to sign up for NCT classes as we thought the money could be better spent elsewhere, and as we're both avid readers, thought we could learn all we needed from books.
I had a long labour, and was given pethidine although I was adamant I didn't want it. When my baby was born, I put him to the breast but he didn't suckle. He was born at 8.34pm, and when a paediatrician came to check him at 10am the following morning, he was aghast that he still hadn't fed. I kept putting him to the breast but he would just fall back asleep. Midwives came and went, but I wasn't shown how to hand express my colostrum until my baby was nearly 24 hours old (and still hadn't fed).
I was kept in hospital for 5 days, during which time Jacob was fed from syringe or cup, firstly with my expressed breastmilk and then with formula top ups. He still wouldn't feed from me when we were discharged.
The day after we were sent home, a community midwife visited me at home, I explained my problems and she suggested I try nipple shields to help Jacob to latch on. I did and he immediately latched on and fed for half an hour. The relief was incredible, but my supply couldn't keep up with his demand by then and we had to continue giving formula top ups.
I had infections and was given antibiotics which lead to me getting thrush in the breast, which was passed on to Jacob and we were medicated for this for several weeks. I had mastitis 3 times, and the pain was incredible.
I was still desperate to continue, and did my best, but it got too hard and I was dreading each and every feed, and so switched to feeding expressed milk or formula from bottles, with just a short breastfeed at bedtime.
Now, Jacob is thriving and happy, and breastfeeding doesn't hurt any more. I love the closeness it gives me, but my supply is so low that I can only feed him for a couple of minutes at a time, and that's just for comfort. I feel sad and cheated of my opportunity to exclusively breastfeed. I constantly obsess over how to increase my supply of breastmilk, although I feel sure that at this late stage, I am unlikely to be able to relactate to the extent Jacob would require (he's a very hungry baby, on the 98th centile for weight and taking well over a litre a day).
I don't feel guilty (any more!) about giving him formula, although I did at first I soon realised that it was silly, and that having had my expressed colustrum, I'd given him a fantastic start. I really wanted to breastfeed more for the bond, for the feeling of closeness and of nourishing my baby.
I am so frustrated and angry about the lack of support I was given. People kept saying "it'll get easier" but couldn't tell me when or how long it would take. When I had thrush and mastitis the pain was just indescribable, I never imagined it could hurt so much, and my midwife told me I had to "grin and bear it". I was desperate for help, but struggling as I was meant I could barely talk to my husband or family, let alone pick up the phone to contact a complete stranger for help.
I feel like going on a campaigning warpath now - I think that along with antenatal classes, breastfeeding should be taught in classes during pregnancy. Breastfeeding support groups are already established, and I think that they should expand to include antenatal breastfeeding classes. I think how to breastfeed should be taught honestly, without glossing over the potential problems, but describing them and teaching women how to deal with problems, and explaining clearly how difficult it will be at the start, but how much better it can get if you persevere. Setting women up for success like this, and establishing relationships between breastfeeding counsellors and pregnant women, should mean that mothers are better prepared for the realities of breastfeeding, better able to cope when there are problems, and already have contact with breastfeeding counsellors and support groups so seeking professional help is easier for women who, like me, are struggling with asking for help.
I feel helpless though, as I can't see what difference I alone can make, and while I feel it's too late for me and Jacob, I'm clinging to the hope that I'll know what I'm in for next time (if there is a next time!) and will be better prepared to feed my next baby. I am by no means suggesting that women can only bond with their babies if they breastfeed - I think it's having an expectation of how something is going to be, and then that not happening, which causes the crushing sense of disappointment which can be projected onto your feelings (or lack thereof) towards your baby.
Now that Jacob is 6 months old and we're ready to move onto solids, we're entering a whole new minefield. I've decided to go down the baby-led weaning route as my parenting style is relaxed and baby-led at the moment. Jacob is fed and sleeps on demand, and this works well for us as we're definitely not Gina Ford types. I'm not a good cook, and am relishing the opportunity to learn how to cook easy and healthy meals for us to share.
I decided yesterday to stop expressing milk for Jacob, as he will not longer suckle from me, and will not finish bottles of expressed milk. It's a relief, to be honest, not to have to return to the house to express every 4 hours, and I'm sure we'll all benefit as a result.