H for Breastfeeding and Hands | 2016 #AtoZChallenge

Our hands are vital, aren’t they; but my, how handy (no pun intended) they are with breastfeeding!

My hands were absolutely crucial when we started our breastfeeding journey.

I vaguely remember the awkwardness of trying to place them comfortably, when my baby was laid next to me for his first latch. Unlike before, I couldn’t just lay my hand or shape my body as I wanted; I had to think of the little person next to me. Thankfully, the joy and surreal euphoria of the moment dwarfed my insignificant concern about the positioning of my hands, as I turned sideways to feed my son. Continue reading

G for Breastfeeding Gift | 2016 #AtoZChallenge

For me, breastfeeding is a gift … a very precious gift.

Why a gift?

Well, for starters, about half of the world’s population can not naturally stimulate milk production, though they could theoretically produce breast milk. 🙂

Of those of us who can naturally lactate by virtue of our gender, there are the few who struggle with producing enough milk for their babies for different medical reasons, and others who produce no milk at all due to e.g. a double mastectomy etc.

There are also the few who lactate but can’t breastfeed because the medication they have to use don’t have a breastfeeding friendly equivalent.

Then of the majority of women who fully lactate and can breastfeed, there are those who don’t want to breastfeed for a range of reasons.

Then there are those who want to breastfeed, but find it too difficult for many reasons – mostly due to lack of adequate information and getting the right support at the right time – to achieve their breastfeeding goals.

There are of course those want to breastfeed, and find it straightforward and easy from the start.

However, there are those who want to breastfeed, find breastfeeding challenging for a range of reasons, but immediately or eventually get the support they need, are willing and able to give it what it might take to work, and in time achieve their original or adjusted breastfeeding goals (if any).

So where is the gift in this?

For me, I belong in the last group I identified.

I didn’t even think about how I was going to feed my baby when I was pregnant. I went to a breastfeeding class but I barely remembered what was said; I suppose I took it for granted that it would come naturally to me, since it’s natural.

I really struggled with making it work for us from the end of our first latch; and I unfortunately didn’t get the right information early on. Nonetheless, I somehow found the strength to commit to doing whatever it took to make breastfeeding work for us – not always the healthiest decision for a new mum, in hindsight.

I was determined to produce enough milk for my baby, and I had lots of hope amidst the despair I used to feel in those early months. My prayers were answered, my efforts eventually paid off, and we’re still going – 2 years and counting.

So for me, it’s a gift because it’s a very precious part of my mothering; one that I had to fight for … even run against the tide of some well-meaning but unhelpful support.

It’s a gift I never knew I wanted, but one I’m so glad I have … a gift that not only gives me a way to nourish my child, but also ways to calm and comfort him, help him to sleep, and even ease his pain on occasions.

It is a gift that has definitely enriched my mothering, and my bonding with my little man.

It’s a gift I couldn’t have gotten the most of it without the compassionate support of so many … a gift that has helped build my character in ways I couldn’t have known was possible.

I’m filled with gratitude for the gift of breastfeeding; and I plan to continue breastfeeding until my little one doesn’t want it anymore.

~ What do you think about the idea of breastfeeding as a gift? ~

I enjoy reading your comments and I reply to every comment.
Check out my #AtoZ challenge from last year, and follow my #AtoZ challenge this year, by subscribing to my blog and connecting with me on my social media networks. 🙂

F for Breastfeeding Fun | 2016 #AtoZChallenge

Breastfeeding can be such fun, though it took me months to discover this. Our first latch was surreal; I’d actually and finally become a new mum, and I had to feed my this little person. Our journey, from this point onwards was physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging for many months; and in ways I could never have imagined. Continue reading

B for Breastfeeding and Baby Bottles | 2016 #AtoZChallenge

When you see baby bottles, what comes to mind? Did you immediately think of breast milk substitutes or breastfeeding?

I think of both; baby bottles are part of my breastfeeding journey, and here are some of my reflections on them.

Common sense, history, and adverts show that baby bottles acknowledge the female breasts as the baseline for feeding babies. Continue reading

A for Breastfeeding Anywhere | 2016 #AtoZChallenge

I remember my few months old baby crying his heart out on our way home, on public transport. I was lost for words and confused about what to do; because I was very conscious of those around me.

I was definitely concerned for my son’s well-being, but I vaguely remember showing more concern for the other passengers on the bus. I remember looking around anxiously, probably wondering about what they thought of me with my crying baby. My look was one of apology for their inconvenience; even guilt for the ear-piercing interruption of their quiet ride.

Babies cry: FACT! We were all babies once, and even as adults we cry for a range of reasons. I now know there is no shame in being seen with a crying baby.

However, this obvious knowledge eluded me at the time; I know I didn’t cause my baby to cry, BUT I also now know that I might have been able to stop him crying.

I tried everything but the most guaranteed method to stop his tears – breastfeeding. This could have primarily met my child where he was, and indeed maintained the quiet on the bus.

But I didn’t know!

I know, ‘silly’, isn’t it.

I didn’t know that I could breastfeed my child ANYWHERE; I did not know that I have the legal right, and indeed the freedom to breastfeed ANYWHERE. And as such, I wasn’t empowered to meet my child’s needs everywhere.

Now I know, and I do.

Breastfeeding affords me the opportunity to be a walking, always present, and available ‘eat all you can’ buffer, and much more, for my baby and now toddler.

I have since breastfed on buses, trains, at service stops, in common areas, in hospital waiting rooms, at parks, at work, on the loo, whilst walking, in a baby carrier, by the side of the road at night, during conferences etc.

Breastfeeding outside the comfort of the home can be daunting, but it is definitely doable; after all it’s legal and normal.  I found it scary before I knew it was okay to do so; even then, it took me a while to develop my confidence to breastfeeding in public.

~ What do you think about breastfeeding anywhere? ~

I enjoy reading your comments and I reply to every comment.
Check out my #AtoZ challenge from last year, and follow my #AtoZ challenge this year, by subscribing to my blog and connecting with me on my social media networks. 🙂

My April 2016 A to Z Blogging Challenge Theme Reveal

Like last year, I missed the A to Z Blogging Challenge’s Theme Reveal in March. I wasn’t sure about participating this year because I didn’t get around to finishing the challenge last year. However, I decided shortly before the link up closed early this morning, to have another go.  Continue reading

All you need to know about Broken Links

What are broken links?

Broken, dead, or rotten links are web links that no longer work.

They are web clicks that take you to internal or external links that show 404 page not found errors; meaning that the link never existed or doesn’t exist anymore.

What causes broken links?

When web addresses change without being redirected or adjusted to new relevant address, if any; or when they are incorrectly typed, link rot results.

These happens when:

  • sites shut down
  • sites change domains
    • perhaps due to a move from free to paid hosting, rebranding, or a fresh start
  • external sites are mistakenly linked as an internal sites
    • e.g. linking to hotmail.com from my blog without adding the ‘http://‘, will result in the non-existent url http://adventuresofanovicemum.co.uk/wp-admin/hotmail.com, instead of the working web address, http://www.hotmail.com
  • pages are deleted within a site for whatever reason
  • particular permalinks are changed
  • the permalink structure of sites are changed
  • web addresses are made up and entered in the url part of the comment section of sites
    • this usually happens when users who don’t own sites don’t know they don’t have to type in a url if they have none.
  • typos occur when typing in links
  • sites are offline for whatever reason
  • payment is not made for a domain or/and web hosting

What can be done about broken links?

They can be found and fixed!

To do this, search the plugin directory for your website or blog platform, for a plugin that can help to find and fix broken links, or check and individually fix them yourself through broken link checker websites.

Continue reading

My First Christmas as a Mum: What do we do for Christmas?

This is it, the last day of #12daysofparenting :-(. Today’s theme is: the first year Santa came / didn’t come / is coming. Thanks for hopping from Having a Baby and Living at Home if you did. 🙂 Massive thanks to Baby Bundle, Bambini & Me, Sand Art, Lycrawidow (Younique), Cuddledry, Fresh Photography, Gumigem, and Snooze Shade for our fab grand prize. Entries (UK Residents Only) are via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. See the 12 Days of Parenting page for terms and conditions.

Christmas growing up when others are organising and making it happen for you, is one thing; making Christmas happen for others is something else. I can’t remember thinking of Christmas beyond my experience of the season when I was young, and even through university. Then zoom to last year with my 11 month old, my first Christmas as a mum … bring on the niggling about what Christmas should be like for us. Continue reading

What I Need To Get Through Christmas

Oh my word, it’s day 11 of #12daysofparenting; can you believe that? Today’s theme is about helpful products to get through the season. Thanks for hopping from Cookies and Cwtches if you did. 🙂 Our fab giveaway includes a bubba bag from Snoozeshade; entries (UK Residents Only) are via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. See the 12 Days of Parenting page for terms and conditions.

My title should be what I WANT to get through the season; I tell you, I very much would like a number of things, but that’s another post on another day. So on to what I need to get through Christmas; not much really … I think … considering that my Christmas is a ‘non-Christmas’ anyway.

Foremost on my list is time; oh my word, I need more time. The school holiday is zooming through way too fast for my liking. Continue reading

My parenting expectations vs reality at Christmas

I can’t believe it’s day 10 of #12daysofparenting; today’s theme is about parenting expectations vs reality at Christmas time. Thanks for hopping from The Mummy Balance if you did. 🙂 Our fab giveaway includes a bubba bag from Gumigem; entries (UK Residents Only) are via the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. See the 12 Days of Parenting page for terms and conditions.

If you’ve been following my #12daysofparenting post, you’ll know that my take on the themes have not been quite as straightforward and I’ve ended up writing longer than I usually do.

Well, I’m hoping to directly engage with today’s theme about parenting expectations vs reality at Christmas and hopefully not write too long. 🙂

So, on my 2nd ‘non-Christmas’ Christmas as a mum, how does my parenting expectations compare to my parenting reality? …. sigh … hmmmmmmmm … Continue reading