Breastfeeding: My Experience

Breastfeeding Support in Basingstoke – Jan 2014

I breastfed my little one for the first 8 months of her life. I’m not one of those Breastfeeding Nazi Mum’s (at least I hope I’m not!) but I wanted to try to do what I thought was the best for my baby. She wasn’t exclusively breastfed as we had several complications. The first 9 weeks of feeding were hellish. However, without the support of the the staff at North Hants Hospital and the Basingstoke Breastfeeding Counsellors we wouldn’t have managed more than a day.

I would have liked to have gone on beyond 8 months but I was forced to return to work when my little one was 5 1/2 months old. By the time she was 8 months old I was so exhausted from having to get up at 6am to express. Nobody mentioned to me that I didn’t need to stop breastfeeding completely, that I could have carried on doing the last feed of the day.

If you are hoping to breastfeed your baby I recommend checking some of the links below in advance of giving birth. I also recommend touching base with one of the breastfeeding counsellors in the last few weeks of your pregnancy, if only so you have a face you recognise if you need to see a counsellor. The counsellors at North Hants Hospital will only allow you to visit them up to your babies 28th day. I know this because I needed an appointment and they wouldn’t make one for me because my baby would have been 29 days old.

So I went to see Rachel at the Baby clinic at Chineham Christchurch. She is lovely and incredibly knowledgable. She picked up on feeding problems that many in the medical profession had missed. I had been to see Rachel in my first few weeks of maternity leave, before my baby was born and I was so glad I had met her before “needing” her support in those first few weeks. I also saw Sarah who was at the Nest, Basingstoke Baptist Church, Brighton Hill. She was so lovely when I collapsed in a heap of tears at about week four when things were just awful.

These ladies and their colleagues do an absolutely fantastic job. I cannot thank them enough for their support during one of the most intense periods of my life. If you are finding breastfeeding a struggle I urge you to reach out to these wonderful ladies.

Another recommendation I would make is that you find out in advance who can take you to the breastfeeding clinics if your partner cannot get time off work and/or you need support after the first two weeks. You never know if you will be able to drive after giving birth (emergency caesarean’s). The Health visitors are great but they cannot come and see you every day. I wish I’d had that list of people I could have called who were able, or prepared, to take me to the clinic when I needed them too. Even a list of taxi numbers would have been a start. Those first few weeks are challenging enough!

Remember though, if you cannot or choose not to breastfeed it DOESN’T make you a bad Mum. I lost sight of this at the beginning and I wish someone had said this to me at the time. Best of luck and if you need help, PLEASE reach out.

Related Links 

“Breastfeeding Welcome” places in North Hampshire – Feb 2015

Breastfeeding Support in Basingstoke – Feb 2015

A Map of Breastfeeding support in Hampshire: http://www.breastfeedingcommunity.co.uk/interactivemap/south.htm

The Breast Feeding network – Basingstoke on Facebook is also a great resource and I wish I’d known of it beforehand.

The official Basingstoke Breastfeeding Network web page. Another great resource.

http://bfsupport.me.uk/basingstokewinchesterandover/

Several of the Children’s Centres in Basingstoke also provide breastfeeding support, e.g. Octopus and Pebbles. Click here for details on Children Centres in Basingstoke

Please also see the great comment from Fumblina below about the NCT breastfeeding support in Basingstoke. My bad for not including the NCT in the original post!

Related Pages

Pregnancy

Basingstoke Babies

UK Babies

Local Parks and Open Spaces

I stumbled across this website whilst I was researching this weeks “things to do” post. As the weather was so fabulous this weekend I was researching things to do outside and this website popped up with a list of Local Parks and Open spaces in Basingstoke.

I learnt of a few new places, such as Beggardwood Park which has a maze and ampitheatre, that I didn’t know about that I’m hoping to be able to investigate when Spring really kicks in. Hope you find useful.

Local Parks and Open Spaces

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Pushchair Friendly Walks in Basingstoke

Pushchair Friendly Walks near Basingstoke

New Photography Studio at Viables

Sarah Dutton Photography has a new studio that has just opened at Viables Craft Centre.

The studio specialises in portraits, weddings, pet portraits, product photography and more. The studio is appointment only, so please contact Sarah on sarah@sarahdutton.co.uk for further information. (Don’t forget to mention NHM when you do! ;-))

Sarah Dutton Photography also has a Facebook page with regular updates of what’s happening at the studio. For group bookings, book five shoots and the sixth is free!

The studio has mother’s day photo sessions on the 11th March. They are doing a special offers of £30 for half an hour’s shoot, with all useable photos on a disc ready for Mother’s day.

Related Posts

Family Photographers

Chatterbox Shows – Planetarium shows for chatty people!

This looks SO brilliant! I can’t wait till my little one is a little bit bigger so I can take her to one of these.

Winchester Intech Science Centre Chatterbox Shows

Mondays , 5 March, 14 May, 11 June 2pm & Monday 2 April (during Easter holidays), time tbc.
They say:

“It’s natural for younger children or those with special needs to want to call out when they come into the planetarium. They like to share the experience, ask questions or just call out with surprise and amazement.

We normally ask visitors to watch quietly so that everyone can enjoy the show without distraction. But here is a show with a difference:

All the stars with no shushhing!

Come along to a Chatterbox Monday show and we promise not to shhhh you up*! It could get a little noisy but it should be great fun for the chatty ones. Shows are charged at our normal rate.

We’re currently running “Secret of the Cardboard Rocket” (30min) in this slot as it is the most child-friendly of our shows and the least likely to scare or overwhelm younger children. However, please do be aware that some children under 5yrs don’t enjoy planetarium shows, especially those scared by the dark.

If you’d be interesting in seeing other shows in this slot, please let us know!”

Games to play with your baby or toddler

Are you looking for ideas for games to play with your baby or toddler?

The following link, from cow and gate, shows a play time planner which allows you to input the time you have available, whether you want to play indoors or outdoors and the age of your child. You hit return and at the bottom of the screen are a list of relevant games to play with your child:

http://letstoddle.com/my_toddler/playtime-planner

BabyCentre also have some great ideas for games to play with your little one. If you have signed up for the weekly email from BabyCentre it will include the games that are relevant for your toddler or baby’s age. If you haven’t signed up, you can find the list of games at the links below:

Baby: http://www.babycentre.co.uk/baby/development/letsplay/?intcmp=tnav_baby_play

Toddler: http://www.babycentre.co.uk/toddler/development/stimulating/letsplay/

Do you know of any other websites that have a great list of games to play with your little one? Please add to the comments section or on the Facebook page. Thanks!

Relevant Posts

To Tickle or Not to Tickle

Treasure Baskets for babies

Why babies love mirrors

Play Dough Recipes

Musical Shakers

Valentine’s Day Inspiration

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’ve included a couple of links below that could help if you are stuck for valentines ideas or activities:

Tasty Valentines gifts on a budget

Setting a table for two for valentines day

Free Printable Valentines Cards Robot Hearts

How kids can create a love heart necklace

6 affordable valentines gifts that aren’t boring

Pinterest finds Valentines ideas

 

Childcare Vouchers

If you know that you will have to return to work after Maternity Leave, you will need to use a nursery or childminder, and your employer offers the vouchers, register for Childcare vouchers with your employer AS SOON as your baby is born.

Your Employer will pay the Childcare vouchers whilst you are on Maternity Leave. Don’t wait until you return to work because you could miss out on an awful lot of money. If you register for childcare vouchers as soon as your child is born, and request the full amount (£243 a month), you could rack up £2187 in vouchers for the 9 months you are on maternity leave, or £2916 for the full year.

Even if you plan on handing your notice in at the end of your maternity leave, you should still register for the vouchers as I think they are valid for up to 18 months after you leave your employment. If you find a childminder that takes childcare vouchers you will be able to use the vouchers as and when you need childcare for the following 18 months. Handy if you need an afternoon or a day off occasionally as you won’t have to pay for the childcare!

If your employer doesn’t offer childcare vouchers there is some guidance from the HMRC website about this:  http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/calcs/ccin.htm. This link also includes a link to a PDF with details about what childcare vouchers are.

Obviously, I’m not an expert on these things and you will need to double check with your employer as I am only basing this on my experience. It’s definitely something worth investigating though.

Weaning Ideas

These are some tips that I’ve picked up from other Mum’s with regards to things you might need whilst weaning your little one:

  • A high chair – If you don’t want to spend a fortune, Ikea do some really cheap but perfectly practical high chairs. However, I recently found the following article about them…Ikea Highchairs
  • At least three soft-tipped plastic spoons
  • At least three plastic bowls
  • Lots of large, wipe-clean or washable bibs (sleeved coverall bibs are great for when your baby starts feeding themslves and make sure they have patterns on. If they are white, it may look like you haven’t washed them properly!)
  • A food processor or hand-held blender to quickly whizz up purees
  • Ice cube trays or small lidded plastic pots for freezing individual portions. See the related post below about the Lakeland Oxo tot range. It’s expensive but I found it much better than the Annabel Karmel equivalents.
  • Wipes or cloths – E-cloths are expensive but are great as you only need water and don’t have to fork out on cleaning sprays too. They last for at least 300 washes.
  • A splash mat or groundsheet can be useful for protecting the floor
  • Little pots if you want to freeze single portions. Apparently PoundLand sell the Tommee Tippee pots x 3 for £1.
  • I highly recommend Annabel Karmel’s mini ice lolly set. You can fill the moulds with fruit or even savoury mush and then freeze it. When your little one is teething they might find it easier to use the lolly’s.
  • Visit your local Farm shop to see what organic produce they have available.
  • Check out Able and Cole or Riverford for their box delivery schemes in the area. Able and Cole do a Baby and Toddler box with appropriate fruit and veg.

Do you have any other hints or tips that you would like to share? Please add a comment below. Thanks!

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Top Tip 16: Oxo Tot Ice cube trays for weaning

GPW: KiddieCubes

What is Baby Led Weaning?

Top Tip 12: Weaning Food (Frozen Fruit in Porridge)

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