An IBCLC’s guide to getting started with breastfeeding.

The gorgeous Lucy from Momma Mack

If you’re a new parent you quite likely have questions. Many questions, like “Will I ever sleep again?” and “Why do newborn babies have to breathe like that?!” I can’t answer those, but I AM here to talk about some of those newborn breastfeeding worries that tend to bombard you in the first week or so…

“Will my boobs ever stop looking like beachballs filled with rocks?”

Ah, engorgement. Nothing quite prepares you for the agony of a breast filled with ALL THE MILK, does it? Firstly, yes, they will shrink fairly soon, and eventually they’ll be back to nearly their old shape and size. In the meantime, here are some top tips for dealing with rock hard breasts…

  1. Feed the baby! Nature has given you the best breast pump in the world in the shape of your baby – get them latched on, with help from a midwife or breastfeeding supporter if needed, and feel that relief! Studies have shown that the best way to avoid uncomfortable engorgement is to feed your baby early, often, and effectively.
  2. If baby can’t latch because you are very full, you may need to soften the areola a little bit to help them on. Reverse pressure softening can really help to push all that milk and fluid back to make latching less of a challenge for your baby.
  3. If you develop a fever, a hot red area, feel unwell, or have a lump in your breast that doesn’t go with a feed then seek support – you may have mastitis, and that needs to be looked at by someone qualified such as a midwife or doctor.

“Surely he can’t be hungry AGAIN?”

Are his eyes open? Is he stirring? Did you just put him in a cot or crib? Then yep, he probably wants to feed again – sorry. Newborn babies feed anywhere from 8 – 12 times a day. How do we know this is ok and safe? We look for signs of good feeding. These are:

  1. Baby is weeing and pooing. We want at least one wet nappy per day of life until your milk comes in, and then we want 6 heavy wet nappies per 24 hours. We also want to see meconium moving through brown and then to yellow seedy stools as your milk production increases. Babies should poo an absolute minimum of 2x per 24 hours. It is a myth that breastfed babies don’t poo daily in the first 6 weeks.
  2. Baby is well on the way to regaining birth weight by two weeks old.
  3. Breastfeeding is comfortable for mum, and your nipple comes out of baby’s mouth rounded, not blanched, slanted or pinched.

If all of the above apply to you then try to go with the frequent feeds – it helps your body to make more milk, comforts your baby, and may even be protective against sudden infant death syndrome.  If however, even one of the above points isn’t true for you, or you just feel worried, then SEEK SUPPORT. You may need some help to get baby attached well to the breast, and it’s possible that just because one or two, or even five people have already helped you, that you still need someone different to show you what to do. Not everyone you come across will have the skills or time to offer good breastfeeding support. If something isn’t right, keep looking! You can attend a local support group or baby café, call a national helpline, or hire a private IBCLC (the highest breastfeeding qualification it’s possible to have) or even a postnatal doula to support you. Never suffer alone, and never put up with being told breastfeeding is just difficult. The first couple of weeks are messy, blurry, and often tearful. It DOES get better. You just need to find someone who knows their stuff.

Flower Themed Baby Girls Names

There is something so pretty about a little girl who is named after a flower. This category of names offers the perfect mixture of traditional and unique, with even the most unique name sounding very familiar and not to ‘out there’. Its easy to see why they are often so popular with flowers often seen as a symbol of love, beauty, peace and friendship.

It could be your favourite flower, a flower your husband bought you when you first met or linked to a special memory. One of our first dates was a picnic at a local national trust property and we were surrounded by bluebells, it was absolutely beautiful and now every time I see or think about Bluebells, I think back to that day.

Perhaps you have a favourite flower which links back to a special time or place? My husband sent a massive bouquet of flowers to be delivered to my house after our first date, filled with beautiful peonies and Lilies. He still buys a bouquet of flowers every Valentine’s day and my Birthday and often picks up a cheeky bunch when he goes shopping. He usually buys a bunch with Lilies in, as he knows there one of my favourites. I had the name Peony on my short list and one of our favourite middle names during our second pregnancy was the welsh version of Lilly which is ‘Lili’, but baby two was a baby boy!

Or maybe you have a link to the flower’s native country of origin? I had the name Dahlia on my baby name list as we honeymooned in Mexico and it is actually the national flower for Mexico.

Lily

Lily is ranked 10th in England & Wales.

Probably the first flower name that comes to most people’s mind, a very pretty flower and name. Derived from the English word for the flower which is documented meaning ‘pure’, ‘passion’ and ‘rebirth’, very fitting for a newborn with a lovely girly sound.

Traditionally associated with death and funerals, seen as a symbol that the soul has departed from the body and given to restore innocence and purity, the flower is a symbol of innocence, purity and beauty.

Other forms include Lilith, Lilia, Liliana and the welsh versions Lili and Lilliwen

Peony

Peony is ranked 2925th in England & Wales.

The name Peony is of latin origin and means ‘healing’. Such a pretty, striking flower and currently gaining popularity on Instagram. I think this would make such a sweet name for a little girl. The flowers are native to Asia, Europe and Weston North America. Popular in China and Japanese culture and known as ‘flower of riches and honour’.

Dalhia

Dalhia is ranked 968th in England & Wales.

Dalhia is native to Mexico and is the national flower of the country. The meaning of the name Dalhlia is ‘valley’ and has sweedish and Scandinavian roots. It’s unusual and quirky, yet delicate and pretty sounding. Just talking about it makes me want another little girl.

Bluebell

Bluebell is ranked 836th in England & Wales.

Bluebells is a girl’s name of English origin. Bluebells flower from mid-april to late May proving scenes of deep blue and vast carpet like coverings of beautiful and striking flowers. Perfect for a baby born in spring time.

Such a cute name and could be sorted to ‘Blue’, ‘Bell’ or even ‘Bella’. Bluebell is also the name of Spice Girl Geri Haliwells daughter.

Daffodil

Daffodil currently does not rank in England & Wales

These flowers are one of the signs that spring has sprung and the British summer is finally on its way, again perfect for a spring baby. The Daffodil is the national flower of Wales, so perfect for a baby with welsh heritage.

I think this such a sweet name and cannot believe it does not rank. My little girls nickname is ‘Dill’ or ‘Dilly’ and I always think it sounds so cute, but I am very bias.

Ivy

Ivy is ranked 25th in England & Wales.

Not quite a flower, but I felt it fit this category nonetheless. A vintage chic sounding botanical name taken directly from the plant, which is a symbol of ‘faithfulness’. It’s easy to see how this name is amidst a well-deserved revival and ranks 25th in the top 100 baby names. Not quite as unique as the others but equally as pretty.

Primrose

Primrose ranked 220th in England & Wales.

Another name taken from the flower, in Latin meaning ‘first rose’. Made popular by ‘The Hunger Games’ and growing in popularity. A pretty name, with very cool nicknames including ‘Prim’ or ‘Rose’. I’m a fan of names with lots of variants, maybe she’ll be quirky and suit the name Prim or Primmy or maybe she’ll be prettier and more feminine and suit being called Rose for short.

Timespring Review

We have apps for everything right? Apps for social media, apps for reminders, apps for games. However, we don’t seem to ever have apps for documenting the ordinary moments. The things that don’t warrant being published to Facebook but that mean something to us.

TimeSpring is a totally unique concept that takes sharing family moments to the next level.

Not only can you set up profiles for parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, friends etc and ping them updates but you can create profiles for your children. TimeSpring has time-released messaging that allows you to create updates now and send them whenever suits you. You could start scheduling messages now for your child to receive on their eighteenth birthday!

Having an app accessible on your mobile phone allows you to post the here and now, moments that could otherwise be forgotten. You can document the newborn noises, babies, first foods and the first pitter-patter of tiny feet.

Their mission is to bridge the gap between young and old, parent and child, and the way we capture our lives and how we decide to share it.

As a Dad, you don’t really get included in the whole baby book thing, and to be honest it isn’t for me. I couldn’t imagine sitting and writing. Life is too busy! I was really excited when my wife told me about TimeSpring as it just made total sense. An app where I could document the kids. Perfect. Having four children, its hard to document everything, but having it on my phone means that I can update is as the kids do things! I love that each of the kids has their own profile and one day they’ll be able to access all of the information themselves because of the time-released messaging!

– Richard, Father of Four

I’m a military wife so that means my partner and I both live far away from our family. It’s hard all around as for both sides, our kids are the only grandchildren they have at the moment. Obviously, our family want constant updates on the kids in between visits and that can be hard work. There’s already a lot of admin involved in having two children without having to remember to update everyone! TimeSpring has made it SO EASY. It allows me to create one message and send it to everyone. I don’t have to worry about switching from text to Whatsapp to Facebook Messenger to update different people on their platform of choice.  There is an element of exclusivity with us all having our own app to communicate about the kids. It feels special.

– Nicola, Mum of Two

I have an 18-month-old AND I’m expecting baby number two. Chasing around a toddler leaves little time for baby books and having time to sit and documenting all things “bump”. I was on the hunt for an ‘on the go’ solution and came across TimeSpring and I am in love. What makes it extra special is its time released messaging which means that one day all of my “bumpdates” can be delivered to ‘the bump’ herself! How special is that? One day, she’ll have me telling her exactly how I am feeling, at the exact moment I’m feeling it. How magic!

– Charlotte, Mum of One & One on the Way

Being a busy Mum, my memory can be pretty useless. We’ll blame it on ‘Baby Brain, ‘ shall we? So I absolutely LOVE TimeSprings time released meesaging to send myself reminders on a day to day basis. Not things that warrant being on my to list, but things that should be part of my daily routine that get neglected such as drink water, take vitamins etc. Its a game changer!

– Georgina, Mum of Two

*This is a sponsored post. All reviews are our own very honest opinion. TimeSpring is a fantastic app!

Baby Products You Don’t Need?

Baby products! No matter how many babies you’ve had they can still seem like a little bit of a minefield. Which ones are a waste of money and which are the next best thing? It’s all very subjective and each baby is different but our bloggers share the baby products they thought were the biggest waste of money! You can always keep your eyes peeled for freebies and bargains though to save a little! 


Nappy bin with cartridges can’t remember it’s name but used it for a day before I realised putting nappies in bags and in bin outside was easier than the thing that kept going wrong and looked hideous!
– Jen Mellor, Just Average Jen

Moses Basket, though I feel like they’re almost a rite of passage, but my little boy literally slept in it a handful of times. Should have bought our Sleepyhead sooner and stuck him in their on the sofa! 
– Rachel, The Illustrated Teacup

A huge plastic baby bath. It seemed like a good idea at the time!!! Just ended up being used as a storage bucket. Second time around we bought a baby bath seat instead which was much more effective!! 
– Lucy, Real Mum Review

A top and tail washing bucket thingy to go with the baby bath! Never used it!
– Victoria, Lylia Rose 

A heart beat blanket… did nothing for a clingy baby! There’s no fooling babies!
– Sophie, Mama Mei

A cot mobile. My little one spent more time trying to fight sleep to watch it than actually fall to sleep. And on the odd occasion that he did fall asleep to it, his eyes would ping back open the minute it stopped! 
– Nadine, Then I Became Mum

A bottle warmer, I never used it once! Hot water in a jug was much better! 
– Kerry, Blissful Domestication

We had a baby swing and Amy sat in it once. She didn’t like it at all and I’m still glad it was a hand-me-down and not something I spent my hard-earned cash on.
– Carolin, Mummy Alarm

Door bouncer. Annoying to get my daughter into and she’s bored after 5 minutes 
– Lyndsay, My Family of Roses

Most of the toys I bought! All they want to play with is kitchen rolls tubes, yogurt pots, sanitary towels and the TV remote. Could have saved myself hundreds! 
– Georgina, Gee Gardner

A Bumbo – It looked great, but my son hated it then by the time he would have liked it he was too big to fit in it!
– Renee, Close Enough to Kiss

A changing table, I could hardly stand after giving birth and I really struggled so I used to change Alyssia on the floor as it was easier for me. 
– Zoe, Mummy & Liss

Which product did you end up finding you didn’t need?

Hospital Bag Essentials

A really nice dressing gown! This was my saviour. I’d had a c-section so I really struggled with my pyjama waistband as it couldn’t rub my scar but to pull them up over the scar was really sore on my belly as it was quite tender after my operation due to all the pulling and tugging of the muscles. A dressing gown was lovely as it meant I could tie it up around my rib cage. I had a nice light one which I was glad of as the wards in hospitals are boiling due to needing to keep the newborns all toastie. They’re also fab if you choose to breastfeed. 

– Georgina Clarke, Georgina Clarke Blog

A handheld fan that sprays water at you!! Godsend! Or a flannel so you can dampen it and pop it on your forehead. 

– Jenna, Then There Were Three

Snacks!!! You don’t know how long you’ll be in for and you’ll need energy! 

– Lianne, Mrs Mummy Harris

High waisted pants – if you have a C section there’s nothing worse than anything running on your scar!

– Katie, My Family Fever

Moist toilet tissues! They helped me with the stitches made it slightly more comfortable than the dry stuff!

– Chelsey, Cece Lauren

Countless pairs of cheap black knickers. There’s a lot of blood, you’re going to need them…and probably bin them after!! 

– Laura, Five Little Doves

Lipbalm. Essential if puffing on gas and air. 

– Helen, All The Beautiful Things

An extra long charging cable for your phone, especially if you have a long labour or need to stay in longer. Standard size ones don’t often reach to the bed!

– Jodie, Maidenhead Mum

A big baggy nightie for afterwards – comfort at its best.

– Jade, The Newly Weds Site

Lucozade sport!!!! I went through so many. I got really thirsty and they also gave me something else to do & think about other than labour! 

– Rachael, From Rachael Claire

Something to read! I was having a home birth and ended up with an emergency section so totally wasn’t fully prepared to be in hospital for 2 days. Once hubby had to leave I was pretty bored just stuck in bed for so long a book would have been Awesome! 

– Chantele, Two Hearts One Roof

Sweets!! Either for labour or the middle of that first night when the euphoria starts to wear off and you’re exhausted! Nothing tasted as good as the share size bag of giant chocolate buttons I demolished at 3am that first night mid feed!!

– Hayley, Devon Mama

Lotion. My hands get so dry every time I wash them, and there is a lot of hand washing in a hospital! Also, my husband has never been so willing to give me a foot rub as after I’d just given birth to our child, and lotion makes that feel better too!
– Nicole, Nicole Roder

Your own pillow! Makes the world of difference. It not only smells of home but makes those awful plastic beds feel more bearable to sleep on.

– Beth, Twinderelmo 

Headphones – I spent ages just sitting listening to relaxing music during the early stages.

– Maria, Happy Mummy

Slippers, but ones that are easy to slip on without needing to bend down. The hospital floors can feel a bit rough and I hate walking around barefoot.

– Jo, Miracle Max

A black towel. There is a lot of blood after giving birth! 

– Clare, My Money Cottage

Straws! It’s a lot easier to swap between the gas + air mouth piece to a straw to drink your Lucozade in! 

– Jessica, That Mummy Blog 

Loads of menstrual pads. For all the lochia, and for using over the c section incision to protect it from bumps (if you’ve had one). 

– Nyomi, Nomipalony

Empty carrier bags to put dirty clothes in! I didn’t pack them the first time and it wasn’t fun stuffing poo and amniotic fluid covered clothes into the side pockets of my hospital bag I can tell you!
– Georgina, Gee Gardner

Arnica tablets for me! I took them within 30 mins of giving birth both times and although I was tired, I never had that ‘hit by a bus’ feeling everyone told me about and I never ached or felt too bruised either! I swear they helped my recovery
– Kerry, Lived With Love 

Not important tbh but I was so thankful for having some; Chewing Gum. I was in labour for over a day and because I had an epidural I couldn’t get up for at least 6 or so hours after giving birth. I was desperate to brush my teeth so I was grateful I had some! 
– Sarah, Just Buttons Blog 


* This is a sponsored post & contains affiliate links. 

12 Things to Know About Life After Baby

Preparing to be a new mum is a mixture of excitement and nervousness. With so much needed to prepare for your new bundle of joy it can be overwhelming. People start giving advice before the baby’s even been born- do this, don’t do that. It all becomes a bit confusing. With this in mind I have written a list of things I wished I’d been told before I had Lily. I’m sure there’s loads more things it would have been good to know, but these are the main ones. I’d love to hear other mum’s words of wisdom in the comments!

OK let’s start off by talking about labour:

1. After the birth, your down below will feel like it’s swollen up to the size of a house and you will walk like you’ve had an accident in your massive pants for a good few days. You will be petrified to do a number two, but it’s OK all your insides won’t fall out when you do one I promise. Prunes are your friend.
 2. You will not care how you look down below during labour, and whilst we’re on the subject of down below you also won’t care if you’re one of the 1 in 3 women who poo either! You just do what you have to in order to get that baby out! I was booked in to have a wax on the Monday… Lily came the Thursday BEFORE. As I was having contractions I was in the shower trying to bend my massive body over so that I could tidy things up a bit before heading the hospital (NOT very possible when you are 38 weeks pregnant!). Yes I know it’s ridiculous. I also straightened my hair before heading off. I know… My point is: your hair will become a sweaty mess; you will poo/bleed everywhere and your midwife will see it all so she really doesn’t care if you are nice and tidy down there or not; make up- you’ve got to be kidding me.
3. You have to wear MASSIVE sanitary towels after the birth. I’m not talking Always Extra Heavy, they won’t do the trick. I’m talking 3 inch thick beasts. Ask the hospital if they have some they can give you, they were the best ones I found! Pack a LOT in your hospital bag (you can get some from Boots) in case the hospital doesn’t have many spare as you will go through them. It’s important to keep the area nice and clean to prevent infection so change them often. I used a hairdryer to dry myself down there after a shower to avoid putting a rough towel on a sensitive and sore area, making sure it was properly dry!
4. This may sound obvious to some but it’s something I hadn’t thought about: You still have a bump after the baby has been born. Your insides all take a while to settle down after you’ve given birth, and your tummy keeps it’s bump for a little while after. It sort of reminded me of a squishy deflated balloon. You will need your maternity clothes for a few more weeks! Joe and I drove to a local midwife led unit after we had Lily to stay for the night whilst I recovered. As I hobbled out the car and sat down at the reception waiting for Joe to park and walk over with Lily, an elderly man said to me “Don’t worry dear, that baby will be out soon and you’ll have a beautiful son or daughter.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him actually I’d already given birth, and instead just smiled and scuttled off when Joe and Lily found me.

Once you’re home with the baby:

5. The journey home from the hospital you will feel so nervous in the car. You will feel like you are transporting an unexploded bomb and every bump you go over you will look at the baby to make sure they’re OK. You will sit in the back and stare at this baby that you’ve just given birth to and want to protect it with every fibre of your being.
6. You can never have enough muslin cloths! Or baby grows, or clothes in general, or bed sheets! You think you have a lot but once those poosplosions start happening you will go through more washing liquid than you thought possible! And it’s not just the baby’s clothes, your clothes will get covered in poo, wee, sick and milk. Wherever you’re going with your baby you will need a change of clothes for them and you! You can never have enough nursing bras either.
7. You WILL survive on no sleep. You may be a walking zombie, you may be grouchy and snappy but you will get through it. If you’re breastfeeding it may be quite a while before you get to sleep through the night again. Breastfed babies are known to be worse sleepers as they have to work harder for their milk and often this tires them out so are less full and tend to graze. But I promise eventually you will establish a routine and your baby will start to sleep better (usually!). Read my tips on how to cope with sleep deprivation here.
8. Sunshine gets poo stains out. Hang the poo stained babygrow on the line or in the window if it’s cold and the sun will do the trick! (That and a bit of vanish soap if it’s being extra stubborn or it’s a bit dried on!) Also, baby vests are designed so that they can be wriggled down over the shoulders downwards, rather than having to lift a poo covered vest over the baby’s head.
And what about you:
9. Breastfeeding is a struggle for most women. You can read more about my struggle here. Usually, women can get through it and go on to have a much smoother ride, but it took me about a month to get there. Look up how to get the latch right, what positions you can try holding the baby in. Invest in nipple cream, nipple shields, an electric breast pump, lots of breast pads, and a cabbage. OK let me explain that last one: Cabbage has something in it that when put on an engorged breast can help to relieve it. Bonus tip: put it in the fridge first and the coolness is amazing!
10. You and your partner will go through a rocky patch. You will snap at each other, you will bicker. You may even question whether having a baby together was the right thing to do. You may resent him for getting more sleep than you and being able to shower and get himself ready without having to worry about leaking boobs and organising a tiny baby. He may feel rejected, useless, redundant and maybe even jealous. You will be OK and get back on track once things settle down.
11. You will worry about your child and become that paranoid overprotective parent you swore you wouldn’t be. What weight the baby is, what their poo looks like, just try not to google – it can scare you more! And yes you will struggle to sleep because you’re constantly checking that they’re still breathing! It can feel overwhelming at times, I was told by the midwife I had postpartum anxiety- But I haven’t met a mum who hasn’t worried like I have, and still do! Eventually, it becomes more controllable.
12. Your life will change unrecognisably. You think you’ll leave it a few weeks and then go on a date night. You think you’ll be happy leaving the baby with your second cousin twice removed whilst you go to get your hair done – think again, in fact, the list of people you trust to look after your child will be teeny tiny. Think you can go back to having a glass of wine at the weekend once they baby’s born? Not if you’re breastfeeding you won’t. I was alcohol-free for over 2 years in the end. It’s safe to say I am even more of a lightweight than I was before now!
BUT your life will change in the BEST way as well. That baby will become your world and you will feel so much love and happiness. You actually don’t care about that other stuff anymore. Eventually, you will be able to do a few more bits like going out with the girls or going to get your nails done, and it is fantastic if you can get some time to yourself at some point, but you may not feel ready for quite a while, don’t feel pressured.

So those are the things I wish people would have told me before having a baby, any other things people wish they’d been told let me know in the comments!

To learn more about Bethany and her family, please take a look at her blog: Click Here.
To read more of Bethany’s posts at We Made a Baby: Click Here.
 
 
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