Breastfeeding, tongue tie and Nursing Aversion

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We are often led to believe breastfeeding is easy. Its the best for baby and most natural thing they can have. However we are told very little before hand and given very little support afterwards.

Breastfeeding is hard and can come with many problems that have you reaching for a bottle.

Our journey started well with a little support latching him on which was handy seen as I had a million things attached to my arms and hand post birth. Baby fed for an hour then every 3-4 hours after that! The first week went well but then my issues started.

Whenever baby fed it tickled to the point I had to often stop feeds for a few minutes and after 2 weeks baby was on 1 bottle of expressed milk in the night to give me a break.

The problems worsened as I would alternate with toe curling pain, hand clenching tickling and constant cluster feeding. Asking my midwife for help I saw a feeding counsellor who helped me achieve a pain and tickle free feed!!

The worse feeling was the agitation and how strongly I felt that nursing was almost unnatural! I came across D-MER but this was the feeling at let down (that tingly sensation when your breasts tighten) and mine was during the whole feed!

After that I came across nursing aversion thinking this was my issue and I would have to put up with it. My midwife had already ruled out tongue tie and I was at the end of my teather. I hated breastfeeding and dreaded baby needing feeding which led to me refusing to cluster feed by placating baby with a soother or handing to someone who didn’t smell of milk. Sometimes this worked as baby wanted to sleep and not eat for hunger but often it didn’t.

Once each feed was over the feeling left me and although I dreaded each feed that was more the fear of not knowing if it would hurt or tickle. Each time I would be left with a crease down my nipple and it would look flattened and often purple. I would also have stinging pain especially if I put my top back over them.

Endless posts on facebook came back to same thing check for tongue tie! So I asked my midwife to refer us to be doubly sure. At least point baby was 5 weeks old and we were due to be discharged at 6 weeks at which point it would have been much harder to seek referral.

The shape and colour of my nipple during feeding was contributed to nipple blanching  and the pain vasospasm.

At this point I had my 6 week check with my GP and she decided it must be thrush affecting us despite the baby showing no signs.

Finally our appointment came at 7 weeks of  pain, agitation, frustration, tears, and overwhelming urge to quit because it was simple too much. They confirmed he had tongue tie and it was cut right then and there. They laid him in a blanket and swaddle him which made him super angry. He’s a strong baby  though and got his hand free!

The snip was so fast we didn’t realise it had been done and I gave baby a feed straight after. It felt so weird, different but better.

He fed almost non stop for 24 hours to help himself heal, relieve his pain and practise his new skills. However pain started to creep in for me and it was worse than before. For about a week I was in the most pain I’d been our entire journey and I could have cried thinking why did we snip his tongue for nothing!

I reasoned he’d had an extra week he may not have got if we hadn’t tried. But as every stubborn woman will tell you quitting just isn’t an option. So we kept going. I finally started having the odd pain free feeds only for few minutes but it happened.

We are now at 3 months breastfeeding (bronze boobies) and every feed is great. We are pain free, mastered lie down feeding and hes had no bottles for nearly a week now! The nipple blanching still happens but without the pain. This is due to approx 11 weeks of trauma as the last week is the first time it’s been completely painless.

Never be afraid to seek support and help wherever you can access it.

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You know you’ve multiple kids when …

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• 6am wake up is a cause for celebration

• You turn up early to the next thing rather than go home and take kids out the car because by time you’ve done that it’s time to put them back in

  • Despite acting like a nodding dog all evening you make yourself stay up just long enough to convince yourself you have me time
  • Suspicious stains on your clothes are shrugged off as might be poo it might not be
  • New clothes become old clothes after one wear
  • The house is NEVER quiet and if it is they are either asleep when not meant to be, causing trouble or you passed out!
  • As soon as one is being good and quiet another starts!
  • Looking at someone is cause for a fight……. as is existing
  • You learn to let some things (ok everything) go because no one actually listens
  • There is less space anywhere especially sitting space
  • Bum and poo is mentioned every other sentence
  • There is more fun and laughter
  • There are more hugs

 

Brothers

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Sometimes brothers are great…. L reading to R even though L can’t read yet.

Sometimes there is love…

……..Hugs…….

…….. and fun!

Sometimes they unite and look darn cute doing it.

Sometimes there’s a bit of rivalry (look at me R… NOooo look at ME!!!)

But at end of the day we like to be apart because we all hate each other, we don’t want to share and the only nice brother we have is a baby.

How deceptive are pictures. My day with a 9 year old, 4 year old and nearly 10 week old consists of moods from the pre teen, screams from the preschooler and the odd moan from the baby because he got woken up again.

Daylight is reserved for noise and nighttime is reserved for tiredly staring at the TV.

Late nights just to get some peace and early mornings because weekends are same as any other days.

The oddest part I keep adding kids … voluntarily and I don’t even drink!!

DIY Breastfeeding Vest

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I am a Cub Leader (Cub Scouts) and wear a shirt weekly.

My youngest attends (10 weeks) and feeding in a shirt revels a little too much so i set about making my own feeding vest to go underneath

You will need 2 vests of same style, elastic, tape measure, scissors, pins and sewing machine.

First determine where the top section reaches under your bust. Mark with pins ensuring the vest is flat and smooth. You need to add 2 inches below that point then cut it. Set aside.

Measure the cut off piece to determine how much vest you just removed. Mine was 10.5 inches.

Add on 4 inches and measuring from hem off your second vest cut along. You will now have a top of a vest and the bottom separate. Don’t mix them up with discarded sections.

On both sections fold under 0.5 inch then another 0.5 so the raw cut edge is encased and pin in place.

Using a zigzag stitch you will be sewing on elastic to the front section of each part. You will be securing the hem and elastic at same time. I cut my elastic 3 inches shorter than width of top. You will need to pull gently as you sew. Don’t pull too much as you only want a gentle puckering.

On your back section repeat but continue the zig zag stitch without elastic around the back section, or you could use a long straight stitch to secure.

Place lower section inside upper and over lap at side seams by at least 1-2 inches. Pin and sew along existing seam to secure.

Work your way around the back (unelasticated section) and overlap by same amount you overlapped sides. Pin then zigzag stitch in place.

Your vest is now done and unlike a lot of feeding vest for under clothes you don’t have to reveal too much.

Easy access with minimal exposure.

Sewing the back down creates a smoother finish.

The extra 4 inches added to lower section ensures post partum tum says under wraps.

This was my first go and would like to make one from scratch in future. This project cost me approx. £5.50.

Places we go- for free

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Mere Sands Woods

We go here about 2-3 times a month. This is a small nature reserve consisting of woods surrounding a huge lake. There are about 3 routes to take with bird hides along the way to view the lake and its wildlife. Kids love the hides and its great for walking dogs aswell. There is wheelchair routes meaning prams can go aswell. On site is a shop where you can buy chocolate , drinks and gifts as well as the use of a toilet.

Parking charges do apply not making it free but you aren’t obliged to park and could park locally and walk up.

Ainsdale/Formby Pine Woods and Beach

Formby Pine woods does require an entry fee of around £5 however you can park locally for free and walk up or park at Ainsdale and enter at a different area. The pine woods are trees, paths and sand dunes that cover a huge area. They end up on Formby Beach which connects to various beaches sweeping the coastline. In summer ice cream vans park up and if you can find it in the maze of trees there is a play area.

 

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

Once upon a time we lived a street away now we have to travel to get there. This building isn’t overly exciting for children but it is beautiful. The grounds slope down almost into a valley the perfect place to play and explore. Inside the cathedral is huge ceilings, gorgeous windows and various prayer rooms. The cathedral provides a trial for children to follow. There is a shop and cafe also with full disabled access. During half terms there is usually activities on for children including messy church.

Fairy Glen, Parbold

This place is amazing we didn’t walk the entire route as arrived a little late in the day. This place is hard to describe and not suitable for prams so take your sling. There are step stairways, ground level bridges to clear mini bogs, big bridge, fallen trees and amazing water ways deep in crevices. It is located at the top of Parbold hill and you can park opposite the entrance in a lay by. It’s breath-taking.

Liverpool City Centre

Liverpool is fantastic for kids and so many free things to do! Within the city centre you have the world museum, maritime museum and the world museum. The art gallery has a children’s area also. There is fun shops to visit too, the Disney store, Lego store where you can play and build a bear workshop!

 

Atkinson Centre 

The Atkinson houses the towns library with a large dedicated ares for children complete with a pirate ship and various groups held through the week.

Upstairs is the museum and art gallery. The museum is all about local history and includes computer to send old postcards of Southport, dress up area and a meccano display. You can follow a trial to find things along the way.

The gallery contains a children’s art area and recently held a Star Wars Toy display (pictured above)

Botanic Gardens, Churchtown

This is a local park originated from the Victorian era. There are birds to see which includes a peacock, rabbits and guinea pigs. You can walk round and feed the ducks, visit the play area, play mini golf or go to the cafe. You can also visit the shop there, buy plants and look inside the fernery. Every Christmas the fernery is transformed into a fairy wonderland and if you’re lucky Santa pays a visit too.

Throughout the year there is various things on including Victorian fairs, craft fairs and spooky Halloween activities. Through the summer the local brass bands come to play with chairs being set out and the ice cream hut opened,

Tarleton Boatyard and Canal

I grew up in Tarleton and we always visited the boatyard and walked along the canal. Further up is permanent boat moorings and a bridge to cross over and you can see the River Douglas. Keep walking and you end up in the next village. Great for taking a nice picnic but remember if you drive there you have to walk back.

Our Allotment

Last but not least we visit our allotment where we dig, weed, rest, plant and grow. We have a small pond which house 4 frogs, a lovely plum tree and raspberry canes to snack from.

From 1 to 2, 2 to 4

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Going from 1 to 2 kids was hard!! I would say harder than going from none to 1. With one you have all the time to rest, you only have yourself to feed and no urgency to getting dressed most days.

Suddenly with 2 you have a school run to perform EVERY day and even when you’re not doing that the little darling enjoys his early mornings.

When you no longer have one in a pram its like playing that game where you have to hit the lights and they are always opposite ends of the board! Mix in sleep deprivation and its like a mini workout daily.

Going from 2 to 4 kids was in some ways easy. I got this, I’m not worried if you don’t sleep or eat. I have learnt patience and I know this won’t last forever. Even the fact we’re officially outnumbered is fine. We got this.

But going on to have 4 children knowing my 3rd isn’t with us has made this a unique experience.

I worry more about death, I worry more about the speed in which time passes and I feel guilt at wanting some time to myself like I can’t miss a single moment.

Best bit my partner is no longer phased when I say one more?