The lovely people at Emma Jane
have been kind enough to send mammasaver their latest budget busting maternity and nursing bra to review; the £10-a-go 361 maternity/nursing bra.
You might recall from an earlier post that little lad has started to self-wean,
and we're now down to just one feed a day.
In light of this, I draughted in my lovely friend Kate, who is nursing her 7 month- old daughter, to give it a proper test. The results are as follows:
Good value - £10 for one bra is cheaper than many alternatives out there.
Good for transitioning between maternity and nursing.
Washes well - it doesn't seem to loose too much support.
Breast pads don't stay on easily once you're finished feeding.
Washing instructions wash off after one wash, so take note of them before you put the bra into your washing machine
Although it offers good support, it does not have as much support as a traditional nursing bra styles.
Overall, Kate gave the Emma Jane 361 a 4/5 for maternity bra and 3/5 for nursing.
The mammasaver ponder....
I would have liked to have had this bra for when my milk came in
. I went up two cup sizes, instead of the expected one, and was very uncomfortable until I was refitted.
If you tend to hold quite a lot of milk in between feeds, you might need a little more support
in the form of a traditional nursing bra.
If however, you're beyond that point and don't need to wear breast pads, this bra offers a good, inexpensive option.Check out the mammasaver page: 'Find the right nursing bra' for more information on nursing bras
During the first eight or nine months of breastfeeding our little lad, I got through mountains of breast pads. Thousands (I think).
Such things are essential, if you want to avoid finding yourself in Marks & Spencer, looking for the world like you're taking part in a wet t shirt competition (embarrassing times indeed).
Which ones do the job? Which ones don't? As is the case with nappies, there's little point in buying the super-cheap ones if you have to change them more often. Which ones in that case, are pretty much Fembot proof?
Without much further ado:
the mammasaver Fembot-proof breast pad award goes to:
Tommee Tippee Ultra Absorbent Breast Pads.
They include VERY sticky adhesive to stick to your nursing bra (and therefore don't budge).
They hold an awful lot of milk.
They're wrapped nicely, so you can throw them in your bag and they keep clean.
They're good value for money - £2.69 for 50 from Tesco.
As for the rest tested...
Johnson's Baby Nursing Pads
Boasting leak-proof technology and a secure adhesive strip, I found these a little thin and didn't absorb as much milk as I needed them to.
With only 30 in a pack, they also seemed rather expensive. They retail in Mothercare for £3.49 for 30.
Philips Avent Washable Breast Pads
£4.99 from John Lewis.
Alas, using these pads was akin to blowing one's nose through a cobweb.
Boots Ultra Slim Breast Pads
At £2.59 for 36, The Boots own brand of breast pads appealed to my money saving side. However, they slipped, they slid and left me with wet jumpers.
They are perhaps a good idea if you don't have much of a spurting/ leakage problem, though.
The beginning of 2012 has brought with it a rather unexpected event in the mammasaver household. Our little lad has started to self wean.
Huzzah! Some might think, but oh boy, stopping breastfeeding
has brought along some rather tricky issues along for the ride.
I am a firm believer that if women know what to expect about breastfeeding, then they are more likely to persevere with it, rather giving up. Of course, it's an incredibly special experience, but not one without its issues.
In a similar spirit, I thought I would share our experience of ending breastfeeding,
as many women tend to go through this part without the support of midwives, health visitors and others.Breastfeeding
has been good to us:
- It got our little lad up to a mighty 22lbs before solids.
- Calmed him down if he was agitated/tired/cross.
- It was an incredibly special experience for both of us.
- It has saved us a fortune on formula.
- It's (frankly) one of the loveliest things to do.
Not to mention the various health and well-being benefits that breastfeeding brings, it has been a truly wonderful experience.
When our 19month old decided that he shall be a big boy and take cow's milk from a cup four days ago, my hormones went into meltdown (they still are) and we are both feeling more than a bit delicate, emotionally speaking.
This translates to:
- Little lad crying very hard if we're apart (ie not in the same room).
- Me crying if I'm away from him (in the evenings).
- A profound worry that he'll find it difficult to adjust without his nursing chill-out time.
I'm reluctant to confuse our little lad and my hormones by starting nursing again, but it is so very very tempting to do so.
I'm looking forward to being over this hurdle, and getting back to a bit of even-tempered normality. How and when that will happen, I'm not quite sure yet.
However, through the fog of dread that I've done something terribly wrong, I do wonder if other women go through similar feelings when they wean. Am I simply at the mercy of rampant hormones, or is what I'm experiencing simply a reaction to moving away from our lad's babyhood?
I'd love to hear your stories in the comments section below - whatever your experience. I really do think that an honest discussion about breastfeeding will help other nursing mothers, rather than pretending that it's all just rosy.
This post was brought to you by Kateonthinices
' Groovymums blog hop initiative.
She encourages women to share their goals, highs and lows about bettering their lives, and supporting others on the way.
Check out her lovely new look to her blog, here
Breast Cancer Awareness month is here, as is a new way to support Breast Cancer Campaign
Breast cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK. I am sadly almost certain that anyone reading this post will know at least one woman who has been affected by it.
Treatment is improving. Thanks to charites such as Breast Cancer Campaign
and Cancer Research UK,
8 out of 10 women in the UK now survive beyond 5 years, compared to just 5 out of 10 in the 1970s.
The reason that these statistics are improving is because of the public's donation to breast cancer charities. At the time of writing, cancer research is funded by the charity sector, not by central government.
With this in mind, it shows you the impact that giving money to Cancer Research UK
or Breast Cancer Campaign
has on our lives.
To bolster this month's fundraising activity, Breast Cancer Campaign
have a corporate agreement with Vanish, the stain removal product people.
Here's what Vanish would like you to do, to unlock £10,000 of funding for Breast Cancer Campaign
Donate any amount through their facebook page (click here
) and 'like' the page. For every new 1,000 supporters, £1,000 will be donated to research (up to £10,000).
This means that there is £10,000 that is waiting in Vanish's accounts to be allocated to Breast Cancer Campaign
- simply for 'liking' them on Facebook.
You could help improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer for simply using your index finger to 'like' Vanish. Not a bad outcome, just for a couple of 'clicks.'
It's been a tricky week.
For the past two weeks, I've been taking part in kateonthinice's Get Your Groove Back blog hop
, but this week has proven rather difficult to function normally, let alone groove.
It all began with our little lad being rather unwell - nothing earth shattering, just a cold that led to a chest infection. This in turn led to a week of very little sleep, and culminated in nursing him so much that being nursed is now his favourite hobby, along with demanding that I sing 'Yellow Submarine' whilst feeding.
Man, it's been one of those weeks.
Have I been grooving? Have I been confidently springing along the road, the very epitome of new found fabulousness? Hardly. I can do a good scuttle though.
Thankfully, things have settled down a bit, and I thought it about time to bring in The Big Guns. For those times when your energy is absolutely spent, when you're too tired to sleep and when you can't say the word 'groove' without dribbling, try listening to the following from The (mighty) Dubliners.
If this doesn't restore the glint in your eye, I can't think what else will. A frankly, gloriously rude song entitled 'Maids When You're Young...'
The words of a young maid, sung by a gruff Irishman - if I say anymore, it really will spoil it. Listened to by our family on long car journeys when I was but a sniffling, this made me giggle as a child and snort as a mamma. Enjoy!
PS the beards are worth watching alone.
As part of the blog hop, kateonthinice
asked about what breakfast preferences. In the mammasaver household, as long as there's caffeine and carbohydrates, we're happy.
The second prompt was 'what would a spin doctor say about you?' This week, I think my spindoctor would be ignoring his phonecalls...
This is a guest post from my lovely big sister, who lives on the racy continent.
Big sis - thank you so much for the most adventurous money saving tip that I have ever heard!
'The other week I ran out of cleanser. Hot rats, as this is not the sort of place where you can go out to a late night shop and buy some more (ha! the very notion).
Well, I held the front page and the nation held its breath and then I had a thought. Could breastmilk be used as a cleanser? Thinking along the cleansing milk lines - there must be something in it. And there is! It works like a charm.
I expressed some directly onto a cotton wool pad (yuck yuck yuck - wet cotton wool, but I manfully pressed on) and swept across face and voila, it removed all sorts! My skin felt nice and soft and CLEAN and it made me feel rather deliciously smug as was completely free and on tap!
I couldn't recommend it for stubborn mascara as I wasn't wearing any at the time, but worth a try, no?'
Cleopatra, coming at ya!
Have you a rather unusual money saving tip, or indeed use for breastmilk? Post below!
What do you really need to for your new baby?
A lovely friend is expecting her first baby, and kindly sent me her list of baby things to buy before her baby arrives.
It got me thinking - what do you think you really need?
Lots of companies would have you believe that you must buy absolutely everything before your baby arrives.
Couple that with a pregnant woman’s insatiable need to nest, and before long you could have a great big hole in your bank balance.
Of course, everyone’s personal circumstances are different, but what are the bare-bones basics that you couldn’t do without for the first month?Would you add or take away anything else from this list? Post your comment below!
- Lasinoh nipple cream
- Maternity pads
- Breast pads
- Savoy cabbages for when your milk comes in
- Cotton wool
- Cot bedding
- Changing mat
- Baby wipes
- Baby vests and sleep suits
- Baby hat
- Warm Blanket
- Pram or baby sling
To celebrate Breastfeeding Week, I thought I'd share the weirdest trick to help get rid of a pesky milk blister.
It would be a fair question to ask why mammasaver has a separate section on breastfeeding.
The answer is simply because the longer you can breastfeed, the more you save on formula, or growing up milk, or follow on milk (just how many kinds of milk are there out there?).
Anyway, back to this pesky milk blister.The symptoms were:
- Real, outchy pain when feeding
- A feeling of a blocked duct inside the nipple, unlike normal blocked duct
- A white 'blister' or spot appeared on the top of the nipple
Needless to say, ouch.
Some health professionals will conclude that any white spot on a nipple is thrush. Not so!
Milk blisters can form when a little overgrowth of skin blocks one of your ducts towards the opening, near the nipple. Through a great deal of feeding/expressing/praying to a breast goddess (NOT Angelina Jolie, I hasten to add), they can go away of their own accord.
However, if you need a little comfort, and are feeling sore, then try pouring a cup full of very
hot water onto a disposable nappy and placing it your nursing bra, over your nipple.
The nappy stops your skin from getting wet, just as it stops your baby's bottom from getting wet from piddle.
It may or may not hurry things along for you - I found it did (milk blister disappeared after a day and a half of doing this). It simply might help you feel better, sooner.
Huzzah for nappies for extraordinary uses, and happy breastfeeding week!You may also like:How to clear a blocked milk ductRecognising breast thrushMaking enough milk?More from the blog:Breastfeeding, wrestling and Genghis KhanSecret breastfeeding, anyone?
milk milk milk milk
The other day, I stumbled upon an article
wherein a Canadian woman recounts her experience of bringing up her baby, then toddler in Mongolia (as you do).
It reeled me in with the oft spoken Mongolian saying: "The best wrestlers are breastfed until they are six years old." Crikey!
Images flooded forth of breastfeeding miniature Hulk Hogans.
I should explain that in Mongolia, wrestling is the national sport, like football is ours. Imagine Alex Fergusson coming out with such a line:
"Ronaldo? The boy was breastfed until he was nine. And you can tell..."
Moving on, she explained that in Mongolia, breastfeeding is seen as the best thing that you could possibly do for, well, anyone really.
Nursing mums are given the thumbs up in the street, park, taxis, market stalls. Nursing infants are kissed on the cheek whilst feeding and any milk that spurts out is simply wiped away with a chuckle.Any left over expressed milk is kept in the fridge for anyone in the house to drink.It really is seen as elixir.Thinking of it, why wouldn't it be? It is the only fluid, after water that is tailored for human consumption. It's proteins are absorbed quickly into the bloodstream and don't end up in the bowel, like cow's milk protein does.The White Stuff? Not half.It goes to show how different our attitudes to our bodies are in the UK. Perhaps there is some hangover from the Victorian era where most people apparently 'ended at the neck.' Or, perhaps we just don't like wrestling that much.
To read Ruth Kamnitzer's article, click here
Don't mention you're breastfeeding, whatever you do. That is, if your child is over 12 months.
I found this out over the course of quite a strange week.
First, I needed to call the doctor. A blocked milk duct had progressed to mastitis and I needed antibiotics to treat it.
The doctor on the end of the phone was friendly and helpful, and asked how old my baby was (he was just over 12 months). The pause on the other end of the line prompted me to spurt forth: "Oh but I'm weaning him onto cow's milk."
The truth is, I am. It's just taking a long time.
The doctor continued to regal a story of a Malaysian friend who feeds her children before school. "You're not going to do that, are you?"
The answer? Probably not. It did get me wondering though - what would it matter to him if I did?
A couple of days later, I found myself upside down on a dentist's chair, about to be X-rayed.
When I asked if X-rays are OK if you're breastfeeding, the dentist assured me it is. He then continued to offer his opinion about how weird it is for babies and toddlers to be breastfed if they can walk.
As I was in a rather vulnerable position at the time (upside down with sharp implements in my mouth), I thought it wise to mime "Oh yeah, totally weird." If the dentist only looked close enough, he'd see our 12 month year old with proper shoes on and muddy knees - clear evidence of a breastfed walker.
These two encounters got me thinking. Our lad is breastfed in our home, literally behind doors. I haven't fed him in public for over 4 months. What's more, he doesn't lift up my top, inadvertently exposing me to the world.
Why on earth would people (random professionals) have an opinion on what we do, then?
It just must be a societal thing. For some people, breastfeeding a child over 12 months just gives them the heeby-jeebies. This is of course absolutely fine. After all - we're constantly told through various media that the purpose of breasts is a sexual one.
At what point does it become acceptable to give that opinion to a breastfeeding mum? I'd love to know.