Friday, 11 May 2012

"Mom enough?"

I'm assuming most people reading this will have seen the Time magazine cover, but for anyone who hasn't it shows a mother feeding her 3 year old with the head line "are you mom enough" to accompany a artificial on attachment parenting. There has been a lot of comments on the internet about it being wrong or disgusting. When I first read about them I wanted to defend the picture, I always support any ones right to breastfeed. Any form of promotion of breast feeding, including full term breast feeding should be a posotive thing. However I don't feel I can support this image. The picture shows both mother and child looking at the camera, the child is stood on a chair. I feel that the whole picture looks too staged. Surly to promote and normalize full term breastfeeding images should be natural. This momenoughseams to me to have been set up to shock people and conform to stereotypes of extended breastfeeding. I question why the mother allowed that type of image to be used. Surly she could have requested one showing a normal feed? The child may sometimes feed standing on a chair and I know I don't have eye contact in my older breastfeeding photos as she wants to look at the camera as soon as she sees it. Yes older children feed in different positions. My daughter will feed standing up, if I go to the toilet before I get dressed in the morning she will try to feed standing next to me. I think the problem I have with the magazine cover is that a lot of people already see full term breastfeeding as odd. To me the pictures of a child feeding once they have some understanding of social manners should reflect this. I sometimes eat with my hands at home but i use a knife and folk in public. While breastfeeding, and full term breastfeeding are normal and need to be normalize there is such a strong culture against it that it needs to be done carefully. The picture seams some how detached, so if a funny one to chose for an piece about attachment parenting. The image appears to be an invitation for negative comments and accusations of forcing breastfeeding on people. Am I "mom enough" to want to cause more bad publicity and negative imagery for full term breast feeding? No, I'm just a mummy. images-1

Monday, 2 April 2012

Controlled crying: the only choice?

My daughter has slept for between 6-8 hours 5 times in the past 2 weeks. I am prod of her of that achievement and feel that we may after 25 months be coming to a point where she "sleeps through". However I am reluctant to share this with many people as so far I have just been met with blank looks, or comments about controlled crying.
While volunteering at my local children's center I made the mistake of telling one of the staff in conversion before the group started. Later on one of the mums to be was saying she didn't know how she would cope with lack of sleep. The member of staff told her it was only for a short time so she would be able to cope, unless she "made the mistakes" I made. She went to to talk about not "running to every cry". In the past I have herd other mums tell each other that they "have no choice" but to use controlled crying.
I work in a hospital and often have confused patients. When it is busy it can be annoying and feel like a wast of time having to repeatedly answer call buttons when the patient just wants to know if the button works, or to ask what the button is for but responding to it and reassuring them helps them to feel secure during their stay, I'm sure non of us would be happy for our elderly relatives to be afraid and alone when it would just take a few words from someone to reassure them. Other times there have been patients who have range the buzzer every 15 minutes to ask for a commode that they have not needed, or to ask the same questions that have already been answered. If you read in the press that those patients had not been answered and had been left to press the buzzer with no response most people would be out ranged at the neglect. Why then if we do it to our own children is it seen as "the only choice"?

Friday, 23 December 2011

teaching fear

I took my 22 month old to see Santa last week. Last year she cried when she saw him so I knew it might not be a good reaction this time. She seamed ok when he can in to the room , but when I asked hr if she wanted to go to him she said " no afraid" and started to cry. Of course I reassured her and told her I was there and there was nothing to be afraid of. In the end she was happy to stand near to Santa with me but not go to him on her own.
What shocked me about this was not that she was afraid of sitting on the knee of a fat man that she did not know with a beard - if anything I thought she would be unsettled by this, it was that she knew the word "afraid" and used it in context.
As the mother of a young toddler I don't want her to be knowledgeable enough about negative emotions to be able to articulate them. I feel, and I'm sure most parents will agree, part of my job is to stop her coming across these feelings which she will have plenty of time to deal with when she is older.
Yet time and time again if I mention that we are lucky if my daughter managers 4 hours sleep I am advised to let her " cry it out".
I'm sure most of you will have read analogies such as just let her cry
The idea of being afraid and alone and knowing that sometimes there is no one to help you is something that as adults we will at some time have to face. It takes a lot to come to terms with it, its a feeling I remember when my dad died suddenly when I was 19 and I couldn't turn to my close family as normal because they had their own grief to deal with.
It is not a feeling a child should have to come across if it can be avoided.
While lack of sleep can be a horrible feeling for anyone ( I speak from experience of 22 month at a 4 hour block being a bonus, I'm writing this at 2am my daughter having gone to sleep at 1.30)surely it is something that can be enured a short time instead of teaching our babies to be afraid.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

advertising breast feeding in a formula obsessed world

There is a e-petition at calling for a ban on all advertising for formula.
I agree with this and urge everyone to sign it. There should be clear information to allow women to make a choice. A lot of people think formula is the same as breast milk when really its just cows milk with chemicals added, the adverts for formula reinforce this and stop people making an informed choice. One example of how they miss lead is the amount of iron in them, the iron in breast milk doesn't need to be in such high amounts as it is absorbed easily where as most of the iron in formula is not absorbed, but I know of people who have put their baby on follow on milk as they "need the iron"
While discussing this I was surprised to hear people saying they felt is pressures people to breastfeed.
Why is formula "advertised" but breast feeding "pushed".
Formula company have adverts on TV and in magazines,where they can be seen by everyone, that is seen as ok. If a breast feeding mother starts talking about the positives of breast feeding in lots of places she gets accused of pressuring others to breast feed, being obsessed, making others feel bad. Mums who formula feed think nothing of giving antidote tales of a formula feed baby who where never ill, really happy and a perfect size. Brest feeding mums are left in a situation where we have to think carefully before we state facts supported by scientific research in case we are accused of being "the breast feeding mafia". If we share breastfeeding blogs or information we are left in a state of worry knowing people are likely to accuse us of forcing breastfeeding on them.
We feel we can't talk about the risks of formula feeding in case people think we are saying they are a bad mother. Last week my own mother who had breast cancer last year, asked if she might not have got it if she had breastfed. I had to give the honest answer and say it would have reduced the chance of her getting it. However I hesitated before I told her, and felt bad afterwards. Why? I don't feel bad when I tell her smoking is bad for her health why should this be any different?
We live in a culture where formula is seen as normal and breastfeeding something we can choose to do. Formula adverts help to strengthen that culture.
Breastfeeding is normal, formula is something that should only be used when needed in which case there is no need to advertise it.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

"too” attached to your child

I was aware from very early on, while we were still in the hospital that my baby was calmer and more content while she was with me. We were in hospital for 3 days following the birth as I had a c-section despite planning a home birth. I was surprised in the 6 bed ward I was in during the day most of the other mums sat on the bed or chair reading or on phones while their baby slept in the cot. I always had hold of my daughter even if she was sleep and I was reading a magazine. One of the other mums commented that my baby didn’t cry much; to me it was obvious that keeping her close achieved this.

The day after we first came home from hospital when she was 4 days old my mum and my aunt came to help with some house work. They told me to go into the living room to rest while they cleaned the kitchen. My mum kept coming in and telling me to put the baby in the mosses basket so I could rest, at one point she said “why have you got hold of that baby again” I replied with “because she is my baby and I love her”. When I hear about people having their baby taken to other rooms shortly after giving birth and the mum sleeping I can’t imagine I’d have been able to sleep without her near me.

While my daughter was very young she was with me at all times, I didn’t feel any desire to be apart from her and it was natural and automatic to be close to her. There were times when I felt frustrated as I thought I should want time away from her so felt that I was being to attached to her, I now know that that was from listening to others opinions and that you can’t be “too” attached to your child.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Do we need breastfeeding awareness week?

As we are now in the middle of breastfeeding awareness we a thought came to me - do we need breastfeeding awareness week?

Surely if breast feeding is the normal state of play and the most natural thing to do we shouldn't need to have an awareness week for it. The is no breathing awareness week, or getting up in the morning awareness week ( although i know a few people who might benefit from this) and yet breastfeeding is just as natural and should be just as automatic.

In that case having an awareness week reinforce the image that breastfeeding is something special that only super mums do.

Then I look at the media this week. On Monday there was a mass feed in the Traford center in Manchester, it was covered as mums wanting the right to feed in public.
Daybreak had a piece on mums being made to feel guilty about not breastfeeding. you only have to look on their face book page to see the negative response. Myleen class has been quoted as saying she doesn't breastfeed to pacify the "brestapo".

I addition to this i've spoken to mums who don't know if they can feed their baby when they are in public ( if you are one of those mums the answer is yes you can). While I haven't really had any negative comments about breastfeeding

i've heard people saying negative things about someone else who breastfeeds. I also am on guard and ready to give information, facts and guidelines if anyone challenges me.
So while there is stil negative press , mums unsure of the facts and mums always thinking some one may make negative comments to them we do need a breastfeeding awareness week.
Do we need it? Yes
Should we need it? No

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Just a mummy currently sells badges, keyring and fridge magnets with breastfeeding and attachment parenting slogans.
As a new business the range is always expanding. If you are interested in something that we don't have listed please ask and we will see if we can get it.
We will soon also be including accessories such as amber teething necklaces.
Our ebay page is