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Showing posts from June, 2011

The Myth of Insufficient Milk

In our modern world, very few mysteries remain.  We can measure the distance from the earth to the stars, and explain the voids between.  We can travel to the bottom of the darkest oceans, and reveal their secrets.   We can see inside our own bodies, our veins, our cells, and we can even know the sex of a baby long before it is born.  Little wonder, then, that when we ask ourselves, 'How much milk is my baby getting?', and we can't provide an answer, we find this disconcerting, to say the least.

Breast milk, and in particular, the quantity that has left our own body and is now residing happily in our baby's stomach, is difficult to measure.  We might try pumping, so that we can see how many millilitres we can produce, but this does not give any real indication of how much our baby is actually getting out.  Not only are babies mouths unsurprisingly more efficient than a plastic sucker, but the actual loving act of nursing and looking down at our babies face has been sho…

Breastfeeding Beyond One: A Gallery for Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Welcome to the Breastfeeding Beyond One Gallery!

My recent post, Ten Reasons to Keep Breastfeeding Beyond One, has been my most popular so far.  For this reason I have decided to create for UK Breastfeeding Awareness Week a photo gallery, a 'virtual nurse-in' if you will, of 'over-ones' being breastfed.  I really hope that by bringing these images together we can offer support and normalisation to those who have decided to nurse their children beyond one.  Often it is assumed that feisty and educated women don't ever have moments of self doubt or insecurity and therefore don't need encouragement or approval.  This is not the case - I know because I am one!  It is always great to feel the solidarity of others who have made similar choices and who are often swimming against the cultural tide.

I also hope that the gallery will raise awareness of extended breastfeeding as an option for those who might not otherwise have considered it. 

Seeing Is Belie…

Leaving the House

5.57am.  I'm awake after a nursing session, so I decide I might as well get up.  A few years ago I wouldn't even have considered being up this early unless I had a plane to catch or I was leaving a strange man's flat in a hurry.  But recently I have started experimenting with rising even before my children, so that I can try and snatch half an hour of peaceful tea drinking and contemplation, and get a head start on the day.  There's plenty to do, and after all, it is only just over three hours before we need to leave the house.

6.04am. I get roughly one centimetre into my cup of tea before I hear the baby stirring on the monitor.  I get back into bed with her, snuggle up, and nurse her for a few minutes.  She sits up, grins and starts babbling.  She blows some raspberries on my exposed belly.  We share the joke.  She bites my arm in excitement.  I tell her off, I feel bad, I kiss her, I take her downstairs.  I start to unload the dishwasher and set things up for breakf…