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Showing posts from July, 2012

Breastfeeding: Stories to Inspire and Inform - Review and Giveaway

To get us in the mood for World Breastfeeding Week 2012, I'm offering the chance to win a free copy of a wonderful new book on breastfeeding: Breastfeeding - Stories to Inspire and Inform, edited by Susan Last and published by Lonely Scribe. To enter all you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post - more details at the end of this review.

Susan Last is a breastfeeding peer supporter and the mother of three breastfed children. The book begins with her informed and thoughtful introduction, in which she writes very cleverly and concisely about the politics of breastfeeding, it's value, and the main myths that surround it in our current society.

The rest of the book is filled with over twenty women's stories of their breastfeeding experiences, and offers a wide and fascinating variety, from nursing a premature baby, to twins, to tandem feeding, and many more. In every tale, the women write passionately of both struggles and triumphs, of what helped, and what didn't…

Dolled Up: High Heels for Four Year Olds - from Monsoon

Back in March I wrote a post about products that sexualise our children, and shared a few thoughts and images of makeup, bras and slutty fairies that I had noticed being marketed towards my four year old daughter. If you are interested and want to know more about why I think 'stuff matters', please take a look at the original post:

Dolled Up: Products That Sexualise Our Children

You might also like to read this article about new research that shows that girls as young as 6 are associating tight and revealing clothes with popularity and already aspire to copy this look:

Huffington Post: Why Six Year Old Girls Want to be Sexy

Today in leading UK retailer Monsoon I discovered a whole range of high heeled shoes that start in a size 8, and would therefore fit my 4 year old daughter. Monsoon are a fairly 'conservative' shop; their clothes usually have a vintage and old fashioned feel, so it seems doubly surprising that they would choose to market products of this nature:

And, a…

Natural, Empowering Birth: Ten Ways to Prepare Differently

Lots of women want to give birth in a way that is natural, drug free and empowering, but often, this aspiration ends in intervention, and rather than the transformative rite of passage they were hoping for, many women begin their new lives as mothers feeling, at best, bruised and a little disappointed; at worst, violated and traumatised. Why is this? What is preventing women's dreams, visions and hopes for their birth experience from becoming a reality?

Could it be that -

Women's Bodies are not Fit for Purpose: Through some evolutionary error, women have a design fault that makes it nigh on impossible to give birth without help. Maybe the baby's head is too big, perhaps her pelvis is too small; whatever the reason, there's a mismatch here and women would be better off opting for an elective section than getting themselves all fired up and unrealistic about a candle lit water birth.

Or maybe -

Obstetricians are Evil Scissor-Happy Misogynists: Labour Wards are populated wi…

Positive, Empowering Birth: A Directory of Resources

Gentle Parenting, Birth and Motherhood: Three Short Book Reviews

"I have, indeed, turned over a good many books." Nathaniel Hawthorne
I don't read novels any more. The last time I sat and lost myself in a beautiful story was when my first daughter was a baby, and I would sit carefully with her hooked in the crook of my left arm, asleep but occasionally flutter sucking at my breast, whilst with my free right hand I held and quietly turned the pages of my book. Now, with a four year old and a two year old, neither of my hands are free, and the frustration of being constantly interrupted has become part of the fabric of my existence. I don't read novels, just as I don't get comfy in a chair: there is no time or chance to sink deeply into anything.

So as not to forget completely how to read, I now prefer what I call 'dipping books', the sort that you can pick up and put down, read a bit in the middle and a bit at the back, whilst chopping cheese into cubes or grilling fish fingers. Parenting books, non fiction, poetry antho…

Guest Post: Stillbirth

Followers of this blog will know that I love birth stories, and often share them here in all their infinite variety. But there is, it seems, a birth story that 'dare not speak it's name', the story of those babies who do not make it. In the UK, 17 babies are stillborn or die shortly after birth every day. In the USA, a baby is stillborn every twenty minutes. The story of stillbirth is happening to mothers - and fathers, grandparents, siblings, aunties, uncles - but in our current culture which fears death so greatly, it is rarely discussed. This silence, this awkwardness, this avoidance - leaves parents who experience stillbirth without listeners willing to hear their painful story.

Hearing painful stories used to be a part of my job before I became a full time mother. But in spite of this experience I still sobbed as I reached the end of this guest post, sent to me by Mel Scott, who lost her baby at birth three years ago and has since reached out to help others through he…