I want to be that mother who can stand up and say I am a strong confident mother and I know what is best for my children. We breastfeed and co sleep, We listen, We include, We eat chocolate and snot smoothies, we trampoline and grow frogs, we sling, we carry and we try and understand and work with our children without resorting to punishments, threats or coercion.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Does Milkscreen harm the breastfeeding relationship?

Milkscreen  is an American product that consists of test strips to calculate a level of alcohol in your milk.

Whilst I agree that this product is harmful to breastfeeding, I think we may disagree on a few of the reasons. It is harmful, not because I think women who breastfeed shouldn't drink alcohol but because I think it encourages pumping and drinking instead of actual breastfeeding.

Firstly, it is not productive to pump and dump as a method of removing alcohol from your milk. Milk and bloodstream are connected. As it leaves your blood so it leaves your milk. It is not possible to dilute or speed up elimination of alcohol with water or pumping.

"There is no need to pump & dump milk after drinking alcohol, other than for mom’s comfort — pumping & dumping does not speed the elimination of alcohol from the milk." KellyMom.com

Many professionals recommend expressing milk for during the time you are planning to drink. This means you are stimulating production of milk and this could lead to fuller breasts during the evening and therefore more pumping may be necessary if you are uncomfortable but feel you have had too much alcohol that you do not want your baby to feed.

Pumping is a finely tuned operation. Much like breastfeeding. Your breasts produce the optimal amount of milk for your baby provided your baby has FULL access to their food source. Interrupting that mechanism with pumping due to drinking can negatively affect your supply. Over stimulation can produce too much and cause problems for your baby. Too much drinking can affect your let down and consequently your milk supply too. So women who use this method in order to drink could affect their breastfeeding relationship. Especially if they use this method in the very important beginning stages of establishing breastfeeding. Also, it's important to note that babies do not just feed at the breast for food at regularly prescribed intervals, this means your baby could want to nurse at the breast at any time.

This is where I have a problem with this product. It encourages women to pump and bottle feed rather than breastfeed in order to drink. It taps into a woman's fears of harming their baby and capitalises on this by providing a product that proves the existence of alcohol in minute doses.

.08% is legal blood alcohol level in UK (and many other countries ) for driving that's 80mg/100ml

The Milkscreen product detects as little as 13.1mg/dl in milk that's 13.1mg/100ml. It doesn't give an accurate reading just positive for alcohol at 13.1mg which is 0.0131%.

" It is estimated less than 2% of the alcohol consumed by the mother reaches her milk." Hale

There are also many factors which affect the absorption of alcohol.

There is a lot of conflicting advice, but most agree that 1-2 drinks occasionally will not harm your baby.  Do your own research. Inform yourself. You know your own body and your own limits and capabilities. Personally, I don't believe it is necessary to pump for an occasional drink or two (1-2units). If you are cosleeping, I'd advise having the drinks earlier in the evening to allow maximum time for the alcohol to leave your system and the general rule is that if you are over the legal limit for driving, it is inadvisable to sleep with your baby.

As Jack Newman says "Reasonable alcohol intake should not be discouraged at all. As is the case with most drugs, very little alcohol comes out in the milk. The mother can take some alcohol and continue breastfeeding as she normally does. Prohibiting alcohol is another way we make life unnecessarily restrictive for nursing mothers."

As for their 'do you have enough milk' product, aside from pumping producing considerably different amounts to actual breastfeeding it's just another marketing ploy to frighten women into buying their product. The whole site is very insidious and makes me quite angry

I'm much more concerned about the walking wings (teach your baby to walk!!) product on this website than I am about a mothers occasional glass of wine!!

Please sign the petition to remove it from the shelves of Target:-


Helpful links:

EDIT: They removed it!! http://www.measuremymilk.com/index.php

Friday, 19 April 2013

Stats alone

My blog has had 32,920 page views
My birth video has had 34,217
I have 318 FB friends ok admittedly over 100 are family!!

How come I feel no-one knows me?
How come I have never felt so lonely?
How come I am the eternal pessimist?
WTF is wrong with me????

Not held enough

Well we've so far had a week of Millie not being well (which came on not long after our long stint at the softplay - coincidence? I think not.)  I've had my mid-week wobble  about underachieving in all areas except baby holding, I've had my end of week wobble about the state of the house so relented and asked mum to come and help. I endured her not so back handed backchat about my germ infested kitchen, which is obviously why my kids get ill (how does she explain her bronchitis and frequent gastro incidents then??) and left her to it whilst I held Millie and played 'guess who' with Maia.

Now, I'm happily resigned to the knowledge that there really is nothing else better  to do except hold my baby and offer Maia booktime. She crumples in a despairing heap on the floor if I have to put her down for a few seconds. She chokes and coughs if she is lying flat. She notices within minutes If I move away after she's fallen asleep. 

So here I am holding my bubbah. Holding her safe. Holding her heart. Nursing her through this bout of snot filled chest rattling whatever and you know what? It's all good. It's what she needs. I see that. I know that. Just sometimes I need to remind myself of it. 

And if my instincts aren't enough, science now backs me up!!

Meltdowns -  a few
Losing the Plot - not *that* many considering
Breastfeeding - OMG...SOOOOOO much!!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Keeping busy

I've decided to keep as busy as possible this week but its completely exhausting me! Millie is keeping me awake for a lot of the night due to teething, so when morning turns up every day, I want to crawl back under the covers and cry.

Monday we spent the day at Loch Lomond for Nurture in Nature. It was a remarkably uneventful non-stressy and very lovely day even with the dog doing his business all over Queen St. train station. It was the first time on a bus and a train for Millie which added to the excitement.

Tuesday I went to my new singing class. It was a small group this week. It had been a difficult morning. I cant sing for toffee but its always lovely to be with grown ups.

Today Maia refused nursery which was fine. We walked the dog and went to the shops then dropped in to check on an elderly neighbour from our old house. All so normal and easy! I was meant to pick a friend up to come over for lunch so I decided to stay in the area rather than go home, so I called another friend to see if she was around. We ended up spending a perfect couple of hours with them in their community garden. 

They are trying to initiate an amazing project which is currently running in other parts of the country whereby the council close a few surrounding roads for a couple of hours a month to let the kids play safely. . Maia helped leaflet drop to the surrounding flats regarding an upcoming meeting whilst I sat in the community garden watching Millie be explorative and adventurous.

The great thing about keeping busy this week is only being home during the day for a few hours before hubby comes home!! I'm not feeling overwhelmed with housework or many children's needs and wants. I am actually having real conversations and the fresh air is brilliant for all of us.

We're running out of people to meet though, are you free!!!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Making things worse

You know that thing that happens when you are on a path to destruction and it just gets worse and worse. I did that this afternoon. I couldn't stop myself. I knew I was being unreasonable and mean for the sake of it. I could hear and see what I was doing, like I was watching it from the sidelines. I knew the more I spoke the worse it would be yet I continued to prod and provoke. I knew exactly why she was continuing to meltdown but I just don't know why I didn't stop.

It had been an okish day. The morning wasn't too great as Millie was ├╝ber needy and I was mega tired. Later on, Maia and Millie and I went to our new Thula Mama singing class. I can't sing for toffee but its always nice to be among other adults!

We went to pick up Ellie and I was standing right at the bottom of the steps after asking her teacher a question. Ellie couldn't see me for looking which irritated me, already. Then, even though I was obviously here and picking her up and her teacher obviously could see me, she refused to move from her place until she had let the teacher know her mummy was there. Which I was. ONE foot in front of her. I stepped forward to take her hand to bring her out of the queue and leave. She started to protest that she needed to tell the teacher. I argued that she didn't, took her hand and started walking to the car. She freaked out and refused to move. I knew what was wrong but I also protested.
It really really bothers me that since starting school Ellie has stopped thinking for herself. She conforms to the norm too much and toes the party line through fear of retribution (in the form of bloody star charts). So there we are arguing to and fro. I need to tell the teacher. No you don't. Yes I do. Stop being a robot. Think for yourself. I'm not a robot. Yes you are. No I'm not. You know, really mature stuff. I start off for the car. She deliberately starts walking slowly complaining/shrieking that I'm not waiting for her. I slow down. She slows down more. I give up and go to the car. She becomes even more upset. She eventually gets in car but won't put her seatbelt on properly. Just the lap bit. I start driving. She freaks, saying I can't do that as she hasn't got her belt on. I say 'pull the shoulder strap across then' and continue to drive. She freaks even more refusing to do it unless I stop. I don't stop. She continues to meltdown in the back of the car.

We stop at the garage for petrol. In a moment of niceness and because they were reduced, I buy them a wee bar of chocolate. This makes Ellie notice her plastic bag bin is missing and *instantly* meltsdown again before I have a chance to explain I needed to use it yesterday for a dog poo bag. I chuck a new one in the back. It's the wrong colour. She freaks. I chuck another one and drive off. She completely loses it because she can't attach the bag on the back of the seat and I won't stop. By now I have lost total interest in salvaging the situation and I am so totally over the craziness of it all. I switch off and turn the radio up to drown out her protests and declarations of hate. Once home, I want to take my phone back even though she is using it. I don't need it, I'm just on a mean streak. I don't follow through and let her keep it. We avoid each other for a while and then I sit beside her and suggest we start again. She's not keen.

Seriously. If I had just made an over the top acknowledgement to her teacher that I was there and had her, none of that would have happened. Maybe....

Meltdown - conformist
Losing the plot - pointless
Breastfeeding - feeling touched out

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Diary of First Tooth Falling Out

I think first tooth falling out is momentous, I'm disappointed Ellie's first is a dead one that crumbled in her mouth and broke in pieces. Ellie was uber excited. She wants to believe in the Tooth Fairy.  I did a quick poll to see if the Tooth Fairy should come for a dead tooth that broke into pieces? (I was always going to do something! Honest!!!)

Dear Tooth Fairy. My tooth is out. It has a little bit of popcorn. Farewell Ellie

Broken Tooth

When did the tooth fairy become so officious? Where's the glitter, tooth fairies embody glitter!!

There. That's better. Only problem is explaining the glitter all over the bloody house!!!

Then in true comic genius or tragic comedy....I accidentally hoovered up the broken piece of tooth, the one thing I actually wanted to keep!! Luckily I'd only used the dustbuster instead of the big hoover!! On a positive note its one less invasive removal of teeth for her next month. Maybe the other dead one will break and fall out too!!

Incomplete or broken, everyone deserves a bit of glitter magic on their bed when they wake up

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

They made me do it I didn't wanna do it

daddy's always a soft touch!
I'd managed to skilfully distract and persuade the girls for weeks now not to do the thing they wanted to do. I just wasn't sure about it. I didn't know if I could face another 'talking to' if it all went horribly skewiff. I wasn't sure it was legal and I didn't know if I would be able to hang back enough without looking neglectful or go completely the other way and take over. I wasn't sure *I* was strong enough to hold their disappointment if it didn't go to their idea in their head of how it was going to pan out. You know that particularly difficult one. Expectations. Also, it hadn't stopped snowing and raining for weeks and I couldn't face being outside in the freezing for hours not moving and more to the point, with a child (or 3) getting cold and upset and whiney and illogical and unreasonable.

A while back the girls collected up their toys they didn't want, to sell. They went round the street together (without me!!) No-one in the street wanted to buy them but somehow they ended up collecting for charity instead. I had promised them we would go to the park one weekend and 'do a stall'. Today was the day I finally couldn't think of a reasonable and plausible way to say 'another day'. I tried. Believe me I tried. I was resistant. I suggested it wasn't the right time, that the ground would be cold, that someone was coming over (they didn't in end), that I was tired, that we were only walking the dog. Hubby wasn't keen either. He just wanted to walk dog, get home and relax.

The girls were not for turning, I could feel it. Or maybe I was less resistant than normal because Hubby is home (Easter Monday) so the potential for disaster is immediately reduced. Somewhat.

So, I stopped. Looked at the sun, which has been missing for months decided to be an optimist for a change and thought "ok this could work"

Touting for business
I knew it would be a fabulous learning experience for them but I was scared it would be for all the wrong reasons. Turns out it was the usual mix of the fabulous, tinged with disappointment and a bit of a dampener from mummy as so often is the case in our day! AND no meltdowns! A day without a meltdown is like a day with LOTS of chocolate and massages. Oooh massage mmmmmm. Sorry I digressed again!

We started by going in to the wrong car park. I knew it would be busy but I'm so used to going to parks during the quieter times, I had underestimated how many people go to the park on a big holiday. The car park was full. Then we spotted the carnival rides. (I didn't grump this time, it was a bank holiday after all.) There were masses of people (well masses for a wee park in Glasgow!) and I panicked. I could sense disaster. I anticipated stress. Hubby was grumbling next to me.

For our purposes it would have all been ideal but like I said I just wasn't convinced yet it was a good idea. I suggested another park which went down seemingly ok with the girls. I realise in hindsight, that they didn't correlate busy with good trading so were reasonably amiable to the change of plan. I did though and I felt guilty for potentially taking them somewhere with nobody there. So I took a deep breath, drove to the other car park at the other end of the hubbub and rides and bells and whistles and noise and potential parkies.

Hubby took Millie in sling and walked the dog whilst we set up. Imagine my delight when I realised one of the paths had been blocked with a metal fence providing a great wee enclave. A tucked away one. Not visible from the busy end. I laid out the blanket, tipped out the bag and stood back. Then I sat down on a bench and watched. It was incredible. I was quite shocked that it was working. Ellie was in her element. Taking the talk to people. Persuading them to buy her tat.toys. I wish I could have heard half of her conversations!!

She asked everyone that passed, "do you want to come and look at my stall?" "Some of its free!" she said. "Come and look." I helped them with a few phrases of Great deals. Good bargains. Maia was also keen to start with, wasn't quite as chatty but still gave it a good go. We were in mid excitement and flow when hubby came back and wanted to go. The dog was desperate to run about but it was too busy so he'd been pulling really hard on the lead. And he was slightly pissed off, so he tried to persuade them it was time to go. Ha! Not likely they were full swing. He hung about for a bit but Millie was tired and didn't want to be not moving and not on the boob, so he walked home!! (It wasn't far)

We stayed for a couple of hours (I think). I only stepped in a few times to suggest it wasn't a good idea to hoik up her price mid sale when it looked like someone was definitely going to buy! People were mostly receptive but I had to do a bit of geeing up when they got a knock back. Some people didn't even respond which I thought was rather rude but Ellie just took it in her stride and made sure it wasn't because they couldn't see her or hear her!!!! I would like to thank each and every person who spoke to my girls and helped make their day go so well whether they bought something or not.

I could tell we were nearing an end. An end of someone's coping abilities. I just wasn't sure who's yet. Maia was tired, I was Cold and tired. She basically wanted me to take over her role. I wanted to go home. Ellie wasn't ready to leave. We stayed a bit longer. I could feel myself becoming unreasonably and illogical so I made an executive decision which was only met with slight manageable upset and we went home.

I'm so glad I changed my mind and just went for it. I'm so amazed at how brilliant the girls were at talking to 'the public' and I'm so happy that they actually made a few bob for themselves (£6.90 each). I'm slightly concerned that I imposed on them that they share the earnings even though they each had toys to sell and Ellie clearly talked the talk more than Maia but then I remember that Maia is only 4 and they're sisters and I'm actually really pleased that Ellie did quite happily share with Maia. 

Oh crappito they are SO going to want me to take them shopping tomorrow.

Meltdowns - potential was high
Losing the plot - potential was very high
Breastfeeding - potential low as mostly with daddy