- Make sure you are relaxed.
- Have a glass of water by your side (I found a sports cap bottle of water was easiest)
- Eat well!
- Find out when a growth spurt is due and reduce the amount you express.
- Make sure you don’t switch breast too regularly (to prevent engorgement)
- Expressing everyday is not always good for milk supplies (Give your self a break every few days)
- Use hand compression’s if needed to help your baby get enough milk.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
When did feeding your baby become so political?
One of the first questions you get asked when you have a new baby is
“How are you feeding him?”
I am breast feeding my son exclusively is the answer and the response is generally…
“Breast is best, well done”
But what if I said I was bottle feeding him???
Would that same person frown upon me and tell me what a bad mother I was???
Despite the above comment breast feeding is not commonly perused past 6 weeks.
This is a great shame as it has so many positive impacts to mother and baby.
I wonder is it really just a personal choice to bottle feed?
There are a few points surrounding this topic which make me very curious……
Media, public opinion and education
Do they have more of an influence then at first glance.
I started my investigation looking at a few Mother and Baby forum sites.
Without naming names they were pretty harsh on bottle feeding Mum’s.
If I were a bottle Mum I would have found it very unwelcoming it be confronted with
so many comments from fellow Mothers pretty much slating formula and the parents that
They kind of make you feel like you don’t care about the welfare of your baby.
An image comes to mind of a bad mother with a ciggerette in one hand, beer in the other while towing a baby sucking on a bottle.
There are plenty of practical reasons why a Mum needs to use formula, if they need to return to work or the baby is premature or sick.
What I don’t accept as an excuse is lack of milk supply!!!! This is what I mean about education being a problem, because if you have been shown how to breast feed correctly and taught the mechanics then you will have an endless supply of milk.
I am so lucky that the area I live in has a good team of support for breast feeding mothers and that they actively promote breast feeding in a positive way.
I am sure I would have given up if it wasn’t for their help so I can understand why some reach for the bottle -before you start thinking I am as bad as the forum sites!!
But considering how modern society is fighting obesity I wonder how much effect bottle v’s breast has on later life and should the government be doing more to help mothers breast feed?
Christmas time has come and gone and this post is still not up!!!!
I have one hell of an excuse which has given me further insight into the wonders of breast feeding…………
I was sick! And I don’t just mean a little bit sick.
My temperature reached 39 degrees while I couldn’t keep anything down and was in the most amount of pain all over my body.
And the insight came from where????
I couldn’t eat for nearly 3 days, not a single thing and anyone who knows anything about breast feeding knows that you have to eat well to maintain milk supplies.
This may seem strange but I could actually feel that the milk was drying up. Gone was the ‘let down’ reflex (a tingling sensation as the breast fills with milk)
I felt awful as I tried to feed Snoop. He was sucking for what seemed like hours to drain every last bit of milk out that he could. I had to get better and start eating.
For me this lasted 5 days. 3 days of no food and 2 days building up little meals till finally I felt the ‘let down’ again.
But could you imagine if you were in one of the staving countries in Africa, trying to feed your baby.
This is where formula becomes a life saver, and is where it spends most of its marketing budget.
Although I have used the caption life saver it has a double edge as for with formula feeding you also need to have sterile bottles to feed with. Think about water quality in Africa where sterilizing kits are not affordable!
I could continue with the morality of formula in third world countries, it gets me so cross but until food and water supplies improve it is one big cycle.
So anyhow as I got over my sickness Christmas was well in swing and with a house full of Aunties and cousins I decided to find out what their experiences were like with feeding.
I wasn’t surprised to find out that I was the only one who was still breast feeding.
The story was either they found it too hard and gave up quickly, or only breast fed for a few weeks before moving on to formula.
We all decided unanimously that there was not enough support out there and what help there was, was very confusing.
It seems that even the world of bottle feeding is confusing Mothers.
Although my cousins and Aunties had their reasons for choosing to bottle feed they all felt they were looked down on by other Mums and felt an enormous amount of guilt.
Honestly though if the baby is fed and happy does it really matter??? Guilt is the last thing a new Mother needs to worry about.
Finally a discussion I heard on The Wright Stuff during my pregnancy.
Would breast feeding stop being taboo if little girls weren’t brought up to breast feed their dolls.
This was an interesting discussion and I am not sure a breast fed dolly would work maybe I just think that way because I am too use to the bottle fed dollies?
But the point is that if breast feeding was more common place in public spaces and positively promoted with education would more women take it up and continue with it?
Feeding is a mine field. Women need support and education. It needs to be clear and guilt free.
Probably Mothers should take some of the blame as I know I have sat and wondered Why? When I see someone bottle feeding and I hope that Mother hasn’t seen me watching and felt guilt from my doing. That is a step I will amend and try to not judge as there are many reasons why a mother would choose to bottle feed.
Here it begins….back in the gym at last.
My first thoughts while still pregnant were that of course I could train at home while my darling cherub was sleeping, life would be wonderfully uncomplicated!?
Of course these were the mad thoughts of a women yet to fully understand what it means to have a child. Oh the ignorance.
The reality of it though is that it is near on impossible. Between cooking, cleaning, washing and caring for baby, there would be next to no opportunity to lift a dumbell.
I find I am endlessly moving around the flat grabbing any spare moments to get chores done or even trying to eat myself as I now have to make time to eat instead of eating leisurely as before.
With home training out of the question I wanted to stake a claim on Sunday mornings and head down to Crossfit London Gym to work on my recovery.
Simple! I could get a bit of time to myself while Snoop got to know his Daddy a bit better.
I kicked off my plan of attack this Sunday the 4th December.
I wanted to hit Squats, but as I have said in my previous blog I was back to basics.
I woke early and tended to the baby I was excited at the thought of a whole hour to myself. Whoop Whoop
By 10.30 I was pounding the pavement on my way to the gym. I have never been a big jogger but since starting my weekly 15 minute jogs I have really enjoyed those precious minutes to clear my head and feel refreshed. -I strongly recommend every new mother finds time to slip away and .have some Me time.
Now back to the plan………….
Although I was a well trained individual before the c-section and even found it hard to slow my training down while pregnant, this was more serious.
I hadn’t done any strength training in nearly 10 weeks! I can’t remember having such a long break before that???????????
For my first session I wanted to play it safe…………extra safe in fact.
The plan was to drill overhead squats with a pvc bar, wall squats and supported bar squats.
So that’s what I stuck to……….
5 -10 reps of each and a 10 second hold on the bar support drill.
I mixed this up with some stretches and a quick go on the pull up bar………..I had to give it a quick go!!!
(I used a green support band though) -I have to say I wont be trying them out again soon as the band did rub over the scar tissue and irritate it so think they are best left alone for another time!
I went through my circuit of drills 4 times before finishing. That may not seem like much to you but as this was a test run I didn’t want to push my luck. There is always next week!
To my delight over the next couple of days although I had a little soreness I was feeling fine.
The green light to try a bit more next week -Perfect!
As a side note Andrew Stemler, my friend and boss asked if I was going to post pictures of my post baby body and how I was feeling about it.
After consideration, Andrew I thought it would be a dis service to myself and other post-natal Mums if I didn’t.
I am fully aware of how much my shape has changed and am proud of my Mummy curves.
I will most defiantly be working on losing a few kilos but I think I have to learn to love the fact that my hips will never quite be the same again and instead of trying to achieve the impossible, I am going to love the new skin I am in.
I thought my shape would bother me more and although I do complain to Adrian about my wobble thighs or my big hips, it’s not all that bad,
Posting my post baby picture is my final act of acceptance, call it therapy!
(Check out how many sports bras I have to wear to keep my chest under control!!! Thats 2 at the last count!!)
Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach
I am finally ready for action. I am fighting fit and in the flow of being Mum that I am ready to start looking at my recovery in more detail.
It has been 8 weeks since my C Section and as per my plan I called to book into a Pilates class. Knowing I had to take things really easy.
I informed the teacher of my history to which her face kind of dropped. She still allowed me to continue with the class but I could tell she wasn’t loving it.
At the end of the hour session that I had been so looking forward to she came and had a quiet word with me.
In a nut shell she didn’t want me coming back to the class! When I asked her why she couldn’t really give me a great answer only that she didn’t want to injury me further and that I should be resting until at least 12 weeks.
What 12 Weeks? Was she mad, I couldn’t sit around for another 4 weeks. I was starting to get restless feet!
Fair play to her though if she didn’t feel confident with me in her class then so be it.
Thinking about what I could do for myself to scratch my itch, I decided to start a light jogging route when Adrian was home from work and able to watch the baby.
I decided that 15 minutes was more then enough to start me off on and with a route in mind I set off.
Half way through and I was really feeling it in my legs. Not in a tired sense but the imbalances I had acquired from the pregnancy.
My hips felt like they were on fire and my calves were steaming too!
I finished my 15 minutes thankful it was over!!!
Back in the flat I had a good stretch. I was hoping that this would feel better the next time I went out for my jog.
I gave myself a days rest and off I went again, this time determined to do 2 laps.
Again my legs were so sore I could just manage a snail pace jog, and with heavy legs I even stacked over my own feet as I got to the end of the second lap. I have a couple of nice looking scabs on my hands to prove it.
Again a good stretch after.
I was clearly in more of a mess then I had expected and if Pilates wouldn’t have me then I would have to do something about it myself.
(I have to add that Pilates was my lazy option to recovery, I really wanted a hour to myself to just switch off a bit from having to think.)
So this in mind my plan of action has changed.
Twice a week I will still have my jog (It’s good to blow out the cobwebs)
But instead of Pilates I am going to take things back tot he beginning with my Crossfit and look at my drills of the fundamental moves with a PVC/wooden broom handle.
I think my first stop is Squats, squats and more squats!
So you will find me now back at the Box in Bethnal Green on a Sundays working on my recovery, and if you see me with a PVC don’t be fooled into thinking I am not one strong chick.
I am but for now I am undercover working on my virtuosity.
Sally Dixey is a Crossfit London Coach