Breastfeeding out and about – aka IN PUBLIC! Shock horror! (Insert shocked hands up to face emoticon!) Why on earth would any women ever feel the need to get her breasts out in public unless she was trying to flaunt around a sports car and look sexy, or pose provocatively on page 3 of a certain newspaper – now that of course is perfectly ok.However sitting down, creating no fuss and attaching a hungry little helpless baby is an absolute no no. Ladies what do you think you’re doing!? Just stop it, stop it now! Nobody wants to see it, go and hide somewhere and feel ashamed that you are giving your baby milk tailor-made for their every need.

Now calm down and take a breath.

Feeding your baby in public for the first or thirty-fifth time can be scary, very very scary. But it needn’t be. In this post I want to share my experience of feeding in public and any hints or tips I can give you to make things a little easier and less scary.

First of all please know that the law is with you on this one. It is against the law to treat any women unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. In short you can feed anywhere you need to without being asked to stop, move , leave, or being made to feel uncomfortable. There is a really good information sheet produced by maternity action which can be found here. So armed with the right knowledge and backing of the law you may feel more confident about feeding your baby when you need to if you’re out.

But having the knowledge isn’t the same as actually feeding when out and about. When I was a new mum I was petrified of breastfeeding in public, I wasn’t so much worried about what people would say but what they might see. I didn’t want my breasts to be on show to the world. I hadn’t however back then worked out how I could feed discreetly. In my head I had imagined I’d have to sit in the middle of a coffee shop and literally ‘flap out a boob’ leaving myself half-naked, which simply isn’t true. Once you’ve overcome the first few hurdles of breastfeeding and mastered the position and attachment then you can start practising feeding discreetly. Just like learning to ski you can’t learn it all in one session so make sure you’ve got the basics down pat before you try the slightly more complicated moves!

There are lots of breastfeeding covers out there that you can buy to use if you would like to, or a simple muslin would be fine. I used one for quite a while with the boy and it gave me the confidence to know that wherever I went I would be able to feed him. He was quite a fussy feeder and so I was constantly worried that he may be on and off all the time. If you feel you want to use a cover to boost your confidence then go for it! Just make sure that you are not compromising your position and attachment when you do use it as that may make you sore. I haven’t used one at all with Flixster when feeding as I don’t feel that I need to.

Clothing – plan ahead! There are lots of breastfeeding specific clothes out there to buy, and that’s great if you want to invest in a new wardrobe but there are also lots of ordinary everyday items of clothing that will work well when breastfeeding. Spaghetti strap vests become your friend! I tend to layer up and wear a couple of vest tops, one you can pull up and one you can pull down to just below the bra. Then you can drop the cup on your bra and just expose the nipple part of your breast, once the baby is attached you’ll be showing barely anything at all. Wrap dresses or wrap top or pretty much anything with a deep ‘V’ shape neck can be teamed with a vest top – pull the vest top up, drop the bra cup and way you go. A boob tube and a t-shirt over the top, pull the shirt up, pull the boob tube down a little, drop your cup and away you go. Boob tubes are great under pretty much any top as they cover your middle which most new mums certainly don’t want to show and can be pulled down to just under the bra and your other top can be pulled up.

Where to feed – My favourite place is of course the coffee shops of wherever we are, because most of them sell cake! A feed for baby and a treat for me – after all they do say that feeding burns 500 cals a day (why I’m not stick thin I don’t know!) What if you can’t find a coffee shop though or you don’t want to spend money? How about a changing room, are you in a shop that has quite a few changing cubicles. Most shops have seats in them now, or at least somewhere to perch. If you ask nicely enough I’ve never been turned away. Now I realise it’s not ‘in public’ but it will have a seat which most breastfeeders need, and is easily available in most clothes shops! Failing that most book shops have seats too! Often larger shopping centers will have a feeding room so it’s always worth an ask.

When you first start feeding out and about and feel nervous about it have someone with you who can sit with you and chat, it might take your mind off it a bit and also make sure they too are aware of the law so that if anybody does say anything they are with you to defend you. At this point let me reassure you that incidents of anybody saying something to a breastfeeding mum happen far less than you think they do. I myself have fed out and about many many times and have never been made to feel uncomfortable, it does happen but of course those are often the stories that make the news. The millions of mums who feed out and about without incident every single day aren’t news worthy.

So please go out and feed in public if your baby is hungry, don’t let breastfeeding stop you from going out. If you need to start slowly to build up your confidence do that, everyone starts somewhere and those mums that make it look easy undoubtedly were nervous the first time they fed in public. Most of the time you wouldn’t give me a second glance when feeding in public, you’d probably just think I was giving my baby a close hug, but let me tell you it certainly wasn’t like that for me at first. I’ve been there. I’ve been that mum that would panic at the first twitch of baby being unhappy and needing feeding. You can do it, you really can, it just takes practise and the confidence will come.

Please feel free to get in touch with me if you want any further help or pointers, I’m happy to discuss my journey with anyone.

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I’m a bit late to this one but I may as well dive in with my first photo – todays theme is ‘Something Round’

 

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#snaphappybritmums

BritMums - Leading the Conversation

 

And I only just realised I typed ‘dive in’ when I wrote it there was no pun intended!

As you’ll know by now my festive spirit is already alive and kicking. My heart leaps with joy at the sights and sounds of Christmas that are starting to creep in all around me. So when I was recently offered the opportunity to try a festive coffee blend I jumped at the chance. Being a mummy to a young baby who feeds two hourly during the night I need a coffee to get me going in the morning! Before I moved in with hubby instant coffee was my go to drink, however having lived with him for almost 10 years now my coffee tastes have changed. I describe him as a coffee snob as he really knows his coffee. He’s been through a fair few machines before settling on the one we have now. So although I know what I like coffee wise hubby will also be having his say on this one!

The coffee we were tasting was ‘Reindeer Rocket’ by the Big Cup Little Cup company who produce nespresso compatible capsules. As it was weekend hubby decided to try a new ‘duffin’ recipe he had found to go along with the coffee – I wasn’t going to say no to cake!

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Once the cakes were made and decorated we opened up the coffee, I was delighted to see that each nespresso compatible capsule was wrapped up like a little Christmas present. I love that the packaging has been thought about so carefully, with its tiny stamp label. I think they look fab in our coffee jar it just needs a red ribbon now to complete the festive look!

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Reindeer Rocket is recommended to be served as a lungo, so with fresh water in the machine I set about making two coffees, one with a splash of milk for me as I like my coffee white and a black one for hubby.

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Reindeer Rocket tasting notes:

Reindeer Rocket is a limited edition rich coffee with an intense flavour. Arabica beans from Southern Brazil and Central America and Southern Indian Robusta beans create a powerful and bold coffee with flavours of dark chocolate and chestnut that lingers with a sweet, smoky finish on the palate.

It’s a 9 on the strength scale.

My opinion: I really liked the coffee, I’m not normally one to have the higher end coffees on the strength scale but with a splash of milk I really enjoyed the flavours of the coffee.It has a lovely bold flavour which isn’t particularly bitter as I find some of the stronger coffees to be. I can imagine it will be my go to coffee over the festive season, especially if Flixster keeps me up every two hours, every night as he has been doing!

Hubby’s opinion: The coffee has a bold taste that’s offset by a subtle sweetness that is the signature of a great Christmas blend coffee.

Big cup little cup have offered readers of my blog a chance to get 15% off their first order using the code LYRICAL15 there are plenty of coffees to choose from and the Reindeer Rocket will be launched soon – keep your eyes open for that one!

www.bigcuplittlecup.com

 

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I was sent a sample of Reindeer Rocket for the purpose of this review but we have purchased from them before and have always been impressed with the coffees and the speed of delivery. All the opinions expressed are my own and truthful.

Dear Boys,

Let me start by telling you how much I love you. I really really love you both so much.
I’ve read a blog this week written by someone that I used to work with who has had a terminal illness and very sadly passed away last week. She gave me a new enthusiasm for life and a huge reminder to appreciate every single day as some people don’t get a tomorrow and we are lucky when we wake up each new day.
I will try even harder now to see the beauty of the world each day and the good in everything.

If there ever comes a time boys where I’m no longer physically here to walk by your side then please know I’ll always be with you wherever you go because I’ll be in your heart. I just want to make sure you know how much both I and Daddy love you.

Once again the days are flying by, another weekend has come and gone in the blink of an eye. I’m trying to remember to write down all the funny things you say boy. As your language is improving day by day you are getting things wrong less often so I’m trying to preserve those beautiful everyday mishaps.
You made everyone laugh this week when we went for breakfast with Grandma & Grandad, you sat down and as the waitress gave out the menus you took yours opened it up and exclaimed loudly “Lets look at the menus guy’s”. It was so sweet and funny, I wish I could bottle up moments like that.
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You also came out with a great line this week whilst looking in the cereal cupboard “Oh no mummy, there’s no gruffanola” I can only presume that you meant granola and not a special type of cereal made from Gruffalo!
Yesterday on the way home from nursery I was asking you about the poppy you had made that was taped onto your t-shirt you told me that you’d had a “Silenceds at nursery to think about the soldiers” I was so proud you’d listened and taken on board what you were doing.
We’ve been to see another school this week which I really liked, I’m hoping we can put it down on the application form as first choice for you as I think you’d really like it there. There was a lot of outside space which I know you really enjoy. I will have my fingers tightly crossed that you get in, such a worrying time.
Flixster you’ve developed a proper little giggle, I love how much your eyes light up when your brother enters the room. You absolutely adore him.
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I went out to a matinee performance of a Barnum on Saturday and left you both with Daddy for the first time. I’m lucky that your Uncle (my brother) works in theatre so I get to see lots of shows. I enjoyed the time to myself and especially a solo coffee and mince pie, but did miss you boys.

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I really enjoyed the show and I was out for quite a few hours and when I came back you were laughing your head off at Daddy and the boy throwing pillows at each other. I was so pleased that you’d all been ok together because I know how hard it can be looking after you both together single handedly!

I’m really looking forward to the build up to Christmas, I have lots of plans in the pipeline, but I’m remembering to live and love in the moment so that if we don’t get a tomorrow we’ve lived for today!

Please always remember I love you both unconditionally….forever.
Love Mummy xx

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If you’ve read my blog before you’ll know that I love Christmas. It’s my all time favourite holiday season. I’ve always loved Christmas time even before having the children, but since having the boys it’s become even more magical. As the boy is growing up and beginning to understand things a little more he is beginning to believe in the magic of Christmas. This year will be his 4th Christmas, he’ll be 3 years 4 months on Christmas day this year, and I couldn’t be more excited! So when I was recently given the chance to review a letter sent from the big man himself I jumped at the chance. I have already published a post about ordering our letters from the Lapland Mailroom which can be found here. As I had ordered our letters early when they arrived I kept them to one side until today so that I knew the boy would be here when it landed on the door mat. He loves collecting the post for me and we play a game where he identifies the names on each letter to tell us if it’s for mummy or daddy. So I couldn’t think of a more appropriate day than today, a rainy Saturday morning with no particular plans but to stay in our pyjamas snuggled up warm inside! He’d put on his little monkey onesie and was ready for a morning playing with Flixster and his toys. When I heard the postman I beat him to the door and switched our normal post for his special letter before letting him discover it for himself.

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He was so excited to find a letter addressed to him! He was able to recognise his name and couldn’t quite believe it was post for him!

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The letter was quite thick which made it exciting to open, we sat down together to discover what was inside. We found a personalised letter along with a Christmas card to colour, a tree decoration, a door hanger, a stop here sign, an activity sheet and a nice child certificate.

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He knew from the picture on the letter that it was from Father Christmas!

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He wanted me to read it to him and his eyes lit up when I read the parts containing Flixster’s name. It really was lovely to watch him listen so intently to the letter being read to him. We looked at the rest of the package together and he instantly decided that he wanted to start colouring straight away so I got out his crayons and pens as he had requested.

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He wanted to cut out the tree decoration himself but as we don’t have any children’s scissors yet Daddy had to do it whilst he watched on. That’s another thing for the Christmas list though! He spent quite a while colouring in and kept looking back at the letter to point out his name.

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What a lovely way to spend a morning together, we had a good talk about Christmas still being quite a long time away but the letter has started to build the excitement. I suppose I’ll only have a limited number of years that the boys will still believe in Father Christmas so I’m going to enjoy it while I can. The magic of Christmas will always be alive in our house because as the Muppets sing in my all time favourite Christmas film “Wherever you find love it feels like Christmas!”

The lovely people at Lapland Mailroom have offered one blog reader the chance to win their very own personalised letter from Santa as well as an activity pack, just enter below, and if you’re not lucky enough to win then you can use the code ‘xmas2014promo’ for 10% off your order. Letters start from just £6.95 and are posted within 3 days.

I was sent a letter for the boy for the purpose of this review but all the opinions expressed about it are my own and truthful.

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The school applications have just opened in our local authority area…..help! How is my baby going to survive school? How am I going to make the right choices for him? What if we don’t get our first choice school? Or even second or third choice?
The boy is an August born baby so is going to be one of the youngest in his school year. He’ll have just turned 4 when he starts. How will I know if he’s ready. What if he gets upset and needs a mummy hug while he’s there?

All mummies and daddies must go through these emotions….right?
In September this year as I was taking Flixster for a walk I saw all the neatly dressed boys and girls heading to school and thought that this time next year it’ll be me. It barely seems 5 minutes since he was born and in the blink of an eye another year will have passed and I’ll be standing at the school gates for the first time waving him off.
One of the hardest things for me to get my head around at the moment is putting my heart into finding the right school for him and then the seemingly long wait to find out if he can have a place. Our nearest school is a lovely church school and I would have been happy to send him there but they don’t have any after school care facilities which we would need as both I and hubby work. I could look at alternatives such a a childminder which I would prefer but it’s not a reliable option as I’d be looking for one now with spaces in Sept 2015. What if those spaces were no longer available when I needed one? I really need him to go to a school with guaranteed before and after school care, then if I can find a childminder all the better but at least I have options if not.

I’ve been to look around another local school today, I wasn’t able to make it to their open day so I had to make a separate appointment. The school has a good ofsted report but I was given a whistle stop tour by someone who didn’t even tell me their name. I thought I was going to really like the school but I’m not in love with it. Should I be looking for schools as I’d look for a house? If I’m looking at houses I want to walk in and fall in love with the place, should I have the same emotion if I’m looking for a school for my son to attend?

I have to make three choices, put the application in, then wait, and wait, and wait.

The final decision will be emailed to me in April, which at the moment seems like a lifetime away. I can imagine I will be obsessively checking my emails on the day they go out. I think I’ll be more nervous than I was receiving my own exam results or doing pregnancy tests! This is about my babies future, its about which gates I’ll be peeping through next September with my heart in my mouth hoping my little boy will be ok.

Expect lots more posts about schools in the next few months as it seems to be always on my mind at the moment.

If anyone has tips for choosing schools please let me know. I’ve never done this before and although I know its just another chapter in the big book of parenting, its one that I’m starting with butterflies in my tummy!

I recently found out about a new campaign organised by Dettol from a fellow bloggers post, and it touched a string in my heart. I love reading other posts and find so much useful information from link ups and blog hops. Dettol are working with Sparks Charity to collect and redistribute baby blankets to less fortunate families. I was surprised by the fact on Dettol website that says –

Laboratory tests commissioned by Dettol – on washed blankets donated by volunteer mums – show that baby ‘blankies’ carry a variety of bacteria even after a 40°C wash. In-fact, a third of the washed blankets harboured coliforms – a group of bacteria linked to faeces.

It’s horrible to think that something I use to snuggle Flixster in all the time may not be as clean as I first thought it was!

From the moment I brought Flixster into the world at home and out of the pool he was wrapped in a blanket. I didn’t dress him all day on the day he was born as I was enjoying skin to skin contact so much under a blanket.
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We spent all day bonding with him being exactly where he had been the previous day except he was now on the outside world!
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Dettol are now collecting blankets that are no longer used to wash hygienically and pass on to less fortunate families who may need them. You get to keep the memories but why not donate a blanket no longer used to them. It couldn’t be easier since they have provided a freepost address. Dettol Anti-bacterial Laundry Cleanser has also pledged to donate £1 to Sparks for every blanket collected to raise much-needed funds for UK families who are affected by serious illness or disability.

 

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I couldn’t think of anything nicer as we move on past the baby stage to pass on the blankets I’ve grown fond of to other who will benefit from them too.

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