Breastfeeding Bites #3. My Engorgement Management Plan

When your milk comes in the chances are you will know about it – and it may come as quite a shock. There you are calmly enjoying (or surviving at least) colostrum feeding then whoosh…the colostrum calm is well and truly over and a rapid and quite alarming breast inflation takes place.

With my first child I was a mere passenger to the experience..watching with terrified fascination as my breasts, like the giant peach, grew bigger and bigger reaching and surpassing the limits of believability to become uncontrollable balls of pain.

I am a large producer of milk and first time was clueless as to the implications of that and how to manage this process of milk arrival. The result was engorgement so severe  I was a whisker away from mastitis. Excellent postnatal care saved me with a well-timed visit from my midwife who took one look at the hot spots on my breasts and leapt into action. Her electric pump was immediately deployed and as the first few gallons of milk came off the relief was instant. I then had to follow a regime for a few days whereby I expressed surplus milk until the amounts pouring out puttered down from a tsunami to a trickle.

This time the fear was real…I did not want to get to that place again. Being a much more savvy breastfeeder this time round meant that while engorgement happened we were able to keep on top of it with the following techniques, or as I like to call it: The Engorgement Management Plan (EMP for short, entirely made up by me, please consult the disclaimer in the first edition regarding ANYTHING I say!). So here’s the EMP that worked for me: Continue reading

Breastfeeding Bites #2. Colostrum: The Calm Before the Storm

Welcome back to my breastfeeeding meanderings – if you missed the first instalment, The First Feed, you can find it here.

So you may be wondering what I’m talking about with my assertion of calmness. The first few days after your baby is born will perhaps feel anything but calming…yes, you have just given birth and, yes, you’re knackered and, oh yes, you’re feeding your baby every hour or two to keep their little marble-sized tummy full. But stick with me….I really think that colostrum feeding can be a moment of relative calm in the breastfeeding timeline and we should try to utilise it. Continue reading

Breastfeeding Bites #1. The First Feed

Hello I’m back in the blogosphere! Well perhaps. I’m back for a bit anyway, probably sporadically and unreliably…so no real change there. The big news is that I wasn’t waiting long and I gave birth to my second child a few weeks ago.

The result is that breastfeeding is fairly high up on my activity list at the moment and I thought I would keep a little record of this final breastfeeding adventure with Breastfeeding Bites, a pleasingly alliterative but otherwise really rather unpleasant title. Continue reading


You don’t stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing…*

My son first laughed at 11 weeks old. Up until then he was smiley, grinny, even giggly, but this was when he discovered the beauty of the chortley, chuckly belly-laugh.

I remember the moment very well. It was a stormy autumnal evening and we had just returned home from visiting relatives. He was lying on the sofa in the kitchen and we were double-parenting – blowing raspberries at him…suddenly he laughed and it was the best sound I have ever heard in my life, I’ll never ever forget it. He laughed and laughed and laughed and so did we. Continue reading

Holidays and Highlights

‘The seaside makes me happy Mummy’

‘Me too lovebug…’

Little boy sat on the beach playing

I know I’m a sporadic blog-poster at the best of times so you probably won’t really notice the difference, but I’m going on a blogging and an actual holiday. I really feel as though I’ve been winding down at the moment ready to take a little break…refocusing and refreshing my mind.

Before I go (although I’m not going completely, just changing the tempo) I thought I’d indulge in a few reflections. I’ve had a lovely joyous time blogging this year. It has continued in its own unique way to give me an expressive outlet, the little bit of creation I am in control of…it has also provided me with some tangible highlights: Continue reading

What’s Your Parenting Style?

What is my parenting style? What type of parent am I? It’s a question I have asked myself from time to time in the three years I’ve been a parent and I don’t really know. Labels don’t hold much sway with me and I don’t think I can definitively put myself in any one parenting box.

My husband and I are alert but laid back, impatient but patient: we follow some routines, we discipline, have rules, use a lot of the theories of gentle parenting and are awed at the sometimes sanity-saving techniques of playful parenting.

What I am coming to realise, however, is that this doesn’t make us parents without labels – instead we are covering ourselves with labels in an exuberant and scattergun fashion, like a toddler let loose with a sticker sheet…

So let me give you a flavour of just some of the ‘techniques’ that we use in what is actually a veritable pick and mix of parenting boxes:

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Creative Mothers Series – Single Mum Speaks

Welcome to the thirteenth issue in the Creative Mothers Series –  a guest series for people to share their thoughts and experiences of the impact of parenthood on their creativity.

This will be the last post in the series for a few months, but I look forward to sharing more in the Autumn. Please do get in touch using the details on my contact page if you would like to take part with your thoughts. And you can find more information about the series including the other twelve posts here

Now onto today’s post, and I’m delighted to welcome Min from Single Mum Speaks. Her blog has long been a favourite of mine – her honesty, wry humour and eloquence makes each post a compelling read. 

In this piece Min shares with us the place creativity has always had in her life and the significance of that creativity for her now. These are thoughts that really resonate with me, as I’m sure they will with lots of people…


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The Montcalm at The Brewery

The last Friday in June saw my husband and me enjoying a rare afternoon and evening adventuring together just the two of us. The site for our adventuring was London (I was heading to BML16 the next day) and I say adventuring, I think that may be pushing the experience and your expectations of this post past the point of reality. It was not a day for adventuring, it was a day for mooching, pottering, resting.

First up in our bid to relax and soak up the sights of our capital was the choice of a bus ride from London Waterloo to our destination. I grant you this may not be absolutely everyone’s idea of a relax, but what other way can you cheaply and slowly (very slowly on a Friday afternoon) see the sights? Taxis are too expensive to be truly relaxing; the tube is efficient but viewless and the idea of getting my husband on a ‘Boris Bike’ is frankly laughable.

After a short distance and long journey we bundled ourselves off outside the monolithic maze of the Barbican and took a short stroll to our destination for the evening: The Montcalm at the Brewery, London City. Continue reading

18 Million Things – Summer Edition

This series is where I indulgently fill up my pocket of the Internet with the virtual pebbles, receipts and loose change of memories I want to keep of my son.

He’s nearly three and we veer between total gorgeousness and utter chaos. I’m writing this today after he randomly and deliberately decided to upturn a large cup of tea onto the lounge carpet, throw a hard unidentifiable toy object at me in anger and then play ‘sandcastles’ with an almost-but-not-quite empty pot of yoghurt.

Yep, so obviously it’s not all roses and sparkles but actually quite a lot of it is – life is silly and fun and innocent and dramatic and the world hasn’t encroached on our bubble yet. Continue reading