Tag: newborn

10 Things I Wish They Taught You About Newborns

10 Things I Wish They Taught You About Newborns

I remember the helpless feeling I had with my firstborn. Everything I had read and studied for had prepared me for birth, but now I was home with my baby and I had nothing. Nothing to refer to, no “what to expect book” to help. I sent my mum in law out to buy me the “what to expect in your first year” book within the first week we were home as I was so used to having something to refer to. This came with no manual and I was clueless!

People expect this happy, smiling, coo-ing baby to come out and when they are niggly, or crying, or seem unhappy we worry. Of course we do, it’s natural. The wait till our 6 week check up with the Pediatrician seemed endless and I had a growing list of concerns and queries to raise with her during our visit.

Two kids later and safe to say I am a little more confident in my abilities and what newborns come with, though I have seen first hand there is still a huge “gap in the market” on newborn behaviour and as a new mother, what to expect.

So here are some things I urge every mum to be or new mum to read, these are the things that I wish I had known with my firstborn (please note I am not a medical doctor, these are just my first hand experiences, if you truly are worried about something it’s always better to get a professional opinion):

  • Breastfeeding takes a while to get into – You and baby will take at least 3 weeks getting to know each other and finding your groove. Your nipples will feel like hot razors are running through them and when your milk kicks in you will feel like you have hard rocks attached to your chest. It’s excruciating, and you may cry BUT It does pass and it does get easier, trust me. It’s the one thing you don’t want to give up on, even one day of breastmilk is better than none at all.
  • Babies will cramp – Breastfed babies (I can only speak from this experience), will experience cramps and winds. It’s more frustrating for parents I think then it is for the babies, but please know that this is (mostly) normal. Unless baby is not putting on any weight, or you notice blood in a stool at all, it’s nothing to worry too much about. Yes it’s hard seeing a little baby in discomfort and cramping, but it will pass. Remember, their intestines have been 100 percent sterile, every single thing they ingest (through you) is new. Their digestive systems adjust to all the new nutrients in their bodies. Their muscles have to form. Please have patience and give them time. You can relieve some of your newborn’s discomfort by rocking her, carrying her in an infant carrier, or holding her in an upright position.
  • Baby skin issues – a baby’s skin will flake and peel, it’s completely normal, especially around their hands and feet. I mean they have been in fluid for almost 10 months, of course it’s going to adjust! You can also almost guarantee rashes, acne or skin irritations. From heat rashes, to baby acne or blocked pores all babies experience unsightly skin at some point. DO NOT pick those little white spots. Baby acne will typically clear up on its own but sometimes you may need a little steroid cream for help.
  • Reflux is more common than you think – again, largely in babies that are breastfed because of the consistency of your milk. It typically passes in the first 3 – 4 months. Your babies tummy has to settle into a rhythm. Until this happens, milk can sit in the stomach and then come back up in a reflux action. It can be related to some babies not having sufficient enzymes as well, and sometimes the little valve between the oesophagus and stomach, is underdeveloped which will cause him frequently to spit up or vomit. As baby grows and develops, it will pass, unless they have a medical condition and aren’t gaining any weight. Sleeping on a wedge helped us tremendously with our kids, as does holding baby upright.
  • Newborns will want to nurse A LOT. They “eat” a ton, but it’s not always for nutrition, it’s for comfort. For that reason I always encourage new mothers to feed on demand. DO NOT time your feeds. This is crucial to build up an adequate milk supply as well. This little soul has been connected to you for 9 full months and is suddenly no longer joined to you. They want to nurse to feel close to their mama’s again, to feel your heartbeat. Newborns also only a eat a little at a time, so expect many, many feedings each day and night ( a teaspoon amount in those first few weeks ).
  • You cannot “SPOIL” a baby – so Hold your baby, for as long as they need.
    Hold them. And do it as much as you want. I promise you will not start any bad habits. They need you, and won’t always be that tiny. Those newborn cuddles fly by quicker than you think and you will long for that feeling again. So hold them mama, for naps, at bedtime, when you’re watching TV. Let them sleep on you, its bonding time you will never get back and it releases happy hormones. This is your maternity leave for a reason, embrace every breath and get to know each other.
  • Let them sleep! PLEASE DO NOT worry about routine or sleeping patterns, until at least 3 months. Newborns sleep something like 18 hours a day, and when they aren’t sleeping they are feeding or burping or trying to pass gass. So let them sleep (unless of course they are sleeping longer than 5 hour stretches in the day, then pick them up to feed them).
  • You need a degree on poops – There is no greater force than that of a baby pooping. Those rocket fueled gas bubbles that can propel poop across the room. The sound that vibrates the windows 🙂 It’s all about the gas coming out and their tummy muscles developing. If you can see your baby straining, sometimes wiping a babies bum also stimulates the colon. If I saw my little one cramping I would open up her nappy and wipe her bum with a little cotton wool and water, it’s almost always sure to get some poop out!
  • You baby is tougher than you give him credit for – God has created this perfect little human being, and aside from any physical or mental ailments or disabilities, their bodies can handle more than we give them credit for.   Yes, newborns are tiny and vulnerable and fragile and helpless, but trust in them, and trust in you.
  • Time will fly by quicker then you think. I feel like I gave birth to my youngest a month ago, but its already been 4.5 months. Time is flying and I am already missing those newborn cuddles. Don’t rush time away. Every day that passes is another day conquered. Give your baby and yourself a break. This is the most trying period in your life, and we often don’t expect all the “hardships”. Bar any illness and as long as baby is gaining weight and is healthy, trust yourself. You got this mama!
Things I Pray I Never Forget

Things I Pray I Never Forget

I don’t know if I am ready. I look down and feel your soft cheek and stare in awe at your long eyelashes. Squeeze your tiny foot and notice how it fits into my whole hand. You are growing so quickly and have slipped into our family with such ease, I feel like we are missing the moments, the milestones. You’re grabbing things with intent now and try to put them all in your mouth. I don’t know if I’m ready for you to be my last baby. The last one I get to cradle and comfort. The last one I get to nurse, the last one I get to squeeze and kiss.

So here are some things I hope I never forget:

  • Your superman like stretch when I lift you up after a feed. Your arm goes up your back stretches out and you make the cutest little expression on your lips.
  • Your sweet sweet milky kisses
  • Your chunky, chunky, chubster thighs and all their beautiful squishiness
  • The way your little feet kick like crazy in the bath
  • The way you have discovered how to suck your thumb, and the intent you look at your hand with as you turn it to put into your mouth
  • Your chubby little hands, soft fingers and dimpled knuckles
  • Your sweet little gurgles and baby sounds
  • The way you giggle when I tickle your neck
  • Your little mouth pulling down and your button nose wrinkling up when you are upset
  • Your chubby, chubby soft cheeks (there’s a chubby trend here in case you didn’t notice)
  • Your call at night when you wake for a feed, it’s like a little kitten
  • The way your arm rotates and hits me in the chest when you are nursing, and the way you stare into my eyes
  • The way you sometimes stop, mid feed, just to pop your head up to look at me. You make me laugh so much!

Motherhood is always such a catch 22. You want your child to grow up strong and healthy but at the same time you never want them to grow up at all. Some people think I’m absolutely mad, not knowing if you are my last baby or not, but its easy to consider another when you are so very easy to love my Raya Bug. Thank you for choosing us to be your parents and thank you for coming into our lives.

All photographs are copyright of Slumberlings Photography and In these Stilettos

I Lost My Cool – When You Get Frustrated With Baby

I Lost My Cool – When You Get Frustrated With Baby

One of the reasons I started blogging again was this very season, this season of “parenting a newborn”. It can be so incredibly isolating and tiring on your soul. And today, today I lost my cool and got snapped back into reality by my 5-year-old. The physical and mental exhaustion, and constant attention needed got to me, I found myself taking out my frustrations on an innocent 4-week-old.

I find the newborn phase the most challenging. Even after 3 kids, raising a newborn requires a certain amount of patience that I don’t possess. Both my boys were colicky, but both had slight reflux as well. I would walk up and down with them for hours and broke down in tears many times. Raya Maryam certainly hasn’t been “colicky” yet but come 4pm everyday all she wants is her mama, and her mama’s boobs 🙂 Should you not give her any of those things the crying begins. Along with that of course, comes the winds. Each time she falls asleep, I lift her onto my shoulder to burp. Occasionally one or two come out straight away, but then the rest of the time I feel her little body pull up and tenses up completely. She arches her back and starts complaining and sometimes, like tonight, there is just no calming her down. You can try different methods, the shoulder burp, the “leaning forward and rubbing her back” method, the over the knee method, nothing helps to calm her but the boob. Fast forward 3 hours of playing on the “merry go around” of feeding, falling asleep, trying to burp, her little body cramping up and crying; I could feel myself patting her back a little TOO hard. Rocking back and forth a little too hard and shouting at my baby to “stop it”. Like a 4-week-old can understand and listen to me. The frustration was taking over, and I was putting it on my precious baby.

The boys were falling asleep in their beds on either side of me and my 5 year old, sensing my frustration and change in temperament,  sat up in bed and said “Mummy let me take her, I know how to take care of a baby” “really?”, “Yes” he proclaimed, “my teacher showed me, hold them gently like this and move and sing softly to them, you are being too rough.” BOOM.  Snap back to reality that I so needed by my sweet son.

I took a deep breath, said a prayer, kissed my sweet little baby and I gave her patience that I pulled out from the deepest corner of my soul. Hubby wasn’t around at the time, but if he was I certainly would have passed baby onto him earlier on. I remember being at this point with both the boys when they were newborns too, on that snapping point from sheer frustration. Its scary. Its scary to realise how fine that line is and I’m so grateful to have realised beforehand, before I tipped over and accidently hurt my child.

The point of this article of not to get judgement, nor to look for advice on “what could be wrong”.  I know I know we need to get into the feed, wake, sleep cycle but that’s something I have always battled with in the early days. I feed on demand for the first few months.

The point of this article is to let all new moms out there know that “it will be ok”. As a first-time mom the experience of motherhood can be incredibly lonely and isolated. I want you to know that at some point we all will get “frustrated” with our babies. It doesn’t make you a bad parent. Most people will not admit to “getting angry with their baby”, but I’ve been where you are. I’ve cried while my baby cried, I’ve stopped myself from rocking them a little too hard. I’ve felt my nerves reaching snapping point and wondered if I may have hurt my baby. I’ve felt so guilty that I’ve broken down in tears.  Motherhood is wonderful and magical and at the same time awful and hard. Even on my 3rd child I still have these moments.

Don’t be afraid to refuel and recharge. The beautiful thing about motherhood it sometimes all you need is a 5-minute break. Don’t be afraid to just put baby down and walk away for a short while, your sanity is the most crucial thing. Babies also feel emotions. If you are tense and frustrated, they wont be settled. They need soft love and care (one of the reasons my babies settle easier with me typically and not dad).

Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone, another mum. We have all been there and I promise, most mums I have met will never judge. Don’t feel ashamed for your feelings or your response to motherhood. By speaking out you are getting help. Finding a group of mums that you can talk to or that have children similar ages can be a God-send. Just getting out and talking about it airs your frustrations.

No excuse me while I go and kiss my precious bundle. Tomorrow is a new day and a new start, with hopefully a recharged milk supply for this lil monster 🙂

Hospital Bag Checklist – What To Pack For Mom And Baby

Hospital Bag Checklist – What To Pack For Mom And Baby

I finally did it! At 38 weeks I finally packed my hospital bags 🙂 I always love to leave things till the last-minute, but better late than never right? I asked a poll on my Instastories a few weeks back how many of you were still unsure of what to pack in your hospital bags, and 80% commented that they needed help. It’s one of those things where there are so many lists around you never know quite how much to pack or what is actually needed.

You would think that on baby 3 I would pretty much have this down pat by now but there are still things I stress about forgetting. My packing is pretty streamlined and I know exactly what I will need and when so in terms of bag organisation I think I have that down. The only time you should actually stress about not having something you specifically need is whilst you are in labour, so make sure you have a “mini bag” ready for labour. The rest of the time you aren’t actually away in another city, most of the time hubby or support can pop home to fetch something you need if its urgent. I always pack for a 3 day stay as you never know what might happen, even with all the best intentions you may end up having a c-section so rather be over prepared and ready.

Here are the key items I have packed, separated into moms and baby’s bags 🙂

For Mama:

I pack a smaller bag inside my hospital bag, to take with me into the labour room with essentials such as:

Snacks: I cannot emphasize these enough. By the time Yusuf made an appearance I was so hungry I could have attacked anything in sight. The midwife had kindly organized tea and some breakfast for me (it was about 11am by the time I was in my room), but it did not touch sides at all. Hubby was about to go home to get some sleep himself but before I let him go I made him drive to the nearest Woolworth’s and buy 3 ready-made meals. I literally devoured 3 meals before 2pm came around. There is nothing worse than being in your room and a snack attack hits and you don’t having anything to munch on. For my suitcase I pack the Woolworth’s trail mixes, dried fruit, chips and Energades. I also always pack a packet of gum or some mints.

Identity documents – These are pretty important and can be easily missed. I have to lug my passport everywhere but if you are a South African Citizen your ID would suffice).

Socks and Slippers: Your feet get cold! I pack 3 pairs of socks and I always save up those slippers from hotel or spa stays so I pack a pair of disposable slippers ( I don’t want to take them home after walking around a hospital). You can also pack flops for the shower.

Entertainment: This is your own personal preference. I pack my iPod (yes I’m still old school and I own a separate iPod), my Qu’ran (electric and travel size), I listen to the electronic one normally in early stages of labour. This time around I’ll be packing my iPad with a few pre-downloaded Netflix series on as well. I try to sleep as much as I can when I’m in hospital because I know once I’m home and have the other kids around, rest is not something I’ll be getting a lot of. DO NOT FORGET YOUR CHARGERS!

In my Larger bag I pack:

Nursing bras: I pack 3, these are crucial. You will need the support, but you will also need to be able to whip out your boob on a moment’s notice 🙂 We have a wide selection available in South Africa now from the traditional Carriwell to the modern and functional Bravado, Sophie and Jane and Mama Noo Bras

Disposable underwear: Really, they will be your best friend. Apart from my “going home” outfit I don’t even bother with normal underwear when in hospital. I want to throw everything away. So, I pack 4 to 6 pairs to make sure I have enough. At this point I use the good sexy Carriwell high-waisted ones. The ones that look like you are wearing a hair net, on your bum 🙂

Button up Pyjamas: I only realised the power of a button up pyjama top after having Aadam. It was something as a first-time mum I have never even considered before but after my first night in hospital I promptly sent my mum out to buy me a pair from Woolies. There are some utterly gorgeous lounge style pyjamas out there at the moment, with some equally gorgeous price tags 🙂 So for now, my favourites are typically all from Woolworth’s. I pack 3 pairs.

Maternity Pads: You know its real when you have to go out and do the grudge buys like linen savers and maternity pads 🙂 I’m rejoicing at the fact that lil-lets have come to the party with their own range of maternity pads now. Making child-birth a teeeeeny bit more glamorous 🙂 With the boys I used the age-old Carriwell “boats” that you constantly had to check and made sure they didn’t crunch up or shift. I have now stocked up on the lil-lets brand as they are certainly A LOT thinner and look a lot more “user friendly”.

Breast Pads: You may not may not use these while you are still in hospital. Your milk normally “kicks in” on day 3 but boy oh boy when it does you need to be ready for leakage 🙂 As soon as I am home I use cotton washable ones, but in the hospital, I normally pack 2 or 3 disposable ones.

Toiletries: What you pack is completely up to you, but you want to make sure you have the basics covered. I pack my Johnson’s Face Wipes – if you get in visitors but don’t feel up to walking to the bathroom they are ideal for a quick refresh, I keep a pack next to my bed and apply a little make up on to look fresh! I also pack a bar of dove soap, my Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream , Toothbrush ( I throw this away as well when I leave), Toothpaste, Dove deodorant, small bottles of shampoo conditioner and body lotion and my tangle teezer hairbrush. I certainly do not apply full make up when in hospital but I do take my “basics” which include my L’Oreal infallible foundation, Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara, Matsimela lip balm (always always pack lip balm), a brighter shade lippy for a pick me up. I also pack my Dettol instant hand sanitizer. You guaranteed not to run short on a hand sanitizer in the hospital, but its nice to always have your own.

Eye Mask: My cousin gifted me one at my first baby shower with a little note to say that sometimes they don’t switch off the lights or if you want to have a snooze in the day, to “use this”. I thought it was the sweetest thing ever and something I never forget to include now.

Going home outfit: You can pack this but its something ill often get hubby to bring with on day 2 or 3. So that it’s not all creased and “hospitally”. Remember to pack something looser as you will still be swollen.

Bath towel and face cloth: In case you haven’t noticed I have a slight phobia around hospitals and germs. Yes, even though you are in a labour ward, there are still germs!. I always pack my own towel and facecloth. Pack a plastic packet as well to put it in, just in case it’s still damp when its home time.

Babys’ Bag:

Blankets: I pack 3 muslin wraps, 1 fresh for each day. They are so lightweight and breathable, and baba is snug as can be. I also pack one softer fleece one to put over baba for a chillier night. You are guaranteed to have at least one leakage episode while in the hospital so pack an extra think blanket for just in case. I love how soft the Maccie Bamboo Muslin Blankets are.

Facecloths: 2 facecloths and one longer burping cloth. My one from Baby Little One is the perfect size!

Dummy: I always pack a dummy, with Aadam we got him on his before we even left the hospital, Yusuf never ever took to one though. The brand we have had the most success with has always been NUK.

Clothing: I pack 4 outfits (you always need a spare for any accidents and if you are having a boy I’d probably pack 5 🙂 Boys like to wee, especially when you take off their nappies 🙂 This time around I have packed outfits together in packs to make it easier to grab for changes. In each pack I’ve put a nappy with a vest, 1 x long sleeve babygro (woolies button up ones are perfect for hospital), socks and a hat. I then have a separate one for baba’s going home outfit. There’s a baby grow my mum in law brought over from the UK before I had Aadam. He went home in it, Yusuf went home in it and I’ve packed it now for this baba too. It’s quite sentimental and super cute 🙂 So that’s at least 3 x vests (I pack 4), 3 x Babygro’s, 3 pairs socks and 3 hats.

Hooded Towels: Baby typically only has one bath while in hospital, so one towel should suffice. Though I do remember with Yusuf they put one down and covered him in one too.

Nappies: That’s a given. The newborn ones normally come in handy smaller packs, perfect for chucking into your hospital bag. My personal preference for newborn nappies is Huggies. They have the best fit and they even go down a bit in the front to accommodate the umbilical cord.

Toiletries: Cotton Wool (for toping and tailing), I also don’t use wet wipes on my newborns, I only use cotton wool and water. Those first few nappies with their black “poop” are always sticky so I prefer a wet piece of cotton wool. A gentle baby wash (I use pure beginnings for my babies), surgical spirits for their umbilical cord and some bum cream. For the first few days I also don’t put body lotion onto baba. I just think their little skin is so soft and pure, If I do need anything I put a little coconut oil onto their skin. Remember newborns typically have skin that peels a bit.

You can download this printable list by clicking on the link below:

In these stilettos Hospital Bag Check List True

The rest is your own personal preference, but I prefer not to overpack and to keep things simple. Don’t forget your chargers. Happy packing and if you are reading this and getting ready to give birth, wishing you a beautiful birth experience, whatever it may be!

Dear New Mummy – you are not alone

Dear New Mummy – you are not alone

Dear New Mommy,

You are not alone… These first few weeks can seem so daunting. You thought you had read every book to prepare you for the arrival of your bundle of joy, you had attended every workshop. Yet you feel so unprepared and helpless at the thought of looking after this little human. Every single gurgle or grunt you question yourself, is she too hot/ is she too cold? Is he breathing? Why is he making that grunting sound? He’s not feeding enough, he’s feeding too long. He’s not sleeping long enough, or he’s sleeping too much. She is lethargic today… You know the feeling. You feel inadequate, this is not what you expected. You feel alone.

All of these thoughts and feelings you experience are helping you develop your intuition as a mother. No, it’s not something you are born with. It’s something you develop over time, by connecting with your baby. By getting to know them and their bodies, their reactions and movements. You may cry every time you hold him, unable to soothe his cramps or crying due to sheer exhaustion. IT’S OK Mama, hold your baby, all he needs is your love.

Days turn to nights, the world outside slips further and further away. You feel “stuck”, feeding, changing, sleeping, and burping. You finally get your sleeping bundle down and place her in her crib like she is a package of dynamite, carefully loosening your fingers when BOOM. The crying starts again. Lie down, sleep with her on your chest. Sleep together. The world can wait for now. All she needs if your love.

Dear mommy, it’s exhausting I know. The broken sleep, the crying, the fear of harming your child. You can’t quite see the end and you don’t know how other mothers have done it. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The best advice I could ever give you is take each day as it comes, each day you make it through is another day of raising a strong, healthy child. One more tick through the calendar of life. Each day that breaks your baby is another day stronger, because of you.

You will grow and develop a relationship in your OWN way, you will discover your perfect style of parenting in your OWN time. You will become a heroine, nursing night fevers and numerous amount of sick up, you will survive the days on 3 hours of broken sleep. You will become the PERFECT mother to YOUR CHILD. Your child is like no other in the world. You will develop a network of “mummy’ friends, all walking the same exhausting routine together, you will connect and grow stronger.

So listen to others if you would like, compare with friends if you wish but always know that you are in charge of your own journey through motherhood.

When you are feeling alone, staring out the window as your feed your baby for the 9th time that day, know that you are not. We are walking beside you every step of the way. Reach out to other moms, there is a whole new beautiful world of connections to help you through.

There is no other mother like you, and YOU are PERFECT to them.

Dealing with Postpartum depression – In Men

Dealing with Postpartum depression – In Men

Postpartum depression is a term that’s commonly heard, new mums are taught to be on the lookout for postpartum depression in themselves, but what about fathers? The journey into fatherhood doesn’t always come easily to men. Recent studies out of Europe show that up to 20% of all fathers experience some form of post natal depression. The reality is that postnatal depression in fathers is real.

What exactly have they got to be depressed about? They don’t go through pregnancy or the process of childbirth. Their hormones don’t suddenly open up and crash around them. They don’t have another being physically draining energy out of them. What affects them?

Dads go through similar emotional and mental rollercoasters as a mother does. Their world has been shifted upside down and they often struggle with a connection to the new baby. The focus of attention is typically on the newborn baby and mum, and as a man, you may feel that your needs are overlooked, as a father, you may not be sure of what exactly your role is, or how you fit in. Parenthood also brings new responsibility, for men an added “pressure” to “provide” for his family. Feelings of anxiety, exhaustion and stress.

Typically men expect that “paternal pride” to kick in immediately, but for some this doesn’t happen. If a mother breastfeeds her child it can be seen as an instant connection, she is providing and nurturing her child, fathers may feel left out. Mother and baby are seen as one and fathers are often on the side-lines. I know when my boys were younger and I was feeding them, I know my husband often felt “left out”, he felt he couldn’t “provide” for them and they didn’t “need” him. If they cried at night, he could not soothe them.

Everyone asks, “How is mum doing”, what about dad?

There is also strong correlation to show that is a mother is affected by post partum depression, typically the father is more prone to it as well. Some men do have tell-tale signs of depression, such as sadness, while others may display more aggression, agitation or even become detached. A lot of men start to work longer hours, at work they still feel powerful and needed.


If you feel you/ your partner may be experiencing some form of depression after baby, here are a few tips to include him more:

Try to get dad involved in nappy changing/ bath time more. Bath time could be their special bonding time.

If you are breastfeeding, after feeding hand baba over to dad for the burping and to finally put baby down to sleep. There was a period in time when my firstborn would only fall asleep in daddy’s arms hearing the Qu’ran being recited in his ear.

Express a bottle every now and again for daddy to feed.

If baby wakes at night try to get dad involved, even if it’s just passing the baby over to you (though this is easier said then done 🙂 ).

Encourage dad to exercise, release all that good energy!

If you feel the shift in your partner’s personality is big enough, suggest they speak to a 3rd party/ counsellor to seek treatment.

Postpartum depression is becoming more talked about and is not an uncommon thing anymore. Parenting is a life-changing experience; one that no-one is really prepared for. Our predictable, familiar comfort zone is thrown out of the window and our whole world spins. Try to keep the communication lines open, in most cases, you are there to support each other and life each other up. From a lot of the research done, postpartum depression in dad’s can clear after 4-6 months, once baby starts to become more alert or interactive and starts to recognise faces. As a mother, support your partner and try to encourage him as much as possible. Shower him in praise at his parenting skills and let him know that you couldn’t do it without him. Let him feel needed.

My V-Bac Experience

My V-Bac Experience

Let me start by saying that I did not choose to have a V-bac to be “more of a woman”, or to fulfil some right of passage that is bestowed upon all women, because to be honest, in my opinion, that is a load of rubbish. Regardless of the way you give birth you are still a bloody strong woman, in fact dare I say, having a c-section is far worse than giving birth naturally. Continue reading “My V-Bac Experience”

Three ways you didn’t realise you were harming your baby’s skin

Three ways you didn’t realise you were harming your baby’s skin

Writing my blog on breastfeeding recently got me reminiscing on that newborn mummy stage of sweet milk scented kisses, gurgles and the oh kissable soft skin of your baby. Broody much??

I learnt recently from the launch of the Johnson’s Baby Healthy Skin Project, which aims to improve the health of more than 3 million babies by 2020, that a baby’s skin is 30% thinner than an adults. Continue reading “Three ways you didn’t realise you were harming your baby’s skin”

The truth about breastfeeding, and products that can help you along the way.

The truth about breastfeeding, and products that can help you along the way.

So there is phase of motherhood that no one really “tells you about”… You know all about the milestones and a little about the burping and sleep patterns, but everyone fails to mention those first 8 weeks, where as a new mother, your body aches in places you never knew existed. If you have chosen the breastfeeding route, you feel as if someone has put you through 12 rounds of a boxing ring. The one thing you don’t see in those cosy cute pictures of mammas breastfeeding their babe’s is the endless hours of “back end” work to get them there. Soothing hot towels, cabbage leaves to reduce swelling, nipple creams slathered on 🙂

So let me set the record straight, Breastfeeding, in the early days is PAINFUL! Before everyone jumps on and shouts at me to say Breastfeeding shouldn’t be painful, I’m not referring to the ACTUAL act of breastfeeding, I’m referring to everything around it. Your breasts are adapting, your milk kicks in and they are they are full, hot, swollen and bruised and then dealing with a baby learning to latch correctly you can get all sorts of issues happening with your nipples (I looked for a more kosher word but sorry, there isn’t one 🙂 ). Let me say this does only normally last for about 3 weeks, the pain does go away, but in that moment, it can feel like a lifetime. I encourage all mums to HANG IN THERE! Please, continue on in your breastfeeding journey, if you can, it is one of the worlds most beautiful experiences.


This blog is focused on products that can help you through that, and hopefully, get you on track to one of the most rewarding experiences ever. I managed to exclusively breastfeed both of my boys for over a year each (I don’t have anything against formula, I personally just found it more convenient to breastfeed.) Here are some of the things that helped me through:

A lanolin based salve can do wonders for sore, cracked nipples in the early days. I tried both Medela and Lansinoh. My personal favourite was Lansinoh – it has no horrible “stickiness” to it.

Seamless nursing bra – A good nursing bra is a God send, you will literally spend 24 hours a day, and then some in them 🙂  Personally I used “Carriwell”, and used both the normal t-shirt ones and the ones with extra padding. The extra padding can really help especially when baby starts sleeping for longer stretches.

Electric pump – Personally for me, this was my best friend and I would never have lasted so long in my breastfeeding journey without my Medela swing pump. I actually started off with the single swing pump, and after spending 20 mins each side expressing thought I should switch to the double. Ironically, the single pump was waaay more effective and remains my staple. Going back to work when expressing is always fun, I would hide myself in a locked interview room pumping while interviews were taking place in the rooms around me J. I will say I HATED the time spent pumping, I felt like I was wasting time (though I know the end result was far from that), often I considered pumping on the way home whilst stuck in traffic and I know many mums that successfully do so. Pumping also helps to stimulate milk production if you have a dip in your supply.


Nursing pads – I started off using the Phillips range and to this day that was by far my favourite. Soft, non itchy and disposable but for some reason I couldn’t find them anymore in South Africa, so I switched to Pigeon. Once your milk is more settled and more of a routine formed I switched to cotton based, washable ones which were a big cost saver.

Cooling Gel Pads – Can be used hot (to stimulate your milk production) or cold (to soothe the pain). I will be honest, I didn’t use mine . I found them a bit uncomfortable and heavy, and in the early days the ONLY thing that worked for me was warm wash cloths and cabbage leaves J YES, Cabbage leaves. However I know a lot of new mums that swear by them.

Extra Vitamins – This is a must! breastfeeding, coupled with lack of sleep, or rather broken sleep, drains you! You need essential vitamins to promote healthy supply. Continue with your prenatal vitamins even after birth. You need all of those extra vitamins for breastfeeding. Personally the found the hugely popular Preg-Omega disagreed with me, the Salmon Oil content (or something) was too high and made me terribly nauseas. I switched early on to a generic pharmaceutical brand and that worked like a dream. My best breastfeeding tonic was Vitaforce’s Schlehen Blackthorn Berry Elixir (with my firstborn I swore by it). I would make up litres of jungle juice to store in the fridge. With my second, I just took a good old tablespoon every time I felt I needed it. The other thing you desperately need is WATER, and lots of it!


C Shaped nursing pillows – These are life changing. They take all the weight off your arms and baba sits at the perfect position, so no wriggly awkwardness. If you have had a c-section, it also protects your scar.

Nursing Cover/ Breastfeeding blanket – Debatable … Ummmm I will admit I never really used it. Nothing that a good old muslin blanket won’t quickly cover up when you need it to and IF your baby doesn’t mind the cover over him/her.



Whatever your breastfeeding journey is, or for however long it lasts, remember each day is an accomplishment. You have given your baby precious anti bodies and created a beautiful bond. Try and join your local la Leche league to invaluable advice and encouragement.

I’d love to hear your breastfeeding stories, one thing I have learnt is to talk about it more. Every woman who has had children and gone through the same thing but for some reason, the struggles around breastfeeding aren’t spoken about enough. The aim of this blog is to open that up. Its okay, we have been there, and as fellow mother’s we should all support each other. Every way we can.