In 1655, the medical author Thomas Moffett explained that all 'kind and natural' women would breastfeed. 'Yea', he noted, 'all Women which truly loved their Children' did so. The alternative to breastfeeding for new mothers in the 1600s in England was to hire a wet nurse -- a woman that had recently given birth and was still lactating.
The few children's books I've found that feature breastfeeding tend to be ones that are specifically about breastfeeding or attachment parenting more generally; in other words, someone would have to already be passionate about breastfeeding to seek out these texts
There are two types of mom friends. Those that will support, nurture and encourage. Then there are those who will criticise, throw self-doubt around like it's confetti and make you question every decision you ever made.
The ultimate joy you feel when potty trained becomes toilet trained. It's great isn't it? The utter pride you feel boasting to everyone when it's complete? Well I now know that those comments of "Oh that's brilliant, makes life much easier for you now!", are quite frankly, utter crap!
Up until my daughter had been diagnosed with eczema, our parenting path had been as expected, with sleepless nights and nappy explosions and projectile vomiting and earth-shattering screaming. All standard baby behaviour. But the eczema had caught us off guard.
Toddlers are fascinating little things. A mixture between a baby and a miniature teenager, with the best and worst parts of your own personalities popping out from time to time. For those parents who have yet to reach the toddler stage, here are a 11 things you can expect when you own a toddler:
Her assessment that maternity leave is one continuous succession of feeding and bottom wiping is inaccurate and must be addressed if we are to value parental leave as something which has a benefit to society.
As soon as I'd had baby M, I was surprised by the number of women that made comments along the lines of 'let the guilt begin!', as I began talking about my return to work, there was more of the same, and those women were absolutely right.
Molly was 12 when Jake was born and I can honestly tell you that she sulked. She refused to sit in the living room with us- believe me we tried and tried to reassure her with cuddles, treats, keeping her toys out and not letting the baby paraphernalia take over too much of the home too quickly.
We as women are flooded by pictures of 'perfection'. As mothers we are met with comments such as 'when are you planning to lose that baby weight?' and images of celeb mums in size six leather hot pants two days after having their children.
It's not a lack of information and awareness. The posters are everywhere. It's a lack of decent, practical support. I don't blame the frontline NHS staff for that at all. The midwives were fantastic, and HCAs are stretched beyond belief. Somewhere up the chain, funding decisions are being made - and they're not making the best choices.
I was kind of hoping it might be twins, if only for the headline "Geri-hat-trick!" though that would of course, have raised the issue of IVF and that's a whole other can of worms to open up (again!)
Following on from this post I thought I would share with you the alternative milestone cards I wish I had made. At least the baby might actually have a chance of hitting these ones
Being a new parent can be one of the biggest, scariest responsibilities you will ever take on. Growing a whole new tiny person and keeping them alive can be anxiety inducing even for the most laid back. Am I holding them ok? Why are they crying? Am I doing any of this right?
My toddler is an arsehole and I am sorry. She's one of those two year olds commonly known as 'strong willed' and 'spirited'. I will agree with the strong willed part (if that child doesn't want to do something, God help you) but she's not 'spirited': She's an absolute shit.
However much time you set aside for a trip to the park it's never enough, and it's generally dark or raining by the time you finally arrive. Give yourself 20 minutes to pop to the Co-Op and you might as well write the whole day off, all for the sake of a pretty bang average Chicken Stew & Dumplings. Wherever you go it's very much a walk of pain.