The benefits of babywearing

Have you heard of attachment parenting?  It’s one of those buzz words that seems to have sprung up recently and I guess it means different things to different to different people.  To me, it’s all about creating that all important bond in the first stages of life and being there to cater to the needs of my daughter, who at only a few weeks old needs nurturing while she develops the skills to do this for herself in the future.

So E isn’t attached to me permanently, hubby does his fair share of holding the baby, so to speak – but it was important for me to remain close to her in order to establish a real bond between mother and daughter.  Many mums find that bond through breastfeeding – because I havent been able to do that I’ve had to find other ways to create that closeness.  And to me that means being there to comfort her when she cries, feed her when she’s hungry, play with her when she’s awake and letting her nap on me (in the day) if she’s tired.

Constantly picking E up or having her lie on me did take it’s toll in the first few weeks and it was hard to get on with anything else in my life. I of course wanted the best of both worlds – not only did I want to have that bond with my daughter I also wanted to retain some kind of independence, well what I really mean is actually just maintaining a sense of normality and being able to do those everyday humdrum tasks without being constantly disrupted by having a baby (although I must say it’s an excellent excuse for getting out of a lot of the housework!)

The solution: Wearing my baby

I’d read about baby wearing when pregnant and thought it was something I could see myself doing. The only carrier I really knew about was the BabyBjorn so we picked up a cheap one off eBay so we could give it a try once E came along. However once E was here I couldn’t bear to put my little squish into something that looked so uncomfortable! I’d heard about a local sling library and decided to take E along to see if there was something more suitable for such a tiny baby! I didn’t realise there was so much choice, and now she’s bigger there’s even more, I can see how addictive it could become!

We started off with a stretchy wrap which was so comfortable and great for getting E to sleep, even while doing the hoovering! It was really easy to put on too so it’s a great starter wrap for someone with a tiny baby!
When we’ve had those difficult weeks with a crying, clingy baby the wrap was a godsend and helped me to retain some kind of normality whilst still feeling close to my baby.
I used it mainly round the house but managed to get out in it a couple of times (I might have gone out in it more often if it hadn’t have been so pink!)

Here’s a pic of me wearing E at our local nature reserve.

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Babywearing: Moving On

As E started to get a little bigger I found that the wrap was beginning to take it’s toll on my back so I wanted something a bit more comfortable. I also wanted something a bit more unisex so that my husband could wear E too as I know he’d been looking to it from before she was born! Back to the sling library I went!
I thought I wanted something really structured and tried a Manduca, a Boba and a Beco but as it turned out I just didn’t get on with any of them! I watched a demonstration with a girl trying on a Connecta and instantly fell in love! It looked so simple and comfy!
When I started doing some research I realised how many pretty designs there were and knew that this was the sling I was going to buy!! But which one to choose!
In the end we decided upon this Tortoise print – we love animals and it’s unisex so hubby is happy to wear it too!

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It came in so handy on our recent trip away – I wouldn’t be without it now! Trouble is I’m following the Connecta page on Facebook and they keep introducing new designs which are just beautiful. I wonder if I could sneakily buy another one…. Damn you statutory maternity pay!!

I’m after a ring sling next so it’ll be another trip to the sling library soon to see what pretty things they have to match my outfit!! 🙂

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Boobs, bras and breastfeeding

If there is one thing that I’m panicking about once baby arrives is being able to breastfeed.

It’s something that I really would like to do, and determined to give it my best shot – however I appreciate that it doesn’t work for everyone.

Unfortunately most of the mums I know haven’t had the best experiences and have ended up bottle feeding so I don’t have many positive role models.  It’s also something that it’s pretty hard to prepare for as you don’t know how you’re going to get on until the baby arrives…

If I’m successful I thought the least I could do was get myself some tools for the job… I’d like to get a breast pump to help things along but I’m going to wait to see what happens before I spend any money on something like this so my starting point is to arm myself with some nursing bras!

Bra shopping traumas

Being a rather well-endowed lady, it’s not been an easy task to find well-fitting bras at the best of times.  I had a bit of a bra epiphany a couple of years ago after discovering the wonderful Georgina at Fuller Figure Fuller Bust and since then have tended to stick to the same range (Freya) which offers great support for us big-boobed girls.

Knowing that I’d have to relegate my rigid underwired bras to the back of the wardrobe for a while actually brought me out in cold shivers – where was my support going to come from?

A few months back I bought a non-wired maternity bra from Freya in my usual size, but I was so disappointed in it.  It gave me absolutely no support whatsoever, flattened my boobs completely and made me feel like a frumpy old women.  In the early stages of pregnancy when my boobs were hurting quite a lot, it was the most comfortable thing to wear but once that had worn off I went back to my trustworthy old bras.

This time round I was determined to get something which not only brought comfort and practicality but actually gave me a bit of shape.  It didn’t need to be glamourous – It’s not like I’m planning on flashing my underwear to anyone except husband and baby!

I went to Mothercare to get measured – normally I’d completely gag at the thought of getting measured somewhere other than Bravissimo (I’ve had horrendous experiences with measurements at both Debenhams and M&S), but I assumed as a dedicated maternity and baby retailer, the assistants in there would have a good knowledge of the right type of bra to wear for nursing – and the support that a new mum needs.

Out comes the tape measure

When she measured me I was quite pleasantly surprised.  I know that many girls get bigger breasts in pregnancy and being a 34H normally, I was a little bit worried about growing to some ridiculous size that would mean I’d really have a shortage of bras to choose from.   However, I came out at a 40G – so I’ve expanded a few inches around my ribcage but the difference between the fullest part of my bust had decreased, meaning I’d gone down a cup size.

Seeing as the most lingerie retailers go up to a G nowadays (I really struggled with the H’s previously) I was pretty pleased that I could probably find a bra at a reasonable price – and actually be able to try it on in the shop!

I picked up a few of the nursing bras in Mothercare to try on but they were a disaster – the majority of them gave no support whatsoever, and just made my breasts sag down to the side – a very attractive look!!

I did however find the perfect bra eventually!!   This is the one I went for:

Mothercare Blooming Marvellous Padded Nursing Bra£18.00

NB: I went a back size down with this bra to 38G, as although I’d measured at a 40, the backband in all the 40s I tried on just felt too big – the 38 on this one felt snug, which is exactly what I look for in a bra.

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It’s very pretty with a lace trim, and it’s slightly padded so it’s comfortable whilst giving you the feeling of support around your breasts.  It’s by far the most supportive non-underwired bra I’ve worn so far (which isn’t many I admit).

If they’d had this bra in different colours, I would have bought all of them!  That is however, the one thing that lets Mothercare down is the ranges that they have in larger sizes.  They also do a pretty pink lace bra, but with no padding it didnt feel like it gave me any support at all.  I also bought a Black T-Shirt Nursing Bra which also has slight padding but didn’t feel quite as nice as the one above.  However at £16.00 it was very reasonably priced and should be comfortable and practical enough for feeding time!

Let’s just hope I can crack it when the times comes!!