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Historical Breastfeeding Advice: Coughs & Colds

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It’s that time of year again when everyone seems to have a cough or cold. If you’re worried about passing on germs to your baby, perhaps these prints illustrating from 1930 illustrating best practice might help.

How to feed a child when the mother has a cough and cold; don't allow strangers to kiss or touch your childThe captions read, “How to feed a child when the mother has a cough and cold” and “Don’t allow strangers to kiss or touch your child.

So there you have it. Carry on breastfeeding, but please cover up while you do so ;p

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Dressing the part

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It occurred to me earlier, that if I am to be truly a fashion guru [cue manic laughing] then I must start thinking about what I am wearing before I leave the house.

I’m sure it used to be second nature. I’ve never been a big fan of high effort dressing, which is why I prefer dresses over separates (just add shoes…), but I seem to remember that a cursory glance in the mirror was all it took and I don’t remember ever having to go back and change afterwards either.

Motherhood seems to have rerouted my natural fashion sense (either that, or it’s been absorbed into MilkChic) and I’ve found myself out in some interesting outfits in public.

Only a couple of weeks ago, I found myself explaining to my (new) neighbour that I don’t usually wear my hair in bunches, having gone out to empty the bins after a toddler guided styling session. A couple of days later, I wore a short-ish jumper dress, Mr MilkChic’s parka and my wellie boots to the local shop. Small one is two and manages to dress herself better.

And after a series of similar incidents, what caused the epiphany? Erm, well… would you take fashion advice from a woman who could look down and find herself wearing this?

(C) MilkChic. All rights reserved.

Apparently so…

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The MilkChic Marketing Board: Thank you!

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Thanks to everyone who helped with the content of my breastfeeding flyer. This is the final version:

I’ve taken on board as much of the feedback as possible. In the end, I decided to focus on  practical breastfeeding tips. I hope that it’s clear in the final version that covering up is one of many options, not a necessity. The only essential for breastfeeding clothes is easy access. After that, everything is personal preference.

Having spoken to lots and lots of mums, I have completely removed the word “discreet”. As I wrote in a previous post on semantics, I do think it describes the style in which many women prefer to breastfeed. Unfortunately, it can also be read with negative connotations. I don’t want there to be any of that ambiguity in this leaflet.

Feel free to print, copy or share the leaflet but please don’t crop or change it. You can download a PDF version Breastfeeding Leaflet.

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The MilkChic Marketing Board

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I’ve been asked to produce a flyer for inclusion in a local Breastfeeding Week goody bag. It’s a fantastic opportunity for me to get some free marketing for MilkChic, and I would really like to produce something that is genuinely helpful, rather than marketing hype.
I’m not a breastfeeding expert and I think there is plenty of information about the physical issues, but not nearly enough support with emotional and practical issues – like what clothes to wear, and how you feed in a public place.
This is my first draft, and I’d really appreciate your thoughts and comments. Please excuse the missing illustrations and random formatting…
(c) MilkChic.co.uk All rights reserved.
It’s a postcard sized flyer and I could print both sides, so if you have some great ideas of what might work on the other side, then please, please tell me! I need to go to print on Monday but will be producing a pdf version too, so any great feedback that misses the print deadline will still be used.
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Let them eat cake!

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milkshakeThere was an article in the Science pages of The Telegraph yesterday about the effects of breastfeeding on your child’s tastes in later life.

The bare bones of the research were nothing new – your diet affects the way your milk tastes. Just as we are aware that what we eat during pregnancy is important for our developing child, we know that our diet affects the quality (and quantity) of our milk.

I posted the link on Facebook, filed it for future reference, and moved on. So why is it still bothering me?

The focus of the article was on ensuring that mothers ate enough fruit and vegetables while breastfeeding, especially between the critical ages of 2 and 5 months.

Dr Gary Beauchamp, director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia, who led the research, believes that

By exposing infants at this very sensitive period is appears to be possible to make them like something that they would otherwise deem to be horrible. If we could enhance consumption of vegetables amongst pregnant and nursing women, it ought to impact on their children’s later food choices and result in healthier eating.

I enjoy my vegetables and manage my 5-a-day with ease. In fact, thanks to the wonderful “Mr MilkChic” who is a great cook, I generally feel quite smug about my healthy, well-balanced and varied diet.

But… until my daughter was at least 6 months old my focus was purely on calories. I’m not talking about calorie control, or crazy celeb post-baby diets here. I’m talking about managing to get enough calories into my body, one-handed, while looking after a baby.

For those 6 months or so, as well as my healthy balanced diet, I ate huge amounts of cake, chocolate and biscuits. I needed them just to remain awake and functioning!

I don’t think it’s really harmed me – my weight has plateaued at about 1/2 a stone above my pre-baby weight, which as I am unable to exercise and am 6 cup sizes bigger than I was, seems fair. I figure that when the small one is weaned and my back has recovered, I will be much the same as before, physically if not mentally.

But now I am worrying about the harm to my daughter’s fledgling tastebuds. Has my colossal appetite for chocolate buttons cancelled out the benefit of my otherwise balanced meals and given her a sweet tooth that will haunt her in later life? I really hope not. Short of employing a full time chef, I don’t think breastfeeding would have been sustainable on healthy food alone.

To be fair, it isn’t the Telegraph’s fault that I’m feeing guilty. The article was balanced and well-written. And there is little I can do to change things now, except be mindful that my daughter may have a propensity for chocolate milk abuse.

So, as I don’t want to pass on a guilt complex as well as a sweet tooth, I am listening to the ever practical KellyMom, who says that “Making women think that they must maintain ‘perfect’ diets in order to have thriving breastfed babies is an unnecessary obstacle to breastfeeding”.

Besides, one day I dream of another baby, and what would maternity leave be without cake?

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