Noone Puts Baby in the Corner

Yes Mr Farrage.  I only feed my child for the attention.  Its so rude of me making everyone else feel so uncomfortable.  Next time I get my breasts out I’ll be more considerate and make sure it’s only once I’m dressed in a bikini, posing like I want a bloke to give me one and splashed all over a billboard, newspaper or TV ad.  That way everyone can feel more comfortable.

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I have mixed feelings about the recent media storm following the a breastfeeding mum being made to cover up at Clarrdges hotel, the response from everyone’s favorite joke politician Nigel Farrage and the consequent “nurse in” at Claridges.

On the one hand I think its important that people who shame nursing women should be challenged and made to understand the harm their actions have. With that in mind I was totally behind the nurse-in and had hoped to join them.

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However I’m not sure the media storm that comes with this challenge is helpful. It just gives a platform for a minority of ill-informed muppets to mouth off on radio phone-ins about how they believe nursing mothers should behave and this can only make breastfeeding mothers feel uncomfortable when nursing in public.  I’m not sure Nigel Farage has ever made a sensible comment on any topic so why should we expect him to be sensitive to the needs of a nursing mums and why should any of us care what he thinks any way.

In short, I don’t give a crap what Nigel thinks about breastfeeding and I hate that this story has become platform for UKIP’s uninformed views.

All this publicity given to the views of prats like Nigelle and previously the practices of employees at sports direct just create an impression of an unfriendly world out there ready to attack nursing mums.

This isn’t encouraging for nervous new mums and its not actually that accurate.  Over the past 4 months I’ve had only positive interactions when feeding out and about and I’ve fed in some crazy places from dodgy old man pubs, packed commuter trains and even in the middle of Deptford high street. Yes, actually on the street, well, on a bench on the street but Deptford high street is what an estate agent would probably call a “vibrant” market street.

I’m pretty passionate about breastfeeding for many reasons. Of course as you might expect I love the zero waste aspect of feeding without plastic bottles, packets of milk powder and the faff of sterilisation. In addition its free, less crap to lug about in the nappy bag, great for bonding with Bubba and protects against ill health. Even better it stops lining the pockets of greedy corporations like Nestle which can only be a good thing.

The problem is that even when everything goes well breastfeeding can be pretty tough on us mums, especially at first. And my heart goes out to any mum who faces problems such as tongue tie and reflux.

I never realised that we are such a bottlecentric society and how it affects women’s relationship with breastfeeding. For example, before I had Arlo I thought babies fed every 3 hours. Easy, I thought.  It turns out that breastfeeding babes can feed constantly…
for hours at a time….
Especially at the start!
And that’s normal!

Cluster feeding is basically how babies tell your body to make more milk – its their way of putting a note out for the milkman to leave an extra bottle.  Its definitely not a sign that you haven’t enough milk and supplementing with formula or trying to force a baby  into a strict routine can stop that note reaching the milkman and so reduce your milk supply. (Something some heathworkers,  bought up on bottle routines, scarily still don’t understand and so risk misinforming unsuspecting mums.

Its a bit of a shocker to find yourself in cluster feeding prison if you don’t expect it. However once I got my head round feeding on demand and all its challenges I quickly realised that unless I wanted to go stir crazy trapped on my sofa Arlo and I were going to have to get used to feeding out and about.

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Judging by the comments floating round the radio phone-ins and internet last week it seems that there are a lot of bottlecentric people out there who still believe breastfeeding mums can time feeds and subsequently can and should do all their feeding out of sight. These people should not be given the chance to soapbox their uninformed views on shows that vulnerable, stressed nursing mums might be listening to.

When a woman gets shamed in one of our poshest hotels for feeding her child in the best way she can then lets shame that hotel back explain why they are wrong and move on. Let’s not start inviting people who don’t have the first idea of the challenges facing nursing mums to debate their crazy views on national media outlets.

And please God don’t ask Nigel Farrage anything at all.

Baking up a Bathscrub

Presents whoop. Gotta love presents.

Unless of course we are talking about a present you secretly hate but have to pretend you totally love because it obviously cost megabucks.

Oh and the whole present thing isn’t so hot when its Christmas Eve and you still haven’t found a fabtastic gift for your favourite dad.

And its definitely less whooptastic when you’re moving house next week and your best ever friend gifts you a huge and fairly creepy stuffed Bison head that you will now have to pack into a box and move across town ( or strategically lose with unbelievable speed and so jeopardise you friendship).

Ok so that last one hasn’t actually ever happened to me but I’m just saying, if it did it would put a dampener on the whole present thing,  you know.

Since I started aiming zerowastewards presents have definitely been different.

Sometimes different as in, more stressful – eg scouring a charity shop for something, anything your mate would like for her birthday yesterday . Golden rule.  One does not go last minute 2nd hand shopping with purpose. 2nd hand is all about the browsing and the unexpected treasures.

Different as in,  more fun – tickets to the sort of thing we would have talked about going to but then forgetten about.

And usually different as in – far more tasty – mainly because when all else fails we gravitate to edible presents. No waste to landfill if you eat it all. 😉

One present idea I liked so much I stole from Lucy over at Lulastic and the Hippyshake was a homemade body scrub packaged in a Retro teacup. Its perfect because even if the recipient hates the body scrub at least they get to keep the cup at the end.

I tweaked Lucy’s recipe, using sugar instead of salt and playing with the scents but the basic idea is the same and its super simple.

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Home Made Body Scrub

Ingredients

One cup of coconut oil (I found this in my local Turkish corner shop in a glass jar but its also available on line.)

One cup of caster sugar

Plus scent

The petals from one rose head and a teaspoon of homemade vanilla essence. (I make my vanilla essence by soaking a whole pod in rum for 4 weeks and then keep topping up for, like, ever)

Or

A handful of lavender leaves and heads all crushed up as fine as possible.

Method

This is very complicated so listen up. There will be a test at the end.

  1. Grind your chosen scent to little fragrant bits
  2. Thoroughly mix your oil and sugar. The oil has the consistency of butter so this bit is a little like making a sponge cake. With this in mind I will pass on the advice my baking mate Russ once provided.“Beat that butter like you’ve never beaten before. No, harder!  That’s pathetic! Why are you stopping!? Keep beating! BEAT GIRL BEAT ! Oh for god’s sake give me the fork.”The first time I made this I hand mixed with a fork. It was bloody hard work and the end result was… lumpy.The next time I wised up and used my food mixer.  It beats much better than me and I figure coconut oil and sugar are both edible so what’s stopping me? The result was fab, proper creamy and professional. I definitely advise the food mixer method. Less wrist pain, more present mojo.
  3. Stir in your chosen scent
  4. Pop the mixture into a vintage teacup you found at the market for 50p
  5. Plonk a matching/mismatching saucer on the top and tie with a bit of ribbon.
Tea cup wrapping

Tea cup wrapping

Bosh!

Obviously you can tell you mate it took hours to prepare and the cup cost mega bucks at the local Hipster shop if that’s the way you roll but for some reason I can’t help blurting out how ridiculously cheap and easy it was to make. My friends always seem to forgive me – hopefully because it looks so lovely.

I’m thinking about doing some herby ones next time using rosemary or lemon or some such things. I guess anything that smells good and isn’t a skin irritant would work brilliantly.

As Lucy says this stuff is so lush on your skin you don’t need any other products and I always make a spare cup for myself. Its honestly the only shower/bath product I actually use nowdays except shampoo and conditioner.

Everyone’s a winner! Thanks Lucy