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Every week we have a vegetarian and a fish night. Now that summer is on its way there will also be a raw night. I believe 80/20 ratio fits my families lifestyle completely. 80% of the time we are incredibly healthy- always cook fresh and have a good mix of protein, carbs and fat. the other 20% of the time we have what we want when we want it. I find this helps when we eat out, when the kids are given those foods I dont give them myself by well-meaning others and if you can eat what you want when you want it you are less likely to binge or somehow ‘fail’ oursleves.

In this vein Easter was a little indulgent. There was some rubbish chocolate involved, but there was also some great nutrition there too. I even got my husband a little inspired by raw foods. Since then I thought I would start to get creative with my vegetarian options.

I love salad, craved it in my last pregnancy and would happily eat it every day of the week. My husband is Irish ( he loves his potatos, bread and simple foods). We compromise with meals. Tonight was a big compromise on his part. He ate it but he didnt like it. Thats ok, I enjoyed it and my 10 month old son ate it all up, but my daughter (who is coming up to 3 and a half) decided that she wasn’t having any. Fine too. I explained that there was nothing in there that she didn’t like, and to be fair she tried it. I think we forget how much they absorb and watch. Since my husband was making a fuss- so did she. There was little chance she was going to eat it when she had a model (one she massively looks up too) to copy. Who knows what might have happened if it was just the 3 of us round the table. Think about how many times we say my kids wont eat that, they are fussy eaters. What would happen if we only ever said- lets see what they like and if I am sitting there eating it maybe they might pick up their forks and absorb and watch. 10 times (kid and adult alike) you have to try something before you taste buds adapt. Most of it is all in your head. As long as the taste buds receive sweet, salty, bitter and spicy- they are happy!

Anyway here’s my new fav salad:

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Sprouted Lentil Citrus Slaw and Sprouted Lentil hummus

1 cup of soaked and Sprouted lentils (soak for 12 hours then keep wash lentils morning and night for 2 days while they grow shoots 1-2cm long)

1 large grated carrot

1 Peeled and grated apple (up to here is what my 9 month old son had)

1 cup of finely sliced red cabbage

!/2 Onion finely diced

1/2 tbs finely chopped fresh parsley and mint

1/4 cup of sunflower seeds

Dressing;

juice of half an orange

juice of half a lemon

1/2 tbs Apple cider vinegar

1tbs Olive oil

pinch paprika (had my daughters mix without this ingredient)

Salt and pepper

(whisk together)

Hummus (Whizz all ingredients together in a food processor until reach desired consistancy- add oil and cooking water sparingly)

(3 handfuls of the above lentils)

3 cloves of garlic (roasted-makes the garlic a little sweeter)

1 tbs vegetable cooking water (or stock)

2 tbs olive oil

1 tbs sesame seeds (beware when giving this to infants- can be allergenic. I have had no reaction from my son when they have been previously introduced)

salt and pepper and a little of the above dressing

I am very happy- what do you think?

 

Here is where I got some inspiration for my recipe;

http://deliciouslyorganic.net/lentil-hummus-recipe-grain-free/

http://gnowfglins.com/2010/05/27/3-dishes-from-sprouted-lentils/#

I recently read this post;

http://www.mamaandbabylove.com/2013/03/28/the-8020-rule-why-less-than-perfect-is-perfectly-fine/

I battle within myself about not being perfect. I mean who doesn’t? Recently I have marveled at how incredibly strong my body is, how quick my mind is and how good I am at problem solving. I think not being perfect is an incredibly useful tool for our children to learn and so recently have started admitting to my daughter that I don’t know everything (that was a hard one as people who know me will understand!!) and that I can’t do everything. She recently said to me that she “loved everything I wore and I always looked so pretty” She is 3.5 and already so wise. I keep telling her that she can choose to be happy and that she has so many choices in life. I choose to listen to her and believe what she sees in me. Seeing myself through my kids eyes silences the past hurts, nastiness and regrets and allows me to be who I am and really really like that person.

Therefore my affirmation for this weekend is;

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I loved school. I loved the friendships, the learning process , the sports and the arts. I pick up things pretty quickly and  have always cruised through life. I was not bothered with grades so much, just passing with minimal effort! I was lucky it suited me. My brother is way more intelligent than his grades used to show him as. He changed schools loads of times and had real problems with some teachers.  I don’t think people appreciate just how brilliant his mind is. He also wasn’t prepared to conform for others. I think my daughter is similar. She knows her own mind and is not afraid to express it. She is 3. Her current kindergarten suits her- it is open plan, classrooms and classmates are not restrictive and if she doesn’t like what’s going on in her class she is free to roam and join in somewhere else. She is thriving. What is going to happen in a couple of years when she goes to Primary school?

She is a challenger, she pushes limits, she is independent, intelligent and very very funny.  She is physical, she has a short attention span (mostly because she has worked it out and wants to move on) and she can get frustrated very quickly.  In other ways she needs to let concepts sit with her, pushing them makes her push back. She will surprise me with her memory everyday and the detail she remembers is astounding sometimes. She is awesome and while at times a challenge to parent, I wouldn’t have her any other way. I worry about her future in school and I never want her to have a teacher set upon crushing her spirit like my brother encountered. I saw this today;

Hackschooling

and I loved it and I think it may be sending me on a path I am very scared to go on.

Why am I scared? Because it relies on me to provide everything myself. When will I work? I love my job it is a vocation, a need to fill. When will I have my time- isn’t when they are at school when you get to do all the other stuff like the shopping, cleaning, washing, reading, resting? I need space to recharge when will I get that? Homeschooling will consume everything I have. I get excited about it and sick with dread at the same time. What I do know is it is not allowed in HK, people do it I know but it seems to be a very closed shop. I know right now she is thriving, there is no point in worrying about what might happen. She has a great teacher right now and she may continue to have teachers who love and inspire her throughout her schooling- as I did. I am making sure I am helping her to recognise emotions and be able to talk about how she feels and to communicate what she wants and needs and constantly working on my own reasons for finding her so challenging. But this morning I was inspired and saw a whole different life ahead and I was compelled to share!

Really keen to hear feedback about what you have done in this situation!

Does that look so bad!

I had a tough time adjusting after my daughter was born. I felt weepy, resentful, confused, out of control and I had no idea what mothers instinct felt like. All I felt was very overwhelmed and under-slept! I thought ‘no wonder people are labelled with Post Natal Depression’.  The immediate change in your life, so completely, is very difficult to adjust to. Your body is still not yours. You are breastfeeding and your needs are very low down on the list of things to do. It was not until a year had past that I started to feel like myself again. My blood sugar levels were all over the place, my moods were awful, I was constantly confused, groggy and I had zero energy. I was on fish oils, calcium, zinc, pro-biotic capsules and magnesium and I felt like these nutrients were keeping me together.  I had heard of Placenta Encapsulation whilst studying to be a Naturopath; however children were off of my radar then, so it was one of those things that came and went.

When I became pregnant with my second baby I was watching a programme (in the UK) on alternative parenting and one of the women was a Placenta Encapsulation specialist. A friend of mine had said she had contacted her local one and that she was going to do it. I looked into it and was very interested. Thinking about how I felt the first time round, I knew with a toddler and a baby I was worried I would not have the time or energy again to be able to look after them and nurture them both. When I was moving to Hong Kong in the middle of my pregnancy, I was so relieved to find someone did it here. When I met Lizzie I was convinced it was for me.

However I was still undecided whether I would have the smoothie. I was happy taking a powder in a capsule, however knowing the fresh one was in the drink I was worried it would taste like blood, metal, liver… I remember reading someone saying that right up to their birth the thought of drinking their placenta in a smoothie was too much to think about. The minute her child was born she craved it. I was sceptical. However the very same thing happened. I had a home birth here, so when my husband asked me what I would like to eat/drink after labour- it was the first thing that came to mind.  Bless my husband he was going to have a go but it completely eluded him so when Lizzie arrived I had had no sleep and was still on an adrenaline rush! She made me two smoothies, I drank one straight away (promise you taste nothing but fruit) it was actually the most delicious thing- I had the other one a few hours later. My pills arrived a few days later and I started taking them. The energy, combined with calm is truly remarkable. It was so completely different. I felt like me, I felt whole again.

I unreservedly recommend it. It makes sense. The nutrient deficiencies I see on a regular basis post partum (especially post partum hypothyroid/hyperthyroid) alone recommend it. There is no easier way to replenish what your body has lost, than to put it straight back in again. I also have the homoeopathic pills which I have given my daughter when she has started to feel the pressure of the change for her. Her reaction after taking them was also obvious, calmer and back to her loving self. She felt part of it again and it has helped us to grow into being a family of four from 3. I wish I had done it the first time, but having felt how I did, it might not have been so obvious feeling the opposite?

Benefits:

Everything it is suggested it is good for has been and still is experienced by me;

Increased energy

Balance (both mood and hormones)

Very fast milk supply (the next day and even through mastitis and feeding from 1 boob for months, I met demand)

Lighter post bleeding (only heavy for a couple of days and gone completely much quicker)

Quick healing (from tearing and abdominal muscle tone and separation was back before 6 weeks- That was also due to exercises!)

I took them 2-3 times a day for the first 6 weeks and now I take my pills every now and then, when I feel run down, like everyone wants a piece of me, stressed and angry. They do calm me down. I took them with me on my recent trip to the UK at Christmas and took one a day and my milk supply did not suffer from the jet lag at all. My friend I mentioned at the beginning is saving hers for her menopause, so is not taking them any more  However I believe that by taking them all when needed  post-partum  you will replenish your body and not need them during menopause (a time hopefully too far away for me to consider freezing them for that long). If not I will still always have the homoeopathic potency to use and the mother tincture. I use the mother tincture also at times of need and also put a little in the bath. Again I fell nourished and energised, generally nicer and calmer!

Nutrient Value of a placenta useful post-partum:

Gonadotrophin: the precursor to estrogen, progesterone and testosterone,
Prolactin: promotes lactation,
Oxytocin: for pain and bonding; produced during breastfeeding to facilitate bonding of mother and infant. In pharmaceutical form this is a very addictive drug because it promotes a feeling of connectedness with others,
Thyroid stimulating hormone: boosts energy and helps recovery from stressful events,
Cortisone: combats stress and unlocks energy stores,
Interferon: stimulates the immune system to protect against infections,
Prostaglandins: anti-inflammatory,
Hemoglobin: replenishes iron deficiency and anemia, a common post-partum condition,
Urokinase inhibiting factor and factor XIII: stops bleeding and enhances wound healing,
Gammaglobulin: immune booster that helps protect against post-partum infections.

(source)

Benefits that attracted me as a nutritional therapist that you can’t get from any other supplement or food!

The best thing I have read about placenta encapsulation and echo here is-

What’s the harm!

In my opinion, it’s ‘Why wouldn’t you?’

To see how contact IPEN or in Hong Kong see here

Today I ran further and I ran harder. I had been giving myself a lot of excuses lately about not reaching my goals- the result was a dejected, unsatisfied sluggish me. So I pushed myself- I basically put my running shoes on with my pj’s (not quite but let’s face it in Hk no-one would notice!) and off I went.

It was such a gorgeous morning I kept going- on the way back on up hill 1 (of 3) my right hip and glute started grumbling- good chance to slow down (no real choice there-it was getting tough) and work on my drills- leading with the left leg, arm driving, forward knees and high heels! Just keep putting one foot in front of the other to the goal- home!

It struck me that all it takes is a little concentration on one foot in front of the other. Keeping your mind on your goal, the bigger picture. Looking back a month ago not much has changed, but look back 6 months to a year and its astounding what you can achieve. Little steps make a big difference. Whatever it is you are wanting to change- what can you do today, right now that will get you there. Whether its changing an attitude, a relationship, an exercise or food habit take a step in the right direction.

If not- find a really good song and dance your way through to the end!!

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Lots of people ask me what I have to hand for any situation here’s my first aid kit essential for natural health.

Homeopathic first aid kit- esp aconite, arnica, belladonna chamomila, sulphur, hepah sulphur, pulsatilla, passiflor co, silica,

Tissue salts- I have a full set of all of them and some of the combinations but mostly- pp, mp, silica, nat mur, ferr phos

Bach flower remedies all 38 but mostly rescue remedy night and day

Lavender
Calendula tincture and balm
Tea tree
camomile tea flowers
Rose hips
Tulsi tea and herbal holy basil capsules
Vit c sodium ascorbate
Probiotics multi strain and infantis
Vit d drops
Vit a drops
Ultra muscleze (mag, b vits)
Super greens
Lemon
Ginger
Manuka honey
Garlic
Oats
Epsom salts
Coconut oil/water
Homemade after sun (also an insect repellant)
Pure aloe vera
Homemade bone broth

If you want to know how and when  I use each item- let me know. If you use anything else, let me know

Having just done an interview with a local tv station as a parent who is going to have Homebirth I felt compelled to share my reasoning.

My first pregnancy was very straight forward. I didn’t want a homebirth as I couldnt imagine how it would work, but I did want a natural birth. No drugs, no interventions and definately in water. I had been accepted to have it in the birthing centre I had opted for and was finally relaxing that it was gonna happen as planned. Then the day before I had ny first appointment at the centre for my birthing plan, I went into spontaneous labour at 36 weeks. I thought it was braxton hicks and when it became completely obvious tht it wasn’t my daughter just made it into the delivery room where I was for 7 mins before she was born. It was a very chaotic experience with many people in the room and I really felt I had to push for what I wanted. What happened afterwards with the lack of support breastfeeding and the dreadful food in the hospital, I just wanted out of there, when my husband had to leave and I spent my first night in hospital alone and very confused, I vowed I would not go through this again.

When I got pregnant with my second, there was not a chance I was going to go through that again, not to say the least that I almost didn’t make it to the hospital the first time, I was having my baby at home. Then life has a funny way of challenging you and we were moving back home to Hong Kong where Home-births are not the standard practice that they are in the uk. Luckily I found a midwife who is willing to do homebirths and she accepted my plan. Thankfully I did. Due to hospital policy here and from stories I have heard of births in Hong Kong C-sections in some private hospitals here are at 70-90%. In most western countries it is alarming if the percentage is above 15%.

I’m pleased to update that I had my home birth and it almost went to plan, a little compromise here and there. My perfect son is doing well and I can’t imagine it going half as well if I wasn’t at home. My two babies births couldn’t have been more different. Although the active birth part for my son was just as quick as with my first the experience was completely different.

I wasnt expecting going to 41 +5 to be so emotional. To the extent I believed I was somehow failing by going over my due date. I was so consumed with how others felt or how I perceived them to feel about me going over my due date. I kept pushing on. From 37 weeks I had strong indications that labour was round the corner then lost my mucous plug at 38 weeks. Nothing but intermittent persistent Braxton Hicks until 4th July my baby independence day.

Every week I had an emotional purge. I would cry about something, I was releasing my fears, my grief that my mother wasn’t here to meet my son, my guilt that I had everyone on standby, my anger that I couldn’t control the situation and just sheer emotional exhaustion of putting on a happy face. I was using all of the usual natural labour induction methods and some others not so usual. I was taking my Bach flower remedies and they continuously told me to let go and to trust. When my daughter chose to come in when I was at my lowest with a remedy she had picked at random that was for strength I knew I had to let go and just trust everything would be okay. It was.

When I got my show on the 4th July I was excited. Although I just checked and your bloody show still meant anytime but not imminent (with my daughter I got my show an hour before she was born- it had just been Braxton hicks pains until then) we spent the day as planned- took my daughter to her class in tst. After her class I was getting cramps at a level I could no longer ignore. So we went to city super to get food for dinner. At dinner I apologised for panicking (we were meant to be eating out) and we probably could have still eaten out- at that exact moment my waters then broke! It was a few hours after that when things changed (this was 8pm at 11.30 I was still only 2 cm dilated and my son was born at 1.53 am).

After finding I was only 2 cm dilated and still not in active labour I went in the bath to try and space out the contractions and make them more productive. Also to calm down as I was getting emotional that this was still not happening! The suspense of the last 2 weeks and longer was too much! As soon as I got in the bath it was more uncomfortable and trying to space them out was having the completely opposite effect. There was now no break between the contractions and they were getting stronger by the minute- I decided to get out of the bath. It’s just as well I did because the gear change was unreal- this was most definitely it!

My midwife came back and I started to freeze up and freak out a little as there was no breathing space- just wave after wave of contraction and I could feel his head traveling down it was the oddest sensation like a long tunnel- which is exactly what it is. My midwife was wonderfully calming and empowering and I came back into control. I made it to the bedroom (a mere couple of steps through the wardrobe area from the ensuite but what felt like a vast desert away) and onto the bed and the breathing out happened instantaneously. My hubby was a complete rock giving me sips of water with rescue remedy, words of support and physical support also. I remember the feeling of the head traveling through felt like it was taking forever (apparently it all took 15 mins the ‘pushing’ bit. I remember tensing up- it was so different. My midwife git me to feel the top of his head. It was really soft, a very odd sensation! Like a light bulb I suddenly thought- the more you resist the longer you are gonna be doing this. It changed completely- the ‘pain’ was completely different and my breathing changed. It wasn’t long after that the head was out. My midwife told me one big push which I thought was strange as we weren’t using that language. That familiar tension then complete release and gush out he came.

She was asking for the suction and I couldn’t see what was going on as I was on my knees facing the other way and the cord made it impossible to turn round, she was giving him a little shake to get him to respond. I kept asking if he was okay what was going on and he was making noise. Then my midwife said she had to cut the cord and I thought it a little odd she hadn’t given him to me or got me to turn around at all. I knew all her focus was on him and I trusted her so wasn’t worried. This was all a bit in slow motion as a memory, she wrapped him up in a towel and put him in the bed and was just holding the oxygen next to him. I could see him breathing but he was gasping a bit. My first instinct was rescue remedy. Two drops on the crown of his head. My dad came in hearing the crying and was on the phone to my bro! I asked him to wait I still had t held my boy but I was talking to him and stroking his face. He was a good pink colour and my midwife said he had a strong heart beat and was a strong boy! The second midwife then arrived, my midwife was asking if she had ever heard the noise he was making, the second midwife was not worried and they just held the oxygen for a bit longer. He quickly regulated his breathing and I could feel the contractions again we turned at tension to delivering the placenta. Again very odd sensations full on contractions.

Last time they gave me the injection as soon as my first was born I didn’t even have time to think.
After a few mins had passed I started to feed my son to get the contractions to be a bit more productive. He had such a strong latch so quickly another completely different feeling it was such a relief as my first had latch problems for 6 months. Still no placenta. After a big gush of blood my midwife started to get a bit nervous. I think we were all a little on edge after the whole breathing thing. She said it was the injection or we may have to think about going to hospital as that was a fair amount of blood and it had been half an hour almost 40 mins. So I agreed, my birth plan said 30 mins and then I would consider it. I was in no mood to argue and I could tell my midwife was getting a bit worried- I certainly did not want the hospital. I had 2 injections when I thought it might be easier if I get up- gravity and all. That’s all it took, out it came and straight into the bowl ready to consume when my placenta encapsulation specialist arrived. All I needed now was a couple of stitches and my baby to cuddle. It was so perfect doing that in the comfort of my own home. I was able to have something to eat, drink and completely relaxed and shared my baby with my husband and my dad.

Most special bit though was just as we went to bed as the sun was coming up- in came my daughter who had slept through it all- she gasped and said- he’s come out! Family cuddles all round. Priceless!

 

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This is a personal account of how I managed my recent Mastitis/blocked duct naturally. I am a qualified Nutritional Therapist and Naturopath and I encourage anyone going through the same thing to seek advice from their healthcare provider. Please use this as information but it in no way dictates how you should also manage yours. Everybody is different and may need different advice.

Thursday night I was putting my very long and lean 2y 7 month old to bed. Sometimes she needs a cuddle to go to sleep, sometimes she doesn’t. This night she did, I fell asleep too. It must have been 20 mins tops, she had her head on my left shoulder and most of her weight on my chest. When my husband woke me up I remarked that my left boob was a bit sore and tense. Thought nothing of it and decided to go to sleep. I woke up about an hour and a half later just as my husband was going to sleep and was really cold. Now I know we have the aircon on but it was 33 degrees outside and our aircon is set to 25 degrees for our newborn. We also have a 11 tog quilt on the bed and I was freezing. I mean FREEZING.

I grew up in Hong Kong, I do not deal well with the cold. I find it really hard to get warm and stay warm, my body is awesome at cooling down ( even recently at almost 42 weeks pregnant I was still able to remain somewhat ambient in 33 degree heat). So when i’m cold, I get sore. This time I was shivering from head right down to little toe, every muscle. I was a little confused. I have never had mastitis before, my previous pregnancy and post natal period was much more about emotional upheaval than any physical upheaval. This was another new experience for me. I will get onto my birthing experience soon- I know there are people that want to hear about my home birth and I promise its coming. Needless to say there have been a lot of firsts this pregnancy, first son, first baby in HK, first at home, first to go over 36 weeks, first to need oxygen when he’s born but as I say into that in more detail later. First Mastitis. First real-honest to god-fever too. How did this all happen so fast?

My first instinct was to get warm, or even hot. Bath. Got into a really hot bath, with some difficulty as I was shaking uncontrollably. The pain of shaking uncontrollably is intense. Childbirth is intense but at least you get some breathing time, this gave me nothing for a good 30 mins. I had the words of my midwife in my head, call me with any flu symptoms. So I said after I have this bath I have to call her (I promise I said that) I had my rock (the husband) giving me the homoeopathic remedies that fit best (Its best you consult a homoeopath or in the uk call the hotline) I used Phytolacca 200c and Hepar Sulph 30c in a water bottle along with rescue remedy for the shock and pain. I used the shower bit of the bath on the left side as warm as I could and that abated the shivering somewhat, enough to catch my breath for a bit and concentrate. I knew I needed to feed my son and that would get me through this. I knew it would work it through and lower the fever naturally.

It made me think about all this old wives stuff that still gets churned out about lowering a fever. If I lowered my fever those shakes would definitely been worse and I have heard stories about febrile convulsions after lowering a fever to quickly- it made sense. The WHO or NICE guidelines do not recommend lowering a fever through use of pharmaceuticals or cold or tepid sponging or baths. I now know through personal experience this course of action went against anything my body needed. Same as pain killers, why take a pain killer, my body was telling me to stop and rest. That’s what pain is for. My son was 2 weeks old and I had already done too much. I was getting the message loud and clear and I would continue to get that message over the next few days, I couldn’t and wouldn’t suppress it with a pain killer.

Slowly and in difficulty because I was still shaking from the cold I managed to get out of the bath and get dressed to feed my boy(socks, long layers and blankets, even over my head-man I must have looked weird. The air con was obviously also very much off I hasten to add.) No skin but my face could be exposed as it was cold. I started to feed. I will say it again this whole experience was already longer than my childbirth and way more intense. I was trying to breathe to calm down, to relax the shakes to dampen the pain and it was starting to work. Having the boy feeding was helping, hurting, but undeniably helping. Just as I was going to get the hubby to call the midwife, all of a sudden I was so hot! I knew that was a good sign! I let the hubby go to sleep- it was 2.30 am by this time (My daughter went to sleep just after 9- for your time scale!) A hour later with a sleeping baby and me tearing off the layers covered in sweat, I finally went to sleep myself. I used a red cabbage leaf on my boob to try and draw it out while my boy slept, it also helped to cool me down. However the pain on the left side left little options for sleeping positions and I struggled to get much sleep that night especially when a certain long limbed little girl crawled in at 4.30 and sprawled over most of the available space!

Anyway- what frightened me the next day was how useless I was to look after the kids- the baby, no problem he was my medicine. The 2 year old; no chance. I ached all over and every time I went to get out of bed- the body said ‘no chance’, the raging headache said ‘sleep, do not move again’. Thank goodness my rock is not working right now and is amazing with both of my children, at cooking and mostly at looking after me- he is seriously a rock. I was able to get some sleep- I am taking probiotics twice a day to try and ensure there was no infection, arnica 200c for the aches, bruising and to kick start the healing together with vitamin C to help promote and support healing. I continually poured water in forms of fennel tea, hot water, lemon honey and ginger and just neat down my throat constantly. Most importantly I stayed in bed. I maintained a low grade fever on and off for most of the day(took a belladonna 200c) but the shivering had long gone and sleep was the medicine. The side lying feeding position was a great help. Gently pressing on the painful hard bits helps too

I did much of the same on Saturday. I was feeling better in myself and not so weak but still really tired and I decided to try and pump out the left to see if there was any puss or blood I needed to be concerned about. There wasn’t. I finally let my midwife know and was relieved to know I was doing the right stuff; instinctively. I was starting to be a little proud of myself and of natural remedies. I continued with the arnica and added in some silica. I even had a shower and used the shower head with the warm water to warm up the left side and help with the flow.

Feeding was not as painful- except at the beginning- holy crap that makes you gasp and then some! I have a high pain thresh hold but I was definitely not looking forward to the left sides turn! (you have to feed from both sides to make sure the other side doesn’t then turn on you!). After a couple of seconds it eases off and is bearable so not so bad. It even wasn’t so sore to the touch. I even managed to get up for dinner on sat (have to note here that even with little appetite I made sure I ate every meal- so important when breastfeeding and when ill. Mostly smoothies and soups for the first day but more substantial salmon and broccoli and then back to normal sat and sun).

Sunday morning I felt like me again. I knew I had to give it one more day before contemplating doing anything so stayed in bed again Sunday. Today (Monday) it’s a typhoon and a terrible day- an indoors day. Even Nature is telling me to chill out. I really wanted to go to the Book Fair (I don’t really have a reason- I get really bad cabin fever and itchy feet!!!) Yesterday I started taking Silica (alongside the arnica probiotics, and vitamin c although just taking them once a day now) to try and help push out any residue. I even slept slightly on the left side last night to try and ease the consequent neck pain. I felt ready to share- I hope it has been helpful.

As an update, after a week the inflammation followed the law of cure and moved outwards. This movement although positive hardened and partially inverted my nipple making a latch almost impossible. For a couple of days I was able to help with some feeds using a nipple shield but then was reduced to having to express until this was too painful. For 24 hours I couldn’t do anything to the left side I was in so much pain. What kept me strong was knowing conventional medicine had nothing for me but antibiotics and by this time it was surface pain. I had identified it as becoming a breast abscess. I knew the pain was the pressure of the waste (pus) pressing against the skin. I just had to wait for it to rupture.

By now it had been 2 weeks and pain is a very depressing state to be in. I had an emotional release. Louise Hay identifies emotional connections to physical ailments and through this I learnt what I had been told several times in the last 6 months. I tend to take on the responsibility for everyones happiness. From my husband and toddler to my dad, friends and lately even people I have just met. I was literally running on empty. So I let go. I balled my eyes out and had what I felt were panic attacks. But I let go. I told my nearest and dearest that I was not responsible for their happiness and if they weren’t happy with something they had to deal with it themselves, I had me to look after.

The next morning the abscess burst. The pain relief was instant. I mean instant- gone immediately. Without wanting to get gruesome, the thickest, greenest pus oozed out for 2 hours continuously and then intermittently for the next 2 days. It was a deep deep wound which a week later has healed into a small scab! The wonder of nature! I am now feeding again (still with the nipple shield to begin with) on the left side and there is a slight size difference in my boobs, but I am confident this will even out. Your body will always provide for your baby so any mums going through this trust that if you can’t feed for a little bit, keep trying your body will adapt for the health of your child. You do not have to stop feeding and I never even thought about topping up with any formula.

I need to add I could never have done this without the support of my family and great homeopath who got back to me pronto even though she is on holiday- thank you Charlotte I am indebted to you!

If anyone wants to share their tips and tricks with me and the other mums, let me know and I will add to this post. A great friend of mine used tumeric to help lower the inflammation.

Here are the links we used right at the beginning-

http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/mastitis/
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Mastitis/Pages/Causes.aspx
http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/herbs/natural-treatments

Here as a parting shot are the children who makes it all worth it for me!

 

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When my daughter was born, like most new mums will relate to, it was a complete baptism by fire. Chaos ensued! I had read Baby Bliss by Dr Harvey Karp before she arrived and loved it.

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The whole 4th trimester made a lot of sense to me. So for the first 4 weeks (after the whole worst week had finished and Eva started feeding- maybe another blog) Eva slept on my chest every night. As she was 4 weeks early it made so much sense to me that she deserved to be  as close to where she ‘should be’ still developing in the womb. I carried her everywhere even in the house, mostly because she refused to let me put her down and I refused to let her cry. It was also so refreshing to have someone talk about the elusive ‘colic’ which has no medical definition and just seems to be an umbrella term for anything that can’t be explained.

After another few weeks of this I became confused. I was under the understanding that babies slept in a moses basket and then you put them in a cot where they peacefully drift off to sleep and sleep in their own room at about 3 months. Not so with my daughter, or anyone’s  if I listened to what my new friends with new babies were also experiencing. Some say I made my life harder by refusing to let my daughter have a dummy, let her ‘cry it out’ and by exclusively breastfeeding only on demand. I rejected the dream feed idea and most other options offered. They all took my child’s choice out of the equation. They cry for a reason, sticking a dummy in her mouth, to me, was silencing a cry for help. Letting her cry it out was going to teach her that if she needed something nobody was going to listen to her. I wasn’t prepared to allow my daughter to feel these emotions at such a raw young age- if ever.

At about 8 weeks I was recommended to buy The Wonder Weeks. I loved it.

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My baby cried, she cried herself to sleep and sometimes all the time. No matter if I tried to feed her, change her nappy, swaddled her or shusshed her (we eventually used the hairdryer which worked like a dream and is meant to be 1/3 quieter then the sounds in the womb!) we realised she sometimes just needed to cry and feel supported in that. Reading The Wonder Weeks helped us to understand what she might be experiencing that may make her cry. Put yourself in their shoes, imagine seeing dark and lighter to seeing really bright and blurry to then starting to see colour and images sharpening, I can imagine all that is quite an onslaught for someone also trying to grow and develop. How many things in life do we take for granted, how many things have we learnt to filter out, the noise on the MTR the surprising noises around us from other flats, people, birds. Most we don’t notice. A baby experiences everything, they have no filter. Pair that with not having the comfort of feeling your mothers heartbeat or smelling her closeness and having no one coming to you when you get scared. I don’t think that is what makes a child independent.

What’s my point here, my daughter still gets cuddled to sleep, she has never had a bottle or a dummy to be a substitute soother for her parents, she is cuddled when she asks for it and she is allowed to come into bed with us whenever she gets out of her bed and comes into ours. She has slept through the night in her own bed, on many occasions, and a couple of times she has asked to go to sleep in her bed, with our hand on her back. Sure it has meant that our lives have been centred around our child and we haven’t had much time to ourselves as babysitting becomes very difficult. But the alternatives were not good enough for us.

The point is she makes these decisions on her own and when she is ready. We went to her Kindergarden for an observation yesterday morning. She is not yet 2.5, the other 2 children there were at least 3 if not more. Who’s child was the one who went straight to the table with the education assistants without so much as a look behind her as to where we were. She knew we were there and would be there if she needed us. She made no fuss and got stuck into it. I have no idea how the other 2 were raised and what choices their parents made and  every child will deal with every situation differently so I choose never to comment on what someone else chooses as it is their right to choose. But I was mighty proud of my daughters independence, courage and spirit. All the sleepless nights, worry and anxiety over the last few years disappeared and as the next baby is probably going to be here in the next couple of weeks I look forward to being able to honour his choices, whatever they may be.

I leave you with something I read on monday and the links to the books that I mentioned above. Good luck with your choices and please try to honour the ones your baby is trying to make.

“A message from your new baby: If I could speak I would say “I love you”. If I have any wish in the world it is only one thing, and that is to be with you. If I have any desire or motivation in life, it is you. I am but a newborn baby, so helpless in the world. You are the light of my life. Hold me close to you, never leave me, never forsake me and never let me out of your sweet nurturing arms” from Remiel Nagel Healing our Children.

Healing our Children: Sacred Wisdom for Preconception, Pregnancy, Birth and Parenting.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Healing-Our-Children-Preconception-Pregnancy/dp/0982021313/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337735937&sr=8-1

Baby Bliss-Your One-stop Guide for the First Three Months and Beyond. Dr Harvey Karp

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Baby-Bliss-One-stop-Months-Beyond/dp/0141007915/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337736026&sr=1-2

Wonder Weeks- How to Stimulate Your Baby’s Mental Development and Help Him Turn His 10 Predictable, Great, Fussy Phases into Magical Leaps Forward. by Hetty van de Rijt, Frans Plooij, Jan Jutte and Gayle Kidder

Also available as an app and Kindle version

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=wonder+weeks&x=0&y=0

Here as a parting image my daughter excited to go see her new school:

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“The only safe Vaccine is the one that is never used” James Shannon, former National Institutes for Health Director.

How many of you read the list of ingredients on something you are about to give your child, or indeed yourself. Most of us have a good idea of what is in the food we eat and have chosen so accordingly. We do it because we know what we put into our bodies will affect how we grow, heal and indeed behave. Too much sugar and we will put on weight and our kids will go nuts then be awful for the rest of the day. Fact. So then how many of you read the vaccine insert for the list of ingredients and side effects before the needle went into your kids arm. How many of you were even offered to read it by your health provider? I am assuming not many. Why?

There is always a reason why something is so controversial, I am the type of person who wants to know. To the extent that I wanted my driving instructor to explain to me how car works so I would understand why I had to change gears and when. So naturally when I am told to trust something, I always want to know why. I have had some vaccinations myself, as a kid and as an adult and never questioned them. Why should I? They are there for our health right. Well scratch the surface like I did when I was pregnant with my first child and you open a can of worms. If you are someone who just gets angry that this is another hippy parent spouting rubbish and take it no further then maybe you need to open your eyes. It is your responsibility to keep your kids healthy and yours alone. They are your children, you should do whats best for them and only you can decide that. Unless you unluckily live in a US state where certain vaccinations are mandatory. Even then there are some loop holes.

The information is easy to find and I will be posting various things here for you to read. But you should be sure, either way, you should be completely sure. There is no room for regrets in your child’s health. This also goes for you too. The Flu vaccine has been implicated in Dementia and Alzheimers yet why do we keep giving it to our elderly every year. I don’t know one person who has had the flu jab and then not gone on to have the worst flu of their lives. Why give it to asthmatics when it greatly diminishes your immune system and can cause asthma? The science does not make sense. The only way to get immunity is to get the disease itself, FACT. Wouldn’t you prefer the natural disease, not the mutated manufactured one? The only way you can pass on immunity is to get the natural disease itself. I know my choice, and I am 100% happy with it. I am totally open to everyone making their own well informed decision, why is your health provider not giving you the same courtesy?

Here’s one of several articles I will be sharing

http://www.planetc1.com/cgi-bin/n/v.cgi?c=1&id=1205211519

The Vaccination Council is written by doctors and scientists who have turned away from vaccinations.

http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/2010/06/26/the-commercialization-of-childhood-vaccination/

http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/2009/09/15/there-is-no-vaccine-against-ignorance/

http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/2009/07/04/vaccination-statistics/

Jayne also writes alot about travel vaccinations
http://www.jayne-donegan.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Are-CHILDHOOD-INFECTIOUS-DISEASES-a-good-thing-website.pdf

The Hep B vaccination at birth in HK to me is madness:
http://www.vaccineriskawareness.com/Hepatitis-B-Vaccine-Kills-Baby
this is the insert
http://www.vaccineriskawareness.com/Hepatitis-B-Vaccine-aluminium-thimerosal-mercury-yeast-but-don-t-worry-it-s-gluten-free

As for Vitamin K:
http://www.aims.org.uk/Journal/Vol13No2/vitk.htm

http://www.vaccineriskawareness.com/Vitamin-K-Does-Your-Baby-Really-Need-It

Also check out http://www.greatergoodmovie.org I have a copy and if you wanna see it I can organise a viewing.

More recommended reading material from other non-vaccinating parents:

http://www.amazon.com/Vaccine-Illusion-ebook/dp/B007AW2CLG and see here http://www.vaccinationcouncil.org/2012/05/09/vaccination-illusion-an-immunologis-speaks-dr-tetyana-obukhanych/

http://www.vaclib.org/index.htm

http://vacbook.com/vsm.htm also available on Amazon

http://www.thinktwice.com/

An awesome support forum with members all over the world giving advice and support http://www.arnica.org.uk/

Another great charity devoted to supporting those who chose against vaccinations is http://www.vaccineriskawareness.com/http://www.vaccineriskawareness.com/