Unmet expectations

Unmet expectations

This weeks podcast, I am reflecting upon unmet expectations in parenting, feeding and how coming together to share and learn helps.

Share your thoughts with me on social media @beyondbabyhood.

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Listening Skills

None of us are perfect, we live busy lives, often juggling many mental processes  at once. We try our best to listen to those we are supporting but sometimes we may fall short.

Honing in on listening skills can really help us offer more effective support. The photos bellow are adapted from a list by the Bloemfontein Samaritans. I discovered them as part of my breastfeeding specialist training and adapted them to share with you all 🙂 

This series of images is  about listening skills and what it looks like when you are listening and when you are not

I believe they are applicable to all situations, in all interactions with others, what ever your role is within that moment. I find these helpful in all my roles, from health care professional to babywearing consultant. 
I hope that with awareness ( and practice) we can strive to be aware of our flaws and do better for those we interact with on a professional and personal level. 

You are not listening when… 

You say you understand before you know me well enough.

You have an answer for my problem before I have finished telling you what it is.

You sense that my problem is embarrassing and you try to avoid it.

You are dying to tell me all your experiences which make mine seem unimportant.

You need to feel successful You come up with all the clever answers which have little to do with me.

You cut me off before I have finished speaking.

You are trying to sort out all the details and are not aware of the feelings behind the words.

You are listening when… 

You come quietly into my world and let me be.

You try to understand me when I do not make much sense.

You hold back your desire to give me advice.

You don’t take my problem from me but trust me to deal with it my own way.

You give me enough room to discover for myself why I feel upset and enough time to think for myself what is best.

You allow me the dignity of making my own decisions even though you may think I am wrong.

You don’t tell me that funny story you are just burning to tell.

You realise that how I take from you leaves you a bit tired and drained.

You grasp my point of view even when it goes against your sincere convictions.

You spend a short valuable time with me and make me feel it is forever.

Optional activity 

I invite you to have a look through them & reflect upon how they make you feel.
Do they ring true to you?
Do any remind you of a recent interaction?
Is there anything you will try to apply to your our skill set?
​Are there any you would add?

There is no need to share your thoughts, but naturally, I’d love to hear them.

Post activity thoughts.. 
We are not aiming to be free from our flaws, only aware of them so we can notice them in the moments that matter the most. When will you next give the gift of listening?

This blog piece forms part of my Slingababy consultancy project, we are tasked with sharing good quality information to benefit the whole baby wearing community. 
Photo Credit – Alex Cetra Photography 
Woven Wrap – Didymos Arora

Beyond Babyhood

What happens when you meet child’s needs with empathy and compassion?

When we tune into our children and listen to their needs and the messages they are sending us, we can often avert the power struggles.

A sling, a cuddle and some nourishing mummy milk, was exactly what this one needed on the way home from a walk today.

I felt the familiar pull to put him off, to wrap him on my back or just plain refuse and make him walk home. Because although my soul filled with the joys of spring, my limbs were weary too.

But I took the path of least restistance, he was sleepy & he rested. Then oxytocin buzz helped me power through to home.

Breastfeeding beyond babyhood has its own unique challengs and often, parents don’t know another family making similar choices. Reach out if you’d like to be connected with other parents like you. ❤️

Breastfeeding & suspected food allergies

12 things to know..

You have found my page as someone who is supporting you, has suggested you eliminate some food from your diet to see if it helps your child.

Although I focus here on Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy (CMPA) which is one of the most common, most of the wisdom applies across the food groups. The GP Infant Feeding Network (GPFN) describes the medical side of CMPA here, please read first.

So, the following information is the culmination of my lived parental experience of breastfeeding two multiple food allergic children & my work as a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) & Nurse. It does NOT replace personalised health advice from your health care, or breastfeeding supporter. I have read a lot, however, so maybe you won’t have to search so hard to find all the answers you need right now.

12 things I wish YOU to know…

Thing 1 It is not your fault.
This is not because you ate the food at the wrong point in pregnancy, ate too much or too little. In fact, if you read any of the Milk hypothesis (Maureen Minchin), it was your ancestors.

Thing 2 Up to 50% of reflux is caused by CMPA.
Many health care workers are now being told. the first line of treatment for reflux is to trail eliminating dairy sources from parent and child’s diet, state the GPIF on their Reflux treatment page.

Thing 3 Follow your instincts.
If you suspect something, investigate it. If you have health professionals telling you something that doesn’t sit right with you, double check and ask to see their evidence to support the advice they are giving you. You are the world’s foremost expert on your own baby. If you need someone who lived and breaths this to talk to, Allergy UK have a wonderful phone helpline and you can even talk to a Paediatric Dietician.

Thing 4 It takes time for the allergens to leave your milk.
Some parents might see dramatic changes within a week, for others, it can take up to 4 weeks for the allergen to be completely free from your body. For what happens next, see the exceptional Faqs from Dilan and me.

Thing 5 Keep a food diary
Do this, or at least a reaction diary, is helpful to you and the professionals working with you to figure out patterns and if more than one food allergy is suspected, this will help you work that out sooner. Allergy UK has a template on their website (scroll to the bottom).

Thing 6 Soya might be an issue too
Many parents find other animal milk & Soya will cause the same reactions in CMPA.
Most children will also react to other animal kinds of milk too, as the protein is very similar.

Thing 7 Many mothers and children thrive with support, on restricted diets.
First Steps Nutrition offer free, impartial advice about food in the early years.
If you are worrying about nutrients, in lieu of the support of a trained Dietitian, you might like this. Eating well: vegan infants and under-5s

Thing 8 Check every label, every time.
Aside from checking wine, hand soaps & dark chocolate frequently have milk in them.
If you are like me, after concerns about my baby, I was then preoccupied with the idea of cake, cheese and all things sweet.
Find ALL the alternatives here, lovingly compiled by an experienced CMPA mum @ Dilan and Me

Thing 9 Slip ups will happen.
It is thought, that food you eat takes 4-6 hours to reach your breastmilk.
Try not to beat yourself up about it. But if you find you are, this page, written by a dietician might help you if you do accidentally eat the food you are avoiding.

Thing 10 Take safe food with you to parties
Don’t miss out on cake and nice food, I always pack a treat for the moment that amazing food comes out that I can no longer eat. Also a note about friends, even the most enthusiastic friends and family will not understand your requirements as well as you, as you are living this every day so double check anything the make / provide.

Thing 11 Check the funding
Who paid for the info you are following? Much allergy information has been produced by formula companies who do not have your continued breastfeeding relationship in mind.
I like Dilan and Me’s Milk ladder info.Lastly,

Thing 12 Find other parents who get it
This bit is for you breastfeeding parent. The toll on your mental health might be small, but if you have people around you who just don’t get your anxiety around food, you could find yourself avoiding certain situations and feeling left out. There are many parents out there who get exactly how you feel, & in some parts of the country, there are even allergen free playgroups. Try this Facebook group, Breastfeeding with CMPA is run by very experienced allergy parents, it is very supportive.

Further Reading

Breastfeeding network (pdf Download)
Philippa Pearson-Glaze (milk allergy in babies)
Emma Amoscato (Book -Living with Allergies: Practical Tips for All the Family)NICE guidance on CMPA (pdf download)


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