Breastfeeding Welcome… Will remain to be seen!

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The second question/assumption after my due date enquiry by my gp was ‘I assume you are breastfeeding again this time’ This made me a little mad the first time and a litter madder this time. Don’t get me wrong, I like my gp I had a good breastfeeding experience but that may not have been the case and I can tell you one thing whilst it might be the best route of possible it most certainly ain’t the easiest but more on that later. I find this question funny because the assumption is that you will, but the support and facilities are not there to support women who actually do choose this path. 

Earlier in the year stats were released that stated only 55% of women choose to breastfeed and that is the lowest uptake in 27 high income countries, reported The Irish Times.  I would also say this statistic is one that is written on a form when baby is born and when mum and baby leave the hospital and the reality of breastfeeding kicks in with the massive changes that have just occurred in your life this percentage easily drops. 

You regularly see articles about women being shamed when breastfeeding publicly and this is most certainly a hurdle you have to overcome on your first. Again it must be back to our culture but you certainly feel a little uncomfortable ‘whipping them out’ in a cafe, albeit subtly on those first few occasions. When you think of it, it’s a little ridiculous and such a shame as when it works breastfeeding is such a miraculous thing really and should be applauded not hidden behind big shawls and uncomfortable facades. 

I write this piece due to the recent talk of ‘Breastfeeding Welcome’ signs being introduced as reported by The Journal and with the initiative coming from The First 1000 days, if you haven’t heard about them until now you should definitely check them out. 

The First 1000 Days 

I think this would be welcome but what does it say about the establishments that choose not to display this sign or take this approach. Hmmm is all I have to say to that. 

I have always thought that there should be no divide between breast feeding mamas and bottle feeding mamas. I met some wonderful women at my breastfeeding group who still remain great friends but in the early days all mamas need support and there wasn’t one bottle feeder at our group. Having said that establishing feeding yourself definitely merits more support that may not always be there. The hospitals are overrun and don’t have the time to dedicate the time needed for those crucial first few days. Support groups are hit and miss depending on your location and you may also find that family may not be as supportive as you hope having come from a different generation and perhaps taken a different method themselves. 
I was very lucky, I was with the Domino scheme so whilst I left hospital very quickly I had midwives call to me every day for 6-7 days after Josh was born. They had the time to answer questions, listen to your concerns and give tips on how to get it established. I got engorgement, cracked nipples and felt for those first few days and weeks extremely overwhelmed by being one little precious persons primary food source. My own mum struggled seeing me suffer in pain and suggested bottles early on but one thing I really believe is if you want to give it the best shot you need to push through those first few tricky weeks. Your supply and your baby needs to settle and then once this happens it does become a lot easier. We chose to give Josh a bottle for his last feed at about 4 weeks for a number of reasons and this again worked well for us. It gave mama a little freedom and some extra rest too. It gave Ian a chance to feel like he was helping as dads can feel a bit unnecessarily useless those first few weeks and finally it got Josh used to a bottle early which was helpful later on. I avoided the dreaded mastitis and went on to feed Josh for almost 10 months. 

Just for the record I do plan to feed number 2 myself but I will be returning to work earlier so weaning will have to happen earlier too. Josh just naturally stopped which also made this transition seamless for all. Yes the statistics also show that if you can, especially in those early days if you can feed your baby breast milk that is is hugely beneficial to both you and them but as the saying goes.. Happy mama means happy baba and if things don’t work out for you, you don’t have the support network you need then a feeding method that works for the whole family is the best one to choose. 

Cool Kids Events-Final Updates!

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End of Summer updates: Well we are nearly at the end of the summer hols and we didn’t have the best of weather but we managed to almost complete our list! We are off to Messy Monkeys tomorrow and have one final update with a recent day in Bray! We hope to do Newbridge and Botanics in September and when the rain goes away head to Kilruddery before they close up for summer! You might fit in one or two before school is back next week! 

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Recently my pal asked me how I found out about some of the fun events we go to and it is probably a lot to do with my social media addiction and I know I have posted about things we have done in the past but here are some coming up in July and August that might keep your little ones entertained for a while and with the summer hols just started this may well be a perfectly timed post!

First 1000 Days, Pop Up Cafe-Airfield

We were really hoping to get a place on this but didn’t make the cut. 😩 I love the idea so keep your eyes peeled for the next one. I have written about the first 1000 days food method before and this combined in the beautiful surrounding of airfield it sounded like perfection. 

http://www.first1000days.ie/

Whilst on the subject of Airfield, we are recent new members and now that we are it’s great to be able to just pop up. The feeding/milking time for the chickens and cows is something I think Josh would love so like the rest of the activities below-it’s on the list! They also have a summer medley family event on 12th June which looks like great fun! 

  

http://www.airfield.ie/

{Review of June event}: I am really enjoying being a member of Airfield, it’s such a lovely spot to be able to nip up to as it’s pretty close to our house. Their Summer Medley was on Sunday and like everything they do, they did it well, with taste and kids considered in every element. There were lovely lawn games, bee keepers, seed sowing, flag making, classical kids music and all the usual animals to keep you entertained. They had a lovely BBQ on the go and their stables cafe running so plenty of refreshment options too. We didn’t get to face paint or cupcake decorate but you could have spent all day with all the planned activities but our boy was over due a nap so after a fun few hours we headed home. 

   
 

Teddy Bears Picnic 
Rathwood is known for all it’s seasonal events and when this one came up on Groupon we jumped at the chance and booked in a suitable day for early July. I think Josh is at about the right age and their other events get well received. I will post an update once we have been!

http://www.rathwood.com/events/teddy-bear-picnic/

{Review}: Josh was at the start of a gastro bug when we headed down here a couple of weeks ago but even still, he loved it! There have been a few things we have gone to, that I have wanted to experience with him before that I felt he was a little too young for but this was spot on. Older kids would enjoy it too but I would say about 4/5 would be the limit. The little train journey you take is perfectly timed and there is enough on and off the train without there being too much. You are kept well entertained throughout and it finishes with a picnic near the fairy house with the teddys before they head off for their next jaunt. I won’t spoil it too much but I would definitely put it on your toddler to do list. There is currently a groupon deal for this too. 

http://m.groupon.ie/deals/

   
 
 

We also stopped at Tinahely farm shop on the way home for some lunch and there is a big activity barn there that is rough and ready but looked lots of fun and for a full day out is really recommend this pit stop!

http://tinahelyfarmshop.com/
  

Kilruddery

It seems not a lot of people know about this spot just outside Bray. It’s a beautiful house, estate and farm with a weekly farmers market and great individual events throughout the year. A friend of mine is even heading to the family friendly groove festival this weekend which sounds like lots of fun!

http://www.killruddery.com/whats-on/

Sealife

On the subject of Bray, it is lovely on a sunny day-a real old school seaside town and with icecream parlours, fun rides and a fab pizza spot, platform pizza-we plan to make a day trip down here soon. I think Josh would be fancinated by all the big fish too. I have heard good things so I am looking forward to making the trip very soon. 

https://www.visitsealife.com/bray/

{Review}: We headed to Bray on a sunny Sunday. Having been out the night before the first stop was some grub and on the seafront if you want something more substantial than chips you can’t beat Platform Pizza. They have also opened a sister restaurant Box Burger that I can’t wait to try! We just happened to go on a day when a big fun fair was on and that certainly added to the fun. Josh just loved the rides and games! Not so much when we took him away..

  
We then headed to Sealife, we had a Dunnes receipt discount code so it was €17 euro in for the three of us (Josh was free). The square footage is small and certainly stuck in the 80s but Josh loved it. Most of the  viewing points are at toddler level and for older kids there are good information sessions. The highlight is the big shark tank at the end. A crepe was bought nearby to end a lovely family Sunday! 

  

Newbridge Farm

I have heard great reports about this North Co Dublin spot so this is on the list too. It is also half way to one of our fav eating spots, eastern seaboard and brown hound so double reason to put it high up on our ever growing list!

www.newbridgehouseandfarm.com/joomla

Skerries/Ardgillan

A great summer day out. A drive to this lovely seaside town, some lunch in a skerries spot and an icecream treat for afters from the lovely storm in a tea cup. Just 5 minutes drive away then is Ardgillian playground. It is a little walk from the car park but with it has fab views and a good selection of age appropriate play equipment so some Sunday this is definitely on our list to revisit. 

  

http://www.ardgillancastle.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70&Itemid=68

National Gallery Workshops 

We have gone to these since Josh was small and their new brochure has just been released. There is so much passion from the organisers and a lot of thought goes into each one, it is almost infectious. They are well worth a visit but with some booking is essential and all ages are covered. 

http://www.nationalgallery.ie/Learning/Families_and_Young_People.aspx

Powerscourt Gardens

We had been to the Avoca a number of times but this was Josh’s first visit to the magnificent gardens. He was free in and on a lovely sunny day the house and setting shone at it’s best. Josh loved counting the many steps, the bridges in the Japenese Garden and running in the grass to his hearts content while we lapped up the surrounds. There are also seasonal events that happen in the house so it is well worth keeping an eye.

  

http://powerscourt.com/events

Glenroe Farm

We revisited Glenroe farm recently too and Josh loved getting up close with the animals. It is a simple set up but there are lovely picnic tables and a great playground for a sunny day!

 

http://www.glenroefarm.com/

Messy Monkeys

Finally I just got notified this week that Messy Monkeys is returning for 2 dates this summer and we will be sure to be booking one of those!
   

    

http://messy-monkeys.ie/dublin-south

There are other places on my list that are new and I want Josh to experience like the botanic gardens and places I want us to revisit like brittas bay. Keep banking happy summer memories for our wonderful little boy! 

We got to Brittas too which you may have seen and as a sunny day out it really is a super spot.

  
Happy summer exploring..