Boobbix breastfeeding cookies

A few weeks back, I started to feel like my milk supply was suffering slightly. My breasts weren’t feeling as ‘full’ as they usually did as we approached feeding time, and Heidi was becoming quite restless during feeds. I was also finding myself having to offer her both sides to fill her, something I had never had to do before! I drank more water, tried to pump at least once a day, to get my supply increased but it was hard getting a chance to pump and I didn’t really notice a big difference with the extra water.

I had heard of breastfeeding cookies before, an Australian mum I follow on social media had posted about them on her Instagram and being pregnant at that time, I was quite intrigued. So I looked them up! I found a company called Boobbix in the UK. They have won 3 ‘Loved by Parents’ awards and shortlisted for the Mother & Baby awards 2017, so I figured they must be good. It would be worth a try right?

The website has lots of information about the cookies, the ingredients and why they are great for breastfeeding mums! They use four main ingredients all of which are galactagogues, milk boosting ingredients! They are packed with Oats which are full of iron, vitamins, anti oxidants, fibre and wholegrains. Oats are packed with calories which is much needed for every breastfeeding Mum as we are encouraged to eat an extra 300-500 calories a day! Flaxseed is another ingredient which is extremely good for both Mum and baby. They are full of omega 3 which is of course beneficial to brain and eye development and Mums levels lower when breastfeeding as babies take a lot from their Mums! So this is a great top up for both of us. Brewers Yeast is not only full of B vitamins, amino acids, protein and iron, but it is also known to help with fatigue and boost moods! It has been used as a natural milk supply increaser for years. Ever have someone tell you to drink a beer to boost supply? Same yeast! Finally we have fenugreek, another natural supply booster.

Boobix also use organic and free range ingredients. They are available in 4 different flavours; Oatmeal and raisin, Chocolate chip and oat, Cranberry and almond, and Peanut butter and chocolate chip.

I decided to order one box to see how I got on with them. I chose oatmeal and raisin. They cost £9 per box and despite only choosing the standard delivery, they arrived within 2 days!

When I opened them I was impressed to see each cookie was individually wrapped! Perfect for popping one in your bag and no need to worry about them going soft or stale. I was excited to try them! So I popped the kettle on for a cup of tea and sat down to try one. O.M.G!!! These are delicious!!

They are a soft, chewy cookie, my favourite kind, and the flavour was just incredibly delicious! The raisins were so juicy and the cookie itself was very thick. Normally when I open a packet of biscuits I could just eat and eat until they are gone, but these are actually quite filling! So I am happy to stop at one, despite the temptation to have just one more! The packet recommends 1-2 cookies per day, I opted for 2 since they are so tasty! One in the morning, one in the evening.

After a few days I started to feel like I was definitely a little ‘fuller’ again and by the time I was finished the box, Heidi had been less restless during feeds and I was no longer having to offer both sides. I was impressed! Not to mention the fact I had cut way down on eating chocolate as these had become my preferred snack of choice! And even my husband said they were the nicest cookies he had ever tried!

I got online and ordered 2 more boxes. Another oatmeal and raisin and a chocolate chip and oat this time too! Again they arrived fairly quickly. The chocolate chip and oat are also extremely tasty! But the oatmeal and raisin are still my favourite so far! Boobbix…you have a new fan! Even when I don’t feel like I need a milk boost, I feel like I could still turn to these cookies for a healthy, filling guilt free snack! Whats not to love about that!

Get your Boobbix lactation cookies here! Have you tried them already? Let me know what you think!

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Heidi’s 4 month update

So its a little late. But on January 24th, Heidi turned 4 months old and even just saying it freaks me out! Its such a common thing you hear from parents, but time really does fly by!

This is definitely a really fun stage she is at! She is no longer our floppy little newborn. Shes a tiny little woman with loads of personality starting to shine through.

SLEEPING

Heidi sleeps so well now (sorry to anyone not experiencing the same). She takes a massive feed at night so its normally around 10/10.30 before I actually get her into her crib. We are working on an earlier bedtime right now. But the little rascal is too nosey now and won’t sleep any earlier incase she misses something! Any tips here would be great! When she does go down though, she sleeps like a log until around 3.30/4am and after a fresh nappy and a feed, goes right back to sleep. She then usually sleeps until 7/8am before another feed and if we have nowhere to be, I let her sleep again until 9 or 10am somedays. I know this probably doesn’t help getting her to bed early so I haven’t been letting her do this as much, but it actually doesn’t seem to make a difference.

Once in a while she will sleep through until at least 7 before looking for a feed, but of course I don’t sleep any better as I wake up every hour to make sure shes still breathing (silly mum brain). Everyones favourite question is, “Is she sleeping all night for you?” When I say “Sometimes, but most nights shes up for a feed”, I instantly get these ‘oh poor you’ looks, “you must be exhausted. Have you tried a spoon of baby rice before bed?” Eeehhh….”Have you tried a spoon of minding your own *#@&* business??” You might think I’m mad, but I genuinely don’t mind the night feed. Shes not up screaming or crying, I lift her when she stirs so she doesn’t get a chance to be upset. Sometimes her dummy is all shes looking for but if not, then a quick feed and shes right back over. Compared to 2 months ago when our reflux baby was up every hour and had to have a clean babygrow several times a night due to being sick, we are extremely happy with how she is sleeping now.

FEEDING

The clusterfeeding has stopped! I repeat, the clusterfeeding…has stopped!!! Just suddenly out of nowhere it ended. And I felt like I had a little more of my sanity back. I no longer have to worry about leaving the house incase she decides she wants to feed for 2 hours. I am no longer glued to my sofa for 4 hours at night and when I am, its my choice, not because I am pinned down by a little human. As I said she takes a big feed at night which can be anywhere up to an hour but during the day she feeds for 20 mins or so every 3 hours, sometimes will go 4 hours. So its definitely easier for us both to get out more and to get things done.

HER VOICE

She is definitely finding her voice and it is the cutest thing. A few weeks ago she was babbling constantly, telling stories and talking to anyone or anything that would listen, including her own hands! Then she discovered she could squeal, so for a solid week or 2, thats all she did! She would lay on the floor under her baby gym, and squeal in absolute delight at the funny bunny hanging over her head. Or if no one was looking at her (which is not very often), she would squeal for attention and then giggle in delight when you looked. Her latest thing is growling though. Yes, she growls. She does this low, gritty growl with her throat like shes trying to squeeze out the worlds biggest fart and does it until she coughs! This too is hilarious apparently.

PLAYTIME

Every toy and stuffed animal she has not only gets talked to, squealed at or growled at, but it gets eaten. Everything goes straight to the mouth. She likes to hold a toy, screech at it and then stuff it in her mouth like a little vampire and gurgles at the same time. Then she pulls it away, letting it believe the torment is over, before repeating it again! Florence the bunny and Edgar the cat have gone from being soft adoreable creatures, to being matted, battered lumps of fluff in the space of a few weeks. Shes getting really good now with her hand/eye coordination. Its not perfect but its really coming along. You can see her eyeing something up, her face all wrinkled like shes trying to work out a maths equation before the hand slowly extends. Sometimes on target, sometimes not. The sometimes not results in lots of frustrated shouting.

TUMMY TIME

She has really grown to love tummy time. She used to hate it but for Christmas we got her a tummy time cushion and it was the best thing we could have possibly got her. As soon as we placed her on it, she was able to lift her head a lot easier because she had some support under her chest and suddenly the world was seen from a different angle and her little face said it all. The cushion has lots of little toys and tabs attached to encourage them to reach so it definitely helped her enjoy it more. I would highly recommend. We purchased this Little Einstein one from smyths and have nothing but good things to say about it. https://www.smythstoys.com/uk/en-gb/baby/infant-toys/baby-einstein-rhythm-of-the-reef-prop-pillow/p/136653?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI7-_69rmO2QIVzb_tCh3RpwS3EAQYASABEgJdMvD_BwE

Now she doesn’t need the pillow, but it still makes for an interesting toy.

ROLLING

I was not expecting this for a long time yet, but we started to help her to roll over anytime we were doing tummy time. One day, around 15/16 weeks she was on her baby gym, I was sitting on the sofa and the next thing I saw the legs up in the air and she toppled over on to her side, and then slowly squirmed her way round onto her belly! I thought it must be a fluke. No way can she be rolling at just over 3 months! But she kept practicing and has now mastered it like a pro! I read babies tend to go front to back first but shes still working on this. Of course when she does roll, she looks up with a massive grin on her face, all delighted with herself and rightly so.

While on her tummy, she will scream at a toy and then slam her face into it and eat it while growling. I swear shes a vampire! Its the funniest, cutest thing!

She loves bathtime, a right little water baby. Especially when Daddy goes mad with the baby bubble bath and ‘swims’ her around the big girl tub! This is just the best fun ever!

She really has turned into such a fun wee person lately. She is very bright and happy all the time. She constantly smiles and giggles and just melts my heart 24/7 and is absolutely adored by everyone round her. I personally must spend a good 4 hours a day with tears in my eyes just staring at her and kissing her and telling her how beautiful she is! It won’t be long til shes wiping her kisses off and telling me to leave her alone for 5 minutes, so I’m making the most of it.

The story of our memory bear

I never thought I would end up getting emotionally attached to baby clothes, but when Heidi was 10 weeks old and finally outgrew her newborn babygrows, I got so emotional! My tiny baby was getting big and as strange as it sounds, I was sad when i folded up all her little clothes and brought out the next size. I didn’t want to stick my favourites in a box and look at them once in a blue moon. I wanted to be reminded of those newborn days every day!

I came across @handmadeholly_ on twitter via other mums I follow. She makes memory bears out of clothing. I browsed the photographs of her work on instagram and I just thought they were beautiful! What a stunning way to preserve memories and display them to see everyday! So I contacted Holly and she was such a delight from day one.

We got digging through Heidis babygrows and picked out our favourites. The number one choice was obviously the babygrow she wore home from hospital. I couldn’t believe looking at it again how tiny it was, and it was massive on her when she came home! We had to actually buy some tiny baby clothing for our teeny 6lb baby!

After selecting a few other favourites, I popped along to the post office to get them sent off. I sent 4 babygrows in total. Holly was so lovely throughout and kept in touch evey step of the way. She let me know when they arrived safely, when she began to work on it, double checked details etc and before I knew it, she was sending me some sneak peek photographs of our bear! You can really see in her work that she doesn’t just think of them as clothes, she understands these are precious memories and takes such care, even returning any leftover fabric! I also ordered some hanging hearts to be made from the same fabric but one of those is an upcoming birthday gift so I don’t want to give away too much!

When our bear arrived in the post, I was so happy with it immediately. The design was beautiful, the finish was perfect and the shape of it was just gorgeous! We were so delighted and Heidis little smile said it all.

Its a little bit nerve racking to send off such precious memories to be cut up, but for anyone with any doubts, I can tell you, you won’t be disappointed. Your garments will be well looked after.

My plan is to get a memory bear made for every size of clothing and display them on a shelf in Heidis room. I will be reminded of all the different stages of her growing and of special memories every time I look at them! At 4 months old, she is still in 0-3 clothes, it will be a little while before i can order the next bear. But I am already thinking about which pieces I might want to treasure forever.

Holly did not ask me to write this. I simply wanted to share a lovely experience and a lovely way to treasure memories!!

My Birth Story

Wow, I have thought about writing my birth story a lot lately. Reliving it all in my head, it feels like a million years ago in some ways, but it also just feels like yesterday! Its crazy how everything changes overnight when you have a baby. Everyone told me, as soon as you meet your little one, all the pain and craziness of labour just instantly melts away. And that is so true. Let me start from the beginning…

My due date was Friday, the 22nd September 2017. We had a check up appointment that afternoon so Gerard finished work early to come with me. My father in law was terminally ill, and we didn’t know how much longer he had, so we were very keen for this baby to make an appearance so he could meet her. Our appointment was all fine, blood pressure, heartbeat etc all excellent. Brilliant news! But I couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed when they weren’t willing to do a sweep unless I went a few days over. Don’t get me wrong, I know its better for baby to come when its good and ready, but I figured since I was full term, it wouldn’t do any harm. We were just really hoping to make my FIL a Grandad and I was also getting worried that Gerard would end up having to choose between his Dads funeral and being at the hospital with me. We were just gonna have to let nature take its course. The midwife booked us in for a sweep the following Thursday just in case. We left the hospital and went for lunch, our last outing as just the two of us.

We live about an hour away from my family and my Mum was keen to be at the hospital with us, so she came up that night to stay. I couldn’t help but laugh in a way because I was convinced the weekend would pass and I would go into labour as soon as she went home. But she came anyway and that night, we stayed up til 3am chatting. When I announced I was going to bed, Mum and Gerard tried to convince me to stay up a little longer but I had a feeling I was going to need my sleep, as my tummy had been feeling a little dodgy. Saturday morning came, thank goodness Gerard doesn’t work weekends, and around 9.15 I woke really suddenly and didn’t know why. Then I felt a strange ‘pop’ and felt a trickle on my leg. I jumped out of bed and ran like John Wayne to the bathroom. Gerard’s shouting “Whats wrong?”, and I’m like “Uhhhhh, I think my waters broke!!” In he comes, “Are you sure?”. I stood up and to spare the gory details, “Yes, I’m sure”.

I waddled my way downstairs, my Mum all tucked up on the sofa. I told her the news, much to her excitement and I got on the phone to the MLU. They told me to come on over for an assessment. I told my Mum I was going to get my make up on. “Laura, you’re having a baby, I don’t think you need make up”. But of course it was going to be a loooooooong day! I might as well not look like shit for some of it!

My MIL drove us over, me sitting on a bin bag of course. It had been about an hour since my waters broke and I felt my first twinge. We got to the hospital, we were greeted by a very friendly nurse who brought us into the assessment room and wasted no time offering us tea and toast while we waited for a midwife! Of course none of us had had time for breakfast so this was music to our ears! The tea and toast went down a treat and about 20 minutes later, a midwife came in, apologising for keeping us waiting. Apparently everyone in the unit had decided to give birth at the same time! All the necessary checks took place, they confirmed my waters had in fact broke, not that I needed confirmation as if this wasn’t the case, I was having serious bladder failure! They advised me to go home again and just go with the flow for as long as possible, maybe take a bath and try to rest as much as possible to reserve my energy. They asked me to come back at 9pm, approximately 12 hours after my waters broke, if things weren’t moving along quicker than this, just so they could check me over as I would be at risk of infection. They also booked me into the Royal Hospital for induction at 9am the next morning incase things didn’t happen naturally. Although the Royal is a stones throw from our house, I had my heart set on delivering my baby in the MLU at another hospital as we would have our own private room for the entire length of our stay and a sofa bed for my husband to stay with me, including overnight. We could have visitors anytime we wanted, our own private bathroom and a birthing pool in each room! There was also extra little comforts like a tv, an iphone dock etc, little things to help us feel at home.

We headed back home and the day was spent just trying to relax, my sister drove down to be with us, and it wasn’t long before my contractions really started to kick in. For the entire afternoon they were about 10 minutes apart and I was feeling them all in my back. I couldn’t really get peace to sleep so I just lazed about and did as little as possible, bouncing on my birthing ball from time to time. Dinner time approached and we ordered a chinese, I wanted a good feed before the long night ahead and by this point things were starting to get more intense. I had only been feeling the contractions in my back up until this point, but now it felt like the pain was everywhere. Gerard ran me a bath to see if it would help and although I didn’t have a solid birth plan in place, I did know that I wanted a water birth, so I was keen to see how this felt. In I got and before very long my contractions started to come closer together and more intense. It got to the stage where I wanted out, I didn’t like that I couldn’t move around much. I figured the pool would be better because there would be more space to move.

9pm came and we arrived back at the MLU with bags in hand just incase they kept me in. I was kind of hoping by now that they would just because the thought of trailing all the way home again just to come back later seemed like too much of a chore. The bath had also sped things up a bit! So we were once again brought into the assessment room and of course while waiting for a midwife, my contractions slowed down again. I was getting frustrated. I just wanted to get on with things! They checked me over and were happy that there was no infection and agreed to let me stay for a while to see if things picked up again. It didn’t. The contractions were still too inconsistent. They gave me some painkillers and convinced me I would be comfortable at home as I still had a long night ahead of me. I was advised to get some sleep (easy to say when you’re not in agonising pain every 7-10 minutes) and I was given 2 more painkillers to take around 2am.

We got back home around 11.00pm and my sister had to leave us and make the hour long journey back home. She had 2 boys of her own to get home to and had work the next day. Once she left, I decided to go up to bed and try to get some sort of sleep. I figured the painkillers might kick in hard enough to let me. Oh how wrong was I. Gerard and I weren’t laying down half an hour when suddenly, it was like someone flicked a switch! I thought the contractions were getting bad before. This was next level! I was on all fours rocking back and forth. I asked Gerard the time, it was almost midnight. The realisation that it was another 2 hours before I could take the next 2 painkillers was torture. About 15 minutes later I couldn’t take it. Gerard phoned the MLU and they told us to come back up. Neither Gerard nor my Mum drive and at such a late hour I didn’t want to bother anyone so we phoned for a taxi. He got there fast but talked about his cats the whole way there! Really dude??

The midwife greeted us at the door and said they had reckoned I wouldn’t be back until about 4am! Once again we were took into the assessment room to be checked over while they got me a room ready. My contractions were about 5 minutes apart now and coming consistently.

We were soon taken down to our delivery room. It was so lovely. I was delighted my hopes of giving birth here were becoming a reality. From here, time seemed to disappear. I was just completely in the zone, my own world, I had no idea what time it was. My mum got comfy in a chair in the corner, I was brought in a birthing ball and a sling which was very comfortable and Gerard began taking selfies of us with bedpans on his head! I know, when I tell that part of the story most women start saying things like, oh typical man, messing around while you’re doing all the hard work! Gerard is not a typical man, we have a very easy going relationship and a sense of humour is a big part of our house! I appreciated the laugh. Although I did ask him a few weeks beforehand to chose his moments wisely when labour came.

Like I said, time no longer existed to me but I’m guessing an hour or 2 passed, and I decided I needed something else to help with the pain. So the midwife got me set up with gas and air. At first I didn’t really feel a difference, I was waiting for the contraction to really kick in before taking it as opposed to taking it as soon as I felt it coming. I soon got the hang of it and it really did bring some relief! Of course, Gerard had a few blasts when the midwife left the room and had to agree it was quite good! So another couple of hours passed I think and the gas and air just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I wanted to get into the pool. So I got changed and was feeling slightly out of it by now due to sheer exhaustion. I had been awake for probably around 20 hours and had only had 6 hours sleep the night before that. That doesn’t sound too bad but when you’re in labour, its a different story! The midwife kept asking me if I wanted to change in the bathroom and I made some wise ass joke about how I had great tits thanks to my Mum so I didn’t need to hide them. That brought a lot of laughter and my poor Mum was mortified. I still blame the exhaustion!

I got into the pool and at first it felt fantastic. But just like before at home, in the bath, something just went into overdrive. My contractions were suddenly coming at a terrifying rate. The pain was worse than I ever imagined it could be. Gerard now compares it to a seal splashing around in a tub. What a lovely picture. I can’t explain how much the heat of the water had such an effect on me. I was suddenly getting this crazy urge to push and was making noises like I was possessed despite my determination to be quiet and calm. I finally broke. I began to cry and begged for more pain relief. I couldn’t cope. Straight away my midwife, who was absolutely fantastic, pointed at me and said “No Laura, do not lose control or you won’t get it back again!” Its crazy how much those words calmed me down. I knew she was right and I didn’t want my baby coming into the world thinking her mother was a banshee. I later learned my Mum had been behind me silently crying and the midwife had had a very concerned look on her face. I got out of the pool and the midwife examined me. 4cm….. What? 4cm? Are you kidding me? Straight away I asked for more pain relief. Screw the pool, it wasn’t for me, just give me whatever you have! So I agreed to a diamorphine injection. Within half an hour I really felt the effects. What a relief. For a while.

More time passed and before I knew it, my midwifes shift was ending and another one was taking over. I was gutted at first as this lady had been incredible but it turned out the new one was every bit as good if not better! As my midwife was leaving she promised she would see me on her next shift. Over the next couple of hours I was changing positions on the bed, kneeling on the floor, walking around, not once letting go of my gas and air and before I knew it they were telling me it was time to push. So i started to push. And push. And push. Nothing was happening. I don’t know if it was exhaustion or what, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get this baby out. I was on the floor, I was on the bed, I was standing, I was squatting, I was kneeling, I tried everything. Another midwife came in to help out and it was suggested that I try emptying my bladder incase it was full and making it hard for the babys head to move down. So a little trolley was brought in for my gas and air so I could take it with me and there I was, on the toilet mid labour. Gerard was on the floor holding my hands telling me how amazing I was doing. The midwife popped her head in and suggested we stay there for a few contractions because apparently sitting at that particular angle can help! So there I was, pushing away with every contraction begging Gerard not to let me give birth on a toilet.

Thank goodness we made it back to the bed, still no baby and things kept going the same. After pushing for 2 hours, my midwife broke the news that they thought I was going to need more help and they would have to ring for an ambulance to take me to the Royal Hospital, if there was no baby in the next 10 minutes. Desperation struck, I tried so hard but I could not get this baby out! The next thing I knew the midwife was telling me they had let me now push for 2 hours 30 minutes and that they really did have to go and ring for an ambulance now. So while one of them did that, the other started putting a needle in my wrist to prepare me for a drip. I think. I wasn’t really listening to her explain what it was for.

I was laying there feeling defeated. Feeling so disappointed in myself that I couldn’t do this alone, I had come so far, been there all night long and I was going to need help. I felt like a failure. And suddenly, I just refused to let it happen that way. I felt another contraction coming and I insisted I was not getting in that ambulance. Despite being beyond exhausted, I somehow found strength inside of me that I never knew existed. I squeezed Gerards hand so hard he thought it was going to snap and yet when we try to recreate it now, I can’t squeeze anywhere near as hard as I did in that moment. I had 2 midwives and Gerard, pushing my knees up as high as they could, my Mum standing at my shoulder, everyone shouting GO GO GO!!!! Again it wasn’t enough. Suddenly the midwife ordered silence. She explained that my babys heartbeat was dropping drastically and that I had to focus as hard as I possibly could and get this baby out! I was strangely calm. In that instant I just knew that panicking was only going to make things worse. This was my baby and only I could fix this. I pushed until I thought I was going to explode. And all of a sudden, one of the midwives said “Look at that head of hair”! Gerard followed this up with “THERE’S AN EAR!!!” And her head was out! I barely paused for breath before I pushed again determined to just get this finished! I pushed again and suddenly it was over. Instantly the pain disappeared and all I could hear was the loudest set of lungs I had ever heard in my life. Heidi was here and she wasn’t afraid to tell the world! Gerard was crying, I was crying, my Mum was crying. The second I laid eyes on Heidi I loved her with my entire soul. I could not believe how perfect she was. When the time of birth was announced as 12.49pm, Sunday 24th September I was shocked! I thought it was about 5am and it was only then I realised it was daylight. Its crazy how everything else just melts away around you and all you focus on is bringing your baby into the world. She was 6lb exactly and the most perfect thing I had ever laid my eyes on. I was ecstatic she was healthy, I had given birth where I wanted and everything had worked out. The ambulance was sent away.

It had been almost 28 hours since my water had broken so they had to keep me in for a minimum of 12 hours for observation. This was taking us up to almost 1am so we agreed I would stay in overnight. I was absolutely fine with this. As first time parents, we wanted all the support we could get before heading home. She was so tiny and I would have been scared to take her home any sooner. We had a few visitors that day, Gerards Mum, his Aunt and cousin, and my Dad and his girlfriend. But everyone was more than considerate and didn’t hang around long. I was so tired I didn’t even know if I was saying my words out loud at one point or just imagining them. The midwife that was on nightshift stuck to her word and came to see me when she came in that evening, all smiles and congratulating us. We had fantastic support in terms of breastfeeding etc, and I ate tea and toast until it was coming out of my ears!! In fact, my first photo with Heidi about 30 mins after she was born, I have a slice of toast in my hand!

Looking back, its crazy how it all seems so fast in the grand scheme of things but yet at the time, it all feels like its never going to end. And yet I would relive it all in a heartbeat, just to hold her again for the very first time.