Category Archives: Food
One of the things I did after having E was to become a breast milk donor. I’d read about human milk shortages in my area between D’s weaning and having E, and knew that after E was born I would try and help if I could – especially as D received donor milk himself after being born.
Compared to the poor start with D, I was fairly confident breastfeeding E and as soon as we returned home after having her, I registered with my local milk bank to start donating. I think E was about 6 weeks old when I first started to donate – I had to wait a bit for an electric pump to become available, but I started off with my own manual pump and managed to give a few donations that way. It wasn’t difficult – just pump as much as possible, put it in a bottle provided to me by the milk bank, log the date and time, and freeze it until collection. Easy!
I did underestimate how much I’d be able to give however. It wasn’t that I wasn’t able to (though yes, me and the electric pump didn’t immediately see eye-to-eye…), but rather that I didn’t have the time to do as much as I wanted. I had 2 children under 2 and I found it difficult to find the 15 or so minutes I needed to sit down and sterilise all the equipment then to actually use the pump each day. I did manage to do 1 or 2 donations a week though, which I was happy enough with.
I stopped when E reached 7 months and I moved out of the area. I was sad to do this, but I was on my own with the 2 children and a house to pack up, and I’d had no time to donate anything in the past few weeks anyway, so it was time to wrap it up :(
I’m still very proud of having done it at all though, and hope I’ve helped a few babies off to a better start in life. My chosen milk bank provided milk to premature babies at one of 2 hospitals, including the one D was born in :) If you’ve got a bit of spare time and are confident with a pump, why not give it a try? Contact your local maternity unit and ask where you might be able to donate; they should direct you to a milk bank near you if they don’t have one themselves.
I must admit, I think we were lucky with D and how little he reacted to light during the night. As a summer baby, he was used to light in the early hours from day one, and during the winter we tended to keep lights on around the house at night so we could see to check on him – he was never bothered by any of this. Even now, sun streaming in at 5am doesn’t wake him… It’s the sun streaming in at 10pm that keeps him from sleeping! Sorted that with blackout blinds though.
Now E… She was used to darkness a lot more. She was born in winter and we didn’t keep lights on so much for her because we were a bit more confident with what we were doing. Unsurprisingly, she is extremely sensitive to light and she’s up for the day the moment the sun has risen. Haven’t got blackout blinds for her room (moving soon, no point) so quite a few early starts :(
Otherwise, E’s doing well. Started to wean her just shy of 6 months and she loves food. We’re baby-led once again; I’m sure she’d had been fine being spoon-fed but I think she likes this approach better. She’s crawling (commando-style), rolling, sitting… All very much ahead of D, who had only just started rolling and sitting at this age. He was much more advanced with his speech though, having got mama and dada out of the way at around 5-6 months. Can’t say I was prepared for her to move so soon though – it always catches me out that she’s not a repeat of D and will do things differently.
E is nearing the 6 month mark. Wait, what?! How on earth did that happen?
Anyway. With that, comes weaning… Oh dear. Must admit that I hated the early weaning stages with D, and as E has quite a temper on her these days (oh, this doesn’t bode well… I thought D’s terrible twos tantrums were bad…), I can see this going interestingly… D was at least 7 months before he actually had any interest in doing anything with the food. It didn’t help that we were away a lot the first month we tried solids – that and we started with jars and purées which he had zero interest in. This time, we’re going straight to BLW – given how frustrated E gets when her toys don’t go in her mouth quite how she wants them to, I don’t think spoon feeding is a good idea…!