Month: July 2016

Mums on the run

That’s the name of the whatsapp group I’m part of with two close friends of mine, who also have young children. In the last few weeks we’ve ordered our other halves to be home on time from work, so that the three of us can hit the streets and run side by side. Running with friends has definitely helped me shed a few more pounds lately and I feel so much fitter. Here’s how I got back to running after having my little girl…

I started running for just 10-15 minutes once a week and would alternate between a jog and a fast walk. After having my daughter, my hips have felt quite stiff and so this felt a lot more comfortable for me to do. The first run I went on was tough and I finished thinking I’d never run properly again! The next run was better and I made a bigger effort to warm up and stretch off afterwards. Out of frustration on a few of these earlier runs, I continued jogging even though I was in discomfort – thinking that maybe I just needed to run through the pain so that I would get better quicker. Once I had stopped I realised how foolish that was, as I could barely walk after. Note to all – do take your time when getting back into exercise and listen to your body!

Once I felt I could accomplish a walk and jog with relative ease once a week, I challenged myself to jog for the complete 10-15 minutes. After a month or so of doing this I found I was able to run for 25 minutes without stopping. However, old habits crept in and I started to feel less motivated to get out and run – not sure why – and so making a commitment to others that we’ll all run together has been truly amazing. My friends really spur me on and there’s no more cancelling jogs I’ve promised to go on, as i’ll be letting my friends down as well as myself.

There are also loads of running training schedules you can find online too. These can be good motivators as well. Here’s an example – 10k Training Plan.

Milk Matters

Before my baby arrived, I could never have imagined the in-depth conversations I would later have surrounding milk. Who knew the white stuff could be so complicated…

After I announced my pregnancy to friends and family, I was surprised by the number of people who would ask me whether I would breastfeed or not. Yes, I knew I would be giving my baby milk but I really couldn’t understand the fascination with this question and I started to find it quite annoying. However, that was before I truly understood this age-old debate.

My answer was always “I’ll give breastfeeding a go and if for some reason that doesn’t pan out well, I will move onto formula”, simples. After a long labour (that’s another story) my baby was given to me very quickly to breastfeed. It was such a strange sensation, but in my mind my daughter seemed to latch on with ease.

I had to spend some additional time in hospital after giving birth. During that time I continued to breastfeed but my daughter struggled to latch onto one particular side. Several midwives visited me to review my method and all agreed I was doing everything correctly but she just wouldn’t latch. It became increasingly frustrating, for both me and her, and that’s when the guilt kicked in. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed that I couldn’t breastfeed my daughter. I was certain she wasn’t getting enough milk and when I resorted to expressing my milk I was horrified to see how little I had produced after hours of pumping! Within the first week of having my baby girl I moved onto formula feeding but felt such guilt for doing so.

My little girl genuinely seemed more content once I did, but I hated telling people I was using formula milk. Especially when it was the first question midwives would ask as well. Friends of mine persevered for months, whilst I had ‘given up’. All my pamphlets talked about breastfeeding too and gave just a few lines worth of attention to how to feed your baby formula milk.

Most of my friends and family were very supportive, but I often thought they were just being nice. Whilst a few closed to me made it quite clear that they thought I was doing the wrong thing. It really was a challenging time and to think, my journey as a mother had only just begun! I’m just thankful that my husband was on my side and that my baby was getting the food she needed. In the months that followed and once the guilt had surpassed, a little, I realised there are so many more things to be concerned about and milk (once you find what works for you) shouldn’t be something that causes so much grief.

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