The First One Thousand Days – The Importance of Protein in Breast Milk

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The first one thousand days of your baby’s life, right through from conception to toddlerhood, are not only the craziest, and often toughest days, but also the most important days for both baby and parents. During these days you will form bonds, discover new roles, and also set up your child’s nutritional foundation for life.

The first one thousand days are also the hardest days, the days when it is near enough impossible to think about getting through until the end of the day, let alone worry about health and nutrition. Thankfully these clever bodies of ours do all the hard work for us.

Fellow sleep deprived mama, do not fear, your breast milk is enough, your breast milk is packed full of good quality protein and will see your little baby flourish, as they’ll get the right amount at the right time.

In fact, breastfeeding has been proven to support an appropriate rate of growth* in infancy (*UK-WHO growth charts based on the growth of breastfed infants, and World Health Organisation/Department of Health advice to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months). The protein level in breast milk changes and decreases as babies grow, meaning it contains the right quality and quantity of protein to help them grow at a steady rate.

Over the past 90 years, SMA® Nutrition has invested in early life nutrition research, and is committed to supporting good nutrition for babies during the first 1000 days which is why they have created this fab little infographic showing just how amazing protein in breast milk is.

blog post about the importance of protein in the first 1000 days of a babies life

ZTC1722a/04/17 SMA® Nutrition UK

Understanding the Feelings that Come with Donor Egg Usage
Author Bio : Heidi Hayes is the CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience and has worked extensively in the field of reproductive endocrinology. Having been unsuccessful at traditional IUI and IVF treatments, Heidi personally understands the struggles of infertility. After many years of trying to conceive, she ultimately built her family through adoption and donor egg treatment. She always believed that if she didn’t give up, her ultimate goal of becoming a parent would someday become a reality.

Heidi Hayes is the CEO of Donor Egg Bank USA. She has more than 20 years of healthcare experience and has worked extensively in the field of reproductive endocrinology. She is sharing her experiences in this guest post entitled understanding the feelings that come with donor egg usage

Infertility is more common than you think. It sometimes a hush-hush topic or considered taboo, which is why many people keep their fertility journals private and do not share a whole lot about their feelings, thoughts and emotions. But, the truth is that you probably know quite a few people dealing with the sense of hopelessness that infertility can cause.

Fortunately, there are many options for couples dealing with family building challenges. There is no cookie cutter way to handle infertility. Some couples may choose other means to start a family, or simply decide to find other goals in life. There is no right or wrong way to deal with the situation and each journey is unique and special. Finding an egg donor is a choice that some couples make, and it can be a wonderful experience.

I started this company in hopes of creating a safe place for people to come with their concerns, questions and ideas. It is not a place where we are going to tell you what to do. It is a place where you tell us what you want, and we do everything in our power to make it happen. The control is in your hands.

The Pain of Infertility

When you begin trying to get pregnant and month after month you aren’t successful, it can be surprising and frustrating. Initially you think it just may take more time. Then over time you realize that you may not be able to get pregnant on your own. When this happens, it is natural to feel angry, depressed and anxious. Your vision for your future has been altered. You will have to come to terms with your new reality, but that will take time. Give yourself some time to work through it and don’t be too hard on yourself.

Infertility can be painful for couples. It can be especially hard on the parent who feels that they are “to blame.” If you are looking for donor eggs, then you have probably determined that the issue is with your eggs. But you are not to blame for anything. You are not in any way at fault. You are not damaged. You are still worthy of being a mother. You have not failed as a wife.

You may even feel concerned that your husband will leave you, or that extended family is judging you. The stress of infertility can make you imagine such worst-case scenarios. However, if anyone ever makes you feel like you are faulty or not good enough because you haven’t produced a baby, just know that they do not understand the way that infertility works and its many causes.

Coping with the Disappointment of Not Using Your Own Eggs

It can be a terrible feeling to have to come to terms with the fact that your eggs are not an option when it comes to building your family. Many women dream of being pregnant, carrying a baby, and bringing that baby home to a loving family. We rarely consider the possibility that our eggs will not be viable for whatever reason. But when a woman is confronted with this reality, it is natural and normal to feel a sense of grief.

You may feel sad that you will not share the genetic connection that you have always dreamed of, but children come to families in a multitude of ways. Yours will just come to you in a slightly different manner than you had imagined. Rest assured, your baby will be your pride and joy – even if he or she doesn’t look just like you.

Life with Children

The most important thing that you will have to prepare for is actually raising your baby.However this beautiful gift comes to you, your life will be changed forever. Your child, or children, will give you renewed sense of purpose and hope.

My family was built on a strong foundation of love and mutual respect, but not on genetics. We have become parents through adoption as well as donor egg IVF and our children are every bit as much mine as they ever would have been if I had been able to get pregnant “the natural way.” I also enjoy that my twins that were conceived with donor eggs have a genetic connection to my husband and that I was able to carry the pregnancy.

I am so happy to be a part of Donor Egg Bank, USA because it helps people to achieve their dreams and overcome an obstacle that may seem overwhelming or insurmountable. I am inspired daily by the stories of clients and friends. They never gave up on their dreams of a family, and neither should you. There are options out there. You may also be shocked to find out how many people you know who have dealt with this issue. Be open and honest with a few friends and you will likely be flooded with stories of family members, friends, neighbours and colleagues who face the infertility struggle. You are not alone.


*Sponsored Guest Post*

Guest Post : I Ate My Placenta & I Would Do It Again

Did you eat your placenta following childbirth? Is it something that you would consider doing? If so, you will most probably really enjoy today’s guest post from Louise. 28 year old Louise has been single since pregnancy due to an abusive relationship. Louise had her placenta encapsulated and made into smoothies, carry on reading to find out why and how.

I ate my placenta and i would do it again - blog post about eating placenta in the form of tablets

I understand that you ate your placenta following childbirth, what was it that made you want to do this?

Initially, I had heard that eating your placenta could combat or prevent PND. This really interested me as I had had depression pre pregnancy and I was also going through a very tough time personally, was a single mother and wondered how I would cope with the lack of sleep, crazy hormones and various other things!

Did you feel that you experienced any of the benefits expected?

I didn’t get PND and felt positive and energised a lot of the time, in itself surprising as I was doing it all alone and was expressing then feeding every 3 hours so sleep was rare! Of course I was emotional at times but considering the situation I was in that is normal. My milk also came in quickly and there was a lot! And I genuinely felt happy!

You didn’t eat your placenta in the traditional way of frying it, how did you consume it?

I contacted a lady through the Placenta Network, who I had read about and liked the sound of. She came into hospital after the birth, collected my placenta and bought back a placenta shake/ smoothie within 24 hours and then a few days later the encapsulated tablets! I had already told the staff at the hospital what I wanted to do with my placenta, filled in a form confirming this and took in a new and clean large Tupperware box for it to be put in. The smoothie was gorgeous, you wouldn’t have known it had placenta in, it was just a delicious, healthy smoothie. The tablets I took 3 times a day for months. I also had a print of my placenta and the cord is dried into a heart.

encapsulated placenta tablets raw dried placenta capsules

Would you do it again?

I absolutely would, I loved doing it. I felt completely supported and my decisions were respected both by the lady who did it for me and the hospital. I felt in control of what was happening and don’t regret it at all. I believe doing this protected me from PND whilst I went through a very difficult time, not just as a new mum and the medical staff specifically told me that by doing this I avoided having to have a blood transfusion and I only needed 2 instead of 3 iron drips after a very traumatic labour and loosing over 4 pints of blood.

umbilical cord dried into a heart shape

Louise has recently set up a facebook group called the Mumma Bears Hub – A group for all Mumma’s to come and have a place for them to say what they want, get advice/ information they need and be YOU. Be the wonderful woman you are, without being judged or abused. ***Respect. Support. Empower.*** Pro choice! You can join The Mumma Bears Hub here, like Louise’s business page here and follow Louise on Twitter here
Thank you Louise for allowing me to share your fascinating story with my readers.

Has Louise’s story changed your view on whether or not you would eat your placenta? I’ll admit it has made me think twice.

Pregnancy & Childbirth One Year On – The Symptoms That Didn’t Go Away

I was naive when I was pregnant, I assumed that I would give birth and ‘boom’ I would return back to normal, all of those horrible pregnancy symptoms would disappear overnight. It turns out that I was wrong, very wrong, over one year on I still have some of the symptoms.

pregnancy symptoms that don't just disappear overnight and are still present one year on

As expected, my belly is still very much a jelly belly, I’ve always had a large belly so am actually quite grateful that I now have an excuse for my larger than average belly.

What I didn’t expect was that symptoms such as carpal tunnel syndrome and the excruciating heartburn would still rear their ugly head up to six months post childbirth.

Even a year on I am still suffering with some symptoms, baby brain is still very much a thing, if anything it is worse now than it was when pregnant.

I still have to get up to go to the toilet most nights and have zero bladder control. Coughing, sneezing and being sick can be very dangerous. I wish I’d stuck to those pelvic floor exercises!

I often wake up in the morning with hot sweats, these started the day after childbirth and thirteen months later are still a thing, though this could also be due to my current medication.

Another thing, my first smear after childbirth didn’t hurt any where near as much as I remembered, read into that what you will…

Curious as to how long it took other mother’s to get over their pregnancy symptoms (if you ever do get over them!) I asked a few other bloggers what symptoms hung around for them, I was quite surprised as to how many people are still suffering.

Katy – Hair loss, I’m still shedding from five years ago! I have hair growth about 3 inches long near my temples and it sticks out if I don’t grip it- drives me nuts!!

Emma – Bladder control, scar pain from c-section, sleeplessness, weight gain hahaha and an unhealthy obsession with prams!

Alex – Baby brain for sure! There are times when I just can’t remember something or think of a word to say – totally blank!

Lisa – The shooting pain through the bum! It calmed down but never went away – just lurked in the background and has come back worse again now I’m pregnant again! I haven’t been able to sit or lay on a floor since pregnancy 4 years ago!

Emily – Back pain! Two pregnancies and an epidural with my first, has absolutely ruined my back.

Kate – The numbness from my caesarean scar. 10 years since my first and I still have no sensation in that area, I also got awful weak teeth during pregnancy, and was in and out of the dentist with chips and breaks. The weakness has stayed post birth too.

Hannah – Sciatica- started in my pregnancy with B, carried on after having her, then flared up badly in H’s pregnancy and I still have it now when I swap slings, or do lots of heavy lifting!

Susanne – I had to get glasses when I was pregnant with number 3 and the optician said it was inflammation and swelling in the eye’s blood vessels caused by pregnancy.

Kate – Sharon would agree with me when I say ‘hormones’. I still get rather emotional over the smallest of things.

Amy – SPD – 2 years on and I’m still suffering! And I’m pregnant again so it’s so much worse.

Pamela – My episiotomy scar still tears almost 5 yrs on I’ve had a repair and a plastic surgeon said there’s nothing better they can do. It’s like walking around with a constant paper cut….there! That plus my section scar…I’m just a hoot to be around.

Edith – Tiredness. I’ve had 3 that don’t sleep so just as one started usually around 3 I had another one.

Hannah – Carpal tunnel!! Fluffy baby hair round my hairline. And c section scars of course.

Laura – Great big massive nipples forever…….. but that’s more from breastfeeding. I got tendonitis that didn’t go away. The c-section pouch (slash big fat chocolate cake belly).
Lucy – I swear that I lost half my vocabulary when I gave birth to Little Miss H. I also now have spider veins on my legs, terrible periods and skin colour changes around my eyes (it looks like I’ve applied fake tan really badly in spots around my eyes). Oh and a belly button that was (until my current pregnancy) trying to disappear out of my back.

Petra – I still had a tiny bit of milk coming for almost a year after stopping breastfeeding when my daughter was 1.

Heledd – Sleep deprivation. Peeing when you sneeze.

Did you have any pregnancy symptoms that just wouldn’t go away? If so, what were they?

An Open Letter to Pregnant Women Everywhere
Expecting a baby? Congratulations! Your life
is about to change forever, in a very good way.

open letter to pregnant women - pregnant woman at Cardiff Bay photo edited to resemble a postcard

Right now you are probably a mixed bag of emotions including
anxiety, nervousness and, depending on the kind of pregnancy that you are
having, you may even be feeling really fed up, but don’t worry, your baby won’t
be long, it may feel like a lifetime now but when you look back you will see
that it actually went really quickly.
People say that you forget how horrid your pregnancy and the
birth were once you hold your baby, that isn’t strictly true, but what is true
is that those things that feel awful at the time no longer matter, they
suddenly become very insignificant and completely worth it, so insignificant
that I’m actually jealous of pregnant people now, and I had an awful pregnancy!
Motherhood will change you in so many ways, but you will
also still be you, be sure to spend time away from the baby when you can so
that you still have time to be you and not just a mother.
This new little person will have complete control over you,
demanding that you feed them, clean their bum, show them attention, and put
them down when they’ve had enough. But this will be okay, you will be more than
happy to do this, in fact, you’ll probably find yourself staring at your
baby when they’re sleeping and you could finally be getting on with other
You will love so much more than you knew was possible, you
will hurt like you never knew you could (emotionally not physically, I don’t
want to scare you because there really is no need to be scared), you will feel
so much pride that you may just burst.
You will be surprised at how simple things can bring these
emotions on, when your baby smiles at you for the first time you may experience
happy tears. When your baby has their jabs and they scream with pain you may
want to cry yourself and will probably feel hopeless. When people comment on
how well your baby is doing you will feel unbelievably proud that you created
this amazing little person.
Good luck to all the pregnant women, your life is about to get so much better!