Matalan Memory Foam Pumps Review – Are they as comfortable as they look?

At the start of Lockdown it dawned on me that I didn’t have any comfortable footwear for walking in, that wasn’t a heavy walking boot or an uncomfortable flat shoe. None of what I had was suitable for the hot weather that was forecast either, so one afternoon while my son took a nap, I scoured the internet looking for something to suit me. I have awkward feet, let’s say that!

Not only were there so many different pumps and trainers out there to choose from, but I also couldn’t afford to spend a lot either. So I looked for a shoe with a gripped base and comfortable inside, ideal enough for my wide foot but a shape that would also grip my tiny ankles (I told you I was awkward!).

Usually I wouldn’t even consider buying shoes online, I would normally wait and do it all in store, so little fits me properly, but it was the end of April and with no sign of the virus easing I decided to take the risk and order online for home delivery.

In the end I chose a Matalan pump, it had Memory Foam inside and a gripped sole on the base. It contours to your feet and allows a good grip too.

Product Name: Black Memory Foam Slip On Pumps
Product Price: £12.00
Product Information: Also available in Grey. Sink your feet into maximum comfort with these sumptuously soft slip-ons. Constructed with a plush memory foam insock, which contours to your feet, additional features include a black marl outer, alongside a contrasting white chunky cleated sole for added grip and sturdiness.
Product Link: Matalan

As you can see the pumps fitted me well, I chose a Size 4 despite having one foot slightly larger. My reason behind this was because I read the online reviews people had written on the Matalan website, and many people had said these particular style of pumps were a little on the large size and not true to size for some wearers.

So I tried walking in them on warm days, with and without wearing socks. I found that my feet sweated far more in the memory foam without the barrier of a sock between my skin and the memory foam. I decided that after that day I would always wear socks with them, and they were incredibly comfortable.

Easy to walk in and light and gentle on your feet. The shoes themselves are so lightweight it gives you no additional effort to walking.

Over all I am very happy with these pumps, the purchase price was very good for something so versatile and comfortable. It is annoying that my feet sweat so much and that I will have to wear socks with them when out walking for more than a few minutes, however for the price, I don’t mind that and have plenty of trainer socks to pair with them.

Are they as comfortable as they look? Yes! Even more so. The material is super soft, they are lightweight to lift your feet and they are well made and sturdy too. They are well sewn up together, very neatly over all and the soles have got plenty of grip for any outdoor wear. I wore these on grass and pavement and stone paths, and the grip was excellent throughout the various terrain.

I can definitely recommend these pump shoes, I would even be tempted to get another colour in the future when these begin to wear out. They currently do them in Black and Grey. I wonder if Matalan will release any other colours too? Perhaps a question to ask…

My Final Review Scores

Quality of Product 5/5
Product Price 5/5
Design of Product 5/5

Comfort During Use 4/5

I have walked around 5 miles in these pumps now over the last few weeks, and the soles have barely worn, so I hope they last me a long time.

I hope you enjoyed reading this review today, if you have any questions about the product then please leave me a comment below. Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes.

✩ Sabrina ✩

June 2020 Treatbox Reveal

Treatbox Reveal and Review


Hello readers! It’s time for the June 2020 Treatbox Reveal
with me, Sabrina of Severn Wishes Blog.


Happy Treatbox Day! Remember to follow me on my social media for more Treatbox photos, products in use and updates!

Here are the contents of the June box, this month there are 6 items plus an A5 print.


A5 Print “Enjoy the little things, for one day you might look back and realise they were the big things”
Treatbox Notepad “Keep Going”
Compact Mirror “You’re So Attractive”
Treatbox “Everything is going to be Okay” Pin
Mallow & Marsh Double Chocolate Marshmallow Bar
Taylors of Harrogate Tea Bags 1 x Sour Cherry and 1 x Lychee and Lime Green Tea

Here are some more images I took on the reveal of this box…

My Honest Opinion

I really love the compact mirror, it is good quality and ideal to keep close to my bed in case I need a mirror quickly while caring for my son.


I also think the notepad is nice, it’s of good quality with lots of pages, and I like the “Keep Going” slogan too. It is handy for me to pop little messages in with my post to loved ones.

The pin is great! Love the quote and the colours, it’s unique! In fact I liked it so much that I have gifted it to my younger sister who has been going through a tough time, it’s on the way to her in the post as I write this.

I don’t like the fact that I can’t eat the chocolate bar due to its ingredients, it sounds so tasty too! So sadly I will be gifting that to a relative to enjoy!


I haven’t tried the tea yet, and the Print has a great quote on it that I think everyone should take notice of.

Carpe Diem to all aspects of life, that’s what I believe.

Are you thinking of ordering a TreatBox for yourself or for a gift for someone?

Then you can find Treatbox subscriptions and also build your own box at their 
website


Check out my previous Treatbox unboxing posts in this unique category of mine called ‘Treatbox’ it is specifically for these box reviews and reveals – Severn Wishes Treatbox.

Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes today, I hope you enjoyed the Review of this Treatbox and I hope to see you here again soon for another Review. Have a lovely week, I’m off to enjoy the sunshine in my garden with my little one.

✩ Sabrina ✩

May 2020 Treatbox Reveal

I’m Sabrina of Severn Wishes Blog, and I give honest reviews on a wide range of products and subscription boxes that I purchase, today it’s the turn of Treatbox UK.

Hello readers! How are you?
It’s time for me to discuss the May 2020 Treatbox Reveal.

Remember to follow me on my social media for more Treatbox photos, with the products in use and updates on my individual thoughts and reviews too!

Here are the contents of the May box, this month there are 7 items plus the Treatbox Original A5 Print.

Print “It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.”
“You Got This” Emery Board
Seacret Mineral Soap 30g
All Earth Natural Bath Accessories Skin Scrub Heart
Relax Pink Himalayan Bath Salts – Pure and Unscented
Bee Good Vanilla & Honey Lip Balm (Made with Honey from British Bees)
JeJu Korean Beauty Intensely Hydrating Coconut Oil Hair Mask
Korean Beauty Replenishing JeJu Island Hydrogel Face Mask

My Honest Opinion

I really loved the print this month, the quote was great and appropriate for everyone who is struggling with self care during this most difficult time. I totally believe in being kind to yourself, this is one of the reasons why I buy a Treatbox for myself each month, it is my gift to me, from me.

The Lip Balm was nice when I used it, it made my lips lovely and smooth. An extra emery board around the house isn’t a bad thing either, loving the quote of “You Got This” and the cool pattern on it!

I had a Seacret Soap in a Treatbox a couple of years ago and I still haven’t used that! So I now have two!

The Relax bath salts sound lovely, if I had the time to have a bath! Ha! Ha! They will go in my drawer that I call “to do and try when I have some time to herself” in other words my self care drawer!

I don’t like the fact that we have yet more Korean Beauty items this month. I still have ones that I haven’t used, I just don’t have time with a toddler in tow and trying to work from home.


So Treatbox used to be a box of treats, a mixture of items, a pick me up, sometimes a snack or a drink, something self care related, some stationery, something random but often inspirational, a piece of homeware, maybe even something to wear like socks or a scarf and occasionally a beauty item. But lately I feel like Treatbox has lost it’s identity and is moving towards being a pick me up box of self care and beauty. Where as I used to love the box because it wasn’t like so many others on the market. Lots of people would disagree with me I’m sure, and love getting items like the ones this month. But they are usually the people who have the time to relax and enjoy them all each and every month. I know it’s hard to get things to include in boxes right now, with lockdown and so many people not working, so I wasn’t expecting anything wild and amazing. But I would once again like to see a mix of items in the boxes, if it continues to be masks and soaps and bath items I just cannot justify the spend each month for items I am simply just not using or enjoying.

I hate having to be so brutally honest but I have always been the same. I cannot hide my overall disappointment in the May box.

Thinking of ordering a TreatBox for yourself or as a gift for someone?
Then you can find Treatbox subscriptions and also build your own box at their 
website

Check out my previous Treatbox unboxing posts in this unique category of mine called ‘Treatbox’ it is specifically for these box reviews and reveals – Severn Wishes Treatbox.

Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes today, I hope you enjoyed the Review of this Treatbox and I hope to see you here again soon. Have a lovely day.

✩ Sabrina ✩

Review of Cloud and Moon Children’s Night Light from Lights 4 Fun

Today I am reviewing a product that I purchased for my sons bedroom. I really liked a number of lights available on the Lights 4 Fun website, but I wanted something fairly small and battery operated, which narrowed down my search parameters.

I initially wanted a night light so that I didn’t disturb him by clicking a switch. This battery powered night light features an on and off switch on the back, plus a very handy timer. The timer allows the light to stay on for 6 hours, and this was what swayed me into purchasing it, purely its convenience.

I really like the design and the painted finish look, it was neat and tidy and well made for the price. I chose to leave it on a table near his cot, the light pointed towards the wall to illuminate the corner of the bedroom. It was very bright for the first couple of uses, the first 36 hours it was almost so bright that I turned it away from him. But after that time and for the following three weeks we have had it, the light emanating from the Moon has been exactly the right strength and brightness. The battery is beginning to go now as the light is dim but still bright enough that I can see my son in the night.

I would highly recommend the company Lights 4 Fun, for both the quantity and range of their stock, there are some great choices to suit every kind of person. They are good quality and well made. What I bought was delivered well packaged and in a good time with regular delivery updates too. I would use them again in the future.

Product Name: Cloud & Moon Children’s Night Light
Product Information: Battery Powered, Timer of 6 hours, 12 Warm White LED Lights, made from Wood, the Design is Grey and White painted in colour. This can be Wall Mounted or Stood on a Flat Surface. Ideal for Children’s Bedroom as a Night Light due to its timed feature, it is for indoor use and has an illumination time of approximately 100 hours.
Product Dimensions: (H) 23 cm x (W) 30 cm x (D) 2.5 cm
Batteries Required: AAA x 2 (not included)
Product Price: £12.99
Link to the Product: Lights 4 Fun Website

My Review Scores

Quality of Product 5/5
Product Design 5/5
Product Features 5/5
Ease of Use 5/5

Thank you for reading this review today, if you’d like to know anymore about the item or see more images of it in use then please check out my social media such as Instagram. Alternatively click the product link I provided above to go to the Lights 4 Fun website.

✩ Sabrina ✩

7 Ways You Can Really Help a Pregnant Friend

Sabrina’s Honest Posts: 7 Ways That You Can Really Help a Pregnant Friend

We all get to that age where we all know of someone who is pregnant. Sometimes several friends will be pregnant together and lean on one another for support. If you’ve been there or been through pregnancy and birth it’s very easy to put our opinions across, and they won’t always be welcome. So try to avoid offending and start by helping with these 7 tips of mine, how you can be a better friend and really help that pregnant pal!

  • 1. Be honest about the birth and what she can expect about the feelings of the experience, it can be overwhelming but positively tell her about the first time you held baby. Certainly don’t rub it in if you had an easy time in labour, just include the facts. Remind your friend about the miracle of life and encourage her to be positive and listen to the health professionals when the time comes.
  • 2. Don’t be honest about everything, steer clear of horror stories so as not to frighten or make her anxious. Don’t go into a negative story either, if you had a traumatic time you can be honest about what went wrong, but perhaps outline to her the reasons why it happened. You could be completely different people, as in medically, plus every baby, mother and birth is different.
  • 3. Give her a maternity bag list to help, there is nothing worse than when baby brain kicks in and you forget something vitally important on the run up to the big event! So help a pregnant friend out by giving her a list of what you took, and even add on anything that you wished you had had when it was you! All hospitals vary so tell her to find out what her local one allows.
  • 4. Tell her to go somewhere or treat herself to something before her baby comes, it may be to have a haircut or to get her nails done. Go together if you can! Or throw her a baby shower or a Mummy-Moon (a day out for just mums-to-be!). Something to distress and give her a day out of her house because soon she’ll be in there a lot.
  • 5. Give her a list of the baby essentials that you found most useful… this is tricky and depends on the person, but I know I was grateful for friends input on what they bought and used versus never needed. For example we bought a baby bath and our son loved it. Other parents don’t bother with them. Each to their own but it’s good to hear people’s opinions.
  • 6. Be a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen to all her concerns, you don’t always need to have an opinion, she may just want to vent, so don’t make it about you and yours, listen and respond only if she asks you. Hormones can spin your head around sometimes.
  • 7. Don’t be condescending about this new chapter of her life. It’s a hard transition even for the best prepared of people. For example, avoid saying clichés like “Oh you think you’re tired now wait until…” and instead give her positives about those first few (albeit) difficult weeks! You can start with the sweet and funny things like “Think of all those cuddles” and “Is it wind or their first smile?” things like that.

Thank you for reading this post today, I hope I have given you some food for thought and you may consider helping one of your pregnant friends out.

 Sabrina 

Breastfeeding Your Baby, the Issues, the Infections and the Isolation. But it’s the Most Rewarding Thing I Ever Did.

In my article I’m going to be talking about the different issues and infections I have had during my current journey, in order to raise awareness for other mothers who, like me, may have been unaware of the seriousness of them. And I will also be touching upon the isolation too, it’s such a stupid thing in modern times for it not to be accepted by everyone.
It is however the most rewarding thing that I have ever chosen to do.
At the end of the day breasts are part of a woman’s body in order to nurse children. I will discuss lots of things in these 4000+ words! So grab a cup of tea and a biscuit and brace yourself for honesty and facts…

Breastfeeding is Incredible but it is also Hard Work

Breastfeeding my son has been one of the most rewarding yet hardest things I have ever done in my life. It was a choice I made while I was pregnant and I wanted to persevere and give it my absolute best, with the aim of feeding him for at least six months if it was possible. But then when we hit that milestone and after that other milestones too, I just kept saying “I will now stop when baby no longer wants it”. Now we are at 15 months and still going, yay for us! The bond we have is amazing.

Don’t get me wrong, it certainly was not the easy way of feeding my baby and I think that women who do breastfeed give up a lot, and this should definitely be recognised a bit more. Let me start at the beginning and explain how and why I chose to carry on, in the face of pain, problems and less than four hours sleep for many a night. And why I’m still breastfeeding… right now in fact! While I type some of this story!

It had been an uphill battle to establish the breastfeeding and the routines to begin with. We were plagued with problems from the outset but because I was determined I continued on. Our son developed jaundice a day after birth which required a lengthy stay in hospital in an UV incubator and I breastfed or pumped every ninety minutes for the first two weeks of his life. Tough was an understatement, because my milk was still only just coming in when we realised our son had some problems. So I ended up with sore and cracked nipples from the constant feeding one way or another. The lack of sleep and the worry caused me to get rundown too. I remember filling myself with food and drinking litres of water at the beginning, it really did help get me through. And I have to thank the midwife team and breastfeeding coordinators at my local hospital too for their support and kindness.

When we eventually went home, to stay, our son was cluster feeding, we encouraged this to get him to gain some weight. It was incredibly hard, with sleep time being few and sitting down time a plenty, yet I wouldn’t change the bond it allowed for us to grow. So many hours were spent just gazing at one another; sleepy feeding at all hours and burping sessions too! We were doing so well, our little boy was slowly gaining weight and we had turned a corner. Family were also supportive and I carried my pregnancy pillow with me everywhere I went… Then one day as we started to feed I got pains, and these increased over the course of the day, and it turned out to be an infection that I knew nothing about. Let me tell you about Ductal Thrush.

Lots of doctors misdiagnose this ailment as Mastitis when in fact it’s Ductal Thrush. And if you get a misdiagnosis like I did with this, then you can actually make your infection so much worse! Let me explain a bit more about my run-ins with the dreaded Ductal Thrush and then I will show you a list of the symptoms and give you some facts!

Ductal Thrush

My son was only seven weeks old when I got some bizarre pains as he latched on to feed. Previously my breasts had been engorged and that was painful, my nipples had been sore and cracked and they had also been painful, but this was different. It felt as though my son was drawing my milk out through the nipple, and as usual you can feel that gentle pull, except this time it was as though my nipple was being shredded from the inside out by glass shards. Yes… glass shards. It’s the best way I have of describing it, and it’s incredibly painful. At times during my experience with Ductal Thrush I would even say it hurt me more than the contractions of labour.

Now I’m pretty good with pain, I had my son naturally on just a little gas and air, and even my midwife took that off me almost ninety minutes before he was born to get me to focus more… so when I was tearing up and gritting my teeth through baby latching I knew something was not right. My son and I had such a bond already, but he was feeding frequently, usually fourteen to fifteen times in every twenty four hours. The pain of Ductal Thrush lasts for around a minute or two into the feed, and then different pains occur after baby has fed and you have your milk let down. That pain is a dull ache felt right in the depths of the breast tissue, mine was so deep it radiated around my back under my armpit.

I managed to get in at my GP quickly, the next day in fact. But I had hardly any sleep because of the pain during and between feeds that I was exhausted when I got there. The doctor took a look and listened to my symptoms before telling me that it was Mastitis. Having read about this condition and also having been given leaflets on it in hospital because it’s quite common in new breastfeeding mum’s, I just didn’t think he was correct. I went home with a box of antibiotics, and despite my reservations I took them for four days. The GP said that after forty eight hours I should begin to feel better and that the pain would get better. In fact by the fourth day the pain had almost doubled and I was crying my way through every single feeds. I was biting down on one of the baby teething rings we had bought for him just to get through the initial latch, and if he let go and had to start all over again I would literally be sobbing it was terrible.

After this night of debilitating pain I decided to call the breastfeeding coordinator number that I had been given, and they gave me some advice. They also sent a member of the breastfeeding team to my house to check me over when I described what a time I was experiencing. They checked to make sure baby was latching properly, and once I had told them about the pain they instantly knew it was Ductal Thrush and not Mastitis. I remember exactly how the conversation went, and how exhausted I felt. She also looked inside my son’s mouth because you can often see the thrush in baby’s throats and on their tongue. I wasn’t aware of this until I was told, but it’s white and often sticks to babies tongue and gums, and it was evident towards the back of my little ones mouth.

“You need to go back to your GP with this new information, and you need to stop taking those antibiotics because that type is feeding the infection not helping to get rid of if”.

I was devastated, it was now worse because of the misdiagnosis and my son was suffering too, I had to phone the GP up and ask to see them again. When I told him what the breastfeeding team had said he needed to look it up on his computer and find out what he needed to prescribe me instead. Not only did we require tablets but we also needed a nipple cream for me and a gel for my son for his mouth. They weren’t an everyday antibiotic, and my local pharmacy required a minimum of twenty four hours in order to get them in. So I waited, my husband picked up the prescription for me the following afternoon, and it was three days for them to enter my system and begin working.

During all of this time I continued feeding through the excruciating pain, and my poor son kept looking up at me wondering why I was so upset, his mind must have been so confused at the time, since I had always enjoyed our feeds and bonding since getting over the initial first pains and soreness that comes with new mothers feeding. Now he saw it as something that was upsetting me so I tried to not show him how hurt I was feeling and tried to smile down at him for reassurance.

But I was now in pain for minutes at every single feed, and this continued for a further week before it finally began to improve. It was tedious, I had to apply this fungal cream after each feed but remove some of it if it hadn’t been absorbed into the skin when he next wanted to feed. I also had to rub the gel onto his gums after each feed was over. I also had Lanolin for my nipples which were so sore from all the contact. But the antibiotics were finally starting to work, and I had a two week dosage of tablets which I thought was fine. It wasn’t. Due to it being so bad and embedded so far into my breast tissues I had to return to the GP and get a further repeat prescription of it. In total I was medicated for a whole six weeks, and it was a concern with my son being so young and the medication passing on to him.

For me Ductal Thrush at times was more painful than giving birth, and any mother who has had a severe case of it like I did will no doubt back me up. I’m not exaggerating with the pulling your milk through shards of glass description, or the burning sensation that radiates through your entire chest and into your tissue and muscles well into your back. I look back now and it’s a bit of a blur, I wonder how I even got through those weeks, but I did. I remember having to bite down on that teether at our three o’clock feed to stop my crying waking up the neighbours.

The GP even sent me to the hospital during my second dose of antibiotics to have an ultrasound scan on my breast tissues, to make sure nothing else was going on, luckily there was not and I was able to return to feeding my son. Although this was not before I was asked if I wanted to stop feeding him. When the thrush reoccurred without the tablets, well it never really left thinking back on it now, it was just starting to improve when I ran out of medication that first time and therefore it flared up again. But I recall telling every member of the health department that I came across, “No, I have worked too hard to establish feeding I want to continue”. I knew that I could beat this and carry on, not just for my son but for my sake as well.

As a sufferer of Endometriosis, I’m currently at Stage Four, so it was more beneficial to me to continue breastfeeding as long as was possible. When I explained the benefits most people could see why I wanted to maintain the feeds. But it was important to me because of how much I had already been through to even get to this stage of breastfeeding. For those few weeks that were debilitating and exhausting it felt never ending, but then we turned a corner, I woke one morning and the pain was there but bearable. I didn’t see the Ductal Thrush again, and if I never do again it would be all too soon. It affected the supply in my right breast, so much so that the left side became dominant and grew to almost double the size. I live with the constant lopsided reminder of how infection can really change your body. But I am a stronger breastfeeding mother because of what I have been through.

So many mothers are misdiagnosed with Ductal Thrush and it can have implications as well as creating painful feeding. Please speak to your local breastfeeding team if you are at all concerned that your GP might not be fully understanding to your needs. Get them to check inside your baby’s mouth because this is also an indication of where thrush lies. As a mother who has chosen to breastfeed you should be made aware of what Ductal Thrush and Mastitis are, so that you can make an informed decision if you should contract either of them.

Let us now go through the differences between the two of them. Ductal Thrush occurs when an infection grows among the breast tissues and is usually spread and passed from mother to baby and back again. Thrush can be an infection that occurs on several different parts of the body. Evidence of it in the breast can sometimes be seen on and around the nipple, or within baby’s mouth. Baby needs to be treated at the same time as the mother and it usually affects both of the breasts, but usually one side more than the other. Mastitis occurs in the breast when the ducts of tissue become blocked, it is usually associated with engorgement or when your baby is not feeding effectively and draining every part of the breast. Mastitis is accompanied with red, swollen and hot skin, then pain and redness that expands. Both of these conditions are serious, Mastitis more so due to the nature of the infection.

As explained on the NHS website, here are some more facts about Mastitis as a condition.

Mastitis only usually affects one breast and women feel unwell.
Symptoms develop quickly and can include a red, swollen and painful area of the breast.
Usually there is a lump or hard area to the breast tissue that doesn’t go after feeding baby.
There can be burning pains associated with feeding your baby or occurring continuously.
Discharge from the nipple is common including white or blood streaked.
Flu-like symptoms are the normal experience for people with this infection, aches and pains, fatigue, going hot and cold, running a temperature and a having a fever.

Mastitis in breastfeeding women is known as Milk Stasis, it is caused by a build-up of milk that has not been drained properly. This occurs when the baby hasn’t got a good enough latch, there is an abundance of milk and baby isn’t feeding effectively or when the baby is feeding infrequently or misses a feed. It is an infection most common in the first twelve weeks of breastfeeding; however it can occur at any time for breastfeeding mothers who have a change in their usual routine for example. Mastitis occurs when the build-up of breast milk that has become blocked becomes infected with bacteria. If the bacteria are not treated quickly then the milk can turn into pus in the form of a breast abscess which may then need to be surgically drained.

Luckily Mastitis is easily treatable with antibiotics and rest. As with any infection you need to rest and hydrate, as well as eat healthily and take the tablets you are prescribed. Pain medicine such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen can be taken on the advice of your Doctor. Avoid tight fitting clothes and no bra if you think you may have Mastitis and while you are recovering. You must continue to breastfeed so as to remove any milk from the breast and avoid any further infections.

Is it important to remember that Mastitis can be a serious infection, and if you believe you may have it you need to see a Doctor as soon as possible. When infections spread it is more difficult to treat them and undiagnosed infections can lead to problems like Abscess’ or even Sepsis (Blood Poisoning). If in doubt see your GP and don’t be embarrassed about seeking help for something like this.


My Experience with Mastitis

I think I was in denial when I had Mastitis. I kept thinking, just one more painful feed and then it will be better, but this went on for weeks until I finally walked a mile and a half to the doctors on a really hot day because I could literally take it no more. I had a sore nipple after my son had accidentally bitten me with a fresh tooth he was cutting, and as he breast fed the sore kept reopening as a wound and became rather painful. This is what I attributed my pains to, and it wasn’t until I woke with an adjacent lump and red patch on my skin that I thought it was something more.

As I sat down to be examined with the doctor a chaperone was there too, and she was watching my son who was getting flustered at the sight of somebody other than him touching my breast, ha! Within seconds of looking at me he concluded it was Mastitis and told me I needed to start antibiotics immediately, I was told off for not coming in sooner. He told me to go to the pharmacy across the road and then go home and rest. He advised me to up my fluid intake, take paracetamol and stay warm. He even told me that if the redness spread any further across my chest to phone 111 and get admitted for IV antibiotics. It was quite scary…

My son was so flustered I had to breastfeed him in the Doctor’s surgery waiting room before I left the premises. That’s one thing people don’t realise about Mastitis, you actually have to keep on feeding despite the pain. Allowing the Breast to become engorged again would be dangerous and could further spread the infection.

So once my son was done I managed to get him back into his pushchair and I did what the Doctor said, I got my tablets, then I grabbed myself some Pepsi Max and Chilled Water from the convenience store next to the pharmacy too, it was so hot that day. Walking home afterwards I was getting more and more exhausted.

Once home I didn’t get the chance to rest, I took my medication then I fed my son both food and my milk. By the time I was sitting down to breastfeed I realised how hungry I was, but upon reading the antibiotic packet I saw it read no food for two hours after a tablet. So I then had to wait even longer to have my lunch.

By the time my husband got home from work in the evening I was sat on the sofa huddled in blankets watching my son play with his toys on his mat. I was so exhausted I just did dinner in the oven that night. One of the symptoms is fatigue because your body is fighting an infection. Another is the flu like symptoms that hit you like a train. For a moment you feel fine and then boom you’ve got shivering shakes and feel really cold. It was 28 degrees Celsius outside and 24 inside my house, yet I was sat with a heavy cardigan on and a blanket wrapped around me. I had these particular symptoms on and off for just over forty eight hours, and they were not pleasant.

I was on my antibiotics course for two weeks, one tablet four times a day. Luckily by the time I came to the end of the course I had noticed an improvement and my pain was now subsiding. I did however still had the open sore on my nipple which took another three weeks to heal completely. My son couldn’t help opening it every time he had an aggressive “I’m really hungry” feed.

The reason I got Mastitis was because I was away from my son for a few hours. Despite expressing some milk while away that day I still ended up engorged and in a lot of pain. Although I had encouraged him to feed more from my breast in the days that followed I could see my raised ducts weren’t going back down. If I ran my finger over my skin while he fed I could feel them, they were like tiny raised finger like shapes. A week or so later the pain and discomfort began getting a lot worse. One side of my breast was bright red and due to my encouraging more feeds to try and empty the breast, it had become sore and my skin was splitting where my nipple met my areolas. I gritted my teeth at the start of every feed.

My son prefers one side to the other… I hear most babies do! I recall the doctor asking me if he fed on the other side and I said he did do, but my right could never keep up with the supply and demand that the Left could. He commented that I was rather lopsided, and I asked him to tell me something I didn’t already know!

So the weeks past and luckily my Mastitis completely rectified itself and I didn’t need any further treatment. I’m one of the lucky ones, and I also have fairly small breasts as far as sizes go! I could imagine that someone with larger breasts where more infection could spread would be having a more difficult time of it! It didn’t reoccur at all although I have been careful not to have a spaced out feed since then, and my son has gone everywhere with me.

It took me a whole month to feel normal again, it was awful feeling so weak for a few days, but then the fatigue took a few days to recover from as well. I was grateful that I knew a bit about Mastitis due to my misdiagnosis when I had Ductal Thrush, so at least I was clued up on what to look out for. But some women are never told about these conditions and I think it’s important that they are discussed and recognised by the wider community.


Isolation

Finally, I want to talk about the Isolation that Breastfeeding brings.

Breast is best, and it sure is! You get to bond with your baby, get extra cuddles and even burn more calories and get your pre-baby body back more quickly! But breastfeeding can also be very isolating especially if you can’t express or find it difficult to get your baby to take milk from a breast and a bottle… this was us. We had always hoped to do combination feeding, but our son didn’t like multiple bottle types. That said, I have never had an issue with feeding him by my breast, wherever I was and whenever he needed me to, I did it. So far that has been sat on the floor in Primark and even whilst walking around Tesco supermarket doing the grocery shopping.

I knew of mother friends who went back to a date night routine when their child was twelve weeks old, they went back to work at nine months, they went on a family holiday around the little ones first birthday. Most of these friends bottle fed their children for whatever reason. But you could end up like me, putting your little ones needs ahead of your own, you could be breastfeeding them for a particular reason. Our main reason is allergies, specifically food ones. It was imperative that I kept feeding him when my son was diagnosed with a potential milk allergy, and now we know it is a serious one I was glad that I stuck with feeding and didn’t put him at risk by trying all sorts of random formula. We are now waiting to see a consultant about his allergies, so for now I am sticking with breastfeeding him and maintaining a free from diet for me. It makes things difficult but I am used to it now, and I know he is safe.

It’s been hard not to be the social butterfly that I once was, but I have enjoyed the time with my son, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Especially the teaching and learning for both of us, the bonding and the love. Teaching him has been an absolute joy so far and I hope that it continues.

Unless other mother friends have breastfed and know what it’s like to have a cluster feeding baby who feeds every two hours and for fourteen or fifteen times a day, then they don’t know what it’s like to painfully turn down social invitations because you’re so exhausted you can just about feed and clothe yourself and the baby. It does get better, and routines are the key. Now I can plan my day so that I can get in a short walk and maybe a grocery shop between breast feeds and even do things around the house without baby getting too grumpy by not being permanently attached to my chest! I know it’s been a good day if I have showered, have done my home chores and gotten a walk in all before four o’clock in the afternoon. At that time every day we cuddle up on the sofa so he can feed, with a packet of free from biscuits for me, and we watch our favourite quiz shows together until it’s time for me to cook dinner. It’s a great life to live, although it can sometimes be a little lonely in terms of adult interaction, though I have to say being at home with my son all day is one of the best decisions I ever made. I know it cannot be like this forever and I will make the most of the time I have with him before things change.

I am a proud mother bear to be still feeding my child now at fifteen months of age. I’m also quite glad looking back, all the hurdles we have beaten and all the issues we have overcome. And yes I have to maintain a dairy free diet for the entire time that I continue breastfeeding, but you know what, it’s what is best for my son, so I will do it.

I guess what you can say here is that breastfeeding is only isolating if you let it become such. During those first few months everyone is learning and discovering and it’s both wonderful and scary and also amazing. This little life looks to you for everything and that is a massive deal, but you also cannot lose sight of who you were before you were mother of the baby. I think for a few months that was what happened to me. I stopped being Sabrina and started being mum, mum for every occasion. When in reality what was really happening was that I was isolating myself even more. I got out of that rut by joining a baby class and having an afternoon out with other parents and their children every week. The isolation started to become less and less and I soon felt more like myself again.

Recently my son has been teething, in fact for the last month he has cut tooth after tooth and is ahead of the game in terms of a teething diagram! This is a good thing in some ways, but it has also meant that he has fed more. Partly out of comfort and partly out of the fact he is having an overall growth spurt. I am back to having between four and six hours sleep in every twenty four hours, I am up at least twice a night and it is quite exhausting some days. But the feelings I have when I am the one who can soothe his pain and calm him down, is very reassuring to me, that bond is irreplaceable. So for now I make do with the lack of sleep, because of all the positives our continued feeding provides us.

So, if you’re breastfeeding and feel a little bit alone here is my advice. Join a club or a group, get out for some fresh air, invite family or friends around and do something together even if it’s free! Just remember that you’re not just a boob on legs, although some days you think that that is all your little one sees! You are a person, a parent and a mother who is doing this amazing thing for their child, but you need to look after yourself too, body and soul.

Don’t let breastfeeding close you off, allow it to open doors to so much more, more friends and more life experiences.

Thanks for reading this lengthy article, if you got to the end in one sitting then I give you a pat on the back. I will be talking about more aspects of parenting very soon. until then, see you later.

Sabrina

Six Tips for New Parents – the things that everyone forgets to mention!

These are my Six Tips for New Parents – but they are the things that everyone forgets to mention!

So despite being post birth and genuinely exhausted, most mum’s will admit to that feeling of pride that comes with the arrival of a child. Be it your first or fifth baby, they are all special and all little miracles. Just look what you have achieved!

However there are things people forget to mention to you and I thought I would share some of my tips in this blog post for getting passed these… we will call them the six newborn phases!

When you become a mum you look at your bundle of joy and you feel incredible, that rush of emotions and pride… you just grew and birthed (in whichever way you did) a small human being. Go you! Own it!

But, while trapped in a chair under said small human, (in fear of waking them up if you were to even clear your throat!), you can’t help but wonder why your amazing body didn’t also develop the ability of telekinesis while it was doing this awe shattering feat! How amazing and useful would that be?! So here are my six phases… I guarantee you’ll laugh before the end of this article…

Phase 1. The “I Can’t Put The Baby Down Because We Are Bonding Or Cluster Feeding” Phase.

Always keep the essentials close by, as in within an arms stretch! This goes for the TV remote, your phone, at least one snack, your phone charger or a charging device, iPad or a book, and definitely a glass of water. If you have a little one who won’t sleep very much then life saving materials can be what get you through those afternoons, as you cradle your small bundle who is finally napping but you dare not put them down. Instead you settle in to an afternoon of Netflix binge watching and you have a whole packet of biscuits with your name on.

Personally I had a lunch bag size cool bag next to where I sat with my son. Inside it were snacks, a reusable bottle of water and piece of fruit. I kept a table to one side of me with the remotes and my phone on, and a box of tissues. On the other side within a stretch away was the cool bag, my iPad and a portable USB charger. Life savers for me on several afternoons!

Phase 2. The “Where’s The Flipping Muslin Cloth” Phase.

Buy Extra Cloths! So cloths for a newborn are a given, but have you considered you may need to wipe all sorts of things off your baby and multiple times in one day. I couldn’t believe how many cloths I went through a day at first. The tip for this is to keep a folded clean pile of muslin’s somewhere in every main room of your home. Also buy similar colours of cloth so that you can just throw them all in the wash together. Because Muslin cloths are thin they don’t take a lot to wash and also dry, but you won’t want to wait a few hours when you’re down to your last one and baby is due for a feed…

Phase 3. The “What Time Is It? Oh My Days, I Forgot To Stop For Lunch, Again” Phase.

Nobody tells you how fast the time goes. This isn’t a lie, time actually goes faster and you will forget what time of day it is and then realise you haven’t had a drink for hours! Make sure you always get nourished every time you journey into the kitchen, keep snacks and fruit handy, things you can eat one handed, and keep a reusable water bottle by your favourite seat. Keeping hydrated is most important especially if you’re breastfeeding and recovering from birth too. If baby is having something to drink then you should be too!

Phase 4. The “I’m Too Tired To Cook, Let’s Open Up The Fast Food App” Phase.

Every parent will admit to ordering fast food in those first few weeks with a newborn baby. But if you can organise yourselves in the weeks running up to their arrival, you’ll feel better for it, both stomach and bank balance!

The answer is this, Bulk Cook your favourite Foods! Keep some of those previous takeaway Tupperware tubs, check how many you can stack in a drawer in your freezer. Then bulk cook a few of your favourite dishes using fresh ingredients. Then you can freeze them in tubs and in portions. Throw in Veg too if you like, at least then you’re getting healthy food inside you. Chicken Curry with added Veg or Spaghetti Bolognese made with a few Veg to bulk it out are both easy to reheat.

Phase 5. “I Managed To Put The Baby Down, Shall I Pop On That New Series On Netflix Or Go To Sleep?”

It’s really tough when Social Media blows up with the latest Netflix series, and you’re surviving on maybe 4 hours of sleep and only scrolling on your phone in order to stay awake during the 5am feed… But there will come a day when things get easier, your baby won’t need feeding every two hours forever. And then you’ll sleep a little more… (does 6 hours or less sound good to you?). Plus you’ll get used to the lack of sleep and gradually be able to do more, like managing to watch half an episode of something… once a week… then forget what happened and watch it again… and so it goes on…

Phase 6. “We haven’t had any us time for a long time…”

This phase is a serious one and more to do with you as parents, it’s brand new, it’s exhilarating and exhausting but remember you have become two different people. You are still you, and what time you spend together is still important. You might not get a date night in weeks, if not months after baby is born. But if you have the support of family and you trust them, then there will come a time where you can leave your baby with that person and get back to being you “both” again.
People don’t tell you how hard it is, not being able to go out just the pair of you, you won’t get to watch television or a film without interruption or pausing it every now and then. This is the new normal and it’s okay to find it a difficult transition. Especially if you’re used to going out for a meal once a week or pop off to the cinema at an hours notice…
My tip to get through this phase is this, plan, plan and plan some more. Make timetables and plan ahead with a calendar and try your best to stick to it. Change the usual cinema outings to a Netflix movie and a meal at home, with a big bag of popcorn and sweets from the supermarket as a great and cheaper alternative to the cinema treats…



Thank you for visiting Severn Wishes today, I hope that I see you here again soon for more parenting posts.

✩ Sabrina ✩