Dear NHS…

Dear NHS,

I like you…alot! I am blessed to live in an area where you’re pretty good. I like my local doctors, getting an appointment is quite easy and I’ve stayed at my local hospital when I had gastro back in 2009 and I was treated with great care. I praise you, I tell everyone how the US need to have a system like we do and I’m blessed that when my son has had any issues, your healthcare system has always sorted it out.

So, you can imagine my dismay when I read this afternoon that the NHS is planning on “bribing” mother’s by offering them £200 shopping vouchers for breastfeeding. As if the debate between breast and formula is not tumultuous enough.

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I wanted to breastfeed and I had every intention of breastfeeding until my son was at least 6-8 months old. But as you know, life has a way of throwing us surprises. I had a perfect pregnancy but a hard labour. 40 hours after my waters broke, my son was born via emergency C section. I lost a lot of blood, I unfortunately didn’t have a transfusion and my extremely low haemoglobin levels affected my supply. My son had a great latch but there was just never enough for him. I fed for an hour on each side (every 2 hours) and then topped him up with formula. I battled with this for 6 weeks before I stopped. And the guilt ate at me. Because all you hear is “breast is best” and as a mother who couldn’t feed, you feel like you failed your child.

But I didn’t. I didn’t fail my son. I realised that a happy mom = a happy baby. And he is a happy toddler now and a smart and healthy one too. So by you rewarding mom’s who breastfeed, you’re not really thinking about the ones who can’t. The one’s you are sending a message to…a message that says “What you’re doing is not good enough.”

Please take that money and use it to help mom’s like me. Mom’s who want to feed, mom’s whose children have tongue tie, mom’s whose children don’t have a proper latch. Put that money towards recruiting specialists who can help us. Put more lactation consultants out there. Put more people in hospitals who are going to talk to mom’s about breastfeeding and tell them how difficult can be.

As a first time mom everything is so new. We worry about our baby crying, our baby sleeping. Are they too hot, are they too cold. Why is their skin dry, why is their poo so yellow. Don’t make breastfeeding another one of those things we worry about. Support us!

You can raise a hat to mom’s who succesfully breastfeed but put your resources to those who can’t. I’ll like you even more!

Jumping in muddy puddles

As a whole, I feel most parents these days (myself included) feel like they have to constantly “teach” their kids. We feel guilty if we leave our kids to watch television for an hour (while we put our feet up) or leave them to play alone or going by a day when we don’t either read to them, do a puzzle with them or practice some phonics with them.

But there is so much learning to be done by having some serious fun as well. S has been watching peppa pig and one of the things he keeps saying he wants to do is jump in muddy puddles. But we all know “If you want to jump in muddy puddles, you must wear your boots”. And so off we went to Morrisons on Saturday to buy him some boots. It rained earlier today and so it was the perfect time!!

After his lunch we headed to Primrose Hill and started puddle hunting. And oh how he loved it!!

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The best part? He was actually learning. We went through the colours of the leaves, we talked about the clouds, we spotted puddles from a distance, we counted from 1-20 and lots more. He was having a blast and watching him made my day as well. He makes me miss being a child again!

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People complain about the English weather but there’s a lot of fun to be had, no matter what the weather.

The Self Soothing Babies who are not Actually Soothing Themselves at all

natasham:

Absolutely love this post by Sarah Ockwell-Smith…reminds me just why I decided to Wait it out!

Originally posted on Sarah Ockwell-Smith - Parenting Expert:

One of the top criticisms I get of my disdain for ‘experts’ who insist that babies should learn to ‘self soothe’ in order to sleep through the night is those who comment “but my baby DOES self settle and I’ve never done any sort of sleep training” (those who ‘self settle’ after sleep training are a completely different kettle of fish – learn moreHERE).

If self soothing is a developmental skill – that occurs once the emotional regulatory areas of the brain are well-connected (from about the age of 7 onwards) – then what on earth is happening to those babies who DO self soothe? Are they a freak of biology? Super fast developers? or something else.

brain

The answer is “something else”.

You see these babies are no more capable of self soothing than any others. The difference is that they are often the ‘naturally calm’ babies. When…

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A round up of my favourite Christmas ads 2014

My name is Natasha and I am Christmas obsessed! The run up to Christmas is hands down my favourite time of year. As I said last year, it’s just pure magic…

Another thing I love is ads…I know, it sounds crazy, most people fast forward the ads when watching television but I love good ads…ads that move you, ads that leave you feeling warm and fuzzy, smart ads and ads that you remember 3 years down the line.

So here, in no particular order, is a round up of my favourite Christmas ads this year (2014):

The Burberry ad could have been a bit shorter.

http://www.coca-cola.co.uk/about-us/heritage/christmas/give-a-little-happiness.html

Which is your favourite?

Notes to my 21 year old self

A couple of months ago I was asked by my friend Rachana Manjani, the editor of Beyond Sindh magazine, to write a piece for the magazine’s ten year anniversary. I was really excited. I’ve done a fair bit of writing for other’s but this was the was the first time it was going to be published in print. Here is the article…what I have to say to my 21 year old self, 10 years ago:

Earlier this month I turned 31, another year older is both exciting and intimidating. As each year goes by it makes me ponder many of life’s big questions and look back upon my life with a sense of objectivity. Given that Beyond Sindh is 10 years old this month (wow, that went by quickly), I thought I’d look back at the last ten years of my life personally and think about how far I’ve come and what advice I’d give to my 21 year old self, 10 years ago.

1. You’ve just graduated and you’re wondering what to do with your life. Go do that course in New York. I know you’re scared and the idea of moving to yet another new city is daunting but you’re young and if there is ever a chance to do it, it’s now. So go, choose a course, for 6 months or a year and enjoy living in the Big Apple. We only truly learn when we are outside of our comfort zone.

2. Dare to dream. You can be anything you set your mind to, don’t let anyone let you think otherwise. You’re so passionate about helping those less fortunate, get out there and put all your energy into doing that and make a difference in the world like you know you can. Time waits for no one, do it now.

3. Stop living waiting for signs. Those who know what they want, get what they want. So instead of waiting for a sign to know what you should do, go out and do it. You always say you’re quite an intuitive person who can feel different energies so trust yourself and go with how you feel, not with what you think everyone else wants you to do/say.

4. You’ve spent every summer in India for the last 3 years and each year you’ve created a little count down calendar to mark the days until you go back to London. I know why you so desperately want to go back and I get it but enjoy the time you have there because one day you’ll look back and wish you did something more useful with your time. Mumbai is amazing, explore it.

5. Save!! You really don’t need that top from Warehouse and those shoes from Faith are just going to lie in your cupboard for the next 3 years. You’re lucky you don’t pay rent and you live in Central London so when you’re not out having a fabulous time, save! You never know when you’ll need it.

6. Don’t get married until you’re at least 28. There is so much you want to do, so don’t feel pressured into it by anyone. If he’s worth it, he’ll wait. You go out there and do your thing girl.

7. Look after your body. I know you go to the gym and you try and be healthy but remember everyone’s body works differently. Just because your colleague beside you eats chocolate at 8am doesn’t mean you should as well. You know what’s good for you and what’s not, listen to your body now to avoid any issues in the future.

8. Know that everything that happens over the next 10 years is a building block and you should have no regrets, only a better understanding of things based on your experiences. Every person and experience – good, bad, fair or unfair happen for a reason. Learn from them and move on.

9. You have an amazing family, don’t let anyone come between you and them and if a problem does arise, clear it with the person so it doesn’t become an issue for the next decade. Half of people’s problems would disappear if they just communicated better. Communication is one of the key’s to great relationships.

10. Believe in yourself. You don’t need anyone else to tell you how you should live your life. All the answers are there, within you. Spend some time alone each week and just be. Mediate or lay back and listen to your favourite song. All your answers will come to you and the decisions you make will be right for you. Never ask someone else to make your decisions for you, no matter who they are.

What advice would you give your younger self?

don, jo n me

Young and naïve innocent at 21!