Myths about first pregnancies

There is a lot of excitement that come with first pregnancies. However, depending on who you are talking with, your excitement may be dampened when you get advice from women who have had not so good experience from their own pregnancies. They feed you with unpleasant stories based on their own experiences. Please do not box your self into a corner because of someone else’s not too good first time experience. Yours can be very different. This is why I have written this article.

Two major myths about first pregnancies is that they are stressful and are accompanied with prolonged labour. I will share my personal experience in hope that it changes your mind set about first pregnancies.

First pregnancies are stressful:

Often the genesis of our problem is in the horrible stories we’ve heard. No doubt pregnancies come with their own peculiarities. The issues many deal with are often mind set and thinking conditioning. So I had many unpleasant stories myself but I decided from day one that I was not going to dwell on them. Instead, I sort success stories of first time mothers to listen to. So for me and for many others that I know, first pregnancies are not stressful. I enjoyed a very stress free first pregnancy. In fact, I was active and very hardworking . From cleaning the house to washing clothes even to fetching water from the tap when there was no electricity to pump water into the tanks. Also, I never missed work except when I had to because of my antenatal appointments at the hospital. I worked till the very last day.

I know that this doesn’t apply to everyone as there are some cases where the woman becomes ill to the extent that she has to be confined to the bed. My point is success beget success. The stories that I sought became like fuel igniting strength in me even when some of the peculiarities of pregnancy surfaced. I never fed my mind for a moment that because it was my first pregnancy, it was going to be stressful. That belief is untrue.

Prolonged labor hours:

The fact that I was agile throughout the three trimesters played a major role in my experience at childbirth. I got to the hospital at about 5:30 am. I had my first son at about 8:03am. What was the time lapse? Roughly, 2 hours 30minutes. Meanwhile there is this belief that first pregnancies automatically means that you would spend very long hours in the labour room. This is so far from the truth. I know of some first time mothers who spent shorter time in the labour room than even I did. So don’t let someone’s not too good first time experience at the labour room, permeate your mind to the extent that you end up not believing anything better for yourself.

In conclusion, I recommend that you read a book titled “Supernatural Childbirth”by Jackie Mize. It is a book founded on God’s promises regarding conception, pregnancy, labour and delivery.I read this book and it strengthened my faith in God about pregnancy.

I had a very stress free first pregnancy even up till delivery and your experiences can even be better than mine. All you need to do is to believe and trust in God.

Thank you for reading!

What was your first experience like? Let me know in the comment box.


Teaching your child the five magic words.

“Mummy, mummy… I want some biscuits” , my older son said a few days ago and my hubby and I both respond at the same time “say  pleaseeeeee” and then he says “pleaseeeeeee”. That is how much we enforce the use of the magic words in our home.

There is a saying that “Charity begins at home”and I strongly believe that. Personally, I believe that it is first our responsibility as parents to groom kind and respectful children before we charge the school to that responsibility.

I was never taught the five magic words in kindergarten neither was I taught in elementary or high school.

I learnt all the magic words from my parents and I am so grateful to them for it. 

So I find it interesting that schools nowadays are incorporating mannerism into their curriculum. They even create fun ways of teaching them which is pretty cool. 

However, it cannot be said enough that it is our responsibility as parents to teach our children the values of using words like sorry, thank you, please, excuse me and good morning.

It is never too early to start teaching children the importance of these words. I remember when my older son was one year old or thereabout and my spouse said we should start teaching him the importance of saying thank you. I thought to myself , Haba! This young man is barely a toddler but I was wrong. Now he says thank you without us prompting him atleast for the most part (He is still work in progress). Nonetheless that is the magic word he says the most. 

Think about it, isn’t it heart warming hearing a toddler say thank you after you give or help him/ her with something. It’s pretty nice to hear right? 

As they grow older, we are to teach them the meaning of these words and the consequences for not using them. 

Please: When you want something, you use the word please. We use it to make a request more polite. Even as an adult, don’t you find it rude when someone wants a favour from you and the person doesn’t say the word “please”. Now you see what I am talking about. Even if your toddler wants something as little as water, saying “please” is a world of difference. 

Sorry/ I’m sorry : Saying I’m sorry doesn’t make you less. It only means you value the relationship you have with that person more than your ego. Let them know that when they have done something wrong, they apologize by saying sorry. When a friend hurts himself/ herself. Saying sorry will not make the pain go away but may sure make the person feel better. 

Excuse me: this just made me smile because when my three year old says excuse me, he leaves out the “ex”. So you here “cuse me”, “cuse me mummy”. Lol ðŸ˜†. You use excuse when you are in the mist of people and you are trying to make way or when you are having a conversation and you will like to make a contribution or you simply want to be excused!

It’s a polite word that can be used when you want to have your way.

Thank you: There was a particular day I served my husband and son their meals and my son said thank you but his dad didn’t. So my older son said “daddy didn’t say thank you” that was when daddy remembered to say thank you. 

Saying thank you is a way of showing gratitude and appreciation for someone’s efforts

Good morning: This is a polite way of greeting. Parents are the first persons children see when they wake up in the morning. Therefore, it is easier to teach them this magic word . Teach them how to greet by letting them know that the first thing to say when they see an adult in the morning is good morning. Also, when they see their friends, they should say hello.

Teaching your children these magic  words is the first step to raising well mannered children. 

What is the best way teach our children these words? By modeling it. Incorporate these magic words when addressing your spouse, families, neighbors as well as the children themselves. 

You can use songs, games or stories to teach your child these magic words. It doesn’t necessarily have to be all talk. Children learn better and faster when you use fun ways to enforce a lesson. 

Tip: there are many you tube videos for children that teach the use of these magic words through songs and activities. You can download some for your children to watch and learn. 

The importance of teaching children these magic words cannot be over emphasized. 

-It fosters better relationships with their peers.

-It reduces tension in the home.

-It helps them adapt to different environments. 

-It promotes effective communication.

-It increases their level of socialization 

-Your child will end up being respectful and kind.  

Incorporating these words is not a one day job, it requires effort, patience, perseverance and a lot of dedication. That means you’ll have to remind them regularly before it finally becomes a norm. 

In conclusion, encourage, commend and reward them accordingly for their efforts in using the magic words. 

Thank you for reading! â¤ï¸

Which of the magic words does your child or children use often?

How do you incorporate these words?

Let me know in the comment section. 

Breast milk: Fore milk versus Hind milk, which is better?

Have you ever heard you mum say “let your baby latch on one breast for about ten minutes and then move him/ her to the other breast for another 10 minutes so that one boob will not be bigger than the other”. If your answer is no, then you are probably not a Nigerian! Because in Nigeria where I come from, I hear that a lot even from younger women. Well, for me I was more concerned about breastfeeding my baby effectively than size of my breast. So I didn’t listen.

There is really no clear distinction between fore milk and hind milk. A woman produces only one kind of milk!The milk that is produced at the beginning of a breast feeding session is called fore milk while the milk that is produced towards the end or at the end of a breadfeeding session is called hind milk.

Mothers who pump their breast milk often will notice this quickly as the fore milk is more watery than hind milk which is thicker and creamier.

The transition from fore milk to hind milk is a gradual process as fore milk doesn’t automatically transform into hind milk. Fore milk is voluminous but low in fat while hind milk is less voluminous but has a higher fat content. It has twice as much fat as the foremilk, and often three times as much or more.

Fat content bothers on milk volume. Therefore, the more the milk volume, the lower the fat content and the lower the milk volume, the higher the fat content.
Simply put, the emptier your breast is, the higher the fat content and vice versa.

There are conflicting reports about the consumption of hind milk and fore milk.

Some experts believe that the focus should be ensuring that the child gets the hind milk as it is more nutritious and leads to weight gain.

Others say that all breast milk is good. According them,it is the total consumption of breast milk daily that matters and not just the hind milk.

I will tell you what worked for me.

First, I usually don’t have big babies. My older son weighed 2.7kg at birth while my younger son weighed 3kg. (Note that both my sons were born at full term). Infact, people made fun of them after child birth. I got remarks like “he looks so tiny”; why is he so small”?But those remarks never got to me because I knew that if I exclusively breastfed my babies properly they will gain healthy weight in little or no time and that was exactly what happened.

As at 6 weeks, my older son weighed 5.1kg; at 11 weeks, he weighed 6.5 at 6 months, he weighed 9.5kg.

For my younger son, at 6 weeks, he weighed 5kg; at 10 weeks weighed 6.2 kg; at 6 months, weighed 9kg and at 1 year. He weighed 13kg. So, the older they got, the more weight they gained.

Overtime, I realized that my sons weight were much more over than the expected average weight of their ages.

When both my sons were under 6 months of age and I had to take them to get their vaccinations, I got several compliments from mothers who admired my babies weight.

Many of them asked me what I fed my baby with and I told them breast milk. And most of them replied by saying “but I give my baby only breast milk as well, how come mine is not as big as yours”. I reply by saying, you are probably doing what your mother told you that is 10 minutes on one breast and another 10 minutes on the other.

By doing that, your baby is missing out on a lot of essential nutrients and thereby not gaining the weight.

Okay so, I went on to tell them how important it was to let their baby latch on one breast for as long as he or she wants until that particular breast felt empty or almost empty. That way, the baby gets both the fore milk and the hind milk. If he or she is still hungry, offer him or her other breast.

It is very important not to watch the clock to determine whether or not your baby has had adequate milk. Feed at very first sign of hunger and let your baby lead the way.

Note that hind milk is highly recommended for premature babies as it is high in calories and fat. It will help them gain weight.

Things to remember

• Fore milk and hind milk are not different kinds of milk. These terms refer to the milk at the beginning and end of a feeding session.

• Fore milk has a lower fat content than hind milk

• Avoid switching breast when baby is actively feeding so as not to miss out on hind milk

• Let your baby take the lead. Watch out for signs of hunger and fullness. • Hind milk is highly recommended for premature babies.

• Weight gain is the best sign that a child is getting enough breast milk. When a baby is gaining weight slower than expected, it could mean that he/she not getting enough.

Lastly, breasts have different storage capacities and what worked for me and my babies might not work for you. However, like I mentioned earlier, it is important that you let your baby latch on one breast until it feels empty before moving to the other.

Enjoy breastfeeding!

Did you let your baby latch on one breast for a long time or you switched breasts while he/ she was actively feeding? Which pattern worked for you? Let me know in the comment section.

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Thank you for reading

Exclusive breastfeeding: Is it possible?

Exclusively breastfeeding your child for the first six months is the most precious gift you could ever give him or her.

Feeding your baby with only breast milk for the first six months is not only possible but important. I am blessed to have been able to do it for my two sons. If I could do it, then every mother can.

You would ask yourself why should I do it since even our mothers never did it. Dear mother or mother to be, dare to be different because you will be giving your child the greatest gift ever.

Exclusive breastfeeding is not easy. I would be telling half the truth if i said it is however, focusing on the outcome would brace you for the process and it gets better once you start to see the results. Ensuring you take lots of fluid; eating nutritious meals; Even loading up on certain vitamin supplements and certain foods have been known to help nursing mums produce adequate milk for their babies.

What is exclusive breastfeeding? Exclusive breastfeeding means feeding the baby with only breast milk without water, and food for the first six months. This means that the baby is fed with breast milk only with the exception of vitamins, medicines, minerals or Oral Rehydration Formula.

What if my breast milk doesn’t flow as soon as I give birth to my baby. Can’t I offer her formula milk?That was the question I asked my mum after I had my first son at the hospital.

She advised that I bought formula milk which I did. Someone even suggested that I bought glucose instead but I didn’t listen. So I started giving my son formula milk. However, as my breastmilk started flowing I stopped the formula milk totally. I exclusively breastfed my son for six straight months.

What I didn’t know then but knew before I had my second son was that babies are born filled with food that can last them for 3- 4 days. I am not asking you to starve your baby. All I am saying is that there is no need rushing to give your child formula milk because babies are born hydrated.

So,even if your breast milk doesn’t flow immediately after child birth like mine didn’t, there is no need to worry. All you need to do is to encourage your baby to latch on your breast until the milk starts to flow. That was exactly what I did when I gave birth to my second son. I kept encouraging him to latch on until milk started to flow.So this time, I didn’t have to give him any formula milk after child birth. I waited until my breast milk started flowing.

PS: you must continually encourage your baby to latch on and also take a lot of fluid if not, it will take a longer time for the milk to flow. Most of the time the process is painful and makes your nipples sore but after a few weeks when your baby learns to latch on your breast properly, the pain fizzles out.🙂

I mentioned giving my son formula milk at the hospital because that is when it is usually introduced. A new mum doesn’t know that her child is born with food that can last until her breast milk starts to flow. So she gives him/ her formula milk and ends up not exclusively breast feeding her baby.

How is it possible not to give a baby water for the first six months? Then what do I give him/her when I think he/she is thirsty? Give your baby breast milk because it contains 88% water while the remaining 12 % contains all other necessary nutrients that will build a healthy child.

If you think your baby is thirsty, please breastfeed him/ her, the more you breastfeed, the more milk will flow and that means more water for your baby

What is the big deal about exclusive breastfeeding? What do I stand to gain? Or more importantly what does my baby stand to gain. I will tell you only a few as the benefits are inexhaustible.

1 It creates a special bond between mother and child( that is why I don’t want to stop breastfeeding even though my child is 14 months old now.

2 It makes the child to have a very strong immune system. I can relate to this as my son hardly falls ill with illnesses that very young children are prone to such as cold, cough or catarrh etc

3 It is cheap. Think about it, you don’t have to spend money buying those formula milks.

4. It is more convenient. There is no need to wash or warm bottles or mix formula milk. (I totally love this part😉)

5. Breast milk is easily more digestible than formula milk. What more would an infant need?

6. For the mother, it helps her get her pre- pregnancy body back.

7. Even international guidelines recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.

Exclusive breastfeeding takes a lot of determination especially in a country like Nigeria where I come from.

This is because it is hard to find women that did it. Even our mothers never did it. That is why I said you would have to make up your mind and probably ensure that your spouse encourages you.

For me, my spouse had my back because there were times I wanted to quit but he kept on encouraging me.

For example, after my three months maternity leave and I was back at work, it became difficult for me to continue. You know as the baby gets older, they feed more frequently.

There was a particular time I had to pray to God to give me the grace to continue feeding my baby exclusively and He indeed gave me the grace. I did six months exclusive breastfeeding. I know that there are some peculiar cases where for health reasons, the mother is unable to produce adequate breast milk.

In those cases, breast milk can complemented with formula milk. Otherwise, I will encourage that you feed your baby with breast milk only.

You often here working mum throw up their hands in despair and say. I would have loved to exclusively feed my baby with breast milk for the first six months but for my job. I have a very demanding job that takes a lot of my time so may be exclusive breastfeeding isn’t for me.

In that case, I will encourage you to get a good breastmilk pump. Just ensure that the milk is stored properly so that it remains fresh anytime it is to be consumed by your baby. I know of a number of women who did and still do this.

What if I have more than one baby? How will I cope with exclusively feeding may babies for six months? I have never had more than one baby at a time. However, I still believe that it is possible. I advise that you pump your breastmilk more, than having to feed them directly. Any amount of breastmilk is valuable even if it is in a bottle.

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months after which you can breastfeed up until two years or longer if you so desire.

There is nothing I love more than being a mum and therefore would do anything for my kids. So if you are like me and I believe most women are, the first step is to exclusively breastfeed your child for the first six months.

The benefits of exclusively breastfeeding your child for the first six months are inexhaustible …

The benefits of breastfeeding goes beyond their infant and toddler years. You are investing good health into your child’s life that will last a lifetime and for me, there is no greater gift than that.

Thank you for reading! 🙂

What was your breastfeeding experience like for the first six months?

Did you do exclusive or complimented it with formula milk? Are you planning to exclusively breastfeed ?

Please let me know in the comment box.

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