Saturday, 28 September 2013

The dummy issue

Quite early on in my pregnancy D and I had a discussion about the use of dummies.  We sit on quite opposite sides of the fence on this issue, with D in favour and me being a lifelong believer that dummies are horrid.

As it's something we need to think about I decided to look into it a little bit more and was reminded of my brother talking about the benefits that dummies can have when looking into it for his own two boys.  Of course at the time babies were not on the agenda for me and I can't remember a single benefit he mentioned!  Research time!

In browsing the various articles I've found, and the stories of mum's who use dummies, and those who have avoided them, I've realised what a contentious issue this can be for some people.

Prior to research I was unaware of any benefits at all and viewed dummies as something that babies become reliant on, and that were just a haven for germs.  How many times have I seen toddlers using dummies, to throw them on a dirty floor and only to pick it up and put it straight in their mouth again? *shudder*

However there does appear to be one key benefit reported.  I'm not sure at this stage how well evidenced it is, but research suggests that the "appropriate" use of dummies can help prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).  By appropriate this means limiting the use of dummies to just when putting the baby to sleep, and not replacing it in it's mouth if it falls out during sleep.

In this respect, if dummies were only used in this way, and you could resist the urge to use them as a tool to just quiet a crying baby when you're trying to get on with your day, get some rest etc... then yes I can see that it's a huge draw for a lot of parents.  However, the evidence to support this research is not vastly documented.  If I can find good supporting evidence then it's something I definitely should consider.  Dummies are by no means seen to be the only way to decrease the risk of SIDS.  Putting your baby to sleep on its back and not smoking are widely seen as key in this. 

    On the downside, there are a number of reasons highlighted not to use a dummy:
    • Some research links the use of dummies to an increase in recurrent ear infections in young children. 
              - Sucking may back-track bacteria from your baby's mouth into the narrow channels between his ears and           throat (Eustachian tubes).
              - If your baby uses a dummy a lot, it may affect the structure of his mouth. This may result in mucus not             draining so well along the Eustachian tubes.
    • Using a dummy may affect your baby's health in other ways too. Babies who use dummies seem to be prone to more chest infections and tummy upsets. The exact cause hasn't been established, but using a dummy has been linked to an increase in vomiting, fever, diarrhoea and colic.
    • If a dummy is introduced too early, there’s the risk of nipple confusion for a baby who’s just learning to suckle. When a baby is being breastfed, it’s best not to give a dummy until breastfeeding is well established, usually at about one month old.
    • Parents can mistakenly offer a dummy when the baby really needs nutrition-based sucking.
    • Babies who overuse a dummy for long periods, may have problems as their teeth grow and develop.  
    • Overuse of a dummy can also hinder speech development, which is why it’s recommended that you try to limit the times your baby uses a dummy, and to wean your baby off the dummy completely by the age of one.
    • Dummy use can affect long term nursing patterns too.  One theory is that a baby can spend so much time enjoying those unproductive (yet satisfying) sucks that they lose interest in the ones that maybe take a bit more effort but actually fill their tummy. And because milk supply is dependent upon their sucking, those misplaced efforts might mean that milk production stops far earlier than it needs to.
    • Being dependent upon the dummy can mean mum or dad getting less sleep as a fussy crying baby demands the dummy put back in it's mouth when it drops out in the night.
    • If a baby gets attached to a dummy, the habit can be a hard one to break — especially once your baby turns into a stroppy toddler! 
    • It can also become a real temptation for parents to use dummies as a mean to quieten their child when they're grumbling, meaning that cues can be misread for a tummy ache, uncomfortable nappy, or just missing Mama.
    I think, after all this I'm still against using a dummy if possible.... but I'm going to look into the SIDS issue some more before making a final decision.

    Saturday, 21 September 2013

    To know or not to know?

    14 weeks and 2 days

    In a month or so I will be having my 20 week scan and can potentially find out the gender of our baby.

    D is adamant he wants to know.  Nay!  He needs to know....

    Me?  Meh... All my life I've said I didn't want to know, that whatever I had I would be happy and as such I just don't need to know.  In fact, waiting 9 months to find out what we're having just adds to the excitement of finding out.

    D however is very impatient in all aspects of life and needs to know at the first possible opportunity.  I can't see why it's so important to know as I don't believe in traditional gender attire and decor.  Girls do not have to wear pink.  So whats the benefit to knowing really?

    Someone recently suggested to me that we could just go down the beige route... *shudder* I couldn't think of anything worse.  I need colour in my life, and our baby will be surrounded by colour.  

      For me, I want bright colours around our child, greens, blues, reds and oranges.  And really, in those first few weeks as they grow so much does it really matter what they're wearing?

    The whole argument may well be redundant however if baby keeps it's legs crossed!

    Did you find out? Would you find out? Why?  I'd be interested to hear other people's experiences...

    Wednesday, 18 September 2013

    It's really happening

    From the point I even suspected I was pregnant it's been hard to believe it when there's no real evidence.  No bump, no movements, and although I have been excited about the pregnancy it hasn't quite felt "real".

    Well, until now!

    At 13 weeks and 4 days, D and I went to the Women's Centre for my dating scan.  I was incredibly nervous, excited, apprehensive, and desperate to see what was in there.  I wasn't, and couldn't be disappointed.  I was also keen to know how many babies there were as my Grandma was a twin, so you just never know....

    I guzzled two pints of water before heading over to the hospital, and hoped I wouldn't need to disappear to the loo before we were called in.  The waiting room was full of lots of other expectant mums and their partners.  There was a real quiet in there, hardly anyone talking.  I doubt I was the only mum there who just wanted to see that everything was OK.

    The ultrasound technician was lovely, kind, reassuring; and D and I both had big smiles as we saw our baby for the first time.  To D's huge relief there is only one baby, and although I would have been absolutely thrilled to have twins, practically and financially I know we would have really struggled with that.

    The due date has been confirmed as we originally thought for 20 March 2014.  Although it seems a long time away, I know we have so much to do before then that the time will just disappear.  It's all so exciting!

    Friday, 13 September 2013

    It's all change

    I've spent the last 10 days basking in glorious weather,  lazing about and eating far too much of the good things. .. not necessarily good for me however but very enjoyable!

    Now despite my pregnancy and the fact that my weight will now go up somewhat,  I've decided to continue to attend Slimming World in order to try and manage my weight gain and keep it to sensible and appropriate levels.

    Given how rounded my tummy appears to be in contrast to a fortnight ago, and the fact that my baggy trousers now sit very comfortably on my waist I am puzzled as to how my weight gain is only a pound and a half.

    When my body appears to have changed so much I can't help but expect my weight to change significantly. I am somewhat confused.

    I'm now lying awake at 4am trying to work or what the heck I can wear to a very impact event tomorrow that is appropriate and that actually fits. ...

    Monday, 2 September 2013

    The Big Reveal

    So me and D are off on our jollies in the wee small hours and before we left the country for 10 days I really wanted to let our nearest and dearest know our news.  We got in touch with them all over the weekend and it was lovely to hear how pleased and supportive everyone is.

    I'm currently 11 weeks and 2 days pregnant.  Sounds weird when putting it down like that as apart from a massive increase in my boob size, and some bloating there's no physical evidence that there's a sproglet in there.

    Those who have known me a number of years will know how happy this makes me.  A child is something I've always wanted and in recent years I had genuinely started to believe that it wasn't going to happen.  Just goes to show the best things come to those who wait.

    Obviously it's early days and I've a long way to go and a lot to learn, but I've no doubt that before I know it I'll be on maternity leave and counting down the days for our arrival.