4 Babies & 1 Business – Sharon Spink from Booby & The Beads!

I am very pleased to have Sharon Spink from Booby and The Beads guest blogging about her journey to breastfeeding success (which wasn’t at all as easy as thought it would be!) and how a business was born as a result of her experiences.

Nicki x

 Road to breast-feeding success, lined with sharp stones(or in my case acrylic beads)!
I have got 4 children now and have breastfed all of them with varying degrees of success. Kevin, my first, was born when I was only 19 and despite wanting to breastfeed I was also very self-conscious about it and sadly gave up after only 2 weeks. I think it was my fear of feeding in front of other people especially my ex-father in law that caused me very quickly to switch to formula feeding Kevin. He’s 23 now and it has obviously not done him any harm. When Kevin was 2 ½ & I was 22 I had Sarah. Breastfeeding went a little better this time and I managed about 4 or 5 weeks but this time I think it was my fault for stopping. Bottles seemed like an easier option especially when I had a toddler to look after as well, how wrong I could have been.
Move on 16 years and I found myself re-married and expecting baby number 3. Isabel was born in 2009 and I was now a much older and worldly mum of 41. I had also found a great bunch of ladies on an Internet forum that were a veritable mine of information and advice – thank you all of you. Breastfeeding was one of the things I wanted to get right along with how she was born. I’d had 2 previous c-sections and was determined to have a natural birth this time. Well unfortunately that didn’t happened and there I was having c-section number 3. I’d learned about how important skin-to-skin contact was and getting that all-important 1st feed in so kept asking the staff as soon as she was born when I could have skin-to-skin with her. I was so frustrated when I was told it wouldn’t be until we were in recovery. I thought it would be too late and my ability to breastfeed would be ruined. How wrong I could have been. Isabel was great and knew just what to do but it was short lived and by day 3 & 4 she kept me up all night screaming the ward down and me flooding it with tears. We had a lovely midwife that sat for ages with me and got her sorted. We didn’t look back and carried on, not without the odd problem though, for another 4 months. Sadly she started loosing weight – gain 1 week but back again the week later and so the only advice I got was to top her up with formula. I cried buying the carton of milk and cried even more as I gave her it. Mixed feeding was not something I wanted to do but it worked for another 2 months until one day Isabel turned away and refused to breastfeed.
So it was time for baby number 4 and I was more determined than ever to breastfeed. Yet another c-section loomed and despite hearing stories of mums struggling to breastfeed after a c-section I knew as long as we had skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible and she got in that first vital feed we should be ok and yes we were. Had a blip on day 2 so luckily I’d had the foresight to take my Kari-Me wrap in with me so I despite it being the middle of the night I popped her in and off we went for a walk down the ward to get a drink and some toast. Luckily we’ve never looked back.

An idea emerges!
 Don’t get me wrong – it’s not been plain sailing. I’ve shed many a tear but I knew that we could get through it. I had tremendous support from my lovely hubby and my online friends too. Without them I wouldn’t know half as much as I do or have had as much conviction to do a lot of the things I do. That’s where the idea for my business, Booby & The Beads ,came from too. At B&TB I make and sell a range of aids, designed to be both attractive and useful when it comes to breastfeeding, be it helping you remember which breast you fed from last to necklaces which keep babies interested on the job in hand, well boob but you see what I mean and can help avoid the inevitable scratching or pulling at hair, clothes, glasses etc. I’d never heard of nursing necklaces until they were mentioned in a thread in the Baby Talk Room of Hitched I did my research, bought a sample one. When it arrived I looked at it and decided I could make them and actually do it much better than the one I’d bought!
From the first necklace, the range has erupted….! Reminder bracelets were a natural progression, then came the children’s version, just because I’d had several little girls asking for one just like their mummy’s. I adapted one of the children’s bracelets to add in a mobile number so it became a safety feature if the child ever got lost. Recently, I’ve realised they would work for dementia sufferers too and only the other week I took an order from a gentleman that wanted to wear one while he was out on his bicycle because he never took any id out with him. The dummy/toy clips started with one I made for Charlotte to save me constantly having to pick up her toys (she doesn’t have a dummy) from either her pushchair or highchair. Key rings are a recent addition and my latest project is Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces, that help calm and relieve teething pain. Clearly there is a lot of truth in the saying “No rest for the wicked!”
For me, achieving breastfeeding success was not easy and looking back I am gra
teful for not only the support, but the wealth of helpful hints and tips I was given. Many of these have resulted product ideas.
To find out more about Sharon, view the range, see where she is exhibiting next or to buy then visit her here or drop her an email! 

Move over Man Flu, Pregnancy Cold is in town!

I feel crap.
Seriously awful!

My eyes are watering, my nose alternates between blocked and freeflow, I ache all over (and at 30wks pregnant I was aching BEFORE this!), my sinus’ ache, my head aches, I have a nasty cough and I appear to have swallowed razor blades.
So considering this, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be pissed off!

I send my 4 year old off into the wide world to get an education, and what does he bring home? The School Sniffle…. the cold of whose origins are unknown, that for the Child is a mere sniffle but for those lucky enough to share an abode with said Child, it is a rip roaring stonking cold. (Thinking of contacting Ofsted citing this spreading of germs as unnecessary homework).

And the worst, the very worst….. I can take anything for it! Oh no sorry, I can take paracetamol (wow!). 

So I am writing this as a shameless bid for sympathy and if there are pregnancy angel, safe remedy advice. Just look at the photos – how can you NOT feel pity? Please take a mo to share any good pregnancy cold survival tips!


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