It's been a week since I launched my business last Friday and I have been actively sharing and spreading the love about Pickle & Squidge, and so have you lovely lot! Thank you so much as it means the world to hear how much you like it and that you will be purchasing one for Mums-to-be in the near future.
It has not all been positive (insert my sad face here!).
As I was sharing the love on Facebook and letting a local Mum group know about P&S, I received a message to let me know that I couldn't share my business on their page, because I hadn't initially asked for permission as a business but more importantly, and this is the bit that shocked me the most...because I have included formula and nipple shields in one of my boxes!
Now, I created these boxes with the sole purpose to assist and help Mums, when things get tough (as they often do) and if, in the middle of the night, your nipples are sore from a cluster feeding baby (Pickle) or one who has tongue tie and their latch is shallow (Squidge) which can make breastfeeding extremely difficult and make you feel like you want to give up or you can't go on. I wanted to have a few products in there to support you and to keep you on track if that's what you have chosen to do. I mean, I hope you don't need them, but they are there to make things a little easier, not to encourage you to give up!
Which is what the problem is with me including these items. They are deemed by 'The WHO Code' (World Health Organization) to prevent mothers from meeting their own breastfeeding goals and undermines breastfeeding. This, I must stress, is not directly aimed at parents or parents that choose to use formula, but the companies that aggressively market it.
I am not here to judge or to preach about what choice you make, that is why I decided to offer a few options with my Mummy-to-be Boxes. The first box is aimed at supporting Mums that would like to try to breastfeed, if you're a new mum about to have your first baby, like I was before Oscar was born, I wanted to at least try to have a go at breastfeeding. I read up on lots of information, attended the brilliant Baby Journey antenatal classes and even went to the free Parentcraft ones held by the NHS which were great and really good to recap - I like to be prepared, can you tell?! But, even though I wanted to try, I knew that it might be hard and maybe I couldn't or wouldn't want to, so I tried not to put too much pressure on myself. After all I'm having a baby for the first time and then I'm going to try to breastfeed, which would also be another first!
Oscar was a cluster feeder and like those adverts/images/mums you see in the park or at coffee shops, calmly feeding their babies easily, this was not us. Latching on was fine, he guzzled his milk but would then pull away, spraying milk everywhere (sorry if this is TMI but I now know I'm not the only one, however it felt like that at the time!) But he did love the boob, so much so he wouldn't take a bottle for a very long time!!! I too had an emergency bottle of formula and nipple shields on standby but luckily I didn't need to use them, but they were there just in case I did. Friends of mine were able to continue to exclusively breastfeed with the help of nipple shields, it gave them a little break to heal, so they could continue as planned.
My other box doesn't include the items associated with breastfeeding, for those that choose not to, or just for someone that you aren't sure if they will be giving it a try, but still being able to send a gorgeous gift without the added pressure. And lastly a box you can customise, with essentials you feel will be best suited for the new mum/parents.
Now I don't feel that I am aggressively marketing my boxes and insisting that you must use every product in the boxes - ideally I would hope you wouldn't need any of them apart from, of course, the chocolates and the dry shampoo, these are actual life savers! But what I am saying is, sometimes things don't go to plan, I hope they do, but sometimes they don't and that's OK if they don't. Use these products to get you through the tricky bits and get yourself back on track.
I feel very strongly that we should be supporting women, each other, giving them the facts and letting them make their own choice on the matter, whatever that is. Not feeling like failures but giving us support, and that's what Pickle and Squidge is here for - to support all Mums and their choices without judgement. Because we are all doing the best we can and that's all we can ask for!