Tag Archives: Parenting

A favour to ask – please sign this petition if you’re in the UK

When I was pregnant with Xander, we didn’t know I had Group B Strep, which is a major cause of deadly infection in newborns and can be passed from mother to baby during birth. It wasn’t until after my emergency C-section. Xan was having difficulty breathing when he was born, so he was put into the HDU for a while, but because of my infection, we both had to stay in hospital for a week after the birth with both of us on antibiotics to make sure we were both fine.

All this could have been avoided if I had been tested for Group B Strep before I went into labour.

GBS is commonly found in the digestive system and the female reproductive system. It’s estimated that about one in four pregnant women in the UK carry GBS.

There is currently a petition circulating urging the Department of Health to ensure every woman is routinely given accurate information about group B Streptococcus (group B Strep or GBS) during antenatal care; every low-risk woman is offered a sensitive test for GBS, ideally at 35-37 weeks of pregnancy; and every higher-risk woman is offered antibiotics in labour.

If you live in the UK, please do sign the petition. It will only take a moment of your time and every signature counts. It could make the difference between life and death for some, or a life permanently affected to others.

Thank you for reading and signing.

Sign the petition HERE.

That’s Life Magazine with offensively misleading headline story…

That’s Life Magazine (a publication I would never buy in the first place, but that’s beside the point) has released an issue with the main cover story headline as follows:

 My warning to Mums – Breastfeeding left me infertile

I am so shocked and angered by this I’ve been compelled to send an email of complaint:

 I am appalled and distressed by the negative message your cover story headline “My warning to Mums – Breastfeeding left me infertile” on your most recent issue.

Whether or not anyone buys this magazine, it is highly irresponsible to emblazon such a false message right across the front cover. I’m aware that magazines such as yours use sensationalism to raise sales, but this is beyond the pale and an insult to mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies.

In future, please do not print such biased and blatantly misleading headlines – it would do you much credit to instead give FACTS:

* Anorexia (which, from all accounts, the Mum in question is a sufferer) can adversely affect fertility.
* Breastfeeding can reduce fertility while you are nursing but does NOT leave you infertile.
* Fertility goes back to normal when weaning occurs and even whilst breastfeeding it is still possible to fall pregnant.

I think it is only fair that an apology be printed on your cover reading “We got it wrong – Breastfeeding does NOT leave you infertile!”

Yours sincerely,
Kell Smurthwaite
(An angry mother who breastfed her son for 14 months!)

I urge others to follow suit and email the publication direct regarding this. If you want to complain to them, please do so using their email address: stories@thatslife.co.uk

Apparently they promise to answer ALL emails, so please do give them lots to answer!

I also urge people to join the Facebook group HERE.


I recently came across a question posed by a Mum on a parenting forum:

Is it really that much hard work being a Stay-At-Home-Mum?

There were already lots of replies, some saying something like  “Yes, its bloody hard work and don’t you forget it!” and others saying “No, they have it easy!” or words to that effect.

My own answer may surprise some people:

Being a Stay-At-Home-Mum is as easy or hard as you make it. If you let yourself get harassed and feel rushed, then you’re going to find it hard. If you prioritise and take things at an even pace without worrying about it all, you’ll find it a lot easier.

For me, the hard part is feeling like I have to justify being a Stay-At-Home-Mum because so many people assume you sit at home all day doing nothing and watching daytime television. I find myself very busy and actually have to use a diary to keep track of what we’re doing every day so I don’t schedule an outing at the same time as a doctors’ appointment or when someone is coming to visit. Xan is now of an age where he finds it fun to join in with some of the housework, so I let him run round the livingroom waving a feather duster or sweeping the kitchen floor while I do a little cleaning, and he loves to help with the laundry – so much so that he actually shouts “Washing time!” when he thinks we should do it!

I’m lucky in that my hubby does still pitch in with the housework, but that’s just the kind of person he is. Yes, he works a full-time job, but he appreciates that so do I – I just don’t get paid for mine. His thing is to do the laundry with Xan because they have fun while they do it. Hubby gets playtime with Xan while I make the dinner and do the dishes – it’s a fair deal. 🙂

Yes, there are days where it feels like I get nothing done because Xan is demanding all of my attention that day for whatever reason (sometimes because he’s feeling under the weather, sometimes because he’s going through a developmental milestone and just wants me to be with him), and there are days when I just get done only to find that the place is a mess again already – those are the frustrating days – but there are days where everything goes smoothly too. And every day feels like a major accomplishment because we’ve always done something constructive together, whether or not the housework got done that day!

Anyway, after that rambling post, all I wanted to say is that it’s other people’s perceptions of being a Stay-At-Home-Mum that makes things most difficult because we are often made to feel what we do is worthless or pointless and are made to feel guilty that we’re not out earning money. Not so very many years ago, it was the reverse – mothers who went out to work were frowned upon and the Stay-At-Home-Mums were thought of as the norm and it was the expected thing to do!

Oh, and by the way, I do have an evening job a few nights per week, but my daytimes are all about Xan!