/ The Daisy Foundation with Lesley Doig

A baby in hindsight – five reasons baby classes are worth it

This can be a very contentious subject to discuss. Some people think that baby classes are definitely worth it and will pay to go, whilst others view it as a waste of time and money because you are paying to go somewhere to play with your child, which you could do elsewhere for free. But it’s not just about money, so here are some reasons why I believe them to be worth it.

  1. It is good for mum’s mental health. Many people that I have met through baby groups have talked about this. It can be lonely being a new parent in our modern world. Many of us have moved away from childhood friends, family and others we care for, so we can feel very isolated as we raise our children without the support that previous generations would have had. Going to these groups can make us feel less lonely, more supported and help us feel more normal when we have those crazy postpartum emotions. And that is a powerful thing, to just feel normal and supported!
  2. It is a great way to meet other parents in the area. Linking in to the above point, if we are parenting away from our loved ones, we may rely on these new-found friendships even more. These parents can then lead us to other groups and classes where we can meet more people and, hopefully, make lasting friendships that can grow with our children! Beautiful!
  3. We can learn to interact with our babies. I often see and hear people talk about how the first time they held a baby, or cared for a baby, is when they went home with their own. We are not instinctively designed to know what to do with a baby. Yes, there are some areas that we could pick up intuitively, but mainly parenting is a lot of trial and error. Talking to others about our experiences and watching others interact with their babies, can help to guide us on our own journeys and grow as parents.
  4. We can gain education and information about our babies. This is especially true if you are going to a group run by a trained individual. It is all well and good going to baby groups to interact with our babies but for me, the added sweetness of groups is learning just how these interactions are helping baby to learn and grow. It is amazing just how much we can help our babies develop through some simple movement, song and touch!
  5. It brings structure to our lives. Many of us have very structured lives prior to baby. We have jobs, obligations, volunteering, groups, classes, you name it; all of which usually happen in a very structured and organised manner. It is no wonder that some of us then struggle with the new freedom and unstructuredness of baby life. Classes can also bring in some scheduled time to actually interact with baby undisturbed – by other children, pets or amazon deliveries! Bringing some routine, familiarity and schedule into the mix can be just what we need to keep ourselves sane!

Whilst baby classes can be seen as a place that we just go and play with our babies, I believe they are so much more! It is my belief that they are an invaluable part of being a new parent and should be experienced by all parents. Sometimes we can go to one and just not feel the vibe and that’s OK -there are lots of different ones out there to try. Find what feels good and true to you, stick with it and enjoy!

/ The Daisy Foundation with Lesley Doig

A baby in hindsight – 4 steps to responsive bottle feeding

Traditionally when you bottle feed a baby, they are held in a laid-back position in the cradle of the arm. The bottle is then held near vertical so as not to create bubbles in the teat. The thought being that this would reduce wind in baby. So why shouldn’t this be practised anymore?

Bottle fed babies have a history at being at greater risk of obesity, colic or being a sicky baby. If you look at your babies clenched fist, this is a good reminder of the size of baby’s stomach. They need a lot less milk than you think! You should feed baby in response to its hunger cues. There will be guidance on how much milk to give a baby on the formula packets but remember that your baby may need more or less milk in a feed. Baby should not be encouraged to finish the bottle every feed or be offered more milk if they show signs of being hungry outside the designated schedule. There is no need for baby to feed to a strict schedule, and allowing baby to have smaller or bigger feeds throughout the day can be good practice to and is closer to babies’ natural feeding patterns.


So, what is responsive bottle feeding?

This practice can help baby to be an active participant in feeding, helping both you and baby learn their cues for when they are full.

I would split the practice into 4 main parts

  1. Baby sits up – So rather than having baby lie back, sit baby up. This takes gravity out of the equation and will mean baby has to actively suckle at the teat. It also reduces the likelihood of you making contact with the roof of baby’s mouth, meaning the suckling reflex is not being constantly stimulated.
  2. Tickle teat on baby’s nose to see if they are interested in a feed – This mirrors what a baby would do at the breast, as you are letting baby smell the milk and waiting for them to show interest in a feed. This can be done several times throughout a feed, allowing baby to dictate when they are no longer hungry or interested in feeding.
  3. Hold bottle horizontally (as much as possible) – Again, this reduces gravity when dispensing the milk, and allows baby to actively suckle.
  4. Pace the feeding – Find a rhythm that suits you and baby. This mimics how milk is dispensed from the breast. The milk is naturally supposed to eb and flow, so removing the bottle from baby’s mouth frequently throughout the feed allows them time to recognise when they are full or not.

Lastly, I would suggest you slow down and enjoy each feed. Baby will love being in your arms and snuggling in. Hearing your heart beat, feeling your breath and the warmth of your body is all good for baby and can help their little body to regulate their own internal systems. So, cuddle in, binge watch some TV, play a video game or read a book. There is no such thing as a baby that is held too much!


If you want to read up on responsive feeding, Emma Pickett has a great guide:


/ The Daisy Foundation with Lesley Doig

A baby in hindsight – top tips for using reusable nappies

The world of reusable nappies can be a bit of a minefield. There are sooo many different brands, types and materials it can be difficult to know which ones to use. So here are my (and a few other mummies’) top tips on starting the journey of reusables!

  1. Go to a local “nappy library” so you can look at different types. There are so many different ones to choose from and going to a nappy library can let you look at, feel and talk about the different types. The people running them will also be fountains of knowledge and can help you make your decisions on what to try.
  2. You can take the nappy lady quiz. This is good for narrowing down options and deciding which nappies are best for you. https://www.thenappylady.co.uk/nappy-advice-questionnaire.html
  3. Have a look at fit videos online. Reusable nappies are put on slightly differently than disposables so if you are moving from disposables, ensuring you understand how to put reusables on properly is important to reduce the risk of leaks. For example, reusables don’t need to sit as high up the back and instead, need to be pulled slightly further up the front.
  4. It may be best to consider different types for day and night time. There are more slimline fits that can be great for comfort (and crawling) throughout the day, and larger, more absorbent ones that can be used at night to reduce the number of night changes.
  5. Consider buying preloved rather than new. This can be way cheaper and even more eco-friendly.
  6. Try and get the nappies before baby is here so you can wash and prep – even new nappies need washed a few times before using so that they can become fully absorbent. Different brands suggest different number of washes before use so check what they suggest if new. If pre-loved, giving them one good clean before use will be enough.
  7. Talking about washing; get a nappy specific washing up powder/steriliser/stain remover to put in the machine when you wash them. This can help to increase the life of your nappy and stop it from smelling with use. Drying them outside in the sun can also help to remove any stains naturally!
  8. You should make a budget and stick to it. There are so many cute and awesome prints out there for nappies, it is easy to get carried away! Decide how many you are going to buy beforehand and try not to get taken in by the cute factor of the designs.
  9. If you are opting for cloth nappies, cloth wipes are an easy swap too. They can be a lot gentler on baby’s skin and don’t really add to the cleaning workload of reusables. This can also save you lots of money too! There are some lovely kits out there but you don’t need to go fancy. Cheap cotton face cloths will do exactly the same job!
  10. Don’t feel obliged to use them all the time. Sometimes life happens and maybe you run out of nappies or you find that in the moment, you can’t keep up with the washing workload. Going between disposables and reusables might not be the most effective way to save money, but it will still mean that you are helping protect the environment. Like with all aspects of parenting, remember to be kind to yourself too!

Falkirk has its own nappy library that you can contact here: https://www.facebook.com/FalkirkRealNappies/

/ The Daisy Foundation with Lesley Doig

A baby in hindsight: developmental leaps (sleep regression)

Developmental leaps:

(Or “Why is my baby not sleeping again?”)

(Or “Why is my baby feeding so much?”)

(Or “Am I producing enough milk?”)

(Or “Why is my baby having midnight parties?”)

(Or “Why has my baby’s sleep pattern changed?”)

(Or “Why is my baby so fussy?”)


You see where I’m going here?

So many questions can be answered with “developmental leaps” followed by, “It’s normal!!!!”

Now, I am in no way saying that all of these questions can be answered every time with this answer, but it is usually the one that I land on when people ask me. I look at the baby, take a guess at the age based on the perceived issues the parent is seeing and what do you know? I’m right! How, you ask? Because these “issues” happen with nearly every baby and are NORMAL!

Often, I ask the parent to think on the behaviours and what we would think if the child was older. If a seven-year-old suddenly starts eating every five minutes and never seems to be able to satisfy their hunger, do we call the parent out for not feeding their child properly? No. We assume that the child is going through a growth spurt. So why is it that if a baby has the same “issue” we blame and shame the parent? How often have you heard the phrase “You are clearly not feeding the child enough”, “You need to be getting that baby on solids, the milk isn’t enough” or one of my personal favourites, “You need to be thickening that baby’s milk with porridge/baby rice/a rusk”. Cue me rolling eyes and dramatically throwing my head back in disdain!

Babies are developing at a faster rate than they ever will again in their lives. The brain and body are making huge leaps and bounds all the time, but these leaps also manifest at certain points. And these magic points of development lead to some dramatic changes to baby. Maybe they suddenly start smiling, or rolling over, or babbling, or move around. The list of milestones and firsts seems endless. But they are all part of the normal developmental leaps that babies will go through.

In summary: during a developmental leap, your baby will most likely feed more, sleep in shorter bouts and seek an increased amount of physical contact. This behaviour is normal so feed them more, rest when you can and try and enjoy all the cuddles. You might not enjoy every cuddle, but that too is normal and perfectly ok. You might find these periods difficult to cope with and you become more irritable and impatient. That too is ok. Get a good support network around you and make sure you are safeguarding your own physical and mental health. These times can be tough and can seem never-ending (especially around 4-6 months when some huge leaps are happening!) but they do end. It might not feel like it, but time will forever move forward and your baby is growing and changing all the time. You got this!

For more information on these developmental leaps, you can look into The Wonder Weeks. This system can track your baby’s leaps and spurts, and even has an app that can block out cloudy weeks when baby will be fussier, and sunny weeks when things will settle down again. It is shockingly accurate! Here is their list of 10 leaps to look out for:


/ The Daisy Foundation with Lesley Doig

A baby in hindsight: I am Enough

I Am Enough

I am never enough
This is the love I have gifted myself
I am not enough
This is the truth I have convinced myself
I can never be enough
This was the love I learnt from others
I will never be enough
This was the truth I was told by others

But now I look at you
And now I see

I am enough
I can see it by the way you look at me
I am always enough
I can see it by the way you reach for me
I have always been enough
This is the love I have learnt from you
I will always be enough
This is the truth I have seen in you

And now you look at me
And now I see what you have always seen

I am enough


I wrote this looking at my little one after a feed. Lying in bed thinking on all the things I needed to do. It was close to Christmas, there was washing to catch up on (like always), there were appointments I was worried I would be late for, there was cleaning to do, presents to look at. I needed a shower. I was thinking about my business and training, homework I needed to do. But then I looked at his little peaceful face and everything faded. Nothing mattered more to me than him in that moment. So why was I stressed. I wanted him to be happy, and looking at his face I realised he was. Perfectly and peacefully happy. And suddenly I realised that I could be to, by being present in the moment. Watching him sleep in my arms. Happy, content, safe. I felt his happiness seep into me as I realised, that all he needed to be happy, was me. Just as I was. Just as I am. Just me.

I think in our modern society there is an obsessive aim for perfection. But even the mythic Mary Poppins was only practically perfect. So even she couldn’t achieve 100% perfection. So why do we push ourselves beyond reality to achieve something that is beyond possible. Can we not just know what is enough and be happy there. Enough of a good mum to not be a bad one. Enough of a good partner, wife, friend, worker, person. Being enough doesn’t have to be bad. Being enough doesn’t mean that you are standing on the precipice of failure. You can be solid in your stance. In your position. So, I am enough. And that is wonderful! That is everything! That is enough.

/ The Daisy Foundation with Lesley Doig

A baby in hindsight: 5 Top Tips to a Good Latch whilst Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding doesn’t need to be hard, and it certainly shouldn’t be painful. During my time helping women to breastfeed I’ve come across some of the same issues time and time again. The main one tends to be that the latch is sore. This can often be solved with minor adjustments to the positioning of mum and baby, and the way in which the baby is brought to the breast.

So here are my top 5 tips to a successful latch:

1) Position yourself! You are a pretty crucial part to this whole process you know, and so many people forget this as they desperately try to get baby to latch. So, get yourself into a nice comfortable position; ankles, hips and shoulders in line. Lie back if you want, maybe put a cushion in the nook of your back, put your feet up, breathe and chill. The more relaxed and comfier you are, the more freely your milk will flow. Oxytocin, the hormone of love, the happy hormone, drives the let-down and release of your milk. So, the happier, more relaxed and centred you are, the easier your milk will flow.

2) Position baby! Find a hold that feels good. For most people, this will probably start as “cross cradle”. This is where you bring baby in towards your body with the opposite hand to the breast that you are going to feed with. So, if the baby is going to feed off the right breast, you’d be using your left hand. Your hand cups baby’s neck and shoulder blades, leaving their head to freely move. If baby is very young and has little to no neck control, you may want to use a finger or two to help steady their head near their ear closest to the ground. Don’t put anything at the back of their head. Ensure that their body is right up against your body. Make sure their hands are not crossing their body or up at their face as this can cause issues in attaching.

3) Position the nipple! I always say to start with baby’s nose at your cleavage. When you are ready, slide baby towards the breast slowly. Once the baby’s nose is level with the nipple, stop. Think about your baby giving your nipple a wee nose

4) Attach baby gently but firmly. When baby starts to smell the milk, they will instinctively start mouthing their way towards it. Wait! When baby opens their mouth wide, push gently but firmly on their shoulder blades, pushing baby in towards you. You’re aiming here for the nipple to be as close to their top lip as possible, with the bottom lip further away, and the chin touching the breast.

To understand better the position of the nipple in the baby’s mouth, try dragging your own tongue along the roof of your mouth. The front is your hard palette, and towards the back, is the soft palette. This is where the nipple needs to reach! This is where things can go wrong. If the nipple is between the baby’s tongue and that hard palette, this can cause the irritation that leads to blisters and cuts on the nipple, which is usually the source of the pain. Again, usually this is caused by the top lip being too far from the nipple and the bottom lip being too close. I know it sounds counter intuitive, but that’s because babies don’t open their mouth to attach to the breast the way we think.

A baby tilts its whole head back to attach to the breast. Think of their jaw like a hinge where their chin is fixed and the whole top half of their head tilts back to attach (this is why I said earlier not to put anything on the back of their head!). So, with nose to nipple, baby’s chin is already further down the breast than the top lip. Once baby hinges its head back, you are all but shoving the nipple to the back of the throat. I like to think of tickling the roof of the mouth as you push the baby gently into place. (Don’t worry, they won’t gag!)

Baby should then move its tongue in a wave-like manner to stimulate the breast. This then leads to your body releasing prolactin, which signals the breast to make milk. Your milk is made to order – then and there. You do not store milk in the breast. Yes, sometimes there may be excess milk there, for many different reasons, but flatter breasts tend to mean milk with a higher fat content  and any excess milk stored in the breast tends to be higher in water content.

And finally, but most importantly:

5) If it feels wrong, it is wrong! You could have what looks to be a picture perfect, textbook latch. But you can’t see where the nipple actually is inside baby’s mouth. So, if it is sore, chances are the latch is wrong. No one has x-ray eyes so if someone is telling you that a latch looks right, that doesn’t matter. It needs to feel right too.

If it’s sore, poke your pinky finger into the side of baby’s mouth to release the seal that they make with the breast. If you try and just pull a poorly latched baby off, you can end up doing more damage to your nipple. Ouch! So, release the seal of the lips first, then go back to step one.

Remember, you and baby are both new to this. Even if this is not your first child, it is the first feed with this baby and every baby is different. You BOTH need to LEARN this new SKILL. Yes, it is a natural thing, but so is walking and that takes time to learn. Maybe you’ll find for the first few weeks and months, it takes 5 attempts every feed before the latch is comfortable. That is ok. You and baby are creating muscle memory as you feed, so it will get easier and feel more natural the more you do it. Think back to the oxytocin. If you are not comfortable and happy, your milk is not flowing as well and baby won’t be happy either!

So, to recap:

  1. Position yourself – get comfy
  2. Position baby – close to you with the back of their head free to move
  3. Position the nipple – place baby at the breast, nipple to nose
  4. Attach baby gently but firmly – wait for the tilt to attach, top lip close to the nipple, bottom lip further away, chin tucked in
  5. If it feels wrong, detach safely and start again

A quick side note. Many people like to shape the breast with their hands. For example, baby is coming in to the right breast, baby is held with the left hand, and the right hand is shaping the breast. This can be beneficial if you have inverted nipples or large breasts. However, a word of caution – if you shape the breast all the time you are setting up the attachment, and then you let go when baby latches, this might cause the nipple to move and the latch could no longer be right. So, if you want to shape the breast, make sure the hand is far away from the nipple and won’t get in baby’s way, especially being careful to keep your hand away from baby’s chin area. Once baby is latched, you can slowly release the breast, taking time to adjust baby as needed if this causes the breast and nipple to naturally sit lower. Again, it can take a few attempts, but keep at it.

If you try this and pain persists or the baby is not gaining weight as expected, seek out trained individuals to help. There are free breastfeeding groups that you can go to and you can also reach out to your local IBCLC (breastfeeding consultant) for more help. There is also the breastfeeding National Helpline (link below) that you can call.

Do not be silent in your pain, and don’t let anyone tell you that it is normal and expected in breastfeeding! It’s Not!


Useful links:

Find a local Lactation Consultant: https://lcgb.org/find-an-ibclc/

How baby’s mouth opens at breast video: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=4509052812511095

How to hold baby: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/baby/feeding-your-baby/breastfeeding/how-to-breastfeed/breastfeeding-positions/

National Breastfeeding Helpline: https://www.nationalbreastfeedinghelpline.org.uk/

Video of position of nipple in the mouth: https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/baby-friendly-resources/breastfeeding-resources/positioning-and-attachment-video/


Falkirk specific:

Local Facebook group run by the Breastfeeding Network:



/ The Daisy Foundation with Lesley Doig

A baby in hindsight: trying for a baby is hard

A bit more of a personal story this week; one that I hope might help people feel less alone. If you are currently trying for a baby and struggling, this is for you.

When me and my husband first got married, we decided to start trying for a baby. I still remember that feeling of the first disappointing period. It was on our honeymoon, we were on a flight and I got the horrible wet feeling we know all too well. I ran to the toilet and went through the process of cleaning up. I came out of the toilet in a haze and went back to my seat, holding in the tears, near to bursting. I got into my seat and broke down, lying across my husband’s lap and crying silent tears. We had previously agreed that we were not going to “actively try” but just not use protection; but in reality, we were still trying and my empty womb was a real kick in the teeth. I cried myself to sleep on that flight.

It was the same story for the next 10 months. 10 more periods. 10 more red signals. 10 more confirmations of  my failure as a woman. I can’t even begin to explain the emptiness I felt. Whilst I was on my period, I would get so down and moody. And then when I knew I was fertile, I would be elated, full of hope. The up and down of every month was hard.

After a few months, we decided to “actively” try. So, I started to take my temperature but honestly, it didn’t work for me and I had no idea when I was fertile. We were having sex every other day around my supposedly fertile time to increase the likelihood of it happening. Sex became a chore, a process. When I knew I was fertile, there was no more enjoyment for me. After we had sex I then spent time on my back trying to better position myself in the hopes that maybe this time would be different. Maybe this time it would work.

I felt broken, alone and terrified.

There is an unspoken rule in our society that we don’t tell people when we are trying for a baby. So, the grief of failed attempts is our burden to carry alone. The months of waiting and failed attempts are hidden in the partnership – until the 12-week scan, when you make this joyful announcement that you successfully created life. At this point we can break the silence and start talking about how long it took. And even then, there is no support, just comments like, “Well at least it happened”, or “Well it’s done now”, or worse still “At least you can, some people can’t even get pregnant”. Helpful.

The strain that it can have on your relationship is real too. It can be hard to support another person when you are grieving yourself. There is very little support for the woman, and even less for the man. The doubt of why it isn’t happening for you can be on their mind as well. You start to think that maybe your body is broken, that there is something wrong with you.

At 15, I was told I had a hormone deficiency that meant I may not be able to have children naturally. (To be honest, I can’t even remember what they said I had or why it could affect me in that way. The test was very traumatic for me and I honestly can only remember the pain of the procedure.) I think the doubt that this created caused me a lot of stress and probably didn’t help me relax to conceive. Or maybe it was the deficiency that caused my struggle in that first year. Or maybe I would have always struggled. Whatever the reason; the grief I felt in that year was nothing I was prepared for.

The first month I used an ovulation stick was the 11th month of trying. I knew that if it didn’t work this time, I would be “allowed” to go speak to a doctor about other options. Whether it was due to the accuracy of the stick or knowing I would no longer have to go through the pain alone and I would get help, that was the month I finally fell pregnant.

Trying for a baby can be a very emotionally raw experience. You are trying to create life and even if you are just going to “see how things go”, knowing that it is a possibility can weigh heavily on your mind. And then you get your period. A great big red uncomfortable sign – not this time. Part of the problem with trying for a baby is that a lot of the symptoms of pregnancy can be the same as your period coming. Sore breasts, stomach cramps, tiredness and hunger. So, after you try, you can be filled with hope with these feelings to only be brutally let down. It can feel like it’s your own fault, like somehow you are the reason that this is happening. It’s your failure. Even though that is not true, thoughts of that one heavy box you lifted, that bath you had that may have been slightly too hot and many other thoughts may appear in your head. The chances of any of these being the true reason we didn’t hit the jackpot this month are almost definitely not true, but we think them none the less. Maybe we have a need to find a reason, because if there is a reason, then we can fix it for next month. Who knows?

On average, it can take around 1 – 2 years to get pregnant. 12-24 months. Which is an incredibly long time when you are trying. Considering that 1 in 7 couples will struggle with infertility, and of these, 25% will not be explained[1], it feels like there is a lack of support for people going through this. You are told to see your GP if you have been actively trying for over a year. A year. And even when you do, there is still a lack of help in terms of mental and emotional health issues which arise when trying. Instead, they focus on the medical side; which is their job. I’m not blaming them, our society is one where mental health has been hidden and not seen as a real issue. It is only in our recent history that mental health is coming to the forefront of our conversations, but there is still a long way to go.

I knew that I was struggling with my mental health, but not once did I seek help. I think it was just the societal pressure, that it was just not done. Keep calm, and carry on. You don’t tell people you are trying and you don’t tell them until the 12-week scan when the baby is already there. And at that point, what has festered inside you is still not discussed; how long it took, the grief of the failed attempts and the constant worry and anxiety. Maybe it is mentioned, but is brushed aside like somehow being pregnant eradicates any pain from before. Looking back, I really should have told people we were trying. I was not coping and was not in a good place mentally. Maybe I should have seen a grief counsellor, but I felt like I didn’t have right to seek help until I had clocked up my year of trying alone.

If you are struggling with this, or any other form of mental health issues, please seek help. Talk to your GP, seek out a counsellor, or simply talk to family and friends. You have not failed. You do not have to hide. You are not alone.

[1] https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/trying-for-a-baby/how-long-it-takes-to-get-pregnant

/ The Daisy Foundation with Lesley Doig

A baby in hindsight: Is my baby’s sleep normal?

Sleep is one of those conversations that seem to creep up on parents from the birth of their baby. Is it a ‘good’ sleeper?  How does is sleep? Are you getting much sleep? Sleep becomes this subject we fixate on and it can make the nights for some very dark indeed, as we question whether our babies are normal or somehow wrong.

So, let’s clarify one thing, it is normal for a baby to wake several times a night. It is normal. But this does not mean that a baby who doesn’t is bad or somehow wrong. There seems to be some confusion over what normal actually means.

So, let’s look at this scientifically. In maths what is normal. It’s an average. So, there is a mean (which is the most common area), a median (the very middle ground) and a range (this could be the range of most common numbers or the full range from highest to lowest) and we could use multiple of these to describe things. I believe that when we look at normal sleep, we are focusing on a range of hours that is a mean. So, what do most babies sleep like. This doesn’t mean that other babies outside this are wrong, it just means they don’t fall within the average range.

But what does this actually mean, why am I talking about it and how does it answer the question?

I want to honour every baby’s natural sleep patterns and for me to do this, we have to step outside of discussing things as normal, and instead look at what is natural. So, the question becomes is my babies sleep natural? Most likely, you would be asking the first question because your baby is up through the night frequently, and if this is the case, the answer is most likely, yes.

The vast majority of babies, especially within the first year, will have regular periods of waking throughout the night. This is natural. They wake, not only for nutrition as their tummies are very small and they are doing some of the most development they will ever do in their lives, but also for an inexhaustible list of other reasons. Maybe they are too hot, too cold, maybe they heard something, maybe they are alone and scared, maybe they woke and don’t know how to comfort themselves back to sleep. We as adults know. We might roll over to get comfier, maybe cuddle into a pillow, duvet or partner, maybe we put on some soothing music, or whatever else we use to comfort and calm ourselves back to sleep. Babies can not do this. They need help. And they will do perhaps for many years. THAT IS NORMAL! THAT IS NATURAL! THEY WILL DEVELOP THIS SKILL IN THEIR OWN TIME!

A baby is designed to signal you if something is not right. If they are awake and they need you. So, they do. Some babies by 6 months will sleep for extended periods of time. Some won’t and that’s ok. Some by 1 year will sleep for extended periods of time, some won’t and that too is ok. And some will still wake at 2 and beyond, and that is ok! We need to trust that our babies will learn to sleep in their own time, driven by their own biological instincts and drives.

Now, I am in no way, saying that this is easy for us parents. Even with all this knowledge, I too find myself on the darkest nights, researching why my baby is not sleeping and trying to find some quick fix. But there isn’t any. There are many theories and techniques that are used, but most are not supported by the research and some, such as the cry it out method, directly go against the current research and safety precautions. Responding to a crying baby, not only helps to develop a strong attachment to the primary caregiver, the precursor of all future attachments, but also helps to reduce the risk of SIDS.

I think that much of our anxiety about baby sleep, comes from the notion that babies should be sleeping 12 hours at night from very early on. But this is not what most babies will be doing, very few will. This does not mean that most babies are bad sleepers, it means that the perception of what good sleep is, is being dictated by the minority of babies. This does not honour the natural or normal sleep patterns of a baby. It may sound good for your baby to be sleeping through, and it may be easier for you, but it is not the norm.

So yes, you will most likely be getting up through the night to feed and comfort your baby for months, or even years. But perhaps, if we set our expectations to that being normal, natural and something we can prepare and plan for, maybe the nights don’t have to be so dark. Maybe, we could even enjoy this time of cuddling our little ones with the knowledge, that one day they won’t need us anymore. That they will reach for the pillow, or their partner, or put on their soothing music and drift back into sleep themselves. This is not forever. This is now. It can be hard. But it will change.

If you would like to learn more about normal sleep in babies, I would like to point you to BASIS. A fantastic, research driven site on how babies sleep.



/ The Daisy Foundation with Lesley Doig

A baby in hindsight: Self-care as a parent

So, I wanted to address something that I come across a lot when speaking to parents.


Now different people will have different views about what this means, and that definition can change over time. At one point in your life, it may have been going away for the weekend to a spa, later it might change to having a poo without anyone knocking on the door. Ah, sweet parenthood.

But should this dramatic shift happen, and what does it mean for us?

Mental health, and our awareness of its importance, has definitely become more of a conversation as time goes on. We are now very aware of why we need to hold space for ourselves, and the consequences of not taking care of our own mental health.

So why is it, that when we become a parent, the expectations we have on achievable self-care drastically decreases?

When I speak to people, I am often struck by the overwhelming workload that the primary caregiver takes on. I am honestly shocked sometimes at the uneven distribution of downtime between the two parents. And to be clear, this is not a dig at the other parent. I feel that this is a consequence of the vastly unrealistic expectations that society puts upon the primary caregiver. Historically, parenting has not been a team effort, but with the change in modern-day living, this is something that needs to happen. It’s also not about being aggressive, it’s about being assertive about what you need. Conversations need to happen so that the home workload and the management of the house doesn’t fall to one parent.

My husband and I also try and distribute the management and workload of the house. We discuss what is needing done and write lists on our calendar. We then divide that, taking into account whatever other commitments we have on that week, including our time for self-care. And we do not get upset if they are not all completed. Life happens and things will get done when they are done.

So, with the pressure of: you need to look after your child, you need to work, you need to keep a happy home, you need to keep a clean home, you need to look presentable, you need to wear makeup, you need to do your hair nice…

Where is, “You need to take care of you”?

It is so important that we take care of ourselves first. Yes, even before our children. Think of it like if the plane is crashing, you are told to put your own mask on first before your child. Why? Because you can’t help your child, if you can’t breathe!

If you are drowning in the expectations of society and don’t take time for you to recharge, how can you be the best parent for your child? When you are tired and feeling empty, how can you be expected to give your child energy?

Both parents need space. Both parents need time. Both parents need to support each other in giving this space to each other. And that time needs to be safeguarded, protected and honoured by both parties.

If you’re a single parent, then finding a person you trust, be it family or friend, that can help you honour your time is also so important.

Talk to your partner or support network too. Let them know you are feeling overwhelmed. Ensure you are supported and ensure you support them. Make it very clear from the get go that you need that time for you. And don’t feel guilty about it. And be honest with your kids too; they understand more than you know. There is nothing wrong with taking a duvet day in front of the tv with the kids; snacking and recharging.

For myself, I have always been very explicit with my partner about what I need for the protection of my mental health. And through me and my own safe-guarding, he has started to recognise his own needs for self-care, which look very different. For me, it’s a peaceful bubble bath or time to play my video games. For my husband, it’s going for a lone walk or run, being outdoors with his own thoughts. So we both ensure that we both get that time. We support each other and encourage each other to take that time. We offer up taking care of the children but we also ask each other for that time-

That is key!

Don’t expect anyone else to gift you that time: ASK. They are probably unaware of your needs. No-one can actually read your mind and can you honestly say that you know your own mind all of the time? So: ask for it, demand it, ensure you take it and ensure it is true to your own needs.

So go forth and increase those expectations of self-care from lone toilet-going to whatever you truly need to feel whole again. You deserve the time. You need the time. Take the time!

/ The Daisy Foundation with Lesley Doig

A baby in hindsight: Breastfeeding after an elected c-section

As a volunteer in my different roles supporting parents to be, a conversation that regularly occurs is about breastfeeding after an elected c-section. This often comes with questions like:

Can I successfully breastfeed after a c-section?

When will my milk come in?

Is my milk enough if the baby is pre term?

What if my milk doesn’t come in?

Will I need to formula top up till my milk comes in?

So let me put your mind to rest, for most people:


Also, you already have milk. Colostrum is milk and is made and can be accessed throughout your pregnancy. Some people may even find that their breasts leak in the latter stages of pregnancy. Say it with me!


Colostrum is your first milk. Often referred to as liquid gold, and it is exactly what your baby needs when it first enters this world. It is like a concentrated version of breastmilk that is full of antibodies to give your babies immune system a boost.

The whiter liquid that people associate with breastmilk, can take a few days to come in. Usually this is around 2 days, but with complications, and depending on how early the c-section was, this time can be more. However, remember that your baby’s tummy at 40 weeks, only needs a small amount of your milk! Which it can get from your colostrum. The more you feed, get skin to skin and breathe in the wonderful scent of your baby, the faster the whiter milk will come in. So, cuddle your baby as much as possible!

You can also try and express some colostrum off before the baby arrives which can help increase your supply. I will add a great video on hand expressing at the end of this blog. Remember, your baby only needs a small amount at a time, and hand expressing can be an easy way to collect your milk. You can get syringes to store your milk from your midwife or GP, and can discuss storing this in the hospital for your baby with them to.

The other side of the coin is that having a baby early, and through a c-section, could be because there are complications. Now in this case, I would imagine you would be pretty stressed and distressed especially if your baby is linked up to machines to help it along. Breastmilk, is linked to your emotions and these sorts of feelings can inhibit the transfer of milk from you to baby. So, remember to try and be as relaxed as possible, when feeding and expressing, because you matter more than you know. Perhaps you could go through some guided meditation first, listen to a chilled out playlist or looking at images of your baby can all help.

It is important to also remember that a c-section is a major surgery. You will be left with a scar across the bottom of your stomach and this can be tender. Like I said before, you are important when breastfeeding. Always make sure you are comfortable and not in pain, before feeding begins. For some, this might mean practicing different positions to feed that don’t put as much strain on the stomach. Side lying and the rugby hold are both very good for this. With my own c-section, I found that cross-cradle, slightly leaning back worked fine, and I was not in pain. So, experiment and find what is most comfortable for you.

If the baby is losing weight, or struggling to feed, get help. Remember, continued pain whilst breastfeeding can be an indication that something is not quite right. Getting help early on can really make all the difference. If the baby is not swallowing even when latched, you can help the milk along by preforming breast compressions and doing switch nursing. Again, I will add a link which also has videos of babies feeding. Note the throat movement as the baby swallows, which is a good indication of a well latched and feeding baby.

If, for whatever reason, you are struggling and the baby starts to lose weight, formula may be used to help baby get back on track and you can still breastfeed successfully after this. If you are topping up with formula, remember to keep on top of your own supply. You need to be breastfeeding or expressing somewhere between 8-10 times in 24 hours (or 10-12 times if the baby is losing weight). This will help maintain your supply and move your milk from colostrum to the whiter form. When things settle down, you can then remove the formula feeds one at a time. Formula takes longer to digest for a baby than breastmilk, so you might find that your baby then starts wanting feeds more frequently, which is fine.

If you do need help, you can contact the national breastfeeding helpline on 0300 100 0212. Or, you can go to your local breastfeeding support group.

I have touched on quite a lot today and could discuss a lot of these topics in more details but I’m going to stop there.

I would love to hear from anyone that has had experience of breastfeeding after an elected c-section. What are your top tips to help get the breastfeeding journey going?


Useful links:


https://breastfeeding.support/what-is-breast-compression/ (pictures and videos of compression)

https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/baby-friendly-resources/breastfeeding-resources/hand-expression-video/ (a great video on how to hand express)

/ The Daisy Foundation with Lesley Doig

A baby in hindsight: Pregnancy and Baby Support over the Festive Season

Over the festive period, the groups and meetings that may have structured your weeks around, in the main part grind to a halt. This is understandable. For many, the holiday season is one of rest, and spending time with family and friends. But parents are still parents, and any struggles and questions you may have been having outside this time are still there.

So what do you do?

For many, the answer is simple. We click online and start typing in our questions to our favourite search bars. But is this the best way, and is all the information we find relevant and factual. It’s no surprise that the answer is no.

Many websites and blogs are not regulated by external individuals. So, in theory, someone could put up anything and say anything and if people viewed them as a trustworthy individual, then they could make them believe whatever they wanted. Now that is not the case every time, there is a moral obligation to provide truthful information, but there is also profits to be had by bending the truth.

A quick search and you do find this. Why is my baby doing this, how do I stop my baby doing that. You click on a link, someone claims to be some sort of expert and has a really well structured and well written piece on your question. But suddenly, half way in or towards the end, they make strong suggestions that the only way to fix the ‘problem’ is to sign up to this class, or buy their latest book or subscribe to their help forum.

Now I am not saying that classes, forums and subscriptions are all to be demonised, but if any advice is suggesting that the ONLY way to help you is to fork out the cash, then I would be really sceptical.  The truth is, there are some really good resources out there that can help, you just have to be careful about who you trust, and never sign up to anything without looking at all the options. Maybe even contact them first to see if they seem like trustworthy folk.

Also, there is many people that claim to be experts because they have raised children themselves. Now I have no doubt that many of these individuals are experts in raising their own children, but that does not make them experts for every child. Children are all individuals, and what works for some will not work for others.

There is also the issue of ‘helpful’ relatives. Again, sometimes this can be great, and those that have come before us can be very knowledgeable on certain things. Try and remember though, when they were given this information, as time and science has moved on. It’s difficult to politely decline their help sometimes, but its your body, and your baby, and you need to do what you think and feel is right.

So yeah, please be careful. But don’t feel like you are alone there are some great sites out there. Here are some of my favourites and the ones I feel are very informative:


Pregnant? Your midwifery practice is open all through the holiday season. Do not think that your question can wait. Trust yourself and seek help and information if you are unsure. No problem is too small. Also, check out the NHS website for any signs that you should be phoning your team.


There is also a great site here to: https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information


Breastfeeding? You could look on la leche, association of breastfeeding mothers or breastfeeding network for information.

https://www.laleche.org.uk/      https://abm.me.uk/       https://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/

they also have a great drug help page on facebook in case your poorly over the season


you could also try and find a lactation consultant in your area if you wanted


or phone the national breastfeeding helpline on 0300 100 0212 open every day, 9:30 am to 9:30 pm.


Baby Sleep a concern? There is also a very good information site on this called Basis. It looks at the studies done and discusses normal baby sleep pattern. Spoiler: Babies are supposed to wake and feed frequently during the night, especially at around 8 and 12 weeks, and 6, 9, and 12 months because their brains and bodies grow a lot at these times. Also, most babies still will not sleep through the night even at 1 year old (defined as a solid 5 hours of sleep). The site also have a great picture gallery on co-sleeping safely as well as lots of info, if that is something you want to try.



There is also a great forum called Kelly Mom which is actually generally really informative on many topics both pregnancy and baby related.



And I would like to offer my services to. I may not be a n encyclopaedia of knowledge on all things pregnancy and baby related, but I do know a lot. And anything I don’t know, I can at least point you in the right direction of someone who may be able to help more. Although I can’t guarantee how long it will take me to answer, I will try and answer any questions as quickly as I can (I too am trying to rest after all).

Go easy on yourself, enjoy the holiday time, rest if you can, and reach out if you need to.

Feel free to comment and add other great sites. Let’s help each other out and support each other through, what can be a lonely and isolating time for many. Keep in touch with new mums to. You never know when they may need an ear to chew.

/ The Daisy Foundation with Lesley Doig

A baby in hindsight: The importance of community during pregnancy and parenthood

Being a part of a community has always been an important part of civilisation. We spend time finding people who understand us, who we can relate to and share common interests with. But despite this, our world is increasingly isolating. For many of us, we no longer live around the corner from our families and close friends. We move away for a variety of reasons but this can mean that starting a family can be challenging.

There is an invisible pressure that dictates to us that we should be able to cope with parenting our children ourselves. Alone in our nuclear style households. Movies and social media add to this pressure and anything less is a failure. But this puts a huge amount of stress and strain on families and can lead to rising tension in the parents’ relationship.

Having other parents around can help to normalise behaviours of our children and the emotional rollercoasters that the parent can go through. They can help us develop coping strategies during difficult times, be a shoulder to cry on, a rock when needed and a person to offload to. That is what they were for me.

I cannot tell you the number of times in my classes and groups, a mum has walked in and cried, or I have cried. Being able to feel safe enough to be that vulnerable is an amazing experience and speaks volumes to the support received in the groups. Being able to just be with other people that get it, that understand its hard and don’t try and swoop in with some ‘solution’ to the ‘problem’. Being able to just be heard. It’s needed.

I still speak to the mums I met in my first Daisy class. I lost touch with some until we had other children and landed in classes together again. We meet up for lunches, dinners and teas. We often speak about our experiences being parents and maintain our WhatsApp group so we can continue to meet up and support one and other.

If I could give one piece of advice to parents, it would be finding a community you feel comfortable in. With the right support and the right people, the journey will be smoother.

/ The Daisy Foundation with Lesley Doig

A baby in hindsight: the importance of the birth partner

In our modern society, the usual person to be in the room with us whilst we give birth is our partners. However, their role and responsibility is often over looked and undervalued until they are almost a passive participant in the experience. A fly on the wall, watching as you make the decisions, and call them forward only when you think they should be involved. For myself and others, this was to squeeze their hands as I rode the contractions (not calmly or in any way controlled). But is this the best way?

During my first birth my husband was a glorified hand holder, and had very little input. The second was basically the same but he knew a little more. My knowledge on labour from the first to the second had vastly improved but I had not shared that information in a way that allowed him to remember all the points. He and myself, had vastly undervalued his role in the room. This led to a lot of regrets, confusion and negative feelings towards both births. Now, in hindsight, I often talk to him about the ways I wish he had supported me, and how I wished he had been more involved and knowledgeable.

Talking to other mums, I realised just how much of a mistake this had been. They described being in this bubble, where the midwives and doctors were kept at bay by their birth partners. This allowed them to stay in this primitive state and they could feel the labour progress and move forward. Some needed no pain relief, and were able to go through their transitioning phase and second stage with very little intervention if any. A completely frightening and unrealistic story to me. But its true!

It’s important to understand the science of the brain during labour. A part of the brain called the neocortex which is basically the thinking part of the brain, needs to quieten and allow the limbic system to take over, which allows you to react more to the hormonal signals in the body. The neocortex quietens for another activity in our lives to; sex. So, if we think on how we like to have sex, it is not usually, in a bright room, with other people touching us, coming in and out of our area, with noises we are not used to and smells that we do not like. When we think about our birthing environment, we should therefore think about the environments we enjoy being in when we are intimate.

Before my second birth, I attended the Daisy Birthing Class and was a lot more informed about the importance of the environment, and what I needed and wanted to happen to have the most calming, relaxing birth I could. Even though my experience was traumatic again, I did feel more in control and had less to go through to over come the trauma. However, had my partner been to a class to, I do believe that he would have then possessed the knowledge and tools to aid me more in creating the environment that would have helped me relax. ‘Cause to be frank, I don’t know many women in their birthing state that are able to make logical, rational, thought-out decisions. So yeah, you knowing things is important, but everyone else in the room needs to know them to!

As part of my reading in becoming a Daisy Teacher and supporting the Birth Partner in the classes, I have started to read Penny Simkin with Katie Rohs’ The Birth Partner, 5th Edition, and oh my goodness! I wish we had read this before the birth! It all makes so much sense!

So, The Birth Partner, more important than you realise and really needs to be an active participant, and even maybe your voice and barrier, in the birthing room.

/ The Daisy Foundation with Lesley Doig

A baby in hindsight: Why choose antenatal education?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It allows us to reflect and learn from our pasts, as we stride ever forward into our futures. But for many parts of our lives, hindsight is not a comfort. It can be a source of regret. That is what it was for me and my births.

The traumatic births that I suffered through, in part, was down to a lack of confidence and comprehension of my own body and its capabilities. It was falling into the trap of allowing someone else to take the wheel, and drive me down the avenues I could feel in my gut were not the routes I would have taken.

And this is why I teach antenatal education.

I want others to be able to look back on their births without regret. To know that they did the best for themselves and their families in the moment. To have all the information, so they can make a truly informed decision around their birth. To understand that things might not go to plan, but that doesn’t mean you have to surrender control.

Its about learning what you as a person are capable of. It’s about giving you the tools to cope with and manage the things that you may find overwhelming. It’s about having all the facts and choosing the path that’s right for you and your baby.

It’s your journey. Its your birth. You should be in the drivers seat.

/ The Daisy Foundation with Lesley Doig

Welcome to Daisy Falkirk and West Lothian

Hello and Welcome!

My name is Lesley and I am a qualified Daisy Educator based in Falkirk and West Lothian. I provide birthing classes and workshops from 16 weeks pregnancy, and baby classes and workshops suitable from birth to 18 months.

I am a mother of two and first became aware of The Daisy Foundation back in 2019, when my first was a few months old. The classes were wonderful and I absolutely adored going to them, as did my son. At the time, I was fairly new to my area and being able to connect with other parents who could relate to my concerns and share their wisdom was invaluable. Making friends and creating a tribe of peers helped me get through the first few years and beyond in my own parenting journey. I’m still an active member of the online community now!

When I was on maternity with my second, the opportunity arose for me to become a Daisy Educator and I jumped at the chance!

Parenthood for me, is a minefield of conflicting advice, opinions that you didn’t ask for and a steep learning curve that you won’t always get right.  I feel like modern society has created isolated parents who live apart from their families and friends who would have otherwise supported them making important decisions about their birth and baby. Too often, I speak to parents who in hindsight, wish that they would have had more information or support in the decisions they were making.

And this is where Daisy comes in!


The heart of Daisy is to inform and empower you to make the right decisions for your own journey through pregnancy, birth and in those first few years.

It is my hope, that I can provide you with your own tribe. A group of people who can share with you, and support you through the journey of parenting and beyond. I want to help you understand what information there is, what is relevant to you, and how you can best access it. To aid you in being able to honour your own story and journey that has brought you to this point. And it would be my privilege, to support you and empower you to make informed choices, that feel right for you and your baby.

Catch me on Facebook for all my latest news and updates: https://www.facebook.com/daisyfalkirkandwestlothian

Please find below my current classes and availability. I hope to see you soon!