Teika is the founder and managing editor of Mother's Milk Books

Stall at local LLL Nottingham workshop

Here is a photograph of my little stall at the local LLL Nottingham workshop that I attended on Saturday 4th May. It was really great to meet up with so many lovely La Leche League ladies from various parts of the Midlands (and other parts of the country), and to see so many happily nursing babies and toddlers in the meeting room. LLL get-togethers always have such a lovely atmosphere about them, and of course they are a place where breastfeeding is the ‘norm’ and treated as such – which is refreshing!
Mother's Milk Bookshop products

Mother's Milk Bookshop products
Although my stall wasn’t heaving with items, I’m so proud to see it growing… Last October at the LLLGB conference it had one book on it – Musings on Mothering – and now it has greetings cards (20 designs), sold individually and in multipacks. My daughter and I spent many, many minutes (!) folding and packing the cards and envelopes into cellophane bags. I’ve also stocked up on The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, which I think is a great book to have in my online store. I’m also looking forward to adding art and poetry prints to my growing list of products. I’m getting there slowly…! (Though I’ve still got lots more product details to add to the store.) Check it out, and if you have any sales questions, don’t hesitate to email me here: sales@mothersmilkbooks.com

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‘If, for Childbirth’. A poem by Nadia Raafat

I am ever so pleased to be able to share this poem, written by Nadia Raafat (one of the contributors to Musings on Mothering), on this blog. Thank you again Nadia for giving me permission to publish your thought-provoking poem here.


If, for Childbirth

If you can keep your faith when all about you
Are losing theirs – instilling fear in you
If you can trust your body’s path to birth when loved ones doubt you
And know that this is what your body’s meant to do.


If you can plan a due month not a due date
Remembering babies come at their soul-appointed time
So that at your 41 week appointment
You do not feel ‘overdue’, or ‘past your prime’.


If you can wait and not grow tired of waiting
For a posterior cervix reluctant to dilate
And despite two sleepless nights of cramps, frustrating,
Ignore a negative or fearful mental state.


And if you finally transfer in, and are inspected
And find you still have many hours left to go
Can you find the trust and strength to still be patient
And to epidurals and syntocinon, still say ‘no’.


If you can close your eyes and turning inward,
Surrender to that mighty force inside
As it throws you to the edge of your existence
And let perception, bone and sinew open wide.


If you can follow your instinct into positions
Which enable good descent and pelvic space
You’ll have no need for ventouse or obstetricians
To mar the crowning of your baby’s head and face.


If you then fill the birthing room with grace and presence
As your newborn crosses worlds with searching gaze
And with warm and tender whisper guide her gently
To your naked warm embrace, your heart ablaze.


And if, from here, you fill each post-natal minute
With sixty seconds worth of loving run.
Then you have honoured Birth and the Spirit in it.
And your journey as a mother has begun.


NADIA RAAFAT



Nadia wrote this poem when she was pregnant with her third child – who is now three and a half years old.

Nadia is a Mother, Yoga Teacher, Birth Educator, Doula
www.batterseayoga.com

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High Heels and Lipstick

I’m so pleased to be able to share another excerpt from Musings on Mothering. Many thanks to Rachel O’Leary and Rosie Evans for giving me permission to share their contributions over at Story of Mum.

I’ve always thought Rachel’s piece ‘High Heels and Lipstick’ powerful and thought-provoking. Do women compete a lot? Do we make too many assumptions about how we’re coping with the challenges of motherhood compared with other mothers?

If you’re not aware of Rachel’s piece already, do take a moment to read it… the picture she conjures of a mother ‘drowning in isolation’ is so, so vivid.

Feel free to share away. Thank you.

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‘Letting Go’ and moving into spring

Winter seems to have no intention of loosening its grip on the UK.

Although spring must surely be here soon, having successfully convinced winter that the time is right for warmer weather, daffodils and birdsong…

I really enjoyed spending the Easter weekend with family and knuckling down to some serious chocolate eating. We’ve been busy at play during the days, but I’ve been quietly getting on with work in the evenings; fine-tuning the design of some greetings cards, selling books via various sales channels (it was a pleasure for me to send out some books to La Leche League New Zealand recently), and making plans for the next book to be released from Mother’s Milk Books.

I am very, very excited to be able to announce that I will be publishing a book entitled ‘Letting Go’ by the immensely talented Angela Topping which contains poems about childhood, daughterhood and parenthood (more about Angela here on Wikipedia). One of my most favourite things about editorial work is the ‘first reading’, and when I first read her manuscript I shed a tear (or two), as well as laughing, smiling in recognition and sighing with bittersweet joy.

I am so looking forward to the coming months for Mother’s Milk Books; it’s going to be great to get another book ‘out there’ and some new products too. I’d love to get more talented writers and artists on board, yet it’s still very much down to the finances (or lack thereof!) as to how much can be done. So any support you can give Mother’s Milk Books is very much appreciated; whether it’s buying a copy of ‘Musings on Mothering’, leaving a review on Amazon, or the Mother’s Milk Bookshop, following the blog or my twitter account, or liking our Facebook page. I’ve got a pretty good memory, and remember the kindnesses bestowed upon my little fledgling press! I just hope that it will continue to grow, and one day really take off and fly…

So that’s the latest news. Wishing you all sun-filled days and much spring happiness

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A few words from the winning bidder of the recent ebay auction…

I was delighted to receive the following feedback from Lucy Holmes, who was the winning bidder of the hand bound hardback edition of Musings on Mothering:

“The handmade boxed copy of Musings on Mothering is absolutely beautiful – perfectly put together by Barbara who did a truly amazing job. What a talent! There was even a lovely note in it from her, which I am leaving in for posterity and to remind me who made it. It’s really special to have managed to win the book as my two poems in it are the first ever to be officially published so to own a completely unique one-off copy of my first ‘publication’ is something to treasure and which will be handed down to my daughter in the future. What a perfect way to mark the creativity of motherhood! I was thrilled when it arrived… Thanks so much for putting this all together.”

I am so pleased to have been able to help raise just over £70 for La Leche League Great Britain through the auction, and doubly pleased that Lucy’s delighted with the book. Thanks again to Barb and to all those who got involved in the auction and helped spread the word.

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