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Having breastfed all 4 of my children I have used quite a few different brands of breast pumps, The first pump I ever bought was over 6 years ago and I don't even remember the name of it, what I do remember however is that it was useless and I had to go out an buy another pump, the Avent isis.
Having no idea which pump would work best for me and not knowing how much I would be using it or for how long I wasn't prepared to spend a lot of money on it so when I saw the Avent isis pump I decided to try it.
The problem with breast pumps is that if you buy before you have your baby you have no idea how much you are going to use it. Even mums who have breastfed successfully before can have problems the next time round so buying an expensive pump in advance can be a mistake. That is what happened to me, I bought an expensive electric pump, it didn't work for me (it's wasn't broken but it lost suction with use and never really expressed as much as it could have leaving my engorged and in pain).
The Avent isis changed all that, for a manual pump and at the price it is it's an excellent pump, it's comfortable to use, has great suction but most importantly it has a special massaging cushion that helps to stimulate natural let down. As anyone who has ever breast fed can tell you, let down is crucial to not only feeding but expressing and if your pump does not help stimulate let down then you will not get as much milk as you could otherwise.
Avent isis is the only pump I have used that stimulated let down in seconds and made it so easy to express that I could easily express 6 to 8 ounces in about 20 minutes or less.
The pump comes with replacement parts and depending on the model a 4 oz bottle for expressing and feeding. The set connects easily to the entire Avent range of bottles and the milk storage containers that are available separately so you have a choice of expressing direct into any Avent bottle or directly to your Avent milk storage system.
The pump is easy to clean and sterilize my only complaint is that it doesn't fit as neatly into the Avent steam steralizer as well as it could. It does fit just not as well as I like but it's not a big issue.
As a mother who has breastfed all 4 of my children, I always used Avent bottle's when supplementing or feeding expressed milk, but I found Avent caused nipple confusion.
With my fourth child I bought a tommee tippee breast pump and with it came a tommee tippee bottle. My son was hard pushed to accept the Avent bottles I had already bought and only drank an ounce or two before becoming frustrated and giving up, leaving him fussy and unsettled.
I didn't find the pump to work very well, but the bottle was an entirely different story. I was absolutely amazed when my son took to his tommee tippee bottle with ease and downed over 4 ounces of breast milk in one sitting!
Of course I presumed it was a one off, that he was particularly hungry perhaps, but no, considering he only has one to two bottles per day I saw a complete change in my son, no confusion between bottle and breast, thanks due to the tommee tippee nipple I imagine. But he went from a contented breastfeeder who disliked his bottle to a contented baby overall.
At three months he now takes his bottle with no problem at all and in another few months I can see this being a huge help when I return to work and others will need to feed him. It will also be ideal for when he is being fully weaned as he is just as comforted with his tommee tippee bottle as he is at the breast.
This is an excellent bottle that I should have tried years ago and the difference in my son is remarkable. The only thing I am disappointed by is the fact that I found the matching breast pump to be next to useless.
My advice to anyone who is breastfeeding and supplementing with a bottle at times is to use the tommee tippee range, if you must buy a pump however use a different brand and feed from this bottle. Worked like a charm for my baby!
My perfume of choice has always been Gucci and I have worn every perfume in the range over the last few years so when I found out that Gucci Intense was released last year I just had to try it out.
If you have already worn the original (Gucci Guilty) then you will be somewhat familiar with the overall scent, however Intense is a more (for lack of a better word) intense scent. It is an eau de parfum, and as a parfum it should be a stronger, longer lasting fragrance than the original which was/is an eau de toilette. The formula is similar to the original but the scent has been altered to be more powerful.
I love the warmth of oriental parfums and Intense starts out with a heady rush of mandarin with just enough spicy pink pepper to make it a warm, sensual opening. However it would be more correct to say that Intense is an oriental, fruity floral. The middle notes are definitely floral but not overly so, just a touch of lilac and violet to give the parfum a lovely feminine middle with good lasting power.
As with many of the Gucci perfumes you will notice the patchouli towards the end and is no doubt the reasoning behind the name because it gives the perfume an intensity that in another perfume would be out of place, however it works well with this parfum.
Guilty Intense is much more of a night time scent and in my opinion is an excellent fragrance for cool autumn nights and dark winter evenings.
As it's a parfum you would expect it to last longer than the toilette but I found that it does need a little touch up after a few hours in cold weather.
As a huge Harlan Coben fan for many years I have read every book he has written and in particular I loved the Myron Bolitar series so I was a little apprehensive about Shelter, Coben's first novel for young adults.
The young adult part didn't put me off so much as the fact that Shelter is about Mickey Bolitar, Myron's nephew. As a Myron fan I didn't like the idea, but I wanted a good book to read so I gave it a shot and I was pretty surprised to find that I could not put this book down!
Although Shelter is aimed at a younger audience than Coben's other novels, it does not really read as such. Yes Mickey is in high school and, yes he makes new friends with a goth girl and a nerd named Spoon (he's no Win to say the least) which all sounds a little too sweet valley high for me but once you get over that there is a pretty great story line developing. It's also pretty cool to see Myron through Mickey's eyes as the annoying uncle as compared to the novels about Myron himself.
As with every novel Coben writes, the plot is fairly complex with lots of twists to keep you guessing. What always struck me about his novels compared to other crime fiction or thrillers is that I never know what's going to happen or the "who done it" of the story. The fact that Coben can write and keep you in the dark about the who, what and where of a story in my opinion shows a true storyteller and Shelter is another great example of his writing style.
If the idea of reading a young adult novel is putting you off then you should know that apart from Mickey and his friends being younger than Myron and Win, there is very little difference in the type of events in the book. Mickey has just started a new school and he's a bit on the anti social side but manages to find himself a pretty girl to date and everything is looking pretty good for a teenager with a junkie for a mom and a father who is missing and thought to be dead.
But life isn't perfect for Mickey, he has to put up with his uncle Myron and things are about to get worst for Mickey when only a few weeks into his relationship with his new girlfriend she vanishes without a trace. Despite the fact that Mickey hates his uncle, he is like him in that he can't just forget about it and has to go investigating what's happened and like his uncle he is adept at getting himself in trouble.
Well worth reading if you are a fan of Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar series and a great novel to start with if you are new to Coben.