Australian Breastfeeding Association meets in Ballina!

Yay! Almost 4 years after wishing for a group to be in (or at least closer to) Ballina, it has arrived!!

The first meeting in Ballina was a huge success, with over dozen people in attendance – I guess I wasn’t the only one who had been hoping for this to start. I think it will be a great asset to the Ballina community.
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The Australian Breastfeeding Association is one of the leading sources of breastfeeding information and support, and a great way to meet other parents, particularly as you fumble your way through parenting young children (and breastfeeding!).

“The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) is an Australian organisation of people interested in the promotion and protection of breastfeeding. Amongst these are breastfeeding women and their partners and health professionals such as doctors, lactation consultants and midwives.

ABA was founded in Melbourne, Victoria in 1964 as the Nursing Mothers’ Association, with the aim of giving mother-to-mother support to breastfeeding women. It is Australia’s leading source of breastfeeding information and support” Wikipedia

The meeting was hosted by two ABA counsellors, Jan and Jeannee, both traveling from out of town to help the group get started. They are both a wealth of knowledge, and very helpful – Jan was even around when the Nursing Mothers first started up in the Northern Rivers.

Meetings occur on the last Tuesday of the month at the CWA Hall in River Street, next to the RSL in Ballina, starting at 1pm. Coin donations are appreciated, to put towards the use of the hall.

There are also meetings in Lismore and Mullumbimby. Lismore is on the second Friday of the month, starting at 10am, at the ground floor meeting room of the Lismore Library. Mullumbimby have their meetings on the first Wednesday of the month starting at 9:15am, in the Mullumbimby Neighbourhood Centre, Dalley Street.

Breastfeeding BallinaBoy

Breastfeeding BallinaBoy at the start of the meeting, while everyone chatted.

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FFSC Mums & Bubs CrossFit

I started at CrossFit last year, when BallinaBoy was approximately 12 weeks, I think. The first session is free, and BallinaGirl seemed to love playing with the kids there, and I was able to tend to my kids when and if they needed, but there was also a lovely group of welcoming mums with warm hearts ready to try their best to comfort your children, while you were working out.

The session is (usually) broken up in to two groups, one group works out and the other supervises and cares for the kids, and then they swap. Seems logical. No over crowded under spaced crèche here. There is a kids area set up with toys, a TV, and a wooden kitchen. There is also the whole other half of the centre that they set up (with an obstacle course) for the bigger kids to be able to jump, climb and throw giant balls (in the “cage” or as some of the kids call it, the “trampoline”) at each other – what more could a preschooler or toddler want?
the cage

The thing that made me decide to go back? The amount of pain I was in following – I could feel muscles I didn’t even know I had! That was a serious work out.
What made me continue to go back? The support, the individual attention and modifications (apparently I am, or was, really bad at squatting!), and the fact that I could see my babies, and tend to their needs if I needed to. If BallinaBoy needed boob, then I’d go in the second session. If I needed to calm my kids, I could throw them in a carrier and continue on (yep! I have done it with my toddler on, in testing week!), and if I had to exit half way through session one, I could continue in the next session.
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What makes me love it? It’s not only about a workout, it can be so much more. The people are welcoming, inclusive and most of all supportive. They organise cooked meals for mums when they are struggling, they organise social events, have a morning tea so you can chat and debrief, chat, and eat some yummy food, or chat more if you want. It is not just a workout it’s a community, a village, support and encouragement.
photo from Facebook

I highly recommend coming down and trying it out, even if your kids are in school, you have one on the way, or don’t have kids but want to be around some warm hearted ladies (and sometimes men) and get your arse kicked (fitness and sweatiness wise).

Mums & Bubs sessions are on Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30am, and Wednesday 10:30am. Check out their website, or Facebook page, for more details.

On a side note: the Wednesday classes are quite small at the moment, as they are a new addition. If you are unsure about whether CrossFit works for you, are not good with big groups, or just feel you may be embarrassed by your fitness level (or lack there of) – Wednesday is a great session to get to, to test the water. But, you can also just come down and watch and hang out. When my kids have been having off days, out of routine, etc, I have just gone down to let them play with the other kids and ease back in to the routine (and catch up with everyone).
I hope to see you there! I’ll be the unco, sweaty, puffing, red in the face one – most likely with a kid strapped to me, haha.