Boobs and elderberry

So my three youngest children (5, 5, and 18 months) were home today. Each with unique and uncomfortable illnesses. In no particular order, I had the privilege of managing gastro, chicken pox and a UTI. Actually, the order was from most likely to make me cry to the least and vomiting always wins that fun-time trifecta.

To their credit, the girls were in pretty good spirits and most grateful for unrestricted access to Netflix, and for my youngest unrestricted access to my boobs. 

As we sit on the cusp of weaning my youngest, both her and myself keep putting it off, I am actually incredibly grateful that I had this comfort and nourishment to give her during this bout of gastro (yes, that was her). I know she would most likely be fine without it but knowing it is easy and enjoyable to get her to keep drinking, that the immunological benefits are continued, I can comfort and relax her with relative ease. Additionally, as her body is challenged for the first time with bacteria and pathogens, for this brief time I am able to support her with my own.

So I spent the better part of the afternoon, buried under a pile of children, all wanting to be held by their mummy, managing to manoeuvre themselves so they all had an acceptable portion of me just to themselves. I even managed to doze for a moment. And in between the vomit, and the itching, and soreness of tummies I had a few moments of grateful thanks for having been given some magical mummy powers to bring comfort, where once was found only in my boobs, but has since evolved to the rest of me.


A brief mid morning herbal adventure. Not quite sure how they manage to look this photogenic while unwell, but I have a strong feeling it is my husband’s gene pool. So hi five me for procreating with that!

Elderberry syrup recipe (apparently good for the immune system, also good for distracting small children)


  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup dried elderberries
  • 4 cups water,
  • 1 cinnamon stick (or dried cinnamon if your pantry is bare like mine was)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 4 whole cloves
  • a few (5-10) cardamon pods


  • Place in pot.
  • Heat.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • strain.
  • add 1 cup honey
  • keeps for a week. or freeze into portions for later use.
  • Give to children and tell them it will help them feel better. Repeat as necessary.

(I am aware that this might not be the BEST way to manage this situation, but you have to choose your battles, and my battle today was not retching every time I was vomited on. There was a particularly large amount of vomit).

Jen is a midwife and mum of five. She is really passionate about women having voices and choices in maternity care and absolutely loves working alongside women and their loved ones during this time.

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