Category Archives: Feeding

Information on feeding your baby.

For expectant mums, new mums and those who know them.

Fantastic article from N’tima Preusser

Before I was a parent, I was the perfect one. People told me my life would change. People told me I would be tired. That parenthood would be the greatest and hardest thing I would ever do.

Yeah yeah yeah.
I know. I know.
I knew everything. “

 

Definitely worth a read.

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The Big Latch On 2014

big latch on

What is the Big Latch On?

Groups of breastfeeding women coming together at registered locations around the world to all latch on their child at a set time. All the breastfeeding women and children are latched on for one minute at the set time and are counted by the witnesses. The numbers are added up to see if previous Big Latch On records can be beaten!

Did you know that The Big Latch On is originally from New Zealand?

It was started by Women’s Health Action in 2005 as part of World Breastfeeding Week. Each year, they have seen a growth in the numbers of breastfeeding women attending and an increase in the support for breastfeeding in public. The Big Latch On is now celebrated around the world.

Aims of the Big Latch On

  • Support for communities to identify and grow opportunities to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion.
  • Raise awareness of breastfeeding support and knowledge available in communities.
  • Help communities positively support breastfeeding in public places.
  • Make breastfeeding a normal part of the day-to-day life at a local community level.
  • Increase support for women who breastfeed – women are supported by their partners, family and the breastfeeding knowledge that is embedded in their communities.

Big Latch On 2014!

This year the Big Latch On will take place over two days, on Friday the 1st and Saturday the 2nd of August. Hosts can register for either (or both!) days. You can find info here on:

  • Where events are being held.
  • How to host your own Big Latch On event.
  • How to participate through the online ‘I latched on’ breastfeeding ‘selfie’, if you can’t make an event.

Like the ‘Big Latch On NZ’ Facebook page to connect with other participants and hosts and receive updates.

 

Breastfeeding Pamphlets

CCDHB

 

 

 

A useful link to some of CCDHB’s Breastfeeding Pamphlets.

Hope you are all happy, healthy, and managing some sleep!

Mummy does Dallas – your porn boobs

Fondly known as “porn boobs” in our circle of friends, your post pregnancy breasts are going to be hard to miss.  Breast milk is produced on a supply and demand system, but it takes a few days or even weeks for your body to smooth out the whole process.  This means that for most (but not all) of you, as your mature milk “comes in” over the first week, you’re going to be experiencing a whole new delight – engorged breasts (aka giant bazookas). 

This can be caused by more fluids in your breasts (“venous engorgement”) and by the actual milk itself.  Never fear, they will deflate…slightly.  Breastfeeding mums do sport larger than usual mammaries (bountiful beachballs) but once your body and your baby sync up, they should be a bit more manageable.  And for mums who are not breastfeeding, just a heads-up that your girls are not immune to change and gravity either!  Changes in your breast tissue are triggered by the changes in hormones that happen during pregnancy and labour, so even if you’ve decided not to breastfeed your boobs will still be preparing for it!

“I definitely didn’t expect the sheer discomfort of my milk coming in.  My boobs felt like they were full of lead and were expanding way more than I thought possible – even filling out under my arms, which made sleeping on anything but my back seriously difficult.  And I didn’t even get to enjoy that I went from an A cup to a very decent D cup seemingly overnight!  The good news girls, is that they do settle down after a few days – even though at the time it feels like forever!” (R.)

For some quick ideas on things to help you relieve the discomfort:

  • Avoid lying on your tummy in bed.
  • Hand express off a little milk in the shower or just before a feed, to allow baby to latch on more effectively.
  • Warm or cold flannels.
  • Mild pain relief – paracetamol.
  • Cabbage leaves (yep we’re not kidding) can help – just pop a leaf inside your bra (remove before they’re cooked 😉 )
  • Feed baby whenever they are hungry rather than sticking to a clock-driven routine – this helps get breastfeeding established and your milk supply settled in. You can always switch to a routine later if you want to.
  • Don’t stop feeding bubs, this will make engorgement worse and can jeopardise your milk supply.

You may find your partner is mesmerised by your swollen breast tissue (monster melons).  Don’t worry, this is normal.  Just set some guidelines while they’re still painfully tender such as look but don’t touch!  Are you feeling unsexy about your maternal mammaries?  Even more than the rest of your body, your breasts are undergoing a massive identity change – from sexy come-hither-man-bringer to giant dairy producing udder entities (did someone say udders?!). Some women are able to hold the two identities together comfortably but for many it’s quite normal for breasts become non-sexual zones for a while at least.

More interesting clips: hand expressing

While we’re on the topic of interesting clips online, I am just loving all the fanta-bulous resources there are out there in cyberspace.  Of course, you have to take the wheat with the chaff, so there’s always a fair amount of rubbish to wade through, but we’ll keep posting interesting clips we find that might help mums with new babies.

Today’s clip is about hand expressing.  Hand expressing is a really useful tool for breastfeeding mothers for general expressing, for getting a little bit of breastmilk onto the end of your nipple to tempt baby to open wide, to soften breasts that are engorged with milk, and to express off a little at night if your breasts wake you (while baby slumbers happily on).

Over the coming weeks we will be posting more on feeding.  Let us know if there are any topics in particular you would be interested in 🙂

A reader question about bottle refusal

One of our lovely readers, recently sent us a query about bottle refusal…

“I work part-time while my mum and my partner help with care for my 7 month old. I’ve been back at work part-time since she was about 4 months old. At first there were no issues at all, as she readily accepted expressed breastmilk in a bottle. However, she has now started solid food. She has started to drastically reduce her milk consumption when she is with her nana and her dad, but she will accept solid food. They have had to sneak the breastmilk into her food by mixing it with baby cereal, as she won’t take the bottle or the milk in a sippy cup. Has anyone else experienced anything similar? Does anyone have any suggestions? Or, is this even something I should be worrying about?” A.

Here’s our answer 🙂 

It is actually really normal that babies go through a period of refusing to take a bottle, even after taking it happily for some time!  You might find these tips a good starting point (under Tips for Encouraging Your Baby to Take a Bottle section): http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/alternative-feeding.html.

As these articles say, with time and persistence, babies usually go forward to take the expressed milk happily again.  Distraction is often useful – taking baby for a walk around the house, finding a new view, jiggling her up and down in arms while your family try and tempt her.  Really important ‘not to make this a battleground’ as one of my local lactation consultants told me years ago so don’t feel that you have to force her.

In terms of the transition time, while you are working your way forward to where she will take the milk again, it’s important for her to still receive your milk somehow.  Check out that same page above for other ideas like cup, spoon and dropper feeding to get the milk in, but in the meantime, mixing it in with the food is a brilliant idea.  If she is having foods like baby rice, use breastmilk instead of water to make it up and finding other ways to add it to each meal.

Hang in there, our favourite parenting mantra is ‘this too shall pass’..  Well done on continuing to provide your baby with all the good stuff that’s in your breastmilk 🙂

A note about routines

Routines are a hot topic these days and many parenting experts will recommend that you get baby into a routine as soon as possible, predicting all sorts of dire consequences if you don’t.

You’ll probably find many of your friends and families advocate these as well.  Actually the research shows that what is important for a healthy happy baby is having her various needs met in a warm loving responsive way.  Within this, some parents find routines helpful others don’t.

It’s a lot easier not to have rigid expectations of when baby will go to sleep – lots will depend on what’s been happening with sleep and activities during the day.  For goodness sake, don’t try to put your baby to sleep if she’s not tired.  Babies have enough trouble getting to sleep when they’re tired let alone when they’re not!

Babies are pretty flexible, and routines are for parents.  So if your personality type is such that having a routine makes you happier then do it.  But there are some considerations:

  • Be flexible!  At this age your baby is need driven not want driven.  She cries because she NEEDS something (sleep, food, love, nappy change).  A routine should take into account your baby’s needs, not just your lifestyle preferences or somebody else’s idea of what your baby’s schedule should look like.  If your routine means she spends lots of time crying because she’s hungry or tired, then you need to look at changing it.  Routines also need to be flexible to take into account things like heat (when baby may need more milk to stay hydrated), sickness (again baby may need more food or sleep), or change of circumstances (like travel).
  • It is totally okay to go with a demand driven routine, i.e. do what baby needs when they need it.  This means you need to learn your baby’s language so you know what they are communicating.  Breastfeeding when your baby wants is generally recommended especially when you are establishing breastfeeding, or if your baby is struggling to put on weight.
  • Think about having patterns rather than routines A routine is clock-driven.  A pattern is a series of behaviours that aren’t necessarily time driven but follow one after the other.  So a helpful pattern might be a bedtime pattern.  If you are wanting your baby to be heading bedward for the evening you might do the same pattern of events each night i.e. give her a massage, put on a clean nappy and pjs, then give her a feed.

Sanity Saving Tip:

If you are feeling lost in the haze of sleep deprivation and shapeless days it can be helpful to write down when baby sleeps and feeds.  You will often discover baby naturally has a pattern – this can help the day feel more structured.

A note about night feeding and sleeping through

A quick reminder that it’s very normal for your wee bubba to need at least one and probably two or more feeds during the night. The trick is to minimise the impact it has on you!

Try these things to help keep nights as sane as possible:

  • Even if it’s just on weekends or once in a while, get dad to be the one who gets up, brings baby to you, changes her, and then takes her back to bed after the feed.  This means you can just feed and go back to sleep.  An excellent example of good delegation.

  • Try expressing some milk so dad can do at least one of the middle of the night feeds (although this is best done once you’ve established breastfeeding and got your milk supply sorted).
  • Think about having baby in your room – less wandering the corridors at night plus a reduced SIDS risk – great!
  • Think about bed sharing.  The marvellous thing about bed sharing is there is no getting out of the bed or other distractions – you just feed baby and both go back to sleep – so it cuts down on wakeful time (we’ll post a bit later on safety precautions. If you need these now just drop us a line and we’ll send you some info).
  • Try giving baby a ‘dream feed’ to extend the amount of time before you have to get up again.  This means if she is asleep – get her up just before you go to bed and give her a feed.  The trick is to keep her asleep or in a sleepy state as possible while feeding. For some babies this works really well, for others not at all – so give it a go and see!