Skin-To-Skin Time

‘Skin-to-skin’ is a term used to describe a mother and baby who are in direct contact with eachother without any barrier in between.  There has been alot of discussion and research around the topic of skin-to-skin.  This post should help you to understand when and why skin-to-skin time is used. A WHO review of the literature showed that “skin-to-skin contact between the mother and her baby immediately after birth reduces crying, improves mother-infant interaction, keeps the baby warm, and helps the mother to breastfeed successfully.” In an article written by Dr Sarah Buckley, she says that “Another study showed that, after skin to skin care, newborns had more organized behavior, more quiet sleep and more resistance to pain, again reflecting lower levels of stress and stress hormones.”  and “Skin to skin contact also helps the newborn to enact their instinctive behaviors, including breastfeeding behaviour.” According to an article by Dr Jack Newman here, “skin to skin contact immediately after birth, which lasts for at least an hour has the following positive effects on the baby: Are more likely to latch on Are more likely to latch on well Have more stable and normal skin temperatures Have more stable and normal heart rates and blood pressures Have higher blood sugars Are less likely to cry Are more likely to breastfeed exclusively longer “ So when is it useful to have your baby skin-to-skin with you?  Immediately after your baby is born For the first few days of life When a baby is still learning to attach well Any time when breastfeeding needs improving When a mum is trying to improve her milk supply When a baby is seeking comfort Any time you like If you would like more information on ways to get breastfeeding off to a great start or if things are not going as expected, please contact me to discuss your situation and see if a consultation would be helpful for...
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Returning To Work When You’re Breastfeeding – Part 3

This is Part 3 in a series of posts about how to manage breastfeeding while returning to (paid) work.  Returning to work can present some challenges, but with the right information and support, these challenges (like other breastfeeding challenges) can be negotiated and overcome. Part 1 covered the planning stage – when you’re leaving work and going on maternity leave.  Part 2 talks about what happens when your baby has arrived and you’re starting to look at returning to work.  This post talks about the final preparations for returning to work. What Do I feed My Baby?  Of course as an IBCLC, I’d say breastmilk, but it’s not me returning to work (this time anyway).  Many people continue to exclusively breastfeed their babies while returning to work.  Others express breastmilk to be given while their baby is away from them and others choose to combine a breastmilk substitute with breastfeeding (mixed feeding).  The most important thing about making this decision is to be informed about the risks and benefits of all your options.  If your baby is 6 months old, you can combine breastmilk /breastfeeding and solids. Have A Practice Run.  Some mums like to have a practice run.  This can help you feel more comfortable about leaving your baby when returning to work, and can give the planned caregiver a feel of how things might go.  You might like to consider doing this a little way out from your return to work date, so that you have time to make any adjustments. Give It A Go.  Sometimes the only way to know how things are going to work out is to give it a go.  There’s only so much planning and preparation you can do, then it’s time to see how it goes.  Be prepared to adjust things and do some fine-tuning before it runs smoothly. So, as you can see there are a number of things you can do to help make the transition back to work easier.  Many mothers continue to breastfeed their little ones for many reasons.  There are health reasons for the baby and mother, the fact that mothers of breastfed babies are less likely to need time off for ill babies and above all, mothers love the fact that they can continue to have the close bond that is an integral part of breastfeeding during a time of separation. If you are planning on going back to work and would like...
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Returning To Work When You’re Breastfeeding – Part 2

This is Part 2 in a series of posts about how to manage breastfeeding while returning to (paid) work.  Returning to work can present some challenges, but with the right information and support, these challenges (like other breastfeeding challenges) can be negotiated and overcome. It CAN work.  You CAN continue to breastfeed your baby.  A few things can be done to make the transition easier for both of you.  Part 1 covered the planning stage when you’re leaving work and going on maternity leave.  Part 2 talks about what happens when your baby has arrived and you’re starting to look at returning to work. Establish Your Milk Supply.  If you are returning to work while your baby is quite young, it will be particularly important to work on establishing a good milk supply.  Having some extra milk stored in the freezer can take some of the pressure off when the time comes to get back to work. Make A Plan.  Once your milk is established, make a plan of how you are going to go about the logistics of pumping/storing/giving your breastmilk.  An IBCLC can help make a manageable plan for your return to work including how to maintain your supply, how much EBM your baby may need and how to encourage your baby to breastfeed when you are there. Learn About Expressing & Storing Breastmilk.  If you are going to be spending more than just a few hours away from your baby, you might like to look into a double electric breast pump.  You can hire or buy various brands.  Start expressing and storing your milk at least a month out from your return to work date if possible.  This will give you time to get used to the pump and ensure you have enough milk available. Once you’ve had your little one, established your milk supply and looked at your options for collecting and storing your breastmilk, take the time to enjoy your little one.  It can get a bit hectic when it comes time to go back to work, and there’ll be more information about dealing with this in part 3 of this series.     Image by David Castillo...
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