Breastfeeding Plans

When someone finds out they are having a baby, a whole new world opens up.  There is often a huge focus on when/where/how the birth will take place.  People discuss at length, exactly how they are going to manage labour or a C/S.  No detail is left to the imagination and friends and family often like to give you their opinion on what your choices should be. This is not always the case with breastfeeding.  I often find that when I’m talking to mums of young bubs, they felt totally unprepared for the reality of life ‘on the other side’.  Most women think that because it is such a natural process that they don’t need to do any preparation for breastfeeding.  And while this is true for alot of mums, many women find that being informed may well have made their journey much easier. What are your choices in terms of breastfeeding, what can you do to help get breastfeeding off to a great start, what can you expect from a breastfeed and a breastfed baby, when do I need to get help, how long should I feed a baby, when should I change sides, how do I know that my baby is getting enough?  These questions are best answered before the baby arrives – when you (and your partner) are calm, well-rested and able to absorb information that can help you to make a smoother transition into breastfeeding.  It can also help to already be in contact with someone who is able to support you once your baby arrives, knows your individual situation and is expecting your call. Having a breastfeeding plan and information suited to your individual situation has helped many people to make better choices during the first few hours and weeks with their new baby.  If you would like to have a breastfeeding preparation session with me or would like to discuss  your individual breastfeeding needs, please feel free to contact me.   Image by adamr...
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Breastfed Babies and Colds

During the cooler months, it seems more common for babies (and parents) to get a cold.  For adults this can be a minor inconvenience, but what about your baby?  Babies are obligatory nose-breathers, meaning they usually breathe through their nose.  When your baby gets a cold they may have a blocked nose, making feeding more challenging.  Breastfeeding during this time will Provide your baby with the components in breastmilk that combat illness Sustain your baby’s nutritional needs Maintain your supply Provide comfort for your baby who may not be feeling 100% During this time you may like to Allow your baby to feed frequently – they may prefer smaller feeds for a few days Allow your baby to come off and back on the breast several times during a feed.  If they are finding it difficult to breathe through a blocked nose, they may stop feeding in order to breathe Try putting a few drops of breast milk in their nose to help clear the mucous Spend lots of time comforting and cuddling a baby that is not feeling well and keep an eye on them.   If you are concerned about their health you might like to take them to contact a health professional, or call 13HEALTH (if in QLD). If your baby isn’t draining the breast well for a few days, you might like to consider whether you need to express some milk to maintain your supply during this time.  If you think you need some breastfeeding support during this time, you might like to contact me to arrange a...
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Partners Can’t Breastfeed

When expecting a baby, many partners find themselves in unfamiliar territory.  The physical changes are all happening to the mum – the belly is growing, the skin stretches when the baby’s foot kicks and the mother often feels very different.  Partners on the other hand, don’t usually feel any different physically but do start taking on other various roles – like protector and support person. It is these roles that can really make a huge difference to a mother and baby’s success at breastfeeding.  Research by the World Health Organisation suggests that a mother who’s partner is supportive of breastfeeding is more likely to reach their breastfeeding goals. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that when the baby’s parents are on the same page about breastfeeding, it helps them to make informed decisions about what is best for their baby and how to access support if there are breastfeeding challenges. Before a baby arrives, a partner can Go to a breastfeeding education session Learn about what’s normal for breastfed infants Talk to the mother about what their breastfeeding plan Know where to get help if it’s needed After the baby arrives, a partner can Advocate for your baby.  This means that the partner can be the ‘gate-keeper’ to the baby for hospital staff and visitors.  It may mean that you ask for information before making decisions, ask about alternatives, organise the visitors so that the mother can spend her time and energy on getting breastfeeding off to a good start and generally trying to make sure the mother and baby are supported. Do all the nappy changing (I can hear you groan, but she DID carry the baby).  This helps the partner to be aware of the fact that what goes in must come out.  It is often the partners who suggest that the baby is ‘always hungry’ and this can help them to see what the baby is really getting. Settle the baby after/between feeds.  Babies quickly learn that love comes from people other than their mother (and that love is not always associated with food).  Partners often develop a wonderful way of settling babies that is very different to the way a mother settles them.  This can really help the mum feel nurtured and the partner feel important and necessary in their baby’s life. Take the baby while mum sleeps.   This means that...
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Breastfeeding Is Good For Mums Too

There are many advantages to breastfeeding – most people know how healthy it is for our babies, but not so many people know about the major advantages to us – THE MUMS.  Breastfeeding your baby is good for you -it…. Reduces a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer Reduces the risk of obesity in later life Women who breastfed for at least six months, in line with Government recommendations, had a lower body mass index in their 50s than those who had not Reduces risk of ovarian cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many other serious health conditions If you need help reaching your breastfeeding goals, you can contact me to discuss your situation.  ...
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Keeping Warm

For mothers and babies it can take some time to adjust to cooler temperatures.  Babies can begin to wake more frequently and mother’s nipples can have a painful reaction when exposed to the cold air. Babies are born very immature.  They need a lot from their parents – one of them being warmth.  Immediately after birth, the best way to keep a baby warm is to place them skin-to-skin with their mother, wrap the two of them up and leave them be. Once you get your baby home, they need to have their temperature regulated by you.  Some babies will wake frequently through the night if they are not comfortable with the temperature.  When the weather’s chilly, it can be a bit of a challenge to know what to dress them in and how to keep them at the right temperature.  Again, having lots of skin-to-skin time is great, but it’s just not practical to do skin-to-skin all day every day until they’re 6 months old, so we need to put some strategies in place to keep them cosy.  Here’s some ideas Dress them in a singlet, nappy and all-in-one suit with layers over Have your baby sleep in the same room as you.  This way you are more likely to be aware of the room temperature and can adjust it if necessary Heat the room to a suitable temperature Use safe bedding to either wrap them or cover them in the cot/bassinette/rocker etc Sometimes babies can be distracted by wraps and blankets when they are first learning to feed, so this is when you can have them in just the basics then cover the both of you It’s not just the baby who needs to keep warm.  When breastfeeding, sometimes a mum’s tummy is exposed to the cool air.  There are many styles of breastfeeding tops available that help cover the tummy and only expose the least amount of skin possible. Sometimes the cold can exacerbate a condition called nipple vasospasm.  This means that the cold stimulates a reaction in the nipple which is very painful.  If you need information on this, please contact me. So, while the weather’s cool, rug up and enjoy a bit of snuggle time with your little one – it keeps everyone warm and is a great way to bond with your...
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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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