Category Archives: Breastfeeding

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World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Round Up

World Breastfeeding Week 2013 has officially ended, but our support for Breastfeeding mothers will never end. Giving your baby the best start in life as possible is paramount. Therefore I have created a round up guide of all our posts that we features throughout the week.

Kicking off the week was Jen from MyMummiesPennies, who wrote about how she juggled extended breastfeeding and returning to work, showing us that it is possible. Simply click the picture to read the post:

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Then the next day we had Bex from TheMummyAdventure with her post on how she gained confidence breastfeeding. Again, click the picture to read her post:

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Our third day was Ruth who wrote about how she became an extended and tandem breastfeeding mummy when she had her second child. Click Ruth’s picture to read her post.

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Our fourth day saw Mandi from Hexmum talk about how her experience of Breastfeeding led her into her new found love of being aPeer Support worker. They do an amazing job helping new mums learn the skills they have to breastfeed happily and for a good amount of time. Click Mandi’s picture to read her post:

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The next day we had a guest post from Lynne at More 4 Mums, who write 10 top tips for New Breastfeeding Mums. Click the picture below to read the post:

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We then had Kate from Witterings from the sofa, who wrote about how she fought against the myths of having a big baby and not being able to breastfeed.

Pink Oddy then gave us a post on how she found the support for Breastfeeding.

Finallym, rounding up our week, we had A to Z Mummy write about she became a Muslim convert and the pressures of Breastfeeding in public. Click the picture to read her open and honest post:

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We have thoroughly enjoyed our week of Breastfeeding experiences from all our mums, a massive thank you to them for taking the time to share their thoughts with us!

To find Minene’s related products simply visit www.minene.co.uk and check out our Nursing Shawl, Breastfeeding Poncho and Supersize Muslins.

 

Muslim and Breastfeeding in public

Contiuning our Breast Friends week for World Breastfeeding Week, we have another guest post. Today A to Z Mummy shares her experiences of breastfeeding and being a Muslim convert….

I am a 31 year old Muslim convert and I have 2 little boys, Boy Z who is 4 and Baby A who is going to be 1 at the beginning of September.  I always knew I wanted to breastfeed and it just didn’t really occur to me to do anything else.  Breastfeeding Boy Z started off as a bit of a struggle as he was tongue tied.  In Islam mothers are encouraged to breastfeed babies until they are 2 years old and I just couldn’t believe that we might not be able to do this.  Luckily I stumbled across an old school, no nonsense healthcare worker in the hospital, she sat with me for ages manhandling me and manhandling my baby until he latched on.  I didn’t feel under any pressure from anyone to breastfeed but it was what I wanted to do.

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When I was pregnant with Baby A I knew once again I wanted to breastfeed and I was extremely lucky as he latched on within a few minutes of being born and stayed on my boob from about 9.30pm right through until 5am with just the short 5 minute drive home from the birthing centre.  This time around though I knew I was going to breastfeed in public come what may.  With Boy Z I did it a few times but I was less confident and only really did it when I had no other option.  With Baby A I was much more aware of my legal rights, a lot more confident and a lot more prepared.  I made a point of feeding him every time I went out in the early days.  I think there is a massive issue in the UK with breastfeeding rates and I feel that the more people see a mother feeding a baby when out and about then the more “normal” breastfeeding will become.

When Baby A was 4 months old I started wearing hijab (a headscarf) and my confidence with nursing in public was shaken.  I have always covered myself when feeding (although take absolutely no issue with mothers who don’t) but I suddenly became very self conscious.  I felt people were judging me because I now had a virtual sign on my head saying “I’m Muslim” and to then throw getting my boobs out to feed my baby into the mix was just very confusing for me.  I didn’t want non Muslims to judge me, I didn’t want Muslims to judge me but in the end I just decided that actually I didn’t care.  If my baby needed feeding then I was going to feed him.  I met up with a friend for coffee with both the boys, she was chatting with Boy Z so I started feeding Baby A.  It wasn’t until I actually mentioned it that she noticed I was feeding him, she thought I was just trying to get him to sleep.  I soon realised that wearing a headscarf makes breastfeeding in public a doddle as I could just drape the scarf all around wherever I needed to and nobody could see a thing. The way I try to look at it now is that if people stare then it’s their issue and most certainly not mine; I just smile and think that perhaps if I change one person’s perception on breastfeeding (or Muslims) then that can only be a great thing.

You can find A to Z mummy online on Facebook, Twitter and on the A to Z blog.

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Finding the Support for Breastfeeding

Today we have another honest guest post, this time from Pink Oddy who blogs at http://pinkoddy.co.uk

I think Breastfeeding, for me, was a life changing decision – but it didn’t happen quiet like that the first time. You see with my first baby I was treated like an idiot, I was expected to bottle feed, so when I tried breast feeding I wasn’t supported – why waste resources. I was just turned 18, and trying to do my A-levels. I liked to go clubbing before I got pregnant and I loved to sleep. I remember my mom telling me that I wouldn’t be able to sleep like that when I had a baby. I didn’t appreciate what she meant. My baby was 8lb 13ozs born, and I was a slip of a thing 5ft 3 ½ and around 7 stone and a size 6. So naturally everyone just said I had a hungry baby – I wasn’t expected to “keep up” and encouraged to wean early and top-up with formula. I have to admit, still living at home, it was easier to let my mom feed him at night and me sleep. It wasn’t long before I was encouraged to make the switch.

So the second time around I was a lot older and wiser. This time I even had a degree, a husband, and a house (rented). But when my son wouldn’t poo the Health visitor told me to give him orange juice. Then he started not putting on enough weight – I didn’t know that it was because he didn’t need to poo as often that he wasn’t pooing (breast milk produces less waste). I didn’t know that whilst I was giving him orange juice my milk supply was dwindling (it works on supply and demand). The rules on weaning change all the time too – and so it was 6 months at this time – he was only 4. He was losing too much weight. I was sent to the doctor. He told me my milk was not good enough, that I was starving my baby. My husband convinced me that the best thing to do for our baby was to switch to formula (despite the fact we couldn’t afford it). I was left with really bad depression:  Feeling like a failure, that I couldn’t use what was meant to make me a woman.

So with the third baby I went straight to a breastfeeding support group. Most of the time I didn’t even feel that I needed the support. I thought I knew what I was doing: That I was right about stuff. I don’t think I did. Going each week for social reasons I began to see that my son didn’t have “reflux” that actually lots of baby’s just sick back up their milk and need more. I made a lot of decisions due to that group – and the peer support training I received – and one of those was to self-wean.

And it taught me to be strong when it came to the problems I had with my fourth child and the attitudes towards tandem feeding (seehttp://pinkoddy.co.uk/blog/2013/04/01/deciding-when-to-stop-having-children-motivational-monday/) . I fed both my youngest  (there is 18 months between them) until they were 4 years each and it was the most empowering thing I have ever done.

Breastfeeding Big Babies – Myths Shattered.

 

Today we have a guest blog from Katy from Wittering from the Sofa, on how she managed to bust the preconceptions that she wouldn’t be able to exclusively as she was a large baby…

 My daughter was 9lb 3oz when she was born, a very big surprise for us all as we weren’t expecting her to be big – I’m only 5ft 1!

I was always determined to try to breastfeed her for as long as she wanted me to and was supported well in hospital.  She spent 36 hours in SCBU due to Polycythema (too much haemoglobin) and I stayed on the ward upstairs however my wishes to not give her formula were followed and whenever she needed feeding they called the ward for me to go down (if I wasn’t already there) which lead to me wandering the hospital in my pyjamas in the middle of the night trying to remember where the baby unit was!

When she was allowed back on the ward with me I struggled with the feeding and was encountering toe curling pain whenever I tried to feed her.  I requested help and a midwife watched me feed and tried to help me get my latch correct.  However I was struggling and it was only when a breast feeding consultant happened to pop in while I was feeding did I get some valuable help – she spotted a slight tongue tie and taught me to feed my daughter Rugby Ball style.

From this point things improved dramatically and I started to enjoy my breast feeding journey and the time I had with my daughter uninterrupted just to watch her.  Many times I had comments from people about how big she was and how I would never produce enough milk to feed her sufficiently which just made me more determined to feed her.   At my 6 week check the doctor seemed surprised I was still feeding her and at her 1st set of injections I made the nurse change the form as she had ticked that I was only partially feeding her!

I fed my daughter exclusively until she was 6 months old and it was only when I returned to work when she was 7 months did we introduce formula because I couldn’t seem to express more than the odd oz at a time!

I continued to breast feed my daughter mornings and evenings until she was 20 months old and look back on those times together as a great experience.

You can also find Katy online at  readingtogether.co.uk

Ten Top Tips for New Breastfeeding Mums

A guest post from Lynn Hogg, Owner of More 4 Mums online Maternity & Breastfeeding Store and a Mum of 2 Breastfed Girls. To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week she gives us her top ten tips for new Breastfeeding Mums.

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Be Prepared

I was a proud Girl Guide in my younger days and this is my favourite motto “Be Prepared” ! Find out as much as you can about breastfeeding. Get a book from the library, ask questions at your antenatal class. You can read information from the La Leche League or look for local breastfeeding support groups or breastfeeding cafes. If you have friends or family who have breastfed then ask them all about it.

Get a Comfortable Breastfeeding Bra.

Get yourself one or two comfortable Breastfeeding bras before baby arrives along with a stock of Breast pads. I would suggest a seamless style as these tend to be stretchy enough to cope when your milk comes in and are comfortable for all day and night wear. You will probably need to wear a bra at night as you will be leaking milk in the early days and need to wear breastpads all the time.

Relax, easier said than done !

It all works better if you’re relaxed. You’re body is designed to do this and if you have chosen to then please know that the vast majority of women are physically able to breastfeed, so it is just a case of working out how to make it work for you, your baby and your family.

Think about why you are breastfeeding.

It might help if you do come up against any issues (not everyone does, by the way). It is better for baby, it helps me lose that post-baby weight (your body lays down fat stores in preparation for breastfeeding whether you do it or not), it is cheaper (much cheaper) than formula feeding and it is less faff and hassle! You may have other/different reasons, but if you know why you’re doing it you will know how much energy you want to put into persevering.

Expect to feed a lot in the early days.

Don’t watch the clock in the early days as baby won’t be in a routine and will need to eat little and often. If your baby is rooting around or crying, then feed him or her — even if you just did. As they get older you can expect them to go longer between feeds and they will get into more of a routine making it easier to plan ahead.

Know what is a good latch.

Most problems in breastfeeding are caused by a bad latch and most can be solved by getting a good latch. As much as it would be great if midwives could help us we have to accept that they are often very busy. You know your baby has a good latch if they have a massive mouthful of boob. If they have more of your areola from above the nipple than below. If the baby is making long rhythmic sucks and their cheeks are puffing out, nice and round. If your baby doesn’t have a good latch, use your little finger to break the seal and try again.

Make sure you have support.

You need support from your family, especially your partner. It will be very hard to make breastfeeding work if they are constantly reaching for the formula bottle. Also, you need to know you have somewhere to go if you run into problems (if you are struggling with that latch, for example) so look up local breastfeeding cafes (most surestart centres should be able to point you in the right direction, even if they don’t run one themselves), or find a peer supporter near you (la leche league should be able to help you find someone local).

Do I need a Breast Pump ?

You won’t need a breast pump in the early days, you can ask your midwife to show you how to hand express if you want to release some excess milk. Once Breastfeeding is established you may want to pump some extra milk so that you have a store. Some people use a manual pump however I never managed to get a lot of milk out. You can then use the milk if you are planning on going out without baby and will be leaving them with some one. You can also freeze the milk just incase. If you are planning on this I suggest you try and get baby to take a bottle before you go out as many babies don’t take to it straight away.

Work out how you are going to breastfeed in public.

Breastfeeding in public doesn’t have to mean getting both your boobs out for all to see. It is easy to Breastfeed when out and about if you think about your outfit beforehand, either with an easy to access top or a special Breastfeeding top. Many mums like to use a Nursing Cover or Supersize Muslin Cloth which will allow baby to latch on in comfort and give you more confidence. If you are really worried about feeding in public then plan ahead as many shopping centres and larger stores have specific rooms you can use however never feel you should be feeding in the toilet, your rights to breastfeed are a legal right.

Enjoy

Having a brand new baby is the most magical time in the world. Don’t get stressed and worry, you should enjoy the time and the closeness with baby.

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Peer Support for Breastfeeding Mothers

Today we have a guest post from Mandi, who not only blogs at HexMum but is also a peer supporter for Breast friends Great Yarmouth and Waveney Breastfeeding Team.

To celebrate World Breastfeeding week 2013, the focus is on Good Peer Support for breastfeeding mothers.

When I began my breastfeeding journey over fifteen years ago, the level of information and support was very limited. I attended a breastfeeding workshop, which was a two hour group session with my midwife, who happened to be the breastfeeding expert in our area.

I knew that I wanted to breastfeed and was adamant that I would, regardless, I never bought any bottles, or a steriliser. I am one of those people that needs to know as much information as I can about a subject beforehand, so I went to the local library and found as many books as I could about childbirth and breastfeeding, and spent the pregnancy reading them all.

Many things have changed over the past fifteen years, and the level of support and information about breastfeeding has increased quite significantly.

When Tyrus was born in 2011, I was offered a telephone call from the local breastfeeding team, however I felt quite well equipped to deal with my sixth, but it was nice to know if I did have any problems that someone was at the end of a telephone.

The breastfeeding team consists of a group of trained practitioners who are always on hand to answer any questions or queries; they arrange visits to see new breastfeeding mums and their babies, if ever there is a problem someone is always available to help. They also have a number of voluntary peer supporters who work alongside them.

As the months went by, I made the decision that I had been very fortunate with my breastfeeding journey, although I knew many that hadn’t and as it is something I am very passionate about, I enquired about using my knowledge and experience to help others.
In March 2012 I undertook a two day UNICEF training course to become a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter. The area that I am in is Great Yarmouth & Waveney, and the group of supporters that we have are just fab.

Breast Friends are a dedicated group of peer supporters, trained in Breastfeeding Management by the UNICEF trained NHS East Coast Community Healthcare Breastfeeding Team.

We are all mothers with personal experience of breastfeeding who come from a variety of backgrounds with very different experiences of our breastfeeding journey.

We are always available at the local Baby Cafes to support mums before and during their breastfeeding experience. You will also find us offering help and advice at the local hospital, on the maternity ward, delivery suite and Special Care Baby unit.

I love visiting the Baby Cafe and spending time with the new mums and their bundles of joy, and love helping in any way I can. I also help to run a breastfeeding workshop once a month to provide information for mums to be and their partners, very much like the original one I attended and also with the same midwife that supported me all those years ago, so I know they are being given the best support. I am also on the postnatal ward every Monday morning, helping new mums with any breastfeeding problems or queries or just to offer support. I adore being a Peer Supporter and once this little bundle is born I shall definitely look to doing this as a full time career.

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You can follow Mandi on Facebook and on Twitter too.

From reluctant Breastfeeding to Extended Breastfeeding

Today, carrying on World Breastfeeding Week 2013, we have a guest post from Anna who blogs at www.intheplayroom.co.uk, this is her honest Breastfeeding experiences.

It’s world breastfeeding week and to help raise awareness of breastfeeding I would like to share my experiences with you all here at the Minene blog.

I have three boys, and am still breastfeeding my youngest who turns two next week. You could be forgiven for thinking I must have taken to breastfeeding really easily and had a really smooth journey to still be breastfeeding at this stage. Although that is true enough for this particular child, it was a really different story with my other two babies.

With my first baby, I just assumed that I would breastfeed and that it would all be plain sailing. I had heard all about the difficulties but I naively thought that as I had been to the breastfeeding workshop and learned all about them, that they would not affect me! Reality was different and it came as a shock how hard it was for me to get to grips with feeding. My baby had a few problems at birth, although not serious they resulted in him being separated from me immediately at birth and taken to the neonatal unit, and he was not fed for quite some time after that. I do feel that could have effected our breastfeeding experience, as I never really managed to get breastfeeding established with him. Throughout the weeks I tried it always seemed to be a battle. It lasted one month and I gave in to an emergency trip to the Supermarket for formula as I was worried he just was not feeding at all! By that time, I can honestly say it was a relief to give up, although at the same time I did feel really sad knowing that it had not worked out.

With my second baby, born under 18 months later, my previous breastfeeding experience was still fresh in my mind. I said I would give breastfeeding another go, and I did. But as he was a big baby I started mixed feeding very early and I don’t think my heart was really in the breastfeeding, so after 2 months he was fully moved over to formula.

By the time I had my third, I thought to myself that maybe I am just more of a formula feeding mum. I was willing to give it another try, but I was not expecting to carry on much longer than the other two. This time, maybe due to be a slightly more experienced mum or maybe just due to luck, I just found that breastfeeding seemed to be going really well. Feeding was easy, my baby would feed and fall asleep. He was happy, I was happy and time just went on and being busy with the three of them I just never really got around to introducing any formula to him. Before I knew it, breastfeeding had been well established and I realised that I did not want to stop any more!

So it is totally by accident that I became a long term breastfeeding mum, rather than the reluctant breastfeeding mum I was before – but I am really glad I have now had the chance to experience the positive side of breastfeeding. Having seen both sides of it, I would never judge another mum whatever way they choose to feed but I hope my experience can give some encouragement to any mums who have had a difficult experience the first time round and are hoping for things to go better in the future!

You can also follow Anna on Twitter and Facebook.

Extended and Tandem Breastfeeding

Continuing our series of real life experiences from mums, today we have Ruth who blogs at www.rocknrollerbaby.co.uk

Breastfeeding is strange; it’s both incredibly hard and unbelievably easy! I appreciate that’s a contradiction but it’s true…

It’s often hard to get started in the first place and can take weeks for your milk supply to come in. My first baby didn’t latch properly and from cracked nipples I got mastitis which made me feel super poorly and required antibiotics. But from the beginning of my long breastfeeding journey, which is still travelling, I have never regretted my choice, even on really tough days (and there are still some, even now)! Once it has been established, the baby latches properly and your milk is in regular supply, I can’t imagine anything easier, lovelier or more bonding. It is something to treasure and a time which is special for both you and the baby. I guess as with anything worth doing it just has to be worked at but as with anything worth having, it is worth the effort!

Florence was always a feeder and although not properly latched, (which was only a problem for me and my poorly nipples) she fed all day long. From the word go. Almost from the minute she popped out! I never got a rest and was up all night just lying on the sofa feeding, feeding, feeding. Eventually, with lots of help and a fortnight of expressing and finger feeding so that my boobs could heal, she learned how to latch on properly and then neither of us looked back. In those dark early days where I thought one of my nipples might actually fall off, I did ask my husband to go and buy some formula. He refused. He knew if we bought it I would give up and he knew I would be disappointed in myself. I’m glad he stuck to that otherwise I might have missed out on breast feeding.

I fed Florence exclusively until she was 6 months and remember crying because I thought it was all about to come to an end and I was sad to say goodbye to our breast feeding time. Little did I know… Oh how little did I know! A year passed and my family and friends would ask ‘when are you going to stop feeding that baby?’ I would reply ‘She will self wean…’ I know some of them didn’t like it and judged me for feeding a baby over one but I was adamant that she would finish when she was ready. She didn’t…

I carried on feeding her and when she turned 19 months old I fell pregnant for the second time with Jimmy. My boobs were so sore that when she latched on it was like knives going in me but she was not just reluctant to stop – she physically refused. Ok, so perhaps if I was stronger and could bear leaving her to cry and I’d have stopped it but I did what I thought was best for her and continued to feed through the pain. About half way through the pregnancy and it finally stopped hurting but my milk supply shot up! Florence then thought it was absolute game on! She started to feed more than ever and I knew I had to do something!

Just before Jimmy was born we moved her into a toddler bed from our breastfeeding and co-sleeping pattern. Co-sleeping isn’t for everyone but when you’re lazy like me, then breast feeding and not having to get up at all in the night is SO welcome! She was just ready and thankfully started to sleep through the night feeding only before bed! I know she wasn’t ready before then and would never have tried to insist on it. We’d tried various things before but she just wasn’t in the right place. It was simply luck that meant she finally slept just in time for a new baby.

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She didn’t stop feeding entirely and continued to have ‘milk, milk’ before bed every night for quite some time. I never thought I’d be the sort of person to still be feeding a three and a half year old but somehow I am? I don’t wear hemp skirts and nor am I a hippy. That stereotype of a prolonged breast feeder is not who I see myself as…

Perhaps people laugh at me but I don’t care. Perhaps people are disgusted but I REALLY don’t care about that! I do what’s right for us and for Florence. I still believe she’ll self wean and indeed these days she’s well on her way. She hasn’t breast fed in nearly a week as I write this so it’s going in the right direction. Gone is it a nightly occurrence and only now and then does she ask but when she asks she really wants it and I’m not really all that fussed about giving it to her. My friends and family may be so but it isn’t up to them now is it!

With Jimmy there were never any breast feeding problems and at 14 months he is still feeding too. He’s different to Florence and more feeds for the sustenance and then gets on with what he’s doing. She was and is, much more about comfort! He is very similar to her in lots of his feeding ways though and will squeeze my other nipple while he feeds which is excruciating. I had months of Florence doing the exact same and I’d love that element to stop but it won’t make me give up breast feeding because it’s so special. It’s worth a bit of pain and a bit of work and although I’ve been breast feeding without a break for three and a half years, I wouldn’t change it!

Breast milk is like magic. Babies get rashes and creams just do not work. Pop a bit of breast milk on a baby rash and it will disappear in a matter of hours! I was prescribed all sorts of creams for spots on Florence’s face when she was tiny then someone in a feeding room told me that! It worked and I have to think, if it does that on the outside then whatever kind of wonderful things is it doing on the inside!

 

You can find Ruth online at www.rocknrollerbaby.co.uk,  and also on Twitter.

Gaining confidence Breastfeeding

Today we have another Guest Post from a mum who is sharing her real life experience of Breastfeeding….Written by Becky who blogs at http://www.themummyadventure.com/

Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world, but it doesn’t always come naturally to us.  With both children I have had it easy, but that doesn’t mean that we haven’t been on a constant journey, learning all along the way.

I still remember the early weeks with Dylan, hiding in public toilets as I learnt how to latch him on properly, and panicking the whole time that I would walk out to a long queue of wheelchairs waiting to come in.  It took me weeks before I would feed Dylan in public and as soon as I mustered up the confidence, I discovered the handy feeding rooms located all over our local shopping centre.  By this point I had cracked it though, a muslin tucked into a bra strap, the layers to pull up and down and the art of eating cake as I fed (making the most of those extra calories I was allowed!)
When I had a second baby, that confidence was already there and luckily my little man took to breastfeeding as naturally as his brother had.  I saw no reason why my baby should feed in a smelly toilet and from the very first days, I have fed him wherever and whenever he is hungry.  I still prefer to cover up, but after feeding in front of mirror I am very aware of quite how big a baby’s head is and how much it covers!
It took me a few weeks to work out that a relaxed mum makes for a relaxed baby and breastfeeding is so much easier when you stop worrying about what anyone thinks.  It is the most natural thing in the world, so if it works for you then make sure you eat that extra slice of cake you are allowed!
You can find Becky on Facebook, and on Twitter too.

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World Breastfeeding Week Giveaway!

For the duration of World Breastfeeding Week 2013 (1st August – 7th August) we shall be running lots of guest posts from real life mums, who will be sharing their experiences. We also have this little lot to giveaway!

Breastfeeding week 2013 giveaway

Nursing Poncho £18

Nursing Shawl £18

Supersize Muslin £12

To be in with a chance of winning one of these items, simply fill out the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway