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Your Positive Breastfeeding Stories: Charlotte

I have said time and again, that although we are lucky here in the UK to have help and advice regarding breastfeeding, it is still inconsistent and therefore ineffective. As we recently saw on the news, Public Health England suggests more needs to be done to help breastfeeding mums.

Today, I am speaking to new Mum, Charlotte who tells me that a lactation consultant suggested that her breastfeeding journey would have to come to an end after just six weeks! Six weeks!

I was induced 3 weeks early, given diamorphine in labour and forgotten about.. anyway by the time baby was born, she had been pressed against my pubic bone for hours so she had a keffel haematoma, a broken nose and two black eyes. She wouldn’t wake up at all for me to feed her. 12 hours later, still in maternity ward she still hadn’t latched. I hand expressed some colostrum and the midwife gave it to her in a syringe. She gave me some nipple shields and discharged me.

I took my baby home who still hadn’t woke to latch or cry and I couldn’t feed her. By 5am I messaged a breastfeeding consultant who came straight out to see me out of hours! 

She told me to express using an electric pump and give her a bottle as she hadn’t fed in 12 hours and was starting to look very jaundiced. She then attempted to latch her but it was impossible. She came out 3 times a day for a week and my baby wouldn’t latch, the pain was excruciating, her latch was so shallow and I would scream
So I would pump and bottle feed her every day but attempt to feed too without success. She was checked for tongue tie but didn’t have one.
I was so upset that I couldn’t feed and hated pumping, and then I got mastitis. I was in too much pain to feed so started completely bottle feeding. My consultant then showed me how to use my nipple shields and after a couple of weeks.  At six weeks old she finally latched on to a shield. Phew, right?
Wrong, because then she got bronchiolitis and wouldn’t feed at all. I managed to wean her off shields at ten weeks old with a lot of practice!
At a month old my lactation consultant told me I can successfully pump and should do so as she believed my breastfeeding journey come to an end. She explained a lot of women do this because unfortunately sometimes some women just can’t feed and she could seen how hard I was trying without luck.
But I had SO much determination and wouldn’t take no as an answer! I’m so glad I persevered and now I exclusively breastfeed my beautiful 5 month old girl.
YAY! How harrowing. How amazing. How blooming inspiring!
Mama, you can do the same, with the right support, knowledge and determination you can feed freely just like Charlotte!
A Word of Advice
Do the research for your specific issue, join groups (there’s thousands on facebook) and consult medical professionals, of course, just be aware that opinions often differ. To help others around you to be more supportive download our Free guide: Breastfeeding for Dada, which will help family members understand the breastfeeding process and why it is so important that they are calm and positive around you.
To learn more about using nipple shields here’s a post By Barbara Wilson Clay for Medela 
All the best Mama, all the best.
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How To Use Nipple Shields For Breastfeeding: Medela

Early latch-on problems are not unusual. For most mothers, breastfeeding takes a bit of practice! Most of the time, a little coaching from a skilled helper is all that is needed to get things going.

For difficult or persistent latch-on problems, many breastfeeding experts suggest the temporary use of a nipple shield. Made of thin, soft, silicone that doesn’t interfere with nipple stimulation, the Medela nipple shield is worn during breastfeeding. Holes at the tip allow milk to flow to the baby. A nipple shield may help protect breastfeeding when:

• The baby is premature, ill, or small. A nipple shield may make feeding easier for a small or weak baby. Because suction inside the nipple shield holds the nipple in an extended position, the baby can pause without ‘losing’ the nipple. Milk pools in the tip of the shield, and provides an immediate reward when the baby resumes suckling. Research shows that the milk intake of premature infants increases when a nipple shield is used. As the baby gains weight and matures, the shield becomes unnecessary.

• The mother has flat or inverted nipples. Some new mothers have nipple tissue that is not very stretchable. If it is difficult for the baby to draw in the mother’s nipple, the baby may pull away, cry, or simply fall asleep. The Medela nipple shield provides sensation deep in the mouth that stimulates the baby to keep sucking. As the milk begins to flow, the baby discovers that breastfeeding works! Over time, the mother’s nipples will become more pliable, and the shield is no longer needed to trigger the sucking reflex.

• The baby has had many bottles and now refuses the breast. Because the nipple shield feels similar to a bottle nipple, it can be used to coax a reluctant baby to accept the breast. Try this trick when the baby is not very hungry and the mother’s breasts are full. Drip a little expressed milk onto the top of the shield to moisten it. Drip milk into the corner of the baby’s mouth to reward the baby for trying. If the milk supply is low, an SNS™ taped under the shield can help provide an encouraging milk flow. Some babies need only a few sessions with a shield to return to full breastfeeding. Other will need more practice, or perhaps brief use of the shield at the beginning of each feed. Bottles can be decreased or discontinued as the baby becomes comfortable with nursing.

WHEN USING A NIPPLE SHIELD:

Correct latch is important.

Correct latch
Poor latch
Latch On series

A good latch is especially important when the mother is using a shield. The baby’s jaws must close on the breast, not out on the shaft of the nipple shield. Sucking only on the nipple pinches off the milk flow and fails to stimulate the milk supply. The baby will not get enough milk, and growth may be affected. It helps to have the baby’s latch evaluated by a trained Breastfeeding Specialist.

Cleaning the shield is important.

It is necessary to keep the nipple shield clean. Wash in hot soapy water and rinse in lots of hot water after each use. Boil once daily.

Choosing the correct size shield is important.

Chose the right size shield for the size of the baby’s mouth. If a shield is too big, the baby cannot adequately draw up the mother’s nipple, or may gag on the shield. The Newborn Small size shield is best for most small babies.. Medela makes several types of nipple shields, the Newborn Small, Newborn Regular, and Contact™ Nipple Shields in two sizes.

Protection of the milk supply is important.

Milk supply is controlled by how much milk the baby takes. A small, weak or poorly suckling baby may under-stimulate the milk supply. When using a nipple shield, it is important to pump after nursing to make sure the breasts are well emptied. Pumped milk can be used to supplement the baby. Pumping after feeding is necessary until it is clear that the milk supply is stable and the baby is growing well. We suggest a hospital quality pump such as the rented Symphony® or Lactina® breastpumps.

Nipple shields are devices that are used to help babies who are not yet breastfeeding normally. Medela suggests that mothers using nipple shields seek advice from a lactation consultant or other trained individual, as well as their physicians. Babies should have weight checks frequently to ensure baby’s health and good growth.


Helpful Hints:
Sit the shield on the nipple with the brim turned up like a hat. Then smooth down the edges. This will help the shield stick better. Moistening the edges will also hold it in place. Some mothers have larger nipples than the small shield can accommodate. Try the next largest size. However, observe carefully to see if this size works for the baby. A shield will not solve all problems, and sometimes other equipment may be appropriate.

WEANING OFF YOUR BABY FROM THE NIPPLE SHIELD:

The nipple shield is a tool to help solve a specific latch problems. They are not a substitute for experienced breastfeeding assistance. If you are using a nipple shield, we suggest that you keep in touch with your lactation professional and your physician as you work to breastfeed comfortably and effectively. The goal is to return to full breastfeeding with no need for special equipment. As the baby’s breastfeeding ability improves, remove the shield at various times during each feeding. If the baby seems unable to nurse without the shield, this means the problem is not yet resolved. Just keep practicing. So long as the baby is growing well, the continued use of the shield is not a major problem. If it appears that the baby could manage without the shield and is using it from habit, some mothers try spending a day in bed with the baby. Quiet time with increased skin-to-skin contact and frequent practicing will reassure the baby that he or she doesn’t really need the shield any more. Cutting away the tip of a silicone is not advised. The cut edges may irritate the baby’s mouth.

By Barbara Wilson Clay for Medela 

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Breastfeeding is Picking Up Traction

On any given day you might sit at your laptop, type in breastfeeding, because why not, and you’ll see a whole range of posts dated 2017, 2014, 2012!

However, in 2018 breastfeeding seems to be gaining traction in the UK media. Which is just fabulous!

I have given GAP my standing ovation for their new breastfeeding advert. I have joined in the conversation with the Loose Women Ladies and thanked ITV news for picking up the conversation on breastfeeding, all while creating some unique breastfeeding clothes for my beautiful customers!

I’m happy 😃

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To Breastfeed or not to Breastfeed?

Not every mum has access to information about the importance of breastfeeding. To be frank, the information most readily available to most of us is utter pish-posh. I say this because some doctors say breastfeed, and others say, all too freely, your baby needs cows milk.

Only in a few cases does a baby ‘need’ cows milk. Now, I don’t claim to be an expert but I’ve done my share of research and I have read over and over again that there are a few medical scenarios in which a baby ‘needs’ cows milk, (that’s formula by the way):

– if the mother has HIV/AIDS

– if the mother has had a double mastectomy

– if the mother is seriously ill and/or is on any medication that could be toxic to the baby through the breastmilk

– if the mother is undergoing radiation treatment, which can affect the breastmilk

– if the baby was born before 32 weeks (this is a temporary need, the mother can mix feed and then breastfeed exclusively if she wishes)

– if the baby has Galactosemia, a rare metabolic genetic disorder (in this case all forms of milk are to be avoided)

If none of the above are applicable, then breast is best, any difficulties can be smoothed out with patience and perseverance.

Formula milk does not and cannot replace the benefits of breastmilk. I mean, a baby will be full up instead of hungry, but they are not protected from illnesses and diseases like they would be if they were breastfed.

Seek advice and further information before you decide to move on to formula.

I leave you with this… formula cows milk is an artificial milk created to support families with the problems mentioned above. Formula was designed to be used when it is medically needed.

In you case, is it? Is it medically needed?

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Breastfeeding For the Fathers: TOP TEN TIPS

be the best dad there is

New-Fatherhood is on the horizon and you want to get it right! Many father’s find it difficult to bond with their new baby or new family in the early days. A lot of that is due to their lack of engagement and/or confidence.

So we’ve compiled a list of our top ten tips for new dads of breastfed babies. This list and our guide will help you to feel involved in the breastfeeding process. AND, and, and ultimately help you to have a better bonding experience with your new family.

All the best!


Here’s our top tips:

 

  1. Tell her she is doing an AMAZING job
  2. Get her food, snacks and drinks
  3. Make sure she eats healthily and stays hydrated
  4. Get her pillows and arm rests
  5. Ask her what she would like for you to do
  6. Burp the baby
  7. Get up with her for night feeds
  8. Encourage her to continue in times of worry
  9. Get her out of the house (and support her with our Breastfeeding in Public Survival Guide)
  10. Help with her confidence, get her some breastfeeding friendly clothes.

Each step in this list will help your family so much in the early stages. It’s important that you establish a healthy breastfeeding relationship from early on to ensure a happy and healthy baby.

 We’ve created a quick and easy 15 page guide with lots of white space and only the most vital information. It’s all about breastfeeding, and being a supportive Dada!

Click here to get your free guide!

 

FATHER BF IMAGE.png

You’ll be grateful to have had it sent to you.

Click here to access your FREE guide!

As an aside: I do endorse my breastfeeding tees and other freebies a little, of course, but really it’s all about the baby. And it’s only the last two pages.

All the best.