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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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Breastfeeding Advert Of The Year: GAP

Gap has been applauded, commended and given a standing ovation (by me, Chaneen Saliee) for their beautiful breastfeeding advert!

The last time we saw a hint about breastfeeding in an advertisement it was a negative depiction, which is always all to common regarding his the topic of breastfeeding! Dove, for some reason thought it necessary to support those that opposed breastfeeding in public!

One advert says “75% say breastfeeding in public is fine, 25% say put them away. What’s your way?”

25% of who? Because no one asked me.

But that malarkey is so last year, so 2017!

This year, we can proudly celebrate another step towards normalising breastfeeding! Thank you GAP.

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You Do Have Enough Milk…

Let’s learn how to increase that milk supply when it’s low!

If you are a mama who wants to breastfeed her baby (and I think this should apply to every mother capable of breastfeeding – controversial?🤷🏾‍♀️) and you’re worried that you’re not producing enough milk, fear not… read on and learn how to be enough, because you are enough.

As you may, or may not, already know breastfeeding works via supply and demand, which means the more milk is called for, the more it will flow, the less often milk is called the less milk you will produce.

And that there is the key to boosting your supply! 🔑

The moment you use a formula replacement there is no demand being met and therefore your breast will not produce milk. So supplements are not the answer!

So it’s better to be patient, dedicate yourself to the process, let baby suckle for as long as he need, heck – even though they tell you not to, let him suckle while he falls asleep, this will help to produce an abundance of milk which you can pump/express.

There are also a range of recipes; cookies and brownies (YUM), designed to help boost your milk supply. Check out @themilkbooster_ on Instagram or at www.themilkbooster.eu.

It’s important to know and understand the different ways that baby’s feed. It’s normal for baby’s to feed, and be fussy after a feed. They seem to want to feed all the time: they’re not starving, they’re cluster feeding. I’ll write a post about this soon, but for now, simply Google it.

It is also a good idea to contact a lactation consultant. They will be able to assess you situation and give you advice specific to you and your baby.

Finally, get support – ask for it, demand it, find it! There’s such a wealth of breastfeeding support on line and via several organisations. Ask your GP for a list of your local organisations. We have a guide called Breastfeeding for Dada, which explains why support is so important and how Dad and other family members can be supportive, especially when you may face situations when you feel anxious about your milk supply! Download it here.

Get in touch, I will be happy to get behind you and cheer you on @chicanddiscreet!

All the best, Mama, all the best!

Chaneen x