Saturday, 29 June 2013

Breastfeeding Myths - Keep Britain Breastfeeding 2013

Hands up if you have ever heard any of these:

If you are ill, you will pass it on through your breastmilk.
You have to have a perfect diet to breastfeed.
Small breasts are no good for breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding ruins your breasts.
If you breastfeed, you'll have no idea whether your baby is eating enough.
If your baby is nursing frequently, then you don't have enough milk.
Your baby is just comfort sucking/using you as a dummy.
You can't exclusively breastfeed twins/triplets. 
Feed your baby every 4 hours/for 10 minutes each side.
Big babies/small babies need formula top ups.
He should be sleeping through the night now.

These are common beliefs about breastfeeding, but each of them is a myth or misconception. Some come from lack of education on breastfeeding or normal baby feeding behaviour; others have been perpetuated by formula companies in the bid to "booby-trap" mums into giving up breastfeeding.

So, I shall tackle each of these myths, revealing the truth, and attempting to give you some great comebacks to uneducated comments from those around you.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Breastfeeding Beyond a Year - Keep Britain Breastfeeding 2013

 "Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond." World Health Organisation

I wrote the following for my 22 month old daughter, who still loves her be-boos!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Breastmilk Pumping - Keep Britain Breastfeeding 2013

I haven't used my breast pump for about 16 months now. 

The first 6 months of B's life were highly stressful. When I wasn't breastfeeding her or administering a top up of formula, I was expressing in order to give her a top up of my own milk each day, and in the hopes of increasing my supply. 

I was lucky if I got 40-60mls over the course of 24 hours, but I dutifully gave it to her each evening.
I was so proud of myself the morning I pumped 1.5oz in one go because I woke up before B!

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A Few Breastfeeding Memories - Keep Britain Breastfeeding 2013

I have heard others talk of their negative experiences of breastfeeding in public - dirty looks, snide comments, being told to leave or feed baby in the toilets - but personally, every one of my nursing in public experiences has been positive. Perhaps I have been lucky, or maybe I just have a f**k-off look on my face! I wouldn't say I'm extremely discrete, but I always wear a vest under my top, so that I can pull one top up and the other down, showing as little breast as possible. I don't think it matters whether one pulls the top up or yanks the breast out, but I personally feel more comfortable keeping my bosoms more covered. We are protected by the Equality Act 2010 when breastfeeding in public anyway, so if anyone has a problem with you nursing in public, then it is their problem and not yours, and you are free to complain about them. Check out this info sheet for more advice.

Even princesses need their milk
There are a few humorous moments that have occurred during our breastfeeding journey. The first I remember was when B was about 5 weeks old and pulled off to smile at me. I managed to capture a photo of her lovely grin and sent it to my mum. As I was about to upload it to Facebook, I realised that my nipple was standing proud in the bottom corner of the picture, so I stopped the upload until I had time to crop it out. A few minutes later, whilst looking through my Facebook newsfeed, I saw my photograph, complete with nipple! My sister had posted it, not having noticed herself. Fortunately, she was quick to remove and crop when I pointed out the problem.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Keep Britain Breastfeeding 2013: The Importance of Breastfeeding Support

Despite 81% of women in the UK initiating breastfeeding, by 6-8 weeks after birth only 45% of those continue to breastfeed, and only 17% are exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months post-partum.1 Clearly women are meeting supposedly insurmountable obstacles to continuing to breastfeed. An NCT spokeswoman, quoted in this article, revealed that 90% of women who stopped, didn't want to.

I did a brief survey of my Facebook friends. Of those who responded, the majority of those who stopped breastfeeding did so because of the lack of support they were given. Some stopped because they had been fed myths about breastfeeding and, without proper support around them, they doubted their bodies' abilities to nourish their babies. And those who continued did so because of the support they seemingly had to hunt down, and through sheer stubbornheadedness. Most of this support came in the form of volunteers and peer supporters, not from midwives and health visitors! And also from husbands, family and friends.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Top Breastfeeding Tips For Dads: Keep Britain Breastfeeding 2013

Today, a guest post from my husband, Chris, who is my biggest breastfeeding supporter! He wrote a post for the Scavenger Hunt last year too, which you can find here.

When our first daughter was born, we discovered things weren't quite right in the feeding department.
B's weight dropped quite a bit in the first few days and we were checked into the hospital as her sodium levels were low.
After 4 days of wasted time, we got discharged and B was diagnosed with tongue tie ( and had it snipped.
We also discovered that my wife had IGT (insufficient glandular tissue) which meant that she couldn't produce enough milk.
So, we had to supplement with formula milk.

In summary, I've experienced breast feeding and formula feeding; both the positives and the negatives.

So, because of my experience, here are some top tips and some how-tos that I wish I had known before I started my journey into the world of infant feeding...

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Keep Britain Breastfeeding 2013: Why I Continue to Breastfeed

As I sat down to write this, daddy and toddler had a bit of an accident. They were tearing around the house, pretending to be lions, and B tripped and fell. She landed on her face, cutting both her lips. Blood and tears and snot were pouring down her face; her wails filled the room. But, within 30 seconds, she was sat on my lap having some mummy-milk, or "be-boos" as she calls it. The tears stopped, the sobbing quietened and she was fine before 5 minutes were up. It is situations like this that make me so glad that after all our feeding troubles, and the need to supplement B with formula because of my IGT, I chose to continue breastfeeding. 1

Last year, for the Scavenger Hunt, I wrote about Why I Breastfeed. And you can read about our first year here. This year I've decided to focus on why I, and others, continue(d) to breastfeed, and what we look back on as the top benefits of breastfeeding.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Silent Sunday

Keep Britain Breastfeeding 2013

British National Breastfeeding Week is running from 23rd-29th June 2013. You might remember that last year I was involved in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt, and I will be involved again this year. Whether you are a parent-to-be, a new mum or dad, a student nurse or midwife, someone with an interest in breastfeeding, or someone who just chanced upon this blog, it's worth getting involved. There will be loads of interesting and informative posts, and plenty of fantastic prizes up for grabs.

Check out the Scavenger Hunt site to find out more about how to get involved, whether as a blogger or company, or to enter the competition.

You can also find my posts from last year here:
Why I Breastfeed
Mother to Mother Sharing
For the Dads
After the 1st Month

Posts this year will include the following topics:
The Benefits of Breastfeeding; Top Breastfeeding Tips You Should All Know; Positive Nursing In Public Experiences & Funny Breastfeeding Memories; Breastfeeding Beyond a Year and more!