Topic Tuesday-Get your Groupon!

First published on www.facebook.com/breastfeedingtogether as part of the ‘Topic Tuesday’ series.

Breastfeeding groups-

Perhaps you’ve been given a leaflet about our breastfeeding groups, (along with all the other leaflets you get whilst pregnant and just after baby has been born) Hopefully it’s not been popped in the recycle bin, but here it is again, just in case!

So what are breastfeeding groups about?

Often mums think it might not be for them. What actually happens? Do we have to sit round on a circle and get our boobs out? Is everyone a bit of a hippy? Will it be friendly? Will it be cliquey? Is it for me? read more

Spotlight on Astley group.

Since the sun out and spring is here, we figure it’s about time to get out and about!

As you may know we at BfT run breastfeeding groups across the borough- these are great places to come to access continued support, but you don’t need to have a problem to come along- it’s a great way to meet and chat with like minded people.

Every so often we put a spotlight on one of our groups and this spring its the turn of our Astley group. This group runs in the clinic building at Dam House- it’s a really lovely spot and a trip to group can be combined with a walk around the lake and a brew in the tea rooms. read more

Sharing Sunday -Sally and Jacks Story. 

First published on www.facebook.com/breastfeedingtogether on 24/03/19 as part of the sharing Sunday Series.

I am a new mum to Jack, who was born in January. To say that his birth was traumatic would be an understatement! I won’t go into detail, but I was induced, hyper-stimulated and had a very long labour which ended in forceps and an epidural.
I was in Recovery for over an hour and by this time Jack was struggling to latch on and getting hungry and quite stressed. The hospital breastfeeding lady to come and see us on the ward at Bolton hospital, but nothing that we tried worked. In the end we had to give him a bottle of ready-made formula. I have since found out that as soon as possible after birth your baby should be put skin-to-skin. read more

Topic Tuesday-Harvest Festival.

You’ve been to antenatal classes, you’ve watched the YouTube videos, you’ve Googled (BfT’s top tip…. ..step away from Google! Contact us and we’ll give you great information and send you brilliant links) and you’ve made our feeding choice. You’re going to breastfeed your baby. It’s the optimal feeding choice, it’s natural, our bodies our designed to do it!
But still that little niggle remains. What if I can’t do it? What if the baby won’t latch? What if something goes wrong? We know it’s not unusual for breastfeeding to take a few days to get going, or for babies to be sleepy or reluctant to latch in those early days. So we may be worried there may be a clinical indication that baby needs a top up, and we worry our baby will starve if we don’t take formula with us to the hospital
So we pack ‘it’ in our hospital bag. That ‘Just in case’ formula milk. The thing with ‘just in case formula’ is that it winks at you at 3 o’clock in the morning. It whispers ‘use me, you’re so tired, I’ll help your baby sleep’, or ‘use me so you know your baby is getting enough’. Knowing it’s there means we can give it without having a discussion about how this can impact on our breastfeeding. Many women will make a choice to use some formula, but often it’s not as an informed choice as we think, if they don’t know there’s another option available.
We know to get breastfeeding off to the best possible start, we need to keep artificial supplementation out of the picture as much as we can. We know sometimes mums want to, or babies require supplementing, but with what we know about formula milk having the potential to stretch babies’ tummies and create allergic sensitivities within the gut, wouldn’t it be ideal if this supplementing wasn’t done with formula.
So, how can we do this?
Well, we can harvest our colostrum.
Colostrum is the first milk we produce, its packed full of antibodies and is the perfect first food for babies. If a baby is reluctant to latch at first, we can hand express colostrum and feed this to baby. It generally perks them up and encourages them to feed (think of it like an energy drink for babies!). But did you know we can do this before we even have our baby? We can start that hand expressing at home and collect our colostrum in syringes, freeze it and bring it to the hospital. If baby does require supplementing, your milk is there ready. You have your ‘just in case’ milk. You have ‘just in case’ colostrum
We wait until baby is 37 weeks before we start colostrum harvesting, as expressing has the potential to induce labour- so another great reason to try it if you are passed your due date and serving an eviction notice! We discuss and show you how to hand express at our antenatal workshops, and we can also provide you with a colostrum harvesting pack. More and more ladies are giving it a try, so get in touch if you think it’s something you’d like to do.
Like the old saying says, we reap what we sow, so let’s sow the seeds of a great breastfeeding journey by starting with a colostrum harvest! read more

Sharing Sunday – Tracy’s Story

First published on www.facebook.com/breastfeedingtogether on 17/3/2019 as part of the Sharing Sunday series.

Well, my breastfeeding journey has finally come to an end after 18 months with my eldest and 3 years with my youngest. I was very lucky never to have really suffered with mastitis or anything else that can make breastfeeding so tough. The Breastfeeding Together team are fabulous and Wigan is very lucky to have such dedicated volunteers. I wish all breastfeeding mums well on your own personal journey and urge you to enjoy every moment as, in the blink of an eye it will have ended. read more

Topic Tuesday- Safer Sleep Week 2019

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Babies need quite a bit of sleep and we know the safest place for them to sleep is in their own safer sleep space. However, many babies respectfully disagree and think the absolute perfect place to sleep is in your arms or on your chest. And I suppose it is. It’s biologically very typical, and there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with a baby who wants to do this. It can often work well during the day and with a bit of ‘tag-teaming’ and taking turns, it can work well during the night too. It can often feel that breastfed babies wake much more frequently (which itself is a protective factor against SUDI) and you are up all night either feeding or because your baby doesn’t want to be put down.
Eventually the initial adrenalin that got you through the first few days wears off. As much as lying awake staring at the amazing creature you’ve created is wonderful, it’s not sustainable. The exhaustion hits, and you need to sleep. You have bags for life under your eyes and you truly understand why sleep deprivation is used as torture.
This can be particularly challenging when your baby won’t be put down to sleep. Families are often told simply to stay awake, but we know long term, continuing trying to stay awake doesn’t work. Lone parents don’t always have the luxury of ‘tag-teaming’ and it’s not as doable one one or both parents return to work. So it’s important that families have options.
Many families will choose to bring baby into bed with them either for feeding or as a way of everyone getting some sleep.
It’s not about having an across the board ‘no, don’t do it’ but it’s about ensuring families have all the information to make informed decisions about their family’s sleeping situation.
At BfT we do more than just breastfeeding support. Ask us about information regarding safer co-sleeping/bedsharing. Ask us about the associated risk factors of SUDI. Talk to us about how to put your baby down to sleep safely. Attend our antenatal workshops, send new grandparents to our Grandparent’s workshop. Take our UNICEF leaflets. Look at the links we share. Talk to us. Let’s make this week the week to have those conversations. Let’s talk about safer sleep. read more

Sharing Sunday- Chantelle & Tiber-Leo’s Story.

First published on www.facebook.com/breastfeedingtogether on 10/3/2019 as part of the Sharing Sunday series.

Having recently moved into the borough I’ve got to say how impressed I am with the support that is available here in Wigan. Being a new mum in a new area is overwhelming, but it’s been made easier by the support from BfT.
Having supporters who are mums, and are somewhere between friends and healthcare professionals is very useful. The support I’ve been given has been great.
My baby struggled with weight gain to start with but I was reassured and got many of my questions answered from the visits and calls.
The supporters were really there for me gave me practical support and guidance.
They kept reminding me about the key principles of breastfeeding and built my confidence.
I was given a plan alongside with links to useful information, I never felt on my own during this journey and felt the support was completely tailored to mine and my baby’s needs.
As a first time mum this support has been invaluable and I feel empowered now with my breastfeeding. My confidence now with my baby has improved and I’m still exclusively breastfeeding Tiber-Leo.
read more

Colour Me Happy!

First published on www.facebook.com/breastfeedingtogether on 5/3/2019 as part of the Topic Tuesday series.

Breast milk. It’s white right? Or perhaps a bit more creamy or yellowy in those early days, but we do generally think about milk being within that vanilla colour scheme. It can be quite a surprise then, on expressing that that’s not always the case, and if it isn’t does that mean something’s wrong?

Nope. Let’s file that beautiful colour variation under perfectly natural and pretty amazing. read more

Sharing Sunday -Becki & Orlando’s Story

First published on www.facebook.com/breastfeedingtogether as part of the Sharing Sunday series.

So I’m writing this Sharing Sunday for all the new mummies. I myself am a brand new mum to my 6 week old baby boy. I wish I had joined Breastfeeding Together’s ‘Connect and Share’ Facebook group before actually giving birth. The support you get will really help you on your journey of being a new mum, struggling to take in and understand what’s right and what’s wrong, well that’s what I felt and thought for the first 2-3weeks!
I have quite high anxiety, and struggled at the start and wondered whether I’d actually be able to do it. read more

Hold me closer, tiny dancer.

First published on www.facebook.com/breastfeedingtogether as part of the Topic Tuesday series.

Book on any of our antenatal workshops (at www.breastfeedingtogether.co.uk ) and you are going to hear us talk about skin to skin. A lot.

We just can’t get enough of skin to skin at BfT and we won’t be happy until the whole of Wigan (and beyond to be fair!) is aware of the massive benefits it brings. It’s now encouraged to have your baby delivered straight in to skin to skin, and you can absolutely have skin to skin if you deliver via caesarean. It’s your prize after birthing your baby, and the most natural and beautiful way to meet them. read more