Sharing Sunday- Vicky & Alfie’s story:

First published on on 24/02/19 as part of the Sharing Sunday series.

Breastfeeding has been the biggest rollercoaster of my life! Little Alfie and I started out fantastic, 2 weeks into our journey his latch slipped as he was not opening his mouth wide enough to feed properly. I became so cracked and sore, I almost threw in the towel. It was too painful to feed so I opted to use nipple shields but he wasn’t gaining weight. I then decided to exclusively express and luckily he took to the bottle straight away! Eventually Alfie was checked for tongue tie and this was the prime cause, it was cut and we were able to return to breastfeeding. It took me a while to heal but it all worked out perfectly in the end. He is coming up to 7 months now and breastfeeding is the best parts of my day! Any problems i’ve had in the meantime (such as a nursing strike after his injections) I’ve reached out on the Facebook page and have been supported ongoing. read more

I (don’t) like big buts, and I cannot lie.

First published on on 19/2/2019 as part of the Topic Tuesday series.

But. It’s a very little word, that can cause a lot of problems- particularly for breastfeeding mums. It can often shame us, make us doubt ourselves, leave us questioning our decisions and our feeding choices.
How often do we hear……
“I support breastfeeding…….but.

You shouldn’t do it in public
Why not just express it now?
Not once they are eating solids
Not after they are 6 months
It needs to be discreet
It wasn’t for me
Fed is best.
But.. But….But…. read more

Sharing Sunday- Claire & Arthur’s Story

First published on on 17/01/2019 as part of the Sharing Sunday series.

Breastfeeding hasn’t worked out as I’d planned. I tried and tried to get my son (Arthur) onto the boob, but he wouldn’t latch on and feed as I’d hoped he would. I also struggled finding a comfortable feeding position. However, I was determined to give my son my milk, so in hospital I syringe fed my baby after hand expressing, whilst having plenty of skin-to-skin contact.

When we got home I knew we needed help, as I was aware that syringe feeding wasn’t a long-term feeding solution and we were still struggling to breast feed. I called Breastfeeding Together and a peer supporter came out to see us that day and helped myself and my partner to come up with a feeding plan. I would continue to express milk and feed it to my baby using a bottle and I’d also get some nipple shields to help my baby to latch onto my breast. We had a peer supporter visit us every day that week and I also used the connect and share group to ask others for advice on everything from breast pumps to power expressing. The support was invaluable. read more

Boozing and Boobing!

First published on on 12/2/2019 as part of the Topic Tuesday series.

So, no one wants to be the mum who puts her hand up in an antenatal workshop and asks about how many gins* you can have whilst breastfeeding! We fear being judged for wanting to end our pregnancy prohibition as soon as possible, truth is the majority of mums want the answer to this question!

There’s also a lot of conflicting information out there and old fashioned ideas about what mums should or shouldn’t do whilst breastfeeding. read more

So, it’s happened!

First published on on 5/2/2019 as part of the Topic Tuesday series.

So, its happened. The labour, The birth. That sweet little face is peering up at you, and your life changes in an instant. There’s not just you anymore, there’s one more!

The first 48 hours after having a baby can be some of the most daunting and exhilarating for lots of mums. But what actually happens to your milk supply when you have a baby?

During pregnancy your hormone levels are all over the place, your oxytocin and your prolactin start to rise to help you body prepare for having the baby. Delivery of the placenta kick starts your oxytocin (love hormone) and Prolactin (milk making hormone) to help your body produce that amazing substance breast milk! read more

Chin up, Boobs Out!

First published on on 29/1/2019 as part of the Topic Tuesday series.

After spending much of our early years perfecting the way to display our breasts to their best advantage during a Friday night out, suddenly breastfeeding creates a new relationship with our boobs as for some reason ‘Friday night boobs’ and lactating boobs are viewed differently by society. We’re happy to see breasts showcased in a magazine, but not when they are doing what is actually their primary function.
And that’s where the nerves surrounding feeding in public can start. Mums are often left feeling that the public are going to be unsupportive and judgemental, that feeding in public has to be discreet to be acceptable (Which it absolutely can be and should be if that’s how the mum wants to feed) or that it can only be done in certain designated places.
No don’t get me wrong, for many women, feeding in public is a non-issue, and that’s fantastic. The more these women feed and the more breastfeeding is seen and normalised the easier it becomes for the next woman.
But for many women the thought of getting their breasts out in public amongst the potential stares and glares can be very nerve-wracking and potentially remove one if the great benefits breastfeeding- that it is ‘on tap’ and you can literally provide your baby with food, drink and comfort, anywhere and at any time.
So how can we build our confidence for that first public feed? Or continue to feed confidently in public? read more

(When) The only way is expressing

First published on on 22/1/2019 as part of the Topic Tuesday series.

Expressing- for lots of mums it’s an extra little perk of breastfeeding that we can express our milk and give to baby if we are not able to be there when baby wants feeding.
Breast milk is amazing and lasts brilliantly; it’s
ok for around 6 hours at room temperature, 6 days in a fridge and 6 months in a freezer so we can gather up a little stash to use when we need it with our only worry being not to spill it- as whoever said we don’t cry over spilt milk was clearly not talking about breast milk!
Expressing means mums are able to return to work and continue to breastfeed, have a night out (what is it about the excessive number of hen parties that seem to be happening while we are breastfeeding?!) and that dads/partners can join in with feeding.
You can express when you are introducing solids and add your milk to food, even express little bits to have jewellery made!
But there’s another group of mums for who expressing is so much more.
Let’s have a little shout out to our Exclusive Expressers! Some mums will choose expressing as a feeding choice (It’s the second preferred feeding choice as listed by the World Health Organisation after breastfeeding)
However for some mums circumstances such as an early or poorly baby, or a baby who is unable to latch leads mums into this group. It can be a tough club to be in.
Pumping round the clock, then feeding too, washing bottles, labelling milk, sterilising equipment, always needing to be a a few feeds ahead often removes some of the convenience of breastfeeding.
But still mum continues.
Not having a baby feeding at the breast can often mean oxytocin isn’t as high, therefore the milk doesn’t flow as freely, resulting in longer or more frequent expressing sessions.
But still mum continues.
Society is just about catching up with mums feeding in public, but even the bravest of breastfeeding mums may feel apprehensive about expressing in public! So it can be quite restrictive, needing days out and about to be planned to fit in expressing.
But still mum continues.
Mum’s who are exclusively expressing will often say “I’m only expressing”, “I’m just pumping”.
But there is no only.
There is no just.
You are a breastfeeding mother, feeding her baby, it’s just sometimes breastfeeding looks like this read more

Help-My baby is broken!

First published on on 15/1/2019 as part of the Topic Tuesday series.

“Aw, how lovely a new baby, what’s their name, how heavy were they……..”
Wait for it, wait for it…..
“Are they good for you??”
Are they good?! What does that mean? What is a ‘good’ baby?
What people mean is does your baby sleep and do they not really impact upon your life very much, but why does that equate to being good?
A favourite answer was always ” they are very good, they haven’t robbed a bank today” which tended to leave those asking slightly confused as they couldn’t see why their innocent question was met with slight sarcasm.
We are so used to the idea of a ‘good baby’ being an actual thing that we don’t really think of the impact these words have, particularity on sleep deprived new parents.
If our baby ‘isn’t good’, if they don’t simply feed and sleep, are they somehow ‘bad’? And if I have a ‘bad baby’ am I somehow a bad mother/parent? What am I doing wrong? Is my baby broken? Have I broken them?
The thing is these babies are not broken, a ‘bad baby’ is actually perfectly biologically ‘normal’. Our babies are born into an alien world. For the last 9 months they’ve been held, they’ve heard a heartbeat, they’ve never felt hunger, never felt thirst, been at a constant temperature, it’s like the perfect 9 month all inclusive! Then they are born into a bright, noisy, dry environment where they have to work for food and are expected to settle alone without the reassuring touch they have become used to. It’s no wonder that the majority of babies won’t simply feed, settle and sleep, but instead make their needs known. read more

Returning to Work

First published on on 8/1/2019 as part of the Topic Tuesday series.

 Returning after maternity leave; it’s a big change and you’ve suddenly got a whole new routine to find, which can be particularly difficult when you’ve spent the last 6/9/12 months getting your head round babies being incapable of learning routines, responsive feeding and your focus being your new bundle of joy rather than your career! The problem with our society is, mothers are expected to raise a family like they have no job, and perform in the workplace like they aren’t a mother. We can feel guilty leaving baby, guilty if we are actually looking forward to it, worry how baby will cope, will they eat, will they settle….. add breastfeeding and continuing to breastfeed/expressing whilst at work into this and it can begin to feel like an impossible task. Many mothers are left feeling like continuing to breastfeed once they return to work is more hassle than it’s worth, especially when advertisements for formula milks convince us that formula follow on milks are the perfect choice for ‘moving on to’. Absolutely, every mother should make her own informed choice about the best way to feed her baby but if more mothers got all the information, if more employers were informed enough to be able to support breastfeeding mothers, more breastfeeding journeys could continue for as long as mothers wanted them to. read more

Happy New Year!

First published on on 1/1/2019 as part of the Topic Tuesday series.

Resolutions are everywhere at this time of year, and whether you plan on making changes or not, we thought we’d have a think about resolutions for Breastfeeding Mums. Here’s our top 5……….are there any more you’d add to the list?!

1. Become Informed.
Whether you are a mum to be, a new mum or nursing a toddler (or beyond), make 2019 your year to be informed and educated about why breastfeeding matters and all the benefits for you and baby, then, you can make/carry on making really informed feeding choices. read more