What’s in a Nappy?

This is one of those things that no one really warns you about (unless you attend one of our Pregnancy Sessions of course) As a new parent, you are never going to talk about poo so much!

You’ll probably take photo’s of it to show us, and may even hold onto old nappies ready for when the midwife pops round! After all the contents of your new baby’s nappy are really not much like the poo you know, and really not like much else on earth!

And we’ll let you into a little secret- we’re all a little bit obsessed with poo too! In those early days of breastfeeding, it’s one of the best ways for us to see what’s going in- by looking at what comes OUT, in the form of wee and poo!

The first poo your baby will pass isn’t actually poo. It’s meconium. This black, sticky, tar like substance is in your baby’s bowel whilst you are pregnant, it helps to keep their bowel sterile, but after it’s just not needed so out it comes- in fact that first feed helps to get it moving.
Imagine if someone put marmite in a tube of toothpaste and just kept squeezing- that’s meconium! It keeps on coming and takes copious wet cotton balls to actually remove. Expect at least 1-2 in the first 24- 48 hours- although prepare for many more!!! 1-2 wet nappies at this stage is also all we would be looking for. Their tummies are tiny and don’t hold much- around 5-7mls, so they won’t create much wee yet.

Eventually that meconium is almost all gone, and babies’ poo changes- we even call this a changing stool. It’s the end of that meconium and the beginnings of the digestion of breast milk. Its green and quite ‘bitty’- think mint sauce or pesto!! Again, from around day 3 we’re expecting a couple in 24 hours. Wet nappies continue to show us baby is taking enough too, by this stage we’d want 3 or more heavier nappies alongside that changing stool.

Often, we then have a little journey through a few shades of brown, finished with the grand finale of poo on around day 5….
chicken korma or English mustard!! This soft yellow poo is a great sign baby is feeding on your mature breast milk, and another bonus is it smells kinda nice- Quite sweet smelling really! We’re still wanting 2 poos a day, whether it’s a £2 coin sized splat, or a full chin to back of neck ‘poonami’ (more on those later!). Although there’s no upper limit, and many breastfed babies will poo after every feed. Wet nappies should also have increased to around 5+per day by now and around a wee per feed as they get bigger.

Breastfed babies’ poo is often very loose. They’ve not got the runs, it’s just what their poo is like! It doesn’t ever really form into a stool until you introduce solid foods though adding formula can make the stools a little darker and thicker or more ‘paste’ like (we’re talking peanut butter here!)

Wet nappies continue to always be a really good indicator of effective feeding as does poo, but only up until around 4-6weeks.
Beyond that, some exclusively breastfed babies can go up to 10 days without a poo! They aren’t constipated, they’ve just become more efficient at feeding and there’s not as much wastage in breastmilk.

So, if you are ever worried about what’s going in, focus instead on what’s coming out!!! read more

Easter Craft- FREE Download

Are you celebrating your little ones first Easter this year? Why not have a go at making a keepsake footprint bunny! All you’ll need is a drop of poster paint, a ball of cotton wool and a spot of glue (and maybe an extra pair of hands to help you hold baby while you paint those little toes!) You can download and print our template here-

easter cardDownload

Science Sunday!

There’s a whole lot of ongoing research going on surrounding Covid19, the associated vaccines and how they interact with breastfeeding. We’ve spotted a couple of really interesting reports this week…..

First is a very small study, yet to be peer reviewed but yield’s very promising results. Knowing what we already do about how breastmilk works, we’ve long suspected that any vaccine would create antibodies which could then be found in mothers milk. This study forms the start of proof for this! Read more from the original document here read more

Breastfeeding Friendly is back!

We are excited to announce that our Breastfeeding Friendly Scheme is back!

This is perfectly timed following this weeks announcement from the UK government with their ‘roadmap’ out of current restrictions. Over the coming months more businesses will be reopening and new mums will be able to get out and about, many for the first time since giving birth! We know that the UK has some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world and this can make breastfeeding in public, or in front of others a very daunting prospect for many new mums, and even mums of older babies too. read more

Covid Vaccine Information

With the beginning of the Covid Vaccination programme starting we are hearing lots of questions and concerns about safety and recommendations surrounding this and what this means for pregnant & breastfeeding mums.

As we aren’t medically trained ourselves, we can’t comment directly but have put together a selection of reputable sources to allow you to access further information. Remember this is a developing situation and as more research is completed guidelines may change. If you have any concerns about your individual situation, speak to your health care provider. read more

Topic Tuesday-Message in a Bottle

As much as we might be enjoying breastfeeding, many mums will want at some point to introduce a bottle.
Perhaps we have a night out planned, dad/partner wants to help out or you just want a bit of a break. All great ‘reasons’ to want to express and give a bottle. However we’ve found many mums worry that giving a bottle will ‘ruin’ breastfeeding or cause problems. Or worry about the right time to do it.

So when is the right time?

We know when bottles are given too soon it can cause what we call ‘nipple confusion’. Babies can struggle to latch back at the breast and become fussy and reluctant to breastfeed. Leave them too late, and a baby that’s been exclusively breastfed for a few months may refuse to take a bottle at all.

It’s really about finding that ‘Goldilocks’ moment…..not to soon, not too late but ‘just right’.

When there’s not a clinical need to supplement via bottle, we’d encourage waiting around 4-6 weeks before introducing a bottle. At this stage we find the majority of babies have perfected their art with breastfeeding and are able to switch more successfully between breast and bottle. Bottle feeding is physically much easier- they’ll get a bigger reward (a quick full tum) for less effort, and after all they are just little humans and who doesn’t want an easier way?!

Babies also latch very differently on a breast than they do on a bottle. They don’t take the same big mouthful of the bottle- which is why many of the ‘closer to the breast’ bottles aren’t always accepted by babies. There’s no bottle that works better for a breastfed baby, it’s a bit of trial and error, but we’ve found a pound shop bottle often works well- so start off cheap!!!

By this stage, they are pretty efficient breast feeders, so less likely to get a bottle preference, but there’s still more we can do to help prevent it…

Paced bottle feeding-

Is something that’s been around a few years now and we love it! It just makes sense as a way to feed babies with bottles. It mimics some aspects of breastfeeding (the biological norm) so it’s how babies are expecting to be fed. It promotes secure attachment and helps prevent over feeding. It’s recommended for all bottle fed babies regardless of whether there is breastmilk or formula milk in the bottle. Watch the video for more on paced bottle feeding-

So, if we wait a little while and use a paced bottle feed, chances are baby will switch well between breast and bottle, just give them a little time to get used to another part of their breastfeeding journey!

Topic Tuesday- The Generation Game

Often one of the best assets new families have are the grandparents.
Providers of practical support, childcare and financial backing! What would we do without them?
We know that grandparents provide children with so much, and the relationship between new parents and their parents gives children their first insights into how families work.

The feedback we got from new families was that their own parents were a great source of support, but it was often difficult as much of the information had changed and parents were torn between listening to advice from their parents and wanting to follow the research based information given to them.

So BfT stepped in and developed our Grandparents Workshop!

Our workshop is focused very much on bridging the gap between the generations, because it’s all based on the latest research we can explain why-

  • Why picking your baby up every time they cry doesn’t create a rod for your own back (it actually helps their brain to develop and create a secure attachment)
  • Why we don’t give breastfed babies cool boiled water (your breastmilk will adapt to meet their needs for thirst as well as hunger)
  • Why we wait until 6 months to introduce solid foods (their digestive system just isn’t ready before then)
  • Why we don’t put babies to sleep on their tummies or sides (we know much more about the associated risks of SUDI now)
  • read more

    Our Queens Award Presentation

    You might remember back in June, Breastfeeding Together were named as recipients of The Queens award for Voluntary Service!

    We had really hoped that by now we’d be able to receive the award in a lavish ceremony, and throw a huge party for all our wonderful volunteers.

    Yet as with so many things in 2020, that wasn’t meant to be and in the end it was a simple affair, as yesterday our directors officially accepted the award from The Queen’s representative. read more

    Sharing Sunday-Abigail and Francis’ Story

    On the back of World mental health day yesterday, and as this week (October 9-15) is Baby Loss Awareness Week, we are honoured that Abigail has chosen to share her story with us.

    This one comes with a trigger warning, as it discusses baby loss.

    And if you do read on, make sure you have tissues close to hand!

    Thank you to Abigail and Francis for sharing, you are truly inspirational.

    When I was pregnant I knew that I wanted to “at least try breastfeeding, but I wasn’t going to get hung up over it if I couldn’t do it”. But as soon as my baby, Francis was born in June 2019 I became obsessed with all things breastfeeding. I think it was due to all the amazing support I had from the hospital, Breastfeeding Together and family that got me through those tricky first few weeks and made breastfeeding such an amazing experience. I would breastfeed anywhere and everywhere, and I loved every second of it. Francis was born with a Congenital Heart Defect, and I knew that breastfeeding was giving him the best possible chance in life. However, at just 6 months old my baby boy suddenly and unexpectedly passed away in my arms due to his heart condition.

    Within only a few hours I was full again, ready to feed him. I told my son’s consultant who had come to speak with us, sent for a Midwife who appeared with a breast pump. I’d never used a pump before, but she showed me how to put it together and I was able to express. She told me how to slow my supply over the next two weeks and offered me medication to help. But I asked her if it was possible to donate my milk. I’d seen something about it on instagram a few weeks before but I wasn’t even possible if it was something that happened in this country, let alone in Wigan. She went away and got a phone number for the North West Milk Bank who my mum called once we were home. She recommended only doing it until my milk dried up, but I felt like this was a new calling for me.

    Particularly in those early dark days, expressing milk was the only thing that gave my life any meaning. I had to eat for the milk. I had to drink for the milk. I had to get out of bed for the milk. I couldn’t turn to drink and drugs as so many people in that situation do because of the milk. I donated to the North West Human Milk Bank until Francis was 9 months old (and then slightly longer to help with COVID milk supplies) and since then I have donated to three other babies through Human Milk 4 Human Babies. Getting to see these babies grow up is such a privilege for me and my husband and is helping to keep Francis’ legacy alive. These children will grow up knowing about Francis, and as Francis’ Mummy and Daddy that is all we can ask. Today (10/10/2020) marks 16 months of breastfeeding. From feeding Francis nearly 12 hours per day in December I am now expressing just twice, once in the morning and once at night. Like I have with every other feed, I will continue to listen to my body and cut down as and when I feel ready.

    I can’t thank everyone involved in our feeding journey enough. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that breastfeeding has saved my life.