Topic Tuesday- Mum’s the word!

First published on together on 17/04/19

Making a decision to breastfeed your baby may be a very easy one, or not, and it’s a very personal choice. At BfT we’re all about giving families the information they need to be able to make an informed feeding choice.

People need to be aware of all the benefits of breastfeeding, but unfortunately many women are not. Often the only info women have received is ‘breast is best’ which although catchy, doesn’t actually help. It makes breastfeeding seem elitist, that by breastfeeding we are somehow better mothers, and that therefore formula is next best choice (*see last week’s topic Tuesday for feeding choices) Breast isn’t best, it’s the biological norm, it’s what our babies newborn tums are expecting and it’s what our bodies are designed to produce.

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Sharing Sunday- Sarah and Austin’s story.

First published on on 14/04/19 as part of the sharing sunday series.

Prior to trying breastfeeding, I never really liked the idea of it to be honest. I never thought it would feel natural. From the beginning, myself and my wife always said I would give breastfeeding a try, but if I didn’t want to or if I couldn’t then we were more than happy to formula feed after those first few feeds of colostrum.
However after his arrival, it becane more important and I became more stubborn, as the times he did latch well, I absolutely loved it and felt so proud that I was directly feeding our son the goodness that comes with breast milk.

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Topic Tuesday-Donations welcome!

First published on as part of the Topic Tuesday series.

Feeding choices, The World Health Organisation gives us five different feeding choices, when it comes to feeding our babies, and lists them in the order of preference.

Four of these are quite well known.

We’ve got exclusive breastfeeding and expressed breast milk coming in as first and second and a combination of breastmilk and formula milk, and exclusive formula feeding as number 4 and 5.

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Meet the team- Jess


My name is Jess, I have 2 young sons, both of which I breastfed for different amounts of time, after intensive support with my second I decided I wanted to give something back and applied to do the Level 2 Peer Support training, I completed this in March 2018 and have been actively volunteering since. I have volunteered across many different settings but I mainly volunteer on our live chat service or on the maternity ward.

In July 2018 I was lucky enough to be offered a paid role with Breastfeeding Together, I provide information to mums antenatally at various clinical settings across the borough and also visit mums postnatally to provide them with breastfeeding support.

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Sharing Sunday – Ashley & Ivy-Grace’s Story

First published on as part of the Sharing Sunday series.

I’m Ashley and my little girl is called Ivy-Grace I always wanted to breastfeed from the start of my pregnancy. I was really looking forward to all the benefits it has for my little girl.

When she was born we seemed to be doing well until day 3. She was admitted to hospital with jaundice. Whilst we was there her blood results came back saying she was dehydrated which upset me, making me feel I was letting her down. I was advised to top her up with formula to help hydrate her and get her weight back up.

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Topic Tuesday-Get your Groupon!

First published on 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?

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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.

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Sharing Sunday -Sally and Jacks Story. 

First published on 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.

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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!

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