Monday, 29 August 2011

A New Addition is working with Medela UK in supporting new mummys in there quest for breastfeeding!!!

 As you all know I was unsuccessful with breastfeeding my first child due to lack of confidence and not having the back bone to say that I am the mummy! Well this time I am really going to give it my best go and  I am lucky enough to be working with Medela UK who's lactation consultant Sioned Hilton has passed on some information to some questions to which I asked, they have also sent me a swing breastpump to review, I am very much looking forward to working with them and I hope you find these posts as useful as I am :)  
Here is my first Installment of helpful information passed onto me from Sioned Hilton, Education manager and lactation consultant Medela UK.
What would you recommend in regard to preparation to breastfeeding when pregnant?
  1. Collect information -   you will receive information from your midwife throughout your pregnancy. Resources include bump to breastfeeding DVD ( a peer support program), a NHS leaflet ‘off to a good start’ along with finding out where your local breastfeeding support groups are.
  2. Talk to other mums -  to find out when the feeding groups meet and where you can comfortably breastfeed when you are out and about. many new mothers are still learning how to position and attach baby and it’s important for mum and baby to get the hang of this as breastfeeding is baby led and baby doesn’t always follow a clock and decide it’s a feed time right in the middle of a supermarket. No mother should be made to feed her baby in a toilet so find a nice coffee shop 
  3. Be ready for the challenges - it does take time to get your milk supply established and baby to latch on. Be aware of the challenges – day 3 milk coming in with sore and full breasts, baby feeding frequently and having difficulty latching on, the baby blues, at 3 weeks your baby will go through a growth spurt and again will feed more frequently. Chat to your midwife / HV so that they can give you realistic expectations and tips. 
  4. Watch another mum breastfeeding - remember an older baby has established a good milk supply and knows how to attach ask her about her post birth experiences 
  5. Nature prepares your breasts for you - In the first trimester of your pregnancy one of the first signs of pregnancy is that your breasts are more sensitive and can be fuller. Towards the middle trimester the glandular tissue essential for the production of milk starts to develop and some mothers may start leaking colostrum from as early as 18weeks gestation. This is normal – these mums must ensure that they support good breast care 
  6.   Milk leakage in pregnancy is easy to manage with washable and disposable bra pads – these need to be changed regularly so that the breasts are healthy. 
  7. Use a well-supported maternity bra – ( preferably without seams such as seamless bra by Bravado) you may go up several cup and bra sizes during your pregnancy so it is advisable to have a correctly fitted bra and steer away from all under-wired bras 
  8. If your nipples are ultra-sensitive - breastshells can relieve the pressure of the bra from the nipples or using Hydrogel pads can soothe tender nipples 
  9. Nature provides mums - with a natural tummy pillow post birth so don’t rush out and buy a breastfeeding pillow. Position and attach your baby first and then use a cushion or pillow to support your arm 
  10. Talk to your partner and family. The majority of breastfeeding mothers decide to breastfeed after a discussion with their partner Dad has an important role to play by complimenting, motivating and encouraging her during the good and tougher times – the 3am feed, sore nipples etc. dads can help out with other baby chores such as bathing and nappy changes, burping and skin to skin cuddles. 
  11. If you are embarrassed about feeding in front of family - chat to them before your baby is born, explain why you are going to breastfeed and how they can support you. If your dad or father in law comes to visit and he’s a bit embarrassed ask him would he mind getting you a drink from the kitchen whilst you latch baby on, that way when he comes back  with you drink the baby will be plugged in and feeding well and they will get used to seeing you breastfeed – the more society sees it as a natural extension of motherhood the less taboo breastfeeding in public is. 
  12. When packing your maternity / delivery bag - plan a small make up bag with your post birth breastfeeding essentials- nipple cream to moisturise and reduce sore nipples such as PureLan, disposable bra pads – you may not need many as you will probably be discharged before your milk comes in. Hydrogel pads to soothe sore nipples. Pen and paper to jot down support groups in your area. Along with a feeding top / bra that you can wear under your front opening clothing – a couple of muslin squares are useful for giving you some dignity and covering your baby on the breast if you are in an open ward and feeding during visiting
 And here was my personal question:
I was told recently that by expressing the milk before baby is born it will increase your chances of being a successful breast feeder because you have a better production of milk, does this help and if so how far along your pregnancy should you start thinking about it?
There is no clinical evidence to support the practice of collecting colostrum to improve breastfeeding outcomes. Some hospitals will discuss the option of collecting colostrum in ladies with gestational diabetes to reduce the risk of using formula if their baby has low blood sugars. The risks of expressing antenatally stimulates the hormone oxytocin  - this is essential for the delivery of milk by triggering the milk ejection reflex and contracting and moving the milk along the ducts. This hormone is also essential to contract the uterus during labour and when you have Braxton hicks.. There are no current guidelines for safe expressing antenatally and this should not be carried out before 36 weeks gestation or without consultation with your midwife.  
Please watch out for our next installment and please let me know of any questions you would like me to ask :) 
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