Saturday 30 June 2012

Day 30 Final Day of the Hunt

The final day of the Scavenger Hunt is upon us and you have but a few hours to enter to be in with the chance of winning the Grand Prize, so read as many posts as you can and don't forget to enter all the rafflecopters.  Stay tuned over the next few weeks to find out if you have won any of the competitions.  All winners will be posted on this website and all winners will be emailed too.

Day 30

Attachment Mummy - The Importance of Support in Successful Breastfeeding

Smilernpb - Breastfeeding in the Small Hours

Attachment Mummy - The Early Days of Breastfeeding, A Husbands View & a Theraline Original Pillow Competition

Where Roots and Wings Entwine - Our Breastfeeding Experience

Life Happens So Smile - Gymnurstics

Friday 29 June 2012

Day 28 and Day 29

Here are some more amazing posts from the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Day 28 and Day 29.  We have a guest post from Downs Side Up, a Mum who is sharing her experiences nursing a baby with Downs Syndrome.

Don't forget that many of the competitions end Saturday night so take a few minutes to read a few more and enter the rafflecopters appropriately.  I will post again today the competition list so that you can take full advantage of all the additional competitions and prizes up for grabs.

Day 28

Mummys Little Peeps - Breastfeeding Beyond the First Month

Circus Queen - Breastfeeding Beyond 1 in not "just" for Mum

Day 29

Life Happens so Smile - Supporting a Breastfeeding Mum

Mixed Bag of All Sorts  - Small Steps Add Up To A Long Breastfeeding Journey

Little Scribbles - As long as we are all happy

Attachment Mummy - Training to be a Breastfeeding Counselor

Downs Side Up - Breastfeeding Against the Odds

Scavenger Hunt Competitions so far.....

Day 3

Dispelling Breastfeeding Myths - The Benefits of Breastfeeding (aka the so-called benefits of breastfeeding) with a great ARDO breastpump giveaway

 Day 4

Breastfeeding in England - Father gets help from 7 women to breastfeed his son & a SnuggleBundl Coupon Code SNUG15

Edspire - A Big Box Little Box Cardboard Box Giveaway - Winner Sarah W

Day 5

Breastfeeding in England - Breastfeeding in the UK and US with a Lactivist Giveaway - Winner Hannah Mdy

Day 6

Lactivist - Save 15% in June using coupon code kbb

Natural Mamas - Lactivist Competition (Win anything from Lactivist)

Breastvest - New offer 3 for the price of 2 using BSH342

Day 8

Life, Love and Living with Boys - Breastfeeding Friendly Chester, An Update, A Guest Post AND a Competition! - A Babi-Mam Bib-Bob giveaway

 Breastfeeding in England - 8 Top Tips for Nursing in Public with a Competition to win a Moby Wrap from the School of Babywearing - Winner Jennie Henley

Breast 4 Babies - Ten Things your Midwife or Health Visitor Never Told Me about Breastfeeding and a BoobieMilk giveaway  - Winner Hayley Brackley

Day 9

Breastfeeding In England - Taking a Baby to the Olympics & a nursing top giveaway from Emma-Jane - Winner Shoshanah Cohen

Smiling Like Sunshine - A Monkey Mama Necklace Giveaway - Winner Helen R

Day 10

Mummy is a Gadget Geek - Make Breastfeeding Easy, win a Breastvest - Winner @Kanga_Rue

Day 11

Life, Love and Lollipops - Breastfeeding in Public #keepbritainbf & a BoobieMilk Giveaway (£15) - Winner Esther James

Twinkle Mummy - Size Really Doesn't Matter & a BoobieMilk Carriwell Bra giveaway - Winner Esther James

Day 12

Secret Life of Kate - Undercover Breastfeeder with a giveaway of a Bebe au Lait from Softbots - Winner Charlotte R Dot B

Breastfeeding in England - Pumping Advice from Pumping Mummy Guest Post with giveaway from Baby's First Calendar - Winner Carolin Duncan Wheeler

Day 14

Mummy Constant - Theraline Mamma Pads Competition - Winner Kate Buckley

Day 15

Where Roots and Wings Entwine - A Baby Beads Breastfeeding Necklace Review & Competition - Winner Rebecca N

Day 16

Breastfeeding in England - Breastfeeding Support Groups & a BabaSling Competition - Winner Mummy is a Gadget Geek

Day 19

The Secfet Life of Kate - My Breastfeeding Journey & a BoobieMilk Competition - Winner Charlotte Duncan Wheeler

Day 21

A New Addition - Breastfeeding in Public with a competition from Theraline - Winner Ami Love

Day 22

Mama Geek - Review: BabyBeads UK Animal Jingle Necklace Plus Giveaway- Winner Claire Willmer

Day 24

Diary of a First Child - Breastfeeding Week Competitions from BabyBeads, BoobieMilk & Mama Jewels - Winners Stacy H, Amy S & Attachment Mummy

Breastfeeding In England - Common Mistakes When Buying Nursing Bras & A BoobieMilk Coupon Code BREASTFEEDING

Day 26

Life, Love & Living with Boys - Breastfeeding Awareness Week 2012 & a BabyBeads Giveaway - Winner @Cornish Blonde

Day 27

Juno Magazine - A Review of Breastfeeding: Stories to Inspire & Inform with a book giveaway - Winner Kate Stansfield & Andrea Tinkler

Where Roots and Wings Entwine - A Cariad Mam Discount Code BFW12 for 20% off

Mummy is a Gadget Geek - Breastfeeding Bigger Babies with a Contented Calf Cookbook for Breastfeeding Mums Giveaway - Winner Leyla Preston

Dispelling Breastfeeding Myths - Breastfeeding Beyond the First Month with an ARDO pump giveaway 

Day 28

Life, Love and Living with Boys - A Kickboxer, An Air Stewardess, A speech Therapist and a Wannabe Playboy Bunny with a competition from Theraline for a pair of Mamma pads - Winner Robyn Logan Clarke

Day 30

Attachment Mummy - The Early Days of Breastfeeding, A Husbands View & a Theraline Original Pillow Competition - Winner Ness Gorton

Sunday 24 June 2012

Common mistakes when buying nursing bras

Tips for buying a comfortable bra during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Why is it important to wear the correct bra size?

Pregnancy is a time when your breast tissue develops and you build up fat stores for nursing, so the breast can grow 1 or more cup sizes and also become a lot heavier.  Wearing a bra that doesn’t provide enough support at any time in your life can lead to stretch marks and permanently sagging breasts, wearing the wrong size can lead to plugged ducts and back pain.

What bra choices are there for pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Wired Bras - not usually recommended for pregnancy and the first month of breastfeeding because of the risk of damage, discomfort and possibly plugged ducts from the frequent breast size changes.

Maternity Bras - are designed for pregnancy only, usually an over the head bra that is seamless and very comfortable and will grow with you throughout the pregnancy.  They usually come in a small number of sizes that fit a range of cup sizes.

Seamless/Transitional Nursing Bras - provide the same comfort as a maternity bra but can be used after birth for easy access nursing.  They usually come in a small number of sizes and fit a range of cup sizes which makes them especially ideal for all the changes your body goes through during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Sized bras - There are some really pretty and even sexy nursing bras available that are sized, but can often be fitted to allow for the growth of the abdomen and cup size.  Not guaranteed to fit after your milk volume increases, but are designed to fit a larger range of band sizes to accommodate you from the beginning of pregnancy.  These are a real confidence booster.

Some common mistakes made when finding the right bra

The Band – The band should be parallel to the floor.  If it is riding up your back try a smaller band size (go up one cup size 38C to 36D)
The Cup – The cup should provide good coverage of the breast.  If it wrinkles it may be too big.  If your breast is spilling out of the top, bottom or sides it is too small.  Fit to your largest breast.
Shoulder Straps – They should not create a dent in your shoulder.  If they are then you need to get more support from the band so try a smaller band size

Top tips:

1.  If you buy a nursing bra at the beginning of your pregnancy make sure you fit it to the tightest band setting so that there is room for growth.
2.  If you buy your nursing bra at the end of your pregnancy or after the baby is born make sure it fits on the loosest band setting.  Bras can stretch over time, so this will allow you to tighten the band and not lose support.
3.  Your band should not stretch more than 1” or so away from your body, if it does try going down a band size (and up a cup size) example: 38C to 36D.
4.  When you put on your nursing bra open the cups.  Lean forward and scoop your whole breast into the cup before you fasten it.  You want to make sure that all of your breast tissue is inside the cup and not bulging out the top/bottom/side etc.
5.  If buying a sized bra when you are pregnant make sure there is a little room for the increase in milk volume that happens after birth.  This will increase the chance that you can continue to wear it when breastfeeding.  Remember that you may still have to wait until after your milk volume settles at about four weeks to wear it again.

If you have enjoyed reading this post you may want to read more about breastfeeding.  There are many bloggers taking part in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Internet Scavenger Hunt and you can check some of them out here - 

Keeping with the theme of nursing bras I'd like to announce a great offer from BoobieMilk for National Breastfeeding Week (June 24-30, 2012).  Please use BREASTFEEDING to save 15% all week on Nursing bras, Nursing vests and Sleep bras by Emma-Jane, Carriwell and Hotmilk


Congratulations!!  You have found the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Logo, and you can now enter to win the Grand Prize using the Rafflecopter below.

Here is the Rafflecopter
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday 23 June 2012

Day 22 & Day 23 of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt - Breastfeeding Beyond the First Month

Here is the round up for Days 22 and 23 of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt and we have moved into the fourth and final week  with a new theme which is - Breastfeeding Beyond the First Month.

I chose "beyond the first month" because for everyone extended breastfeeding means different things and achieving 1 month can be just as much a goal for one Mum as achieving 4 years for another.  There is a lot of support that can be found in the community, health profession and family for breastfeeding a newborn, but we sometimes forget that questions can pop up at any time.  Balancing breastfeeding and working or breastfeeding and a toddler and a newborn, or breastfeeding and weaning onto solids have their own challenges and in some cases are not spoken about very often.  I read in a post from the Analytical Armadillo yesterday that 95% of infants receive formula before they are 6 months old which means that I am in the minority and cannot necessarily ask questions to anyone.  Here are the first "clues" for todays logos, don't forget to enter the grand prize at the end of each post.

Day 22

Circus Queen - What Breastfeeding Support Isn't

Where Roots and Wings Entwine - Breastfeeding Support

Diary of a First Child - Finding Supportive Breastfeeding Supporters

Mama Geek - Review: BabyBeads UK Animal Jingle Necklace Plus Giveaway

Little Scribbles - Hugs Required

Day 23

Mama Geek - Round up of the Months Posts with a Baby Beads Giveaway

Life, Love and Living with Boys - Twiddles, Fidgets & a Kick in the Face

Smiling Like Sunshine - Books about Breastfeeding

Diary of the Milkshake Mummy - Weaning

Friday 22 June 2012

The highs and Lows of Tandem nursing

I do have a photo of me tandem nursing just prior to discharge from the hospital with my second, but after the reaction I got from my now sister-in-law when she accidentally stumbled across it on my camera makes me think I shouldn't publish it (I am pretty naked). On looking at it again, it could be worse, I am wearing pants (in the american sense of the word), and a ridiculous turban on my head after taking a shower.  Tell you what, I'll post it at the bottom of the article and you can decide whether you want to see it.

I became pregnant with my second (Ellie) in the Summer of 2010 when William was 2 1/2 yrs old.  The first few months of the pregnancy were a little rough because my nipples were very sensitive.  I understand that this is pretty common, and many women stop nursing at this point.  William was a big boobie monster and was still nursing through the night.  We managed to carry on nursing throughout the pregnancy using a couple of techniques.

1.  I shortened feedings by telling William "one more minute" and then counting down from ten.  William was pretty accepting of this, occasionally he would refuse to budge, but it was more of a game for him and he understood when I asked him to be more gentle.

2.  William very kindly decided to start sleeping through the night which was great and allowed me to get some decent sleep.

The Highs (Benefits)

  • Having a toddler and a newborn nursing my milk volume increased pretty quickly after delivery and I had a tonne of milk.
  • William was old enough to know about sharing and because he had decided to nurse on only one side before Ellie was born, he was quite happy to let her have the other breast while he was nursing.
  • It can be hard to entertain a toddler in the early days of having a new little brother or sister, and nursing them both meant that they were both still and content for at least a few minutes during the day.
  • I believe that it really helped with the initial jealousy.  Even now that William has fully weaned, he will happily tell me that "Ellie needs boobie" when she cries.
  • William still got lots of cuddles with Mummy during the first few weeks and months as he grew to understand that Ellie was here to stay.
  • Having a toddler nursing is great for engorgement and plugged ducts.
The Lows

  • It's really hard to tandem nurse in public, especially with a huge three year old.  I never really mastered discrete tandem nursing, but we really only did it at home near bed time for the most part.
  • It is a little weird looking down and seeing this teeny tiny head nursing alongside a huge three year old head.  Not really a low, just a little odd.
  • Because my son only nursed on one side, it was sometimes difficult to time his feeds around Ellies, making sure that she got the majority of the milk and not the leftovers.  But truely, I had so much milk it wasn't really a huge problem.  Actually I had so much milk that we block fed A LOT and actually to this day Ellie has my right breast during the day and my left breast during the night (not recommended, but it worked for us).
  • Breastfeeding two children is pretty physically draining.  You do have to remember to eat and drink and rest (which you should anyway after delivery), sustaining three appetites is hard work.  I was lucky to be staying with my parents who kept me well fed, granola bars and nuts are my favourite nutrient dense foods.
I think overall I enjoyed the time that we all spent together nursing.  I tandem nursed for seven months, and the last time that William nursed was very emotional for me, especially as he is such a Daddy's boy now and doesn't seem to need me as much (I know he does really).  I would never change anything, and he has never asked for boobie since, so I know that it was a pretty mutual decision that we were both ready for.

Please share your tandem nursing experiences, I'm sure tandem nursing is more common than we think, it's just not done in public and maybe not talked about as much as it should be.

Here is the photo -

If you have enjoyed reading this article and you haven't fainted after looking at that picture, then you may enjoy reading similar articles about breastfeeding by the following bloggers.
Baby Beads is a company that sells beautiful necklaces that keep babies hands busy while nursing.  My Ellie is a pincher and pinches constantly while nursing and you know how sharp those little baby nails are!!

Thank you for reading.  Please complete the following Rafflecopter to enter the competition for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Grand Prize.

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Friday 15 June 2012

Breastfeeding Support Groups

Breastfeeding Support Groups have always been a lifeline for me.  They have been a place to go to get expert help and advice when having breastfeeding problems.  They have been a place to go just to have a reason to get out of the house with a newborn.  They have been a place to meet people going through similar experiences who I can share thoughts and solutions with.  They have been a place where I have been able to shed a tear, share a funny poop story and learn how to nurse in public.

I have always read about the success of support groups and the amazingly positive effects that support groups and peer supporters have on the success of breastfeeding.  I have had the opportunity to be a part of this process in two countries now, and I don't have to read the studies telling me that support groups and peer supporters have a positive effect on breastfeeding, because I have seen it first hand time and again.

What is a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter?

A breastfeeding peer supporter is usually but not always a woman who has breastfed and has received additional training in lactation who spend time supporting women through their breastfeeding journey.  In the US where I ran a peer support program, a peer supporter might reflect the local population in terms of ethnic backgrounds, language and sociodemographics.  We chose women who had successfully breastfed for at least 6 months and were of childbearing age.  There are many different peer support programs run by many different agencies that utilise the experiences of many different women.  In the area I live now, the local peer supporters are of varying ages with varying breastfeeding experiences and who volunteer their time.

What is a Breastfeeding Support Group?

A Breastfeeding Support Group is a place where women (and their partners in many cases) can get together at a specified location and time to share their experiences of breastfeeding and parenting.  In the majority of cases such groups are facilitated by peer supporters or a lactation professional.  The groups are facilitated in many different ways, and each group will usually find its groove and what works best for them.  Some groups are a facilitated discussion with a set agenda, and some cover immediate topics affecting the group.  The majority of groups that I have attended in the UK revolve around women having their problems discussed and usually resolved by a breastfeeding peer supporter or lactation professional.

The theme here is SUPPORT.  Speak to any woman who has breastfed and she will tell you that she succeeded because of the support that she received from family, friends or institution, or that she failed to breastfeed as long as she planned because of a lack of support from her family, friends or institution.  Support can make or break the breastfeeding relationship.

Where can I find a Support Group?

Support groups for breastfeeding are really quite common in the UK in most areas.  I was pleasantly surprised by this when I moved back to the UK.  Support groups are run by lots of different organizations and support can be found on the internet 24 hours a day too.  The following organizations may be holding a support group in your area -

La Leche League
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers
NCT (National Childbirth Trust)
NHS (National Health Service) 
Sure Start Children's Centres
Baby Cafe

I'm sure I may have missed some locally specific groups, so ask your midwife for information about your local resources.

We have been born into the time of internet, and with this comes social networking.  You no longer have to leave the house to get breastfeeding support from your peers.  You can just logon with your laptop or mobile phone and get answers for all of those silly yet important questions you are scared to ask someone face to face.  There are different places to find support on the web, but you may want to think about the following places -

The Lactivist
Dispelling Breastfeeding Myths
Analytical Armadillo
The Leaky Boob
The Blactivist
Or search for a group locally

Twitter - search breastfeeding threads #bf #breastfeeding

Forums with breastfeeding threads -
Natural Mamas
The Bundle Jungle
Baby and Bump

I'm sure I have mentioned this before, but you'll find that different forums and facebook pages will provide different kinds of support.  You will need to try a few before you settle on a regular place for support.  As with any group such as family or friends there are different views on every aspect of life and you will find that if you have a question on  one topic you will go to one forum, and another forum for another question.  Breastfeeding can evoke very strong emotions, and you will soon find which forum is made up of women who share some or all of your beliefs.

I live in the Sevenoaks area of West Kent.  In this area there are lots of support services for breastfeeding families.  The majority of support groups are run through the local PCT (as was known) and the local Kent Sure Start Centres.  Many of the groups are attended by lactation professionals such as Jane (an IBCLC, as qualified in lactation as you can get), or Ingrid (an NCT breastfeeding counselor).  All of the groups are attended by Breast Buddies who are volunteer peer supporters trained by Jane and Ingrid.  Breast Buddies can also be found at the local Maternity Hospital in Pembury on the postnatal ward sporting their pink t-shirts.  If you meet a Breast Buddy and make a connection, she may even give you her contact details and agree to come to your house to give support if needed.

I'd highly recommend that you attend your local breastfeeding support group before you have your baby.  It's great for getting any last minute questions answered by other breastfeeding Mums, and you will know exactly where to go if you need help or support after the baby comes.  It's a lot easier looking up these things and finding where to go before you have to get there with a little person.

Here is a list of the Breastfeeding Support Groups available in West Kent -

Attended by a Lactation Professional

The Little Forest Children's Centre
Friars Way, Tunbridge Wells TN2 3UA
01892 532319
Tuesday 9:30am - 12:00pm

Tonbridge Baptist Church
Darenth Avenue, Tonbridge TN10 3HZ
01732 352824
Tuesday 10:00am - 12:00pm

Salvation Army
74-80 Union Street, Maidstone ME14 1EE
01622 681808
Wednesday 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Antenatal Breastfeeding Session provided on the 1st Wednesday of the Month 2:00pm - 3:00pm
Free parking available next to the Salvation Army building

Spring House Children's Centre
Nr Sevenoaks Hospital, Hospital Road, Sevenoaks TN13 3TP
01732 465539
Thursday 9:30am - 11:30am
Parking costs £1.50 for 2 hours, free parking can be found on streets nearby for 1 hour maximum

Cranbrook Children's Centre
Carriers Road, Cranbrook TN17 3JZ
01580 713296
Thursday 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Swanley Children's Centre
Northview, Swanley BR8 7BT
01322 668132
Thursday 12:30pm - 2:30pm

Attended by Breast Buddies - 

Little Forest Children's Centre
Friars Way, Tunbridge Wells TN2 3UA
Wednesday 9:00am - 11:00am

Harmony Children's Centre
High Street, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells TN4 8RZ
01892 520582
Support provided on request only

Greenfields Children's Centre
Rutland Way, Shepway, Maidstone ME15 8DR
01622 750025
Friday 10:45am - 11:45am

The Ark Children's Centre
Broadwater Lane, Tunbridge Wells TN2 5RP
01892 512680
Tuesday 1:00pm - 3:00pm

The Meadow's Children's Centre
Furfield Close (off Wallis Avenue), Park Wood, Maidstone ME15 9JR
01622 699900
Thursday 9:30am - 11:30am

Woodlands Children's Centre
Chapman Way, East Malling ME19 6SD
01732 874086
Monday 9:30am - 12:00pm
Free on-street parking, children's centre on left side of building at the back

Snodland Children's Centre
Rocfort Road, Snodland ME6 5NQ
01634 245476
Tuesday 9:30am - 12:00pm

East Borough Children's Centre
Vinters Road, Maidstone ME14 5DX
01622 757203
Thursday 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Paddock Wood Children's Centre
The Wesley Centre, Commercial Road, Paddock Wood TN12 6DF
01580 713296
Thursday 10:30am - 12:00pm

Eden Cafe
85 Bank Street, Maidstone ME14 1SD
1st Tuesday of every month at 2:00pm

Westerham Children's Centre
Westerham Hall, Quebec Avenue, Westerham TN10 1BJ
01959 569219
1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month 10:00am - 12:00pm
Limited free on-street parking available and paid parking also

Edenbridge Children's Centre
High Street, Edenbridge TN8 5AB
01732 864045
Friday 10:00am - 12:00pm

Other local breastfeeding resources are available on my website on the Breastfeeding Resources page.  Additional resources include the contact information for national breastfeeding helplines and local breastfeeding counselors

If you have enjoyed reading this incredibly long post about breastfeeding then you may like to read more, take a look at some of the resources listed throughout this post and check out the Keep Britain Breastfeeding website for more information about the Scavenger Hunt, who is taking part and what you can win.

The most generous people at BabaSling have kindly provided one of their slings as a part of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Grand Prize, and they have also provided a sling as an additional competition prize for this breastfeeding post.  Please complete the rafflecopter below to enter both competitions.

The BabaSling can be purchased on their website and I notice they have a special offer until Fathers Day and it's a BOGOHO deal (Buy One Get One Half Off).  You can also read a recent review from one of our bloggers in her day job here.

Congratulations! you have found the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Logo, now here is the rafflecopter to enter to win the Grand Prize and the BabaSling.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday 14 June 2012

Day 14 of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Hunt

Day 14

Almost halfway through the event and I am enjoying reading all the lovely posts so much.  I have laughed and cried and learned new things.  I'm especially enjoying the Mum to Mum sharing this week and I'm looking forward to the Support theme next week.  Some great competitions going on too, so make sure you check them out and enter to win all the prizes available.  I'm off to the ABM (Association of Breastfeeding Mothers) conference tomorrow so I may see a few of you there.  I am taking my laptop, but posts may be slower than usual.  Here are the posts from today.  I'll tweet from the conference when I find out anything new and exciting.

Mummy Constant - Theraline Mamma Pads Competition

Radical Ramblings - Breastfeeding a High Needs Baby or Toddler

Circus Queen - 6 Ways to Prepare for Breastfeeding

Mummys Little Peeps - Tips I found Helpful for Feeding

Breastfeeding in England - Can I breastfeed and work full time?

Where Roots and Wings Entwine (Formerly Bumps 2 Babies) - Discreet Breastfeeding with Mamascarf

Scavenger Hunt Day 12 & 13

Here is a re-cap of the last two days of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt

Day 12

Life Happens so Smile - Psst... I have a Secret

Secret Life of Kate - Undercover Breastfeeder with a giveaway of a Bebe au Lait from Softbots

Breastfeeding in England - Pumping Advice from Pumping Mummy Guest Post with giveaway from Baby's First Calemdar

Diary fo a First Child - 6 Problems and Suggested Solutions for Tandem Nursing

Petra - It Doesn't Matter

Day 13

Smiling Like Sunshine - A Beautiful Breastfeeding Picture

Ponderings of a Doula - Top Tips for Breastfeeding

Tea With Felicity - My Favourite Breastfeeding Accessories

Fi Peacock - Mum to Mum Over Sharing

A New Addition - What I Wish I Had Known About Breastfeeding

My Thoughts on Things - Mum to Mum Sharing

Can I Work Full Time & Breastfeed?

The short answer to this question is YES!

I went back to work full time when my first was only just over three months old.  He was exclusively breastfed and stopped a month before his fourth birthday.  I will admit that I did work with very supportive colleagues in a very supportive environment, but I'd love to share with you some tips about how I managed to work and breastfeed for almost 3 years (then we moved to the UK and I left my job).

  1. Chidcare - I chose a daycare centre close to my office.  This enabled me to feed at drop-off, pick-up and during my lunch break.  I then only needed to pump a few times at work and I think my supply was the better for it.  I talked to the care providers before William started to make sure that they would be comfortable handling breastmilk and understood that William would probably take less than formula fed classmates and would need to be held while he was fed.  We also communicated regularly so that William was not fed immediately before I arrived to feed.
  2. Maintain your Milk Supply - Pumping is not as efficient as breastfeeding and it can also be hard for the body to react to the pump in the same way that it would to the baby.  To maintain my supply I made sure that I pumped at least the same number of times that William received a bottle at daycare.  Missing a pumping session meant that my body would think I didn't need that milk, so I made a real effort to pump every day the appropriate number of times.  If I did miss a pumping session I always encouraged William to nurse more often that evening to make sure I stimulated my milk supply enough.
  3. Find a Place to Pump - The majority of the time I would pump in my office, and it was so quiet on my floor that I never needed to close the door.  I usually pumped one breast at a time (dependent on your time and breasts), which meant that I could catch up on emails and answer the phone at the same time.  It's usually good to relax when pumping to help the flow, but for me I needed to keep busy or I would just stare at the bottle and watch the drops fall which would drive anyone crazy.  When out of the office I would find a quiet place to pump.  I would choose a loose fitting top and just pull it up to hold the flange to my breast.  I pumped in the car, at the back of meeting rooms, in a quiet area with a comfy chair.
  4. Take each day as it comes and decide how important providing breastmilk for your baby when you are at work is to you.  Working and pumping can be hard, and there will be many times that you feel you may be missing out on something or feel that you are not putting your all into the job.  Remember that this will not be forever, and that the benefits are for your baby, yourself and your employer.  Your baby will be sick less often meaning that you will not have to take as much time off.  It's totally worth it!
  5. Communicate with your childcare providers, your family and your employer.  If you are not happy about something don't bottle it up or assume that nothing can be done about it.  If you are finding that you need extra time to pump, you'll never be given more time if you don't ask.  If I had a moto it would be "If you don't ask for it you'll never get it".  If you are finding that the baby takes more in the bottle at daycare than you are pumping, talk to them about how they are feeding baby and suggest pauses and paced bottle feeding (google it).
 Congratulations o the birth of your baby and good luck when you return to work.  Be warned that you will cry that first day when you drop him/her off at the carers house even if it is your Mum.

If you have enjoyed this post and would like to read more about breastfeeding and take part in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt here are some other bloggers who are taking part throughout the month of June.  Many fabulous companies have provided some amazing prizes for the Grand Prize.  One such company is Mama Jewels who sell gorgeous jewellery that your children won't break so take a look at their website and read, learn and win lots of breastfeeding goodies.

Congratulations!! You have found the Keep Britain Breastfeding Logo and you can now enter to be in with a chance to win the Grand Prize.  Remember you must enter as many times as possible to get enough points.  Use the Rafflecopter below to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Born Too Soon - Pumping Advice from "Pumping Mummy"

Pumping Mummy aka @zoewoodman exclusively pumped for her children and wanted to share some of her knowledge and experiences during the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Event.  I have offered to publish her two posts.  Zoe told me that she believs that Breastfeeding from the source should be the first option for Mums and Baby's but that exclusively pumping is a definite choice for those not able to breastfeed and wanted to share this method of feeding with you all.

Pumping Advice if baby is in NICU/SCBU

I was asked by the group admin of the born too soon group on to respond to some common queries if baby is unable to feed and mum is pumping her milk.

Here is the link to response online
My reasons for pumping were not due to an early baby however so my experience from the board has helped me have a great understanding of the topic across all reasons as to why mums have to or choose to pump.

My first knowledge came from a great book “Exclusively Pumping Breast Milk - A Guide to Providing Expressed Breast Milk For Your Baby" written by Stephanie Casemore.  She EP'd for her son and she researched the topic so it has lots of info on pumping and I found it was instrumental in me being able to pump long term for my baby and now toddler.

Firstly some of the issues you face as mums of early babies are different to those who have issues at full term, but most of the solutions are similar so firstly do check out the top tips which has been added to since the board was started. 

Also it helps to have an understanding of how milk production works to understand the whole process and how what you do can impact your supply:

This is also a great site for information on early babies and breastfeeding as its not always the case that mums go on to solely pump – many are able to breastfeed further down the line. This is a video showing how to pump as it’s not as straight forward as you would think and will help you get the most out of pumping it is a must watch for anyone that pumps.

There is some useful information on this page too for early babies or those low birth weight:

There are also resources on this site for when attempting to breastfeed also:

These are the particular issues asked for advice on:

1) premature baby = premature mum so milk can take a while to come in (if it comes at all)

Colostrum is the first food you will produce untll milk comes in and this can be hard to express using a pump as its like custard often hand expressing is best – its recommended to syringe or cup feed this if possible, To help start pumping as often as you can to signal to body to produce this and milk. In order to help milk come in make sure you are eating and drinking well, I know at this time of stress this will be hard but you need the extra calories.

Ask to use donated breastmilk

Some supplements may help this process along such as Fenugreek (herbal), as well as other herbal mixtures too (see for these).  But this is in conjunction with pumping as need to remove milk to produce more. Failing herbal supplements you can take some medication to help such as domperidone which can be bought over the counter as Motilium or obtained on prescription although GP’s vary in opinion on this. Links to domperidone on print it off and take with you to GP.

Not pumping enough times a day is the most common reason for failing to produce enough milk – it is recommended at least 8-10 times a day I managed 6 and topped up with formula and this has meant I managed to pump for 21 months,  if I had tried to do it more I may well have given up sooner as its about finding a balance for you to work.

This is a great link on pumping whilst away from baby or not nursing:

2) premature baby = stressed out mum = poor milk supply. Often the relationship is directly proportional in that if baby has a bad turn (gets unwell suddenly or requires specialist intervention like ventilation, transfusions etc) Mummy will usually get depressed/ tearful over it and milk supply can go down because she's demotivated to pump or the negative feelings make the milk supply reduce.

Some of the above will help for this issue but also what I found key to motivating me was to keep a detailed log of times and how much I produced each side and how much my little one fed and tallied it up each day day by day I could see it increasing minutely and gradually getting closer to being able to cut down on formula supplements. Although the need to supplement among pumping mummies is high due to a pump not being as effect as a baby as getting milk out so it can take a few weeks or months or perhaps you will always top up but any ebm your baby gets is worth while…I found having a timetable to pump to helped keep me focused on what I was doing otherwise the day just runs away and find you haven’t pumped enough.

3) babies who spend months in NICU often get breast milk from mummy for about 3-4 months max and then supply problems become too much of an issue to continue pumping so babies will often come home on formula once the freezer is emptied. 

Unfortunately there are no shortcuts to getting milk production going other than pumping lots and doing the above also, its common for mums to get a good supply for a couple of weeks then they drop pumps to 2-3 a day and this is not sufficient for keeping a good supply going and can result in milk drying up.
It is recommended to drop a session around 3-4 months with at least 6 times a day including once at night until then. This is as you need to mimic how a baby feeds and a 2 month old baby does not feed 2-3 times day.

Try a supplemental nursing system:

4) Trying to keep milk production balanced to baby's needs. These babies are so tiny that they often only need miniscule amounts per hour to keep going. Some mums can end up in a funny situation that they're expressing full steam ahead and are now able to bring baby home but they have a foremilk to hindmilk ration problem because they've been expressing without a baby and are now producing litres of milk but baby only needs 50mls and when they're latching on as a result they only end up getting foremilk rather than a balance of the two resulting in poor weight gain in this especially vulnerable group of babies.

 If you wish to breastfeed, then start using a SNS as above and slow down the regime of pumping by reducing amount of time pumping for at each session by a minute or so a day over a week or more period to gradually change the balance of the milk. Again knowing how milk production works is key to be able to adjust accordingly to match needs of baby.

Also block feeding will help oversupply, so for a set period of time (depending on how big the oversupply is), feed off one side only ie 3 hrs keep to the left breast then after that switch, so for all feeds in that 3 hr period you do it off the same side. This helps them to get the richer milk and also slows down production.

You may well need to keep pumping to maintain supply as baby may well only be able to suckle limited amounts of time so try to do this consistently ie same feed each day so you can adjust one session only and pump the rest of the time..

Bottlefeeding your expressed breastmilk means this isn’t an issue and any extra milk can be donated for use with other early babies etc

Often mums feels it important to know how much their baby is taking per feed and pumping long term is a viable option.

The top 3 key factors for success
1. get a great pump it may well cost over £150 but this will save you time and help establish a good supply early

2. have a regular pumping station set up with everything ready to go at a drop of a hat, so have more the one set of pumping bits everything to hand such as bottle of water, snacks,  laptop, phone and do not bottle watch – do something else catch up on things chat, watch tv anything that takes your mind off what you are doing

3. have a good timetable to stick to – pump pump and pump some more…..

Other useful links:

Links for storing breast milk, times, temps:

Mixing milk and storage info you can mix milks of different temps its a bit long but a great space saver for storing in the freezer!

great link of fore/hind milk myth:

This is the group I admin:

Our featured post with lots of great links related to pumping:

I hope you find it useful feel free to share.
Zoƫ Woodman

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