Breastfeeding is one of the most important things in many babies lives, yet until now I’ve never seen it featured in a children’s books. What Does Baby Want? is a new book board published by Phaidon that features breastfeeding in a simple and relatable way, with a short story for young babies to enjoy. I’m surprised there hasn’t been a book like this before now – it’s definitely time to start normalising breastfeeding in our society, and books like this can only help to get that message across, starting with young children.
Dr Browns offer a complete range of feeding products for babies, whether breastfed or formula fed. Today they are offering one manual breast pump as a prize for one of my lucky readers!
The Breast Pump comes with one manual pump, one 120ml Dr Brown’s bottle plus all of the bottle components (teat, collar, cap, vent insert, reservoir tube, travel disc, travel cap, wire vent cleaning brush).
It offers gentle compression technology and super soft flexible breast cup for the utmost in comfort
Features compression technology and super-soft flexible breastcups
A good quality maternity and breastfeeding pillow is one thing I wanted when I was pregnant but never got! Next time I have a baby (hopefully! as I would love #4 at some point!) I would definitely want to treat myself to one as they look so comfy.
Theraline have a great range of maternity and nursing pillows with 6 different varieties and loads of colour and design choices.
She has been getting loads of use out of the pillow and these are her thoughts:
This cushion has been amazing for us. Not only does it serve itself well as a breast feeding pillow but also as a back support for me and support for my baby when he wants to be upright or lay down. It is a clever design with nicely hides all the marks of feeding and more. It is a soft fabric which makes it comfortable for me and baby. I couldn’t ask more from a cushion. The only negative is that you can’t remove the cover to wash.
Even though you can’t remove the cover – you can actually put the whole pillow in the washing machine to wash, so you will be able to keep it fresh!
If you would like the chance to win a Plushy Moon Breastfeeding Pillow for yourself, please enter via the Rafflecopter below.
Amoralia is a Lingerie brand with really stylish, pretty and feminine maternity and nursing lingerie, sleepwear and nightwear. I wish I had found them when I was pregnant, because they have such lovely things! I especially love the look of the Honey range. Their site is well worth a browse if you are pregnant or breastfeeding and don’t want to end up going down the grannyish underwear route – cos lets face it, it does affect your mood!
“Perfect under a wrap or floaty floral dress – creates a smooth line whilst supporting your new curves – this cami is also great post-birth for hiding a few lumps and bumps under super soft fabric”
This works as a maternity item and will also be so handy for new mums. It comes in Ivory (pictured) Nude or Black. It can be bought on the Amoralia website for £39.00
It’s also great to know that Amoralia are an ethical and charitable company who are committed to giving a portion of their profits to the Tommy’s charity which aims to end the heartache caused by premature birth, miscarriage and stillbirth. A very worthy cause to support.
As my last post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt, I will be talking about my breastfeeding journey and how I came to still be feeding my youngest now at well over a year.
As I mentioned briefly earlier in the week, I had a lot of difficulties establishing breastfeeding with my first child. In the end, I lasted 3 weeks before I ended up running to the supermarket and having to get formula for him because he just wouldn’t feed.
Naively when I was expecting him, I just did not think I would have any problems. Of course I had heard of the difficulties people have, but somehow I failed to connect the likelihood that I could actually have problems myself. I think I thought “I’ve been to the breastfeeding workshop now, so I know about the problems and it will be fine!” but it just didn’t work out like that.
With my first son’s birth, I didn’t have an easy labour and we both became quite ill. After delivery, he was taken straight to the neonatal department for some tests and some treatments before I even held him (I did kiss him on the head quickly though before they rushed him away!) so all the ideas of immediate skin to skin which I had written on my birth plan all went out of the window. They brought him back to me after a few hours once he had his canula inserted for antibiotics and had finished having his tests. No one then was around to help me learn how to feed him. I quickly realised that even though I have been on the breastfeeding class in the antenatal course, it had not really prepared me to know what I was doing in practise. Feeding a real live crying wriggling newborn baby is not quite the same as looking at photos in the class and holding a doll. In addition to that my son had a lot of bruising from his forceps birth and he was quite unhappy about being handled at all in his first couple of days.
The first midwife I asked for help was pretty horrible to me! Her reaction was quite impatient with an attitude like “why are you asking me, you should know?” despite the fact it was my first baby, I was quite a young mum, and I was there with a sick baby! She just shoved him onto me so he was able to feed but didn’t show me at all what she was doing, so thankfully he did get his feed (after hours and hours not being fed at all after birth! poor boy must have been starving!) but I had no idea how to do it myself. That meant when he was hungry next time, I had to ask for help a second time which that particular midwife was not too happy about!! With a “we have showed you already!!! hmf hmf” kind of attitude!
My son lost more weight than he should have after birth, probably because the feeding wasn’t establishing well. Because of this and because we were both still being treated with antibiotics from post birth infections, we were moved over to transitional care and kept in the hospital for another week. Luckily some of the midwives over there were a lot nicer. I can’t remember her name but one of the night shift midwives was so nice to me, a South African midwife, she took the time to explain a lot to me and try to help me out with some techniques.
To help him gain back his weight, my son was also cup fed in hospital but he didn’t take too well to that either. I preserved and got him back to just breastfeeding, but I don’t feel I ever really got to a stage where it was coming naturally and easily and that I knew what I was doing.
So after a week we went back home, still not finding feeding easy but still trying and keeping on with it. I had a great community midwife who came a few times and helped me out with more advice and support, but once she had discharged me I really didn’t know who to contact with problems. I called La Leche League but only so much they can do over the phone. I found for some reason my baby just would not latch on. I still don’t really know why! It would take forever to get him to actually latch on and have a feed, and in the end I just wasn’t able to. Maybe because he didn’t know what he was doing and neither did I?! I do feel that if he had been healthy and able to stay with me after birth it probably would have made a big difference in terms of establishing feeding but he needed medical treatment, and it had to be given so it is what is it.
At that stage I went out and got the formula and never looked back. I will admit, it was a massive relief for me at that stage to stop breastfeeding. It just wasn’t working, it was really stressful, painful and seemed to be making both of us miserable. At that time I don’t think I would have believed if someone told me I will end up going on to feed another baby til almost 2 years!
With my 2nd baby, I have to admit I did not really give breastfeeding its proper chance. There is a small age gap between my children and the disaster of trying to breastfeed my first was fresh in my mind. I did breastfeed him but not for as long as I could have. It actually went much better than the first time round. He was healthy at birth and was able to have skin to skin and a feed soon after, which the midwives in the delivery room helped me with (and were much nicer than the ones who only begrudgingly helped with my first!)
I lasted for about 2 months but during that time I was already starting with the mixed feeding, and slowly just started to move it more and more to the bottles and less to the breastfeeding. I was not confident to feed outside at that time, and with having my 17 month old toddler as well as my newborn 2nd baby, I was going out a lot for toddler groups, so I ended up ruining it for myself by just getting him too used to bottles. But as with my 1st, I felt it was relief really and I had not really wanted to breastfeed because of my first experience, so I felt I could say well I have tried and done my bit while he is small, and now I am moving on to bottles. Looking back, I do think with this baby I should have tried harder. My first son I don’t feel guilty because I honestly tried my best and just couldn’t do it because of the lack of support but with my 2nd child, I could have managed a lot longer if only I really had the commitment to want to do it – but the truth is I didn’t.
When I had my 3rd child, people did keep mentioning to me “are you going to try to breastfeed for longer” “have you thought of trying to stick to it a bit more” – I would be just like yeh yeh… I’ll see. In my mind I really thought of myself as a formula feeding mum, I didn’t expect to last very long considering the other two and I felt that I don’t really like breastfeeding, it’s difficult, I’m not suited to it and bla bla bla.. yet here I am!
My 3rd child actually had blood sugar issues at birth due to diabetes and had to be bottle fed soon after birth, so I thought oh that’s it then, he will be bottle fed, I have an excuse so no need to breast feed.. and that’s all fine.
While I was in the postnatal ward I just started to feed him, thinking I will just do a bit and move onto formula later on, but somehow I just never stopped. Maybe as he was my 3rd, and I had done this a couple of times before although not for long, but still I felt a bit more confident and knew how to feed him without having to ask for help – it just all went much smoother than I had expected and much easier than it had been before. It seemed to be going quite well, and to be honest I was so busy with the 3 of them that I never really had time to think about getting ready to switch over to bottles with him and somehow before I knew it, breastfeeding was just established and going fine and then I realised I didn’t want to stop any more. It’s totally by accident really that I kept going but once I did I realised the benefits, how easy it is, how convenient, how lovely it is for me and my baby and of course I can feel good about the health benefits too.
My youngest is 22 months now and still breastfeeding. I did introduce a bottle for him at night some time over 1 year – about 15/16 months, just because it was taking so long for him to feed himself to sleep and meanwhile the other two children were being left unattended as I was up feeding him in his room in the dark, and I felt it was no longer getting practical but he still breast feeds in the mornings and sometimes during day time. He has cut back a bit and I am intending to wean him off by 2 years, as I don’t see myself as an extended breastfeeding mum past 2 years.
I thought it would be nice to share these experiences during #KBBF week just to show how much my experience changed with the different children and that just because it goes so badly with one child, does not mean it will never go well with a later child. Also there are some mums who have said they feel judged when they see the breastfeeding being promoted a lot, as if by speaking so much about it we are saying that formula feeding is a failure or giving that kind of message. Personally, I wouldn’t say anything like that. I feel in order to support women with breastfeeding, it’s important to understand what it is like when it goes well, and what it’s like when it doesn’t go well! It’s important to talk about the difficulties as well as the benefits and its important to be honest with each other about breastfeeding experiences.
At one stage I really hated breastfeeding! Now I’m going well past a year and will be actually quite sad to stop feeding my little boy as its been so long now that it will feel weird to lose that! It has not been the smoothest of journeys, but that’s life!
#KBBF is slowly drawing to an end and tomorrow is the last day, but for now here is today’s Rafflecopter
Today the blogs participating in the Scavenger Hunt will be talking about Positive Nursing In Public Experiences & Funny Breastfeeding Memories.
As a Muslim woman that always covers in public, feeding in public or while out and about was not something that came too easily for me initially. I did find it quite daunting and I never once fed my first two babies outside of the house. With my second baby, I was out a lot as the older one had toddler groups, so I used to always bring bottles for him and soon enough that was the end of the breastfeeding! (I will be writing more about these experiences on Friday).
With my 3rd child I decided I have to do things a bit differently, so I just fed him everywhere. As I had that bit more experience I had more confidence with feeding and was able to do this, but for me the main factor making it easy to feed outside the house was having suitable clothes. I always managed to feed without ever showing anything.
Now that my child is a bit older I don’t tend to feed him outside anymore as he is close to two years now so needs feeding less and is more able to wait, but I used to find abayahs which are made specially for breastfeeding or if I couldn’t find it, i just took some plain ones to a tailor and had a zip put in. The combination of long hijab, and a zip from the neck of the abayah downwards, means that you can feed without showing anything at all and is quite easy. I always found the zip easier than the wrap opening type of abayahs, although I did use both.
It’s not always easy to find the breastfeeding friendly abayahs, but here are a few I have found available at the moment for any Muslim sisters looking!
After I started feeding my youngest out and about, I got a lot more confidence with it and was able to feed him anywhere without anyone ever noticing. I sometimes had to feed him in restaurants, in the town hall, on the tube or bus or in the park, but I always felt confident that I am covered and it was all fine. I think this did help me to continue with breastfeeding for longer, as I am out of the house a lot and to just feed him anywhere allowed me to continue with breastfeeding on demand and fully establish that, without mixing in bottles at an early age.
Of course there are other clothing options too but with things like maxi dresses I found it a bit more difficult because with hijab you tend to need a top underneath and then that’s another extra layer to deal with and complicate things! I found the same with the nursing covers, that personally as I have so much fabric all over me in the first place, an extra cover actually hindered me more than helped but I do know some women found it gave them a lot more confidence and reassurance that they will be fully covered, so they prefer to use it. So I would say it is definitely worth trying one on and seeing how it goes, if you can borrow from someone to try it out before committing to buying one, then I would do that first.
I have sometimes had people presuming that Muslim women because we do cover up, must not breastfeed and that we would never breastfeed outside the house. The misconception is that because of how much we cover we won’t be able to, but although it can be difficult or daunting at first, many of us still do feed outside. Breastfeeding is actually mentioned in our religion and is a rewarded act for us. There are a lot of narrations about this for anyone who is interested. It is actually recommended in Quran that we can feed for two years, the same as the WHO recommendations so plenty of women in our community do that!
Mothers shall suckle their children for two full years, – that for such as desire to complete the suckling
It also goes to show, that breastfeeding outside can be done discretely and definitely not a case of having to show off your skin if you are not comfortable, as many like me are doing it without showing anything. Most of the time people would not even know you are feeding, so once you get used to it you wouldn’t have to feel self concious.
Even in the house among family and friends, I am not really one to whip everything out and feed. I have previously tested out a BreastVest and this is a product which helps you to feel more confident when feeding in front of others, as it ensures your stomach will be fully covered if lifting your top, so you do not ever have to show any more than necessary. I have one to give away here on the blog in conjunction with Keep Britain Breastfeeding week and BreastVest also have a 25% discount running using the code BSH25 on their website www.breastvest.co.uk. (expiring 23/06/2013)
Here is today’s Rafflecopter for the main prize draw.
And one company: Snoob the makers of a handy breastfeeding scarf, which makes it easier to feed in public. I have never tried this but like the look of it, as it doesn’t look at all bulky, and would be really convenient.
Today marks the start of the annual Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt. Many of us within the blogging community and many companies who support breastfeeding have got together to participate in a week long Scavenger Hunt event, to share our thoughts and experiences and just have a focus on Breastfeeding throughout the week. This has been organised by Karen from the Boobiemilk blog.
I am still breastfeeding my youngest at 22 months, although I had much more difficulties with my previous children so I know from experience both how well and how badly breastfeeding can go! Breastfeeding support is always an important issue.
We have all heard the “Breast is Best” slogan – but we might not always be able to remember all of the facts and figures behind this motto. In time for Keep Britain Breastfeeding week 2013, I have gathered together some of these reasons and will also be sharing some of the other personal benefits I found.
The WHO guidelines are
WHO strongly recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. At six months, other foods should complement breastfeeding for up to two years or more. In addition: breastfeeding should begin within an hour of birth; breastfeeding should be “on demand”, as often as the child wants day and night; and bottles or pacifiers should be avoided.
Breast-milk contains antibodies so helps protect the baby from illness
Infants who are breast-fed longer have fewer dental cavities throughout their lives.
Children who were breast-fed are significantly less likely to become obese later in childhood. Formula feeding is linked to about a 20 to 30 percent greater likelihood that the child will become obese.
Breastfeeding reduces risks of breast and ovarian cancer for the Mother in later in life
Reduces the risk of diabetes for the child
Personally, I also find the convenience a massive benefit. As mentioned, I did not breastfeed my 1st two babies for very long (I will explain all about that in my Breastfeeding Journey post on Friday) and I used to have to cart around so many things, formula powder in containers, bottles, water.. and then there is the sterilising as well. Breastfeeding gives you more freedom to just grab the baby and go without having to think about packing so many supplies, or being weighed down by all those supplies. Cost is a big thing too. Formula has increased in price even more since I had my 1st and now it seems to be 10 pounds a tub, which I found lasts about a week. That’s not really cheap. Bonding of course is another benefit. Feeding your baby to sleep is lovely, and one of the most special moments you can have with your baby.
To find out more about the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt, have a look on their Facebook page (and like them so you keep up to date with what’s happening!) There are masses of prizes to be won, loads of special offers, and so many blogs involved, so it is a very exciting event to be involved in!
As a part of the Scavenger Hunt, every day that we post we will each be linking to 5 more bloggers and one Breastfeeding friendly company, to help discover new blogs and companies to support. So today I am linking to the following blogs by some lovely people who will be joining in this week.
The Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt event is starting tomorrow and will last all week. To get us off to a great start, I am launching the week with a giveaway from BreastVest! Throughout the week there will be more chances to enter for the grand prize bundle across all participating blogs and I will be posting up about the benefits of breastfeeding, breastfeeding in public, and breastfeeding at over 1 year old. I will also be linking up to lots of other blogs and companies who are joining in!
BreastVest are supporting the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt this year as they have done in previous years. There is currently a 25% code for their website which is BSH25 and will be running until the end of the month. In addition to this they will be adding a different code every day during the Scavenger Hunt so do keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter! (you will have options to follow them as part of the Rafflecopter when you enter)
Throughout June, BreastVest are also selling limited issue grey breastvests in aid of the Lullaby Trust, which supports grieving parents whose babies have been lost to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and also provides safe sleeping information. All of the profits from the sale of grey breastvests during June will be donated to them.
If you have not heard of BreastVest before, here is a quick explanation of the idea. It is something very handy to have for any breastfeeding mum!
Breastvest is a simple yet ingenious item of breastfeeding underwear which makes any top a breastfeeding top and makes breastfeeding in public easier.
Designed, tested and approved by breastfeeding mums, breastvest is held in place by straps and scoops just below your nursing bra, completely covering the postnatal tummy so mums can lift up whatever top they are wearing to feed their babies, safe in the knowledge that breastvest has them covered.
breastvest lets mums get back into their favourite clothes sooner, letting them breastfeed whenever, wherever and wearing whatever they want with confidence.
It was invented by now mum-of-two Sam Telfer when she was breastfeeding her first baby, Fred. Frustrated by the lack of wardrobe choice she had – especially after what seemed like an eternity in maternity wear – Sam ruined a succession of her favourite pre-pregnancy tops by stretching the necklines to feed her baby.
Yes, she was desperate to get back into her favourite clothes… but the prospect of exposing the tummy her baby left behind provoked terror in equal measure. After searching for what she needed with no results, she made one herself and breastvest was born.
Thousands of mums all over the world are now enjoying the benefits which come built into breastvest… and when Sam had her second baby, Georgie, she was beyond proud to be one of them!
Available at www.breastvest.co.uk and a wide selection of independent stockists in the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
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