Boobs after Breastfeeding

Written by admin on March 7th, 2011. Posted in Boobs & Bottles

The Perks of Breastfeeding

Don’t get too excited about your engorged milk filled breasts because they have to come down sometime! Yes, they’re sexy. But yes, they’re temporary.

If they do the job required and don’t end up down around your ankles when you’re finished it’s all any mummy (and hubby) can ask for. Invest in massage, exercise and good diet and you’ll reap the rewards post-baby. Do nothing and well, your kids may not be the only ankle biters in the household!

Push Ups and Other Exercises for Good Breast Health

Breast Care

Breast Toning Exercises

Tip #3: Lansinohhhhhhhhh….that feels better.

Written by admin on February 18th, 2011. Posted in Boobs & Bottles, Yummy Mummy Secrets

Sweet relief!

Lansinoh for cracked nipples. Buy it and put it in your hospital grab bag ready for the big day because that first week of breastfeeding is going to hurt while your nipples toughen up.

3 Plastics to Avoid: #3, #6, #7, and Why…

Written by admin on February 6th, 2011. Posted in Boobs & Bottles, Healthy Home

Article from Suite 101.com

How to Avoid Unsafe Plastics
All plastics are rated using a number system. Understanding what those numbers mean can help people do more than recycle, it can help them avoid dangerous chemicals.

More than ever people are concerned about the products in their lives, especially when it comes to plastic. There are concerns over the safety of some of the ingredients used in plastics, particularly bisphenol A. Fortunately there are codes on the bottom of all plastics which can help the health conscientious consumer stay informed. Here is what the codes mean and a guide to which plastics should be avoided due to potential toxicity.

Number 1- Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE)
This is found in many single-use products such as soft drinks, mouthwashes, salad dressing and other similar items. It is lightweight, inexpensive and fairly easy to recycle. Number one plastics are considered safe and are not known to leach chemicals, but they are not safe for reuse so never refill any container made from this plastic. Also, never heat foods in number one plastic containers either.

Number 2 – High density polyethylene (HDPE)
This plastic is used for items like milk jugs, trash bags, margarine tubs and packaging products. It is inexpensive, versatile and quite durable. It is also easily recyclable, with recycling programs available in most communities. Number two plastic is considered safe and isn’t known to leach chemicals. But, like most plastics, it’s wise to never heat food or liquid products in them.

Number 3 – Polyvinyl chloride (V or PVC)
This plastic is used to make bottles for cleaning agents, shower curtains, industry plastics and the cling wraps used to wrap deli meat and cheeses. It isn’t generally recycled but some programs will accept it. Number three plastic is not safe due to a chemical used to keep it so flexible which can leach out into food products. This plastic has di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate in it, which is a carcinogen. It also contains chlorine and will release dangerous toxins if burned.

Number 4 – Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
This plastic can be found in things like frozen food bags, squeezable bottles, grocery bags and some clothing, carpeting and furniture upholstery. It is flexible, durable and has many applications in industry. Number four plastic isn’t known to be dangerous or leach any chemicals into consumer products. It is not widely recycled but a handful of community programs will accept it.

Number 5 – Polypropylene (PP)
This plastic can be found in items like ketchup bottles, straws, medication bottles, some carpet and most bottle caps. It has a high melting point so it is also used for containers that will hold hot liquid. Number five plastic is hazardous during production but once made, it isn’t known to leach chemicals. It is typically used in items that aren’t reused and has a high melting point, which might contribute to it’s sturdiness and reduced risk of leaching. Not every community can recycle number five plastic.

Number 6 – Polystyrene (PS)
This plastic is used for items that must be hard and retain their shape, like cups, opaque plastic utensils, some toys, carry-out containers and compact disc cases. It is also used for foam insulation. Number six plastic isn’t generally recycled and is not considered safe by most experts. Benzene, a known carcinogen, is used during its production and the final product contains butadiene and styrene, both suspected carcinogens. It takes a lot of energy to produce and should be avoided, so watch out for take out food containers made from it.

Number 7 – Other
Number seven is a catch-all category for any number of plastics but often contains polycarbonate. It is often found in baby bottles, five-gallon water jugs, microwave containers, liners for metal cans, and plastic eating utensils. Very few recycling programs exist for this type of plastic. Number seven plastic is widely regarded as unsafe since it has bisphenol A, a hormone disruptor which mimics estrogen and is linked to breast cancer. This plastic is known to readily leach this chemical out into food. Infant formula and canned food has tested positive for biphenyl-A after being placed in metal cans lined with number seven plastic. It’s a good idea try to always avoid number seven plastic.

Read more at Suite101: How to Avoid Unsafe Plastics: An Easy to Use Consumer Guide to Plastic Codes

Plastic NOT Fantastic: BPA – The silent poison. Hormone Disrupter.

Written by admin on February 6th, 2011. Posted in Boobs & Bottles, Healthy Home, Toxic Nursery

In this modern world of ours the convenience of plastic and the silent price we pay is really something that goes unthought of. Plastics are practically unavoidable in our everyday lives but when it comes to what we choose to allow into our newborn baby’s mouth and stomach (and yours while you’re pregnant), we should pause and consider what some plastics actually contain. When you consider the amount of contact our babies have with plastic on a daily basis (bottles, teethers, sippy cups, feeding bowls, storage containers for food purees, etc) this is a serious issue that every mum & dad should be well informed on. There is a plethora of discussions about BPA and if you Google it you’re sure to find conflicting information on whether or not there is any danger. The fact that some major companies are removing BPA from all their baby products suggests that there is some merit in the health concerns and moving away from it is just the smart, socially and ethically responsible thing to do. Here is one article from Medical News Today, NY Times.

“The substance of concern is bisphenol-a, or BPA, an industrial chemical widely used as the starting material in the making of the hard, clear and nearly unbreakable plastic called polycarbonate. Studies and tests show that trace amounts of BPA are leaching from polycarbonate containers into foods and liquids.

While most of the focus is on products for children, including clear plastic bottles and canned infant formula, the chemical is also used in food-storage containers, some clear plastic pitchers used for filtered water, refillable water bottles and the lining of soft-drink and food cans.

While there is debate about how much of a health worry BPA really is, retailers in the US including Wal-Mart have said they are withdrawing baby products made with it. Nalgene, the maker of a popular sports bottle, and the baby-products maker Playtex have announced they will stop using it.

Several studies have shown that BPA disrupts hormones in animals, leading to early sexual maturity, changes in development and organization of tissue in mammary glands and reduction in sperm in the affected organism’s offspring. The early stages of fetal development are thought to be the most vulnerable to harm from BPA, said the authors in a prepared statement.

Michels said that:

“We found that drinking cold liquids from polycarbonate bottles for just one week increased urinary BPA levels by more than two-thirds.”

“If you heat those bottles, as is the case with baby bottles, we would expect the levels to be considerably higher,” she added, explaining that is worrying because “infants may be particularly susceptible to BPA’s endocrine-disrupting potential”

How do I know if the plastic containers in my home contain BPA?
Any product made of hard, plastic is probably made from polycarbonate unless the manufacturer specifically states that it’s BPA-free. One way to check is to look for the triangle stamp on or near the bottom: polycarbonate plastics should have the numeral 7 in the triangle, sometimes with the letters PC
..

(Unfortunately, 7 is a catchall “other” category for a variety of plastics. In my own kitchen, I found our Happy Baby food bowls’ lids were #7 while the bowl component was a #5 (#5 is a plastic that is considered ‘should’ be safe). I would never, ever, heat or reheat food in the microwave for baby in a plastic container WHATEVER the number. Toddle off to KMart and buy yourself a couple of Pyrex containers. They have plastic lids but you won’t be putting those into the microwave. We found these really useful for taking out on shopping trips and heating the twins’ meals….lids off. JK)

How do I lower my exposure?
Switch to frozen or fresh vegetables. Use glass, porcelain and stainless-steel containers, particularly for hot foods and liquids. If you don’t want to use a glass baby bottle, several companies, including the popular brand Born Free (in the US, sold online or through Target), now sell BPA-free baby bottles and sippy cups. For formula-fed babies, you can switch to powdered formula rather than liquid.

Although many plastic products claim to be microwave safe, some scientists warn against putting any plastic in the microwave. “There is such a wide variety now, from disposable containers to actual Tupperware,” says Dr. Anila Jacob, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based advocacy group. “I don’t know of anyone who has done definitive testing of all these different types of plastic containers to see what is leaching into food.”

Ref:    Medical News Today
NY Times

Here’s what the Australian Food Standards have to say (19 January 2010):

What is BPA?
BPA is an industrial chemical used as the starting material for the production of polycarbonate plastics and synthetic resins. BPA is found in items or containers that come into contact with foodstuffs such as drinking vessels, baby bottles, plastic tableware and the internal coating on tins for tinned-food.   In some circumstances, chemicals in food packaging can migrate into the food product, and vice versa, depending on the nature of the packaging and the food contained within.

What are the health effects of BPA?
Bisphenol A does not cause cancer. BPA belongs to a group of substances which can act in a similar way to some hormones and, as such, are sometimes called ‘endocrine disruptors’. Some studies in laboratory animals suggest that low levels of (consumed) BPA may have an effect on the reproductive system.   Similar consequences in consumers at these low concentrations are considered unlikely because BPA is rapidly inactivated and then excreted in the urine.

Are very low levels of BPA in food of a concern?
FSANZ has evaluated the safety of BPA and plasticisers in food, including that consumed by infants from baby bottles and concluded that levels of intake of BPA or plasticisers are very low and do not pose a risk to public health for any age group. For example, a 5kg baby would need to consume around 80 large (240 mL) baby bottles full of infant formula a day, every day over a lifetime, before reaching the daily safety limit for Bisphenol A of 50 micrograms/kilogram body weight per day. This would be around fifteen to twenty times more than a baby would eat. (NOTE: This comment refers to prepackaged ‘liquid’ baby formula not powdered OR the risk of heating powdered milk formula in plastic bottles. JK)
However, FSANZ is liaising closely with national and international regulators and Australian industry on this issue in order to assess the new evidence and exposure levels in Australia.

Is there anything I can do as a consumer?
Regulators around the world have concluded that exposure to low levels of BPA is safe.
However, when using baby bottles, always follow the instructions on the infant formula for preparation and use. The following advice applies to all baby bottles or cups, whatever type of plastic they are made from:

  • Discard any scratched bottles or feeding cups as they may harbour germs
  • Do not put boiling or very hot water, infant formula, or other liquids into bottles while preparing them for your child
  • Before mixing water with powdered infant formula, boil the water and cool it to lukewarm
  • Always remember:  do not heat baby bottles of any kind in the microwave – the liquid may heat unevenly and burn your baby
  • Sterilize and clean bottles according to instructions on infant formula labels and they should be left to cool to room temperature before adding infant formula.

While agreeing with their recommendations for reducing the safety risks, forgive me for not swallowing their “very low levels of BPA are safe” promise. It springs to mind many different promises by government bodies touting things safe when history later shows they were anything but! (‘Back in the day’ campaigns touting cigarette safe and actually GOOD for you!) With many companies deciding to take plastic bottles containing BPA off their shelves it’s a move that acknowledges and reflects parents’, researchers’, retailers’ and manufacturers’ sincere concern worldwide. Sydney Morning Herald article We’re talking about our most vulnerable members of society, our babies, that are being exposed at every turn in our households to plastics that contain dangerous chemical substances, regardless of the so called “safe” and “acceptable” quantity levels.

Our twins were four months of age when I wised up to the risks of BPA in plastic bottles and I’m sorry to say that in the wee hours of the morning I put the bottles into a container of boiled water to re-warm the milk inside (if I’d mucked up making the bottles when the girls weren’t quite ready for them). To this day I can’t fathom why I thought that was a good idea as I would never heat plastic in the microwave but did not make the connection with sitting it in 100 degree Celsius boiled water. (It’s amazing what sleep deprivation does to your mind!) So take the time now, if you’re pre-pregnancy, pregnant or mum/dad to a newborn, toddler or child to avail yourself to the information and alternatives. Our girls are now 19 months old and starting to show breast ‘buds’ (they came and went when they were younger too) which is of HUGE concern for me and a source of excruciating guilt for not doing the research on plastic bottles before they were born. It remains to be seen what the consequence of my lack of action/knowledge will bring.

Check ALL of the plastics in your cupboards (especially those for baby) and make sure that none of them have the numbers 3, 6 or 7 printed on the bottom (The reasons why are in the article “3 Plastics To Avoid: #3, #6, #7….and Why”). If they do, do your family a favour. Collect them all up, walk yourself out to your recycling bin, open the lid and toss. It’s empowering and you’ll feel better for it!

Next find yourself a supplier of “BPA FREE” bottles and tupperware (and buy silicone teets as rubber ones can set off allergic reactions in some babies). There’s also the ever reliable and safe glass baby bottles and pyrex containers. One internet supplier I’ve found is www.biome.com.au with cheap postage deals. After looking at all the BPA free baby bottles we decided to buy glass bottles with the silicone protective sleeves. Why? Because at the end of the day glass has zero risk of leaching any nasty chemicals. Just double check the bottle if you ever knock it about. I take the sleeve off, run my finger around the inside edge of the neck and carefully look over the entire body. When our twins were 12 months old they unceremoniously tossed the bottle aside after finishing it but as we fed them laying on the carpet floor, coupled with the silicone sleeve, we’ve never had cause for concern. Now they’re 19 months old they get up and bring the bottle to me wherever I am and say “tankyou”. *Awwww* We have bought BPA-free water sippy cups from I think KMart, but I made sure I washed it several times before giving it to the girls (by hand, not in the dishwasher) and taste tested the water after it had been in there an hour or two. My routine every day is to fill fresh when they wake (6:30am), empty it and refresh again at morning tea (around 9:30am) and again at lunch (11:30am) and again when they wake from their midday nap around 3:00pm and again for dinner at 5:00pm. Even though it’s a BPA-free bottle it still tastes funny to me so I continue this routine every single day and even do taste tests in between. I can’t bear to double the regret I still feel about their milk bottle feeds those first four months!

I hope to reach many mothers and help generate a lightbulb moment so they Google to learn more, throw out their baby’s current plastic bottles and go shopping for BPA-free or glass bottles.

Lighten the chemical load. Your recycling bin awaits!

Controlled Feeding Times for Newborns: What a terrible idea!

Written by admin on February 4th, 2011. Posted in Boobs & Bottles

While pregnant I had a conversation with a friend who had recently had his first child. It went like this, he said the midwives told him to feed their daughter only every four hours. “It will get her into a good feeding habit” they said. She would scream and scream and he said she was the unhappiest baby. After weeks of this he said they finally ditched the midwife’s advice and fed her on demand. The transformation was evident. She was a new little girl, happy and calm. Given that newborns are meant to put on as much weight as possible and drink as much milk as possible, the midwives were fools. His pivotal advice to me before our girls were born was this, take midwives’ advice with a grain of salt. Just do whatever you feel in your gut is best for YOUR baby.

YOUR baby. That’s the operative word here. The baby you hold tightly in your arms belongs to you and no one else. If you feel that you should be doing something different to midwive’s advice, it’s your call. Don’t be bullied into hanging in there, and ‘that’s not how it should be done’ bollocks. Just do it. I didn’t receive any stifling advice like that from our midwife, it was simply “if they sleep more than 5 hours you should wake them and make them feed as there’s a risk they could become dehydrated“. Now that made sense to me. I agreed with it but only encountered it once with our little Leila while in hospital. After that they were up every 1.5 to 2 hours! We did however have a ‘Lactation Consultant’ (who looked about 25) come around telling me how I should be feeding the girls. From memory she had nothing productive to advise about technique, more picking on things she wasn’t happy with. If her intention was to make me feel bullied and belittled for using nipple shields on my extremely cracked and painful nipples, she succeeded. However my mother, partner and I decided to go ahead and continue using nipple shields anyway and our girls had zero problem adjusting to them, feeding with them, nor any issues with my milk flow because of them. But I was made to feel like it was the worst thing in the world to be doing! I look back at those conversations now and wish I had the mindset to tell her to shove off.

I don’t want to paint all lactation consultants in a poor light. I believe they have a very important role in the community to help new mums give breastfeeding the best shot they can so they don’t fall into the arms of formula. Breastfeeding is such a beautiful, natural, perfect food for your baby and chances are you haven’t had many women around you breastfeeding recently to bounce questions or concerns off. Lactation Consultants have their place in society and that is on the other side of the fence to the super profitable canned formula companies. Which is a good thing in my eyes. Read a great article from ABA that talks about the ‘great divide’ at “Feeding our babies: Choice? Guilt? Anger? Regret?“.

As your newborn becomes an infant (say around 2-3 months) you can implement a sleep/feed cycle that will get them into a healthy routine that will actually make them feel secure and happy. Babies love routine. It gives them a sense of security and knowing what to expect next. Our girls would actually go and rattle the gate when they felt it was time to crawl upstairs and have their nap! I’ll share my experiences with our twins in Sleep Challenges – Save our Sanity: Implementing a Sleep/Feed Routine“.

Nipple Shields: Ignoring the Midwives

Written by admin on February 4th, 2011. Posted in Boobs & Bottles

Good Lord, the midwives! Don’t get me started on the midwives. And the Attila Lactation Consultants! Even more fanatical. If you’ve got grazes all over your nipples and find yourself stomping the floor while breastfeeding nipple shields are a saviour. Much to the tutt tutting of the midwives and lactation consultants, they did absolutely nothing to impact my milk flow nor the feeding skills of our twin baby girls. If you find yourself banged up, send your partner out to buy a set along with some Lansinoh cream (a must for cracked nipples) and you’ll never look back. You don’t have to continue with them permanently, just till the skin heals and you can try your technique again with fresh nipples.

My boobs are no longer MY boobs. Or Yours!

Written by admin on February 4th, 2011. Posted in Boobs & Bottles

If only men understood that just because we’ve jumped 2 cup sizes our libido hasn’t followed suit. My partner absolutely loved looking at my new-found boobs…and that’s all he got…to look. As I said, “Looky looky. No touchy touchy!” but during those first two weeks it was plain to see that my breasts were well and truly the sole property of our twins. Gashed & hurting he daren’t come near them! Lucky he’s a patient man. :)

Pumps: Electric or Manual?

Written by admin on January 20th, 2011. Posted in Boobs & Bottles

Our week at the hospital we were blessed to be provided with an electric Medela breast pump. Having twins has it’s perks! Pumping after each feed to ensure you have emptied your feeding breast helps to ensure that milk is replenished and your supply is really good. Regular feeding/draining of the breast increases your body’s drive to make more. “Saving up” for the next feed doesn’t work as it signals to your body that the need is reduced and it’s supply will follow suit. So even if you don’t store it, it’s a great idea to completely drain your breast after bub has fed or at least every 6 hours to ensure your milk supply isn’t hindered. I can’t speak highly enough of the Medela electric pump. Efficient and painless it was such a blessing but at the end of the week I went home armed with only the Medela manual pump. Though still efficient it took quite a lot of shoulder and bicep work to pump every 4-6 hours throughout the night and was very tiring. When you’re sleep deprived it’s the last thing you want to do. Luckily my partner got some sort of glee out of performing the task for me sometimes during the day (hey, who am I to complain?). But the novelty wore off come night time!

So if you’re  keen to breastfeed but for some reason can’t feed on the breast (eg: multiple babies, nipple problems or you need to go back to work) hire an electric breast pump. I found this information only after the time had passed. Once you’ve had your baby time flies and you’re tired and ideas may not present themselves for you. That’s why I’m building this website, to help new mums with my experiences and with ideas that may help smooth the baby journey.

Electric Breast Pump Hire

This site also good information on breastfeeding with a counsellor helpline available.

Feeding our babies: Choice? Guilt? Anger? Regret?

Written by admin on January 20th, 2011. Posted in Boobs & Bottles

On researching this topic I found an article that I wholeheartedly agree with and would like to share with you. Written by Yvette O’Dowd, ABA Breastfeeding Counsellor.

Feeding our babies: Choice? Guilt? Anger? Regret?

There is no real choice involved with breastfeeding.

Like natural conception, pregnancy, childbirth and all the other processes of the human body, breastfeeding is the default when it comes to feeding our babies – just like for all other infant mammals.

However, none of these natural processes are guaranteed failsafe and society has developed alternatives when something goes wrong with nature’s plan.

IVF and other fertility programs, surrogate pregnancy and intensive care for premature infants, caesarean sections … and artificial feeding … each intended to step in when nature stumbles.

Why then, is there such a divide between women who breastfeed and those who resort to artificial baby milk? Why can the apparent decision to do one be taken as criticism of those who do the other? Such conflict can also arise between natural versus medical childbirth proponents but imagine such a personal debate between those who conceive easily and those reliant on IVF? Imagine the full-term mothers in the postnatal ward questioning the actions of those with premmies in NICU! Imagine infertile women complaining about the promotion of contraception and family planning!

So what led to this great divide?
The answer can be found if we turn back a few pages in our history books. Originally, artificial feeding was only intended as the last option for babies unable to access human milk – those abandoned by their mother at birth, foundlings without access to wet nurses, orphans without a lactating relative to take them in. It was insidious marketing by those with a commercial interest which saw artificial feeding leap from last resort to first option and it has taken the best part of the past century to undo the damage of their actions. The repair is far from complete.

It would be bad enough if infant formula had been marketed as just an alternative to human milk, but far worse damage was done. Powerful advertising directed at family and medical communities led many to believe manufactured infant feeds were superior to a mother’s own milk. Generation after generation of new mothers had all choice taken away from them as health advisors passed on the misleading information fed to them by those whose real interest was in the making of money. Lots of money.

The most heartbreaking outcome is not the loss of breastfeeding confidence across the community, rather the failure of society to understand the risks of not feeding babies as nature intended. There are very real detrimental impacts on immediate and future health when we remove human milk from the human diet and replace it with artificially concocted substitutes. Just as there are risks with fertility treatments, premature or surgical birth, so too there are risks when artificial baby milk replaces breastmilk – whether at birth or at any time during the period nature intended humans to be fully or partly breastfed.

Any suggestion of these risks is shouted down by many in our society as unfair to mothers who have resorted to artificial feeding. For many years, these risks were cloaked in softer language and presented as benefits of breastmilk. This technique is akin to suggesting there are advantages to breathing air unpolluted by cigarette smoke! Benefits in not being exposed to toxic levels of radiation! Or perhaps reasons to consider not walking in front of a moving vehicle!! There are no benefits to breastfeeding – breast isn’t best, it is normal!

The decision to introduce artificial baby milk – either partly or fully replacing human milk in a child’s diet – should always follow full risk assessment. Artificial feeding is not about the choice to breastfeed or not to breastfeed. The decision has nothing to do with breastfeeding. When we add or replace a natural process with something else, it must be done with full awareness of the risks against benefit. Like organ replacement or renal dialysis, artificial feeding should only be considered when all else fails.

Emotional conflict
Any health awareness program is designed to alter people’s behaviour, change habits and encourage them to question their lifestyle. Give up smoking. Eat more vegetables, Do more exercise, Drink less alcohol. Avoid sun exposure. Reduce fat in the diet. Have a pap smear. Eat more fibre. Nag, nag, nag! Pick up a magazine, watch TV, visit the doctor or pass by a billboard. The message is simple: there are ways you can improve your health both now and in the future. By ignoring them you are denying your own power to act.

Put up a poster promoting breastfeeding, though, and suddenly people complain it is only being done to make those who are artificially feeding feel guilty! Why is this? How can just another health message seem personalised and threatening? The answer might surprise you. There is certainly emotion involved but it is nothing to do with guilt. Guilt is how you feel having committed an offence; remorse caused by feeling responsible for some offence. It is an internally created feeling and can only occur if the culprit recognises they have done the wrong thing. Surely this description would only apply to the smallest number of mothers who have not breastfed? The real emotion felt by the majority of women who resort to premature weaning is regret: feeling sad about the loss or absence of something treasured or valued. Put simply, when these women see promotion of breastfeeding, it reminds them of a time when they experienced sadness. This can lead to feelings of anger, as unresolved emotions come to the surface. What they need is support and understanding of their grief, recognition of their regret. Unfortunately, what they usually get instead is reassurance about the decision to wean and assurance of their baby’s health and wellbeing despite being fed artificially. This failure to acknowledge their true feelings goes a long way to delaying their emotional recovery. Raise the issue of breastfeeding in a group of women at any life stage – those emotions will come flooding out just as fresh in the retirement village as in the new mothers’ group.

If reminders of the value of breastmilk make you feel angry, then direct that anger not to those trying to increase the awareness of a whole population, rather to those who let you down. Mothers do not fail to breastfeed. Our society fails to help them do so. The real blame lies with:

Health systems that pay lip service to the benefits of breastmilk, yet expel new mothers from hospital before they have even grasped the basics of this learned skill.

Communities who view breastfeeding as an intimate act to only be performed behind closed doors, promoting only the sensual role of breasts and denying their practical use.
A society who expects women to resume paid work after brief, unpaid maternity leave while denying them access to workplace child care and other support for combining work and breastfeeding

A medical system that has charted the growth of breastfed infants against the unnatural growth patterns of those fed artificially (1) in past generations and implied failure to mothers whose babies did not measure up.

Unnecessary birth practices that interfere with the natural progression from womb to breast and strict infant regimes that deny babies access to the breast often enough for adequate nutrition.

A society which destroys body image by portraying the pubescent female form as that of a fully mature woman and displays malnourished celebrities as role models for adolescents and women of child-bearing age.

It is time to break down barriers between mothers and join together. There is no us and them, no good versus bad mother. Every woman has the right to the support and information she needs to birth and breastfeed her baby as nature intended, without pressure from the marketing techniques of multinational drug and breastmilk substitute manufacturers influencing the professionals guiding them along the path of motherhood.
(1) The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2006 released the first growth charts based on the growth patterns of breastfed babies, but to date these have only been adopted in Australia’s Northern Territory. WHO Child Growth Charts
May 2010

Australian Breastfeeding Association free helpline is 1800 MUM 2 MUM (686 2 686) or www.breastfeeding.asn.au

Breastfeeding: The Proven Benefits

  • Immunological benefits – protects your baby from illness and infection
  • Provides the correct food for your growing baby
  • Aids the development of your baby’s eyesight, speech and intelligence
  • Promotes a special loving bond between mother and baby

http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/general.html

Breastfeeding: The OUCH factor

Written by admin on January 20th, 2011. Posted in Boobs & Bottles

There’s no doubt about it. Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful but awkward feelings for some new mums. There’s a definite knack to breastfeeding successfully and if you’re lucky, your baby is a natch and finds it so simple they can do it with their eyes shut ;) But it can be a tricky thing for new mums to learn and even more challenging for mums of multiples. After giving birth to our twin girls smack in the middle of winter, breastfeeding was a challenging and chilling experience. I didn’t have the luxury of slipping one breast out and leaving all my lovely warm clothes on around my shoulders. No. In the middle of the night, every 2 hours or less, my breastfeeding experience was one where I ripped off all clothing from the waist up for simultaneous feeding on a twin feeding pillow. Which by the way is coated in a very, very, VERY cold plastic. Laugh yes, go on. It’s a funny image. Mum’s Milk Bar. Thankfully for the first 7 weeks my mother stayed with us and draped my shoulders in a blanket and helped each of our girls attach. Using a twin feeding pillow is a wonderful idea….if you’ve got 3 hands.

Breastfeeding – Get it wrong and you’ll be wearing the gash marks for weeks. My nipples looked as though they were taken to with a cheese grater and breastfeeding had me stomping my foot on the ground and gritting my teeth. (Thankfully I never developed Mastitis!). Determined to breastfeed though I pushed on sending my partner to the chemist to buy nipple shields. The midwife of course tutt tutt’ed saying no no no, that’s not a good idea and we wouldn’t recommend using those. We’re taught that learning ‘best technique’ is the remedy for nipple cracking and irritation. Looking at the pushy 25 year old ‘Lactation Consultant’ my thought was “and how many children have you had?”. Put simply, if you’re experiencing intense pain due to existing damage to your nipples the alternatives are slim. You can use nipple shields, express and bottle feed for a few days or a week until your nipples heal enough for your little milk vampire to guzzle on again or you can throw your hands up in the air and fall into the arms of formula. I decided to go with the nipple shields and our girls had absolutely no problem with them. They did look at me a little strangely the first time but they got over it very quickly when the milk started drenching through them.

Having twins I also had to decide whether to feed them formula through the nighttime as feeding two babies every 1.5-2 hours on the breast was exhausting, and slower. If they didn’t wake up at the same time to feed then it was, feed/burp…wait feed/burp, which left about 30 minutes before the first feeder woke up again. Impossible! And after my lesson learned In The Hospital (see “Sleep. There is no Substitute”) I learned not to expect to function like a superwoman on no sleep. It was simply too tiring. I breastfed exclusively the first couple of weeks but then resigned to using formula at night. I knew that if it wasn’t then it’d only be a few weeks later that I’d need to do it. My mother was with us the first 7 weeks and after she left it would be impossible to maneuver the girls onto the twin pillow by myself. I couldn’t wake my partner every 2 hours to help with this as he needed to function for work and couldn’t physically sustain feeding them one at a time. So my choices were slim.

The midwives warned that my milk flow would reduce by using the nipple shields. Where the logic is in that I’m not sure,  I still leaked excess milk like a jersey cow! However their warnings that I would slowly stop producing sufficient breastmilk by using formula at night and not breastfeeding was right. I was too tired to express every 6 hours in between feeding the girls so would wake up with a soaked shirt by early morning and if you’ve done your research, the longer you leave it to express the faster your milk dries up. This is purely because your clever little body establishes that if you aren’t using it, you aren’t needing it!

By the fourth month the girls rejected the breast through the daytime as they were just not getting the speed of flow they enjoyed from the bottle at night. It was very sad but I had to recognise that at the end of the day I didn’t have one baby, I had two and I’m not superwoman. Do I regret relying on formula? Yes. In a perfect world I would have loved the ability to exclusively breastfeed our twin girls (until their teeth came through because after that, forget it!). Our girls jumped 1 percentile in weight during that first week in hospital while receiving exclusively breastmilk. They lost the usual 10% of birthweight before regaining that and more. The midwives were very happy and impressed that our little 5.7 and 4.9 pound twins were accelerating growth so quickly. And during the next few months got bigger and bigger at a rate of knots jumping from the 3rd and 10th percentile to the 25th and 50th respectively! If we have another (single) baby it will be a no-brainer. I will breastfeed until their teeth come through, and even longer if they play nice with their new gnashers!

Before and after birth you should seek the counsel of as many mothers, midwives & lactation consultants as possible. Research the web and get all the facts (but learn to recognise ‘spin’ and who benefits most from it). In the end it’s your decision and doing what feels right for you and your baby is paramount. Take the advice that feels right for you and leave the rest in your wake. By making an informed and carefully weighed choice you will never feel guilt or regret. Now, not breastfeeding because you don’t want your boobs to drop, well that’s another story!

The topic of breastfeeding -vs- bottlefeeding is heated. With the ‘members’ of the two ‘parties’ seemingly at loggerheads. But I don’t think it’s women’s fault that the divide has come to such a heated debate. Clever and very deliberate marketing by the big formula companies have much to do with the information and ‘spin’ that’s out there. A good read is Feeding our Babies: Choice? Guilt? Anger? Regret?article written by Yvette O’Dowd, ABA Breastfeeding Counsellor in this category “Boobs & Bottles”.