This is a blog all about my adventures in Breastfeeding Peer Support. I want to share all the things I have learned and celebrate amazing breastfeeding Mothers and their babies.

I would like to share other peoples stories here too. Accounts of problems overcome, funny things your older children have said, strange places you have attached your baby and so on. Please email me with any stories you'd like to share with other breastfeeding Mothers. Please include what you'd like to be called (URLs ok or just a name), how old your baby was at the time and where abouts you are geographically.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

The Wonders Of Human Milk

A post with this title could go on and on and on so for today I'll just point you in the direction of this very interesting article. We as breastfeeding enthusiasts have known this for sometime but it's so nice to see it in everyday media!

I think I will use this title again as there are some lovely Italian scientist who have proven something else that we have known for a while, I will be back!


Friday, 16 April 2010

Tiny Tummies

I have always believed that breast milk is the very best thing to feed babies but I have discovered some amazing, and startling, facts during my training that lead me to think that it is the only thing we should be feeding our babies until they reach six months of age. I wondered on many occasions how artificial milk is licensed to be used when it is needed by so few of the population.

We have many items that we use to help women better understand the points we are making when encouraging and supporting breastfeeding. Things they can see and feel.

These are my tiny tummy marbles;

We use these to illistustrate the size of their baby's tiny digestive systems.

The smallest marble is the capacity of a newborn's stomach and will hold around 5-7 mls.

The middle marble has a 22-27 mls capacity of a baby aged around 3-5 days.

The biggest marble is the size of a stomach belonging to a baby aged 10-12 days old and has a 60-85 mls capacity.

This shows a mother why her new born needs to feed so often, he has a very tiny tummy and needs to refill it as often as he needs to. It helps her understand why her colostrum (the 'first milk') is so thick and calorie rich. It helps a mother see that although her baby is growing his tummy is no bigger than his fist, even older babies need to eat when they are hungry, babies don't really understand time, they just know to survive they need their mother's milk when their tummy is empty.

I already knew that babies had tiny tums but what I didn't know is that the largest marble also represents the amount of formula a newborn baby would be fed at birth. 60mls or 2floz, sounds like a small amount but it is a huge amount when your stomach can only hold 5-7mls (an average teaspoon). People tend to believe that formula fed babies sleep better, they sleep for longer periods because their poor bellies are stuffed to bursting and they need to conserve their energy to digest the artificial milk in their system.

There is more nutritional value to the 5mls of colostrum a baby gets from his mother during his first feed than a first forumla feed of twelve times the volume. He also gets the skin contact he so needs to regulate his heartbeat, his temperature and lower his blood pressure after birth.

There are lots more advantages to breastmilk and the action of milking the breast. I could go on all night. I won't though but will be back with more soon, I just wanted to show you I haven't lost my marbles ;-)

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

The Joy Of Bean Bags

We had a lazy day yesterday and snuggled up on the bean bags and watched Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium;

Yes, I am in my pyjamas!!

But my lovely boys and lovely girls didn't mind :-)

Alex xxx

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

We're Racing For Life

Me and my girlies are racing for life this year to help protect our precious breasts (and other important bits too!), if you're not racing this year I hope you could find a little something to donate.

Thank you! x

Friday, 2 April 2010

My Breasts And Me

I thought I ought to give you a bit of a back story. Not sure how much of this will have been mentioned before on Daisie Days or if any of it is relevant to the craft mad Mummy over there. It's very relevant to the Lactavist (I use the term loosely) over here.

Let's start with ambition. This came up during some of my peer support training. It appears I have already fulfilled my ambition. From being very small I wanted to be a Mummy. And here I am, I have a lovely husband, two beautiful daughters and two beautiful sons. I like to think I'm not too bad a Mummy either :-) This doesn't mean there is nothing else I want to do with my life but if I achieve nothing else I will be satisfied and whole.

I had many failed preganacies before I carried Elizabeth to term (well, 43 weeks the child was not for emerging) and she was the most amazing thing to ever have happened to me, at least until the others arrived. She was my world and I loved her more than anything else in it. I could never have thought about feeding Elizabeth anything else. She nursed until she had turned two when I stopped feeding her as Francesca was soon to arrive and I didn't want to tandem feed (not sure why).

Francesca too was breastfed but being a really rather good eater she self weaned from the breast at around 18 months prefering to rest her head on my breast and suck her thumb instead.

Nathaniel was somewhat of a suprise baby, he wasn't planned. Francesca and I were hit by a young driver going waaaaay to fast and had to be cut from the car. She broke her arm, I was black and blue all over, it's a miracle he survived inside me. He was meant to come and live with us! He self weaned during an illness just before his second birthday. He was unable to nurse through the snot and coughing so just lay across my tummy for about four days instead of feeding and then never asked for it again.

It was when Nathaniel was very young that I started on my peer support journey. As both my girls had gone to school the circle of stay-at-home-mum friend's had gone so I plunged myself into as many new playgroups as I could. I attended some breastfeeding support groups and was shocked by the militant attitudes I found there. If I had been a new mum I would have been scared away. The development of our children's centre was underway and I asked them if we could set up a group. I believe that every woman should breastfeed her baby, it's not something special (well, it is but here language lets me down) it's so ordinary and in making it a white, middle class, middle aged, militant activity it takes away the availablitly of help and support for all.

Then Sebastian arrived, eventually, another baby I made far too comfortable in my belly. He too is a boob man! He has just started to eat the fruits and vegetables that we do, it was a little sad for me, having four children we don't plan to have any more so this will be my last leg of my breastfeeding 'career'.

I have completed a peer support training course designed by La Leche League and a Breastfeeding Management cousre run by our PCT in accordance with the Baby Friendly Initiative. I have been amazed by what I have learned and will share some of that with you. It has been a real eye-opener, I can tell you!

Anyhoo, probably enough waffle for one day, hope it wasn't too rambling and made some sort of sense.

And finally, here they are;

My beautiful, clever, amazing, wonderful breastfed babies!

Alex xxx

Thursday, 1 April 2010

The Breast Of Times

Well, here I am on 'the other side' to tell you my adventures in the land of breastfeeding, I am here to share stories of the things I am learning and have learned and share with you my progress.

WARNING: If you have an adverse reaction to breastfeeding and it's benefits being celebrated then maybe this blog is just not for you!