Hello to all Mothers and Mothers-to-be, I found an article in the Inquirer about Natural Birth Planning and Hypnobirthing. Ms Locsin-Chan talks about her natural birthing experience and how her husband
was blown away by the ease of her birth, a skeptic no more! Below is an excerpt from the article and you can follow the link to read the whole article. It really shows how Natural Birth Planning can lead to amazing outcomes. While the thought of giving birth without the security of an epidural scared me to death, I later learned there is, in fact, no need for such drugs or anaesthetics. All the pain management we need is in our mind and, with a super supportive spouse, it makes for a formidable “pain-killer.” http://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/lifestyle/lifestyle/view/20080915-160850/My-baby-was-born-through-hypnobirthing
So long since I last wrote, so sorry out there! An update on me, I am continuing to work as a Lactation Consultant at a Brisbane Hospital and loving it! I am still practicing midwifery work at my local hospital to keep my hand in in the b
suite. I am loving helping women to enjoy being a mother! First time mums and second, third, fourth or however many you are up to, are my priotity. Learning to breastfeed and all that goes with it is challanging and I will endeavour to cover some hot topics for all the mums out there. Let me know if there is something specific you want me to discuss, otherwise I will just go with what the 4 million plus breastfeeding women are searching for on the web each month. Take care and happy birthing or happy mothering or happy whatever you are up
Fantastic article that shows women of the choices they have when it comes to choosing how they would like to birth. It is not just choosing between natural birth and drugs it is what method fits your dream of the brith you want. Have a read of
The best tip for birth is simpiler than you think! It is not relaxation, it is not drugs, it is not where you have your baby, it is the people you choose to have around you.
This has been proven time and time again, a women will have a posi
tive outcome to her birth if she feels supported. So ladies, find the right people, someone you can totally relax around, someone you don’t need to wear make up around and someone who will stand up for what your plan is.
It can be your partner, your sister, your mother, your friend, your brother, your dad, just find that person or group of people and tell them how you want it. Even if all the wheels fall off you will still have full support from the people you trust and in the end that is all that counts,
Good luck to all the women preparing for their birth…………keep yourself supported.
Hi All, I wanted to bring to your attention in World Breastfeeding Week that the Premier of QLD Ms Anna Bligh has implemented a new policy whereby breastfeeding mothers are entitled to a one hour paid lac
tation break. This can be taken over a period of smaller breaks if needed. A fridge is also needed to store expressed breast milk. Read the full article here. This is such an amazing step forward and I take my hat off to Anna Bligh for taking a stand. As times are changing more and more women are heading back to work to basically keep them above the poverty line. WIth increasing electricity costs, fuel costs and the cost of food increasing it is almost essential that a mother return to work. This does not mean an end to breastfeeding needs to take place, just work around it, this will give a new mother the feeling of great confidence and also support from her family and work place. Keep up the great work Ms Bligh and I look forward to more choice for women, espicially in the home birthing department. Font size Format Hi All, I wanted to bring to your attention in World Breastfeeding Week that the Premier of QLD Ms Anna Bligh has implemented a new policy whereby breastfeeding mothers are entitled to a one hour paid lactation break. This can be taken over a period of smaller breaks if needed. A fridge is also needed to store expressed breast milk. Read the full article here. This is such an amazing step forward and I take my
hat off to Anna Bligh for taking a stand. As times are changing more and more women are heading back to work to basically keep them above the poverty line. WIth increasing electricity costs, fuel costs and the cost of food increasing it is almost essential that a mother return to work. This does not mean an end to breastfeeding needs to take place, just work around it, this will give a new mother the feeling of great confidence and also support from her family and work place. Keep up the great work Ms Bligh and I look forward to more choice for women, espicially in the home birthing department. Path:
I hope you are loving my breastfeeding series as I am really enjoying writing it. If you need more specific advice please email me and I will be happy to answer any questions. Knowledge is power, the more you ask the more
you will be able to build a foundation that will be strong and lasting.
Day 3 – 5 is again more change, day 3 is when your milk "comes in". Now this is the normal pattern but it can be earlier or later, whenever it comes, it can be managed, just remember the more you breastfeed the more milk you will make. Another point is that your milk WILL come in, it is very rare for a woman to have problems as the same hormones that allowed you to get pregnant and birth our baby are the same hormones that will produce milk.
What triggers the milk production, or lactogenesis II, at around day 3 is the rise in progesterone. Progesterone is released as your placenta is removed. With your baby in uteruo and your placenta doing a fantastic job of filtering the blood, low levels of progesterone are inhibiting your milk production. This is why if you have a pre-term baby you will still
produce milk as the placenta is removed……Amazing! Lactogenesis II is the technical name for your milk coming in, it is a truly amazing process which begins with breast changes in puberty and continues until your milk comes in. I will go into more detail as well as the biochemistry of breastmilk in a later blog as I find it fascinating. You will see why it is imperitive that you consult a lactation consultant for any breastfeeding problems, after all if you had a tooth ache you would see a dentist to get the right advice, why not see a breastfeeding specialist if you have breastfeeding problems. You will get advice straight from the horses mouth not just anyone’s biased, unresearch opinion! I will hop off my soap box now and continue with day 3-5 of breastfeeding your baby.
Day 3 or a little after your breasts will start to fill, it is very important to breastfeed your baby very regularly so you don’t get too full and engorged. You will have too much milk for your baby at this time so just feed to make your breasts comfortable. It will take about 48hours for your breasts to settle down. You may find your breasts are too tight to attach your baby so you may need to hand express a little to soften the areola so your baby can attach.
The best way to mangage engorgement or avoid it all together is to feed frequently, whenever you baby makes a noise or looks hungry then pop your bood in his/her mouth. This will help drain some breast milk and make you feel comfortable and as a bonus will give you more practice at attachment. If you want to refresh your attachment skills have a look at my first breastfeeding blog post.
As your milk comes in your baby may be a little unsettled and "windy", this is due to the change in flow of your milk. Your baby on days 0-2 would suck in quick bursts on the breast then swallow as there was small amounts of colostrum. Now, at day 3 if your baby sucks fast the he/she will get a mouthful of milk and will pull off to take a breath. Your baby has to adjust its suck from suck, suck, suck, swallow to suck, pause, swallow. It will take a couple of feeds just relax and know that your baby will change and have some wonderul long sleeps with a belly full of breast milk.
Up to day 5 you will feel like you are making head way. Your nipples may be sore or damaged but starting to heal. Using breast milk on your nipples after each feed and then letting them completely air dry is the best treatment. You will also be taking your baby home. Just remember that breastfeeding can take weeks to master and there will be no set routine at the moment so don’t stress yourself out over routine, it will come as your baby grows and is able to take more breast milk in at each feed. Just meet your baby’s needs, that is whenever your baby wakes, it usually means feed time. This can be every 3-4 hours day and night for the next 6 weeks, sounds daunting but so worth it. This will cement your breastfeeding relationship and you will be feeding like a pro in no time.
Seek advice from a lactation consultant if you need, it may cost you some money but it is well worth the knowledge you will gain from a board certified up-to-date professional who is there for you and your family. Enjoy the journey, you will have your up days and your down days, but remember the sun will come up each day as will a new set of skills to go with it. Enjoy the ride and take it day by day, or feed by feed and remember to find professionals who will support you and your new family.
The next post is all about attachment, I know I have talked about this before but I feel it is well worth driving the point home, after all, if you have the attachment right then all other problems will either dissappear or not even surface.
Hello and welcome to day 2. The second 24hours is again a time of breastfeeding and rest. You don’t need to do anything else,
you will be breastfeeding day and night giving your baby about 8-12 feeds in a 24 hour period. Tr
y not to worry too much about lack of sleep as you will catch up later and it WILL get better.
Just remember you are frequently feeding to lay down great foundations for a happy, healthy baby and an abundent milk supply.
This second day will be much the same as day one, however, your baby will be more alert and demanding more. If your baby falls into the "sleepy" catagory of yesterday (see last post) then he/she might wake towards the end of today and want to play catch ups. This catch up or ‘cluster feeding’ is really quite clever, it will bring your milk in and you will get lots of practice at attachment.
Beware! This is the time when a bottle of formula could be offerred — Resist this pressure as it will totally destroy all your breastfeeding efforts, even just one bottle will interfere with your supply and your milk will take longer to come in.
Your baby’s stomach is the size of a shooter marble or 5-7ml capacity and does not need a huge bottle to fill. They are designed perfectly — small tummy to match your small amount of colostrum. Just keep breastfeeing and it will change in the next 24hours, stay with it. Have a look at the image below, it shows the size of your baby’s stomach and the amount of breast milk it can hold, pretty impressive.
If your baby has formula then yes, he/she will sleep as your baby will be using all their energy to digest the formula. Their tiny tummy’s don’t recognise the formula and take an obscene abount of time to digest it. So yes, you may sleep but you will then be on the back foot and your milk supply will be slower to come in thus altering your future capacity to make milk. This is due to the number of your prolactin receptors being reduced, as you have learnt from my previous post, the more prolactin receptors the more milk you can make.
With the maximum amount of prolactin receptors you will have a great supply and you will be rewarded with short breastfeeds and longer sleeps when your supply is established. Amazing how babies and mothers are designed, it is perfect, you just have to give in to your baby’s needs and the rest will follw.
Just a quick note before I go, try to organise it so you get no "non-family" visitors in hospital. Everyone wants to see a new baby so they will come in droves, but this will tire you out and you will pay during the night. It is hard to say no when they show up so get your partner to do a ring around before baby is born and ask for no visitors. Make a time after 2 weeks then everyone can enjoy the visit, your baby included.
Your parents and siblings are an exception as you don’t need to dress up and look "respectable" and you can tell them to leave if you need to.
Just give in to your baby, give in to yourself, stay in your PJ’s and accept help. Take advantage of the room service and just concentrate on breastfeeding your baby……………you will be rewarded with a happy, contented baby (and mum)!
Look out for my next blog on Days 3-5, lots of great insight that will keep you one step ahead.
What an amazing picture above! It is of a Breastfeeding Tent in Haiti, this tent has been set up as a safe haven for women to breastfeed, recieve education on breastfeeding and emotional support.
Can you believe that a rumour was spread around that a mothers milk goes "bad" if her diet is poor! This is ridiculus! In Haiti powdered formula was shipped in to give to these vulnerable babies as a substitue, what they didn’t realise was that the water to mix with the formula was contaminated and would risk the lives of the babies.
These tents were set up by a group called Action Against Hunger who are supported by UNICEF, there are 12 of them and are a life saving measure for the women of Haiti and their newborn baby’s and children. The mothers can learn how to breastfeed and their baby’s will reap the benefits of the perfect nutrition of breastmilk.
You can read the whole article at this link "Baby Tents offer Haitian mothers a safe place to breastfeed" Enyoy the read. Or you can click on the following link to watch the video of how the tents are spreading the wonderful word of breastfeeding. Video – Meeting Urgent Needs of Women with Young Children in Haiti.
So you have had your baby and the birth is over – now what?
Well, the best thing you can do is rest and breastfeed, sounds easy doesn’t it? That is because it is if you give yourself a chance.
This blog is about the fir
st 24 hours after birth. I will go through the changes in the woman and what is happening within your baby’s first day.
First, just a little on what your baby has coped with. Your baby’s whole life has changed, he or she is no longer in a dim envionment where everything is slow moving and cramped. Your baby now has bright lights, space, noise, clothes, nappies, wraps, different people, different smells and the biggest thing is that your baby is now breathing through his/her lungs and no longer receiving nutrients through the cord.
WOW – what a change! Understanding this is the key to a happy baby. Just keep everything simple, keep your baby close to you 24 hours a day so you are able to attent to his/her needs immediately. A crying baby is a late cue, it is great to be near your baby so you can watch for his/her cues and respond early. Usually all you baby will want is you and your breasts…..Easy!
You will be coping with either pain from a cesarean section or a sore bottom from a vaginal birth. You will have a heavy blood loss and may have crapmps in your tummy. But all your physical pains will be pushed by the wayside as you gaze at your beautiful baby. Just remember to take regular pain relief if needed. Don’t "try" to go without as the pain will only get worse and this will affect your time with your baby.
Your breasts will be soft and you will be able to express a few drops of colosturm. You have a small amount of colostrum so as to match the needs of your small baby. Your baby only needs up to 5 mls per feed, having said that, even 0.1ml will sustain him/her for an hour. Your baby’s tummy is about the size of a marble, remember this when you think your baby is hungry. Your baby will fill their tummy quickly then empty it quickly so your baby may want to feed every 1 to 2 hours.
As a midwife and a Lactation Consultant, the biggest problem I am faced with is expectation, here is an example:
A mother is taken to her room with a cot and a bed. Society tells them that their baby should feed for a short time then sleep nicely wrapped and in their cot for 4 hours. But, this never happens! This will eventuate over time but not when you have just given birth. Your baby will not like being put down at all because it is so unfamiliar to them. Think about it, it is common sense to just be with your baby, so make time and space for this.
Your basic plan should be:
- Breastfeed your baby whenever he or she starts to poke his/her tounge out or looks ready for a feed. Don’t wait for crying otherwise it will be harder to attach.
- Get help with attachment and follow the next few steps
- Hold your baby really close to your body so his/her chest, bum and legs are wedged up against you almost under your breast. Leaving no gap between his chest and your chest. This will allow his head to tilt back and his chin to come into contact with the breast first. Don’t use pillows to rest your baby on, use pillows when your baby is latched but use them to support you while you are supporting your baby. This will keep your baby nice and close to you and he/she will maintain a good latch. Your baby is strong enough to suck but not to hold your breast in position while he/she sucks so you must support your breast as well. This will prevent your baby from slipping and causing your damage to your nipple.
- Then put your thumb fairly close to your nipple at the 3 position on a clock or 9 if you are on the other breast. Then pull back towards your armpit, this will point the nipple away from your baby and allow him or her to attach to the area on the side of your breast well below your nipple.
- As you are attach your baby, watch his/her chin the whole time, not your nipple, when he/she has a big wide mouth shove him/her to the breast without allowing the chin to slip toward the nipple. This will allow your baby to take more breast in his/her mouth at the bottom rather than above the nipple.
- When your baby’s chin is jammed into the breast reach his/her mouth over the nipple using your thumb to push it under the top lip. It will fall into the right spot if the chin stays well below the nipple.
You may encounter a common occurance of a "sleepy baby" for about 48hours. This can be because of drugs in labour or just that your baby is getting over the birth. A "sleepy baby" may be concerning for you as they may latch well straight after birth then not latch again until the third day. Just don’t worry, this is normal. You cannot force your baby to take the breast you must wait for your baby to wake and feed. This is hard to do as you will worry that your baby will never breastfeed. Have faith and do the following steps to turn this time into wonderful time with your baby.
- Keep your baby skin-to-skin as this will bring out his/her natural instincst to feed. Just keep your baby at your chest and allow him/her to lick and nuzzle into your breasts, it is such a beautiful feeling.
- Your main job in this time is to help bring your milk in so when your baby does wake up, and he/she will, you have milk there ready.
- Try to latch your baby at least every 3 hours during the day and 4 hours at night, if your baby doesn’t latch then hand express your colostrum and give whatever you get to your baby. You may get 1 ml or your may get 10mls, it doesn’t matter, whatever you have will be enough because you are doing it regulaly. You can collect the colostrum in a syringe then squirt it into your baby’s mouth. Get some help from your midwife as hand expressing is a learning skill, you won’t get it straight away.
- The aim is to get as much into your baby as you can because the more your baby gets the earlier he/she will wake and feed. It is like if you or I didn’t eat for a long period of time we would get tired due to the lack of calories, babies do the same, they get really tired and will just sleep. The mistake you can make is that you don’t give your baby any expressed milk and he/she may become too tired and develop jaundice or low blood sugar. So keep on top of it and you will see that by around the end of the second 48 hours your baby will wake and play catch ups or what we call "cluster feeding".
By breatfeeding or expressing for your baby whenever he/she wants it or at least every three hours then your milk will come in quicker and you will establish a great supply. The more you breastfeed in the early days the more prolactin receptors you will lay down in your breasts and the better supply you will have in the long term. You will also get heaps of practice to get attachment right!
Remember it takes a good couple of weeks to get the feeding right and your nipples comfortable with feeding. Don’t rush yourself, just go at your pace and seek help that works for you.
Just before I go I have another great tip for you. Your baby only knows you and your partner so keep your baby close to you at all times. Have your baby skin-to-skin as much as you can, in some hospitals you can sleep with your baby, if not then make sure you have the cot as close to you as possible so you can hear and touch your
One last point is that your baby does not know how to get to sleep. Your baby will either breastfeed to sleep or will like to be rocked, patted or just held until he/she goes to sleep. This will NOT spoil your baby it is actually meeting their needs. If you meet your baby’s needs without restriction you will have a happy contented baby that will grow up secure in the fact that their parents will always be ther for them.
Just remember to answer your baby’s needs as they arise and lay down a wondererful positive relationship which they have complete trust in. This will then allow your baby to be separted from you much easily when your baby is older as he/she will have complete faith that you will return as you have created an environment where all your baby’s needs are met….Beautiful!
My next post is all about the next 24hours or day 2 of your little baby’s life. If you have anymore specific questions then drop me a line, I am happy to answer any questions you have.