National Breastfeeding Week

We were so excited to celebrate National Breastfeeding Week 2015! We are always keen to raise awareness of breastfeeding and with new studies, celebrity selfies and breastfeeding support groups hitting the headlines recently; we are thrilled to see that this awareness is growing.

To celebrate National Breastfeeding Week we had lots going on including live chats with our in-house lactation consultant, Sioned, facts about breastfeeding, news stories, a sneak peak of our latest photo shoot and lots more! For those who missed it, we thought we would provide a little re-cap…

We were delighted to be able to hold our latest photo shoot with some of our lovely Medela families during National Breastfeeding Week. We had a fabulous time and can’t wait to see the final photos!

Our in-house lactation consultant, Sioned had a busy week, hosting three live chats as we held our regular drop-in-clinic and also teamed up with Count The Kicks and Mothercare UK. Please see some of the most commonly asked breastfeeding questions below:

Question: I have been exclusively breastfeeding my son for the past 8 weeks on demand and was wondering how to start getting into a routine with it? I’m worried in case he isn’t getting enough and I’m refusing him another feed for another 2hrs etc. Thanks x

Answer: Hi, unfortunately there is no routine. Babies feed when they are hungry, want cuddles, feel scared, wet or uncomfortable. It is still early days and if he is feeding frequently every couple of hours, this is perfectly normal with good weight gain – his tummy can only take so much. It is so easy for him to digest, great for his growth, immunity and brain development, so just carry on as you are, rest and recuperate where you can and he will get more efficient at feeding. Just like us adults, sometimes we think we had a great meal, but suddenly 20 minutes later we can always add a coffee or cake – it’s just the same for them. If you are unsure, chat to your health visitor or peer supporter.

 

Question: Is it best to pump straight after a feed or between feeds? I want to get some bottles ready so my husband can feed our daughter too.

Answer: It all depends upon you and your baby. If your baby has just fed from one breast you can pump straight away, if she has fed from both it will take about 45 minutes for the breast to refill, so wait. You can pump after each feed if you feel that you still have milk available. Some mums pump one breast whilst your baby nurses on the other breast. If baby is feeding every 4 hours you can sneak a pumping session in after an hour and will still have milk available when baby wakes for a feed. It’s just trial and error – see how it fits in with you and baby.

 

Question: My little one is 5 months and will be weaning next month, but I still want to breastfeed. How do I go about offering her solid foods and how often? Will I know the difference between her wanting breast milk and food and will she feed less from me once she starts weaning?

Answer: Her milk is still the main source of her nutrition for at least a month after you have weaned. Start by exploring baby led feeding when she is showing signs of interest in family foods. Initially you are giving her tasters and her mouth is learning new tastes and textures. So you would continue to offer breast first and then a little solids – build the amount up of solids and then introduce more meal times. Once she is on 3 meals a day, you may find that she prefers food first and then breast. There are no rules just go with the pace. She may feed a little less once you are on full meals but then breastfeeding is more than food so it may not change much – if her weight gain is soaring you may wish to explore offering less breast at meal times and offer cooled boiled water as an alternative.

 

Throughout the week, we spotted lots of interesting articles too, here’s our top picks…

  • The Jersey Breastfeeding Working Group are organising a picnic style gathering at Millbrook Park this morning where women are being invited to join together and feed their babies at the same time.
    ‘The big latch breastfeeding picnic takes place’ – ITV News
  • We have been searching the UK to find the most welcoming public places for breastfeeding and were delighted to announce our initial results, revealing Pizza Express as a clear winner so far with staff demonstrating a remarkable level of support for breastfeeding mums.
    To read more about this research, pop back to our blog on Monday when we will be posting further details!
    Pizza Express Leads the Way in Breastfeeding-Friendly Hotspots – Mother and Baby

 

Finally, we were thrilled to share some breastfeeding facts to reassure our Medela mums…did you know?

  • Almost three-quarters of mums produce more milk with their right breast.
  • Babies breastfeed until they’re full not until they ‘empty’ your breast, on average, babies remove 67% of the milk you have available.
  • Breast size is not important! No matter what size you are, you’ll make enough milk for your baby.
  • Babies naturally nurse in two phases – initially they suck fast and light to stimulate milk and then slower and deeper once the milk is in.
  • Breastmilk leaves the breast through openings in the nipple; the average amount of openings in a nipple is 9, with some ladies having up to 18!
  • When your baby is born his stomach is the size of a marble, so the colostrum you produce will be just the right amount to fill him!
  • Breastmilk is the ultimate all-in-one meal and, amazingly, your body produces the right nutrients and volume of milk to match your baby’s needs and developmental stage.