About Me

A first time mum blogging the journey.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Got milk?.......Got too much milk!?

A lot of women worry about not producing enough milk but what happens if you make too much milk?  An over supply of milk can be make breastfeeding difficult to manage and your baby gassy and well as leaving you prone to engorgement and blocked ducts.  Not to mention leaking and messy feeds making feeding in public unbearable

I began to realise I might have an over supply quite soon into breastfeeding.  The general guide is to offer your baby one breast, until drained, then offer the other breast.  Well Poppy would only need to feed from one breast.  As a newborn she seems quite gassy and unconfortable at times.  This was due to her having lots of high lactose foremilk.  Foremilk you say? Well breastmilk is so clever it changes throughout a feed, when a baby starts a feed it is more watery and higher in lactose, this is called fore milk.  Throughout a feed the milk becomes fattier, this is the rich, filling, hindmilk.  Breastmilk fulfils all of a baby's needs, food and drink.  I found that because I had so much milk, Poppy would become full on foremilk before getting to the hindmilk.  This meant she wanted frequent feeds, seemed fussy and was gassy.  

My midwife advised me to allow Poppy to feed from the same breast twice and then if she wanted more, to offer the other breast.  Dinner, pudding and a drink.  This worked well for me.  It's also important not to express when you have an over supply, this will make you body produce even more.  If you are engorged, just express a little.  

A fast let down can also contribute to a newborns fussiness.  All mums have a different let down and all babies take milk differently.  Poppy would choke, pull on and off and want frequent feeds.  My let down was too fast.  Your baby will get used to your let down but in the mean time, when your baby pulls away try letting the gush of milk spill into a muslin, then let your baby latch again.  This avoids the fast let down and gets rid of a little foremilk. 

As for feeding in public, wear breast pads fro leaking, tuck a muslin under your baby so that any leaking is caught as doesn't leave you with embarrassing wet patches!  Take a spare top and a sense of humour.... Any questions on breastfeeding, leave a comment or e-mail at abigailworthington1989@googlemail.com.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Breastfeeding and milk supply.

When you begin breastfeeding, your baby will be leaning how to latch properly.  It may all feel a little awkward at first, fumbling with nursing clips and breastfeeding pillows.  I only really started having success with feeding when I ditched the breastfeeding chair and pillow, relaxed and tried feeding her laying down in bed.  It felt very natural and because I was relaxed and still, Poppy started to get the hang of it.  The result of poor latching is sore nipples.  Once you have sore nipples the thought of feeding can become hard but I assure you as soon as your baby starts to latch properly the pain will go away but in the meantime I recommend using some nipple cream.  It is a life saver.  I used Derma Mum (superior protection) nipple balm. The key ingredient when looking for a good nipple cream is lanolin.  The derma cream was great and can be applied as often as required, you just need to wipe off any excess before feeding.  So if you are suffering, apply after every feed at the minimum.  

Another unusual tip (but really works) on sore nipples is too rub your own milk on to your nipples.  So if buying creams is out of the budget, expressing a little milk and gently rubbing over your entire nipple has a soothing effect. 

When your milk comes in your breasts will become engorged.  This can be very uncomfortable  especially at night with leaking breasts as well.  For quite a few weeks I slept in a nursing bra for support and constantly wore breast pads for leaking.  With time your supply will become in tune with your baby and you will not leak, in fact you will no longer need breast pads.  If you do become engorged this is due to having lots of milk, so the only way to solve this is by feeding your baby, so to begin with try to alternate which breast your baby feeds from to make sure both breasts get emptied.  If you don't relieve engorged breasts you may get blocked ducts and your skin will become red and sore this can then lead to infection called mastisis.  Mastisis can be treated with antibiotics but that's the last thing you need when looking after a new baby so if you do get a blocked duct try to treat it as soon as possible.  For more information on blocked ducts and engorgement check out the link below:

I frequently had blocked ducts when I first started feeding Poppy but they would only last a day or less.  The most effective way to unblock a duct was to feed from the engorged breast until it is completely drained.  I do not recommend expressing the milk because your body will think you need to produce more milk which could lead to further engorgement.  If you are really uncomfortable try to express just a little by hand while waiting for your baby's next feed (the shower is good place to do this).  Try to make sure you nurse in different positions to ensure all ducts are emptied.  It is also important to fully empty breasts so that your baby drinks the fatty hind milk.

Nipple shields are quite effective for sore nipples too, however they are quite large and a bit of a hassle to wear.  The effectively make sure no material is touching the nipple and irritating it as well as expressing a little milk when engorged.  I used them once or twice but found using nipple cream much easier.  

In my next breastfeeding post I will talk about fore milk, hind milk and over supply.  

Friday, 15 March 2013

The Swings.

Stuck for ideas to entertain my 8 month old the other day I had the idea of going to the park. Poppy sits up unaided so I brought a couple of blankets and padded her into the swings.  Well, she loved it. 

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mother's Day all you mums out there!  I hope you're all having a lovely day.  I can't believe I'm a mum.  It still takes me by surprise when people refer to me as mum or mummy.  When I think about what a mum should be like, I can only picture my own mum.  I will always be Poppy's mum, so to her I represent what a mum is.  Weird right.

So what is being a mother like?  It's all consuming.  Your baby is like an extension of you, before she was born she really was.  To a baby you are the centre of her world, her food, her comfort, her teacher, her protecter, her carer and her friend.  Poppy cries when I leave the room and smiles when I enter, unconditional love.  It feels like you haven't done enough to deserve this kind of attention.  But mums you have, you have given life through pain and sacrifice of your body.  

When Poppy hears a loud or sudden sound she will look at me to see my reaction, to know its ok, she then learns this sound isn't a danger. Right from the moment babies are born they recognise the sound of their mothers voice and the smell of their body, this is pretty incredible.  Just the sound of your voice is enough to soothe your baby.  

Before I became a mother I didn't fully understand the importance of a mum, I couldn't understand why mums stayed at home with their children so long, now I can't believe maternity leave is only six months, I couldn't imagine leaving Poppy.  She needs me and I need her.  It has definitely made me appreciate my own mum, I'm happy, healthy and independent, a reflection of her care.  

Every mum is different which is a great thing because it means all children are different.  This diversity is most apparent when I take Poppy to baby club and see all the other babies, all so full of character already.  I just can't wait to see what Poppy is going to be like as girl and a woman but for now I will have to enjoy my little baby.  The bond between a mother and child is everlasting.  So Mother's Day has really made me think about me, being a mum, a woman and how I can be the best mum to Poppy.