In mid-2012 a new website will be launched, with online breastfeeding conferences for Lactation Consultants, ABA counsellors, LLL leaders, and health professionals. You can sign up for more information here: http://www.ilactation.com
Many mothers need to express milk for their babies. Whether you have a premature baby in the NICU, you are returning to work, or you are building your milk supply, this video from Stanford University Medical Center is a must-see to maximize the amount of milk you can express!
This is Dr Jack Newman's breast compression video, which might help you keep your baby actively swallowing while breastfeeding. For more excellent videos, go to Dr Newman's website www.drjacknewman.com
The Queensland floods have got me thinking again about breastfeeding mothers and babies during times of crisis. Lots of people think their milk will dry up because of the stress, but in fact, if mothers and babies can keep breastfeeding, there is no physiological reason for a drastic drop in supply.
The international breastfeeding support organisation, La Leche League has lots of helpful links for mothers who are breastfeeding during emergencies.
People think donating formula is a good idea to help out mothers in an emergency, but often there is no safe way of preparing the formula. There may not be clean water to mix the formula with, there may not be power to heat water for cleaning and sterilising bottles. Mothers may decide to make up more diluted formula to stretch supplies which can have a detrimental affect on baby's health as they don't get the right balance of nutrients.
So what can emergency workers do for mothers and babies during a crisis?
What if a mother is no longer breastfeeding?
It is possible to re-lactate, if you put the baby to the breast frequently enough, but most people seem to dismiss this idea. Donor human milk (such as having your breastfeeding mummy friend breastfeed your baby too) is also usually dismissed. So ultimately it is a tough choice for these mothers, but they still need support to make the best possible choice for their babies. If nobody suggests these alternatives, they aren't giving the mother enough information to make her choices. It doesn't matter how we personally feel about re-lactation or cross-nursing, they are valid ways for a mother to feed her baby if she chooses them in an emergency situation.
So as my small contribution to the mothers and babies affected by the floods in Queensland, I would like to offer FREE breastfeeding help via SKYPE, just drop me an email and let me know where you are and what time would be suitable for skype.
What would your dream mother be like?
Someone kind, gentle and patient?
Someone who takes time to have a conversation with you?
Someone who listens?
Someone who lets you know who's boss?
Someone who sets the rules and makes you play by those rules?
Someone who calls all the shots?
I guess the answer is pretty obvious to us as adults. Not all of us have or had dream mothers. Many of wish we did. And yet when we have children of our own, we often find ourselves attracted to the rule-making boss type of mothering, and there are many books out there which advocate this for successful parenting.
Don't let the baby run your life!
Don't let the baby use you as a pacifier!
Follow my routine and your life will be better!
How can we can become mothers who listen, mothers who are kind, gentle and patient, mothers who learn to really connect with our babies? Babies communicate with us as best they can, but are we really listening?
Try some of these suggestions:
Make eye contact with your baby. During feeds, changing time, bath time and play time, look into your baby's beautiful eyes!
Take time each day to smile at your baby. Remember that the time you least feel like smiling is the time you and baby probably need it the most!
Touch your baby.Human touch is so important: cuddle your baby, stroke their hair, or do some simple massage. Hold or carry your baby for at least 3 hours a day. Lie in bed in the mornings with your baby on your chest. Just be together.
Play with your baby. Walk with your baby in your arms or in a sling or carrier, get down on the floor on the mat with your baby for tummy time, even bath with your baby! A baby is biologically programmed to expect to be with other people all the time, to be touched and held...and you can never hold them too much. Remember how good it feels to be cuddled and hugged even for us adults!!
These are all the first steps to establishing good connections with your baby and becoming an attentive mother. Learn your baby's signals by really listening, looking at and touching your baby, right from the start!