If you want to know more of the when, how and why you might want to, check out this link from an NHS trust (direct PDF download).
Here are some tried and tested tips for you..
Get the oxytocin flowing
stroke, relax, time your time and roll fingers towards the nipple. Light touch, like a stoke, not like a hard massage, is what helps the hormones trigger the milk to flow. Sometimes experimenting in the shower helps, or a warm relaxing bath.
You can collect the drops on a clean surface like a tea spoon! Then transfer in small amounts to syringes if keeping.
You can freeze these with a label showing date & your name. If later used within a hospital setting, this very helpful to all.
Take your time
It’s not a race, take your time working out what works and doesn’t for you.
What you get during these sessions, is not an indicator of your future milk supply.
A skill in your tool kit
Many a parent struggles with the technical side of this, it is a skill. Practicing this now means if you are engorged, you already have the technique down. Feel like mastitis is coming on? You already know just how and where to stoke and massage to get your milk flowing.
You got this 😉
You are the holder of the puzzle pieces.
I got all emotional last time I taught an introduction to #slings #workshop with @villagemidwife.
Talking about these puzzle pieces, made me well up with emotion, remembering one of the times I #knew I meant for this work.
As I passed around a box of puzzle prices, explained how you as the parent are gathering them all. This was my gift to them to remind them.
At the same time, in my head, I remembered meeting a parent for the second time, who told me I had changed the course of her breastfeeding journey. She said, I am here 6 months on, though all our trauma, because of this idea you gave us. I had forgotten I’d even said it, but the awe of the rippless of parent to parent support caught me in that moment.
Now I share it with you too.
Many supporters and loved ones will offer you support and advice. They offer you pieces of their puzzles, only YOU will know which pieces of puzzle you are offered, actually fit.
Some won’t. That’s ok. But please keep searching until your instincts are quiet again. They are powerful and will lead you. Keep asking new people until all feels well.
In case you need reminding, YOU GOT THIS
Update March 2020 – many of these organisations will have an online offering, do still get in touch whilst physical groups are closed
NHS please ask your midwife/health visitor for the most up to date clinics. The flyers on this link are nessiasrily the most up to date. I will upload more as I get them 🙂
Run by Breastfeeding Counselors (free)
Weekly drop in alongside HV weigh in clinic(BFN, Maidenhead)
Run by IBCLC’s (free)
Tongue tie assessment appointments
Luci Lishman (Chiltern Partnership, Princes Risborough)
Thursday, Weekly drop in
Julie Carden (Carmenta Life, Berkhamsted)
Weekly drop in
Sarah March (Lotus Midwife, Eaton)
Monthly drop in
Tessa Clark (Beyond Babyhood, High Wycombe)
Parenting support groups (free)
Run by bump & baby businesses
The Positive Birth Group
Volunteers (PBM, High Wycombe Birth Centre)
The No Sleep Club
run by a midwife (Prestwood near Great Missingdon – The Village Midwife)
also a WhatsApp group
run by hypnobirthing teacher & Pilates teacher (Amersham – Local partnership)
Sling & Cloth Nappy Libraries
Trained babywearing consultants – (Across bucks )
NCT Bumps & babies
Run by an Antenatal teacher – Hazlemere
👇Being edited 👇
I’m adding new bits here that might not look so pretty 🙂
Want to keep in touch?
Another common query from parents at this time of year in the UK. It’s Christmas party season with employers and families alike.
So what’s the norm for breastfeeding families in these scenarios?
From the moment your baby was born, they began to rely on you for nourishment, comfort, safety and as researcher Neils Burgman would say, anywhere other than with you, is other to them.
We know babies grow most optimally with human milk, kept close to their parents and when permitted to feed without restriction day and night. (More on feeding intervals)
This way of parenting, isn’t the one projected in popular media & on the screens. So is no wonder that when an event calls for alcoholic drinks and late nights, parents can feel conflicted about what to do.
Things to remember
A symbotic unit
You and your baby are a symbiotic unit, you respond to each other and so in separating for more than an hour or two, you’ll need to make adjustments.
Most parents will have to pump several times to make up enough milk for one feed whilst they are away. (It’s ok to combine milk of the same temperature). More on milk storage.
Pumping whilst away
Your breasts will continue to make milk whilst you are away, you will need to express or hand express to relive discomfort. Avoiding this is likely to greatly increase your chances of mastitis. This feels like the flu & is not what you’d wish for with a hangover!
More than food
It’s a factor most of us are not used to considering, but your baby has know your voice, heart beat, smells and those in your daily environment long before they where born. You are their safe space and it’s worth considering if they are connected in the same way with the person you intend to leave them with.
Breastfeeding, as you’ll have guessed by now, is so much more than just nourishment. For both of you.
What can you do to reduce the changes? Can you help the other adult use a sling/carrier your baby is used too? Can they look after the baby at your home?
Even if your baby takes milk perfectly, sleeps and doesn’t utter a cry (unlikely!), you are likely to run though a range of emotions whilst you two are apart. This is part hormonal due to breastfeeding but also a sign of the wonderful bond you have together.
Maybe you made a different choice in the past, it’s OK to make a different one with different information or feelings.
What do other parents say?
trust your gut, say no if you want to!parent – Instagram
Bring baby with partner or parents and you can nip off for feeds.parent – Instagram
The days with baby are short. Stay with baby, there will be many more parties!parent – Instagram
Baby won’t take a bottle? Try an open cup or sippy cup with an older baby.
Go for just the party and travel home.
or ask the care giver to stay near by for regular breastfeeding breaks.
Take the baby along with you! If you are bold, pop the baby in a sling on your front and enjoy the cooing coworkers. Igorne the nay sayers who seem annoyed.
Lastly, you could just skip the event altogether. There will be plenty more in your lifetime, but the baby days are fleeting.
& interplay with religion.
I found this set of videos so interesting, most of this is relevant to many modern parents entering parenthood.
What was new to me, as a non-religious person, was to hear more about the interplay with depression & religious beliefs/culture (This is the best terminology I have for this, please tell me if there is a better phrase).
It makes me think of the complexity of others lives, when sat with my helping hats on, and the invisible lines of thoughts, we don’t know about..
I hope it is interesting to some of you too.
Real mums talking about real postnatal depression, it affects so many of us.
Ps. If you can get to Slough, UK @cafemamaslough
is incredible support with Amelie & Muslim mamas 💞
Resting and recuperating after the intensity of October + IBCLC exam study.
Focus – Behind the scenes, building business
- Started weekly admin time bucks new uni Library. (love this!)
- Attended we are women festival – (relaxing & affirming)
- Had and Ideas Untangling with Nina Purple Crocus communications (so clarifying!)
- Supervision given and received with other breastfeeding supporters.
- Networking with Bucks Bumps & Baby professionals
- Attended Non Violent Communication training
Often a busy time, without the added tasks of child rearing. Evening and weekend appointments available.
Focus – Gifting confidence.
- TONIGHT 2nd Dec @ 8pm (Zoom) Nurturing your baby (free)
- Will repeat monthly
- Feeding sessions photo shoot this week with Zoe C Photography (fully booked)
- Mid – late Dec, IBCLC exam results due!
- Intro to slings – with the @villagemidwife @villagemidwifeuk
- 22nd Dec 1-2 “Surviving the festive feeding frenzy” (@high wycombe Library) Part of the feeding and carrying drop in
- 2-3 Antenatal Breastfeeding Workshop
“Build your confidence before baby arrives”