Is Breastfeeding Zero Waste?

Is Breastfeeding Zero Waste?


The beginning of September marks a week focusing on reducing our waste in the UK and what better time is there to think more about how infant feeding habits might be adapted to reduce waste.









In May 2019, the UK declared a climate emergency. Many in power are focusing on the big things, but what about the small things parents can do, and make a difference within in every house hold?





The International Baby Food Action explain their idea of Green Feeding;





it means promoting, protecting and supporting optimal breastfeeding.  Breastfeeding is a valuable natural resource that leaves almost no carbon or water footprints, needs no packaging and creates no air pollution from manufacturing and transport.





There is a common misconception, that breastfeeding is free. This assumption leans to another, that it’s environmentally friendly, or Zero waste, but this simply is not true. Here are some common things that go along with the modern UK feeding experience and what you can do to lessen the impact.





Maternity/Nursing Clothes





Buy secondhand?




Growing bodies usually necessitate a set of larger clothes for a time, but do they need to be new?
Many maternity and nursing friendly clothes are lightly worn and could be passed on to a friend, or sold to another family.

The top pictured, a snazy going out top has been through many owners before me and I didn’t pay a penny for it ๐Ÿ™‚

Beyond Babyhood, many parents find themselves wearing normal clothes and lifting up / pulling down clothes to feed/pump – nothing special needed!

Consider..
Asking friends for their unused items
Second hand clothes groups – Can I breastfeed in it





Cloth Breastpads









I cant think of many other things in new parentdom that are covered in more excessive plastic. There is another way..





There are ones made from cotton, silk, bamboo, hemp, wool even. Some people make their own and others buy second hand. All wash and last longer than you really need them for breastfeeding journey.





They are reused in this house on bums and faces and much more ๐Ÿ˜…

Consider..
Reusable cloth breast pads





Milk Storage









Another ‘must have’ item that generates much waste, are the single use milk storage bags. Whilst they do offer a level of convience, do they to be disposable for the healthy baby?





Many patents are using multiple use items, some even recycling food jars for short term storage.






Consider..
reusing plastic storage bottles
switching to glass jars for storage (not in the freezer!)









Bottles









With 100’s of thousands of babies born every year, imagen how many ‘just in case’ purchases are made before birth.





See the size of the new baby’s stomach, then look at the size of the bottles above, and the ore made bottles with formula in them..





Cup feeding is safe and a green feeding alternative to bottles. Many babies over 6 months can go straight to using spouted cups & skip bottles all together.





Stomach sizes




If you do need them, often there are loved ones just waiting to do something to help you out, use them!





Consider..
Not buying before you need them





Not changing that sizes





Cup feeding





Breastfeeded Beyond Babyhood









Continuing to breastfeed along side the introduction of home foods, locally grown and made can reduce the carbon footprint of infant feeding even more.





First steps nutrition have lots of resources on eating well for little ones, with breastfeeding alongside of course ๐Ÿ™‚





Scientific research by Katherine A. Dettwyler, PhD shows that 2.5 to 7.0 years of nursing is what our children have been designed to expect (Dettwyler 1995).

Kelly Mom




In the second year (12-23 months), 448 mL of breastmilk provides:
29% of energy requirements
43% of protein requirements
36% of calcium requirements
75% of vitamin A requirements
76% of folate requirements
94% of vitamin B12 requirements
60% of vitamin C requirements
โ€” Dewey 2001





Consider





Breastfeeding beyond babyhood





So is breastfeeding Zero waste?





Not quite.. But maybe now you have some ideas about how to move closer towards it ๐Ÿ™‚





What will you change? Let us know on Facebook and Instagram.










Ps.. Did you know about…





Sunday Sessions





These are a new way of offering feeding & parenting support in High Wycombe, run by me a Breastfeeding Specialist and Paediatric nurse. 

There are two parts, a drop-in Breastfeeding Support Session
& an Antenatal Breastfeeding Workshop






Useful resources – Infant feeding


Don’t Google it!





Start your searches for infant feeding answers here. You will thank me.





Websites





All of the following websites have a wealth of information / blogs online.
Most of your questions will find answers here!

If I missed out your favorite, please add it in the comments ๐Ÿ™‚





Breastfeeding.support





UK based IBCLC





Kelly Mom





America based IBCLC





Milk Meg





Australia based IBCLC





GP Infant Feeding Network





UK based GP’s !





La Leche Leauge





International breastfeeding Charity





Drugs in Breastmilk service (ABM)





General breastfeeding books
You’ve Got it in You: A Positive Guide to Breast Feeding – Emma Pickett





Breastfeeding and Medication – Wendy Jones
Why Mothers’ Medication Matters – Wendy Jones (shorter read)





The Positive Breastfeeding Book: Everything you need to feed your baby with confidence – Amy Brown 





Why Breastfeeding Matters – Charlotte Young 





Classic books
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding – La Leche League International 





Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond – 





Hilary Flower





Breastfeeding supporters / specialists





The Breastfeeding Atlas – Barbara Wilson-Clay





Supporting Sucking Skills In Breastfeeding Infants – Catherine Watson Genna





Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, Enhanced Fifth Edition – Karen Wambach 





Milk Matters: Infant feeding & immune disorder – Maureen Minchin





Context, politics and more





The Politics of Breastfeeding: When Breasts are Bad for Business – Gabrielle Palmer
(short, hand size version)
Why the Politics of Breastfeeding Matter – Gabrielle Palmer 





Breastfeeding Uncovered: Who Really Decides How We Feed Our Babies? – Amy Brown 





The Big Letdown: How Medicine, Big Business, and Feminism Undermine Breastfeeding – Kimberly Seals Allers

With Black parents in mind





The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy – Kimberly Seals Allers





The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion into Profit: How to Find and Grow Your Side Hustle in Any Economy – Kimberly Seals Allers





The Mini Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy: The Ultimate Pregnancy Guidebook for Black Women (The Mocha Manual 4)





– Kimberly Seals Allers





The Mocha Manual to Military Life: A Savvy Guide for Wives, Girlfriends, and Female Service Members – Kimberly Seals Allers





Free to Breastfeed: Voices of Black Mothers – Jeanine Valrie Logan 






Coming soon –
I am Not your Baby Mother  – Candice Brathwaite





With Islamic parents in mind





Breastfeeding in Ramadan: A Guide for Fasting Mothers – Latonia Anthony
Coming soon –
The Practical Guide to Breastfeeding in Islam – Latonia Anthony









Adoption, relataction 





Breastfeeding Without Birthing: A Breastfeeding Guide for Mothers through Adoption, Surrogacy, and Other Special Circumstances – Alyssa Schnell
Where’s the Mother? Stories from a Transgender Dad – Trevor MacDonald





Sleep 





Holistic Sleep Coaching: Gentle Alternatives to Sleep Training for Health and Childcare Professionals – Lyndsey Hookway





Why Your Baby’s Sleep Matters – Sarah Ockwell-Smith





Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family – La Leche League International
Boobin’ All Day Boobin’ All Night: A Gentle Approach to Sleep For Breastfeeding Families – Meg Nagle IBCLC





Birth & body autonomy





The Positive Birth Book: A New Approach to Pregnancy, Birth and the Early Weeks –  Milli Hill





The Microbiome Effect: How Your Baby’s Birth Influences Their Future Health – Alex Wakeford





Period Power – Maisie Hill 





The Breast Book: A puberty guide with a difference – it’s the when, why and how of breasts – Emma Pickett 









Food Allergies
Crying Babies and Food: In the early years – Maureen Minchin





Infant Formula and Modern Epidemics: The milk hypothesis – Maureen Minchin
The Busy Parent’s Guide To Food Allergies: Everything you need to know about cow’s milk allergy and other childhood food allergies – Mrs Zoe T Williams





ALL of the Why it matters books!) 





Parenting
Why Babywearing Matters – Rosie Knowles 





How To Talk So Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7 – Joanna Faber





No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame – Janet Lansbury






Breastfeeding (hunger) cues

#1 thing parents of many babies misunderstand (inc some health professionals).


๐Ÿ˜ญcrying๐Ÿ˜ญ is the last hunger cue, and consistently missing it can affect your milk supply.


If you wait for crying or consistently settle a baby in a way other than breastfeeding them (dummies, rocking, slings), the supply and demand system gets disrupted.


Less milk removed = signals to make less milk = problems!


It’s not uncommon to meet mothers with plugged ducts, mastitis who have fallen into this trap.


You can’t over feed breastfed babies!


If you are avoiding feeds due to cracked, sore nipples, it’s time for face to face skilled help. Most problems can be helped if not fixed with attention to positioning and attachment alone.


Or feeling touched out? Find someone to talk to, there is always a new #breastfeedingsolotion to try out ๐Ÿ™‚


#beyondbabyhood The hunger cues get a bit more obvious, with tapping breasts, all the way to shouting ‘BOOBIES’ in the supermarket.


How does your little (or not so little) one tell you that they are ready for milk? I’d love to know ๐Ÿ™‚


Why attend a breastfeeding event?

Did you notice the online chatter recently, about breastfeeding weeks and celebrations?


If this is your first year as a breastfeeding parent, you might wonder what they are all about and why someone might go to an event about it.


Breastfeeding used to be the unquestioned norm of feeding and raising babies but a few generations ago things started to shift.


Why do they exist


This shift (& many other factors) has left parents today without the rich, knowledgeable support networks of the past.


This means not only is their neighbor ill equipped to normalize night time wakefulness, but also your health care professionals are less well informed. Pair this with less funding for services means, there is not enough skilled support available at the time when parents need it most.



And so, less parents are able to reach their breastfeeding goals and they carry those feelings around forever. These weeks are for you too as many of us long to hear parents say, I wanted to breastfeed, & I did!


World Breastfeeding Week


is celebrated around the world in the first week of August every year, since 1992 when a landmark world wide collaboration began to protect and promote breastfeeding.


Another very important week, is Black Breastfeeding Week, do check that out too ๐Ÿ™‚


So where do I come in to this?


Last year I hosted the Big Latch on, another global initiative designed to unite breastfeeding patents and supporters within local communities world wide.


It was a low key but well attended event where we met in the Rye park and all latched our breastfeeding kids on at the designated time.


The weather was glorious and parents enjoyed chatting with one another but I knew we could do more this year!



So this year I am celebrating World Breastfeeding Week by hosting a local Global Big Latch On but adding in workshops aimed at empowering local parents.


I teamed up with The Village Midwife and Helen – Born Smiling for something even more super!


What do parents get?


Aside from meeting other local patents, breastfeeding together in public and eating cake you mean?


Realizing you are not alone


Our workshops aim to normalize birth, breastfeeding and the transition into parenthood. They can be so many feelings, so much conflicting information and it can be hard to know where to turn.


Meeting skilled supporters


So meeting local, skilled supporters in one place is very handy! You can bet we know most of the other people in area too and would be happy to signpost you on ๐Ÿ™‚


Meet other breastfeeding families


Many parents also feel quite isolated if they do move beyond their breastfeeding goals as only 1% are still breastfeeding for around 6 months, with even less than 0.5% breastfeeding after 1 year.


Be empowered to meet your goals


So finding other breastfeeding parents can be hard beyond babyhood, but as you might have guessed, I know a fair few ๐Ÿ˜‰


Win a raffle prize


Local business women have donated vouches for their birth and baby related businesses, from baby yoga, to a postnatal support course. A full list is coming soon, but you gotta be in it to win it!



Book me in!


So if you are local to High Wycombe or are willing to travel, (we have a train station) Book here for Big Latch on & Workshops .


Find out about events near you for World Breastfeeding Week .


Find out about the Big Latch On, and find an event near you.


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