Breastfeeding news, views & support

Bonding with Baby

Most parents bond instantly with their babies, an intense feeling that makes you want to hold and love and protect them. For some parents, this can take a little longer, especially if there has been a difficult pregnancy or labour. Research indicates that babies who develop fulfilling relationships with their parents tend to grow into secure, well-adjusted adults and even perform better at school. Bonding is a natural process but there are many ways to help out, especially if you provide focused, responsive care in a nurturing environment. Breastfeeding – a breastfed baby will receive regular close contact with its mother, helping an early bond to develop. Unfortunately, this is not always easy, so speak to your health visitor if you need any help or assistance. Touch – a baby’s first communication is via touch, so hold your baby close, cradle her in your arms or use a sling if you need to get on with chores. Massage – a more structured method of touching your baby and a way of promoting physical and mental growth as well as the parent/baby bond. Singing – no matter how tone deaf you may think you are, your baby will love to hear your voice. The rhythmic nature of nursery rhymes is very soothing and is believed to help with language development. Talk – although she may not understand what you are saying, your baby will love to hear you chatting away about what you are doing, whether it is changing her nappy, peeling the potatoes or folding the washing. She will gain confidence from the fact that you are always near...

Dr. Seuss for Nursing Moms

If anyone knows who wrote this I’d love to credit them! Would you nurse her in the park? Would you nurse him in the dark? Would you nurse him with a Boppy? And when your boobs are feeling floppy? I would nurse him in the park, I would nurse her in the dark. I’d nurse with or without a Boppy. Floppy boobs will never stop me. Can you nurse with your seat belt on? Can you nurse from dusk till dawn? Though she may pinch me, bite me, pull, I will nurse her `till she’s full! Can you nurse and make some soup? Can you nurse and feed the group? It makes her healthy strong and smart, Mommy’s milk is the best start! Would you nurse him at the game? Would you nurse her in the rain? In front of those who dare complain? I would nurse him at the game. I would nurse her in the rain. As for those who protest lactation, I have the perfect explanation. Mommy’s milk is tailor made It’s the perfect food, you need no aid. Some may scoff and some may wriggle, Avert their eyes or even giggle. To those who can be cruel and rude, Remind them breast’s the perfect food! I would never scoff or giggle, Roll my eyes or even wiggle! I would not be so crass or crude, I KNOW that this milk’s the perfect food! We make the amount we need The perfect temp for every feed. There’s no compare to milk from breast- The perfect food, above the rest. Those sweet nursing smiles are oh so...

Pink Ribbon Days: A Personal Journey through Breast Cancer

On October 15, 2004, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was 43 years old, had no family history of the disease, and no lump or symptoms. I was also tandem nursing my two young children. The cancer was discovered during my first routine mammogram. Mammograms (a procedure that uses low-dose x-rays to examine the breasts) are recommended annually for women over the age of 40. Although I was over 40, I had delayed this initial mammogram because I was pregnant, and delayed it again because I was breastfeeding, a potentially life-threatening mistake. When the radiologist examined my mammogram, he noted a small cluster of microcalcifications in my left breast, a half-dozen white flecks that looked like grains of salt sprinkled over the image. These microcalcifications were an indicator of Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS) – a non-invasive breast cancer where the malignant cells in the milk ducts have not yet invaded the surrounding tissue. The next day I had a core biopsy, where a section of breast tissue was removed to determine if the cells were indeed cancerous. Two days later the radiologist called with bad news: the tissue removed confirmed the presence of DCIS. My next step was to see a surgeon. The first surgeon I saw began by discussing mastectomy, the surgical removal of the breast. Although DCIS is non-invasive, it is considered a risk factor for developing invasive breast cancer and is therefore usually treated aggressively. I sought a second opinion and consulted a breast surgeon at a different hospital. She recommended immediate weaning from both breasts prior to surgery, advising that it would be...

Breast Club

The first rule of Breast Club is that you don’t talk about Breast Club. Books, midwives, health visitors, friends, relatives and people you meet in the street cannot prepare you for the nightmare that can be breastfeeding. I have been lucky, no mastitis, no cracked nipples and loads of milk but it’s still been a far cry from the pictures of contented mother and baby that grace breastfeeding literature. It wasn’t the pain so much as the feeling that I was a milk machine, a slave to a small screaming thing who would be obeyed by my leaking breasts if not willingly by the rest of my body. Small thing feeds on demand, and he is very demanding. When he was 6 weeks old he had a growth spurt that had me feeding every hour, day and night for a week. I just wanted to hide far away from him at the time. But now he is nearly 3 months old and the bleakness of it all seems very distant. Yes he still feeds when he wants, sometimes for a minute, sometimes for an hour. But now my let down reflex is in good working order. It no longer hurts and there is nothing quite like the surge of pure love I feel for him when he breaks his latch to beam a big milky dribbly grin at me. So my advice to others in the same situation is to give up on trying to do anything for yourself and just pretend that you want to be a milk slave, it is your pleasure to drop everything for a...

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