The power of the first hour: breastfeeding saves lives

The baby is born. In that first hour, his mother brings him to her breast and he drinks liquid gold. Colostrum, that first milk, can mean life or death. Its components are highly concentrated to coat his intestines – protecting against germs and foreign protein – welcome beneficial bacteria and get that first stool moving out.* But what if the mother is robbed of the opportunity to give it to him? What if her baby is one out of three born without a skilled birth attendant? What if this means she doesn’t receive breastfeeding support she needs? What if cultural…

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Eight surprises of breastfeeding a young toddler

Back when I wrote “Seven surprises of breastfeeding an older baby” Talitha was eight-months-old. I was so grateful that I’d made it past six months as we had such difficulty finding our breastfeeding “rhythm” in the early days. I wanted to document and explore this experience that I’d nearly missed out on. I also kind of wanted to share it with others because a few people had expressed to me either surprise that we were still breastfeeding or uncertainty about the value of what we were doing. AND SHE WAS JUST A BABY. She’s now nineteen-months-old, so we’ve passed that…

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I planned to bottle feed but ended up breastfeeding (guest post)

I met Mummy Glitzer a few weeks ago at a coffee morning for South West mum bloggers in Bristol. We got onto the topic of breastfeeding (as you do) and she told her extraordinary story of breastfeeding by accident or, probably more accurately, breastfeeding by instinct. At my request, she’s graciously and honestly put into words her breastfeeding journey. Please leave her a comment at the end so she knows that she’s been heard. When I found out I was pregnant with H and had passed that all important 12 week scan I didn’t put much thought into breastfeeding and…

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Practical tips for using a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS)

Thirteen months ago, when I first blogged about using a supplemental nursing system (SNS) also called an at-breast supplementer, a lot of people mentioned that they’d never heard of one and just assumed that the only options for feeding a baby were breast or bottle. I wouldn’t have known about it if not for the brilliant lactation consultant who supported us. There are, of course, a range of other options for supplementing if the need arises – cup, syringe or spoon – but we felt these were too time-consuming for us when coupled with our pumping schedule. Everyone has to…

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Five benefits of breastfeeding while traveling

So many points in our breastfeeding journey have given me space to reflect. The last time we got back from Trinidad and Tobago, I was still buzzing with excitement over the revelation that I was making enough milk to breastfeed without other milk, expressed or artificial. This time, I’m just feeling quite celebratory about how easy and enjoyable breastfeeding my fifteen-month-old made our trip. So I’ve come up with five benefits of breastfeeding while traveling. If you’ve taken this show on the road, can you think of any more? Perfect comfort for the plane I was disproportionately nervous about the…

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Ah, Dr Miriam Stoppard on breastfeeding, you make me laugh

I actually laughed out loud when I read this piece of creative writing by Dr Miriam Stoppard yesterday. I call it creative writing because it certainly wasn’t an exercise grounded in scientific fact. Anyone using the title “Dr” to qualify their statements needs to feel the full weight of their responsibility to their audience. Most of what she’s written doesn’t deserve a response. OK, actually all of it is. I am tempted to mention that some babies are born with teeth and that they’re called milk teeth for a reason. So why should that be a signal to wean? Better…

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World Breastfeeding Week 2012 – 23 bloggers celebrate

What happens when you put out a call for bloggers to share their breastfeeding photographs? A whole lot of beautiful. Twenty-three bloggers responded with images of themselves and their babies. Most are pictures of them breastfeeding. One is a post-milky cuddle. Kylie Hodges from Not Even a Bag of Sugar sent a picture of herself pumping in a hospital room so that her premature baby could have her milk. These pictures represent diverse breastfeeding experiences. Some of these women really struggled to get breastfeeding going. Others found it a breeze from first latch. Some finished breastfeeding before they were ready.…

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