- Everything you need to know about Breastfeeding
Today we speak to Alice West from Mama Connect all about breastfeeding. Alice answers commonly asked questions that many expectant parents have around breastfeeding. Alice covers the benefits of skin to skin, what colostrum is, what oxytocin is and how do we get it to flow? Tips on knowing your baby is getting enough milk Alice also covers the different breastfeeding cues. She also covers the different breastfeeding problems so parents are fully prepared and know the differences and the best resources if parents need help.
Here are Mama Connect’s Social Links:
Below are the Links Alice recommended during the episode for parents to learn more about breastfeeding:
You can find local breastfeeding support here:
[00:09.07] – Carla: Hello and welcome to my bump to baby expert podcast, where we bring experts from all over the UK to answer your questions on everything, pregnancy to pre-school.
[00:32.62] Carla:Today, we are joined by the lovely Alice West, who will be answering all your questions on breastfeeding. All of those things that you just don’t know that you need to know. I hope you enjoy it.
[00:50.950] Carla: Hello and welcome to my bump to baby expert podcast. Today, we are joined by the lovely Alice West from Womb 2 World and Alice is gonna be talking to us all about breastfeeding, answering all the questions that you may have. So hello, Alice.
[01:11.250] Alice: Hi, how are you?
[01:13.040] Carla: I’m very well, thank you. It’s lovely to have you on here.
[01:16.590] Alice: Thank you
[01:18.320] Carla: And I know breastfeeding is definitely a subject even as a second time mum. It’s a subject that it can be a bit daunting and it’s like hold on a minute. Where do I start? So we’re going to be. I’m going to be asking you some questions that lots of parents may have, and then that’ll be great if you can just help us out by sharing your experience and knowledge.So a bit about breastfeeding so what are the benefits of skin to skin for breastfeeding?
[01:47.020] Alice: Okay. So. Right. So it calms you and baby it helps baby cry less. It releases hormones that relieve stress and stabilise baby’s temperature. Breathing and heart rates. It releases a hormone that lowers Mum’s stress and promotes healing. It creates a connection between parents and baby. And then also helping your colostrum, which is the first milk that is full of nutrients that protects baby to flow more easily. It’s just so many lovely benefits.
[02:19.750] Carla: That sounds lovely. So obviously there’s benefits for the skin to skin as soon as they’re born. But is there something that you would promote ongoing as well while you’re breastfeeding?
[02:28.800] Alice: Oh, yes, of course. Definitely. I mean, it’s just that connection that you build with your child. It’s just it’s just fantastic. So, you know, ongoing as much as you can. I mean right even into toddlerhood, you know. And sometimes even with older children, they do that as well. You know, it’s just that connection of being close to your child and they just sort of calm, calm down and just gives them that little bit of reassurance that you there.
[03:01.360] Carla: Yes, that makes sense. That makes sense. Thank you for that. So a bit more about colostrum them. What is colostrum?
[03:10.340] Alice: Right. OK. So colostrum starts being made in the breast during the second trimester. It changes throughout pregnancy to match the gestational age of your baby. Colostrum is rich in protein and minerals, but lower in carbs. So it transitions to mature milk over the first two to six days and the delivery of the placenta and drop in progesterone kickstarts the change. It’s just incredible.
[03:39.730] Carla: Wow, that is amazing how our bodies just know to do that. That’s incredible.
[03:46.380] Alice: It is. It’s really amazing.
[03:48.130] Carla: So what is Oxytocin and how do we get it to flow?
[03:55.140] Alice: Okay. So oxytocin is brought on by skin to skin, empathy and sex. So oxytocin contracts the uterus and it’s released when you feel safe, unobserved and relaxed. So increasing your oxytocin flow will relax you and your baby. So in the brain, oxytocin acts as a chemical messenger and has shown to be important in human behaviours, including recognition, trust, anxiety and parents infant bonding. So as a result, oxytocin has been called the love hormone of the cuddle chemical.
[04:36.190] Carla: Oh wow.
[04:37.920] Alice: Yeah. And then how we help oxytocin to flow. So you could do something that you really enjoy, like eating chocolates, having a glass of wine or having a massage. It’s just amazing.
[04:51.920] Carla: Wow, that’s fantastic. I never knew that.
[04:55.420] Alice: Yeah, it’s incredible.
[04:57.690] Carla: So a lot of parents, obviously, when they do decide to breastfeed, which is just fantastic. How do they know if their baby is getting enough milk?
[05:08.260] Alice: All right. OK. So their baby has wet nappies. They are pooing. And it’s its frequent so around three times a day. They’re gaining weight. So weight loss is normal in the first few days, but 10 percent or more weight loss is a concern. Any any concern at all? Just seek help through your GP or health visitor.
[05:37.220] Carla: Excellent. Excellent. Thank you. And what are the breastfeeding cues?
[05:43.880] Alice: OK, so. The first one is when baby brings their hands to their mouth. Another one is rooting, which means moving their head as if they’re looking for the nipple. Another one is mouth opening, lip licking and sucking. Another one is also clenching their fingers and fists over their chest and tummy. They can also be fussy. And then crying is a late cue. So try to soothe your baby before trying to breastfeed. It can be more difficult to latch a crying baby. So frequent in quick sucks encourages let down of the milk which is good and then slower rhythmical sucks happens once milk has let down. The chin you’ll notice in the baby the chin pulls down, often with a small bulge to indicate to swallow. So they getting really that good, that good. Good juicy milk.
[06:46.210] Carla: Yes, that makes sense. Excellent. Excellent. And what all the different breastfeeding problems I can get. So I am prepared and no the differences.
[06:57.640] Alice: Yes. So this is a big one, you know, and I think it’s really, really important to go through this.
[07:05.420] Carla: Absolutely.
[07:06.280] Alice: There is some really good, you know, some amazing benefits. And everyone talks about the good stuff about breastfeeding. But there’s also this, which is really important to know. So the first one is engorgement, which is common in the early days when milk comes in and breast can be hard, sore, lumpy and hot and it often happens between day two and six. The solutions for this is feeding your baby, massaging the breast and applying heat during massage and feeds. You can pump if you want to use a breast pump. But then it’s good to also use cool compressions in between. There’s also another one which is blocked ducts. So this happens when milk flow is obstructed. You may see a nipple blister. There is a lump and redness and the action for this or solution would be to feed and massage. Another one that you get is mastitis. This is quite a painful one. It’s caused by infection. A nipple wound, not draining the milk from the breast. When breast feeding on each side, it’s good to make sure that you’re doing the same amounts from each breast. It can be due to also a poor latch or blocked ducts. So the symptoms for this, you get sort of like flu like symptoms. Your breast feels really swollen and red and it makes a mother just feel generally unwell. The actions, solutions to this would be to look at the latch, drain the breast, feeding preferable, but if you’re going to pump that, it’s it’s just not as effective. But it’s better than not draining. And then most definitely contact your GP and go and see your GP. Right another two more. So there is also thrush, which is a fungal infection. You could have a red shiny nipple or areola, sometimes white patches in the nipples, sharp pain. And baby may have thrush too, which is common after antibiotics. Action or solution would be to keep the area clean. Go to your GP and make sure to wash all your towels, bras, etc at a very high temperature. And then the last one is nipple pain. So this is pain when latching. You may have. You may see that you have misshapen and nipples or an open wound and blisters and this can be caused by a shallow latch. And the action or solution would be to get help with getting a deeper latch. So there is quite a few and it is it is a bit scary for, you know, mums when they don’t know what’s what, you know, which one they have, which signs and symptoms such really good to go over those and to sort of give them a general idea of that.
[10:10.930] Carla: Absolutely, yes. I especially what to be aware of because you just don’t know what to look for do you sometimes? Yeah. Being a new mum its like is this normal? Is it not? You don’t know. So that is a real help. So thank you so much for that. And what are the best resources if I need help?
[10:30.790] Alice: All right. So they can go and have a look at the Breastfeeding Network website. It has tons of information for breastfeeding woman and families. You just literally type in breastfeeding network and will bring it up. Also, breastfeeding.support the Web site. And that’s evidence based breast feeding tips and resources. You also have the Global Health Media Web site, which has mazing videos on breastfeeding and supports. You also have La Leche Great Britain the Web site as well, which is a friendly breastfeeding support from pregnancy and onwards.You have KellyMom.com, which is a Web site which was developed to provide evidence based information on breastfeeding and parenting. Another amazing person to follow on Facebook is Lucy Webber breastfeeding. She is an international board certified lactation consultant. It’s just incredible what she’s got on her, you know, what she posts daily, which really is so helpful to parents. And then obviously, if you have any sorts of serious concerns or worries, contact your GP. Don’t hesitate. You know your baby better than anyone.
[11:53.190] Carla: That’s excellent. Wow. How informative was that? So thank you so much Alice. Can you tell us a bit more about you where parents can find you if they want more information?
[12:03.170] Alice: OK, so obviously you know my name’s Alice. I’m living in Hampshire with my two boys and my husband. From my side I’ve always had a keen interest in pregnancy, birth and babies. I’ve got extensive work related experience with babies and children ranging from newborn all the way up to 17 year old of a period of around 10 years. I moved into the field of antenatal and postnatal education after having my second son. I’d attended antenatal and postnatal classes with my first born. But I felt they were not really informed about our birthing and parenting choices. So this is why it inspired me to train as an antenatal and postnatal educator. So we do classes and workshops, antenatal, postnatal pregnancy, yoga, breastfeeding, practical baby care, baby yoga, baby sleep, colic and calming, weaning, potty training and terrific twos. A huge variety. So I’ve got a Web site if you have a look at www.womb2world.co.uk. Or you can follow me on Facebook which is Womb 2 World.
[13:13.760] Carla: And we will put all those links in the show notes as well. So parents can get hold of you that way.
[13:20.720] Alice: Fantastic.
[13:20.900] Carla: Thank you so much for talking all around breastfeeding today. I really appreciate it.
[13:25.760] Alice: No problem. Thank you so much for having me.
[13:27.970] Carla: Thank you.
[13:32.280] – Carla: Thank you for listening to my bump 2 Babies Expert podcast. If you would like to find help and support from experts in your local area, head over to www.mybump2baby.com. And you will also be able to find local pregnancy to pre-school groups, classes, businesses and services in your local area.
[14:06.960] Carla: This podcast is sponsored by my bump2 baby family protection and Legal Directory.Being a parent is such a minefield. It’s so difficult deciding who to select when it comes to financial advice or family law solicitors. My bump 2 baby works with one trusted financial adviser and one trusted family law solicitor in each town throughout the whole of the UK to find your nearest adviser or family law solicitor. Head over to www.mybump2baby.com/familyprotectionlegal.