Friday finds – 28th June 2013 – Breastfeeding special

This breastfeeding special friday finds marks then end of my week of breastfeeding posts for British National Breastfeeding Awareness Week. I hope you have enjoyed reading my posts & found them useful. Below are a small selection of some of the great blog posts that I have read this week and also a few products that I have discovered. Don’t forget you still have time to enter the Keep Britain Breastfeeding 2013 scavenger hunt.

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1 – The ultimate dotty breastfeeding pillow – Converts in to a bag when no longer needed as a pillow

2 – Medela calma bottle – Unique bottle that enables baby to maintain the natural feeding behaviour they learn on the breast

3 – Snoob breastfeeding scarf – Stylish and discreet nursing cover

4 – The breastvest – Use with a nursing bra to convert any top in to a nursing top

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Bravado body silk seamless nursing bra review

Disclosure – this is not a sponsored post but I was sent a Bravado body silk seamless nursing bra to write this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Both photos are supplied by Bravado (no I will not be modelling a bra on this blog any time soon).

BSS Butterscotch LifestyleIn my final weeks of pregnancy I started thinking about purchasing nursing bras. As a first time mum I found it quiet confusing and struggled with knowing when to get measured and buy the bras I needed for my hospital bag. There is a balance of not waiting too late and not having any or getting measured too early and not getting the right size. I was measured at 38 weeks (in a well known chain) and I purchased 2 bras which I did end up taking back and getting a different size when my baby was 2 weeks old. This bra from Bravado might just be the perfect solution though.

I was offered the chance to review the body silk seamless nursing bra from Bravado just before my baby was due. I followed the easy to follow advice on the website to determine my bra size. Again measuring your size late pregnancy for a nursing bra is not ideal (I went down one back size and the cup size altered too) but this bra overcomes that as it moulds to your shape. The bra is available in sizes S to XL and the website contains an easy to understand table helping you to convert your back and cup size to the most appropriate size. The fact that the bra is stretchy and accommodates several sizes was a god send when my milk came in at 5 days.

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My breastfeeding story so far

So I thought as part of this week of breastfeeding articles I would share my experience with you. If you are a new reader you may not know that at the end of April I had my first baby. She is now 8 weeks old and I have exclusively breastfed her so far. There was never any question about how I would start off feeding my baby when she was born. I won’t repeat all the benefits of breastfeeding as I am sure you have heard them many times from various sources but for me, breastfeeding felt like the most natural thing to do for my family.  I want to say from the outset that I would not judge anyone who decides for whatever reason to formula feed their baby. When it comes to raising a family there are no right answers, you need to trust your instincts and make informed decisions about what is best for your family. If you are unsure if breastfeeding is the right choice for you see my article on support that I shared yesterday and whilst you are pregnant find out more about the benefits of breastfeeding and what it is really like.

Although I knew I would start out breastfeeding my baby I never took it for granted that I would not have to change to formula at some point. I knew I wanted to breastfeeding but I also knew that for many reasons sometimes breastfeeding does not work out and I was ok with that. I knew that all I could do was try my best and for me that involved finding out about and preparing myself for breastfeeding whilst I was still pregnant. I won’t repeat the sources of information I used as I covered them yesterday (see here). Continue reading

KBBF 2013 – The importance of breastfeeding support

kbb13_blogger200Support is so important when you are breastfeeding and should not be underestimated. Support can come from your partner, family, friends, healthcare professionals, resources and breastfeeding support groups. Support can help you make an informed decision about how to feed your baby and help to support you to continue breastfeeding even through difficulties.

My husband has been a great support in encouraging me to keep breastfeeding by helping out with the baby in all other areas such as changing nappies, winding or comforting. He has also enabled me to breastfeed by helping out more around the house when my time is taken up with feeding. Even small things like bringing me drinks and snacks etc whilst I am sat feeding help. Some people worry that dads won’t bond as well with their child if they can not give it a bottle but we have no found this to be the case and anyway you could always express and let dad give the baby a bottle that way. Continue reading

KBBF 2013 – Breastfeeding products I love

Todays theme for the keep Britain breastfeeding scavenger hunt is top tips you should all know. Since my experience of breastfeeding is only 8 weeks I thought I would share the products I have found useful and leave the top tips to more bloggers with more experience. One thing I will say though is that you do not need all the products below. If you are unsure about breastfeeding, buy the basics and see how you get on (for instance you may decide you don’t need a nursing cover etc).

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1. Lansinoh nipple cream – I used this a lot in the first few weeks to help soothe sore nipples. Everything I read before starting breastfeeding said that breastfeeding should not be painful. However since then everyone (health professionals and breastfeeding mums) has said this is a myth and of course it will be uncomfortable at the start. I haven’t needed to use this cream since week 2 but it is so good to know I have it on hand. This is one of the most expensive lanolin creams on the market but all the reviews I read said it was worth the money and I have to agree (although I have nothing to compare it to). This cream does not need to be washed off before feeding unlike some of the other brands available. I bought my tube during a supermarket baby event where it was 1/3 off so it is worth keeping an eye out and buying a tube during such an event, during your pregnancy.

2. Lansinoh breast pads – whilst I was pregnant I bought a box of own brand breast pads from mothercare, boots and sainsburys (you need loads anyway so I figured why not try out different brands to see which I liked best). All three worked ok but I still found my bras and clothes were getting soaked with milk (especially overnight but sometimes during the day too). A friend gave me some Lansinoh ones that she had left over from when she breastfed, I tried them out and have stuck to them ever since. Yes they are more expensive but they work so much better and I’ve rarely had a problem with leaking since.

3. Bubi Bainne nursing cover – I know nursing covers are one of those items that divides breastfeeding mums, some love them and some hate them. As a first time mum I was nervous about feeding in public. I have no problem feeding at baby groups with other mums (so don’t use the cover in these situations) but the idea of cafes etc is a different matter. This cover was given to me by a friend (who has family in Ireland, they do ship worldwide though) when my baby was 4 weeks old. A few days later I found myself alone in town, with a baby screaming for a feed. I was so grateful for this cover and the confidence it gave me to sit in a cafe on my own and feed her.

4. Muslins squares – These pictured are from Aden + Anais but you can pick up them cheaply from most baby shops and supermarkets (I’ve got some from sainsuburys, Aldi and mothercare and have no problems with any). They are great for putting over your shoulder when winding your baby, for cleaning up milk and baby sick and as a bib if you forget to pack one. I always have a couple in my changing bag, as well as several scattered around the house.

5. A good box set – Especially in the early days (but even after that your baby will feed more some days than others) you will spend a lot of time sat down feeding your baby. Instead of channel surfing through daytime tv I tend to watch tv shows that I enjoy and have recorded or box sets. At the moment I am working my way through the Gavin and Stacey box set.

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6. ipad or other tablet – Yes I am one of those mums playing candy crush during night feeds. I also use it to catch up on blog reading, twitter or read ebooks (and the odd bit of internet shopping).

7. The essential baby care guide – feeding – I have enjoyed many documentaries by Professor Robert Winston so when I heard about his new series of dvds for new parents I was keen to watch them. This 2 hour dvd on feeding covers breastfeeding, formula feeding and weaning. I watched the breastfeeding section (the biggest section of the dvd) late in pregnancy and again in the early weeks of breastfeeding. It covers all the information would expect about breastfeeding by experts in the field. The biggest advantage I found is it is much easier to learn about different breastfeeding positions and latching on from this dvd than from a book. It also useful to be able to refer to this dvd if you experience any problems.

8. V shape pillow – There are many breastfeeding pillows on the market but I found a v-shape pillow works just fine. It helps to raise your baby up to the right height to nurse as well as helping to support their weight.

9. Nursing vest – I bought a couple of these that I wear under normal tops when out and about. The idea being that you can lift your top up and the nursing vest like nursing bras unclips at the shoulder so your post pregnancy tummy is not on show.

10.  Nursing bra – You really can not breastfeed without a selection of nursing bras for support and easy access for feeds. You need quiet a few as you will be wearing one day and night. I love my Bravado body silk nursing bra (pictured) and it is a great first nursing bra. I will be reviewing this bra on the blog later in the week. It’s best to buy a few late in pregnancy but it is important to get measured once your milk supply is established as you might find your size has changed.

11. Water bottle and snacks – Breastfeeding is thirsty work so I am never without a glass or bottle of water as well as a few snacks (information tends to vary on just how many more calories breastfeeding mums need). I also take a multi-vitamin suitable for breastfeeding with the recommended amount of vitamin D in it.

kbb13_blogger200Why not visit some of the other bloggers taking part:

Respectable breast spectacle

Mama Geek

Circus queen

Life with pink princesses

Me, The Man &The Baby

If you would like to enter the competition click on the link – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure – I was sent the Bravado body silk nursing bra to review (full review coming up later in the week). All other items I purchased myself or they were given to me by family or friends.

Keep Britain breastfeeding week 2013

kbb13_blogger200This week is The British National Breastfeeding week (June 23rd -29th). Since I am a breastfeeding mum I have decided to take part in the Keep Britain Breast feeding scavenger hunt 2013. The aim of the scavenger hunt is to add a bit of fun whilst raising awareness of breastfeeding. Bloggers and companies that support breastfeeding will be sharing their experiences and advice about breastfeeding. For full details of how to participate and the prizes you could win please visit the central blog http://boobiemilk.blogspot.co.uk/p/keep-britain-breastfeeding-scavenger.html

Each day there is a theme to the articles that participants are linking up. They are –

Sunday June 23rd – The Benefits of Breastfeeding
Monday June 24th – Top Breastfeeding Tips You Should All Know
Tuesday June 25th – The Importance of Breastfeeding Support
Wednesday June 26th – Positive Nursing In Public Experiences & Funny Breastfeeding Memories
Thursday June 27th – Breastmilk Pumping
Friday June 28th – Breastfeeding Beyond a Year
Saturday June 29th – Dispelling Breastfeeding Myths

This week I have breastfeeding related posts lined up for Monday to Friday. They are not all part of the scavenger hunt and I won’t spoil the fun by telling you which days I am linking up but expect a couple of posts to be part of the hunt. I also plan to share my breastfeeding experiences one day this week, on another I will be reviewing a nursing bra and on Friday (hopefully if my baby gives me time to write it) I will be publishing a special Friday finds featuring my favourite article and products that I have discovered this week as part of the scavenger hunt.

Best of luck if you are entering the scavenger hunt and I hope you enjoy the posts I am sharing this week and learn something from the hunt.