Breastfeeding NHS session and Birth Choices Workshop
week I attended a breastfeeding session in my local children's
centre. I was told about this session on one of my appointments with
a midwife and I thought that even though I'm reading a book about
breastfeeding and can research online it's very important to meet
expectant mothers and to talk to a specialist.
first it was slightly awkward as mums-to-be didn't really talk much
between each other and we had to wait for the midwife who was running
late. When she eventually turned up I was under impression that she
has a very "vibrant" personality, to be honest with you I didn't know
should I laugh or should I sit there with a face "what's going
on here". Anyway the story is not about her (she turned out to
be a very knowledgeable person in the end), so we spoke about:
of breastfeeding for a child:
lowers risk of gastroenteritis
lowers risk of ear infection
lowers risk of diabetes
lowers risk of obesity
of breastfeeding for the mother:
lowers risk of breast cancer
helps to lose pregnancy weight
- reduces risk of depression
were told though that
it can only work out if we breastfeed exclusively.
also showed us comfortable positions for breastfeeding:
to hold a baby like a rugby ball (can be good for those mums who had
a position when a baby is lying on a side and his/her face, stomach
and knees facing mother
to nurse while lying on a side in a bed
all positions showed we had to hold baby's head with our hand by
making a C-shape around the neck, which I felt was slightly
uncomfortable for me.
to express milk by hand:
slightly massage the breast
use thumb and the rest of our fingers in a C-shape and gently
squeeze the area (where texture of the breast feels different)
if milk doesn't flow to try moving fingers slightly towards nipple
or further away
of using our own expressed milk and/or Lansinoh cream and how it can
soothe sore and cracked nipples, feeding cups and syringes as it can
be an alternative to breastfeeding in these early days when a new mum
struggles with breastfeeding.
also showed us breast pads and nursing bras, we were told that it is
more practical to use washable breast pads and the most comfortable
and cheap nursing bras are from Mothercare.
the end of the session we had Q&A, everyone decided to use
their opportunity to ask not just breastfeeding related question but
what bothers them the most, but here I will mention only few of
breastfeeding related questions:
I get pregnant while breastfeeding? Yes.
I need to use both breasts for nursing? Yes and no, we need to
watch our baby, if we feel she\he might be hungry to offer a second
do I know that my baby is latched on correctly? We need to check
the position of our baby, to place our baby with his/her nose level
with the nipple.
flat- chested women breastfeed? Yes.
I breastfeed in public? Yes, all women are different and some
feel comfortable without covering themselves, where as others may
prefer to go somewhere quieter and/or cover when breastfeeding.
breasts leak when I hear mine or someone else's baby cry? Yes they
can, therefore we were advised to use breast pads as it can happen in
the public place.
I need to burp my baby if I'm breastfeeding? Typically breast fed
babies don't need to be burped as much as bottle fed babies, some
breast fed don't need to be burped at all.
baby can seem drunk after breastfeeding? It is a satisfying look
of a well fed baby.
I need to avoid food or drink while breastfeeding? No, but
obviously be very carefully with the food we eat and watch what we
first free 2-hour workshop we had last week was more about us all
getting to know each other, therefore it is hard to say that I have
learnt something new except from learning more about other
mum/dads-to-be. Sessions themselves are facilitated by 2 local
antenatal teachers, one of them is a student midwife and the other
one knows parenting from a practical side.
have discussed benefits and drawbacks of home and hospital births
through a small group work (hands up who likes group works) and
generally it was more of a discussion between all of us rather than
teachers talking to us.
these 2 hours we were divided into groups most of the time where we
had to guess from pictures what does the baby do (my husband had to
show it to the class by using toys, I actually thought that mum do
all the job), what does the woman's body do and how can we make the
process of birth work effectively.
teachers also covered physiology and the role of hormones (Adrenaline
stay away!!), dispel myths and talk about our options of where to
birth our baby (I think most of us picked hospital anyway).
can't say that I have learnt much but before we even started
antenatal classes I knew that I want to know more about labour and
coping skills more. Let's see what we will do on our next paid