Breastfeeding webchat: Tuesday May 12th

Join us for a LIVE breastfeeding webchat on May 12th, 12-1pm to mark National Breastfeeding Awareness Week. London Infant Feeding Coordinator Francesca Entwhistle, a midwife with 26 years of experience, will be here to answer your questions about breastfeeding. So whether you're pregnant and considering breastfeeding or have already had your baby, join us for this useful session.

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  • This webchat will begin at 12 noon but you can start posting your breastfeeding questions now.
  • Welcome to today's webchat, this is National Breastfeeding Week, traditionally a week where women, breastfeeding supporters and health professionals celebrate breastfeeding and raise the profile of how to support women across the UK to breastfeed for as long as they choose.

    Yesterday, a National Conference, run by the Department of Health, launched some new growth charts for all new babies based on the World Health Organisation recommendations. The charts have been put together using data from healthy breastfed children from around the world. For the first time, they provide a description of optimul growth for babies and young children based on breastfeeding.

    All new babies born from now on will be weighed using the new charts, you will be able to find them in your 'Red Book' (Child Health Record) for babies born after May 09.

    I look forward to your questions.

    Francesca

    Regional Infant Feeding Co-ordinator DH London
  • Hi - my son Evan is 8weeks this thursday and seems to be still feeding constantly, he never goes more than an hour between feeds and seems constantly unsatisfied when he comes off the breast and wants to go back on. Hes never had formula and i want to avoid top ups. I feed him on demand and am not worried about any routine etc, happy to let him lead me...just would love an hour off sometimes!!!! This week he has started to go 6hrs in the night (9pm-3am) so im not sure if he may finally be starting to settle? I have also introduced the dummy, to try and pacify him that way, it just worries me that he may be hungry and not getting what he wants. The past 3wks he has gained 9-10oz every 7days and is 11lbs currently at 7weeks, any suggestions would be great.
  • Hi Francesca

    I am pregnant with my second baby and I failed to breastfeed with my first little girl, although I did express for 6 weeks, that was as long as I could manage I'm ashamed to say. I tried without success to get her to latch on and I think my nipples were the problem. When I squeeze my breast the nipples go flat so there was nothing for her to latch onto. I am hoping to try again with this baby and was wondering if there is anything I can do to prepare my nipples to make it easier to latch on? I would love to be able to breastfeed this baby.

    Many thanks.

    Serena.
  • Hi,
    My son Harry is 18 weeks on Wednesday. He's recently stopped sleeping in the day - and this is largely due to the fact that he has always gone to sleep while sucking on me (he's exclusively breastfed). Now this appears to not be working anymore (I think he's started teething and is very angry and grizzly). Because of this his night-time routine isn't working and we're up until 10ish most nights trying to get him to go to sleep. The only way it eventually happens is when he gets so worn out that he'll suck on me for such a short time that he's not taking on too much milk - otherwise we just end up in floods of sickness.
    Anyway - any advice would be really appreciated - not strictly just a bf topic but it is linked.
  • Hi there

    I'm a first time new mum and have just started breastfeeding. My baby is only a week old and still very sleepy. He seems to be content so I'm just curious really. How do I know how much he is getting from my breast? I'm expressing as well, but there is never that much to show for it. Does he take more himself? Should I top him up with SMA or just trust my body and him that he is getting enough? He is a big boy he was nearly a 10lb-er when he was born. Are there any tell tale signs that he might not be getting enough?

    Thanks in advance.

  • Hi, It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job, and baby led feeding is excellent. The fact that Evan is gaining weight and sleeping well at night suggests that he is progessing well and that you have pleanty of milk.

    You may like to visit a local support centre to talk to a peer supporter in your area or health professional to see if they can watch you feed to make sure Evan is attached correctly, this may help him go longer between feeds. If this is ok then you may like to think about other strategies; such as taking him for a walk to distract him from always wanting the breast. Someone else, who does not smell of your milk, may also help, ask a friend or relative to care for him whilst you have a break.

    Please call the National Help Line 0300 100 0212 to speak to a breastfeeding support worker in your area.

    Keep it going you are doing a great job.

    Francesca
  • Hi Serena

    In this pregnancy, talk to a midwife about breastfeeding and how to get off to the best start, explaining what happened last time. Your hospital may have an Infant Feeding Advisor who you could talk to now who will be able to give you some information. She may be able to arrange to help you when the baby is born.

    Since your last baby The Department of Health has published a DVD free for all pregnant women, called 'from bump to breastfeeding' ask your midwife for a copy, you can watch other women talking about their stories and go to the drop down sections on help with the challenges.
    Alternatively go to www.bestbeginnings.info where you can watch a URL of the DVD now.

    When you have your baby it is best to have skin to skin contact within the first hour of birth, in the labour ward, and to breastfeed as soon as you can. Ask the midwife or support worker to help you. If the baby has a good feed at this time it can make it much easier later.

    Your hospital may also hold a breastfeeding antenatal class, see if you and your partner can go along to talk about how best to go forward.

    Also try the National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 100 0212 where they will be able to put you in touch with local support groups. Visit www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk

    Well done, for expressing for 6 weeks you did the best thing and this will benifit your first childs future health.

    Francesca
  • Many thanks Francesca.

    Serena x
  • Hi, Harry reminds me of one of my sons! As Harry is growing up he is very knowing of you and I would imagine just loves being near you and if possible near your breast, smell, warmth, food comfort - it's great..

    It sounds as if he is doing well and you are doing brilliantly to be fully breastfeeding at 18 weeks, this is the best for your baby and for you, keeping that going until 6 months is ideal for his health.

    One thing that may help you is to meet up with other mums who are breastfeeding, to share your experiences. If you ring the National Breastfeeding Help Line 0300 100 0212, the breastfeeding supporter at the end of the line may be able to put you in touch with a group locally that you could visit with Harry.

    I hope you received your free DVD in pregnancy; 'from bump to breastfeeding' this is good to watch and will give you some ideas. alternatively you can watch it on line at www.bestbeginnings.info. also visit www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk.

    In the evenings, a bath may help to settle Harry, your partner or friend may like to do this to give you a break. Someone other than you walking with him, cuddling him may also help as they do not smell of your breastmilk. A breastfeeding sling is quite a good way to carry Harry round the house when they won't settle, as they like to be near you or your partner, but happy with being carried rather than feeding.

    Hope this is helpful, well done, you are doing great. Try the helpline too.

    Francesca

  • We've reached 1pm now so no new questions, please. Francesca is going to do her best to answer the remaining questions already posetd. Many thanks to her and everyone who has taken part today.
    Breastfeeding is a key issue for many BE members, we know, so we'll be running another breastfeeding webchat soon!
  • Hi congratulations on your one week old baby, in the first few days your milk 'comes in' and is responding to your babies demands, the more the baby feeds, the more milk you will make. If you are expressing as well, you will be telling your brain to make even more milk, which is excellent.

    We cannot tell how much a baby is getting, this can vary every feed and will change as your baby demands. This can be unsettling for alot of people, yourself, your partner, friends and family. The best way to guage how much your baby is taking, is to look at the nappies, they should be wet and in the first week their poo changes from black to brown, to mustard coloured. This shows that milk is getting through. Your baby should also be alert when he is awake and sleep between feeds.

    I hope you received your free DH DVD 'from bump to breastfeeding' in pregnancy this tells womens stories about breastfeeding and has drop down menus for you to watch on things like positioning and attachment. If you have not had one give your midwife a ring to see if she can bring one with her to your next visit. Alternatively you can watch it on line at www.bestbeginnings.info.

    If you would like someone to watch you breastfeed, ring your midwife to see if anyone can visit it you to reassure you and discuss your progress. She may visit or she may ask a breastfeeding support worker. You can ring the National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 100 0212 and a breastfeeding support worker will talk you through anything you are worrid about and also give you information about local support groups where you can meet other mums.

    Your baby should be weighed in the first week and will steadily start to regain his birth weight by two weeks.

    You should avoid giving a 'top up' of any other milk, if you give formula it will tell your brain that you do not need to make that meal and your milk supply will dwindle. Carry on, you are doing a great job, but you may also benifit from talking to someone, so please ask for help from the helpline or from your midwife.

    Keep up the good work, it is good to hear from you, remember skin to skin can help stimulate your milk supply too. So lots of special cuddles and enjoy.

    Francesca

    www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk

  • Hi, good to hear of a 9 month old baby breastfeeding, well done. As your baby moves on to solids they may start to drop the breastfeeds and start to take other drinks. It is great if you can keep the breastfeeding going with other foods until they are at least 12 months old.

    There are no set rules about how much they should have, some days you may find they don't want very much, some days (often when they are poorly or tierd) they may want lots of breastmilk again, because it is comforting and helps them to settle. Lots of babies like the morning and evening feed and sometimes are too busy playing at other times to demand more. You and your baby will decide.

    There is no need to give your baby other milks, such as follow on milk, instead give a breastfeed and introduce them to water using a cup. You may also like to give them expressed breastmilk on cereal etc.

    Since you had your baby the DH produced a DVD 'from bump to breastfeeding' which you can view on line at www.bestbeginnings.info. it has a good section on weaning and tells other mums stories.

    If you ring the National Breastfeeding helpline 0300 100 0212 a breastfeeding supporter will be able to chat to you and also direct you to local support groups in your area. Talking to other mums can be a great support. Also visit www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk.

    Your health visitor may also be able to give you a contact telephone number of a breastfeeding support group - give her a ring.

    Keep up the good work and enjoy

    Francesca
  • Thank you for your questions, it was good to talk to you. Remember you are not alone and there is lots of support 'out there' for you.

    If you need to talk to someone direct contact your midwife or health visitor or call the National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 100 0210.

    Bengali/Sylhetti 0300 456 2421

    or visit www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk

    To view the DH DVD on line go to www.bestbeginnings.info this is a great resouce made by women for women, telling their real stories.
    Ask your Midwife or Health Visitor for a copy today.

    Breast milk gives your baby the best start, it will help to protect you from some cancers and bone disease in later life. It will help to protect your baby from many diseases including; diabetes, obesity, chest and stomach infections, allergies and asthma.

    Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and breastfeeding with other foods until 12 months and beyound will give your baby the best start in life.

    Well done, everyday you breastfeed will make a difference to your baby.

    Francesca

    Regional Infant Feeding Co-ordinator DH London




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