Is it time to revisit the SIDS research?

It’s been on my mind for years.

Do I or don’t I

What will people say?

How will it be received?

Many thoughts are rushing through my head many times of the day.

Many clients I talk to are struggling

They feel judged

They ask themselves

Why is it we are not listened too?

Why do I feel I need to hide the decision I have made from those who are supposed to have our backs?

I ask myself

Why are mums and their babies crammed into one ideology.

So the big question is🤔

Is it time for a change?

A change to how we support our mums and their babies?

A change in our thinking towards positioning babies not for possibilities of risk but for better sleep and comfort.

Is it time to look at each mum and baby as individuals. Why are we not doing this already?

It is over 30 years old.

Times have changed fewer people are smoking, more medical advancements, technology improvements.

Plus not to mention that it’s never really been proven as to WHY!

Is it time to revisit the SIDS research seeing it’s now over 30 years old?

This might send shivers down your spine but for me I needed to get this of my chest.

I know I’ll be judged by some😞

But I know 💕

I’m a voice for many new mums who are right now struggling with sleep deprivation because of fear and judgement of the word – position❗️

Your thoughts?

How can I increase my milk supply?

Breastfeeding provides amazing nutrients for your baby. It helps boost your baby’s immune system and is great for bonding.

Knowing if you have enough to satisfy your baby can be tricky. Many mums would happily wish a way to know how much their baby is getting but unfortunately it’s a bit of a guessing game.
Weight gain, plenty of wet nappies and a good feeding and sleep pattern can suggest your baby is getting plenty of milk.
For us mums the feeling of fullness, leakage and knowing we can express a certain amount helps us feel more at ease about our milk supply

Sometimes though whatever we do or how we feel our supply may not be enough.
Often signs that are associated with low milk supply are unsettled babies, low weight gain, and babies with colic and mums intuition that something isn’t quite right.

There could be many reasons for low milk supply. The sooner you recognise your supply isn’t enough for your baby the easier and more success you will have to boost it.

Reasons could be –

Premature birth
Medical reasons for both mum and baby
Sleepy babies, especially those who may have jaundice, which can lead to not enough feeds, or short or interrupted feeds.
Poor positioning
Not emptying one side before offering the other side.
Pain interfering with your breastfeeding.
Complimentary feeding

So lets look at a few of these possibilities in more depth and how you can help your milk supply.

Positioning

Make sure your baby is feeding efficiently, is latched on correctly and positioned well at the breast.
Often I meet mums that haven’t had the best start in the first few hours or days of their babies birth. They have struggled from the beginning. Breastfeeding itself doesn’t come naturally. It is a learned skill with lots of positive guidance and personal support. It’s not uncommon for mums to be left to fend for themselves, sometimes for hours. The better your baby’s latch, the better they feed, the better the stimulation which will then help to increase your milk supply.

Wellbeing

Anxiety related to pain and lack of support, in my experience, are the number one culprits for low lactation.
With pressures of breastfeeding, judgement and very little guidance with lots of push to breastfeed can actually be counter-productive.
Your lactation and the ease of producing milk is very dependent on how you are feeling. A more relaxed mum with no pain while feeding and enjoying the experience will produce more milk than a mum who has had a rough start, sore nipples, engorgement, sleep deprivement and feeling like a failure.

Get help from a trusted person who makes you feel confident, lifts you up and helps you along your breastfeeding journey plus someone who is a very good listener.

Feeding

Yes, absolutely there is no doubt that when you feed often helps with production. Making sure you feed every 3 hours during the day and night is a good start especially in the first 2 weeks. Sometimes though this may lead to a very exhausted mum and an overtired baby. If this scenario continues for several weeks you may not have success increasing your supply at all because your wellbeing has been compromised. Keep up with the 3 hourly feeds during the day, however, make sure you get more rest during the night. as your baby gets older the night time feeds can be less frequent.
I personally feel a mum needs her sleep at night just as much as her baby and this is the reason why I personally wouldn’t wake a baby to feed in the night to increase your supply unless it is for medical reasons. If you are still struggling after 2 weeks with not much improvement then instead of increasing your babies feeds, there are other options you could try.

Pumping or Expressing

This can be a great way to increase your milk supply.
The best way to do this is to pump on one side while you are feeding your baby on the other. This helps both with time management and having the hormonal exchange needed to help the let down and milk flow. You may also find a good time is after you have finished feeding your baby and while they are having mat time or while your baby is sleeping. Pumping while watching your baby sleep, looking at baby photos or videos also helps to release oxytocin. Hand-held pumps tend to be better and more manageable plus a little more personable.
To help you get the most out of expressing, find times of the day you are not rushed.
Remember pumping isn’t the same as your baby feeding so sometimes it takes a little time.

Teas and Herbs

Both lactation teas and herbal potions are a great way to help increase your supply.
There are many brands on the market and it’s just a matter of what you like to drink or recommendations from other mums. You could even dunk a lactation cookie in your lactation tea.

Herbs such as Blessed Thistle, Fenugreek, Nettle, Raspberry, Goats Rue and Shatavari are also great additions to a good diet. All included in the lactation teas but you can also buy them individually or combined in capsules or tinctures. Looking for organically grown ingredients is best.

Essential oils

Some of the herbs can also be found as essential oils.
I have become more and more interested in the benefits of essential oils and how they work.
It’s important when using essential oils that you find good quality and are 100% pure.
Never apply essential oils straight to the skin. They should always be diluted with a carrier oil such as almond oil, fractioned coconut oil or olive oil.
Apply over the upper portion of the breast being careful not to go near the nipple area where your baby will be feeding from. Massage the area gently with either your hand or you could use a small comb to stimulate the ducts in a downward motion, this also helps blocked ducts.
Essential oils that are great for lactation are Clary Sage, Basil, Geranium and Fennel. Caution with Fennel – only use for up to 10 days. Generally you would only need to use these oils for around 2-5 days to see a result.

Tiger’s Milk or Smoothies

I still don’t know why it’s called Tiger’s Milk but it’s definitely the smoothie that I recommend for any breastfeeding mum.
Smoothies are a great source for a nutritional boost in one drink to add to your food intake.
The magic ingredient in Tiger’s Milk is brewer’s yeast.

Blend

Cup of milk (or you can use whatever you like such as almond milk, rice milk or coconut milk)
Protein powder (use one that is ok for breastfeeding)
Bananas
Berries
Tbsp of Brewer’s Yeast (more or less depending on your taste buds)
Optional is a Tbsp of peanut butter, flaxseed or other nutritional ingredients.

Sometimes your midwife or your GP will prescribe Domperidone. Discuss this with your health professional if you have exhausted all other options.

Remember
Happy Mum, Happy Baby

Baby Mobiles – do we need them?

🐝Mobiles: are they a good tool or a gadget babies can do without?

Like many other gadgets such as white noise, monitors and sleep props, it comes down to how and when we use them that will ultimately give you the benefits they provide.

Some babies need many tools to help them to settle or rest while others are fine with the bare minimum.

Mobiles are to some extent a sleep prop however it can also provide and reassurance and confidence. 👶

All three of my children had mobiles above their cots.

As I settled them into their cot they loved watching the little figurines move around accompanied by a soft jingle like a nursery rhyme or lullaby.

When at home for naps and the first evening sleep the association of seeing their mobile allowed them the recognise that it was sleep time.

I would turn it on and they would follow attentively for a few minutes as the motion and the music would start to slow down.

If they were unsettled I would turn it back on BUT that would be the last time.

I made a point not to go back several times when they made a sound or cried. Using other methods to help them settle were implemented when needed.

Two to three times was the maximum.

This is the challenge with anything that can provide a prop for sleeping.

If I was to go back in, time and time again, then they would expect me to continue this scenario. 🤦‍♀️

It would not be beneficial for them nor myself or anyone else that would settle them.

Mobiles also provide security. 👮‍♀️

When your baby sees the mobile above their bed in daylight hours as they settle they also see it as they wake.

This helps them with recognition and familiarization around sleep and their surroundings.

I would recommend if you decide to use a mobile it’s not best used for the sleep in the night-time.

Night time is for minimal sleep props as this will create more confidence with zero noise and darkness to help them sleep well in the future. 😇

Respond without Action

I bet your wondering what this picture with the words
Respond without Action – actually mean.When we become new parents there is so much advice, like what to do and what not to do with your newborn.

Research suggests that it could be detrimental to your babies development when you leave them to cry.

While this research has some truth to it it is very much based on crying for extended period of time, not responding and leaving them to cry it out until exhaustion sets in and eventually give up.

I don’t believe any nurturing parent would leave their baby to such an extent.

However this info is extended to all types of crying even if it for a few seconds. Hence we need to be very careful with some of research based information.

Babies cry for all sorts of reasons – not only for hunger

Their cries can be due to – Tiredness
– Pain
– Overstimulation
– Wind
– Boredom

The questions is – how do we respond.
You can respond by action
You can respond by sound
or you can respond by observation.

Ill give you one scenario that often keeps babies from settling or sleeping for longer periods during their nap times.

The good old 30 min nap phenomena

So you hear your baby waking. They are noisy, grumpy, sucking on their hands, yep even newborn suck can be sucking on their hands.
Because your emotions, possibly lack of knowledge, pressure of family, friends and also internet surfing and professionals suggesting you never leave your baby to cry (AT ALL ). Your response is to quickly run in without any hesitation, pick your baby up out of their bassinet or cot and give them a cuddle.

I would so agree with you with this response but only when it is really necessary.

So here is the reason why its best to keep in mind the words

Respond without Action

Observe Observe Observe

Yep before you respond I want you to observe.
Peak around the door, don’t let yourself be seen if your baby is older and more aware and give yourself time to think and observe what is going on.

Especially around nap times, your baby is going through two important sleep cycles.

REM and NON-REM

Majority of babies especially newborn will cry when they either come in or are transitioning to another cycle.
When they do this they are still asleep. Yes they will cry, make noise, suck on their hands and grizzle.

So we tend to respond far too quickly and pick our babies up when they are actually still asleep.

When this happens we have stopped their ability to transition into their next sleep cycle and hence the 30 min nap becomes a challenge.

They haven’t had a chance to fall asleep again because of the intervention (action ).
Wiht this action if its done on a consistent basis will become the norm. Hence why a lot of babies become 30 min nappers.

So next time you hear your baby cry after their sleep and if you think they haven’t ad enough or its just been 20 to 30 min. Observe first and watch them because often they may actually have their eyes closed and are still transitioning.

If their cries are consistent the resettle first with sound or your hand without picking your baby up first.

Remember I’m only a phone call or PM away when you need more support.