Saturday, 8 October 2011

Breast feeding class



I think it's the first time that I've been accompanied anywhere by Big Ted, but nonetheless, he was the one who came with me to a class today.

The class was on how to feed your baby, and was held at our local hospital in meeting room 1. I remember this distinctly because meeting room 1 was the very last room that I entered as no one thought it pertinent to tell you where meeting 1 was. Still nice to get a tour of the hospital and all of its wards.

After I'd settled in arriving breathlessly in the room, we were invited to tell everyone our names, due date and where you were having the baby. As I was vague about my due date, I thought I'd be ultra specific about the place.

"We're hoping to have the baby at home", I said, adding: "in the dining room".

The class was brilliant, and facilitated by a very funny and lively midwife who advocated breastfeeding for the following reasons:

Babies who breastfeed have fewer instances of diarrhoea and vomiting
Fewer chest and ear infections
Babies tend not to be so fussy about new food
Less likely to be constipated
Less likely to be obese
Less likely to develop eczema.

It's also good for the mother too as it costs less, helps with bonding and lowers the risk of cancer. Happily for fat ol' me, it also helps with weightloss.

So if that's the case, why doesn't everyone do it?

Well, there are problems with drugs being passed on and sometimes it can be painful, so the next part of the class was to show that if does indeed hurt, there are ways of improving positions and latching on to ensure it feels natural.

With the help of a knitted breast, we were shown how to get into position and how to hold the baby. The baby be positioned "nose-to-nipple" and should get a big mouthful of breast from underneath the nipple. Its chin should press into the breast and his/her cheeks should stay rounded during sucking, while rhythmically swallowing.

Now that's where Big Ted came in. He was the only teddy that I could find in the house and a good three times bigger than any of the other dolls and teddies that other people had brought.

"If your baby is that big, that I hate to tell you that you're not going to be having it in your dining room," the midwife joked.

We were then shown how to express milk - amazing to think of the body's ability to do this when necessary - and then with a nappy of the knitted variety, were shown what the poo will look like.

A brilliant session - so much more useful and interesting than I'd anticipated!

More info here:

www.laleche.org.uk

www.babyfriendly.org.uk

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