The hotMaMa Diaries Blog - Breastfeeding blog and parenting blog

Breastfeeding and parenting blog

Everyone has a different experience of parenting and motherhood and there is no right or wrong path. The hotMaMa diaries is a place to read stories from other mothers and even share your own!

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Category: Breastfeeding

  1. Breastfeeding Positions

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    Who knew there were so many different positions for breastfeeding? Proper positioning is essential in helping your newborn latch on the right way, as well as preventing nipple soreness and other breastfeeding problems. With some trial-and-error, you'll find the breastfeeding position that works best for you, have you tried these?

     
    The cradle hold
     
    The classic breastfeeding position! You might find it useful to have baby propped on pillows especially when they're little. This helps you to sit more comfortably and prevents you from hunching over whole breastfeeding which can be tiring for the next and shoulders. Support the baby with the arm on the SAME side you are feeding on. Make sure baby's entire body turns toward you. His or her pelvis should be up against your abdomen, their chest against your chest, and their mouth lined up with your nipple. Bring your baby's mouth to the nipple (rather than the nipple to his mouth) without making him or her turn their head to the side. It is important for your baby's head to be aligned with the rest of his body instead of turned off to the side. 
     
     
    The cross-cradle hold
     
    A variation on the cradle hold, the cross-cradle or crossover hold involves the same positioning as above, the only major difference is that you support your baby on the arm OPPOSITE the breast being used. In this position, your hand supports your baby's neck and upper back, rather than his bottom, and his bottom rests either in the crook of your arm or on the pillow on your lap. Again, rotate your baby's body so it faces you and his mouth is lined up with your nipple. This is a good position for a baby who has difficulty latching on, because you can more easily guide his head into a better position by holding the back of his neck between your thumb and fingers. You may use your hand to support the breast while helping your baby to latch.
     
    The laid-back position
     
    Laid-back breastfeeding positioning takes advantage of the biologic responses that occur when the baby is skin-to-skin with the mother in a prone position. This position is said to be useful for mothers who have an overactive let-down reflex or an overabundant milk supply. Lie on your side and face your baby toward your breast, supporting him or her with one hand. With the other hand, grasp your breast and touch your nipple to your baby's lips. Once your baby latches on, use one arm to support your own head and the other to help support your baby and bring him or her close.
     
    The rugby ball hold AKA the side-sitting position, football hold, clutch hold
     
    Many breastfeeding women find that the side-sitting hold, also known as a clutch hold or football hold, is an easier position to maintain.  It's also great if you're recovering from a C-section as the baby is away from your tummy.  It may also be useful for mothers of twins since one baby can nurse on each side.   In this hold, your baby is held similarly to how you would hold a handbag clutched under your arm or a football clutched close to your body.
     
    To feed your baby in this position, place him or her beside you—on the side of the breast you will use—with baby's head near your breast. Tuck baby's body up against your side, under your arm. Your forearm should support baby's upper back, and your hand and fingers should support his or her shoulders, neck, and head. Your baby's legs will stretch out straight behind you or, if you are in a chair, you can rest their bottom against the back of the chair and angle their legs straight up. Finally, place a pillow under your elbow for support, keep your baby's head level with your breast.
     
    Reclining or lying down
     
    You may find that feeding your baby in a reclining position, rather than sitting, allows for some much needed relaxation. Nursing while lying down helps particularly if you have had a cesarean delivery or otherwise feel tired or unwell in the days post birth. Lie on your side with one or more pillows behind your back and under your head for support. (A pillow placed between your knees may make you more comfortable.) Keep your back and hips in as straight a line as possible. Hold your baby closely on his or her side, facing you with your arm around your baby. You may use your hand to support the breast while helping the baby to latch.
     
    An advantage of this position is you don't have to get up to reposition your baby on your other breast. Simply place a pillow under them to elevate until they are parallel with your upper breast and lean over farther to bring the upper breast to your baby. 
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
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  2. Tips for your first breastfeed in public

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    Breastfeeding clothes

    Your first breastfeed outside your own home can feel scary. What can you do to make it a little less daunting?

    Go somewhere you are familiar with

    There's so much more to think about now you have a little one like if there's space for a pram of if a baby carrier would be better or if there is a baby change is. All things you don't want to be stressing about with a hungry baby.


    Make sure you can sit down comfortably

    Perching precriously on the edge of a wall or having to stand is no good. You'll be uncomfortable and it will have you rushing for the feed to be over. Make sure you can relax so your little one can have time to fill that little tummy and make it a positive experience. Cafes are great at having comfortable chairs for breastfeeding.


    Get your clothing right!

    You don't want to feel flustered trying to get your boob out, dealing with excessive complicated layers. One of our specially designed breastfeeding tops or dresses will make feeding access a breaze even with just one hand.


    Allow enough time

    Again, you don't want to feel rushed and you want to make sure your baby is not overly hungry before you're actually positioned and ready to feed. 

    Take a friend

    Arrange to meet or go with a friend  one with another baby is a bonus.  It's always nice to have someone to talk to and if you're with someone you're comfortable with you'll feel more at ease feeding.

    Have a drink with you or get one Breastfeeding is thirsty work mama! 


    Wear breast pads, just incase you leak! 

    Last of all, don't worry! Remember that breastfeeding your baby is normal and once you start thinking about it you'll probably spot lots of breastfeeding mamas out and about feeding that you just wouldn't have spotted before. Relax, sit back and enjoy!

  3. One breastfeeding vest, four looks

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    Breastfeeding vest
     
    Vests are such a staple in any wardrobe, regardless of whether you're breastfeeding. We've taken a classic black breastfeeding vest and shown you four different ways you can wear it - day or night!
     
    #1 Casual 
    Perfect for baby and toddler groups out black vest and jeans combo makes for a failsafe casual style that's breastfeeding friendly. Thrown on some trainers and a silicone fiddle necklace for a splash of colour and you're good to go. Add a chunky knit for winter and it makes an all year round breastfeeding wardrobe staple.
     
    Breastfeeding vest - styling idea 1
     
    #2 Dressed Up
    Special occasion? KIT day at work? Date night? 
    A staple classic like a black vest is easy to dress up with smart trousers, heels and a statement bag but still makes last minute breastfeeds or pumping on the go possible. If you're baby free you can even ditch the nappy bag in favour of a swanky handbag and statement earrings. 
     
    Breastfeeding vest - style idea 2
     
    #3 Workout
    Perfect for workouts like yoga pair your vest with jogging bottoms. Perfect even when you've finished feeding!
    Breastfeeding vest - styling idea 3
     
    #4 Pyjamas
    Who says your breastfeeding vest is just for daytime? Your vests make great pyjamas and give you a little extra warmth on the chest during night feeds (eyemask optional!)
     
    Breastfeeding vest - styling idea 4, breastfeeding pyjamas
  4. Breastfeeding at Christmas

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    Breastfeeding at Christmas

     

    It’s Christmas – a time filled with family, food and fun. But just as often, and especially as a new breastfeeding parent, this time of year can be a STRESSFUL..  To help, we've compiled a  a few handy tips of how to survive the festive season....

    T H E    F O O D
    Yum, definitely one of the best parts of Christmas!
    Once your baby is born, it should be fine to eat all foods that you may have avoided during pregnancy. Most babies are not adversely affected by everyday foods, so although unlikely that your baby will react badly to anything you eat, you may consider temporarily excluding foods if you notice windy or colicky reactions in your baby up to six hours after eating a certain food. Some foods can change the taste of your breast milk, so again, assess from your baby’s reaction what they like or dislike.

    T H E   D R I N K S
    While women are often warned not to consume alcohol during pregnancy given the evidence that this could cause damage to an unborn child, the risks of consuming alcohol while breastfeeding are not as well defined.
    There are so many differing opinions about breastfeeding and alcohol depending on where in the world you live and social norms.
    With the festive season in full flow there are lots of parties and drinks on offer. But what about breastfeeding mums? The NHS guidelines state anything you eat or drink while you're breastfeeding can find its way into your breast milk, and that includes alcohol. But an occasional small drink is unlikely to harm your breastfed baby. However, never share a bed or sofa with your baby if you have drunk any alcohol. Doing this has a strong association with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
    (Source NHS)

    T R A V E L
    Breastfed babies are very portable and if you are able to travel to meet up with friends and family, then breastmilk makes the best travel food! You don’t have to worry about taking feeding equipment as your milk will always be available if your baby gets tired or hungry, or your journey is delayed. But make thinks easier on yourself and plan a journey ahead. Expect it to take longer than normal with Christmas traffic and plan shorter journeys or breaks if travelling by car so you can find somewhere to stop for a cuddle break and breastfeed. If using public transport, a baby sling can be useful for keeping your hands free as well as an easy way to feed on the go!

    F A M I L Y
    Christmas is often when your new baby will be introduced to your wider extended family and if you haven't already noticed, everyone seems to have an opinion on something when it comes to babies... which can be frustrating and stressful. Don't forget that while everyone is entitled to their opinion, you are not required to take on those opinions as your own. You know your baby best! 

    A S K   F O R   H E L P
    Christmas can certainly be A LOT even without a newborn. Don't be afraid to say yes when someone offers to help or to speak up and ask for it. You might ask visitors to bring food contributions instead of making all the meals yourself. It can be helpful to keep a list of things that need doing on your phone so if someone offers to help you can suggest something from it.

    R O U T I N E S   A N D   W H E N   T O   S A Y   N O
    If you’re a stickler for routine, you may find the festive period calls for a bit more flexibility than usual. Your baby will pick up when you are stressed, so avoid the vicious circle and try to embrace the change in routine temporarily. If this doesn't work for you then don't be afraid to say no. The festive season is busy enough and when you're a new mum running on limited sleep, night feeds and juggling the normal Christmas expectations. You just can't do everything. Sometimes you need to find your voice and say no. After all, happy mum, happy baby.

  5. Lactation smoothie recipes

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    Lactation smoohie, recipe, blog, breastfeeding blog, parenting blog, new mu

    These recipes aren't too different to standard smoothies but they contain ingredients that are said to help boost milk supply (Woop Woop!)  According to Belly Belly, fenugreek, oats, brewer's yeast, and nuts can all increase lactation. Spinach and flax contain phytoestrogens which is thought to promote lactation, as well.  Having them in smoothie form can also make them easier and tastier to drink.  Some of these recipes also have added energy boosting  ingredients like bananas which also give sleep deprived mamas a little boost!

    Banana and oat lactation smoothie

    Lactation smoothie, recipe, blog, breastfeeding blog, parenting blog, new muIngredients
    1 Banana
    1 cup of Almond Milk
    1/4 cup of Oats
    1-2 TBS of Honey
    1 TBS of Flax Seed Oil
    1 TBS of Chia Seed
    1/2 cup of Ice
    Sprinkle of Cinnamon

    Method
    Place all ingredients into your blender.
    Blend on high for 1 minute, or until smooth.

    Strawberry and banana lactation smoothie

    srawberriesIngredients
    1/4 cup oats
    1 banana
    8 strawberries frozen
    1/2 cup milk
    1 tbsp honey
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    1 tsp brewer's yeast
    1 tsp ground flax seed

    Method
    Put oats into blender and process until the oats are well ground.
    Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.

    Chocolate lactation smoothie

    Lactation smoothie, recipe, blog, breastfeeding blog, parenting blog, new muIngredients

    1/4 cup oats
    2 tbsp 100% cacao powder
    1 tbsp Flax seed
    3/4 cup Milk (or almond milk)
    2 cups Ice

    Optional
    1 Frozen Banana
    2 tbsp Peanut butter
    Honey (for a sweet flavor)

    Method
    Place the cacao powder and milk in the blender. Blend for about 30 seconds. Add other remaining ingredients and blend until smoothie consistency.

  6. Awesome Lactation Cookie Recipes

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    Lactation Cookies, recipe, blog, breastfeeding blog, parenting blog, new mu

    Lactation cookies, New baby photos, newborn baby blog, breastfeeding blog, parenting blog, mummy blog, nursing clothing, nursing clothes, nursing tops, nursing top, nursing dress, nursing dresses, nursing wear, breastfeeding clothes, breastfeeding clothing, breastfeeding top, breastfeeding tops, breastfeeding sweater, breastfeeding jumpers, breastfeeding friendly clothes

    These are great snack for a breastfeeding mum as they will give mum a much needed energy boost and  contain many milk-boosting ingredients.

    Top Milk Boosting Ingredients

    You can substitute out some of the ingredients for alternatives but to ensure you get the best chance to give your milk a boost these are the ingredients not to be messed with:

    -Brewers yeast: Contains vitamin B and the minerals chromium and selenium. B vitamins which are great for breastfeeding mums.

    - Flaxseed:  This contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These are healthy fats which are great for us mums and can be passed on to your breastmilk for a nutritional boost for baby. 

    - Oats: They contain a high concentration of saponins, an immune-stimulating compound that may help increase levels of prolactin, a key hormone for milk production. Oats are also packed with protein, vitamins, and minerals, which makes them a healthy choice regardless of whether or not you're breastfeeding as they'll release energy slowly to ensure you don't have a sugar crash!

    Lactation Cookies, recipe, blog, breastfeeding blog, parenting blog, new mu

     

    Ingredients

    •  65g coconut oil
    •  100g cup brown sugar
    •  1 egg
    •  1 tsp vanilla
    •  2 tbsp milled flaxseed
    •  3 tbsp water
    •  130g cup whole wheat flour
    •  2 tbsp brewer's yeast
    •  1 tsp cinnamon
    •  1/2 tsp salt
    •  180g cups oats
    •  60g cup raisins
    •  2 tbsp whole flaxseed 

    Instructions

      1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celcius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit

      2. In a mixing bowl, mix the coconut oil and sugar until soft. Add the egg and vanilla and mix.
      3. Combine the milled flaxseed and water in a separate bowl and then add to the mixing bowl.

      4. Add the flour, brewer's yeast, cinnamon and salt to the mixing bowl and mix again.

      5. By hand, mix in the oats, raisins and whole flaxseed.

      6. Scoop out the batter onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Flatten the cookies slightly. Recipe will make 12 cookies.

      7. Bake for 12 minutes.

      8. Eat and enjoy!

     

    Lactation Cookies, recipe, blog, breastfeeding blog, parenting blog, new mu

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 3 cups Old Fashioned Oats
    • 1 1/2 cups Flour
    • 5 Tbsp Brewers Yeast
    • 3 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed
    • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
    • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
    • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp Salt
    • 16 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Cubed (2 sticks)
    • 4 Tbsp Virgin Coconut Oil
    • 1 1/2 Cups Sugar (feel free to reduce by 1/4 cup)
    • 2 Eggs
    • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
    • 1 1/2 cups Semi-Sweet or Dark Chocolate Chips/Chunks
    • 1/2 cup Shredded Coconut
    • 1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts *optional*

    DIRECTIONS:

    1.  Preheat the oven the 160 degrees celcius or 350 degrees F.

    2.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, flaxseed, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt. Next, add in the oats and combine.

    3.  In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and coconut oil on medium speed until creamy, about 1-2 minutes.

    4.  Add in the sugar and beat on medium to high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed.

    5.  Add in the egg and egg yolk, beating until combined, about 2 to 3 minutes. Make sure you scrape the bowl to make sure that it is all evenly mixed.

    6.  Add in the vanilla extract and beat until combined again. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined and mixed.

    7.  Stir in the chocolate chips, coconut and nuts, until combined.

    8.  Scoop the dough into 1-inch rounds, or use a large cookie scoop to make them uniform, and place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the bottoms are just golden. Let cool completely before storing in a sealed container.

     

    Lactation Cookies, recipe, blog, breastfeeding blog, parenting blog, new mu

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup 150g wholemeal flour
    • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
    • 125 g butter
    • 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 3 tablespoons of water
    • 1 tablespoonvanilla extract
    • 2 tablespoons of brewers yeast
    • 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats
    • 100 g of flaked almonds
    • 1/2 cup of dried apricots, roughly chopped
    • 1/4 cup of white chocolate chips

     

    Instructions

    1. Line two trays with baking paper and preheat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade.

    2. Place the butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on a high speed for 8 - 10 minutes or until the mixture is pale and smooth.

    3. Add the vanilla and egg and mix on a low speed to combine.

    4. Add the wholemeal flour, baking powder, flaxseed meal and brewers yeast and water to the bowl and mix on a low speed to combine.

    5. Remove the bowl from the stand and add the rolled oats, flaked almonds, white chocolate chips and dried cranberries and stir through to combine.

    6. Use a tablespoon to scoop up the mixture and roll it into balls before placing on the prepared baking trays. Repeat until you have used all of the mixture.

    7. Lightly flatten the Cranberry Almond and White Chocolate Lactation Biscuits with the palm of your hand and place into the oven to bake for 12 minutes.

    8. Leave the biscuits to cool on the trays for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to completely cool.

    9. Store in an airtight container for up to a week