Why Breastfeed? Do you know what it does to your body?!

Today breastfeeding is all over the news. The Guardian Newspaper has the Headline ‘UK Attitudes To Breastfeeding Must Change, Experts say’. Well No-Shit Sherlock, we all know that.

Whenever breastfeeding comes up in the media, and becomes a hot topic, I tend to shut off and back away. I don’t want to hear it. It shouldn’t even be a topic. It’s crap. If we just all got on with it and did it, tackled the tough times (because there are!) and just made it the norm then breastfeeding rates would go up. Many women are shying away from breastfeeding because they are embarrassed by the fact they are doing it. Doing it in public, looking like a member of the Breastapo for having a positive opinion on feeding and in a world where tits are plastered all over the media (tits sell guys) they either feel like its an awkward sex-thing or that they are exposing themselves.

Many ladies also do not get the support that they need. They struggle in the first few days, give one bottle and that’s it. Their breastfeeding journey is over. These ladies haven’t been given the help and the support they need. There is lots of help out there, professionals and peers who can be of a huge help. It’s just these struggling ladies don’t know where to ask for help, or are often too embarrassed to help. Education before birth helps too.

Lets stop talking about breastfeeding, train more people to help those who need help with breastfeeding and just get on with it. Just like we do for women who feed their babies bottles. No one bats an eye lid over that.

Last time I posted something about breastfeeding, I was bombarded with lots of negative comments from formula feeding mums, who seemed to take offence to what I was saying. I am NOT against giving formula to babies. My eldest daughter received formula after I stopped feeding her.  I have bottles in the house. I do not give a monkey’s what you choose to do. I just hope that your choice was an informed one.

Why Breastfeed?

We know that breastfeeding is great for lazy parents. I’m lazy and couldn’t be bothered to get up in the night to make up bottles. Also, we are co-sleepers. It was the ultimate lazy combo. Obviously breastfeeding is was for the endless health benefits- for baby and for mother. I have breastfed all 3 of my daughters, and I am incredibly proud to say that each child has been fed for longer than the last. I have just weaned Ivy at 2 years old. It broke my heart, but she was no longer showing interest in the boob. I know I will certainly breastfeed my next baby due in September, and for who knows how long for.

Ivy Water Birth

For Baby- at birth

We know that even if you try and breastfeed for the first few feeds that it is far better than offering formula right away from the offset. The first milk you make is called colostrum (a yellow to orange colour sticky substance), and it won’t be until the 3rd day after birth until your actual milk comes in. Many women may have given up by now, because they think that they are not making enough milk. You simply haven’t started making it yet!

There are many benefits to baby’s health right from that first feed. Lets imagine baby has just popped out, you want to get baby on the breast as soon as possible! I aimed to feed all of mine within the first 15 minutes after birth (with skin to skin) because…

  • The first feed stabilises you baby’s blood pressure, sugar levels and calms them down after lots of hard work.
  • You will keep baby warm. You uterus was much warmer than this cold room that they are now in. Especially so if baby was early and had a low birth weight.
  • It’s their first vaccination! Your breastmilk contains lots of antibodies that fight viruses and infections.
  • It keeps jaundice to a minimum, which can make babies very poorly very quickly.
  • Breathing is improved and oxygen levels shoot up. You’ll see baby go from a blue-y colour, to pink much quicker.
  • It helps clear meconium from their gut (that sticky, black, tar-like poops) and normal poops will begin.
  • You will be colonising baby’s gut and skin, helping to fight lots of external and internal bugs. It’s much more difficult for micro-organisms to enter the fragile baby when colostrum is there to fight them away!
  • Bonding is initiated.

For Mother- for lifetime

And the benefits for Mum are amazing too, both short term feeding and long term …

  • Breastfeeding burns calories, meaning that you may loose that extra baby weight sooner. By sticking to a healthy diet, feeding a baby burns an extra 200-500 extra calories per day (the equivalent of 50 minutes on a rowing machine!)
  • It makes your uterus shrink back to pre-baby size faster. After you have a baby, your uterus has to shrink back to its original size. This can be felt after birth through ‘after pains’- a cramping feeling. Breastfeeding speeds up this process due to the release of oxytocin, and can also help your post partum bleeding end sooner.
  • It’s a high. Breastfeeding releases lots of happy chemicals, which literally make you high and happy. You sit there grinning, being all hormonal and stuff.
  • Breastfeeding can pause your periods from returning and act as nature’s contraception for the first 6 months after birth (with 100% nursing. Giving bottles, and weaning can affect this). Please note, this isn’t guaranteed and it is still possible to fall pregnant, even before your periods have returned. But breastfeeding certainly helps you to get away without annoying periods for a lot longer.
  • Breastfeeding MASSIVLY Reduces the risks of breast, ovarian and uterine cancers. It is estimated that breastfeeding from 6-24 months during a woman’s reproductive years can slash the chance if developing breast cancer by 11-25% (Lyde 1989; Newcomb 1994). The longer you feed, the lower your risk of developing these types of cancer and that percentage rises.
  • It lowers your risk of developing osteoporosis. Non breastfeeding women have a 4 times greater risk of developing the condition, than those who breastfeed.

I could go on… the benefits of breastfeeding are huge for mother and for baby.

 

Nuby Natural Touch Digital Breast Pump Review

As a breastfeeding mum, I know I have to rely on a quality breast pump to express milk for times that I am away from my 7 month old baby, Ivy. When I am out of the house without my baby, my husband gets to feed Ivy. I need a pump that is comfortable, effectively collects my milk, and my husband needs a good bottle that Ivy can easily feed from. It makes all 3 of us happy when this task is done well.

me

Family trusted brand Nuby have just launched an all new electric breast pump that is ideal for mums planning on expressing every day. I like to pump daily so I have a good supply of milk in the deep freeze ready to grab when I head out of the door to defrost, but now that weaning has started we can use my expressed milk in her porridge or even making breast milk ice lollies to soothe her teething pain. Before putting the Nuby pump to the test, I had been using a smaller electric pump from the brand Medela that was not designed for daily pumping, only for occasional expressing sessions. I have also been using an Avent manual pump for times when I am not near a mains supply… like when rocking it a few feet away from the Reading main stage during the Royal Blood set back in the summer. Possibly my most awesome pumping session to date. 😉

Nuby Natural Touch Breast Pump

Why is it special?

The new Nuby Natural Touch digital breast pump has a series of special features. It has 2 different pumping modes. The first mode stimulates milk flow and the second is the active expressing function, both modes working on the breast like a baby would, meaning that you get more milk expressed in the most efficient way. The speeds and strength of suction can easily be adjusted too to suit your comfort at the simple touch of a button. There are 5 settings for each (speed and suction) and if preffered you can have a fast suction speed but with a low suction strength, or mix and match between the 5 different settings. Anything goes!

Nuby Breast Pump suctions

The digital screen is bright and easily read in both daylight and at night in the dark. Everything is displayed clearly and easy to understand. The top of the screen shows which mode you are using the pump, and the bars show what strength or speed you have the pump set to. There is also a handy timer that shows how many minutes you have been pumping for.

Nuby pump screen

The horn of the pump is covered with a super soft silicone shell, what feels very comfortable on your breast tissue and gives extra comfort when pumping. Unlike the Medela pumps which just has bare plastic against your skin, this pump is much more comfortable. A Nuby bottle is supplied with the kit that is easily held, and has a great 9oz capacity. Great for women who produce a lot of milk.

The pump also comes with a handy bottle stand, to minimise the risk of knocking over your bottle and spilling your liquid gold. They say never cry over spilt milk. Unless it breastmilk and you worked hard to get it!

nuby breast pump

How easy is it to use?

So easy. It doesn’t take long to initially set the pump up and is simple to do. The pump comes with some great instructions to follow too. I don’t know if I found it so easy to use because I’ve been breastfeeding and pumping for 3 children now, or if it really is just a simple pump to use. Lets go with the latter.

The pump is simply just plugged into a mains socket when in use. I would have liked to see the pump come with an option to use batteries instead of the mains when needed, But Nuby do sell a couple of fantastic manual pumps for very low prices.  When finished expressing the pump is very easy to disassemble and clean. All parts of the pump (except the digital bit, obvs) are easy to sterilise, whatever method of sterilisation you choose. The pump does not take up much space, and as electric pumps go it is not too big at all. As I mentioned previously, I have been using a Medela Mini which is a very small pump, but the Medea Mini is not recommended for daily use. The Nuby Natural Touch breast pump is a fair bit bigger, but it has been designed with a much bigger work load to take on, being a daily-use pump.

The Bottle

The Nuby  Natural Touch Breast Pump came with 1 Natural Touch bottle. I found the bottle lovely to feed Ivy from. Ivy rarely takes a bottle and it has been hard to find bottles with teats that she finds appealing to feed from. We had no problems with the Nuby bottle at all. The teat is breast shaped, and a size 1 (slow flow) designed for new born babies. The silicone teat is very soft hand has the natural texture and flex of mothers breast.

Nuby Natural Touch bottle

Ivy is now starting to want to hold her bottle by herself and she found the bottle very easy to grip, despite being quite a large bottle, holding it on her own seemed very easy for her. The bottle and teat were easy to wash, with no fiddly-to-clean grooves to work around. A lovely bottle for new born babies and older babies alike.

Final thoughts.

I honestly think that the Nuby Natural Touch breast pump is a wonderful design that is excellent value for money and has easily become my favourite pump that I have ever used. Now I have a pump for every occasion! The new Nuby Natural Touch Breast Pump for at home, or when staying away in hotels etc, my mini pump for stashing in my handbag when at work or taking a long journey and my manual hand pump for when I am rocking it out at a music festival!

It is comfortable, soft, easy to use (even when sleep deprived), easy to clean and assemble. The new Nuby Natural Tough Digital Breast Pump is available for £89.99 and can be purchased directly from Nuby’s online shop.

 

 

I was sent the product in exchange for my honest opinion.