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Infant Feeding – Top tips for ongoing breastfeeding

At around 4-7 months baby’s first tooth should appear. A baby who is attached well at the breast will be unable to bite down when they begin teething. The nipple is positioned far back into his or her mouth and the tongue will cover the lower gum. Ensuring baby is well attached is key.

As babies develop they become more inquisitive:

  • Minimize distractions by dimming lights, turning off the TV or playing soothing music
  • Try breastfeeding while walking or rocking, or find a quiet place.

Try to ignore other people’s opinions – all that matters is breastfeeding baby for as long as you can to give them the best start.

Reasons to breastfeed for baby

  • Immune system – protects against infection and inflammation
  • Bladder – protects against urinary infections
  • Tummy – protects against serious infections an tummy bugs
  • Lungs – less likely to be hospitalised with asthma when they are older
  • Teeth – less likely to have tooth decay when they are older
  • Ears – protects against ear infections
  • Healthy weight – protects against diabetes when they are older.

NOTE- can each of the sections below be an accordion. The larger light blue heading = 1 accordion panel.

What to wear when breastfeeding

You don’t really need to buy anything to breastfeed, however, special nursing bras and ordinary items of clothing can make breastfeeding extra comfortable and easy when on the go. A good fitting breastfeeding bra will help to support your breasts and ensure easier access when feeding.

Getting a new bra

  • Bra should never be so tight that it presses or squeezes breasts
  • Under-wired bras are not advised due to the increased chance of blocking ducts and causing pain and inflammation
  • Things to look out for in a nursing bra
    • Four hook-and-eye fastenings, rather than the normal one or two
    • Wider shoulder straps with a broad back and sides
    • Cups that you can open and close with one hand
  • It’s a good idea to be measured so that you know your bra fits properly

Days out and breastfeeding

Building Confidence

  • The more you breastfeed when out and about, the more confident you’ll get

Planning to feed when out and about

  • Slings and carriers are a great help for many mums, allowing them to carry their babies close to their bodies.
    • This keeps their hands free and makes breastfeeding almost invisible.
  • A loose top can enable feeding to be discreet, or a shawl or muslin draped over mum’s shoulder can ensure privacy.
  • Attending a local breastfeeding group can be helpful to start feeding out and about as women are surrounded by like-minded mums and will receive support and advice.

Breastfeeding Friendly Scheme

  • Breastfeeding friendly welcome schemes are in place throughout Greater Glasgow and Clyde
    • The scheme sees stickers displayed to welcome women to breastfeed within premises and staff receiving awareness training.
    • Many women report that these schemes helped them cross the threshold from home to out and about and allowed them to see and feel that their community would support their decision to breastfeed their baby.

Legal right to breastfeed

  • It is women’s legal right to breastfeed wherever and whenever.
  • Protected by the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Act 2005
  • It is an offence to stop someone in a public place from feeding their child, if under two, with milk. The legislation allows for fines for preventing breastfeeding in public places.

Why Should I Breastfeed Past 6 Months?

What are the advantages for mum?

  • Ongoing breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer
  • Breastfeeding can help women lose weight by burning up to 500 calories a day.
  • Breast milk is safely available at the right temperature whenever and wherever your baby is ready for a feed, making it really convenient.
  • Breast milk is, of course, absolutely free and will save you a fortune because it never runs out. As your baby feeds, your body is busy making more milk.

What are the advantages for baby?

  • Breast milk changes to meet your baby’s needs as they develop, and can respond to their surroundings to protect them from germs and bugs.
  • Beyond the early years, breast milk also improves brain development and your baby’s future health by reducing their chances of conditions such as asthma, diabetes and obesity.

How Can I Prepare for Going Back to Work?

Some women give up on breastfeeding once they return to work,but this doesn’t have to happen.

Employers have a legal duty to support working, breastfeeding mums.

There are laws in place to protect breastfeeding working mums and many employers have special policies to make breastfeeding and expressing in the workplace as easy and as comfortable as possible.

To make sure your employer is ready to support you, you must write to them and let them know that you want to continue breastfeeding when you return to work -the earlier you let them know the better. Your employer will have to carry out a risk assessment to make sure it’s safe for you to breastfeed or express milk at work. Ideally, you should have access to:

  • A clean, warm room with a low, comfortable chair. If you can’t lock the door, you should be able to put a sign on it to make sure nobody interrupts you. The toilet isn’t good enough!
  • A plug socket point in case you are using an electric breast pump
  • Nearby hand washing facilities
  • A hygienic area where you can clean your pump and store your equipment
  • A fridge for storing milk.

Preparing to Express Breast Milk at Work

  • Speak to your childminder or nursery so they know how to store and use your milk.
  • Have a chat with your employer -you may need more flexible working hours and breaks to fit with your baby’s feeding patterns.
  • Find out more about the protection the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 gives you as an employee by following the link below.

Breast Milk Storage and Bottle Hygiene

Just like normal milk, breast milk must be stored carefully to stop it going sour.

Follow these tips to make sure none of your milk goes to waste.

Getting ready to express

  • Wash your hands
  • Make sure whatever you’re collecting your milk in is very clean and dry (you don’t need to sterilise it though -this is new advice in Scotland)
  • Use a different container with a lid to store your milk. Again, check it’s clean and dry

Storage

  • Label storage containers with the time and date to make sure you don’t use any spoiled milk
  • Store your milk in the fridge or freezer as soon as possible
  • Store at the back of the fridge and not in the door, away from meat products, eggs and uncooked food

Breast Milk Storage and Bottle Hygiene

Storage Times and Temperatures

  • You can store your breast milk for up to 3 days in a fridge running below 10ºC
  • Breast milk stored in a fridge running under 4ºC can be stored between 4 and 8 days
  • Freeze your milk if you won’t be using it in time
  • Keep an eye on the temperature of your fridge -opening the door frequently can make it rise. If there’s no built in thermometer, borrow or buy a fridge thermometer available from kitchenware stores
  • Use a cool bag or box with frozen ice packs to transport milk.

Using Stored Breast Milk

  • Defrost frozen milk in the fridge, but if you need it quickly it is safe to defrost under cool, then warm (not hot) running water.
  • Dry the outside of the container with a clean towel or kitchen roll before use
  • Use stored breast milk straight from the fridge
  • To avoid overheating never use a microwave, always heat in warm water
  • Use defrosted breast milk immediately -throw away anything unused
  • If it smells sour, it has spoiled. Don’t use it!
  • When stored the cream and milk may separate out. This doesn’t mean it’s spoiled -just gently mix it before use
  • Use a very clean bottle, cup or syringe to feed your baby. There’s no need to sterilise. Just clean everything thoroughly in hot, soapy water and completely air dry, checking there’s no dried in milk or soap left behind.