My Breastfeeding Hopes & Fears with Medela

21st January 2015
Medela breastfeeding accessories breast pumps, pump & save bags, steriliser bags, nipple cream, nipple pads
With this being my first baby I’m not really sure what to expect when it comes to feeding. I am hoping to breast feed and also express milk so that both Spencer and I can bottle feed my milk when need be. This kit from Medela* will hopefully make both aspects a little easier.
I have already had a little milk leakage so I am hoping that this means my milk will be in ready for babies arrival. 
I have no problem at all with people who chose to breastfeed in public, it is completely natural and if people are comfortable doing it then I have nothing but respect for them. I, however, am too scared to breastfeed in public. In an ideal world our baby will happily switch from breast to bottle and back to breast again. This way I can express after each feed and store this milk in readiness for outings or simply if I need a break/Spencer wants to spend some time with baby we have my milk ready. At parent craft class we were told that baby never completely drains the breast so it is a good idea to express after each feed so that the body knows to produce more milk. 
With this in mind when I was given the chance to ask Sioned, Medela’s Lactation Consultant, three breastfeeding related questions one that I asked was: If I express how long will my milk keep and is it suitable for freezing?
  • At room temperature it is advisable to use immediately but on a cool day you can store for 4 hours.
  • In the refrigerator – place your expressed milk at the back of the unit as the temperature is more constant – this will keep for 3-5 days on average. Check and smell the milk and if it smells off it may be that the live enzymes have started to break it down
  • In the freezer you can store it for 6 months but you need to defrost and use it up within 24 hours.

You hear so many stories about how breast is best and there is always so much pressure on new mum’s to breastfeed, I wanted to know if breastfeeding really is best for both mum and baby :
Yes, it truly is. Breastfeeding is not just about nutrition it also has immunological and neurological properties that support health and development.
Human development
Human babies are born neurologically immature as the human brain is not fully developed until the age of 2 years and there is no way a 2 year old human head would pass through the female pelvis.
The relationship a baby has with its mother builds upon trust, intimacy, love and affection and breastfeeding is so much more than food. The hormone oxytocin – the ‘love hormone ‘ is high in labour and in the first few days for all mums but it is also released by mum and baby when breastfeeding.
From a nutritional point of view the human baby digestive system is ready to feed from its own mother
  • There is very little waste, very easy to digest
  • It is full of nutrition that is ever-changing to your baby’s needs
  • Has the right amount of fats, vitamins and minerals, protein and carbohydrates that your baby needs
  • The essential fatty acids in breastmilk support brain and eye development and help with setting up the brain nerves and neurone network and eye development lastly the immunological benefits.
  • Breastmilk is alive and ever-changing! Mum’s antibodies are transferred across the blood milk barrier and if mum is exposed to the winter cold etc. she will make her own antibodies and her baby also gets some to boost, support and protect their own immune system to fight infection and viruses.

On a risk side there is also current evidence that breastfeeding provides a protective factor against SIDS as babies who are breastfed are less likely to be unwell, co-room for longer with their parents. From an anatomical and physiological view the upper airway is protected for longer in babies who are breastfed compared to those who are formula bottle fed.

There are also health benefits for mums too –

The longer you breastfeed for, and amount of babies you breastfeed the greater the protection against

  • Breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis , improved mental well-being,
  • You also burn off the pregnancy stores, reduced time off work if you are breastfeeding as your babies are healthier and not poorly in nursery.
  • And you can feed any time anywhere without all the paraphernalia associated with formula feeding.

The last question that I asked was diet related, if I breastfeed will I have to maintain a similar diet to as I do when I am pregnant, i.e. avoid alcohol, soft cheese, etc :
It is advisable to continue with the same recommendations, minimise the caffeine intake,
watch your alcohol intake, an occasional glass of wine is okay, avoid unpasteurised dairy, make sure you cook raw meats completely. You also need to take vitamin D supplements and Vitamin B12 if you follow a vegetarian diet.

Thank you Medela and Sioned, if I wasn’t sure about breastfeeding before you really have sold it to me and given me some very useful information.

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  • Reply Soffie Hicks 22nd January 2015 at 12:35 pm

    I'm currently 24weeks pregnant & I plan on breastfeeding when Baby Jones gets here but in all honesty I would never go for anything in the Medela range, I find it extremely over priced especially when you might not be able to breastfeed. I've purchased the Tommee Tippee manual breast pump & I love the fact you can express milk straight in to the Tommee Tippee bottles which can be kept in the fridge for later. I'm not planning on breastfeeding in public what so ever, it doesn't scare me or anything like that but I honestly can't think of anything worse than sitting in a restaurant with my boob out (I've actually seen that & was mortified, there are far more tasteful ways of going about it). I also think that exclusively breast feeding does leave Dad a little left out hence why I plan on expressing milk so my Fiancee can get hands on & feed as well, I know everyone bangs on about "bonding" but surely it's the Dads place to bond with his Baby too? I'm going to purchase some Aptamel powder milk as well because it can be used combined with breast milk, in my ideal world I'll never need to use it, but I like to have a back up just in case & won't feel so much pressure if I find it isn't working for me.

    The Joneses' Little Babe

  • Reply Belle du Brighton 29th January 2015 at 7:17 pm

    I'm so glad you feel more confident about breastfeeding after getting your answers and your parent craft classes. One thing I will say though is that bf in public really isn't as bad as you might think! I was wary the first time I had to do it, which was sat outside on a bench right next to brightons shopping centre! But she was hungry and needed food, she was only a week old so I'd not started to express yet and had no option. Seriously, nobody batted an eyelid at all and that made me so much more confident for the next time. I just practised getting her latched on at home in a discreet way (like wear a vest top, pop one side down and boob out and then pull a baggier top up, for example, so nobody can see anything! I've also never had anyone mention it or look disgusted, and often people don't even realise that baby is having a feed!
    Good luck!

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