All posts filed under: Birth, Baby & Family

A unique range courses and support for expectant and new parents across Tyneside

Expressing and storing breastmilk

You may be expressing to ease any engorgement, to boost your milk supply or to have a stash of milk for bottle feeds. Some women find expressing easy, while it can be more of a challenge for other women – this is a basic guide to help you find something that works for you, along with links to more information and videos. Getting started… You need to be as relaxed as possible – sitting comfortably, not feeling rushed or tense and where you won’t be disturbed can help your milk to flow. It can take a bit of experimentation to find the best time of day for you – some mums find it easier to express in the morning when their boobs feel fuller and their milk flows easier, other women are more relaxed in the evening so this is a better time for them to express. Make sure you are not hungry or dehydrated as this could make expressing harder. If you are expressing regularly, it can be beneficial to plan it into your …

Formula-feeding Basics

You might be using formula for all of your baby’s feeds or just one or two throughout the day – this is a quick guide to making up a bottle so you can find what works for you. Making-up bottles *Fill your kettle with fresh cold water, boil and then leave to cool for 30 minutes (so it lowers to 70c)*With clean hands, fill the bottle with the correct amount of water. *With the scoop, measure the powder, level it off with the leveller or a clean knife and add to the bottle. (Follow the instructions for the formula you are using and only use the scoop that comes with that formula.)*Add the teat and lit and shake so the powder dissolves.*Cool the formula down by running the bottle under a cold water tap or a standing the bottle in a jug of cold water. You can test the temperature of the milk on your wrist before offering it to your baby. How much milk Your baby’s stomach will hold small amounts of milk and …

Sterilising Basics

If you are using bottles for formula or breastmilk, they need to be cleaned and sterilised before your baby uses them. There has been much discussion about whether equipment used with breastmilk needs to be sterilised because breastmilk is without the potential bacteria that could be in formula. The guidance doesn’t distinguish between breast or formula. The NHS guidance for cleaning and sterilising your bottles includes…cleaning bottles and teats in hot water as soon as possible after a feed, using bottle and teat brushes to clean thoroughly and then rinsing with cold water. After an initial clean with bottle and teat brushes you can use the dishwasher to continue to clean bottles and teats but they will still need sterilising. You can sterilise with either… a steam steriliser – following the instructions, as each steriliser can be slightly different. These often hold a few bottles and takes a few minutes. microwave sterilising – some bottles can be sterilised individually in the microwave or you can use a microwave steriliser – but make sure it fits …

Happy in January – taking control of the mental load

It’s most unlike me but I am happy in January – combination of being organised, focused and grateful for the simple, little things. I’m trying to change my perspective this year – less negative and more positive, appreciative, controlling what I can control and trying to let go of stress. January can be a bleak month – the weather, Christmas is done, the tax return and just the feeling of starting the treadmill of another year. And I usually struggle a bit but this year feels different. I’m trying to be more positive and focused and appreciative of the small things in life, the things that really matter – family and friends, home, health, o business I love, enjoying a good book or movie, getting out for a walk. I’m trying to silence my inner critic by taking control of it – lists and writing seem to be helping and it’s there for when imposter syndrome kicks in as well! Acceptance is a huge part of managing perspective and mental health. I am a worrier …

Here's to 2020

This time of year can be full of posts declaring bigger and better for the year ahead – but I’m just going to keep doing what I do: small groups & private sessions for parents and writing useful posts here. My work aim for this year is to keep keeping it simple with honest, realistic information, good support and as much reassurance as I can dish out for parents. My role as a practitioner is about confidence, wellbeing, community, being heard and feeling less alone. The one change I need to make is to shout about it more and your help is vital – your recommendations, feedback and post sharing makes all the difference, so please do share my details with anyone who is pregnant or who has a new baby. Thank you!Jx