Feeding your baby is a journey and at mothercare we are here to help make that journey as easy as possible. So we've partnered with some of our favourite brands, to share top tips and top products to help you along the way.
philips avent - 3 tips for easy expressing when not at home
Planning ahead really does takes on a whole new meaning when you become a mum. These tips will keep you comfortable and organised for those times when you need to express while you’re not at home.
When it comes to expressing away from home, having the right gear on hand can give you an enormous confidence boost. Here’s a list of things to pack:
• Breast pump – opt for an electric/battery-powered pump if you need to express frequently, or a manual pump if you are tight on space
• Bottles or air-tight containers to collect milk
• Labels for writing date and contents
• Breast pads
• Photos of your baby to help trigger letdown reflex
• Cool bag with ice-pack to take milk home
choose your space
Whether you’re at a friend’s house or expressing at work, try to find a space where you have the necessities, like water, and a place you can safely store your milk. Also, the best place to express is a room where you won’t be disturbed and where you will feel relaxed. In fact, studies have shown that the more comfortable you feel, the more milk you can generally express.
If you’re returning to work, don’t be shy about opening up the conversation with your workplace beforehand.
keep it safe
Once you’ve expressed milk you’ll also need to store it safely. Here are some basic guidelines so no breast milk goes to waste.
• Store milk in an air-tight container
• Label clearly with the date and contents of the bottle
• Refrigerate immediately if possible, or
• Store in a cool bag with an ice-pack if you will be out for more than 4 hours
mam – combination feeding
It is very common for mothers to worry that if they give their breastfed baby even one bottle they will create ‘nipple-teat confusion’ and ruin breastfeeding forever.
This is a great shame as this ‘all-or-nothing’ approach will often cause a mother to give up breastfeeding earlier than she wants, particularly in the early days when she might be having common breastfeeding problems such as sore nipples or a low milk supply.
It is far better for these mothers to give themselves temporary respite by offering their baby a bottle than to give up breastfeeding altogether.
And, not only do I think it is fine to give the occasional bottle of expressed milk (or formula when needed), but I also think it can enhance the whole breastfeeding experience by allowing others such as Dad to get involved with the feeding.
Returning to work is another time when combination feeding might be better than giving up breastfeeding completely. There are many different ways that mothers can do this and much of it will depend on her milk supply and work schedule.
Some mothers opt to breastfeed morning and evening and then express their milk at work, so that their baby can be bottle-fed breast milk during the day, while others are happy for their babies to be given formula milk. If a mother does not want to express at all during working hours, she should spend a week or so before returning to work gradually reducing feed times during the day to help her breasts adjust to the new routine.
If she does not do this, she will almost certainly suffer from hard, engorged and painful breasts along with the risk of developing mastitis – which is the last thing she needs when she has just gone back to work.
written by MAM’s midwife – Clare Byam-Cook
chicco – weaning your baby
Starting to wean your baby can be challenging. Chicco and Annabel Karmel have partnered together to provide you with some top tips to make weaning easier for you and your baby!
Firstly, try to set a time for meals in order to get your baby into a routine; then try to eat all together and make this moment a family time - you will enjoy it more as well!
Second is all about making it fun for your little ones, encouraging them to taste new flavours and textures. You can make it more exciting by using new recipes, making mealtime into a game or by simply choosing the right highchair!
When planning mealtimes, don’t underestimate the importance of the right highchair. It should be easy to clean, with a wide tray to allow your little ones to explore the food in front of them or when you’re cooking for them, to play with toys freely.
A comfortable highchair is of the utmost importance. Your baby will spend lots of time in the highchair so it needs to be well padded and supportive. However, when it’s not in use, you should be able to store it away without taking up too much space; so choose one that is compact and lightweight!
And finally, since mealtimes are all about being together, choose a highchair that can be attached to the dinner table and that grows with your baby from the very beginning.
At Chicco we offer you a choice of highchairs from birth that can satisfy all your needs. Have you considered the Polly Progres5 that transforms from a baby recliner to a highchair and finally to a compact booster seat?
Read more and shop our favourite feeding products here