When I began breastfeeding my first newborn baby girl, I approached it with a plan like I do with any new project I take on.
I kept a notebook and pen beside my feeding chair and jotted down the time of each feed, the duration, and which breast I used. (I have filled books and books with breastfeeding notes throughout my breastfeeding career).
My friends and family thought I was a little crazy doing this, but it helped me keep track of what breast I was up to for one, helped me work out patterns with her feeding and sleeping, and made me feel like I had some semblance of control, I guess.
For the most part, our first-born was an efficient feeder. She would mostly have super-fast feeds of approximately 15 minutes long and would occasionally have a slower, snoozy feed of 35 minutes.
I remember my sister and other breastfeeding friends telling me how lucky I was having the feeds finish so quickly. Their babies would feed for an hour or more. By the time they’d finished it was almost time to start again.
The short feeds did worry me at times though. Was she getting enough milk? Why does she take just one breast per session? Why does she like leftie and not rightie? Is she hungry? How do I even know how much she is getting?
One thing I know now though, is that I’m not the only mum who had these questions or at least a version of them.
While breastfeeding has been one of the most special, amazing and beautiful experiences I have ever had in my life, it was also fraught with stress at times.
When Medela contacted me about some new breastfeeding research, I knew I had to share it with other breastfeeding mothers to help them with their journeys. Plus, Medela has played a huge role in my breastfeeding career with their bottles being the only ones my babes would take to begin with.
The new research from leading lactation researcher Jacqueline Kent was presented for the first time at Medela’s 9th International Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium in April this year.
Her studies confirmed that there is no breastfeeding norm or benchmark for breastfeeding.
Each breastfeeding relationship between mother and baby is unique and adapts and changes throughout the breastfeeding period. The differences between one mum to the next, like me and my sister, can seem extreme, but this is normal.
The results showed that breastfed infants control their milk intake to match their appetite and growth rate, taking what they need. Plus, exclusively breastfed infants normally show a wide variety of breastfeeding patterns.
Between one and six months of lactation, breastfed babies take fewer, faster, larger feeds, but their total daily milk intake is constant. Kent’s studies highlighted that a breastfeeding baby’s patterns can sometimes change monthly.
Research showed a significant variability in frequency and volume intake of healthy, exclusively breastfed infants ages 1 to 6 months.
Check out this cool infographic for more detail.
Medela hopes that sharing these results with more mums, breastfeeding can become a more enjoyable process for both mum and baby.
Medela provides real solutions for breastfeeding mothers to get over any hurdles in the early days and to support their long term breastfeeding goals. Through its extensive range of breast pump products and other breastfeeding products, Medela is committed to promoting the benefits of breast milk and encouraging long term breastfeeding. For more information visit http://www.medela.com.au and http://www.facebook.com/medela.au
Thanks to Medela, I am giving away one $100 Medela voucher to spend on any Medela product purchased through Medela Australia only.
Congratulations Pip Macdonald!! You are the winner of the $100 Medela voucher. Please look out for an email from me with the details.
To be in the running, Like Mummy, Wife, Me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/mummywifeme and leave a comment on this post sharing with me what your breastfeeding experience was like and if you’re a new mum please tell me about your thoughts on feeding.
Terms and Conditions:
This giveaway is only open to Australian residents
Closing date for entries is midnight Sunday, 13 July 2014
The winner will be contacted via email Monday, 14 July 2014
If the winner does not respond within 24 hours, another winner will be chosen.
Entries will be judged on merit and decision of the winner will be final.
*Mummy, Wife, Me received a $50 Toys R Us voucher for the purpose of this post. All opinions are my own.