Archive for January, 2010

I breastfed my daughter until she was six . . .

January 20th, 2010

It’s still a taboo subject, but Sue Leonard discovers why many mothers give children time to self-wean.

We’re getting used to the sight of young mums breastfeeding in public, but how would you react if the ‘baby’ being fed was five — or even older?

Ann Sinnott, from Cambridge, breastfed her daughter until she was six and a half years old. Believing that all children should, ideally, be allowed to choose when breastfeeding ceases, Ann set out to explore international attitudes to this somewhat taboo practice.

In her book, Breast-feeding Older Children, she questioned women, men and children from 48 countries via the internet, and she found that breastfeeding until a child is three, six, nine, or even 11 is a growing phenomenon.

Why, though, did she write her book?

“My aim was to support mums who are long-term breastfeeding, and to show them they are not alone,” she says.

“I’d like to educate health professionals, because the damage their negative comments can do is incalculable.

“If, as a result of my book, more mums breastfeed their babies for a year, I’ll be happy. If they breastfeed until the child is two I’ll be happier still, and if they allow they child to self-wean I’ll be happiest of all.”

Ann aimed to challenge the negative perceptions of many psychologists who contend that breastfed older children are emotionally damaged.

“Breastfed children are happy. They rarely cry because their needs are being met. My daughter, at six, was serene and incredibly independent, yet she had the need to continue breastfeeding. I went along with her until she was ready to stop.”–she-was-six-2020741.html

Breastfeeding In the news

Longer nursing may aid kids’ mental health

January 19th, 2010

Breastfeeding for 6 months or more may reduce issues, study suggests

Children who are breastfed for longer than six months could be at lower risk of mental health problems later in life, new research from Australia suggests.

“Breastfeeding for a longer duration appears to have significant benefits for the onward mental health of the child into adolescence,” Dr. Wendy H. Oddy of the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in West Perth and her colleagues report in The Journal of Pediatrics.

Breastfeeding could help babies cope better with stress, the researchers note, and may also signal a stronger mother-child attachment and these benefits may last.

Oddy and her colleagues studied 2,366 children born to women enrolled the Western Australia Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. Each of the children underwent a mental health assessment when they were 2, 5, 8, 10, and 14 years old.

Eleven percent were never breastfed, 38 percent were breastfed for less than six months, and just over half were breastfed for six months or longer.

The mothers who breastfed for less than six months were younger, less educated, poorer, and more stressed, and were also more likely to be smokers, than the moms who breastfed for longer. They were also more likely to suffer from postpartum depression, and their babies were more likely to have growth problems.

At each of the assessments, the researchers found, children who were breastfed for shorter periods of time had worse behavior. Differences were seen for internalizing behavior, in which negativity is directed inwards, for example depression; and in externalizing behaviors, such as aggression.

For each additional month a child was breastfed, behavior improved.

Breastfeeding for six months or longer remained positively associated with the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents after the investigators adjusted for social, economic and psychological factors as well as early life events.

They conclude: “Interventions aimed at increasing breastfeeding duration could be of long-term benefit for child and adolescent mental health.”

Copyright 2010 Reuters

Breastfeeding In the news, Breastfeeding Info

Breastfeeding: Make the breast of it

January 19th, 2010


Thursday November 12 2009

EMER McInerney, founder of pregnancy and breastfeeding website, breastfed two of her children until the age of three and has noticed an improvement in terms of support available to women since she started seven years ago.

McInerney has three girls – Sophie pharmacies (seven), Saibh (five) and Tamsin (three). “I fed two of my children at the same time for a year and it took a lot out of me, so I only fed the second one until the age of two. Luck­ily I never really had any problems, apart from the odd blocked duct, which can be helped by putting a hot face cloth on the area,” she says.

“You tend to get different advice from dif­ferent people – for example, some nurses might say you should feed for 45 minutes each side, while others will say you should swap over every 10 minutes – so I decided to stick with what one midwife told me and got all the other information I needed from books.”

As McInerney notes, there’s a lot more help available to new mothers now compared with a decade ago. In recent months, a doc­tor and a breastfeeding mum have set up a website called for example, and a group of mothers who met on online parenting forums have got together to form Friends of Breastfeeding, with the aim of making breastfeeding easier in Ireland.

The health benefits of breastfeeding are well documented, and McInerney says she hardly ever has to go to the doctor with her girls. “Tamsin has never been on antibiotics and the three of them haven’t had a cold for over a year. Sophie was diagnosed with asthma, which is hereditary, but her symptoms have been very mild. I believe it’s because she was breastfed. She hasn’t had to use her inhaler for three years.”

What do you need?

Before the birth McInerney advises getting fit­ted for a good nursing bra, but bear in mind your shape will change over the following months. “Your breasts will get bigger, by two cup sizes or more, but they will then get smaller after a few weeks. For this reason, a bra which has room to expand and shrink is the best bet.”

Bring good nipple creams and balms for your hospital stay to help with any cracking, and McInerney also recommends the Multi Mam Compress, which you leave on the area for five minutes.

When you come home, a good nursing pil­low will help prevent back pain and positions the baby at the breast so the latch-on is right. If you’re having supply issues, there are herbs and special teas you can take. McInerney says nursing covers are also popular right now. You simply put them around your neck like an apron and they give you complete coverage.

Regarding breast pumps, McInerney says they’re not really an essential. “You’re not supposed to pump until about six weeks when your milk is established. New mums tend to think they need a pump, spend money on one in the start and then never use it. They are great though if you want to go out for an evening or are going back to work.”

She recalls having to pump for 20 minutes in the toilets of her previous workplace and then store the breast milk in the fridge. “One day I found someone had put a paper bag over it, so I had to use freezer bags after that!”

Breastfeeding In the news

Last few days of Winter Sale!

January 18th, 2010

Our Winter Sale must end this Thursday, January 21st so get shopping and pick up a bargain or two!

Breastfeeding Info

Breastfeeding in Public – tips for new or expectant mums

January 5th, 2010

So you are pregnant and you know that you want to breastfeed your baby. Congratulations! Maybe you have started breastfeeding but not yet ventured out in public.  Breastfeeding in public can be a scary thought for any new mum and even not so new mums.  These tips should help you on your way.

  1. Practise in front of a mirror.  It might help you to know exactly what can be seen when you are breastfeeding your baby, you might be pleasantly surprised!
  2. Wear the right clothes. Ensure that you are wearing something that you are comfortable in and that can give you easy access for feeding.  This might be a large top that you can easily lift or open.  Layering with a cardigan can offer additional coverage.  There are many different styles of breastfeeding clothing available, often with hidden openings across the chest allowing access without having to lift or remove any item of clothing.  You might choose to double layer vests and lift one and pull down the other which will provide a similar effect.
  3. Take a friend along for moral support.  If you are going to breastfeed in public for the first time, you should take someone supportive along with you whether this be your partner, friend, mum or even some other new mums.
  4. Go to a breastfeeding friendly place. You may want to seek out some breastfeeding friendly places in your local area and choose one for your first outing.  Your Midwife or Health Visitor should be able to advise you on breastfeeding friendly places.  Often child/baby friendly cafes are breastfeeding friendly.
  5. Find a seat out of the way.  If you are still feeling nervous you may want to find a seat out of the way or in the corner until you increase your confidence.
  6. You could use a breastfeeding scarf or cover such as a Mamascarf. This not only provides privacy for public breastfeeding but allows you to see your baby throughout the feed, can’t be pulled off and also provides some additional support. 
  7. Plan your route.  If you know where you are going to be when it’s feeding time, you will be able to make sure that you are somewhere you are going to feel comfortable breastfeeding your baby.
  8. Have confidence in yourself and what you are doing. You are breastfeeding your baby, it is your right!  It is the best food you can give your baby and it is also good for you too.  Good luck and remember it gets easier with time. Happy Breastfeeding!

Keira O’Mara from Mamascarf

Breastfeeding Info

Biggest Ever Winter Sale Now On!

January 1st, 2010

We have lots of bargains in nursing clothes, nursing bras and nursing PJs. We also have great savings in baby items including slings & sheepskins.

Click here to browse our SALE: