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Everyday we make risk assessments usually without even knowing or really thinking about it. How often do we cross the road 30 meters away from a zebra crossing because we have subconsciously assessed that the risk outweighs the benefits of having to walk that little bit further. In actual fact the statistical change of injury crossing away from the crossing is probably only marginally more than making the additional journey.
In honesty pregnancy is no different. The majority of recommendations given to us are based on risk assessments. The balance of probability. Understanding what the risks are is what helps us make decisions about our pregnancy, labour and birth.
So, you have had your antenatal appointments or scans and suddenly you are advised that you fall into a "high risk" category. What does this mean? In actual fact in most cases this means that to keep you and your baby healthy you just need a little extra help or monitoring.
If you have had a pre-existing condition this news may not have come as a shock or you have just been advised that your pregnancy is not textbook and so the information is more of a shock.The key to continuing to enjoy your pregnancy is to understand your situation and what measures need to be taken to keep your risks to a minimum. This may be regular blood sugar testing if you are diabetic, understanding warning signs if you have high blood pressure, what happens if your placenta is low? All of these questions can be answered by engaging with your care provider and antenatal education classes. We all know that sadly, things do occasionally go wrong and that people experience poor outcomes however, even with a "high risk" pregnancy - just like crossing the road - if we watch where we are going and understand the risks the vast majority of us will get to the other side. Unlike the poor guy chopping down this tea who clearly didn't research the risks or get educated properly!
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Let's Talk Birth and Baby by The Honest Midwife - 3M ago
How many times have we heard peoples birth stories? How often do women tell you "Well, my water's broke at midnight, we jumped in the car, a little while later my contractions started, Gosh, it stung a bit, anyway baby Joshua arrived after 7 whole minutes of pushing. Felt like we were at the hospital for ages but we were home by 10 past 6"
Wouldn't it be wonderful if it happened like that for everyone however a report by the RCM aimed at promoting natural birth reported that as few as 40% of women in the UK actually had a "natural birth" and in addition an even smaller percentage of those women escaped without any perineal trauma. What we need to appreciate is that those of us who have a trickier time are more commonly found than the lucky few! If we put out a request for stories of text book birth we receive very few replies - ask about how things deviated a little and our computer system crashes!
That said, it is not all bad! Most of us come out of the other side knowing that we will do it all again! But, what we need to do is re-address what we consider to be a normal experience. In addition full understanding that the opening paragraph is an actual possibility for those having their second child may give us all some light at the end of the tunnel.
Women and their partners are generally actually in very safe hands when having their baby. Overall outcomes in the UK are excellent and as healthcare providers we want to empower women to feel proud and happy with their experience and what we see as a barrier to that is the education they receive prior to going into labour. There is currently have a huge gap in antenatal education. Recent years have seen a massive influx of services helping couples with hypno-birthing skills, pregnancy yoga and relaxation classes. NCT provide great opportunity for couples to meet others and form a support network for the months and even years ahead.
BUT and it's a BIG but, taken in isolation, unless you are one of the very few lucky ones who are able to breath out their first baby without so much as a sniff of gas and air - going into labour without all the other information you may need is leaving women feeling, disappointed with their birth experience and, even more heartbreaking, with a sense of failure.
Please don't get me wrong all of the education on offer has its benefits and if you can afford to do a combination fantastic but if you have a limited budget to spend on antenatal education - I urge you to seek a class that covers every eventuality. Your antenatal course should provide you and your partner with information packed sessions which prepare but don't frighten, and empower you to make the right decision for you at the right time and to feel good about it.
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You've weed on the stick and you've told your friends, hopefully the sickness has died down and your little one is cooking nicely. I know, let's open our Christmas presents in July!
In years gone by it was never a question whether you would find out the sex of your baby because it wasn't possible. Technical advances have given us the ability to monitor the progress of pregnancy and coupled with fetal medicine exploding what we can do now is nothing short of amazing however, does the temptation of finding out rob us of those special moments of discovery at the birth of our children?
Let's Talk Birth and Baby have listed the top reasons to keep all the details of your baby bun well and truly in the oven!
1. Probably one of the most important reasons! You will save a lot of money. As soon as you know whats arriving you will prepare without even knowing that you are really doing it! A sleep suit here, a cute hat with ears there! Before you know it you have spent 100s of ££££s that would otherwise be sitting safely in your bank (ready to pay for a nice spa day when babe is 6 months old and you both need a day of pampering!) Bear in mind spend will be even higher if your expecting a girl because, let's face it, girls clothes are impossible to walk past.
2. Everyone loves a good old wives tale. Why deny yourself the fun of all the ways of predicting if it's a girl or a boy. "you're all up-front - must be a boy." "It's a high heart rate - go buy some pink!" Everyone likes to have a guess. You could even run a little competition £1 per go and pull the winner out of a hat with the correct answers.
3. You get to pick two names - one girl, one boy! That's if you plan anything. I have cared for many a couple who still don't know after 9 months - even when they knew what they were having!
4. You can't turn the nursery into a stereotypical pink marshmallow if you are in the dark! Bring out those sophisticated neutral colours!
5. Patience is a vertue! Do you have the ability to wait! Prove to yourself you have the ability! Ha Ha the torture of it!
6. So, you ignored the advice of this blog and went ahead anyway! Tut tut! You have bought baby boy clothes and toys, the grandparents have gone mad buying bedding in lovely hues of green and brown and your other half has bought a state of the art scaletric. The big day comes and the midwife unexpectedly calls "Yay, its a girl!" Oops! It can happen - not often but it does occur!
7. Taking all the jokes aside. There are very few mysteries in life and this is one that is wonderful to discover together at the time of delivery. Midwives will ALWAYS tell you that they love surprises. This is not be cause they personally love surprises particularly but more the of watching a couple learn what they have been blessed with is a truly special gift. The discovery gives partners a role and having your partner tell you if you have a son or a daughter will be something that says with you and as a far more profound memory as being told by a stenographer in a dark room.
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With so much advice flying around it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. As a midwife I have seen lots of changes in procedures, policies and recommendations - many of which can prompt eye rolling from those who have seen these changes come and go.
However, I have to admit that I believe Colostrum Harvesting provides a really great start to breastfeeding and can help to relieve anxiety in the first few days following delivery.
So, what is colostrum harvesting? Colostrum harvesting is the process of stimulating the mammary glands within the breast to produce the first milk secretion of colostrum. This sticky fluid, which the body produces from the second trimester until a few days following the arrival of your baby, is packed full of goodness. Despite lacking in volume this liquid gold really packs a punch with its calorie rich goodness. Full of antibodies and immunoglobulins this first milk will give your baby everything she needs to see her through until your milk "comes in" - usually around day 3. You can start colostrum harvesting from 36-37 weeks.
Having colostrum already collected can be helpful if your baby needs to spend some time in special care. Hand expressing will help you to understand your breast anatomy and in turn aid you in guiding your baby onto the breast. Being able to express a little milk onto the breast can encourage your baby to feed.
You can express up to 3 times a day. Get Relaxed - you will struggle if you are not comfy. Massage your breasts to feel where the milk ducts are.
Gently but firmly squeeze the breast repeatedly. It may take a few attempts to stimulate production. Avoid pulling at the breast tissues.
Use a 1ml syringe to collect any drops by drawing back the plunger over the liquid. Once the drops have stopped rotate your hand around the breast - visualise a clock with your fingers being at 12 -6 then move to 1-7, 2-8 etc.
Each session takes around 20 mins alternating from left to right every 5 minutes. Once finished label the syringes and store in either the fridge or freezer as explained overleaf.
A FEW TIPS!
If you are being induced store any expressed milk in the fridge for 2-3 days beforehand and then collect once your baby has arrived - otherwise you may not be able to use it.
Leave your stock at home and ask your birth partner to collect it once your baby is here. Your baby may latch on straight away and then you can save your harvest for later.
It can be normal not to produce any colostrum before your baby arrives so don't worry if this is the case for you as it is not a reflection on your future milk supply.
Check out this link for a video demonstration https://www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/baby-friendly-resources/video/hand-expression
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For most of us having our first baby, we spend much more time contemplating the events ahead than we do with our subsequent children. We lovingly pack our bag for the hospital and studiously put together play lists which are going to see us through. Snacks are packed, baby-grows ironed, colostrum harvested and perineum well and truly massaged! We have gone to traditional antenatal classes are are ready to breath our babies out with each passing surge that hits us. Our partners are armed ready to do battle on our behalf and are even prepared to jump into the pool with us should the need arise. We have a full Swiss Army Knife of knowledge about the process in our arsenal!
There are some women who WILL go into the hospital after a few hours of strong cramps, be examined and, established labour declared. Hey Presto! In the pool they hop and a few short hours later they have their beautiful baby nestled in their arms, breastfeeding like a charm and go home a few hours later with an intact perineum having lost 100ml of blood. For those women the achievement is no less miraculous than for those who experience childbirth in a different way. Don't get me wrong when hypnobirthing works it can be amazing to witness and - truth be told, for those who's experience is just not compatible - just the same as when we encounter someone who is 5 foot 6 inches tall and a size 10 with an hour glass figure - we are just a tiny bit jealous!
But, what about the rest of us? Let's be honest ladies - it is not called labour for nothing. What happens when the pool birth we had planned for is no longer an option, when our baby is in a tricky position, when our blood pressure goes a little to high? We suddenly realise that our Swiss Army Knife has been swapped for a plastic party chopper! We suddenly feel we are taking our driving test without ever having had a lesson and it's too late to do anything about it.
STOP THE PRESS! IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!
The first thing to remember is; Keep Calm - We have got your back! The people looking after you have a wealth of training, experience and expertise and are ready to keep you and your baby safe. They do this week in and week out. The most common source of sadness for those working in maternity is not that things have gone wrong - because they very rarely do - it's the knowledge that women and their partners feel disappointed with their experience or that they feel they have failed in someway because of having had a c-section or an epidural. Our biggest wish for couples is Gold Standard antenatal education which discusses and prepares expectant parents for all routes. So that when they hold their baby for the first time, how it came to be is the least important of things to think about! So, here is a whistle stop tour of a couple of the most common things that can take us to these unjustified thoughts!
EPIDURAL!
We all have different tolerances for pain and our ability to cope with it can be influenced by many things. It may be that your body has niggled and niggled for days and actually, you are exhausted! Pain and tiredness are not friends. Is it time to give yourself a break and have an epidural? There is nothing stopping you letting its effects wear off a little later to allow you to feel your 2nd stage urges.
Your cheeky monkey is playing games and is not quite in the right position. Square peg - round hole! This situation can cause you to involuntarily push before time which, in turn can result in your cervix becoming swollen - Not Good! Now is the time when an epidural is clinically indicated to allow your body to do its work behind the scenes and allow your baby to move. You are less likely to have significant trauma if your baby comes our the right way! Someone call the anaesthetist!
Pesky blood pressure - for some reason (nothing to do with tiredness, pain and anxiety) your blood pressure has started an upward climb. This is not the only reason to have an epidural but it will help so, if you are tired, struggling with the pain and your blood pressure is up - lets get this girl the epidural top-up mix. An epidural will bring your blood pressure down. It will still need to be checked but even so it's another positive to this form of pain relief.
C-Section
Ok so, birth plan has taken a flight out of the window and you are under the bright lights of the operating theatre. This is just a diversion! The likelihood is that decision has been deemed the best course of action to keep you and baby safe and well. Your partner will get to dress up like a medical God and you will be surrounded with people who have more brain cells than Stephen Hawking - you are in REALLY safe hands now! You will be made completely pain free by the anaesthetist and FYI for some reason they are usually really good looking (weird or what!) and they will chat to you throughout the procedure. After things are done and dusted you will be watched closely to make sure you are recovering well. In some hospitals there is an enhanced recovery protocol which aims to let you go home as soon as possible once all is well - no longer do we keep women in hospital for days on end. And, you should still be able to breastfeed. Remember though, just the same as for those who hypnobirthed and all went smoothly breastfeeding is only best if its best for you too!
The moral of my long tale - make sure you go to antenatal education that offers information for every eventuality because: What we want isn't always what we get but usually IT'S WHAT WE NEED! and You are all superstars - having your first baby should be a reminder of that, no matter how you get the baby placed in your arms.
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How can my partner help with breastfeeding?
It’s quite well known that men see themselves as providers, protectors, and fixers. That’s their biological programming. So it was natural for me when I saw my partner waking up for the fifth time that night to feed our son, exhausted and struggling to keeping her eyes open due to breastfeeding as something that I needed to fix. This is bad because I can't fix it.
As dramatic as this sounds when a man can’t fix something this makes him feel like a failure and will inevitably impact you partner breastfeeding. Support for the mother can come in a number of different ways, it’s not just feeding that needs to be taken care of.
Just because you cannot feed, this doesn’t mean there isn’t other ways you can score points with your partner and ease the pressure off yourself and make the breastfeeding process easier for everyone, so here’s my dad’s and breastfeeding guide:
Be her number one fan and cheerleader
When Louise told us in our ‘Let’s Talk birth and baby’ antenatal class that the single most important factor in a new mum’s success with breastfeeding is the support she receives from her partner I was shocked. I knew that breastfeeding was not an easy process and takes time to perfect but I wasn’t sure of how much I was going to be needed. The first week is especially difficult when the baby is establishing its latch; this requires dads to provide vital emotional support throughout this process until they both really get the hang of it together. Towards the middle of the week after calling in Louise for a home visit who provided vital support within those first few days, we started to celebrate and cheer when he latched on! Bit sad really, it’s amazing how sleep deprivation affects your behaviour! Even this brought us close together and I soon began to realise that my role was chief cheerleader … words I never thought I’d write.
Scheduling visits
Over zealous but well-meaning friends and relatives will be swarming at your door as soon as you new-born touches down on home turf. Scheduling these visits, we found is vital. We only saw close family in the first two weeks only and even then we had a curfew, we tried to stick with one hour ‘opening times’ to start with and then it gradually got longer as my partner got more sleep and started to feel fresher. Setting expectations on a timescale beforehand with the visitor is a great idea. Also, being vigilant and keeping a close eye on tired mum during the visit and knowing when to call it a day is crucial. She’ll give you all the signs, but only if you’re looking for them!
Take care of the chores
During the longer feeds when mum is occupied, I often stayed busy with keeping the house tidy. A nursing mum is usually creating a mental list of all the things she can see around the house that need doing, doing all the usual chores and keeping on top of everything takes a huge weight off her mind. This will also take the stress away when it comes to visiting times. Taking ownership of an area like bath time or settling baby when they are crying is also a great idea to keep things ticking over whilst giving mum more time to rest.
Letting mum sleep.
It’s pretty normal to have to have the baby in a cot in your room for the first part of its life, and with limited space in our spare we opted for a Next2Me, although these are an absolute godsend, the downside is, is that you can hear every “coo” and “ahh” the baby makes while sleeping. I couldn’t help but to think this must be affecting my partners sleep. Sometimes I woke up early on a week day, and certainly most weekends I would take the baby out his cot and make him cosy downstairs where he could babble in his sleep until his heart was content – or his stomach was empty! I discovered this was pretty handy when after the first time; I walked back upstairs 15 minutes later and heard a soft little angel snore coming from my partner meaning she must be in a deep sleep. (Yes she did make me write that) I was initially disturbed from the TV thinking there was a clap of thunder.
Give her company
During the week days I had ear plugs and an eye mask and I slept through the night in order to be fresh for work the next day, I know a few dads who stayed in the spare room. But on the odd occasion during the week and frequently on the weekends I left my ear plugs on the side table and got up with mum, making sure she had everything she needed just sitting with her and talking I felt really helped. Night feeds lasted 45 minutes max and it wasn’t really that hard to stay awake with her.
In conclusion lads, there are loads of ways we can help during this breastfeeding process we just can’t feed! It surprised me in the first 6 weeks just how demanding breastfeeding is, but doing the things above and knowing that my partner is happy while she is breastfeeding really has an impact on the initial 6 week struggle, after that it becomes much easier! It’s safe to say that we simply wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support from Louise at ‘Let’s talk birth and baby’ preparing us for the challenge and supporting us in those first few weeks. There’s nothing quite like seeing your partner breastfeed your happy baby and watching in awe as he grows purely as a result of her efforts - and knowing you supported her through it really does remind you of how involved you were.
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Let's Talk Birth and Baby by Louise Broadbridge - 10M ago
As a Lancashire Lass I am saddened to read the article in todays Mirror reporting an increase in smoking in pregnancy with the worse rates being in my home county. The article blames the reduction in smoking cessation schemes and reports that a shocking 10.8% of women are still smoking at the point of delivery. However, I feel that this article begs the question "Why do women need Stop Smoking schemes to put their baby's health first?" A difficult and probably controversial statement and I can already feel the backlash engines revving up BUT... the responsibility we carry for the wellbeing of our children starts , or should start, pre-conception. Are we fit, are we financially stable (not rich but stable), can we actually get ourselves to the hospital without using an ambulance as a taxi... the list is endless and not always easy to arrange or sort. Unfortunatly, stopping smoking is by far one of the hardest things to do in pregnancy.
Pregnancy can be a time of stress - trying to sort all of the things Ive just mentioned above. Smoking is often the turn to for many in both happy and stressful times and it is a hard nut to crack. Pressure from all angles can make things worse but understanding the impact of smoking in pregnancy is essential if Mums are to give up at this important time. The other train of thought is that if you are unable to give up when pregnant will you EVER give up?
The complications associated with smoking in pregnancy are endelss and include an increased risk of: stillbirth, premature labour and delivery, a growth restricted baby, sudden infant death syndrome. Just seeing this list can be stressful so smoking Mums need to break it down. Firstly decided: Do you want to quit? Health professionals and the media can lecture all they want but if you don't want to quit it wont happen! Be kind to yourself. Youve decided to quit - it may not happen in one day. Cut down - have one cigarette less each couple of days. Try the alternatives. It may not be as bad as you think. And finally, watch all the pennies stack up ready for you to go shopping to buy all of your baby bits. For more information on stopping smoking and smoking in pregnancy visit:https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/smoking-pregnant/
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How can my partner help with breastfeeding?
It’s quite well known that men see themselves as providers, protectors, and fixers. That’s their biological programming. So it was natural for me when I saw my partner waking up for the fifth time that night to feed our son, exhausted and struggling to keeping her eyes open due to breastfeeding as something that I needed to fix. This is bad because I can't fix it.
As dramatic as this sounds when a man can’t fix something this makes him feel like a failure and will inevitably impact you partner breastfeeding. Support for the mother can come in a number of different ways, it’s not just feeding that needs to be taken care of.
Just because you cannot feed, this doesn’t mean there isn’t other ways you can score points with your partner and ease the pressure off yourself and make the breastfeeding process easier for everyone, so here’s my dad’s and breastfeeding guide:
Be her number one fan and cheerleader
When Louise told us in our ‘Let’s Talk birth and baby’ antenatal class that the single most important factor in a new mum’s success with breastfeeding is the support she receives from her partner I was shocked. I knew that breastfeeding was not an easy process and takes time to perfect but I wasn’t sure of how much I was going to be needed. The first week is especially difficult when the baby is establishing its latch; this requires dads to provide vital emotional support throughout this process until they both really get the hang of it together. Towards the middle of the week after calling in Louise for a home visit who provided vital support within those first few days, we started to celebrate and cheer when he latched on! Bit sad really, it’s amazing how sleep deprivation affects your behaviour! Even this brought us close together and I soon began to realise that my role was chief cheerleader … words I never thought I’d write.
Scheduling visits
Over zealous but well-meaning friends and relatives will be swarming at your door as soon as you new-born touches down on home turf. Scheduling these visits, we found is vital. We only saw close family in the first two weeks only and even then we had a curfew, we tried to stick with one hour ‘opening times’ to start with and then it gradually got longer as my partner got more sleep and started to feel fresher. Setting expectations on a timescale beforehand with the visitor is a great idea. Also, being vigilant and keeping a close eye on tired mum during the visit and knowing when to call it a day is crucial. She’ll give you all the signs, but only if you’re looking for them!
Take care of the chores
During the longer feeds when mum is occupied, I often stayed busy with keeping the house tidy. A nursing mum is usually creating a mental list of all the things she can see around the house that need doing, doing all the usual chores and keeping on top of everything takes a huge weight off her mind. This will also take the stress away when it comes to visiting times. Taking ownership of an area like bath time or settling baby when they are crying is also a great idea to keep things ticking over whilst giving mum more time to rest.
Letting mum sleep.
It’s pretty normal to have to have the baby in a cot in your room for the first part of its life, and with limited space in our spare we opted for a Next2Me, although these are an absolute godsend, the downside is, is that you can hear every “coo” and “ahh” the baby makes while sleeping. I couldn’t help but to think this must be affecting my partners sleep. Sometimes I woke up early on a week day, and certainly most weekends I would take the baby out his cot and make him cosy downstairs where he could babble in his sleep until his heart was content – or his stomach was empty! I discovered this was pretty handy when after the first time; I walked back upstairs 15 minutes later and heard a soft little angel snore coming from my partner meaning she must be in a deep sleep. (Yes she did make me write that) I was initially disturbed from the TV thinking there was a clap of thunder.
Give her company
During the week days I had ear plugs and an eye mask and I slept through the night in order to be fresh for work the next day, I know a few dads who stayed in the spare room. But on the odd occasion during the week and frequently on the weekends I left my ear plugs on the side table and got up with mum, making sure she had everything she needed just sitting with her and talking I felt really helped. Night feeds lasted 45 minutes max and it wasn’t really that hard to stay awake with her.
In conclusion lads, there are loads of ways we can help during this breastfeeding process we just can’t feed! It surprised me in the first 6 weeks just how demanding breastfeeding is, but doing the things above and knowing that my partner is happy while she is breastfeeding really has an impact on the initial 6 week struggle, after that it becomes much easier! It’s safe to say that we simply wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support from Louise at ‘Let’s talk birth and baby’ preparing us for the challenge and supporting us in those first few weeks. There’s nothing quite like seeing your partner breastfeed your happy baby and watching in awe as he grows purely as a result of her efforts - and knowing you supported her through it really does remind you of how involved you were.
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We all love to jet away for either a walk around an ancient ruin or, if you are like me, a good old "fly & flop" But, should pregnancy stop this and if not are there things to know! Worry not a far away land is not totally out of reach!
For healthy women experiencing low risk pregnancies even flying in the latter stages of your pregnancy poses very little risk. As in any situation where movement is restricted the risk of blood clots in the legs (DVT) or lungs (PE) is increased. These risks are slightly increased during pregnancy when the circulating blood volume is increased and just after having had your baby.
The best course of action to reduce this risk is wearing compression stockings which you can purchase from your local chemist. Ensure you are measured for the correct size. When checking in advise the check-in staff that you are pregnant and request an aisle seat so that you can stretch your legs out a little more. Take regular walks down throughout the cabin - you will probably need to combine these with toilet breaks! If you have been advised that you are at a significantly increased risk of blood clots you should speak to your doctor as there are medications that can be taken to further reduce the risk.
It is impossible to prepare for every eventuality and so, as long as you are a healthy woman enjoying a health pregnancy jetting away for a relaxing break before your baby arrives should be something you look forward to.
One more thing to think about though! Are you comfortable with where you are going? Would you feel confident were you to need medical care whilst abroad. Once all of these questions are checked......... get those cases out and enjoy a lovely Mocktail by the pool!
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Let's Talk Birth and Baby by Louise Broadbridge - 10M ago
With so much advice flying around it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. As a midwife I have seen lots of changes in procedures, policies and recommendations - many of which can prompt eye rolling from those who have seen these changes come and go.
However, I have to admit that I believe Colostrum Harvesting provides a really great start to breastfeeding and can help to relieve anxiety in the first few days following delivery.
So, what is colostrum harvesting? Colostrum harvesting is the process of stimulating the mammary glands within the breast to produce the first milk secretion of colostrum. This sticky fluid, which the body produces from the second trimester until a few days following the arrival of your baby, is packed full of goodness. Despite lacking in volume this liquid gold really packs a punch with its calorie rich goodness. Full of antibodies and immunoglobulins this first milk will give your baby everything she needs to see her through until your milk "comes in" - usually around day 3. You can start colostrum harvesting from 36-37 weeks.
Having colostrum already collected can be helpful if your baby needs to spend some time in special care. Hand expressing will help you to understand your breast anatomy and in turn aid you in guiding your baby onto the breast. Being able to express a little milk onto the breast can encourage your baby to feed.
You can express up to 3 times a day. Get Relaxed - you will struggle if you are not comfy. Massage your breasts to feel where the milk ducts are.
Gently but firmly squeeze the breast repeatedly. It may take a few attempts to stimulate production. Avoid pulling at the breast tissues.
Use a 1ml syringe to collect any drops by drawing back the plunger over the liquid. Once the drops have stopped rotate your hand around the breast - visualise a clock with your fingers being at 12 -6 then move to 1-7, 2-8 etc.
Each session takes around 20 mins alternating from left to right every 5 minutes. Once finished label the syringes and store in either the fridge or freezer as explained overleaf.
A FEW TIPS!
If you are being induced store any expressed milk in the fridge for 2-3 days beforehand and then collect once your baby has arrived - otherwise you may not be able to use it.
Leave your stock at home and ask your birth partner to collect it once your baby is here. Your baby may latch on straight away and then you can save your harvest for later.
It can be normal not to produce any colostrum before your baby arrives so don't worry if this is the case for you as it is not a reflection on your future milk supply.
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