Your microbiome is the diverse community of microorganisms which live within your body. These microbes are vital to our existence. They aid digestion, produce vitamins and neurochemicals, interact with our hormones, and protect us from infection. In return we give them an ideal place to live. We couldn't live without them, and they couldn't live without us. Emerging research shows that how we birth and feed our babies can have a life-long impact on their microbiome and their health.
When you or your baby is fighting infection, the level of antibodies in your breastmilk increases, helping your baby to fight off any pathogens they have been exposed to. I'm sure we can all agree that this is pretty amazing, but does it make breastmilk turn blue? Probably not.
'Fed is best', 'Breast is best'. Go to any article or Facebook post concerning infant feeding and you'll more than likely see one of these two phrases, and no doubt a lot of arguments about it in the comment section. I hate them both. Neither is true, and neither is remotely helpful to a woman who is trying to decide how to feed her baby, so isn't it time we started moving away from such restrictive language?
Just a few months after my 15th birthday, I found myself pregnant with my first child, Ellie. Now 10 years on, I reflect on my experience and the challenges I faced in the hopes of empowering other young parents to have confidence in their parenting abilities and to reach their breastfeeding goals.
Painful breastfeeding is not normal. Your nipples do not need to 'toughen up'. If you're experiencing pain, there is a reason for it. Seek support, and find out what might be causing your painful nipples here.
‘he won’t let me put him down’ ‘she’s using me as a dummy’ ‘he wants to feed all the time’ ‘she will only sleep on my chest’ Why does my baby want to be constantly attached to me? Why is it called 'the fourth trimester'? And how can I cope?
A guide to expressing and storing breastmilk, feeding expressed milk to your baby, and what you can do with any left overs
How dads and partners can bond with baby without introducing a bottle.
My battle with Postnatal Depression, how to recognise symptoms, and where you can go for support.
What the terms 'foremilk' and 'hindmilk' actually mean, and why you're better off forgetting about them all together!