To Breast Feed, or Not? That is the question….

For most women it would be a no brainer – but I’m going to be entirely honest with you I’m slightly nervous about it!

Yes,

  • Breastmilk contains all your baby needs: proteins, fats, lactose, vitamins, iron, minerals, water and enzymes in the exact amounts required for the optimal growth and development.
  • Breastfed babies are healthier. Breastmilk contains substances which prevent harmful bacteria from growing in intestines and causing gastrointestinal and diarrhoeal infections.
  • Breastfed babies have fewer middle ear infections, fewer respiratory infections and a decreased risk of developing allergies, cancer, childhood diabetes and obesity.
  • Breastfed babies have a decreased risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
  • Breastfeeding a premature baby decreases his risk to develop necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
  • Breastmilk is clean, free from bacteria and has anti-infective properties.
  • Breastmilk has the right temperature and needs no preparation. It is readily available whenever your baby needs it.
  • Breastfed babies are less prone to develop diabetes, heart diseases, eczema, asthma and other allergic disorders later in life.
  • Breastfeeding enhances brain development. Research shows there is better visual development and visual acuity in breastfed children.

But what about me? I will find it awkward if my baby needs feeding when out and about with friends and family and what if it hurts? According to breast-feeding experts, Medela breast-feeding is not meant to hurt, although some nipple tenderness in the early days of breast-feeding is rather common.

After spending hours reading up on the Medela website (there’s so much information on there, which is great!), I’m adamant I’m going to give it a go. So to set myself up, I have got some breast-feeding essentials. In my mind, breast-feeding needs to be as comfortable as possible for me as well as my baby, as it’s too easy to give up when formula is so available and easy to get hold of.

Here is what I have got so far!
Medela Swing Breast Pump
According to experts at Medela, 82% of mothers use a breast pump, whether it is because of going back to work or to help overcome a temporary separation or problem. I’ve decided to get one to help with those awkward moments when I know I’m going to be out for a few hours and won’t feel comfortable to feed in public. It also means my husband can get involved with the feeding too, as I think this is important for father and daughter bonding time.
This award-winning pump is meant to be very quiet and boosts 2-Phase Expression Technology the breast pump simulates the natural infant sucking behaviour at the mother’s breast.
£129; from Mothercare

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Bravado Essential Nursing Tank
This tank not only has a built-in bra but is also long in length and unclips at the shoulder to give your baby full access to your breast, without you having to expose your tummy or too much flesh. As it will be winter when I have my baby, I will wear this under a jumper or poncho which will allow me to feed her discretely and comfortably. The fabric is also really soft and stretchy and comes in a range of colours to match any outfit.
£36; Bravadodesigns.co.uk
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Aleva Naturals™ Nursing balm
According to Medela, 73% of mothers get outside help for breastfeeding problems, which includes sore nipples, which is why a good organic nursing balm is essential to help moisturise nipples  and soothe painfully cracked nipples.
What I like about Aleva Naturals is that their cream is specially formulated with Plant based Edible Oils, which is safe for both Mom and Baby – the balm absorbs in within a few minutes after application.  Aleva Naturals recommended that you apply the cream after breastfeeding and because there is usually a couple of hours between feeds there shouldn’t be anything left over to be wiped off. It’s also not necessary to wipe off any trace amounts as they are edible oils!
£9.99; www.vitalbaby.co.uk 

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This is my essentials to start with. I am on the hunt though to find more, so when I do, I will of course share these with you, as I think every women should be confident to try breast feeding as the benefits are huge. I think like everything new, it will feel weird to start with BUT practice makes perfect and I’m not one to give up, especially as I know the benefits for my baby and MYSELF are so good.

Good luck ladies – please feel free to share your stories !

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Protect Your Assets with the right sports bra

It’s not only your belly that grows during pregnancy. Your boobs grow too. Annoyingly none of my sports bras fit anymore. I’ve never felt so womanly!

So I called in a helping hand from Clare Robertson, Panache sports bra designer.

According to Clare “it is especially important to be fitted correctly when looking for a sports bra whilst pregnant.
Most sports bras are unwired, which would be more comfortable and safer than a wired bra that doesn’t fit correctly. But a correctly fitted wired sports bra would give more support for the heavier busted woman. It is always important that the wire sits behind the breast tissue and not on it, especially when pregnant.”

Now, I know everyone is different, but Clare reckons most pregnant women go up at least one band size and 2 cup sizes – but don’t guess this when looking for an effective sports bra go and be sure to go and get expertly fitted periodically throughout  your pregnancy.
Now thankfully I’m fully stocked with some comfy bras that should see me through my pregnancy including The Panache Sports bra (£35).
Now looking slightly larger than what I’m used to, I found this bra really supportive and comfortable. I liked the adjustable straps which allowed me to wear racer back tops and normal strappy tops while still keeping me supported.
It wasn’t bulky either so when I was having an especially fat day, I could wear under normal clothes for added support and re-assurance. I also loved the colourways – although this one below isn’t available until September.
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Another of my favourites was the Moving Comfort Juno Bra ( from £24). Admittedly it isn’t as supportive and structured as the Panache Bra BUT it was uber comfortable and felt more relaxed, which made it perfect for a yoga or stretching session. It gave me a nice shape too.
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So there we have it. A few of the best Sports Bras to wear when pregnant and exercising.
I’ve never been used to having boobs (or a bump for that matter), so these have been life savers for me – and I”m confident that they will protect me until the baby is here and until my body returns to its normal shape.
One thing I’ve learnt over the last few months is don’t fight it ladies – go with the flow and enjoy the ride and all the body changes pregnancy brings. It might be the only time in your life that you have bigger and perkier breasts for free!