The in’s and out’s of Breast Feeding; Does breast feeding burn calories?

At 37 weeks pregnant, things are starting to feel very real now. I’m full term and starting to get very organised for the birth and beyond.

One thing that I feel I need to be really prepared for is breast feeding. I think you need to go into the hospital with a plan of action, as it’s more than likely that the midwifes will be very keen for you to breast feed or at least TRY and breast feed before you leave for home.

One thing that really appeals to me is that breast feeding can really help you to get your pre-pregnancy body back.
According to  WebMD, you can burn up to 500 calories a day through breast feeding. The exact number of calories depends upon how frequently you breast feed and how much milk your body produces, plus as you wean, the number of calories you burn through milk production will also decrease.

Medela.com also reports that breast feeding releases a hormone called Oxytocin, which is  responsible for the contraction of the uterus and therefore helps to decrease the size of the uterus after birth. Well needed after 9 months of being stretched I’m sure!

A few essential that I’ve come across when searching for the best breast feeding clothes and accessories is this awesome set of pyjamas by Anita. The last thing I want to be doing during night feeds is getting cold and having to strip off. This pyjama top is ideal for breast feeding and the bottoms are really comfortable with a supportive and flattering waist band too. Every little helps!

PJS

I’m also a HUGE fan of the Anita nursing bras. This spotty number is really cute, soft and ideal for breast feeding, thanks to its adjustable straps and a double layered cup for extra support and comfort.
bra

Both of these items can be brought from www.anita.com – the website is well worth a visit!  

Pregnancy Countdown – 34 days to go. The Low Down on Birthing Balls

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Ok so I’m now officially over 35 weeks pregnant – and coming up to being nine months pregnant – who would have thought time would fly so quickly?

This week is all over getting the most out of my birthing ball – something you may have heard a lot about in your NCT classes or from your midwife. I sit on it as much as I possibly can!

A birthing ball is essentially a gym ball/swiss ball. I find it comfortable to sit on especially if I am working or watching the TV in the evening – as its uncomfortable to sit of hard chairs at the moment and I find it effort having to get up from my low sofa.

It also
* helps me to keep my posture in the right position,
* will help my baby get in the right position for birth and
* helps me to build strength and flexibility in my spine and thigh muscles.

When you sit on the ball you’ll also find that the legs naturally drop to the sides, so therefore open in the pelvis to its widest diameter and adds optimal foetal positioning in preparation for labor.

You can take it to the hospital to help with labor too! My mid-wife defiantely advised me to take it as sitting on the ball encourages a natural swaying motion of the pelvis, which helps the baby descend into the birth canal.

I also like it because the sitting position assumed on the ball, is very similar to the squat – which opens the pelvis and helps the birthing process.
The ball also supports your entire weight making it easier to breath and take pressure of the back.

I will most ceratinly be taking mine with me! One piece of advise though – just make sure it fits in your car before you make the trip to the hospital – that could be pretty embarrassing! I know one lady who had to get a cab to the hospital but leave her ball by the side of the road because there wasn’t enough room for it!

Need a birthing ball? Here are my top three gym balls.

Physical Company – Physical Stability Ball
Pretty in pink – this ball is manufactured from flexton®, a burst resistant material that has undergone static compression testing. 
£14.99; www.physicalcompany.co.uk
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Reebok TWO TONE GYMBALL

The mid-wife won’t miss you in this! It’s suitable for users between 170cm and 185cm (5′ 7″ – 6′ 1″) in height and comes with a DVD for once the baby is born and you want to work on getting your pre-baby body back! 
£29.99; www.idealworld.tv

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Technogym Wellness Ball
O
k, not the cheapest option I know, BUT it is made with special materials that favor perfect stability, traction and cushion during exercises. It also comes with its own bag, Pump and gauge for inflation, so if you can’t fit it in the car already inflated, you can do it at the hospital. 
£109; www.technogym.comScreen Shot 2013-12-09 at 13.24.26