Archive | April, 2012

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How can I wean my baby off breastfeeding

Posted on 24 April 2012 by Annerley

How can I wean my baby off breastfeeding? I’m ready to wean my daughter off the breast and onto the bottle. She’s 6 months now and I’m going back to work soon so I want to make it easier for both of us. What’s the easiest and most effective way of doing this?

Hulda responds:

Look at how many breastfeeds you are currently giving your daughter and which ones you may possibly wish to keep as breast while the others can be bottle when you are at work. You may wish to keep the night and morning feed or discontinue breast feeding completely. In any case it is best to reduce the breastfeeds gradually so that your breasts will not get engorged by a sudden drop of feeds. Try dropping the second feed of the day and replace with the appropriate amount of formula milk via bottle, keep it to just this one feed for a few days until your breasts get used to the reduced feeding. Then drop another breastfeed, eg. late afternoon so you have a breastfeed in between the bottle feeds, keep at this level for a few days and then drop any others one by one in the same way. Your daughter may not like the bottle teat at first as it is so different from sucking at the breast, try the ‘Nuk’ or other similar shaped teats and persevere. If she will not take the bottle from you, try with someone else giving her the bottlefeed until she is feeding well. Sometimes the fact that a baby can still smell breastmilk from the mother makes the transition to bottle more difficult if the mother is giving the bottle. This is soon overcome, once she is established with bottle feeding.

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Pregnant

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A Breastfeeding at Work: Tips for Working Moms

Posted on 20 April 2012 by hulda

Jennifer Williams returned to her job at a leading financial company after the birth of Gemma and, through thick and thin, has managed to make it to six months breastfeeding at work.

How much maternity leave did you take?

In the end I took 14 weeks maternity leave which I know is good for Hong Kong, but it didn’t seem good for me. It was all too soon and as  Gemma is my first child I wasn’t the most organised in my first weeks  back at work; I missed the network of friends and family who might have forwarned me of how tricky it all would be.

How did you deal with trying to express at work?

I work at an international bank and we are lucky enough to have what they call a nursing room. I imagined a comfortable room with sofas and sterilizers, but in fact is a little cubicle which you reach by walking past a whole row of people.  And it wasn’t that private – One day a workman walked in and got the shock of his life.

But it was very hard, and exhausting. I would do an hour’s work and then go to do some expressing which, with my original single pump, could take as long as an hour. After a while I invested in a double “hands-free” pump which made things so much better, and meant that I could write notes and work while I was expressing. My single biggest tip would be to invest in a double pump at the outset.

Were there any disasters?

Yes – and this is an indication of the level of preparation needed. I was rushing home late one night and left the milk that had been expressed that day in the taxi, and then learned that I was running low with my stock at home.  I was devastated as it meant I had to stay home the next day, and also start Gemma on formula.

Did you make use of the Annerley Working Mother’s Group?

I go when I can; it makes the day so much better.  The group follows on from the Helper & Baby Group so it means that I can slip out and feed Gemma myself. It gives me a much-needed break from expressing it was good to be able to talk to other working mother’s to see how they were coping.

And now?

I did get into the rhythm, and now at six months I am slowly winding down to one breastfeeding session a day. Although “Breast is Best”, I have to say to other mothers that you cannot be hard on yourself. You are doing your best in extremely challenging circumstances.

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Parenting styles – when to stay mum!

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Parenting styles – when to stay mum!

Posted on 20 April 2012 by hulda

socialising and manners

Where do you draw the line?

Getting youngsters to learn social skills is an important part of growing up so off you go to a playgroup – but what if your child learns the wrong kind of social skills? Do you say something to the other mum and risk offence, or do you stay ‘mum’ yourself and just work harder on your own kid? Or are you just being too uptight?

Hulda was one of those interviewed in a recent article in the SCMP Family Post (click to read): on the subject.

Where do you draw the line?

Scenario: You have been working hard on teaching your youngster about sharing. At playgroup a mother sits by doing nothing while her little darling refuses to share toys and bites and kicks any other child who comes near. What do you do?

To read more on parenting styles, click here.

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alone with a baby

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What happened to my friends: where have all my friends gone after I gave birth?

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Annerley

What happened to my friends? is it normal for non-parent friends to disappear as soon as baby arrives? I seem to see less and less of them these days. Is it just me?

The good news is; it’s not just you. However, the bad news is that this does happen fairly frequently. It’s not that your friends no longer want to see you or be your friend. It’s just more of a misunderstanding than anything else.

Looking at it from both sides may help you to get a better idea of what’s going on here. From your perspective, you know you’ve changed. From the moment you stepped into parenthood, you became a different person simply because you had to. You’ve had to adjust to being responsible for a whole new human life. This changes both you and your priorities. Before baby arrived, you would have been quite happy to spend lots of time with your friends, now you no longer have that luxury. Your time has become precious. That’s not to say that you don’t want to spend it with your friends. It’s just that you may prefer to spend it catching up on sleep or having some time with your partner. In the pre-mother days, you would have been able to fit all of this in easily. Now, not so much. Also, you’re in the middle of a crash course in parenting and it’s not exactly how you thought it would be. You may be unsure how to discuss this with your friends who have yet to cross the parenting divide. In other words, life is a little more complicated than it used to be.

Now let’s look at it from your friends’ perspective. The person they used to spend a lot of time with doesn’t seem to have a lot of time for them any more. Maybe they’ve taken that personally so have stopped calling so often. Maybe they are acutely aware that you’re now taking care of a baby and don’t want to get in the way. Maybe they know how tired you are so don’t suggest meeting up for a drink. There are a lot of possibilities here. Also remember that they are completely unaware of the amount of changes you’re experiencing as a new mother. You were unaware before you became a mum too!

Best advice I can give you is to simply let them know how much life has changed for you in such a short space of time. Tell them that although you may not be as available as you used to be, you still need your friends to be there when you manage to find some time. And most of all tell them that they can contact you any time they want…just as long as they text instead of call. After all, nobody wants to wake a sleeping baby!

Orla Breeze teaches the Emotional Freedom Technique here at Annerley, a simple, pain-free tool for dealing with any negative issue or challenge. For more information, please click here

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Low-lying placenta

Posted on 19 April 2012 by Annerley

My obgyn has told me that I have a low-lying placenta so I may need a c-section. Why is this? Do I have any hope of a natural birth with this condition?

Hulda responds:

With regard to low lying placentas (as with one of the later questions) there are degrees of this.  Often women are told early in the pregnancy that they have a low lying placenta, only to find that as the pregnancy progresses, the lower segment develops and the placenta moves further away from the opening.   So yes you have every hope of a natural birth.

As many as 15% to 20% (one in 5-6) of pregnancies have a low lying placenta. Fortunately, only 5% (one in 20) of these remain low lying at 32 weeks and only one third of those are low lying at term (37 weeks). After 28 weeks, a low lying placenta is known as placenta praevia.

The degrees are often called grades and the most severe is when the placenta sits completely over the cervix.  In terms of having a vaginal birth, this causes problems in that the baby cannot be born through the placenta and the placenta cannot be born before the baby, so in this instance the baby must be born by CS.  There are then lesser grades where the placenta either touches, or sits close to the edge of the cervix.

At approximately 32-36 weeks you should have a repeat ultrasound,  if at this stage the placenta is covering the internal cervical opening then that is an indication for a CS, however as stated earlier, by this stage most are clear and the baby is able to be born vaginally.  Indications that the placenta is still low could be bleeding or the baby failing to move into a position optimal for birth.  If the baby’s head is moving into the pelvis then this is a good sign that the placenta is not causing it any problems.

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COSLEEPING

Co-Sleeping

Posted on 18 April 2012 by Kristrun

We sleep in the same bed, me, my husband and sometimes both our children. It came naturally to us and I don´t think we discussed it much it just happened. I breastfed lying in bed and sometimes they would even crawl on the breast themselves. I never got out of bed in the middle of the night to breastfeed or change a nappy (except occasional poo ones), and I barely woke up. They would drink as much as they needed, sometimes fall a sleep on the breast or release the breast and turn over and continue sleeping. In most cases I would not know what they do because I would be sleeping myself. When I put them to bed they fall asleep in my arms, cheek to cheek.

Our older one is now three and she has her own bed. She is now there most of the time. The younger one is almost one and he sleeps with us. I have now stopped breastfeeding him but he is still in our bed. I know it will not be a problem and he will within the next two years need his own space and start sleeping in his own bed.

My older one enjoys putting her brother to sleep and we sometimes sleep together in one big bundle. This is our life and we are happy with it.

 

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VBAC or another C-section?

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VBAC or another C-section?

Posted on 11 April 2012 by Annerley

One of our clients asked us the following question.

My first pregnancy ended in an emergency c-section. Does this mean that I will have to have c-sections from now on?

Hulda replies:

No it doesn’t necessarily mean you will need Caesareans for any future births. We know the VBAC – Vaginal Birth After Caesarean – is safe for the majority of women and that the majority who plan for a vaginal birth after a CS will succeed. Women who have progressed well in labour but have had something untoward happen at the end or who have had a CS for breech have a good chance of having a safe and successful vaginal birth with their subsequent birth.

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