Archive | November, 2013

Extended Breastfeeding, why bother? By Conchita Amende

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Extended Breastfeeding, why bother? By Conchita Amende

Posted on 29 November 2013 by Kristrun

mastitis, breast-feeding, newborn, sore breastsIt is commonly known that exclusive breastfeeding is the ideal scenario for your baby during its first months of life. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and it is around this time that you will start to wean your child and introduce solid foods. This does not mean, however, that breastfeeding should stop just because it is no longer the only required form of nutrition.

There are many reasons to carry on. Your milk will change with your growing child, but the health benefits in the form of vitamins, antibodies and immunoglobulin are still very much present and continuing to protect your baby and lower the risk of allergies.
But the benefits do not only lie with your little one. Nursing – and as your infant grows into a toddler this may be just once or twice a day – is a wonderful time of bonding and closeness. Your life will have moved on from the all-encompassing newborn and baby-stage and you may also have older children to attend to. Taking the time to breastfeed is a great excuse to slow down, hold your child close and look into each other’s eyes. In a busy life, breastfeeding is a beautiful “time-out”.
It is also free. Use the money you save on not buying formula on some good quality vitamin drops, which I do recommend after 6 months of age (for breastfed babies).

See Conchita at home or in the office for Breastfeeding advice and early childhood challenges.

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Jaundice in Newborns –  Olafia gives us the lowdown

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Jaundice in Newborns – Olafia gives us the lowdown

Posted on 29 November 2013 by Kristrun

In_hospital_postJaundice is a common condition in newborn babies affecting some 6 out of 10 babies (higher in premature babies). “The most common and 

obvious sign is a yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes” says midwife Olafia, but other indications are dark urine and pale coloured stools. “The baby may also be lethargic, difficult to rouse and not wanting to feed“.

Jaundice is caused by the build-up of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is a yellow substance produced when red blood cells are broken down.

Baby may be sleepy and reluctant to nurse, but regular feeding is essential in treating jaundice as the bilirubin is excreted when baby poos and pees” says Olivia. Exposure to UV light also helps to break down the bilirubin.

If you are receiving home visits from a midwife, jaundice will be something she will routinely look out for – yet another reason to have continuous midwife-led care after your birth.

Most cases of jaundice will disappear without treatment but in many instances, it is ineffective feeding which will hinder resolution. Post-natal support is so important in ensuring good feeding techniques immediately after birth.

A small proportion of cases will have other underlying causes, such as infection or disease, so please seek professional advice if you suspect your baby is jaundiced.”

To arrange postnatal home visits - contact or book on-line 

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Sleeping in Cool Weather – Tips by Conchita

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Sleeping in Cool Weather – Tips by Conchita

Posted on 28 November 2013 by Kristrun

FinallyitsgettingcoolerAs winter approaches in Hong Kong, there may be a change in the temperature in your baby’s bedroom and also what your baby will feel comfortable wearing whilst sleeping.Help your baby to sleep safe and sound by keeping his room between the recommended 16 degrees C and 20 degrees C. A baby who is too cold will probably be fussy and cry, but it is overheating which can be more of a problem – especially for those of us without thermostatically controlled heating systems. It can be that we overcompensate by swaddling and adding too many covers and a baby who gets too hot is more vulnerable to SIDS.Follow these tips to keep your baby at a safe temperature:

- Buy a room thermometer for your baby’s bedroom to make sure that it is always at the right temperature.

- If using a heater, be sure that it is not near the baby’s cot but is just keeping the room at a comfortable temperature in general.  For reverse cycle air conditioning, be sure that the HVAC systems are not directed at your baby’s cot but again is keeping the room generally at the correct temperature.
- Use a sleeping bag at a higher tog rating than used the rest of the year or add an extra vest or warmer sleep suit
- Add socks, if the usual sleep suit is footless
- Another possibility is to dress your baby in the same clothes as usual but add a blanket, tucked in securely around the mattress and not higher than your baby’s shoulders. Baby should also be placed with feet close to the bottom of the bed, so that if she does wriggle, she will only move upwards and not downwards under her bedding. Choose mattress that keeps the body temperature regulated while sleeping. 

- If your baby is under a year old, he shouldn’t sleep with a duvet, quilt or pillow.
- Don’t put a hot water bottle or electric blanket in your baby’s cot, however cold the weather is.
- If you think your baby is getting too hot, check his tummy and back. They should feel warm, not sweaty and definitely not cool to the touch. If either feels hot, or he’s sweaty, remove some layers. It’s normal for your baby’s hands and feet to feel cool, though, so don’t worry too much about that. You can use cotton mittens or socks if necessary.
- Hats are not recommended for indoor use in case your baby overheats. Babies lose heat from their heads and if covered may just get hotter and hotter during sleep time without it being noticed.

Additionally, be aware of the guidelines for safe sleep from the Foundation of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and NHS in UK as follows:

  • Always put your baby to sleep on their backs – if they are old enough to move around this is ok as they will find their own comfortable sleeping position, but for babies less than 5 months, ideally they should sleep on their backs.
  • Put your young baby with their feet at the foot of the bed (feet to foot).
  • Do not smoke or allow anyone to smoke inside your home
  • Make sure your baby does not overheat by keeping the temperature of the room your baby sleeps in between 16 – 20C
  • If using blankets/sheets make sure they are securely tucked in  under the mattress and no higher than your baby’s shoulders.
  • Keep your baby healthy and free from germs and other harmful dust particles, visit Maid2Match Perth for cleaning services.

Babies should never sleep with a hot water bottle or electric blanket and should not wear a hat. You should also make sure that their bed is not put next to a radiator, heater, or placed in direct sunlight. Use lightweight blankets and never use a duvet, quilt or pillow for babies under 12 months old.  Make sure there is no padding around your baby’s cot which could trap warm air and lead to your baby overheating.

If your baby is unwell, trust your instincts – you know your baby best of all. Get medical advice if you are concerned, but particularly if your baby:

·  is wheezy or is having trouble breathing,
·  is being sick,
·  feels hot or sweaty,
·  is pale,
·  has a rash (particularly if also seems unwell), or
·  is not responding to you normally.

Conchita is available for home visits or office consultations if you have any concerns regarding safe sleeping habits, or any other developmental issues
Stay safe and sleep well!


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Fathers fit to father

Are fathers fit?

Posted on 14 November 2013 by hulda

…has it ever occoured to you that you, -even as you complain about how your partner does not participate enough in the parenting – that you might be the very reason that he does not?

I have been thinking about this for many years already and it appears to me that despite the many dads that I have seen very involved in the parenting role, there are many that seem out of sorts, almost not comfortable.

Having fun in the kitchen

Having fun in the kitchen

Of course, everyone becomes more confident as the years pass and you get to know your baby better, but in the beginning, the mother has the obvious advantage of being closer to the baby by breastfeeding and the direct bonding that has been happening all the way through the pregnancy.  How to actually phrase this is hard though- on one hand I would like to say that the mother has the obvious bond and on the other hand I would like to suggest that the father has every right to participate to a similar level when the parents are living together anyway.

But do we “allow” our partners to do this?  Is there a tiny chance that we women take such full control of things sometimes that the fathers just find it easier to stay in the background, sometimes to a degree that they don´t ever develop full comfort in taking care of their children, until they are much older?

In terms of feeding, bathing, holding, playing, clening, outings, dressing…. and the list goes on, – would you leave this fully to your partner, without instructions, in the first few months?  And if not, why?

Could it be that we (now in this case, ME as a professional person) or the books, or the current trends in upbringing here in Hong Kong, are und-friendly to fathers of new babies?  Is it possible that the “rules” that we are giving, about how things “should” be, are somewhat not all that baby and father friendly?

Let me continue with this next week, in the meantime, think about it and let´s share soon.


My opinion is that we are far to strict with our dads out there.  See the fun side of things sometimes, it does not matter if the baby does not have the right type of clothing during the day or night, – pyjamas are great in the park.  Cleaning the ears?  No need.  Dads are great in keeping their little ones alive and happy, so let´s let them, shall we?

I share a great facebook side with photos for you:

Have a good weekend,

(a mother of 4 kids who are neglected by mum but fathered by a great dad who does non-usual things with kids).




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Mother of light

Posted on 13 November 2013 by hulda

I have been in Hong Kong for almost 13 years now.  For that whole time, I have struggled to explain what I do.  Strange as that may seem.  But many people here have no idea what a midwife does.  Yet midwives actually deliver the majority of all the babies born in Hong Kong, in addition to taking care of all of the women that go through labour for any amount of time before giving birth.   Is it not the doctors that deliver most of the babies?  No, actually not, only in private hospitals.

And strangely, many times, I have had a respond from some of the insurance companies here in Hong Kong where they reject a claim because they

“do not cover the services of a midwife”

- the irony being that not a single woman will give birth in Hong Kong without the care of a midwife.  Proportionally, the midwife is likely to offer the bulk of all the care the woman will receive.

But even insurance companies do not seem to know this.  So how on earth would the public?  Obviously some education is needed.
Today, I woke up to the wonderful news that the public of Iceland, with the national Radio as a leader, to wote for the most beautiful word that Icelandic language has.

Midwife with woman during labour

Midwife with woman during labour

The word that won:  MIDWIFE.

The explaination given from one of the voters was that it combines the words of the two most amzing things on this earth:  Mother and Light.

Because in Icelandic a MID-WIFE (With Woman in english) means MOTHER OF LIGHT.

Thank you all who are reading and please help me spread the word about what a midwife is and what she does.



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annerley_crying baby tongue_900_0f6fcb8d706748ef72bce30cd114e35a

Ankyloglossia or “tongue-tie”

Posted on 08 November 2013 by Kristrun

annerley_crying baby tongue_900_0f6fcb8d706748ef72bce30cd114e35a

“Being tongue-tied conjures up, for most of us, an image of a nervous, stammering person tripping over words. What parents don’t usually realize is that tongue-tie can also affect newborns – but more as a physical condition rather than a psychological one. Ankyloglossia (the medical term for “tongue-tie”) is a fairly common congenital oral problem that affects up to 1 in 10 newborns. “If the father is tongue-tied, it is more likely that the baby will be too,” said Sofie Jacobs, Annerly midwife and tongue-tie expert.”

All our midwives can diagnose tongue-tie and will refer you to a specialist. Pre-purchased Post-natal checkups by midwives is one of the best way of ensuring good postnatal support at home.


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Dads and Bonding – What can they do?

Posted on 08 November 2013 by Kristrun

Dads can often feel redundant in the immediate postpartum period. They are not “equipped” for feeding, and so it can seem like BjarkiTomasSMALLthere is nothing they can do to help, or to bond with their new child.

Not so, says midwife Olafia. There is plenty they can do.

Babies don’t need much, they need to be fed, loved and to feel secure. Those needs need to be met before anything else. To feel loved and secured they have to get a positive feedback and know that their basic needs are going to be met. Of course, Dads can’t feed the baby if the baby is being exclusively breastfed but there is a lot that they can do which helps with bonding;

Bath time: a great way to get to know your baby and learn how to hold your baby. They are often quite alert during this time and it’s easy to read into their cues, facial expressions and body movements.  

Changing nappies/diapers: if you’re not secure in your touch the baby will feel insecure and start to cry, so do persevere and practise so that baby feels safe while you are doing it. Enjoy the time you’re changing the diaper, make eye contact, give the baby tummy time  – be the one that helps your baby to develop.  

Skin to skin: so important and it doesn’t really matter which parent provides this. Skin to skin contact has shown to be beneficial in many areas for the baby – digestion, heartbeat and breathing regulation, blood oxygen saturation and neural and motor development. As well as emotional well-being. They will also start to recognize your smell and touch.

Talk to your baby: he or she will recognise your voice and start to realise your importance in its well-being.   

Hold your baby: the more secure you are in  touching your baby, the more secure your baby will be. So hold your baby as much as possible, babies love to be held, it makes them feel loved and secure.  You can burp the baby after a feed, help to settle or just “wear” the baby in a sling or carrier around the house or out for a walk.

Wake up with baby during the night even if you have to go to work in the morning, you’ll learn the babies schedule and that often is a great support to the mother who can sleep a little bit longer and might have an easier time falling back to sleep after a feed.

The father’s touch is no worse or better than the mother’s. it is just different, and that is more than OK. Give yourself time to get to know your baby and practise. Parenting is like everything else in life, practice makes perfect. Or close to perfect!”

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Three in the Bed

Three in the Bed

Posted on 07 November 2013 by hulda


Not everyone is talking about it, but co-sleeping is giving plenty of parents and babies a good night’s rest. Marie Teather investigates.

Hulda shares her personal experiences:

Hulda Thorey, a registered Hong Kong midwife and director and founder of Annerley, has co-slept with all four of her children. “In the first days, co-sleeping was not a concept for us. It was just the most natural way. We wanted them nearby; otherwise, we were constantly waking up and checking them,” she says.
“Co-sleeping for me is not a lifestyle. It is the most natural thing for me when you are a busy fulltime
working mother who likes to breastfeed for months,” Hulda says. Both she and her husband have
always agreed. “We have no ‘hippy’ tendencies – we just both love the sight of their faces next to us when we wake up and they see us.”


Read the full article here or the whole November Issue of Playtimes here.

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Keeping Mum

Keeping Mum

Posted on 07 November 2013 by hulda

Keeping mum

Hulda shares her story with Maria Teather about why and how you might keep your pregnancy a secret.

Keeping the secret
In many cultures, it’s long been common practice to keep a pregnancy secret for the first trimester. Traditionally, this stems from the fear of miscarriage, which is higher during the first 12 weeks. Many women will choose to avoid the uncomfortable situation of having to tell people they are no longer expecting should anything happen. Those who have had previous miscarriages might be particularly nervous during this period.

Read the full article here or check out the November issue of Playtimes here.

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Let’s get physical

Let’s get physical

Posted on 06 November 2013 by hulda

Playtimes. November - Lets get physical Sofie Jacobs talks about the question of sex and pregnancy.

Is it safe to keep “doing it”? We get that question about sex during pregnancy quite often at Annerley. The good news is that, if your pregnancy is normal and your waters haven’t broken, having sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe. Having intercourse cannot hurt or “dent” the baby, since she is well-­protected and cushioned by amniotic inside the cervix provides protection against infection.

Read the full article here or read the full November issue of Playtimes here.


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