For extended breastfeeders

August 31, 2009 at 10:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I have to admit, I was always a little uncertain about extended breastfeeding. I thought that once you had to negotiate about whether or not your child got a drink of booby milk in the cereal aisle, things would have gone too far.

But I’m still feeding my 25 month old, and having those conversations – not so much in the cereal aisle, thank god, but the issue crops up. My son is getting quite possessive of my boobs these days.


Boob-boob!  Boob-boob, Momma!

This one! ……..

Udder one!  (Yes, I see the irony there).

I’m not a hundred percent sure I like it, I’ll be honest, but his humour, persistence and my wimpiness means he’s still getting his boob boob, as I find it hard to come up with a good enough reason to say no.

On the subject of discussion with your toddler, I heard a story I loved the other night, of a tired little boy looking for some R&R, and politely asking, in mixed company, in a voice filled with pathos,


‘Mummy, will you read me a story with your boobs out?’


I had many responses to this, my first was that I could completely see where he was coming from. My second was that I could quite see the attraction in the possibility of my husband asking me to read him a story with my boobs out – and somehow I thought that was an idea worth sharing 🙂

Bedtime stories – not just for kiddies, you know.

Ten Good Reasons to Breastfeed Your Toddler


Extreme breastfeeding!

August 25, 2009 at 10:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Ever done it upsidedown?

Uploaded by Hubzesailor. –

Why hire a lactation consultant?

August 21, 2009 at 10:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments


A little story.

My brave and beautiful friend has just had a baby.  Her labour was fine, but with a long pushing stage and three exhausting hemorrhages afterwards, so she was tired. She sent me a text as her daughter was having her ‘first beautiful breastfeed’.

She got home on Tuesday, and rang me the next day. The baby was putting on weight and doing fine. But she said the feeding was a little painful. I asked if it got better after a while, and she said, well, a bit. Hmm. We talked, it didn’t really sound like thrush.

I said that it was really worth being diligent about taking her on and off til the latch felt good, making sure it was ok each time, not feeding through the pain.

She said she didn’t know how to check the latch, wasn’t sure how to get a good one. Apparently the midwives AND the hospital lactation consultant had both said that the latch was good.

 I worried: if it’s painful and stays painful throughout the feed, that sounds like a recipe for cracked nipples.

‘Oh, well, I already have something on one of them.’

If my booby senses (let’s not bring spiders into this) had been tingling before, now they were on full alert. Nipple cracks or cuts don’t get better if there’s a persisting bad latch. And the fact that one was starting was scary.

So I went to and found a private consultant in her area and sent her the number. And I suggested she ring Pamela Synge  the osteopath (Merrion Square, Tel: 6616143) and book an appointment, as often babies can’t latch on right if they’re sore and out of alignment from the birth. I’ve heard several stories of babies latching on perfectly directly after their first session.

Shortly thereafter (there are no flies on my girl) I got a text to say the lactation consultant was coming in an hour and a half and she’d got an osteopath appointment for the following week (with Pam, it’s always worth mentioning if it’s a breastfeeding issue, she wants to help out).

That evening, my friend sent me a text saying things were vastly improved. The next day they were better again, and the cut had gone completely. Also, since birth, the baby had been feeding very regularly, at least each hour, and it was exhausting. The LC thought that the mislatch had resulted in the baby not getting enough hindmilk down, and suggested some ways to help that.

She’s coming again tomorrow to show her some different holds and check on things.

I’m posting this story, in this detail, because I know what it’s like to have a problem, and not be sure what to do about it, and to dither and wait, and get into trouble.

Especially when the ‘experts’ have assured you all is fine.

But what I think we could all take from this story is the point that if you address the problem of pain early on, it is far easier solved.

If you wait til you have cracked, bleeding nipples and are in agony, then you will have a far harder time healing, the challenge will be greater as you will be worn down by the pain and stress and difficulty during what is already and emotional and exhausting time. ACT FAST and listen to your instincts – don’t accept the midwives’ assurances if you feel something’s not right. If my friend hadn’t made that call, I firmly believe her problem would have escalated fast, and she would have had a far harder time dealing with it. It’s happened to so many, who have understandably but reluctantly stopped breastfeeding, because they didn’t have the right support and solutions to hand.

I’ve always been a firm believer in throwing everything you’ve got at pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. My friends insurance paid for half the LC’S visit, make sure you check that. If you can’t afford a private LC, get on to Cuidiú – preferably before the birth, so you feel comfortable ringing. I did a course before my last birth, so I already knew my local LC, which I think is great. It’s easier to call someone you know already.

And for me, one of the best reasons to do it is so that you have a support system. Doesn’t that picture at the top of the page look right? New mothers need mothering, so much. I love the idea of being surrounded by compassionate, expert women, who hold me (figuratively or physically!) so I can hold my baby.

Do not deny yourselves that support. Grab it with both hands. It’s a worthwhile investment, I believe.

ALCI Conference news

August 21, 2009 at 9:45 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I got this info today, from Eithne Foley of the ALCI:

I am delighted to inform you of this year’s Annual Conference of the Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland (ALCI). This year’s Conference will take place in Glenroyal Hotel and Conference Centre, Maynooth, Co. Kildare on October 2nd and 3rd.

The theme is “Is Féidir Linn – Overcoming Breastfeeding Challenges”
and guest speakers include Fiona Dykes and Dr. Niamh McCabe. We are delighted to offer special ‘Recession Busting’ prices, of Є99 for members and Є109 for non-members.

Topics covered on the day will range from professional interests to tongue tie, from global issues to personal experiences. The day promises to provide a varied programme that will capture the interest of both professional and non professional practitioners in breast feeding support.

 Further information and booking details can be found at or you can email


For details about the value of a lactation consultant, see post above.

Gluttonous Baby!

August 7, 2009 at 7:44 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

A friend just sent me this link, to an article on a breastfeeding doll, from, well, from Fox news.

Rather than having the ubiquitous bottle , this doll is designed to be ‘breastfed’. And of course, being Fox, the first parental response that they give is, ‘that’s not cool’.

Obviously, in Ireland, little girls feeding their dolls bottles is as natural a sight as rain in the summertime.

But I’ve been reading a lot of comments in magazines like Mothering, that suggest it’s perhaps not as much of a no brainer as we think. Those breastfeeding enthusiasts would rather have their children feed their  dolls the same way the children themselves were fed, and the magazine frequently publishes very cute pictures of toddlers (both little mommies and daddies!)with their baby doll, or elephant, in a mini sling, breastfeeding.

In a culture where bottle feeding is the norm, as I’ve said above, it makes sense for children to emulate the way they were fed one way or other – but for the parents who are throwing away the dolly-bottles, they’re rejecting the subliminal conditioning. 

The real issue, fo me here, is the idea that it is ‘not cool’ for a child to mock-breastfeed their doll. That it’s somehow improper. Why would we see it that way? Is there something sexual about a three year old holding a doll to their tiny, barely there nipple, and pretending to feed it? What are people afraid of in this scenario? To me, this paranoia comes down to yet more sexualisation of the breast, and in this case, small children.

It’s cool to give them make up, bikini tops on their flat little chests, high heels, Disney-fy them, feed them Britney and Bratz dolls and Hannah Montana from an early age, turn them into teeny pinups. As long as they don’t pretend they’re feeding a doll with their own milk, from their non-existent breasts? To me, this is an extreme inversion of values. And a somewhat twisted view of what human sexuality is and isn’t.

I think the biggest issue here is that they’ve called the doll ‘Gluttonous Baby’ – that seems a bit unfair to the babies!

breastfeeding sign

August 1, 2009 at 9:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Adrienne snapped this pic in Liffey Valley today.

Often on breastfeeding posting boards, women ask where is breastfeeding friendly – shopping with a newborn can be a bit daunting.


Look for the friendly breastfeeding lady sign on the door. We think she’s kind of sexy!

Breastfeed here!

Breastfeed here!

babies babies

August 1, 2009 at 9:17 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Do you ever see pictures of newborns or small babies and just fall in love the same way you do with your own children? Would you look at the ancient, wonderful eyes in that little face?

I also love the way the baby’s roundy head mirrors the roundness of the breast they’re drinking from.

There are three pages of gorgeous breastfeeding photos to goo over here, at, if you’re feeling gooey. What better way to celebrate Breastfeeding Week?

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

August 1, 2009 at 8:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Every year, World Breastfeeding Week has a theme. This year it is “In Emergencies, Breastfeeding Is A Lifeline.” My first thought on seeing this year’s theme was that it wasn’t really relevant to the civilised society we live in, where we have constant access to sterilisation facilities and enough money to buy artificial milk if we want. But then I thought about Hurricane Katrina.

Breastfeeding was the difference between life and death for a lot of babies caught in that storm, yet that morning their situation was very similar to mine and most people in this country. They didn’t anticipate their world being turned upside down any more than I do now, but it happened. Also, an emergency doesn’t have to be on as grand a scale, a simple power cut can stop a mother being able to make up bottles safely. We had a power cut when my daughter was only three weeks old and I was very glad that I didn’t have to worry about it causing any issues with her feeding, as the power was gone for a number of hours. Even things like your car breaking down or any other type of delay can mean that you are not able to get a bottle for your child when he/she needs it. For a breastfeeding mother, once you are there, your child is provided for, simple as that. Below is the press release for World Breastfeeding Week.

Emergencies can happen anywhere in the world. Infants and young children are especially vulnerable to malnutrition, illness, and death in these situations. Whatever the emergency – from earthquake to conflict, from floods to the flu pandemic – the story is the same: breastfeeding is a lifeline and a shield that protects infants in emergencies. From 1-7 August 2009, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), and breastfeeding advocates in more than 150 countries worldwide will be celebrating World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) for the 18 International Baby Food Action Network-Geneva Infant Feeding Association (IBFAN-GIFA) who represent an international collaboration of United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations (IFE Core Group) concerned with protection and support of safe and appropriate infant and young child feeding in emergencies.

Together we call for the active protection and support of breastfeeding during emergencies and the prevention and refusal of donations of breastmilk substitutes. When an emergency strikes, simple measures can make all the difference in the world. Emergency preparedness is the key to quick appropriate actions. Mothers need to be secure and have priority access to food for the family, water, shelter and safe places to breastfeed. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF recommendations – early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding until six months of age and continued breastfeeding for two years or beyond – are even more critical in emergencies. Breastfeeding is the one safe and secure source of food and fluid for infants – instantly available, providing active protection against illness and keeping an infant warm and close to his/her mother. It also reduces the risk of post-partum haemorrhage in the mother, the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide. In the challenging and risky environment of an emergency, how infants are fed is key to their survival.

Protecting breastfeeding and infant and young child feeding from inappropriate marketing influences is an essential component of emergency interventions. Violations of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent relevant WHA Resolutions are frequent guidance should not be sought nor accepted in emergencies.

Everyone can play a positive and important role in emergency preparedness and response. Find out what you can do by consulting the WBW 2009 ACTION FOLDER produced by WABA and the IFE Core Group that includes an extensive Guide for Action. Available online at the WABA website and in print in 4 languages from WABA.
‘Breastfeeding is a vital emergency response.
When a disaster strikes, everyone should be ready!’

Sesame Street, positivity

July 26, 2009 at 11:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I would love to see something like this on an Irish children’s show. Does it seem impossible, or plausible to you? I don’t remember ever seeing a breastfeeding baby on kids’ tv.

Children are interested to see babies feeding. My daughter’s friend’s eyes bugged out on stalks when she saw me using abreast pump. I told her what I was doing and asked her if she was freaked out, and she said ‘Yeah!’

Would she have been as freaked out if she saw it all the time, say, if her mother used one for her little sister?

Conversely, my husband had a conversation with our daughter recently, where she asked where she had been born, in this house? Here? In Ireland? And where her brother had been born – here? In the same place?

Then she asked where her Dad had been born, and when he told her he’d been born in hospital, she was incredulous. In a hospital??

Normal is just what you’re used to, I suppose. *

*disclaimer: it is not the aim of this post to suggest that everyone should have homebirths and breastfeed – just observations on the way we learn our world.

Nursing Necklaces, anyone?

July 16, 2009 at 10:41 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Nursing Neclace

Nursing Neclace

My cousin sent me a breastfeeding necklace when I had my last baby – it’s a lovely gift idea. It not only marks a birth, but is practical too.

It’s heartwarming at first, when your baby begins to reach up and stroke, touch and fiddle with you as they feed, but after a while, especially as they get bigger and more forceful, it can become, to put it mildly, a pain. Those gentle touches can become hair pulling, eye poking, nostril violating, (horror of horrors) nipple twiddling torture!

A nice solution is to provide them with a less sensitive focus for their fiddling, and that’s when a nursing neclace comes in. Basically, it’s a reinforced and child friendly piece of jewellery that will safely withstand your little one’s tender minstrations.

Bellow are some links, in case anyone’s interested. This would be a very good present for a Daddy to buy his lovely, strong and wonderful wife and mother of his child, methinks! – DIY instructions

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