Ireland's Largest Pregnancy and Parenting Resource

Posts tagged ‘breastfeeding’

Vitamin D and Your Baby

What you need to know

Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed your baby you should give your baby 5 micrograms (5µg) of vitamin D3 every day, according to the HSE.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is important because it helps our bodies use calcium to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Children (and adults) in Ireland have low levels of vitamin D which can lead to weak bones.   In severe cases low levels of vitamin D can cause rickets(1) in children. There has been an increase in the number of cases of rickets in Ireland in recent years.


The Milk of Human Kindness

Some people are uncomfortable with the concept of donating breast milk, via a milk bank, but for premature and very sick babies it can be a godsend.

For 10 years, the lives of hundreds of sick and premature babies have been sustained and saved by the work of the Irvinestown Human Milk Bank. An incredible network of hundreds of mums north and south donate their milk, which is picked up everywhere from the steps of courthouses by lactation nurses or delivered in crates by the donors’ husbands.


Parents wrongly advised on weaning – survey

According to the Irish Times, parents in Ireland may be getting inappropriate advice from some health professionals about weaning their babies on to solid food, new research has found.

Official guidelines here currently recommend that breastfed babies should be introduced to solid foods at six months of age, while the age is four months for formula-fed infants.


Diary of a Mum of Two…. Contented Little Babies

Pretty much everyone in the mothering business has come across Gina Ford. Remarkably, the firstborn was already about 3 months old when I first heard the name – I asked a work colleague whether her baby had a “routine” and with her answer, a whole new world opened before my eyes; a world where organisation and structure is the order of the day, a world where babies go to sleep at 7pm and wake at 7am, a world where you know what comes next. You see, there are babies, and there are “Gina Ford Babies” or as she puts it herself “contented little babies”. There is no doubt about it, Ms Ford has something, and the many people who follow her routines swear by her.


Diary of a Mum of Two…. CaTyn Returns to the Keyboard

Those of you who read my pregnancy diary may have noticed that I dropped off the face of the earth, or at least Eumom, at the latter stages of my pregnancy, and blogged no more.

My apologies for the long silence. It’s only now, 15 weeks later, that I am beginning to speak in sentences – as opposed to guttural grunts and one word commands barked at the husband. So – seeing as I do remember how to use my pc – I am finally delighted to report the birth of my healthy and beautiful son, at 4.58am on 5th January 2010.


Don’t Rush To Lose Pregnancy Weight

According to information published in ScienceDaily, overdoing early weight loss after pregnancy could have a negative impact on breastfeeding. Once the baby arrives, many new mothers want to return to their former weight quickly – just like film stars who appear in the media in bikinis just weeks after giving birth or like our previous blog article Too Soon To Go Out describes. But according to the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG), women should not put themselves under too much pressure straight away.

Kilos often melt away by themselves – but there is no guarantee

Gaining weight in pregnancy is not only normal, it is necessary. The mother’s body has to nourish the growing baby. Her body needs to take on more fluid to support the extra circulation the placenta and baby need. Some of this added weight will usually be lost as soon as the baby is born. “Often, the extra effort women have to make to look after a new baby and breastfeed after giving birth means the kilos just melt away without effort,” according to the Institute’s Director, Professor Peter Sawicki. “But for about half of all women, the weight will not go away as quickly.”

“Eating for two” in pregnancy can cause problems if you are overweight

The Institute analysed recent evidence and new US national guidelines on weight gain in pregnancy, and the message is clear: women who have become overweight or more overweight during pregnancy have a higher chance of ongoing weight problems if they are not back to a normal weight within six months or a year after having a baby.

“Avoiding weight problems after birth means already being careful about balanced and healthy eating during pregnancy,” says Professor Sawicki. “It is not a good idea to ‘eat for two’ in pregnancy and forget about your weight until after the baby is born if you are at all overweight – or prone to overweight – already. Women need to eat well enough for themselves and their baby, but pregnancy is not a time to overeat.”

A lot of exercise in the weeks after birth will not necessarily help

Even though many magazines have “get your bikini body back quickly” diets on their covers, promising women they can achieve their ideal weight in time for summer, it is not getting quick results that counts the most. This is particularly true after pregnancy. It is normal for it to take three to six months for women to lose the weight they gained in pregnancy.

Exercise is important when people are overweight, but after pregnancy, a lot of exercise does not necessarily help a great deal. The Institute summarised the research evidence about the best ways to lose weight after childbirth. The evidence shows that a balanced diet helps – with or without extra exercise. Very strenuous exercise programmes soon after childbirth did not lead to extra weight loss. This means that women do not need to have a bad conscience if they take it easy in the busy weeks after giving birth. However, Professor Sawicki stresses that even though the birth of a baby can throw life completely out of kilter, it is important for women not to leave it too long before they start looking after themselves again.



Thinking of breastfeeding?

If you’re thinking of breastfeeding, there’s plenty of information and support available to get you through the early days and weeks.  Online, your first port of call should be, the HSE’s redesigned breastfeeding website.  Packed full of tips and advice on getting started, the website also features downloadable factsheets, an ‘Ask the Expert’ section, interesting articles on breastfeeding and details of support groups around the country.

The HSE also offers a range of breastfeeding support materials, including a newly designed pregnancy calendar, a ‘Feeding Your Baby’ leaflet, and the Breastfeeding Support Network Card – a wallet-friendly card providing details of help and support for breastfeeding mothers.   You can find these resources in your maternity hospital or local health centre or through or the HSE Infoline on 1850 24 1850.

HSE public health nurses run regular breastfeeding groups around the country.  As well as being a valuable source of information, these groups are a great opportunity to meet other mums and babies.  In addition, other health professionals including midwives, GPs, practice nurses and dietitians provide one-to-one information and support for expectant and breastfeeding mothers.

Expert breastfeeding support is also provided by voluntary organisations such as La Leche League of Ireland and Cuidiú-Irish Childbirth Trust which hold regular mother-to-mother support group meetings, as well as providing telephone support and one to one information on request.

Article courtesy in association with the HSE

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