Friday, 21 January 2011

Do not disturb! Why too many visitors could affect your breastfeeding success

It can take time to get the hang of breastfeeding, especially with your first baby. But when you have a constant stream of visitors wanting to coo over your little bundle, it gets even more difficult. Laura, mum of two and blogger at Yummy Mummy Flabby Tummy, shares her experience and some tips on how to manage as a new mum.


Like many women, I had my first baby at my local maternity unit after a 16 hour long labour. I was induced with fears I may have Obstetric Cholestasis, I had an epidural with 2 top ups because the pain was so bad and I was running a high temperature throughout my labour. To top it all off, I ended up having a forceps delivery because my baby didn’t want to come out. My son was born at 12:05am, I was exhausted.
Our family were very excited for the arrival of our baby as he was the first Grandson on both sides. During my pregnancy I was sure I wanted to breastfeed but I had no idea of the demand this was going to cause on my body. I didn’t get much sleep after my son was born, the longest spell being an hour the whole time I was in hospital. I wouldn’t say that the amount of visitors was the main reason I struggled to breastfeed but I think it was a big contributor.
People were there to see my son every visiting time, wanting to hold and cuddle him and take pictures of him with everyone. I was in hospital for 4 days before being allowed home and when we got home, even more people were turning up unannounced to see us. Between those visitors, my midwife check-ups and my son awake most of the night I was totally run down, emotional and desperate for some sleep. I gave up breastfeeding my son because he was so hungry, my milk wasn’t coming in quick enough and he was losing weight too quickly. I was physically and emotionally exhausted.
When I found I was pregnant with my daughter, I sat down with my husband and explained I wanted to give breastfeeding a real go this time round. I felt the pressure with my son to be a good host to friends and family who had come to visit us with gorgeous presents for him and this did affect the time I should have been using to feed and bond with my son. This time, if they were going to visit it would be on my terms. My labour was totally different from my first experience even though I had to be induced again. It was shorter, I had less pain relief and when my daughter was born, I made sure I was not interrupted whilst we started feeding. No one, except my husband and son, came to visit us in hospital. Breastfeeding was hard at first but we soon got the hang of it and we continue to breastfeed now.
Having a new baby is a special time and everyone will want to share your new bundle. Every woman and baby is different so there is no saying your labour, birth or feeding experiences will be like mine. However, I do think some of these tips will stand you in good stead for successfully feeding your baby yourself and coping with all your visitors:
1.      Sleep when your baby is sleeping –The biggest cliché but so true. If someone is visiting you ask them to visit when baby is feeding, if you are comfortable. They could then take baby out for a little walk whilst you get a lie down.
2.      Take offers of help – If someone wants to make you a cup of tea or perhaps cook a meal or do some washing, accept that offer. You don’t have to do everything; you’ve just had a baby!
3.      If you have older children get them to help out too, whether it be doing their own chores or getting nappies and wipes for the baby. Toddlers love to help their Mums.
4.      Be strict – If people turn up unexpectedly to your house and you’re not ready for visitors then tell them. Just be honest and explain you are tired or busy.
Having a new baby is a special time and everyone will want to share your new bundle. Enjoy your visitors and spending time with them but remember to look after yourself and enjoy your moments with your baby too, because these first few moments go past so quickly.
Written by Laura from Yummy Mummy Flabby Tummy. Mother to Wee Z, 3 and Miss C, 1.
At Emma-Jane we're all about giving comfort and support to real mums who face the challenges of pregnancy and early motherhood. We know that there are good days and bad days. And we'd love to hear about yours. If you're a mum and fancy writing a blog post for us about your pregnancy, breastfeeding or early motherhood experiences, please leave us a comment below with your email address and we'll be in touch. Or get in touch via Twitter @emmajanebras .

Friday, 14 January 2011

Conflicting breastfeeding advice - where do you stand?

A new report out today says that exclusive breastfeeding for six months might not be the best after all. This is contrary to the World Health Organisation's advice that babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of their lives. See this report from the BBC on the story.

For many mums trying to breastfeed, this might add further confusion, possibly even a reason to give up feeding if they are battling. And even those mums happily feeding, not knowing whether to introduce solid foods before or after six months can cause them to worry.

Our thoughts are that mums know best. We strongly support breastfeeding and believe mums who are comfortable and happy feeding this way should continue for as long as they like. But they should also trust their instincts and respond to their baby's needs. If your baby is thriving on breast milk alone, then stick with it. If your baby is somewhere between 4 and 6 months and seems to want or need something in addition, then try it.

There will always be conflicting advice with different groups pushing their own agendas. It can be a tough job for parents to navigate their way through the minefield of information. But ultimately you know your baby. Do your best, love them loads and everything will be ok in the end. No-one is perfect.

What are your views on this new report? Please share them with us either below or on our Facebook page.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Naked, pregnant and beautiful - see our maternity shorts in the P&B Body Issue

When Pregnancy & Birth magazine told us that they were doing a feature to celebrate the pregnant body, we jumped at the chance to help. Five gorgeous ladies showed off their bumps wearing nothing but our maternity shorts (style 522).

They all look amazing!! Well done ladies on baring all and showing the world just how beautiful real mums-to-be are.

The maternity shorts featured in this shoot are designed to match our maternity bra 311, or nursing bras 411 or 412. See our list of retailers to get some.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Is it possible to be in love with a bra?

Firstly, happy new year! The Emma-Jane team wishes you a 2011 filled with love and happiness (not to mention as much sleep as possible for new mums). Speaking of love and happiness, you might want to give our new Next Generation seamfree bras a try as they seem to be making hearts flutter.

Leading parenting website MadeforMums had this to say about our new style 361 bra: "Every pregnant woman or breastfeeding mum needs a wardrobe staple when it comes to underwear and the Emma Jane Next Generation Seamfree nursing bra might just be the one."

It goes on to say: "The Next Generation Seamfree nursing bra (Style 361) is a new release from UK maternity and nursing lingerie specialists Emma Jane and is the company’s first seamfree product. True to form, Emma Jane has designed a price-conscious garment that rolls comfort, support and value into one, making it a real contender to more expensive seamfree bras on the market."
You can read the full review (which saw our bra being awarded 4.5 out of 5 stars) here.

We also regularly send out product samples to pregnant and nursing mums, asking them to try them out and give us their feedback so that we know what needs to improve and what works. One of our recent testers had this to say about style 365 (like the 361, but with removable pads):

"Brilliant that it goes from sizes B to F. Genius!"

When asked whether it was comfortable, the reviewer said:
"Very. Loved it! Loved the foam pads. Loved the design. Loved the seamfree look. Loved everything!"

When asked whether she'd buy this bra, she said:
"Loved it! Loved it! Loved it!!!! I just wish I'd known about it a year ago. Definitely the best nursing/maternity bra I have ever worn. Definitely recommend it to everyone I know. 10 out of 10."

So if you haven't tried it yet, get to one of our retailers and have a go. You never know, you might just fall in love too.

If you've tried our new seamfree bras, leave us your feedback below! And don't forget to join us on Facebook.