Thursday, 12 May 2011

comfort feeding

Thank you for a lovely meeting today, with some lively toddlers! We talked about ways of getting both mums and babies comfortable when breastfeeding. We mentioned biological nurturing, and you can find out more here.
La Leche League publish a number of leaflets on positioning and latch, such as Comfortable Breastfeeding, Nipple Pain, which you can get here

There is also online information about positioning here

We also talked a little about breastfeeding and fertility and there are some more articles here

We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting, which is a 'Summer Social' in Greville Smythe Park, on Ashton Rd, at 10.30am on Thursday 26 May.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Are you breastfeeding comfortably?

The meeting tomorrow, Thurs 12 May, will be at 53 Zetland Rd at 10.30am. We'll be talking about breastfeeding and comfort. All welcome.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Should Mothers Avoid Nighttime Breastfeeding to Decrease Their Risk of Depression? By Kathleen Kendall-Tackett

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett recently wrote an article questioning the advice given to mothers at risk of depression to avoid nighttime breastfeeding. It is assumed that breastfeeding mothers get less sleep, and this would therefore have a negative impact on their mental health. However, Kendall-Tackett examines research on breastfeeding mothers and reveals that breastfeeding mothers get more sleep.  She says:

At first glance, it may seem to be [good advice to avoid nighttime breastfeeding]. Since breast milk is lower in fat and protein than formula, we might assume, as I once did, that breastfeeding mothers sleep less than their formula-feeding counterparts. When a mother’s mental health is at stake, avoiding nighttime breastfeeding might be worth the risk it poses to breastfeeding. However, recent research has revealed the opposite: that breastfeeding mothers actually get more sleep – particularly when the baby was in proximity to the mother. And that has major implications for their mental health.

The author reviews studies of mothers at 4 weeks postpartum, during the first month and at 3 months. In each of these studies the breastfeeding mothers got the most sleep, especially when they were bedsharing. Mothers who were exclusively breastfeeding at 3 months got an average of 40mins more sleep per night than those who supplemented.

Not only did the breastfeeding mothers get more sleep, but the sleep they get is better quality. Another study compared the sleep quality of breastfeeding and bottlefeeding mothers and found a significant difference in the amount of slow-wave sleep. Breastfeeding mothers got an average of 182 minutes compared with 63 minutes for the exclusively bottlefeeding mothers. “Slow-wave sleep is an important marker of sleep quality, and those with a lower percentage of slow-wave sleep report more daytime fatigue and pain.”

Another recent study of 2,830 women, published in the journal Sleep (“not known for its support of breastfeeding”) found that mothers who were not exclusively breastfeeding had more disrupted sleep and a higher risk of depression.

Kendall-Tackett concludes that exclusive breastfeeding including at night helps reduce the risk of depression due to the deep restorative sleep stages and the ease with which mum falls asleep and returns to sleep after feeding.

Dr. Kendall-Tackett PhD IBCLC is a health psychologist, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and La Leche League Leader who specialises in writing about breastfeeding, women’s health and depression. She is the author of many breastfeeding research articles and co-author of Breastfeeding Made Simple. There is more information on her websites: and