After those big fat super pads and mesh undies that are a necessary postnatal ‘thing’, discovering that breastfeeding can delay the return of your periods is a welcome bonus.
This period free time though, varies among individual women. Most mothers who continue to breastfeed will resume periods between nine and eighteen months after birth. However, while some lucky ladies can go a year or more without a glimpse of Aunty Flo, others can find her visiting within just a few weeks.
For a new mum, the holiday season can be overwhelming and exhausting. It can also impact your milk supply and may mean that your baby, sensing your own stress, becomes increasingly unsettled. Then, as relatives ask, ‘are you sure you have enough milk?’ your self-doubt increases and you reach for the bottle. This is often described as ‘holiday weaning’.
But please take heart, we have top tips for you to beat holiday ‘boobie traps’ so you keep your boobs full and your baby at the breast.
Around the middle of your baby’s first year, that is at about six months, your baby will start showing signs that he is ready for family foods: he will be able to sit up in a high chair or on your lap; he will have lost the tongue thrust reflex (that protects him against choking in the early months, but also means food gets thrust out of his mouth, rather than swallowed); he will be watching you closely as you eat and probably reaching for your food - but being able to grab objects and put them into his mouth is an actual sign of readiness ( after all, even young babies will watch you and may reach for food). Your baby may seem to suddenly be more hungry but not satisfied by extra milk feeds over a period of several days.
See how, when and what to help your baby transition from breastfeeding to family foods
If you or your partner suffer from allergies such as eczema, asthma or hay fever, or if there is a family history of allergies, there is a stronger possibility that your baby’s restlessness and poor sleep could be due to food sensitivity or allergies – and he could be reacting to foods passing through your breast milk (your baby is never allergic to your milk).
Food allergies in exclusively breastfed babies are caused by foods that pass into your breast milk, not to your breast-milk itself. Allergies in infants may cause symptoms including: colic, nausea, vomiting and reflux, wheezing and respiratory congestion, dermatitis, eczema, and various rashes (although other medical causes should be ruled out for these symptoms)
Help! My baby has his first two teeth and he has started biting when I breastfeed. How can I stop him biting or will I have to wean him?
Ouch! Being bitten on the breast really hurts but thankfully, there are strategies to minimise and even stop your baby biting.