Birds of a feather flock together – join us

20150314_151448_DSC_0626The Miskin Methodology training program

How do you know what breastfeeding should look like when all mums and babies are different? What do you look at or assess in order to find the right breastfeeding position, feeding pattern, length of feed or solution to common problems like sore nipples, mastitis, low milk supply, unsettled babies and so on?

The truth is that breastfeeding is different for all mums and babies because mums and babies are all different. We don’t all wear the same dress or shoe size, so why should we expect the same advice to work for all mums? We shouldn’t and it is very clear that it doesn’t.

Aim of the training program is to give an elite group of like-minded girls practical tools to effectively assess breastfeeds and support the individual needs of mums and babies who come through our doors.

Using the Miskin Method, support is tailored to each individual mum and baby dyad. This ensures that feeds are comfortable, productive and enjoyable and that milk supply is well established and sufficient to meet the baby’s growing needs.

By assessing mums according to the key criteria, all mums will receive the same advice, support and suggestions from any member of the specialist team, as you will use the same methodology. This approach provides consistent reinforcement, encouragement and advice, something currently lacking.

Our goal is to empower mums to feed and nurture their baby with confidence. We do not believe in shoe horning mums into a breastfeeding experience we deem ‘fit’, ‘suitable’ or ‘acceptable’.

How are we able to do this?

Geraldine Miskin is an internationally recognized breastfeeding specialist with 20 years experience of working with mums and babies. She is author of 6 electronic books and will publish the Miskin Method hard copy later this year. Geraldine is regularly featured and quoted in leading baby magazines, newspapers, websites and often invited onto BBC and Sky news.

Having worked with thousands of babies, she recognized how variations in 5 key areas greatly influenced the positive or negative outcome of breastfeeding. This includes mum’s unique anatomy, baby’s unique anatomy, baby’s age and size, mum’s medical history and the birth and labour both parties experienced. She refers to this as the ‘mum and baby combo’. This is the basis of the Miskin Methodology.

With this insight, Geraldine worked hard to learn how to assist mums and babies according to their unique ‘mum and baby combo’ to avoid and resolve common and unnecessary pitfalls such as mastitis, soreness, supply issues and weight gain challenges.

This is the first time she will share her knowledge and train a select few.

How to find your dream maternity nurse – part one

shutterstock_7733800Taking on a maternity nurse is a very personal decision and what you want to do in your initial interview, is determine if a candidate can provide you with the total care that suits you as a family.

There are a number of things you should think about before you start the interviewing process. This will make hiring the right candidate simpler and easier as well as allow you to be clear in your mind about what will work and wont work for you.

In this first blog I will give you some ideas of what to consider, which questions to ask and identify what you are looking for a good fit between you and your maternity nurse.

It is a good idea to sit down with your partner and have a good think about such things as:

Are you going to breastfeed? Our team of maternity nurses are trained by Geraldine Miskin and they can offer invaluable support to get you on the right track from the offset with regards to breastfeeding. We also ensure our team are trained to support you should you want to bottle feed too and again can teach such things as paced bottle feeding.

Are you wanting routine established? Do you have older children who already have an established routine which means that your baby’s schedule will need a slight element of predictability? Are you going back to work fairly quickly? Most babies will fall into their own pattern over the first several weeks but our team of maternity nurses will be able to guide and advise which sort of routine would work best for you and your baby.

How long do you need someone for? You may not have family near to you (mine live in NZ) so I for one found continual support for several weeks invaluable. Or you may just want a week or two to catch up on sleep and allow yourself time the best chance to recover fully. This is often a grey spot and I am always on hand to discuss all your options and come up with a suitable plan tailored to your requirements.

Do you need someone for nights, 24 hour cover or days only. Or you may want a combination of all three. This is something we also accommodate and can look at putting together packages to suit your needs. When thinking about what type of support you need, it’s helpful to firstly consider your living arrangements and what accommodation you can offer. You will need a bed and room for your maternity nurse should you require 24 hour or night cover. Secondly think about what other support you already have during the day or night. You may have your mother, MIL, nanny or friend on hand to help and may only need additional support to fill in the blank spaces.

When do you require someone to start? This is probably one of the most confusing questions for our clients as babies are well known for being unsuitably unpredictable in their timings. I always advise clients to book roughly one week after your due date and if the maternity nurse can come in sooner, should your wee one grace you with their presence earlier than expected, then they most certainly will ensure they do.

If for whatever reason your baby arrives later than the date you have your maternity nurse booked for you, will have to pay a retainer equaling 50% of their weekly salary – hence why most people prefer to book later rather than earlier. However that is not to say you cannot book from week 37 and have that comfort knowing that you have support on call, right from when you reach full term.

What type of person do you feel would fit into your family well? Again when I ask clients this question I get them to think about help they may have had in the past or what people they naturally are drawn to. We do pride ourselves in having a team which will work to consistent standards but all naturally differ in personality and approach to a degree, so any information such as this really helps in matching you with a maternity nurse.

If you have had a maternity nurse before, think about what worked and what did not in that particular case. As your brood expands your needs and what you may require from a maternity will differ, so it does help to draw on previous experiences.

First time round, most mothers ask me for someone who can teach, guide and coach them, as their knowledge of newborns is understandably limited.

Second time around it can be more of a refresher course or even someone who can help with both siblings, provide extra support, a spare pair of hands and some good old fashioned reassurance.

I also suggest to clients to speak with friends who have had maternity nurses and draw on their experiences too.

Tune in next time when we will start to look at interview questions to think about. In the meantime should you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.


Bottle-feeding tips for heat wave

bottle-feeding babyIt’s not only breastfeeding bubs that are struggling with their feeds – today I have fielded several calls from mums at their wits end so here are some tips for all you lovely bottle-feeding mums too.

Don’t worry if your baby is not finishing the entire feed. Formula is heavy so in this heat, you can expect baby to have a little less at each feed. If you are in a tricky position where you need to get baby’s weight up, just offer smaller feeds more frequently.

Where possible, keep the milk relatively cool. You still need to make it up with a bit of boiling water but cool it right down.

**Quick tip – boil your kettle and pour 30ml of water into baby’s bottle. Add in the required scoops of formula and then add (previously boiled) cold water to help cool baby’s bottle down quicker.

If you think that your baby is thirsty – offer a bit of cooled boiled water in between feeds. One mum asked if she should just dilute the milk but it’s better to have formula made up as required and for baby to have less, than wonder whether the mix was to weak etc. Keep things simple or your brain will ache 🙂

You know that your baby is getting enough milk if there are lots of clear wet nappies. You may find that poos are missing in action whilst it is so hot as your baby absorbs as much as possible so movements can be slower and less frequent. The clear wet nappies tell you that baby is well hydrated.

Have a look at this blog post I wrote for breastfeeding mums about keeping baby cool enough to feed. There will be some super helpful tips there too.

The heat wave is nearly over so just hang in there and get in touch if you need some individual feeding tips.


5 tips to prevent mastitis

Blue Mum and baby WpBreastfeeding usually becomes a bit, sometimes a lot more challenging as the temperatures rise, so with that in mind, I just wanted to give you a few tips to manage and deal with any lumps or blockages that may form as a result of inefficient feeds.

Water – Drink as much water as you can today to keep yourself hydrated and to keep your milk nice and dilute. This will ensure that your milk not only provides all baby’s nutrients but keeps baby hydrated too. If you aren’t a big ‘water drinker’ aim to down a quick glass before you sit down to feed and have another glass to hand during the feed.

*Make up a jug of water with ice, fresh mint, sliced orange, lemon or anything you have lying around that will add interest.

Baby’s position – During the feed, your baby’s position is key. Once your baby has latched, ensure that both baby’s cheeks touch your breast throughout the feed. This allows baby to drain the top and lower half of your breast evenly – better for you and baby. Pay special attention to baby’s lower cheek as this often is forgotten about and can lead to blockages developing in the lower half of breast, which often goes unnoticed, until you feel really rotten.

Massage – If you have any lumps already developing, check cheeks and then whilst baby is breastfeeding, massage the congested parts of your breast with a flat hand. This will just help to dislodge any blockages so that they clear or at least get smaller. As long as they are getting smaller, you know that things are getting better.

Lecithin – When your breast isn’t drained properly, fat molecules stick to the inner lining of your milk ducts and this creates a blockage. Lecithin is a soya bean extract and a fat emulsifier, so is perfectly safe to have whilst breastfeeding and will clear away any fat lining your ducts. It usually comes in 1200mg capsules and you can have 1 a day as a preventative or 2 – 4 a day as a treatment, depending on the level of congestion in your breasts.

Expressing – If breastfeeding is just not working and you and baby are getting a bit fed up with it all – express and bottle feed instead. Your pump is not affected by the heat and will drain your breasts efficiently. Express as often as you would feed, use breast massage to keep your milk flowing and drain the breast more efficiently.

As soon as the weather returns to normal or gets a bit cooler, feeds will become more settled. For tips on how to keep your baby cool enough to feed, click here.

Do the best that you can but know that it will all soon get better and it is not a sign of breastfeeding going horribly wrong – it’s just a side effect of our bi-annual heat wave.