Do you want some secret support?

IMG_0485 If you are a new or expectant mum, I’m guessing that whilst there is a part of you that feels things must just come naturally, there is another part of you that is not too sure about how it is all going to work.

Well I want to reassure you that no matter what happens, now that you have come across Miskin Maternity, you have an Ace in your back pocket and can call on us for as much or as little help as and when you need…and as we don’t advertise, we are the industry’s best kept secret.

Miskin Maternity helps mums like you find feeding and sleep solutions that work for you and your family so that you feel empowered and confident about what you are doing and more importantly WHY you are doing it.

Both myself and Lizzie are dedicated to ensuring that you have the best experience we can provide through our unique support system that extends to you, our clients, as well as our maternity nurse and night nanny team.

So get in touch for a quick chat or if you have any questions.

We look forward to taking you under our wings and showing you how to spread yours.

All our love,

Geraldine (Miskin) and Lizzie (Petersen)

Why you will appreciate our unique recruiting process …

shutterstock_8875129Do you want peace of mind knowing your maternity nurse has been fully vetted?

We appreciate that handing your new baby over to a complete stranger is really tough and goes against every grain of your maternal instinct, especially in the early days and weeks when you are still acclimatising to an empty baby bump.

Which is why we want to give you peace of mind that we have a very different recruitment method to other agencies. Our aim is to focus on quality of care rather than recruiting hundreds of girls.

Firstly, most of our team are referrals from mums themselves as well as our existing maternity nurse and night nanny team. We have made the decision to keep our team small so that we can get to each of them, equip and mentor them so that they offer you the very best care.

In order to ensure that we build a team of incredibly supportive and skilled girls, they undergo a stringent 6 step vetting process which includes free work experience placements.

We want to give you peace of mind that if you want support, need to catch up on sleep or even create more time to bond with your baby, you don’t have to manage on your own. With Miskin Maternity, you and your baby are in good hands.

Lizzie takes care of our clients and our team so get in touch with her when you are ready.

 

Tips for breastfeeding a teething baby

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The idea of breastfeeding a baby with teeth may seem daunting, but many mums breastfeed their baby comfortably and you can too. There are a few easy steps you can implement to avoid being nipped when you breastfeed a teething baby. Here are a few of my tips which have helped other mums, just like you.

The thing to remember is that teething is a new sensation for your baby who experiencees varying levels of pain, inflammation and irritability. A natural way to relieve this is to bite or chew – preferably on a cold toy. Biting becomes a game when your baby sees you jump or yelp when bitten and enjoys a new found interaction with you.

Your aim is to minimise the opportunity or need for biting just before the feed is due, take baby off the breast before he or she bites down and help baby understand that whilst he or she doesn’t feel the pain caused by the bite, it is not a great experience for you.

Here five tips to breastfeed a teething baby

Calm baby’s gums before breastfeeding – Offer your baby something cold and hard to chew on before you offer baby the breast. This will soothe baby’s gums and dull the inflammation somewhat before the feed, so that baby isn’t tempted to soothe his or her gums on the breast. Applying teething gel, using homeopathic remedies or pain medication (under your GP’s guidance) can also help baby to feel more comfortable.

Boost your supply – Ensure that your milk supply is abundant and easily accessible for your baby. This encourages baby to focus on the feed when at the breast and reduces feeding time and opportunity for nipping.

Switch nurse – Switch nursing (swapping breasts during the feed) is a great way to breastfeed a teething baby and ensure that he or she keeps accessing milk easily. Look for swallows and if baby isn’t swallowing, compress the breast or switch over to the other side.

Give baby your full attention – As your baby gets older, he or she may use a nip or bite to get your attention during the feed. Talk to your baby, stroke his or head or if he or she is an active little thing, try using distraction by sitting in front of a bright colourful painting that your baby can see over your shoulder.

Try wearing a big chunky colourful necklace that your little one can play with during the feed and use this to engage with baby. Amanda Waring does some really great pieces and they are ally child proof.

Take baby off the breast as the feed comes to an end – Babies tend to bite when they come to the end of a feed and they lose interest. If you can see that your little one is getting restless, wriggly and uninterested, use breast compression to keep your milk flowing or take baby off the breast. You can offer the other side if you feel that baby needs more milk.

If in doubt, try using a nipple shield – If your baby has already bitten you quite hard, you may feel nervous about feeding without some sort of ‘protection’, nipple shields can provide some of the protection you need. Once you have put the shield on, express some milk into the shield, so that your baby gets milk quickly once latched. This will stop your baby from having a quick chew before the milk comes down.

There are so many ways to make things better for you and baby at this new and exciting milestone but if finding what works best for you is a bit of a challenge, just get in touch.

Create a feeding experience that makes your heart sing

shutterstock_32195170One of the many great things about breastfeeding, is that it is flexible and you can really create a breastfeeding experience that works for you and your baby. Many mums have asked me for breastfeeding and expressing tips, so I hope this blog helps you too. Here is a frequently asked question about breastfeeding and expressing tips.

“I’m really tired and seem to have very little milk at the end of the day when my baby seems hungriest. Baby feeds continuously in the evening and then frequently at night. I need to get baby to bed so that I can have dinner and a break, so wonder how and when to offer a bottle feed. I don’t want to introduce formula but don’t know how or when to express to get the milk baby needs.”

It is natural to have less milk in the afternoon and this can often lead to baby feeding frequently and feeds being close together. This is called cluster feeding and many other mums are experiencing a similar feeding pattern, so it is not something that you are not alone and definitely not doing wrong.

Here are seven breastfeeding and expressing tips

When to express – Your milk supply is typically higher in the morning, so express after the first 2 feeds of the day – say 7am and 10am, and use this milk for an evening bottle. Remember to express in place of the breastfeed, so that you maintain your supply and don’t develop congestion. If baby is being offered a bottle at 10pm, you can express both breasts at 9pm and go to early.

Offer a split feed – Offering baby a split feed at bath time encourages baby to take in more calories. The more calories your baby takes in during the day, the less he or she will need at night. You can also consider doing a breastfeed before bath – both sides, bath, breastfeed after the bath – both sides and then offer a top up.

Offer a bottle feed when it suits you – Many mums think that they can only offer a bottle feed in place of a breastfeed at 10pm or the last feed of the day. This is certainly a popular time since the introduction of baby routines, but you can offer a bottle at a time that works for you. If you struggle in the evening, you can offer baby a bottle feed of expressed milk after his or her bath as suggested above. Some mums find that offering baby a bottle of expressed milk at 4pm when supply is lowest and expressing both sides instead, fills baby up, takes less time and set everyone up for a great evening. The 10pm is popular but doesn’t always lead to longer periods of sleep.

Boost your supply – You can also boost your afternoon milk supply by having 3 fenugreek capsules at lunchtime. Fenugreek will boost your supply, so that your baby is able to get more milk and will be more satisfied. There are many other galactogues (milk producing agents) so have a read online and find one that works for you. (Always check with GP)

Smart top ups – If you feel that your baby just isn’t getting enough milk at feeds, you can use the milk you express in the morning, to top your baby up during the day. Offer both breasts at feeds and then a 20 -30ml top up of expressed milk afterwards. This will make the evenings less frantic and lead to a calmer bedtime. (Have your positioning and attachment checked to ensure baby is draining the breast effectively)

Know what’s normal for your baby – Your baby may have a small tummy which is why he or she needs to feed frequently – frequent feeds are not always a ‘sign of low milk supply’. The more frequently your baby feeds, the higher the fat content. Use breast compression to ensure that the breast empties well – the better drained it is, the quicker it will refill and the more satiated baby will be.

Formula is not the silver bullet it is made out to be – Breast milk is easily absorbed and utilised by your baby. If your baby’s feeding is all over the place, there will be improvements you can make to get breastfeeding on the right track. Breastfeeding is often wrongly associated with lack of sleep, but I usually find that mums just haven’t been given the right advice, so if you don’t want to introduce formula, you don’t have to.

More breastfeeding and expressing tips

Check that your positioning and attachment works for you and your baby, is suited to your unique anatomy, baby’s oral cavity and your birth history.

Ensure that your feeding pattern reflects your breast size and your baby’s weight and age.

Remember that a pump won’t get as much from the breast as baby does and expressing is not a sign of how much milk you produce.

Express from both sides after the morning feed, rather than just one side.

Ensure that there is at least an hour between finishing expressing and your next breastfeed.

BME-Visual copy 2

 

Get your copy here

This is a wonderful book. The format is super helpful and means you can easily find the relevant section at 3am when you need help feeding your baby! Advice is practical and realistic. If you want to breast feed, buy this book!

Find out why your baby is snacking and how to enable better feeds

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Snacking is great for some mums and babies but you may find you simply don’t have the time to sit down and feed frequently, especially when if you have other little one to look after. So what is normal and how can you help your breastfeeding baby to get what he needs easily so that you both enjoy some down time between feeds?

There is no ‘regular’ or ‘normal’ feeding pattern a breast fed baby should follow, as they will feed according to their needs, their tummy capacity and calorie requirements. However, you can enable your breastfeeding baby to feed more effectively really easily.

Here are some elements to consider and tips to play with.

 

 

How to tell the difference between snacking and normal feeding patterns?

You may question whether you produce enough milk if your baby wants to feed every 45 minutes to an hour. If this is happening late in the afternoon or at the end of the day, it is considered ‘normal’ and pretty standard as this is when your milk supply is low and baby isn’t able to get as much milk, as easily as he or she can at the morning feeds, when your supply is naturally higher. Consider feeding from both sides at these feeds, ensuring that your positioning and latch are right, so that your baby can get as much milk as possible, without hurting you or working too hard.

How big is your baby?

If your baby is tiny, he or she will only have a small little stomach which fills up really quickly, so in order to meet daily (24 hourly) calorie requirements, he or she will need to feed little and often until it gets bigger and is able to accomodate a bigger feed. Your baby is not snacking – just feeding according to size and in time, this will be less frequent.

If your baby is not so small – you may need to consider changing your feeding pattern, so that baby is able to get more milk at each feed. This may mean that you do a nappy change mid feed to wake baby or maybe even offer the second side, if you feel that baby is not getting much milk from the first side. Your baby is snacking so improve your feeds so that he or she can get more milk at feeds and go a little longer.

Is your baby going through a growth spurt?

There are certain age groups that need to feed more frequently to increase your milk supply and this is often misinterpreted as snacking. If your baby has suddenly started to feed more frequently and is close to 3 weeks, 5 weeks or 10 weeks, he or she is probably going through a growth spurt. Instead of trying to restrict feeds, you can encourage them and help your baby to boost your milk supply. The sooner you boost your supply, the sooner your breastfeeding baby will stop snacking or feeding frequently.

Ensure that your baby drains the breast well at each feed

When your baby first starts feeding, the milk will be quite thirst quenching and not very calorific. As your baby continues to feed, your milk becomes creamier. Use a nappy change mid feed or when your little one becomes sleepy, to wake baby and keep him or her interested in feeding for a bit longer. The more calories your baby gets at each feed, the more satisfied he or she will be and this will lead to less frequent feeds.

More often than not, snacking or cluster feeding is just a phase that will pass as soon as it has begun. Small changes can lead to big improvements but if you are struggling, know that there are more practical tips available to help your breastfeeding baby stop snacking.

As always, know that we are here to help you get the breastfeeding experience that you dream of … so just get in touch and let’s make it happen.

Breastfeeding and expressing tips

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One of the many great things about breastfeeding, is that it is flexible and you can really create a breastfeeding experience that works for you and your baby. Many mums have asked me for breastfeeding and expressing tips, so I hope this blog helps you too. Here is a frequently asked question about breastfeeding and expressing tips.

“I’m really tired and seem to have very little milk at the end of the day when my baby seems hungriest. Baby feeds continuously in the evening and then frequently at night. I need to get baby to bed so that I can have dinner and a break, so wonder how and when to offer a bottle feed. I don’t want to introduce formula but don’t know how or when to express to get the milk baby needs.”

It is natural to have less milk in the afternoon and this can often lead to baby feeding frequently and feeds being close together. This is called cluster feeding and many other mums are experiencing a similar feeding pattern, so it is not something that you are not alone and definitely not doing wrong.

Here are seven breastfeeding and expressing tips

When to express – Your milk supply is typically higher in the morning, so express after the first 2 feeds of the day – say 7am and 10am, and use this milk for an evening bottle. Remember to express in place of the breastfeed, so that you maintain your supply and don’t develop congestion. If baby is being offered a bottle at 10pm, you can express both breasts at 9pm and go to early.

Offer a split feed – Offering baby a split feed at bath time encourages baby to take in more calories. The more calories your baby takes in during the day, the less he or she will need at night. You can also consider doing a breastfeed before bath – both sides, bath, breastfeed after the bath – both sides and then offer a top up.

Offer a bottle feed when it suits you – Many mums think that they can only offer a bottle feed in place of a breastfeed at 10pm or the last feed of the day. This is certainly a popular time since the introduction of baby routines, but you can offer a bottle at a time that works for you. If you struggle in the evening, you can offer baby a bottle feed of expressed milk after his or her bath as suggested above. Some mums find that offering baby a bottle of expressed milk at 4pm when supply is lowest and expressing both sides instead, fills baby up, takes less time and set everyone up for a great evening. The 10pm is popular but doesn’t always lead to longer periods of sleep.

Boost your supply – You can also boost your afternoon milk supply by having 3 fenugreek capsules at lunchtime. Fenugreek will boost your supply, so that your baby is able to get more milk and will be more satisfied. There are many other galactogues (milk producing agents) so have a read online and find one that works for you. (Always check with GP)

Smart top ups – If you feel that your baby just isn’t getting enough milk at feeds, you can use the milk you express in the morning, to top your baby up during the day. Offer both breasts at feeds and then a 20 -30ml top up of expressed milk afterwards. This will make the evenings less frantic and lead to a calmer bedtime. (Have your positioning and attachment checked to ensure baby is draining the breast effectively)

Know what’s normal for your baby – Your baby may have a small tummy which is why he or she needs to feed frequently – frequent feeds are not always a ‘sign of low milk supply’. The more frequently your baby feeds, the higher the fat content. Use breast compression to ensure that the breast empties well – the better drained it is, the quicker it will refill and the more satiated baby will be.

Formula is not the silver bullet it is made out to be – Breast milk is easily absorbed and utilised by your baby. If your baby’s feeding is all over the place, there will be improvements you can make to get breastfeeding on the right track. Breastfeeding is often wrongly associated with lack of sleep, but I usually find that mums just haven’t been given the right advice, so if you don’t want to introduce formula, you don’t have to.

More breastfeeding and expressing tips

Check that your positioning and attachment works for you and your baby, is suited to your unique anatomy, baby’s oral cavity and your birth history.

Ensure that your feeding pattern reflects your breast size and your baby’s weight and age.

Remember that a pump won’t get as much from the breast as baby does and expressing is not a sign of how much milk you produce.

Express from both sides after the morning feed, rather than just one side.

Ensure that there is at least an hour between finishing expressing and your next breastfeed.

Tips for interviewing your maternity nurse

shutterstock_66222619When you interview girls who will potentially be looking after your newborn and family whilst living in your home … just after birth, it’s good to know how the professionals do it. Lizzie has been on both sides of the coin being a maternity nurse as well as co – owner of Miskin Maternity, so she knows a lot about the interviewing process and how best to approach it. Here are her tips on how to prepare for your interview. In part two, Lizzie will share some vital questions you need to consider and ask.

Interviewing a Maternity Nurse – Part One…

It is a very personal decision, taking on a maternity nurse 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 all the more easier as well as allow you to be clear in your minds what you feel will work and what you know won’t.

In this first blog I will give some ideas to think about when first thinking about taking on a 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, which may mean your babies 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 first several weeks but our team of maternity nurses will be able to guide and advice 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 (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!

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 you will have to think firstly about 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 have during the day or night. You may have your mother, MIL, nanny or friend on hand help and everyone’s needs differ slightly.

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 advice clients to book roughly one week after your due date and if the maternity nurse can come in sooner, should you wee one grace you with their presence early, 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 form 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 may differ so it does help to draw on previous experiences. First time around you most mothers ask me for someone who can teach and guide, as their knowledge of newborns is limited. Second time around it can be more of a refresher course or even someone who can help with both siblings.

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.

Lizzie

[email protected]

www.miskinmaternity.com

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.

Lizzie

www.miskinmaternity.com