Have you heard of 'the breast crawl'?
Amberley Harris @maternalinstinctsbyamberley is one of those special ones. You know those women who give an abundance, a lot of their time & love without expecting anything in return. She is super passionate about helping all women around Australia (and worldwide) successfully breastfeed.
Midwife since 2007, breastfeeding consultant & Mama of two- this lady in my opinion is the breastfeeding fairy godmother!! If you're not following her on Instagram- please do my lovely ladies!! Click on her link here www.instragram.com/maternalinstinctsbyamberley
If you've been following myself for some time you will know I have two darling girls Chelsea (5) & Scarlett (4) ... with bubba girl 3 coming in November.
Overwhelmed as a first time mum, doubting my milk supply, misinformation regarding cluster feeding along with pressures I put on myself... I breastfed Chelsea for 6 weeks before turning to formula. I stopped cold turkey.
Whilst I'm the first to put my hand up & scream from the rooftops- fed is best... and hope that no woman feels guilty for the choices she makes, because goodness I was the Mama who made a choice. I am however, a huge advocate for breastfeeding. It is so beautiful, ideally the best nutrition for your babe and I believe with knowledge and support - the majority of women can breastfeed successfully.
Insert -> Amberley.
Hence, in the lead up to baby 3 I am arming myself with all the knowledge & support (I have all the cookies!!! hehehhe) to breastfeed and breastfeed well.
So I brought Amberley onto the blog today because I learnt something in her newly launched video series I had never known before... something that in my opinion can shape the beginnings of your breastfeeding journey.
So without further adiu I introduce Amberley.
Hi Amberley :) Thanks so much for taking the time to talk today. Before we deep dive into the nitty gritty.. would you tell us a little bit more about yourself, your passion and some of the breastfeeding statistics currently in Australia?
Thank you for having me lovely Jewels! Yes absolutely. I started my breastfeeding consultancy business because I truly believe new mothers need professional support in the formative first six weeks, from someone they connect with and trust, if they are going to shine at breastfeeding. In Australia, 96% of Australian mothers initiate breastfeeding (which is fantastic!) but sadly by five months of age, only 15% of Aussie mamas are still breastfeeding.
Ok, so the phrase I learnt for the first time in your Birth + Breastfeeding video was the term 'Breast Crawl'. It was a serious a-ha moment for myself and I'm so excited to approach my upcoming birth with this knowledge. Would you please explain exactly what the breast crawl is.... providing us with a little bit of background knowledge around a baby that has just birthed & the sequence of steps involved.
Oh yasssss! This makes me so happy to hear! The Breast Crawl is this amazing sequence which all newborn babies are instinctively driven to do following birth. Shortly after a baby is placed on its mothers skin, post birth, it will begin the crawl sequence. The baby will use all of its senses and leverage itself, using their knees and forearms, towards the mothers breast. The baby will then repeatedly open its mouth and eventually attach to the mothers breast to feed.
In your opinion- why is the breast crawl so important?
When a baby is given the time they need to complete the Breast Crawl, they will be more likely to self attach. A self attached baby is more likely to feed properly plus this first breastfeed puts an imprint in the baby's mind as to how they are supposed to breastfeed going forward. So the best thing a mother can do for her baby is help ensure that first breastfeed is a good one!
(beautiful photo approved & supplied by @laine_tribes)
I also feel it is important to discuss birthing the placenta here... as both times I have been administered drugs to trigger the birth of placenta (didn't know any differently)... but after watching your Birth & Breastfeeding video... once again- I have had an a-ha moment!!
Would you explain the difference between active management versus physiological birth of the placenta?
Active management involves the mother receiving an injection of a synthetic version of the hormone Oxytocin, early cord clamping and controlled cord traction, which includes pulling on the cord to deliver the placenta as quickly as possible – a process which takes a few minutes. In a physiological third stage the umbilical cord is left to stop pulsating, so the baby receives all of its precious cord blood, including vital stem cells, before the placenta is ready to be delivered which could be 10 minutes or up to 1 hour after birth. I encourage all mothers to talk to their care provider to see if a Physiological third stage is the right fit for them given it's positive impact on breastfeeding initiating and mother-baby bonding.
Finally, for those Mamas reading this blog today that have a bub going through a patch of cluster feeding... would you, like myself advocate that the power of skin on skin with your bub can do wonders regardless of how old they are?
Definitely! Skin to skin works wonders. Furthermore, cluster feeding is completely normal newborn behaviour. Babies are very clever and cluster feed for so many reasons. It wont continue forever, but being attentive and responding to your baby's feeding cues is the best thing you can do for your bebe to cultivate a strong bond and attachment.
Amberley has a 3 part video series which covers everything breastfeeding from antenatal through to birth and onwards to postpartum.
I myself have purchased her series & have had many a-ha moments and feel so much more confident approaching my breastfeeding later in the year.
All orders placed at the milk & cookies by Jewels store this week until Sunday 8th July midnight will be sent an exclusive code for $20 OFF this 3 part video series. To learn more you can click the link here