Saturday, 6 August 2011

Next Stop - Local Primary School

Celebration Bust is off to a local primary school -  

Last year our local school organised a food day. They asked if I would be interested in talking to the children about infant feeding. They left it up to me how my presentation would unfold but had requested that there were no photos or pictures of naked breasts.  

I had groups of different ages of children and my discussion and display was reorganised accordingly.  I had my daughter Molly with me  and they were able to ask questions regarding my breastfeeding relationship with her.  All of the children showed genuine interest and participated in the discussions we had. Each group was very different and the younger children concentrated more on the baby animals than the act of breastfeeding itself.  There was very little embarrassment shown and I really believe that all the children gained something positive from the experience.

My main aim was to show that  human babies need to drink human milk, and convey this in an age appropriate and objective manner.  I have no background knowledge  of teaching so I'm sure you will find I have gone about this the wrong way.  However -  the children seemed engaged with the topic, uneducated about breastfeeding and willing to learn more, which is why I thought you might be interested in looking through the materials I pulled together.  The materials I used are not suitable for emailing (there was a lot of cutting and sticking involved) and I photocopied it all on to A3 paper to create a good visual impression. What I have done though, is shown you some of the pictures I used and the explanations I gave to go with them.  The main aim of it all, for all age groups was for the children to understand that human milk is biologically live substance and is species specific unlike infant formula which is modified cows milk.
Before our 15 minute allocated slot was over, I gave them each a handout out to take home and talk about with their parents.  I was expecting some negative feedback from parents, however all feedback received was positive. I even had a couple of thank you letters from the children and staff :)

 If you have any questions please let me know.

To start the conversation off i asked children if they drink milk and if so where does it come from.  I asked about other foods they eat and talked about diet in general.  I then asked  “where do babies get their milk?”  Some said—the same place we do...others said from mummies and some said Cow and Gate.   With each individual group the discussion took a different route but what follows is the general gist off conversation

I turned the pictures below in to picture cards.   After we talked about “the milk we  drink” I showed the children the pictures of the baby of each animal. At the same time asking where does this baby get her milk from?  After identifying each of the baby's mothers I showed them a poster I had created showing mothers of all animal species feeding their young. 
With the older children—we talked about what is expected of each animal when it grows up  Ie– baby cows need to get up and run strait away, Baby humans take along time to become independent. Therefore the food that the baby receives needs to be able to fuel the individual.
The aim with this activity  was to raise awareness that milk is species specific.  It raised allot of questions. Mainly regarding human milk composition.

After playing a game of match the mum to the baby i showed them a poster i made using these pics below...

For the presentation to the children I made it nice and bright with colourful patterns.  The aim here was to show that human babies need human milk, in the same way that lambs need sheep milk, piglets need pig milk and so on.  
 I also made a poster using  some pictures of formula—I added that formula does have a place in infant feeding but does not contain live cells and enzymes that help babies immunity.  (worded differently for different age groups)

I did get asked alot, why would mums feed their babies formula if human milk was so good. -

In response to this I had 5 full page advertisements for formula milk that I pulled out from just one magazine.  We talked about the wording of the advertisements  and how it encourages mums to buy formula milk. They were stunned.

My aim with the formula poster was to encourage discussion about how marketing can alter our  decisions and to make the children aware of some of the differences between infant formula and Human Milk.

 After we talked about formula and advertising I showed them the Ardent Belly Balls and the display I had created  showing them how much milk a baby can hold in the tummy. They were amazed at how tiny their tummies were and how little babies can eat. I did this for 1 day, 3 days, & 10 days. I had a little container with the amounts of milk in too. I also had a jug of milk containing  the amount of milk the human breast can make within 24 hours. Again the children were amazed.  This encouraged lots of questions.

My aim was to show children that babies feed little and often. Looking at the belly balls also gave rise to discussion about why human milk digests so quickly and infant formula doesn't.
The text I used with the Belly balls
I cut it all out and made (another!) poster and stuck the belly balls and containers to it.

At 1 day old
5 ml
At 3 days old
At 10 days old
45-60 ml

By the time a baby is 6 months old, the mum is making 896ml of milk every day!

Milk changes as the baby grows.  The first milk is called COLOSTRUM.  This contains all the things baby needs for a healthy start.

After the first few days more milk `comes in.` This milk is watery at first and stops the baby from feeling thirsty. After baby has been feeding for a few minutes it starts to get thicker and fattier. This stops the baby feeling hungry!

Human Milk For Human Babies.
Human milk contains many things to help keep baby healthy from the very beginning of life. These things are found in just the right amounts to ensure that the baby gets to grow and feel well.
Proteins – Help to protect baby from illness.
Amino Acids/ Taurine – Helps the brain and eyes to grow.
Fat – Gives energy for growth
Lactose (a type of sugar, only found in milk)
 Helps with brain growth
Helps baby absorb minerals
Vitamins and Minerals   -Very important for growth and health
Iron, Zinc and Fluoride
Enzymes, live cells and Hormones.
Protection from disease
Aids digestion
Destroys harmful bacteria and viruses.
That is just some of the things that human milk can do. The list is far too long to include it all.
 Magical Milk
Human milk is the healthiest possible food for human babies. But it’s not just because of all the important nutritional stuff.
A mother can make just the right amount of milk for her baby. At one day old a baby only needs 5 ml of milk. If baby is fed with milk out of a bottle the baby could become over full – Baby will soon get used to this feeling and as the baby gets older they may  eat too much to get the over full feeling! This is very unhealthy.

The protein in human milk is in very small amounts and digests easily. This means that breast fed babies feed ALOT more than bottle fed babies. But this means that mummy and baby get to spend lots of quality time together. This is important for human babies.

Colostrum – the very first milk that baby receives contains ALL the thing baby needs to have a really healthy start

When a mum is breastfeeding her baby she gets a HUGE dose of hormone that makes her love her baby EVEN more than she did before! Clever, eh!


Thursday, 30 June 2011

About "Celebration Bust"

“Celebration Bust” was created to be launched during Breastfeeding Awareness Week 2011.  It is hoped that The Bust will help to raise awareness of the work that goes on helping to support mum and baby partnerships in their breastfeeding relationships. 

The “Celebration Bust” is designed to make people look, to be a celebration of the ability of a woman’s body to nurture her child, a celebration of the breastfeeding relationships depicted upon it and in the long term to confront some of the cultural assumptions we have about the female anatomy!   What is important, to me at least, that this “bust” is a celebration but not particularly a tool for promotion...

Every time I go to buy fuel for my car of to the corner shop for a loaf of bread I and my children are continually confronted with sexual imagery almost entirely of the female form.  These images are everywhere; adverts, soaps, films and music videos – none of it censored or placed after the 9pm watershed but right there in our faces 24/7.  It seems difficult for people to be able to accept breasts as an object of desire and ALSO as a means to feed and nurture a child.  I think, that because we constantly see them in the former and never in the latter way -  Is it really any wonder that women and girls have hang ups especially when it comes to feeding babies. Its our culture and what we have all come to accept as normal.

My own personal aim is; for the women that I support to be able to breastfeed for as long as they want to breastfeed for. For this, one of the things they need  is support and understanding from the culture in which they live; and part of that is challenging the beliefs that are held about breasts. Recently perpetuated very eloquently by Jeremy Clarkson but this is generally a huge problem in general media coverage.  
I don’t doubt that “Celebration Bust” will stir some emotions in people.  A mixture of anger and humour maybe? Maybe bashfulness and shame? But ultimately I hope that it will entice people to take a closer look and see all the faces of smiling children and the bodies that sustain them and think yes, that is what I would like for my family, there IS support to help me achieve it. Idealistic, perhaps? Or maybe just showing a culture, that seems to have forgotten, that our “funbags” have another very important function. 
There is so much misinformation flying around surrounding breastfeeding and part of the project is to draw attention to that.  The “Celebration Bust” will be visiting public places across South Shropshire. As well as raising awareness of the Boobiful Babies group it is hoped that on its journey it can help to “BUST!” some of the myths that surround breastfeeding.
At the moment it is sat in Ludlow Library in South Shropshire.  Next stop is the window of a Cancer Research shop, a local school has asked to host it and we are getting a great amount of interest from other public buildings. 

Celebration Bust in Ludlow Library, Shropshire.

So, Here they are, a pair of breasts. Yes they may be good fun and play a part in creating babies but they also come in very handy when feeding them too.
As for how many of our objectives the bust will meet..? I don`t know. But it’s certainly met the first – people are defiantly taking a look!    

Monday, 27 June 2011

First Stop! Ludlow Library

"Celebration Bust" in Ludlow Library.  The Library Staff were so accommodating and pleased to display the Bust for us. 

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Busting Breastfeeding Myths.

 Part of the role of then  Celebration Bust is to challenge information that is held about breastfeeding. There is a huge amount of misinformation out there and, locally at least, we hope to challenge it.  If you feel that any of the information below is out dated or could be made better please feel free to comment! If you would like to add myths that you have picked up along the way feel free to  add them too... 
Busting Breastfeeding Myths
Here is just a very small collection of some of the myths that seem most common. There are so many more. If you are a pregnant or a breastfeeding mother it is important for you that you understand what you are being told. If you do not understand, or it doesn't feel right...ask, ask and ask again!!


"I have really bad diet my milk won't be any good"

- Human milk is the optimum food for human babies. If your diet is poor it may affect your energy levels but not the constitution of your milk. Milk production takes all it needs from the mothers body.


"My baby isn't gaining weight fast enough. I need to top baby up with formula milk"

-Slow weight gain can be worrying for new parents, however...providing baby is producing plenty of wet and dirty nappies there is usually nothing to worry about. If your baby is gaining weight slowly contact your local breastfeeding support team who can help to make sure that baby is getting the most from breastfeeding. If there is a need for top ups there are many ways of doing so without the need for bottles and formula milk which may disrupt your breastfeeding relationship.



"My baby won`t sleep through the night anymore – she needs more than my milk can give her"


Babies go through many different developmental changes that can affect their sleeping patterns. Although this may mean that you are feeding more often at night time it is usually down to developmental changes – not your milk. If you are worried about babies sleep talk to your Health Visitor and breastfeeding support team who should help put your mind at rest.



"My baby is feeding all the time, he needs more than I can give him"

Babies often go through growth patterns that can mean they need to increase your milk supply. Baby is upping your supply ready to cope with a new growth phase...this is often referred to as cluster feeding and frustratingly happens mostly during the evening. This is normal. If baby is feeding much more than you feel is right or you are worried about weight gain please get in touch with your local peer support team and your health visitor who can help you make sure baby is feeding efficiently.


 "Your baby is feeding ALL the time! He`s just using you as a dummy!"

Milk is made on a supply and demand basis, the more baby feeds, the more milk you`ll make. If baby is feeding for what you feel is too frequently get in touch with your health visitor and peer support team to make sure baby is feeding efficiently. Babies take much comfort from feeding at your breast. Breastfeeding is much more than just a food source. Sometimes mothers may notice that, as baby gets older, if they are busy during the day baby may catch up on feeding and cuddle time later on.


"I have mastitis I need to stop feeding from the affected side"

It is important that you keep feeding through your illness as stopping feeding may make your symptoms worse. If you feel you have mastitis please get in touch with your health visitor and peer support team who will support you through it.



"My baby is a large baby, there is no way I could produce enough milk to sustain her. She`ll need formula milk!"

This is untrue. Milk production operates on a supply and demand basis. The more a baby feeds the more milk you will make. Introducing a formula top up can disrupt this process and ultimately lead to a poor milk supply meaning you give up breastfeeding sooner than you would like.

"All women can breastfeed!"

-This is untrue. There is a small percentage of women who are medically unable to breastfeed. However, there are many other reasons why a breastfeeding relationship may be unsuccessful even if there is no medical reason to support it. It needn't be this way. Getting the correct information before the birth, understanding the processes and getting support from a dedicated breastfeeding network will increase a mother and babys chance of getting it right.



"Im ill!  I need to stop breastfeeding so baby doesn't catch my illness."


This is untrue! When you are poorly the antibodies you make to fight your illness pass through to your breast milk. Chances are that baby has been exposed to the same illness as you any way...If you continue to breastfeed you are passing the antibodies to fight the illness through to your baby effectively a readymade medicine! Clever eh! Breastfeeding is a great way of helping baby get over illness; for the live cells and antibodies it provides and the closeness and comfort of it too.


"My baby has reached 6 months. My breast milk no longer has any nutritional benefit"

Untrue! Breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months of life is recommended but The World Health Organisation recommends that breastfeeding continues alongside other forms of food and drink until baby is at least two years for all the nutritional, physical and emotional needs that it meets. At around the middle of the first year solids are also being introduced but there is no reason to stop at this time - as long as you are happy to continue – your baby will be too.



"My breastfed baby won't sleep through the night. Formula makes them sleep longer"

Formula milk contains cow's milk protein which is harder to digest and sits in babies tummies for longer. The proteins in human milk are specific for the human species. They are digested quickly as babies are designed to feed little and often for optimum physical and emotional growth and maximum intake of breast milk.

Getting ongoing support and the correct information about feeding your baby makes an amazing difference to how successful a breastfeeding relationship can be. Boobiful Babies is a Breastfeeding Peer Support group run by mothers who have experienced breastfeeding for varying amounts of time and have received additional training in peer support.

Thursdays 10.30 – 12.30
Ludlow Maternity Unit

Wednesdays 1pm - 3pm
Pips 2 Pippins, Onny School, Onibury 

Taking her on a Picnic

23rd of June in Ludlow, Shropshire. We had a lovely picnic with some lovely mums :)  No one else was quite brave enough to come and see what we were doing...plenty of lookers though.  The Boobiful Bust is now off on an adventure around Ludlow. It would be great if anyone knew of any public buildings more further afeild for the "Bust" to travel to?