infant feeding specialist

As well as a Private Health Visitor, I am also an Infant Feeding Specialist. I help new parents with understanding how to feed their babies and what foods to introduce at different times during infancy. Infant Feeding is a complex process that requires knowledge, patience, and compassion; these three traits are why it is important for every parent of an infant to find an infant feeding specialist they trust!

If you have a baby, or are expecting one, it is important to know about the different types of infant feeding. There are three main groups: breastfeeding, formula feeding and mixed feeding. Breastfeeding is when a mother feeds her child breast milk that she produces. Formula feedings involve giving an infant either powdered or liquid formulas that they drink from a bottle. Mixed feedings include both formulas and breast milk in varying proportions throughout the day.  Your health visitor will give advice on the appropriate volumes for your baby.

In my experience as an Infant Feeding Specialist, I usually conclude that exclusive breastfeeding, when possible, is recommended for the first six months. Exclusive means that nothing other than breast milk should be given to your baby and you are waiting until they’re at least six months old before introducing anything else. This is beneficial because it provides all the necessary nutrients that babies need during this critical time in their growth–and with no added chemicals! But what’s even better? It protects against infections and allergies too. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months, but new research shows that many women are not able to exclusively breastfeed past three months due to physical limitations. 

Infant breastfeeding

Positioning and attachment are a big part of successful breastfeeding. This includes the baby’s position, how you offer your breast to them and if they are attached correctly. Your nipples can get sore or cracked from being squeezed by their mouth so often–which is why it is important for mothers to take care of these small details first!

Breastfeeding not only helps protect infants against infections but also reduces risks associated with allergies too. It has been shown that children who are exclusively breastfed have reduced chances of developing asthma and other respiratory illnesses later in life. Furthermore, it lowers risk for becoming overweight adults due to its ability to regulate appetite hormones like ghrelin levels.

Benefits Of Breast Feeding

Breastfeeding has multiple benefits for the baby, the mother and the public in general. It helps to reduce infections, with fewer visits to hospital as a result.
It also helps to reduce the risk of diarrhoea and vomiting, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), obesity and cardiovascular disease in adulthood.

For the mother, breastfeeding helps to reduce the risk of breast & ovarian cancers, helps to reduce the risk of hip fractures & osteoporosis, depression, helps to contract the uterus and saves time and money. Breastfeeding is also good for the public because it helps to reduce rates of obesity, treatment cost to the NHS and helps to reduce environmental wastes.

Challenges With Breast Feeding

There can be many challenges that occur with breastfeeding, the main ones being latching issues, sore nipples and low milk production.

The first step to take is getting help from your specialist health visitor who will work with you on finding the best breastfeeding position for mother and baby along with determining whether there are any other physical reasons that could be causing these difficulties such as an injury or medical condition like breast cancer or breast implants. 

Here are a few things you can do to increase your milk supply include:

  •  drinking lots of fluids (water), fenugreek tea
  •  eating high-calorie foods in small portions throughout the day, 
  • wearing nursing bra and looser fitting clothing around chest area and 
  • pumping often even when not breastfeeding; this increases chances of releasing prolactin hormone responsible for stimulating mammary gland cells in order to produce more milk.

Hormones play their role in breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is much more than just a way for mother to feed her baby. It is an excellent time for mother and baby bonding and relationship building.  It can be very pleasurable and intimate, as the oxytocin hormone released during breastfeeding helps create feelings of love, trust and intimacy between mother and child. When Oxytocin is high, it helps a mother to respond better to her baby’s needs.