5 fascinating facts you didn’t know about breastfeeding

In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week this August, we put together a few fascinating facts about breastfeeding that we hope you will enjoy!fascinating facts about breastfeeding BabyNatal

  1. Colostrum is ‘liquid gold’

During pregnancy your breasts start producing a small amount of milk, ready for the birth of the baby. This early milk is called colostrum, and you may or may not notice little drops of it leaking from your breasts towards the end of your pregnancy. If you’re not, don’t worry, as your body is producing it, even if you can’t see it!

Colostrum is the milk that your baby will have for the first 3 or 4 days before your ‘full milk’ comes in. Not a lot of it is produced, so if you express it into a bottle, don’t worry if you can only see a little of it – this is all your baby needs. Remember that their stomachs are tiny! Colostrum is thick and sticky, it may appear buttery yellow in colour, and it’s full of antibodies. That’s why it’s also nicknamed ‘liquid gold’. The antibodies that colostrum contains provide your baby with protection against infections that mum has built up an immunity to. Continue reading

5 benefits of having skin-to-skin with your baby

In our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes we talk about the ‘Golden Hour’, which is the term used to describe the first hour after the birth of a baby. We love talking about what typically happens during this time, and one of the things that we encourage parents to consider, if at all possible, is to have skin-to-skin contact with their babies.

Having skin-to-skin contact simply means having your baby’s bare body on your bare skin (normally on your chest). If your baby has literally just been born, they may still be partially wrapped in a towel, which helps them stay warm.

Skin-to-skin contact isn’t just for the first few minutes or hours after birth though – when you’re at home with your baby in the first few days and weeks of their lives, you can continue to take some time to enjoy skin-to-skin contact with them – and it’s ok for them to be wearing a nappy… because you just never know! In order to keep yourself and (especially) your baby comfortable and warm, you can always cover yourself with a light blanket or large muslin, depending on the temperature in the room you’re in. Continue reading

How to protect your baby from the sun and heat

With the hot weather due to make another appearance anytime soon and lots of families planning their holidays, we feel it’s important that parents are aware of the latest recommendations to protect their babies and young children from the sun and heat.

The first thing to remember, and why this topic is so so important, is that babies can easily overheat. Something we discuss in our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes is that young babies don’t yet have a way to regulate their own body temperature. This means that if we cover them too much, they have no way to cool themselves down on their own. They literally rely on us, the parents, to remove some layers of clothing or shade them from the heat! Continue reading

What is International Father’s Mental Health Day?

On 19th June 2017 The Natal Family will join in the celebrations and social media hype for the second International Father’s Mental Health Day. Watch out for #IFMHD on social media from the 19th June for a week – lots and lots of great content that focuses on key aspects of fathers’ mental health will be shared online.

Why do we need an awareness day for father’s mental health?

Because 10% of dads are reported to experience perinatal postpartum depression. And while there is still a lot of stigma attached to mental health for both men and women, it looks like, as a society, we have a long way to go when it comes to recognising the signs and symptoms of postnatal depression, especially in men. Continue reading

What will I learn at a BabyNatal First Aid class?

Every year the Child Accident Prevention Trust runs Child Safety Week (5th to 11th June 2017) to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they can be prevented. But in case an unfortunate accident was to happen, would a parent know how to respond?

We often see worrying statistics in the media that show that an overwhelming majority of parents wouldn’t know what to do in case of an accident.

First Aid classes and practical workshops for parents might just be the perfect answer to this, and that’s why here at The Natal Family we offer AoFA accredited BabyNatal First Aid classes to parents and parents-to-be across the country. After all, providing crucial, life-saving skills to parents and parents-to-be fits perfectly well within our ethos of empowering parents with the knowledge and confidence they need. Continue reading

How to protect your baby’s skin from exposure to chemicals

From the moment you find out you are going to become a parent, you want the best for your baby. You’d do anything to protect them from harm – and that, of course, includes protecting their sensitive skin.

It’s no coincidence that a lot of parents-to-be start to become a lot more conscious and aware of the products they use on a daily basis even before their little ones are born. Any new parent will tell that then when your baby is finally here, a whole range of new products come into your life too. From washing powders and detergents, to nappies and baby oils – so many new items are suddenly added to your weekly shopping list. Continue reading

5 reasons why parents might choose cloth nappies

One of the topics we discuss in our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes is nappy changing. As with everything else we do at The Natal Family, we like to give parents plenty of useful information to help them make informed choices. This means that in our classes we go through a lot of options. And when it comes to nappy changing, parents can not only choose between different brands of disposable or eco-friendly nappies, but they can also opt for cloth or reusable nappies.

Sometimes in our classes, when we mention cloth nappies, parents-to-be look at us in horror. “Is this about the muslin cloths and pins that my grandmother used to use??” Not quite! The good news is that the demand for cloth nappies has exploded in the last few years, and as a consequence, reusable nappies have come a very long way. Continue reading

Where can I bathe my newborn baby?

When it comes to caring for your newborn baby, bathing is probably the one thing that new parents feel more nervous about. New babies seem so tiny and fragile, and we, as parents, are aware of being so ‘new to the job’ that it’s completely normal to feel a little anxious and nervous. We’ve all been there!

Of course bathing is covered in our BabyNatal Practical Baby Care classes and, for the teachers who offer it, in our Caring for your Newborn courses, which also include Paediatric First Aid, Colic and Calming and Sleep. One of the things we cover when talking about bathing is where you can bathe your little one. As with many other things baby-related, parents have different options. And as always, we like to encourage parents to consider and discuss the choices available to them, in order to make decisions that work for them as a family. Continue reading

9 things you need to know about vitamin K for babies

In our BabyNatal classes we go through the choices that new parents can make straight after the birth of their babies. One of the very early decisions that parents are asked to make is whether they would like their baby to have a supplement of vitamin K.

So we put together this blog post to answer some of the key questions you might have about this.

  1. Why is my baby offered vitamin K soon after birth?

When babies are born, they have low levels of vitamin K because only small amounts of vitamin K in mum’s body pass through the placenta. In the vast majority of healthy newborn babies, the amount of vitamin K they have in their body is enough to prevent any problems. However, some babies are born with an insufficient amount of vitamin K. Because it’s impossible to accurately predict which babies will be born with a vitamin K deficiency, a vitamin K supplement is currently offered to all babies born in the UK. Continue reading

What do I do if I suspect my child may have a cow’s milk allergy?

One question that often comes up in our BabyNatal Colic and Calming workshops is whether dairy allergy or lactose intolerance could cause colic. This is certainly a possibility (although there are others), and the advice that we give parents in our classes is to work with their health professionals to look at the baby’s feeds to try and accommodate these allergies or intolerance.

The good news is that a lot of babies do grow out of allergies or intolerance as their digestive system matures, but if this is an area of concern for you at the moment, here’s some information that you might find useful.

What is cow’s milk allergy?

Cow’s milk allergy is a reaction from the immune system to one or both the proteins contained in cow’s milk (casein and whey). It should not be confused with lactose intolerance, which is the inability to digest the milk sugar found in milk (including breast milk).

Cow’s milk allergy is the most common food allergy in infants and young children in the UK, and it can occur in both breastfed and formula-fed babies. Continue reading