Dr Virginia Thorley, OAM, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA - International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
www.virginiathorley.com

Babies' murmurings at the breast

Sometimes mothers wonder about the murmuring sounds the baby is making while breastfeeding. Is this usual, they wonder? 
Many years ago an American radio doctor called Richard Applebaum became interested in the murmuring sounds babies often make while breastfeeding. So he invited mothers from across the US to send him tapes of their babies' sounds. I don't still have his book but, from memory, he ended up with over 2,000 recordings.  Interestingly, some mothers sent recordings of the same baby drinking from a bottle, and remarked that it was only at the breast that these sounds were made.

The right person, with the right advice, at the right time

One of the most consistent experiences a new mother usually has is the sheer inconsistency of advice offered about breastfeeding. Sometimes the difference is because the advice when a baby is a week old is going to be different from when the same baby was only a day or two old when the milk wasn't 'in' and your baby's stomach was smaller. The baby and his needs have changed. Other differences in advice may be because some of the comments offered are just a personal opinion or the person has not kept up to date or is feeling very rushed.

Babies' hands and how they use them - "I've finished my feed".

With a first baby, it can seem so hard to tell if your baby has finished feeding or not. I have been asked about this a lot. Certainly the amount of time isn't a reliable indicator, as some feeds will take a shorter or longer time than others - it is normal for the length of a feed to vary through a 24-hour period. Usually, your baby's hands will give you cues about whether she needs to continue the feed or is finished. While there can be exceptions, I have actually found these very rare.

Latest heatwave

With the current heatwave in much of Australia, including the southern states, it is timely to mention caring for you and your baby in extreme temperatures. My earlier posts on related topics have more information. Some quick tips:
- Stay indoors, especially if you have air-conditioning.
- Avoid the pool or beach in the heat of the day, unless it is an indoor pool, as a baby's skin can very quickly burn, including from reflected heat from the sand or water. Sunburn is a BURN.
- Keep the curtains or blinds drawn as letting the bright light in also lets the heat in.

Your baby in wild weather

Today's forecast for wild weather and heavy rain in Victoria, Australia, makes this an opportune time for a post on this topic. First, in regards to overall safety, the ABC Local Radio station in your area is the emergency radio network for updated information. So, in case of electric power outages, it is important to have spare batteries for your portable radio or to recharge your other hand-held device. (If the power goes off, you can recharge your phone from your car battery via the appropriate jack.

Vegetables and toddlers

Toddlers and vegetables have been a topic of concern for mothers for years. In this post I'm not going to give an overview, but just mention something that worked in our house. At one stage one of my boys wouldn't eat potato but he  would eat yellow vegetables (carrot or pumpkin). His brother was the opposite - he would eat potato and disliked yellow vegetables.  Later, they reversed their preferences - so confusing! What both boys would happily eat was "yellow potato".

Fluids - tea, soup, and more

When we think of drinking enough fluid, the first to come to mind is water and many of us now carry a reusable water bottle or have it nearby during the day. As mentioned in some of my previous posts, don't forget that soups and other light liquids can also provide us with fluid and some nourishment.

Rosemary tisane (recipe):
Currently I am making a rosemary tisane, a refreshing drink.  (In case you were going to ask, I understand it is caffeine-free). I have a rosemary bush in my garden and I cut 3 or 4 sprigs from that and place it in a 2-cup teapot.

Got a quick question?

I notice from the site activity report that there are more visits to my blog than to other pages.  When visiting the blog, if you are a new mother and live some distance away, you might like to see access details for a secure online video platform where you can chat with me about a quick question - or even do a video consultation with you and your baby.  This is a new service I can now offer. A widget for accessing this platform can be found on my homepage, to see if I'm online and go ahead with a video call, or request a time if I'm not online.

Your baby in heatwaves (exreme heat)

The current extreme hot weather this February, and over the last few weeks, is very difficult for mothers of babies, especially very new babies who cannot regulate their temperatures as well as adults can. Even adults are struggling in extreme heat.
Have a look at my earlier posts on this blog for specific topics. Here is a summary of key points that are relevant right now:

- If you have air-conditioning, please use it for your baby. It doesn't have to be at the coldest setting, but enough to let you and your baby feel comfortable.

Stay cool and hydrated

In the current heatwave conditions in Australia, it is important to remember that it isn't just any day, but a special situation.  Your needs and your baby's needs are paramount.

How to keep cool

If you have air-conditioning, even in one room, this is a great help in keeping your baby cool, and yourself, too. Without air-conditioning, hanging wet towels on the backs of chairs and directing an electric fan at them, can make the air that circulates a little cooler. (Evaporation cools.
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