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

Sleepy baby in hot weather

In very hot weather, if your baby isn't wanting to breastfeed as vigorously as usual, it may be that she is overheated or overdressed.
 Some tips:
- Those new clothes look lovely, but they are holding her body heat in. If you don't have air-conditioning, she is more comfortable if dressed in just a nappy (diaper). Perhaps a very, very thin little cotton top, at most.
- Feeding cues may be less obvious. If your baby is stirring, it helps to sponge her down with a wet face cloth, enough to wet her skin.

The continuing bushfires emergencies

My previous post was written before the current devastation on the firegrounds in East Gippsland, Victoria and nearby areas of NSW, and on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. If you live in these areas, and have faced evacuation by vehicle or sea, the sense of unreality, uncertainty and loss is very raw at the moment. Disorienting.

Don't forget to keep your fluid intake up in the extreme heat and chaos. I expect you will want to hold your babies and children close, a form of comfort for child and adult alike, and a way of feeling safer.

Bushfire emergency

Most readers of this blog who live in the current bushfire areas of Queensland and the New South Wales border areas will have received local warnings from the police of emergency services if they need to evacuate, or to be prepared to do so.  If your area has a fire or fires in the area, be sure to keep your radio tuned to ABC Local Radio, which is set up as the national emergency network. Local conditions are regularly updated on air. A tip: Have you got enough batteries? Do you have your phone recharger in your evacuation bag?

Interesting conference

If you are in Sydney this week you may be interested in attending one or more days of the 3-day 2019 conference of the Australian Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (AMIRCI).  This is the first time the conference is in Sydney.

Speakers come from various backgrounds and perspectives and the program promises to provide much to think about and discuss on.

To find the full program and registration details, type into your browser: www.mothering.org.au/conferences

Online info and support - websites

With the  proliferation of websites offering information on many topics, including breastfeeding, I was wondering what sites are currently popular with mothers of new (or not-so-new) babies. If you are a new Mum, what websites do you go to?  Do you go to the well-known ones, such as KellyMom (US based), the (Melbourne) Royal Women's Hospital site, and the ABA site? Do you visit other sites you find helpful? Which ones?

As there is a mix of good and not-so-good advice online, which sites do you find relevant and reliable?

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.
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