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

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.

Links and FAQs

If you are just browsing this blog and haven't visited the other pages, do take a look at my Links and FAQ pages for information on popular topics and answers to common questions. Links that may interest you are the most up-to-date information on when to introduce solids in relation to the allergy issue (NEW) and the website of the Infant Sleep Centre in Durham.


New topics - your suggestions?

I notice from the activity report that this blog receives a lot of visits. While topics that were started some time ago continue to receive visits, I am open to suggestions about NEW topics, especially if you are a new mother, the mother of an older baby, a partner, or a grandparent. What do you wish you knew before your first baby was born?  What was the best piece of advice you received?

Emergency situations - another year

With the bushfire season and the stormy season already started in different parts of Australia, it is time for a reminder that the disaster channel for up-to-date information in emergency situations in Australia is ABC Local Radio. Do remember to have spare batteries for a portable radio.

If accessing crucial information from a mobile device, it is useful to know that, if the power goes off, the device can be recharged from a car battery. (Just check - now - that you have the right connection to do this.

How much fluid does a breastfeeding mother need?

Water:
It is good to see more people are carrying refillable water bottles - computers on the train, school kids, breastfeeding Mums, fitness fans, busy Mums on the go, bike riders. It is one of those positive practices that has sprung up, to maintain hydration conveniently - without having to look for a drinking fountain or a shop. It's also good for the environment. So it is win/win.
Keeping the water bottle hygienic I guess means one user - not sharing it - and regular washing and draining it to dry it.

Favourite memories of breastfeeding

Mothers often look back over the time when they were breastfeeding and mention special memories. A baby's little hand patting the mother's face, the sounds babies make during breastfeeding....  If you are a breastfeeding mother, or if you breastfed in the past - even a long time ago - you are welcome to share these special memories here.

How much liquid should I drink as a breastfeeding mother?

So often busy mothers with new babies wonder if they are drinking enough fluid, particularly if they hear conflicting ideas, often involving a number.

A set number doesn't account for changes in the weather or your activity. For instance, in hot weather you will of course need to drink more fluid, especially water. The same applies if you start more intense physical activity, such as going to the gym or playing a sport.

A quick guide is a) to drink according to thirst and b) increase intake or water or other fluid if your urine looks darker than usual.

The baby's second week

Parents, especially mothers, often worry when their baby wants to feed-feed-feed at the breast in the second week. Does it mean there's no milk? Is your baby the only baby in the world doing this? Are you creating a bad habit?

Be assured that this is normal behaviour. When your baby was born, he had a very tiny stomach, which was just right for the small amounts of colostrum (the first milk) he was getting at the start. By the end of the first week and into the second week, his stomach capacity has grown - a lot.
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