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Breastfeeding will give your grandchild the best possible start in life and it’s good for Mums too. Breastfeeding is the start to forming a strong attachment and is much more than just providing nutrients, it is the start of a loving secure relationship. Breastmilk provides your grandchild with natural protection from infections
- diarrhoea, vomiting , chest and ear infections
- they are less likely to be obese or develop eczema or diabetes in childhood
Breastfeeding benefits mums as well
- Mums who breastfeed reduce their risk of breast and ovarian cancer
- are less likely to develop osteoporosis.
Breastfeeding is also cheaper, saving time and money.
Because of the numerous health benefits more and more mothers are choosing to breastfeed their babies.
Infant formula milk is often thought to be the same as breastmilk but breastmilk contains unique substances that help protect the baby. These unique substances are not found in formula milk.
New parents are often anxious and need to be able to talk to someone who will listen with interest, without giving advice or judging.
Breastfed babies feeding pattern is very different from a formula fed babies. So frequent feeding is expected, so reassure Mum that this is normal and that baby may need feeding 8 -12 times in 24hours.
You may be concerned that baby is getting enough breastmilk; they only have small tummies so feeding frequently is normal. Baby should be content for short periods after feeds. The number of wet and dirty nappies is important, 6 heavy wet nappies from day 6 and 2 stools yellow soft consistency, it is not diarrhoea. This is a good indicator that they are getting enough milk and they will gain weight.
You will be looking forward to sharing time with your grandchild and may find it frustrating not to be able to help with the feeding. Your offers of babysitting may also be declined as it is difficult for a breastfeeding mum to spend time away from her new baby.
Mum is making a vital investment in your grandchild’s health in the future. So offer your listening ear, support her decision, encourage her if she appears to be struggling, offer practical help cooking and ironing etc.
Remind her of the local support groups or to ask her midwife or health visitor if she has any concerns.
Whether you breastfed or not let Mum know how proud you are of her and remember this period is only short, there will be plenty of time to spoil your grandchild!
There is no way to know how much breast milk the baby is getting
Exploding the Myth:
There is no easy way to measure how much the baby is getting, but this does not mean that you cannot know if the baby is getting enough. The best way to know is that the baby actually drinks at the breast for several minutes at each feeding (open mouth wide—pause—close mouth type of suck). Read our information page: How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk?