After all, cloth nappies might be beneficial for your baby’s hips!

By Laura

Nobody can argue that cloth nappies are bulkier than disposable nappies as the absorbency of cloth nappies is achieved by the use of fabrics that contain your baby’s pee, while  disposable nappies contain chemicals that trap liquids. I am going to leave the chemical bit to one side  for the time being (I will come back to it, as this was my main motivation for not using disposables with my daughter in the first place).

Some parent are repeatedly told that their babies bulky cloth bums will cause hip problems to their little ones. However the following reason show us clearly how the bulkiness of cloth nappies do not cause hip dysplasia, on the contrary they might be beneficial for your baby’s hips, as they contribute to the prevention of hip dysplasia!  Let start presenting some arguments to support our opinion.

 

M position of frog legs position
The position of new-born legs is well apart from each other. This posture is commonly known as “frog position” or “M”. It is the natural posture (if you look at tiny baby without clothes, it is the one that naturally adopts). It is also the position that must be taken when carrying them, for instance in a sling.

This position does not force the hip to adopt an  unnatural position or angle . There are people who mistakenly believe that using cloth nappies forced open their hips making movements difficult, preventing crawling or delaying walking.

Quite the opposite! The use of disposable nappies is a relatively modern invention and they are becoming thinner and thinner. Prior to the 60’s babies wear bulky cloth nappies (way  bulkier than modern cloth nappies)  and the vast majority of babies did not  had trouble walking, or did not end up with open legs forever.

On the contrary more and more paediatricians around the world recommend cloth nappies, because they help to adopt the correct position of the hip, without forcing the union of the femur to the hip. In other words using  of cloth nappies means that we keep the baby’s legs apart, which may help reduce the risk of dislocation or hip dysplasia. There is clear evidences that cultures that encourage their babies to adopt a legs open, M position, such as African mums, have a much lower incidence of these problems. You can read more about it in here

African mother carrying a baby on back

 

Baby’s hips and the use of cloth nappies

Babu with hips dysplasia wearing harnesses

When doctors notice that there is mild hip dysplasia, one of the recommended treatments is to put a cloth nappy, to put two disposable nappies or to carry the baby in an ergonomic carrier, aiming to adopt the correct posture of the hip. When the problems is more severe babies are prescribed to  wear harness to keep their  legs in the frog/M position  for at least 6 weeks; some babies have to wear a harness for longer.

 

The fact that cloth nappies encourage babies to adopt this position is an added bonus to their already, well documented, benefits. As it  can be seen  in this pictures, the use of disposable nappies makes it easier for the baby’s legs to become stretched in a dangerous position.

On the other hand, the use of the cloth nappies favours the correct position for a natural hip development. As parents we will always have doubts about the health and upbringing of our children, and we all try to make the decisions we think are right, but sometimes the lack of information unable us to make the right decisions.

Although cloth nappies do not correct the existing problem, they encourage the correction of a mild or unnoticed case and instead of damaging the hips cloth nappies prevent these problem form manifesting clinical signs in babies.

After all, cloth nappies might be beneficial for your baby's hips!With the right information it is easier to make the right decision! And with all the above information we can confidentially say that cloth nappies are beneficial for your baby. You can learn about other benefits when using cloth nappies on your baby. Benefits for him, for his world and for your wallet! Read more here

Busting some breastfeeding myths during World Breastfeeding Week 2017

Taken from NHS Choices and shared by Laura from Ecopipo UK

Busting some breastfeeding myths during World Breastfeeding Week 2017

 

On reflection of World Breastfeeding Week 2017 I wish I could have got the help that is now available for new mums that want to breastfeed.

I was an oddity when I tried to breastfed my daughter a number of years ago and probably the words that I will never forget from that experience, were what a midwife told  another midwife, she loudly said  that they needed to prepare for a long, long night as another girl and me had decided to breastfed, this is 2 out of 32 mums, OMG only 6.25%. Therefore reading that more than 73% of women in the UK start breastfeeding is fantastic news!

Of course there is still work to do to increase the percentage of mums who exclusively breastfed their babies at three months and at 6 months! I hope that sharing these myths encourages mums to breastfeed. By the way, I always said to my friends that my breast went saggy at the 8th month of pregnancy, well before I gave birth to my girl!!

Myth: “It’s not that popular in this country.”
Fact: More than 73% of women in the UK start breastfeeding, and 17% of babies are still being exclusively breastfed at three months.

Myth: “Breastfeeding will make my breasts sag.”
Fact: Breastfeeding doesn’t cause your breasts to sag, but pregnancy hormones can stretch the ligaments that support your breasts. Wear a well-fitting bra while you’re pregnant.

Myth: “People don’t like to see women breastfeeding in public.”
Fact: Most people don’t mind. The more it’s seen, the more normal it will become. The law protects women from being asked to leave a public space while breastfeeding.

Myth: “Formula milk is basically the same as breast milk.”
Fact: Almost all formula milk is made from cows’ milk. It can contain bacteria, which is why it’s vital to make it up with water hot enough to kill any bacteria (70C). It doesn’t protect your baby from infections and diseases like breast milk does.

Myth: “Some women don’t produce enough breast milk.”
Fact: Almost all women are physically able to breastfeed. Early, frequent feeding and responding to your baby’s cues give you the best start to establishing your supply.

Myth: “If I breastfeed I can’t have a sex life.”
Fact: There’s no reason why breastfeeding should stop you having sex with your partner. Your breasts may leak a little milk while you’re having sex, but you can try feeding your baby beforehand or wearing a bra with breast pads in. Your vagina may feel a little drier than usual because of your breastfeeding hormones. Using some lubricant and taking things slowly will help.

Myth: “Breastfeeding hurts.”
Fact: Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed a baby and it shouldn’t hurt. If you experience pain in your breasts or nipples, it’s usually because your baby isn’t positioned or attached properly. Ask your midwife, health visitor or a breastfeeding specialist to watch a whole feed to help spot the problem.

Myth: “My nipples are flat or even inverted, so I won’t be able to breastfeed.”
Fact: Nipples come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Holding your baby skin-to-skin after birth will help them find the best way to attach themselves. Your baby breastfeeds, not nipple feeds, so as long as they can get a good mouthful of breast they should be able to feed perfectly happily.

Myth: “Babies don’t need breast milk once they start solid foods at about six months.”
Fact: Breastfeeding still has lots of benefits for you and your baby after six months. It protects them from infections and there’s some evidence that it helps them to digest solid foods. It also continues to provide the balance of nutrients they need. The World Health Organisation recommends that all babies are breastfed for up to two years or longer.

If you have got a breastfeeding question contact Start4Life for a trusted NHS advice anytime, day or night.

Breastfeeding Week 2016

It is very interesting to know that nearly a year ago, in September 2015 precisely, the world’s leaders committed to 17 goals with the purpose of ending poverty , protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all, all written in a document called “Sustainable Development Goals”.

With this in mind, is even more interesting to learn that the current World Breastfeeding Week 2016 has, as the core of its objectives, to raise awareness and help us to think the value of wellbeing from the start of life, as well as caring for the world and respecting each other.  In addition, UNICEF has stated that breastfeeding is not only important to a child’s development but to the progression of an entire community.

All the above is a perfect combination of words that if applied will solve enormous problems, however, there is still so much taboo and sadly some of them stimulated by public figures who condemn it as offensive to others.

I was lucky because I grew up in a society where breastfeeding was still very much the norm and where mums only fed their babies formula as a pure necessity, not a choice. I knew I was going to breastfeed my daughter, not only because I grew understanding the natural simplicity of the process, but also because I had spent 6 full years training as a Vet, and as far as sciences was regarded it was never expected from me to provide a queen cat with the choice to feed their kittens with formula, if she was able to nurse them, especially after I had studied and understood, from many angles, the benefits of it on mums and offspring alike.

16 years ago, when I naively thought breastfeeding was as simple as the baby was hungry, you put the baby on your breast and  baby latched and sucked all nutrients away, there were two things that stroke me more than the fact that my inverted nipples where a huge barrier for my daughter to latch comfortable.

The first thing that took me aback while in the hospital, was to hear the nurses asking me, nearly in disbelief, if I was going to feed her and one nurse shouting to another, in the middle of a quiet night that  she was going to have a long shift as she had two mums breastfeeding (out of 12!!) . Their tone for some of the hospital staff was as close as “are you mad? why you bother when the formula is a more straight forward approach?”.

The other thing that stroke me was that the well-intentioned relations of a young  girl who was suffering from mild post-natal depression,  right in front me got excited every time they heard my little one was crying for a feed, I even overheard them saying I was given my baby booby OMG! and that I was  going to undress, I really felt they thought there were scenes from an XXX movie behind curtains.

images

The reality on these days was that support was nearly nil, my daughter could not find the nipple (neither could I) so she chew me all over little by little.  When I mentioned about plastic nipples, the ward’s sister came in to tell me they were completely banned in her ward, no reasons given. However when the milk came down and I was in agony due to pain, the sister sent a young student that did not have a remote ideas what she was doing, to express my breast with the end result of total maceration of both of them and a bout of mastitis that made me feel I was about to die. It did take me a while to lose the idea that this young lady had been sent to me to give me a lesson.

Sheer determination made me look for support and it was then when I came across with a marvellous group of women that belong to a local branch of the NCT with extra support from the La League Leche. With their support I was able to reinitiate my milk production, that was  completely gone by then,  my little one never latched again but she was fed proudly with mum’s milk during her first 6 months of age.

I thought for a long time in suing the hospital and my local section of the NHS for receiving such as little support and for making me feel they have denied my right to choose to breastfeed, my health visitor arranged a home visit with the nurse in charge of breastfeeding promotion in my local hospital, I would like to think that my tears and sadness have an impact on this lady to understand that for some mums breastfeeding was really important.

Many years after my own experience I can see a lot of progress on our breastfeeding approach, especially as the number of mums that want to do it increases, so does the support at all levels of the process.  Still some people choose not accept breastfeeding (especially in public places), hopefully, they just need to learn no to watch and with that attitude they will be endorsing one of the points of this world breastfeeding week initiative, respect each other.

My suggestions for successful breastfeeding

These are my personal suggestions for a successful worldwide breastfeeding week (and any further weeks of the year):

  1. If breastfeeding bothers you, just do not look!
  2. If you do not like seeing babies fed in public places, do not attend any public place.
  3. If you want to do it but not sure how to do it, look for support and get as much information as possible.

My wish for this World’s Breastfeeding Week 2016 is just a simple one, that nobody, and I repeat NOBODY is so poorly supported and treated, the way I was, if breastfeeding their baby is their choice!

Ecopipo is fully supporting the National Breastfeeding Celebration Week 2016 visit UNICEF’s website to know more about this and how to support. Share your breastfeeding support stories on social media #celebratebreastfeeding