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18.3.13

Medela Breastfeeding Cafe

As you may, or may not know, I breastfed Charles for just over 18 months and am still breastfeeding Harry, who is now 20.5 months old.
I'm very passionate about breastfeeding and really hope that this year I can get the ball rolling and can train to be a Breastfeeding Peer Support.

I think people tend to be a bit surprised when they learn that I didn't go to a breastfeeding cafe with Charles until he was 13 months old and then it was just a one off because I didn't gain the support I needed.
I passed my driving test 5 days after Charles' first birthday, so going to any breastfeeding cafes was either impossible or would interrupt my husbands work. Looking back if I could have driven in the first place then I would probably have gone to cafes as it would be easy to get there, and I would have had more in common with the other mums as we would have all had newborn babies.

I also only attended one breastfeeding cafe with Harry, which was when he was around 6 or 7 months old. There was two of us there, myself and a friend, and that was it.
Going to a breastfeeding cafe with a baby and a toddler wasn't the best experience of all.
Although we were told there was a nursery nurse to keep the toddlers entertained you still can't switch off and feel the need to have one eye on them and one eye on the cakes.
If Charles was at preschool when Harry was a newborn then I would have definitely made the effort to go to a breastfeeding cafe, but Harry was 14 months old when Charles started preschool and I didn't want to go through the same experience as last time.

I think a lot of questions regarding breastfeeding are around the first 3-5 weeks. It's the time when a lot of us feel we need support, and just to know we are doing it right, and that baby is getting what they need.
Getting out with a newborn in this time can be a struggle. Add that to a feeling of being anxious out with a newborn, meeting new people and so on and you can understand why new mums may avoid breastfeeding cafes.
From what I've seen more mums tend to stick to Google and asking for advice on Twitter. This, I think, is great, I certainly get a lot of support from my Twitter friends. Of course being restricted to 140 characters and not having an expert on hand can be frustrating and this is where Medela comes in.

Medela’s Breastfeeding Café hosted by babyworld.co.uk has been relaunched!
The Breastfeeding Café  is a monthly web chat to provide mums with a fun and interactive support forum. and was originally launched in 2012 was such a success Medela and babyworld have decided to run it again.
Once a month mums are invited to join the live café session, to share their breastfeeding stories and tips, as well as ask questions and get advice from the experts. These monthly events are a unique opportunity for mums to get support from Medela’s lactation consultant and babyworld’s independent midwife.
As one of the country’s leading parenting website, babyworld.co.uk provides a trusted place for mums to meet, and find the information they need on conception, pregnancy and babies. The site gives mums support in all aspects of parenting, and this extended partnership with Medela certainly marks their commitment to becoming a respected forum for breastfeeding mums.

With more than 20 years of experience working with breastfeeding mothers Medela’s lactation expert, Sioned Hilton, is able to guide mums through every breastfeeding hurdle.  She’ll be helping with specific issues and advising on general breastfeeding concerns, the advice will be friendly and practical with the latest in research based finding and peer-to-peer tips sitting happily alongside each other. The partnership has created a unique platform for those seeking support and information. Thanks to the Breastfeeding Café, mums have the chance to engage with experts on a personal level without having to leave the comfort of their own home.  These sessions provide a space for general discussion, sharing advice and for mums to realise they are never alone.
As well as responding to individual concerns, each month there will be expert advice posted on topics relevant to both expectant and breastfeeding mums therefore allowing mums to browse the site in their own time to pick up other top tips. Topics will cover everything from how the body changes during pregnancy through to breastfeeding for working mothers.

The Breastfeeding Café will be held once a month on a Wednesday at 8pm. Last time this was by far the most popular time for mums, as either their baby was asleep or they had an extra pair of hands to help out. Not only is the café set to provide great support it is ensuring it is accessible to as many mums as possible.

Commenting about the service, Debbie Bird, Editor of babyworld.co.uk ‘said ‘Last time we ran the Breastfeeding Café it was a great success so we are thrilled to be teaming up with Medela again. We feel it’s really important to be able to offer mums trustworthy and honest advice, and Sioned does just that. We hope the café will continue to be a great success and mums will feel they can come to Babyworld.co.uk with their queries and concerns.’
Sioned added:’ The Breastfeeding Café is a brilliant platform to connect with mums all across the country, I hope they really enjoy the regular events and benefit from logging in each month.’
The next breastfeeding café will take place on 20th March and is set to be very popular!