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Do you support breastfeeding? There is no question that breastmilk is wonderful for a baby and that breastfeeding can be an easy and low-cost solution for those mothers who have a smooth and positive breastfeeding experience. However, I have found over the years that breastfeeding is challenging for many women who then soldier on under the pressure of the ‘breast is best’ ethos. Not only can this impact the mother’s experience and emotional wellbeing, but it can also result in a hungry baby who then doesn’t sleep well, as hunger overrides the sleep instinct. The long-term benefits of sleep far surpass the benefits of breastmilk. Seventy to eighty percent of a child’s adult neural pathways will be created during their first three years of life. However, almost all of this development occurs during sleep. So, put simply, if your baby is not getting adequate sleep, they will not have the opportunity to grow and develop as they should. Therefore I passionately support the ‘fed is best’ mentality. I have seen breastfed babies go from tired catnappers to brilliant sleepers with the simple implementation of a formula/EBM top up. I would never tell my clients they need to stop breastfeeding, but we do need to ensure that baby isn’t hungry as part of the process. One we have eliminated hunger as a factor affecting baby’s sleep (which may have absolutely nothing to do with their breastfeeding experience), we look into all the other potential factors.

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