HiPP Organic

HiPP's Baby & Nutrition Blog

It's a cow's life at HiPP!

Posted on 22 April 2016 by Lindsay

We thought you might be interested in finding out a little bit more about where HiPP Organic milk comes from. Because our cows are more than a little bit special!

To start with, a HiPP cow isn’t just any old breed. Our milk comes from organic farms in Germany and Austria, and the pedigreed Fleckvieh and Holstein Friesian cattle our farmers tend were chosen because they are perfectly suited to the green mountain pastures they graze in. (If you’re curious, the Fleckvieh are the brown-and-white cattle in our photos; the Holstein Friesians are black-and-white.)

Our organic farming methods are also quite different to the standard method of dairy farming. HiPP dairy cows have a sort of “bill of rights,” which keeps them happy and healthy – and, not incidentally, keeps their milk the very highest quality! Here are the basics:

  1. The right to roam. Some non-organic cows never get to go outside at all! We don’t think that’s good for the cows, or for their milk, so we make sure our lucky ladies get to graze in natural, clover-rich pastures as much as possible. When they do need to be inside due to bad weather, we’re careful to give them lots of comfy straw bedding, plus enough room to groom themselves, turn around, lie down, stretch out... all the things cows like to do!
  2. The right to eat well. At HiPP, our whole company is based around the idea that top-quality organic food makes everyone happier and healthier – so we take a lot of care when it comes to what our cows eat, too! When they’re not grazing outside, HiPP cows get a balanced diet; at least 60% of what they eat is grass-based, most of it grown on the farm they live on, and all their feed is, of course, organic and GMO-free.
  3. The right to not give milk. As anyone who has breastfed knows, making milk is hard work! That’s why we never use drugs, supplements or selective breeding to make our ladies give more milk than they naturally produce. We also give each pregnant cow a two-month ‘holiday’ before she calves, to make sure all that lactation isn’t sapping her health.
  4. The right to live in a healthy environment. Organic farming is holistic by nature – which means that the health of the entire farm is important, not just the amount of milk it produces. Organic dairy farmers limit the size of their herds in order to prevent overgrazing and erosion, and they take special care to keep the soil healthy, by using natural predators instead of pesticides and rotating crops regularly. This also means that none of these chemicals get into the milk – we consider that a win-win!

The end result of all this careful planning? Happy, healthy cows, and lots of delicious organic milk!

Would you like to be a HiPP cow? We think we might! Get in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #itsacowslife...we may just have a few prizes for the best comments!

 

 

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The light side of breastfeeding

Posted on 20 April 2016 by Lindsay

The truest thing ever said about breastfeeding is this: “It’s natural... but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy.” This is a concept that generally sinks in on about Day 3, when the perfect storm of sleeplessness, engorgement and a ravenous baby starts to take its toll on a bleary-eyed mum.

Mums of the world, we’re with you. We’ve been there, and we have the milk-stained t-shirt to prove it. And if you ask us, the single best remedy for this oh-so-common malaise is also the oldest: laughter. (That, and knowing it will soon get easier!)

That’s why we asked our talented blogger friend, the lovely Maggie, for permission to link to her recent, warts-and-all post about the bonkers world of being your baby’s primary milk producer.

Yes, it’s all about breastfeeding. Forty-eight different ways, in fact. And there’s a knitted tit, too. It’s slightly rude, quite honest, and very, very funny.

Read all about it here. And once you’re done laughing, feel free to tell us about your biggest breastfeeding adventures! You can comment below, or get in touch on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #breastfeedingmoments... we’d love to hear from you.

https://immagicalmaggie.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/48-breastfeeding-techniques-and-a-knit-tit/#more-974

 

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How mums really feel about breastfeeding

Posted on 15 April 2016 by lindsay

 

When we surveyed more than 6,000 new parents about their experiences, we had some idea of the sorts of responses we’d get. And indeed, many of our respondents had similar things to report when it came to their biggest worries (is my baby gaining enough weight?) and amusing moments (the infamous wee shower is always good for a laugh, apparently, as long as it’s your partner who gets wet!)

When it came to breastfeeding, we expected a variety of responses – after all, the experience is different for each of us. And our intrepid mums didn’t disappoint!

A sizeable number of you told us that you loved the closeness, convenience and bonding time that comes from breastfeeding, and many felt happy and confident enough to feed their little ones anywhere and everywhere (even whilst plopped on a display sofa in DFS – presumably as a helpful how-to?)

While our respondents were near-unanimous in supporting the right to breastfeed in public, many found it a confronting proposition in real life. A majority of our survey-takers said that feeding in public made them feel shy, embarrassed or stressed, and quite a few said they had had negative experiences with people who had made them feel uncomfortable.

But if there’s one thing we all know, it’s that when a baby’s hungry, it needs to eat... NOW. And whether you’re in public or at home, it can be a bit tricky at times. So thank goodness our savvy survey mums had so much great advice to pass along for the newbies! Here are some of their best pearls of wisdom about breastfeeding. 

“Wear two tops - one vest top and one that’s looser. Then you can pull one up and one down, and nothing at all can be seen!”

“Don't give up after the first couple of days. It is hard at first, but it gets easier – and it’s so worth it!”

“The first time you try breastfeeding in public, go with close family or friends - it helps to build your confidence up.”

“Never give up on a bad day!”

“Every drop of breastmilk I can give my daughter is amazing – it’s worth being proud of what you’ve accomplished by breastfeeding your baby, no matter how long or how much you’ve managed.”

“Stick with it, it gets easier. It really does!! I truly thought after the first 10 weeks that I would need to stop, but then suddenly things just clicked. You become confident and feel proud and you have built such a connection by then. It's just incredible.”

 “Keep trying if it is something you really want to do, as it gets so much easier, but don't end up getting overly stressed, there are lots of alternative options to explore. Your baby deserves a happy mum, rather than a stressed-out one!”

“Don't worry about other people’s opinions!” 

What tips do you have for new mums? Comment below visit us on Facebook or Twitter

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Learning to breastfeed - top tips from our Midwife Amber.

Posted on 12 April 2016 by lindsay

 

Having supported many mums with breastfeeding over my 10 years as a midwife, I thought it would be helpful to put together a “breastfeeding top tips” guide that most mums find useful when learning to breastfeed, so here they are!

Try and find out about all your local breastfeeding groups or drop-in clinics and surround yourself with as much expert support as possible. Don’t be shy to ask for help. Local baby cafes and breastfeeding groups can be brilliant and really encouraging. There are lots of helpful organisations such as The Breastfeeding Network, the NCT and La Leche League. Your local health centre tends to be a good place to look.

If your nipples are sore, seeing a breastfeeding supporter can be the encouragement you need to help get you through those initial days. Try and get help as early on as possible. Hearing you’re actually doing OK and getting some advice about how to help latch your baby on can give you the strength you need to keep going. And meeting other breastfeeding mums there can be a real added bonus.

Although many midwives, health visitors and GPs can also be a great source of knowledge and help, not all health professionals are clued-up about breastfeeding. If you have a breastfeeding problem and you’re not getting the help you need, or you don’t know where to turn, ask if they know of or if you can be referred to a breastfeeding counsellor or infant feeding specialist.

Don't be discouraged. If at first it feels like you’re just constantly feeding, remember that this is completely normal and will settle. Be prepared that in the beginning, feeding the baby is a 24-hour job, so you may not get much else done during the first weeks or months. Discuss this with your partner and ask them, as well as friends and family, to help out with all the other stuff. Feed the baby, feed yourself and sleep. Have realistic expectations and don't try to do everything yourself!

In the early days, take it one day at a time. If you're having a difficult day, tell yourself that tomorrow will be better, because breastfeeding does get easier with time. The first few weeks are the most tricky but things will get better. In the early days both you and your baby are learning about breastfeeding and it can take a while for you both to get the hang of it. Remember to ask for help if you’re struggling, there’s loads of great support out there.

Try and make the most of breastfeeding time. At the beginning it may feel like your baby is feeding all the time, but so you don’t get bored, put on a film or have a good book you can dip in and out of, check what friends are doing on Facebook etc., or catch up with TV programmes. Try and enjoy this special time you’ll have together with your baby. In the great scheme of things it really won’t last that long. Your baby will grow and change so quickly and before you know it you’ll find it difficult to remember what these first few weeks were like.

It’s not unusual or usually a concern for a baby to prefer one side over the other but don’t be scared to experiment with different breastfeeding positions. One of the most important breastfeeding tips is to get the latch right and part of this can be trying different positions. There are loads you can try so don’t be shy about asking a breastfeeding counsellor or your midwife to show you different positioning.

Lastly, for the first month or so, try to just breastfeed without introducing a bottle or pacifier. This will help to establish a strong breast bond so that the baby doesn’t experience nipple confusion and start preferring artificial nipples.

Do you have any tips for new mums on breastfeeding? We’d love to hear about your experience! Leave a comment below or talk to us on Twitter or Facebook.

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Newborns: Tiny, demanding... and so very wonderful

Posted on 8 April 2016 by lindsay

 

 

Have you ever looked back at the early days and weeks of parenthood and realised that your memories are – to put it politely – somewhat fuzzy? You’re definitely not alone! Nearly all of us find that the sleep deprivation, hormonal rollercoaster and emotional ups and downs of those first few weeks pose quite a challenge. (And if you ask us, the few parents who say otherwise are either fibbing or have had a lot of help from the grandparents!)

In the second section of our survey, we asked more than 6,000 parents to remember those dim, sleep-deprived memories and share with us the moments that stood out most clearly from those heady, exhausting newborn days.

The first weeks – joy and exhaustion in equal measure

After baby’s safe arrival, our newly-fledged parents seem to have got right down to the nitty-gritty of parenting a newborn, with a majority reporting they had positive feelings about tasks like feeding, dressing and bathing their little one. (Oddly enough, even nappy changes were largely a happy time for this lot! Perhaps the passage of time has dulled the memory?)

However, the data on sleepless nights begins to balance the picture – more than half of our respondents said they were emotional, nervous or worried about the lack of sleep they were getting in those first few weeks. Other common challenges: feeding issues, recovering from the birth, keeping up with basic housework, and getting that all-important hot cup of tea now and then! 

“In my sleep-deprived state, I once put the used teabag in the dishwasher and tossed the teaspoon in the bin!”

Luckily, there were also lighthearted moments to be remembered – though it must be said that the majority of them involved bodily functions! (Poonami, anyone?) Other high points our mums and dads remembered were introducing the new baby to older siblings, successfully sorting out a feeding routine, and achieving the level of organisation needed to venture out of the house for the first time. Hats off to all these parents – these are noble achievements indeed!

“The first night, he weed in my husband’s face, which was hilarious. A few days later, he weed in his own face, and his look of shock was exactly the same as his dad’s!”

Breastfeeding: Natural, but not always easy

When it came to feeding their little bundles of joy, the parents we surveyed overwhelmingly chose to at least try breastfeeding – which is a great choice, as breastmilk is the single best food a baby can get!

Most of our intrepid mums said they had initially planned to breastfeed for between 4 and 6 months, with another big group planning to feed for 10-12 months - and some of them did exactly that. However, the responses also show the challenges breastfeeding may pose; overall, the largest single group of mums said they actually did breastfeed for three months or less.

It wasn't the same for everyone on the breastfeeding front, mind you – the next biggest group of mums were those who may not have originally intended to feed for a year or more, but ended up doing so well that they persevered. (We say well done to all of you!)

“If it works for you then treasure every moment, because before you know it it's over, and I miss it so much!

When it came to location, our mums were well aware that the choice wasn’t always up to them – when your baby’s hungry, it’s automatically dinnertime! Most of our respondents said they felt happy, relaxed and confident when feeding alone at home or with female company; in contrast, feeding in public or in a mixed-gender group was much more likely to make them feel shy, stressed or embarrassed, and having people watching was frequently mentioned as being the most stressful thing about breastfeeding.

Which is not to say it stopped them, however! When we asked our lactating ladies about the oddest place they’d ever breastfed, we got a veritable avalanche of amazing responses – from the London Eye, to a (presumably quite chilly) rugby pitch, to Disneyland, to the top of Mount Snowdon!

“The strangest place I breastfed was standing up in a phone shop in a busy shopping centre. (It was my husband’s fault!)”

Funny moments were there in spades, too (though when you’re that sleep-deprived, let’s face it, lots of things strike you as funny.) Quite a few hungry babies (and at least one family dog) got impromptu showers when the let-down came on too strong, and more than one groggy mum forgot to button up before answering the front door to the postman... Oops.

“I couldn't understand why there was milk all over her face; it turned out I was so full I was squirting her in the eye!”

But in the end, it’s all worth it, isn’t it? Our group of proud parents said that the convenience, closeness and confidence that they were doing everything they could to give their babies a good start in life made breastfeeding a positive experience for them (and presumably their babies as well!)

Did our survey results ring a bell with you, or were your experiences totally different? We’d love to hear about your baby’s first few weeks! You can catch up with us on Twitter or Facebook, or add a comment below.

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