Tag: midwife

All Things Breastfeeding: Tips and Tricks with MidWife Cath Curtin

Midwife Cath Curtin is an expert in women’s health, pre-pregnancy, antenatal care and education, pregnancy, labour and birth, postnatal care, breastfeeding, and parenting.

When COVID-19 stopped face-to-face appointments and resulted in the cancellation of antenatal classes, Midwife Cath partnered with Cell Care to create Tummy Talks – free online antenatal classes and education session that expectant parents could access from the comfort and safety of their home. The Pregnancy and Birth classes were so popular, Breastfeeding and Postnatal classes have now been added.

Here, Midwife Cath shares some of her knowledge on all things breastfeeding:

Feeding Tips and tricks

The best tip is to keep the baby close and feed the baby frequently. In the early days and weeks while establishing breastfeeding it is vital the woman rests and eats a healthy diet. It is also very important for the woman to drink water – when feeding a baby, a woman experiences increased calorie and nutrient needs – so food and lots of water is a must! Breast milk has all the nutrients your baby needs for the first six months of life. Your baby may not require any added water or solid foods other than breastmilk in the first 6 months.

Another good tip is to wrap a new born baby when breastfeeding. All babies have primitive reflexes, one of them is the startle reflex. This is where the baby may throw their arms everywhere, or jolt their body making attachment a challenge. Wrapping the baby and keeping them close to your body will keep them nice and calm.

It’s important to remember that every baby, breast and nipple is unique. What works for one person, may not work for another. Everyone is different, and that’s okay.

How to position your baby for good attachment

Babies are very clever!  They know exactly what to do from the very beginning – one of their strongest primitive and natural reflexes is to suck and that is so they can live. Yet, it can come as a surprise to some mothers when they discover breastfeeding isn’t always easy.

A baby is best positioned across the mum in a cradle hold so the baby can self-attach. This positioning and gentle introduction to the nipple will trigger the baby’s rooting reflex meaning the baby will manoeuvre itself around to find and latch on to the nipple. Two fingers in the peace sign can be used to position the nipple in place.

It’s important that mother is relaxed and comfortable while feeding. Feel some pain or discomfort during the first few seconds of feeding is normal as baby is working to get the nipple into the right position. If pain does continue for longer, you may need to take the baby off, reposition and try again.

Keeping up or increasing supply

The best and easiest way to keep the breast lactating is to keep the baby close and feed frequently. Lactation works on demand and supply.  And, breastfeeding the baby frequently for a few days will certainly help increase the supply.

It is important to remain well hydrated and well fed when breastfeeding. Basically, the mother’s body is giving energy, life and weight gain to your baby so maintaining a satisfying and nutritious diet is necessary.

It’s important to feed in a comfortable position and try not to feed ‘on the run’. If the baby is still searching for a feed, offer some ‘quick’ top up breast feeds…every little feed helps.

It is important to alternate breasts during a feed to keep the milk moving.  Feeding from one side only can lead to mastitis as the brain does not discriminate when it lets down the milk into the breasts. So, when the baby starts to suck and the brain lets the milk down (ejection of the milk) it lets down to both breasts.  

Midwife Cath, in conjunction with Cell Care are offering FREE online antenatal classes for expecting women, which covers pregnancy and birth, breastfeeding and postnatal care. For more information or to register visit the Tummy Talks website.  


You can read more of our pregnancy and baby blogs here. 








Dear Dr Liz, my girlfriend is having a baby in a few weeks and I want to be prepared as her birth partner. What can I do!?

The average length of labour with a first time mum is more than 12 hours, so trying to be a supportive birth partner is important. Before birth, ask your partner if she has a birth plan.

Things that you might like to help your partner with in the lead up to birth include packing a bag for the hospital, as well as helping choosing music, massage oils or scents. On the day, be adaptable. Sometimes circumstances change, and your partner needs you there for anything from a joke, a hug or maybe a cry. Be polite to the midwives and staff to try and help bring a calm and supportive environment into the birth. Good luck!

Are you a mum-to-be and looking for an obstetrician to assist you through this journey, or a birthing partner with more questions? Get into touch with the team at Dr Elizabeth Jackson’s clinic today.



Dear Dr Liz, I am getting really nervous about the birth of my baby. What are the pros and cons of a C-Section?

It is normal to be nervous about birth. It’s important to talk to your midwife, GP or obstetrician about concerns you have in your pregnancy.

Vaginal birth is often considered the preferred mode of delivery due to quicker recovery. There is also less intervention compared with Caesarean section. There are some elements of vaginal birth which can cause concern for women. Some include pain, injury to pelvic floor and the need for an emergency instrumental or Caesarean.

For Caesars, concerns include a longer recovery, risk of surgery and implications for future birth. Reasons why women may elect for a Caesarean section include personal preference, baby position or previous birth outcome.


Know your midwife


There is so much choice when it comes to childbirth. At Cairns Private Hospital we have made it a lot easier for mums-to-be to have the very best of all worlds with our new Know Your Midwife program.


There is so much choice when it comes to childbirth. At Cairns Private Hospital we have made it a lot easier for mums-to-be to have the very best of all worlds with our new Know Your Midwife program.

This program offers mums-to-be the very best in midwifery care from pregnancy through to labour and postnatal care. Our Know Your Midwife (KYM) program is unique in that it offers women the benefit of having their chosen obstetrician and the support of midwives they know.

Our Know Your Midwife program offers women access to midwifery continuity of care, labour and birth care, shared-care and postnatal care for up to six weeks after the birth of their child. The program also offers parenting education and support throughout pregnancy. Our hospital’s team of allied health professionals are also there to assist including physiotherapists and lactation consultants. There is also support for mums with comprehensive antenatal care.

This program has been running for nearly 12 months at the Cairns Private Hospital and has been well received by both new and existing mums. Studies have found that women who are cared for by the same midwife throughout their pregnancy are less likely to need intervention during labour and are less likely to report a traumatic birth.

Midwifery Continuity of Care: “…being cared for by, and able to build trust and rapport with, the same Midwife during pregnancy, through labour and birth, and into the early weeks of mothering – has benefits for mothers, babies and society.” – Australian College
of Midwives, 2017.

Our Know Your Midwife program offers the very best of care, both with the obstetrician of choice and midwives that mums-to-be, form meaningful and trusted relationships with. It helps reduce much of the stress and anxiety associated with childbirth and in the early days that follow.

To find out more about our Know Your Midwife program speak to your obstetrician from as early as your first appointment or contact Cairns Private Hospital Women’s Health Unit.

For more information, please contact Cairns Private Hospital’s Women’s Unit on 4052 5253.