Interview with Bump Class founder, Marina Fogle
Breastfeeding Week kicks off from the 1st of August. We chatted to Marina Fogle; childbirth expert, mother of two and founder of The Bump Class, for her expert advice on maintaining a healthy, balanced diet while breastfeeding….
What are you asked most when it comes to maintaining a balanced diet while breastfeeding?
People always ask if there’s anything they should or shouldn’t eat. We don’t believe that you should be cutting anything out specifically - if you do notice that your baby is a little grumpy after you’ve eaten something then you could try and cut it out and see if it makes a difference, but a varied and balanced diet is crucial. The most important thing is to eat enough. To put it into perspective, you don’t need any extra calories when you’re pregnant, apart from 100 per day in your last trimester (a couple of apples) but when you’re breastfeeding, you should be aiming to eat 500-700 extra calories every day. So the key is to take the time to eat plenty and drink lots of water - you’re producing lots of fluid after all!
What were your go-to ingredients when it comes to replenishing nutrients after childbirth and during breastfeeding?
A friend made me some banana bread which I became obsessed with...but it wasn’t the healthiest. I ate lots of avocados, and craved pasta so I chose wholegrain to make it a bit healthier. I was also a big fan of making smoothies - I freeze any fruit that’s about to go off so I always have a stash in my freezer to make a drink when I needed a little pick me up.
Does putting cabbages in your bra actually help prevent mastitis?
The coolness of the leaves could soothe sore breasts, but mastitis is an infection of the milk ducts and the only way to prevent mastitis is to ensure that the whole breast is drained of milk. If your breasts aren’tdraining properly and can feel hard bits after you’ve fed, then you’ll get mastitis which is best treated with antibiotics. The best prevention is to really get to know your breasts when you’re feeding, have a good feel once your baby is finished to check that they’re drained properly. If you find a hard bit, apply gentle pressure while your baby is feeding and that will probably drain it. It takes time but it’s the best way.
What are your key tips on what to eat when breast feeding if your baby suffers from reflux?
Reflux is when the flap at the top of your baby’s stomach isn’tquite strong enough to hold the acid down and so the acid rises up, causing either extreme pain - silent reflux - or your baby to vomit what they just ate - reflux.
It’s something that gets better as your baby matures and while itis definitely over diagnosed, proper reflux is treated with medicine. It’s unlikely to be caused by anything you’re eating. Some babies have an allergy to cows milk protein but this should be diagnosed by a doctor so seek professional advice before you start cutting major food groups out of your diet.
Sometimes colic is made worse by the mother eating certain foods - sometimes acidic foods like berries and orange juice, spicy foods or things that make us windy, like lentils and beans can trigger this. If you feel like
this is the case, cut out what you think the culprits may be one at a time and see if it gets any better.
Is there a difference between fore and hind milk for sleeping to fill your baby up? And is it true in the heat your baby only wants fore milk?
As far as I know there is no evidence behind this. I think today we often overthink breastfeeding and I see women stressing about fore and hind milk, making a process that has worked perfectly well for millennia
stressful and complicated. My advice is to let your baby feed as much as they want, especially in the early days. Make sure they drain the breast but if they’re still hungry offer the other breast. But don’t worry about
fore and hind milk - just sit back, enjoy the feed and try not to stress about it.
How do you balance family and work?
The million dollar question! I try and fit as much as I can into the hours when they are at school and try and structure my days so I can pick them up from school and spend some time with them in the evening. It’s not
always possible, but when I am with them, I focus all my attention on them. My secret is to turn my phone off or leave it in my bag so it’s not there to distract me.
Tell us more about yourBump Class….
My sister, GP Dr Chiara Hunt and I started The Bump Class nearly six years ago after Chiara noticed how ill-prepared so many women were before the birth of their babies. It’s an eight week course which focuses on the end of pregnancy, labour and most importantly what happens after your baby is born. The classes are led by professionals, packed full of information and great fun. The feedback has been phenomenal and we’ve loved meeting the amazing women who do the course. Everyone wanted a postnatal class but we simply didn’t have the resources which is how our podcast, The Parent Hood was born. Here we talk about all things parenting from conception to the teenage years. It’s topped the podcast charts and we’ve had great feedback.
What is your favourite ingredient and why?
I love those pouches of quinoa and grains that you can buy and keep in your store cupboard. I give them to the kids with some veggies when I have nothing in the fridge, chuck them in a salad to make it more substantial and even add to chicken bone broth to make it more hearty. They’re pre-cooked, you can eat them cold or stick them in the microwave to heat them up. Genius.
What is your easy go-to summer dish for this hot weather?
Chilled avocado soup. It’s such an easy recipe - I stick an avocado, a bit of cold chicken stock, a couple of spoons of yoghurt, ginger, coriander and chilli into the blender and you’ve got a cooling meal. If I need something a bit more substantial I’ll add some prawns to it.The Parent Hood Podcast is free to download on Acast, iTunes or where’ve you get your podcasts from. Marina and Chiara’s book, The Bump Class; An Expert Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond is available from Amazon and all good bookshops. For more information on London’s most popular antenatal class, check out TheBumpClass.com