Saturday, June 20, 2009

Reasons To Breast Feed

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Poor Milk Supply

Almost all women don't have a problem with producing
enough milk to breast feed. The ideal way to make
sure that your baby is getting enough milk is to be
sure that he's well positioned, attached to the
breast, and feed him as often as he gets hungry.

Some mom's that are breast feeding will stop before
they want to, simply because they don't think they
have enough breast milk.

There are signs that might make you believe your baby
isn't getting enough milk. If your baby seems hungry
or unsettled after feeding, or if he wants to feed
often with short pauses between feedings, you may
think he isn't getting enough milk - which are often
times not the case.

There are however, two reliable signs that let you
know your baby isn't getting enough milk. If your
baby has poor or really slow weight gain, or is
passing small amounts of concentrated urine, he's
not getting enough milk.

All babies will lose weight within the first few
days after birth. Babies are born with supplies of
fat and fluids, which will help them keep going for
the first several days.

Once your baby regains birth weight, he should begin
putting on around 200g for the first four months or
so. To get back to their birth weight, it normally
takes a few weeks.

If the weight gain for your baby seems to be slow,
don't hesitate to ask your doctor or nurse to observe
you breast feeding. This way, they can make sure
that your technique is right and if they think your
baby is breast feeding often enough.

To help you with your breast feeding, here are some
ways that you can increase your supply of milk:
1. Be sure that your baby is positioned
correctly and attached to your breast.
2. Let your baby feed for as long and often
as he wants.
3. If you feel that your baby isn't breast
feeding enough, offer him more breast feeds.
4. During each breast feed, make sure you
feed from both breasts.
5. If your baby has been using a dummy,
make sure you stop him.
6. Some babies may be sleepy and reluctant
to feed, which may be the cause of problems with
milk supply.

By following the above tips, you'll do your part in
making sure you have enough milk when it comes time
to breast feed. If you are uncertain or have other
questions, be sure to ask your doctor, as he can
answer any type of question you may have.

Reasons To Breast Feed

For many years, scientists have been playing out
the ingredients that make breast milk the perfect
food for babies. They've discovered to day over
200 close compounds to fight infection, help the
immune system mature, aid in digestion, and support
brain growth - nature made properties that science
simply cannot copy.

The important long term benefits of breast feeding
include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity,
and some forms of childhood cancer. The more that
scientists continue to learn, the better breast
milk looks.

In addition to making your baby healthier, breast
feeding may also make him smarter. Many studies
have proved that breast fed babies tend to be
more smarter than babies who were fed with formula
or other methods. Breast feeding does help with
nutrients and the support of brain growth, which
is something every mother should think about.

The benefits for the nursing mom are just as
good as they are for the baby. The hormones that
are released during breast feeding will curb
blood loss post delivery and help to shrink the
uterus back to it's normal size.

Long term, the breast feeding mom will have a
lower risk for premenopausal breast cancer,
which is the kind that strikes before the age
of 50. The benefits will begin to show with
three to six months of breast feeding and increase
the longer that breast feeding continues.

By now, you should realize that breast milk is
one power packed liquid. It offers more for your
baby than formula, or any other scientific
creation for that matter. As you begin to plan
for the future of your baby, make a commitment
to breast feeding him for as long as you possibly
can - as it will do both your bodies good.

Refusal To Breast Feed

Sometimes, a baby that is breast fed may suddenly
decide to refuse breast feeding. The baby will
pull away from the breast, then toss his head from
side to side. This can happen at anytime, so there
really is no way to predict it happening.

Reasons why
Refusal to feed from the breast could occur when the
baby is in pain. Normally, this can be due to an
ear infection, sore head from vacuum delivery,
thrush in the baby's mouth, or teething.

The use of dummies, teats or nipple shields may also
contribute to refusal. Some babies actually find
it difficult to feed from the breast and bottle as
the sucking action is very different. Some become
confused, therefore it's always best to avoid using
any type of teats or dummies.

Sometimes, the milk just takes bitter. This can
be due to antibiotics, if you starting or in the
middle of your period, or nipple creams. If the
milk tastes bitter, your baby will normally not
want to feed.

Solving the problems
First, you should always try to identify what may
have caused the breast refusal then begin to treat
the cause. Always remain patient and gentle with
your baby. Be sure to hold your baby next to you,
skin to skin, so that he can take the breast when
he wants to, so that he begins to realize that
breast feeding is both enjoyable and comfortable.

Older babies may suddenly take shorter and fewer
breast feeds, although this can be normal with
some babies. Therefore, it's always best not to
try and make the baby feed longer, but instead let
the baby decide how often and also how long each
individual feeding will last.

Returning To Work

Once you return to work, you can continue to breast
feed. If you live close to work or have an on site
daycare, you may be able to breast feed during
your breaks. If that isn't possible, you have 2
choices:
1. Keep your milk supply by using a high
quality automatic electric breast pump to express
milk during the day. Save your milk that you
collect for your baby sitter.
2. If you don't want to or can't pump at
work, you can gradually replace daytime feedings
with formula while your at home but still continue
to nurse at night and in the morning. The milk
your body produces may not be enough to keep your
baby satisfied, even if you only need enough for
2 feedings.

Advantages of pumping at work
Pumping at work will help stimulate your production
of milk, so you'll have plenty available when it
comes time to feed. You can also collect the
milk you pump, so your baby will have the health
and nutritional benefits of breast milk even
when you aren't there. To make things better,
pumping can be an ideal way to feel a connection
to your baby during the work day.

Although it can seem like a hassle, many mothers
find that the benefits of breast pumping far
outweight the inconvenience.

To manage pumping at work, you'll need to have
the following:
1. Breast pump, preferably a fully
automatic electric pump with a double collection
kit so you can pump both breasts simultaneously.
2. Bottles or bags for collecting and
storing the milk.
3. Access to a refrigerator or cooler
to keep the milk cold until you return home.
4. Breast pads to help protect your
clothes if you start to leak.

Make sure that you get used to pumping before
you return to work, so you'll know what to expect
and how it feels. You'll be much more confident
with pumping at work if you already know that
you can produce enough milk.

At work, you'll want to have somewhere that's
away from everyone else when you pump, such as
an empty office or empty room. This way, you'll
be away from everyone else and you can have the
quiet tranquility you need to pump. In most
offices, this shouldn't be a problem.

For the time frame, you'll want to pump every
2 - 3 hours if possible. If you can't, every
4 hours or so will have to suffice. After you
have finished pumping, store the milk in the
bags or bottles, clean yourself up, then go
back to work. When you return home, you can
feed the milk to your growing baby.

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Starting Solid Foods

Breast milk is all your baby will need until at
least 4 months of age. There does come a time,
when breast milk will no longer supply all of your
baby's nutrition needs. Full term babies will
start to require iron from other sources by 6 - 9
months of age.

Some babies that aren't started on solid foods by
the age of 9 - 12 months may have a great level of
difficulty accepting solid foods. It's actually
a developmental milestone when your child starts
solid foods - as he is now growing up.

When to start
The ideal time to begin solid foods is when the
baby shows interest in starting. Some babies
will show interest in solid food when it's on
their parents' plates, as early as 4 months of
age. By 5 - 6 months, most babies will reach out
and try to grab the food. When the baby starts to
reach for food, it's normally the time to go
ahead and give him some.

Sometimes, it may be a better idea to start food
earlier. When a baby seems to get hungry or once
weight gain isn't continuing at the desired rate,
it may be good to start solid foods as early as
3 months. It may be possible however, to continue
breast feeding alone and have the baby less
hungry or growing more rapidly.

Breast fed babies will digest solid foods better
and earlier than artificially fed babies because
the breast milk will contain enzymes which help
to digest fats, proteins, and starch. Breast
fed babies will also have had a variety of
different tastes in their life, since the flavors
of many foods the mother eats will pass into her
milk.

Introducing solid foods
When the baby begins to take solid foods at the
age of 5 - 6 months, there is very little difference
what he starts will or what order it is introduced.
You should however, avoid spicy foods or highly
allergenic foods at first, although if your
baby reaches for the potato on your plate, you
should let him have it if it isn't too hot.

Offer your baby the foods that he seems to be
interested in. Allow your baby to enjoy the food
and don't worry too much about how much he takes
at first, as much of it may end up on the floor
or in his hair anyhow.

The easiest way to get iron for your baby at 5 -
6 months of age is by giving him meat. Cereal for
infants has iron, although it is poorly absorbed
and may cause your baby to get constipated.

The First Six Weeks

Breast milk is the best food you can give to your
baby. Breast milk is a complete food source,
containing all the nutrients your baby need - at
least 400 of them to be exact, including hormones
and disease fighting compounds that aren't found
in formula.

The nutritional makeup in breast milk will adjust
to your baby's needs as he or she grows and
develops. Aside from the brain building, infection
fighting benefits of breast milk, which no formula
can match, nursing will also help to build a special
bond between you and your baby. When nursing,
your child thrives on the contact, cuddling, and
holding - which you will as well.

Since breast feedings can take up to 40 minutes or
more, you should pick a cozy spot for nursing. The
atmosphere is very important, even more so in the
early days of breast feeding when you're still
trying to get the hang of it. If you get easily
distracted by noise, go somewhere quiet.

You should always hold your baby in a position
that won't leave your arms or back sore. It works
the best to support the back of your baby's head
with your hand, although which position you choose
depends on what's more comfortable to you.

When supporting your baby, a nursing pillow can
sometimes be a big help. You should never feed
until both you and your baby are comfortable. Pay
attention to how your breasts feel when your baby
latches on, as his mouth should cover most of the
areola below the nipple, and the nipple should be
far back into your baby's mouth.

While some women adjust to breast feeding easily,
other moms find it hard to learn. If you feel
discouraged, always know that you aren't the only
one. Everyone feels different when starting, it
all depends on the mother and the situation.

Breast feeding will take practice. Therefore, you
should give yourself as much time as you need to
get it down to second nature. Always take it one
feeding at a time. If you are having a bad day,
tell yourself that it'll get better. Keep in mind
that any problems are temporary, as you'll be
nursing like a pro by your six week postpartum
checkup.

The first six weeks will be both an adventure and
training. You can't expect to know everything when
you begin, which is where training and practice will
really help you excel. The more you breast feed,
the more you'll learn. You'll also build a bond
with your baby - which is something you'll always
have for the rest of your lives.

Weaning From Breast Feeding

When your baby has stopped breast feeding and gets
all of his nutrition from other sources than the
breast, he's actually considered weaned. Even
though babies are also weaned from the bottle as
well, the term weaning often refers to when a
baby is stopped from breast feeding.

When weaning is a mother's idea, it normally
requires a lot of patience and can take time,
depending on the age of your baby or toddler,
and also how well your child adjusts. The
overall experience is different for everyone.

Weaning is a long goodbye, sometimes emotional
and sometimes painful. It doesn't however, signal
fo the end to the intimacy you and your child
have developed during the nursing stage. What it
means, is that you have to replace breast feeding
with other types of nourishment.

Starting weaning
Your the best judge as to when it's the right
time to wean, and you don't really have a
deadline unless you and your child are actually
ready to wean. The recommended time for weaning
is one year. No matter what relatives, friends,
or even complete strangers tell you, there is
no right or wrong time for weaning.

How to wean
You should proceed slowly, regardless of what
the age of your child may be. Experts say
that you shouldn't abruptly withhold your breast,
as they results can be traumatic. You should
however, try these methods instead:
1. Skip a feeding - Skip a feeding and
see what happens, offering a cup of milk to your
baby instead. As a substitue, you can use a
bottle of your own pumped milk, formula, or a
cow's milk. If you reduce feedings one at a
time, your child will eventually adjust to the
changes.
2. Shorten feeding time - You can start
by cutting the length of time your child is
actually at the breast. If the normal feeding
time is 5 minuts, try 3. Depending on the age,
follow the feeding with a healthy snack. Bed
time feedings are usually the hardest to wean,
as they are normally the last to go.
3. Postpone and distract - You can
postpone feedings if you are only feeding a couple
of times per day. This method works great if
you have an older child you can actually reason
with. If your child wants the breast, say that
you'll feed later then distract him.

If you've tried everything and weaning doesn't
seem to be working at all, maybe the time just
isn't right. You can wait just a bit longer
to see what happens, as your child and you have
to determine the right time to wean together.

Your Nursing Area

Once you've reached the third trimester, you'll
probably start stocking up on nursing bras, breast
pads, and loose button down shirts for the coming
months ahead. While getting ready to breast feed,
you can also create your personal area, a custom
designed breast feeding area for yourself.

Your nursing area should reflect your personality.
If you like a loud, yet friendly surrounding, you
should consider setting in a corner of the living
room or family room. Keep an extra chair or two
near you so family members or even friends can keep
you company.

If you prefer peace and quiet, a cozy study or
empty guest room would be ideal. You can close
the door, dim the lights down, then take a few
deep, calming breaths while you breast feed.

Your own chair
No matter if it's a glider, overstuffed recliner,
or desk chair with wheels, you should make sure
your nursing chair is very comfortable. You'll
be sitting in the chair for hours each day, so
you'll want it to be very comfortable. You should
always look for one that offers back and shoulder
support, along with arm rests.

Support underfoot
You can use a footstool, low coffee table or a
stack of pillows to elevate your feet as you breast
feed. If you raise your legs and feet to bring
your baby to your breast, you'll avoid possible
backache.

Pillows and more pillows
Your neck, arms, feet, and back will need as
much support as you can give, so don't hesitate
to surround your body with pillows. If you lay
a pillow across your lap for your baby to lay on,
he'll be very comfortable and that much closer to
your nipple. For extra comfort, you can even
purchase a specially made nursing pillow that
will encircle your waist.

Table for one
You should always keep a small table or stand
within arm's length of your breast feeding chair.
What you use should be big enough to hold a
coaster and glass of liquid. Some women prefer
to drink through a straw, while others prefer to
drink from the glass.

You'll also want to keep healthy snacks on hand
as well, such as fresh fruit, nuts, or crackers
and peanut butter to help you replace the
energy you use while you breast feed.

Distractions
If your baby is a slow eater or has a really big
appetite, you may want to keep yourself busy
while he feeds. You can fill the shelves of a
nearby cupboard or bookcase with your favorite
books or crossword puzzles to occupy yourself
until your baby is full. You should also keep
a phone nearby as well so that you can talk to
family or friends to pass the time.

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