Saturday, June 20, 2009

Benefits Of Breast Feeding

Avoiding Foods While Breast Feeding

Many women find that they can eat whatever they may
like during breast feeding. Even though it's true
that some stongly favored foods can change the
taste of your milk, many babies seem to enjoy the
varieties of breast milk flavors. Occasionally,
your baby may get cranky at the breast after you
eat certain foods. If you notice this happening,
simply avoid that particular food.

The most common offenders duing breast feeding
include chocolate, spices, citrus fruits, garlic,
chili, lime, gassy vegetables, and fruits with
laxative type effects, such as prunes and cherries.

You can have a cup or two of coffee a day, although
too much caffeine can interfere with your baby's
sleep and even make him or her cranky. Keep in
mind, caffeine is found in many soda's, tea, and
even over the counter type medicine as well.

It's okay to have an alcoholic beverage every now
and the, although having more than one drink can
increase your blood alcohol level, putting the
alcohol into your breast milk.

If you are planning to have more than one drink
at a time, it's best to wait two hours or more
per drink before you resume any type of nursing
or breast feeding. There is no need to pump
and dump unless your breasts are full and its
time to feed your baby. While breast feeding,
any type of heavy drinking should be avoided.

Before you actually omit any foods from your
diet, you should talk to your doctor. If you
avoid certain foods and it causes a nutritional
imbalance, you may need to see a nutritionist
for advice on taking other foods or getting
nutritional supplements.

Benefits Of Breast Feeding

Once you've given birth, breast feeding is the single
most important thing you can do to protect your baby
and help to promote good health. Best of all, breast
feeding is free.

Along with saving you money on HMR (Human Milk
Replacement), breast feeding can also help you to
keep your medical bills down. Babies that are fed
with formula get sicker more often and more seriously
than babies that are breast fed They also have more
ear infections, respiratory infections, and other

This can be even more true if your family has had a
history of allergies. When a baby is breast fed, the
antibodies pass on from the mother to the baby,
helping to protect against illness and allergies. As
the baby's system matures, his body will begin to
make it's own antibodies, and he'll be more equipped
to handle sensitivities of food.

Sucking on the breast will also help with the
development or jaw alignment and the development of
the cheekbone. For this very reason, there is less
of the need for costly orthodontic work when the
child gets older.

Unlike formula, breast milk is always ready, always
available, convenient, and always the right temperature
for feeding. Plus, it contains all of the vitamins
and minerals your growing baby needs, saving you a
lot of money.

Breast feeding also offers many benefits for the mom
as well. The baby sucking at the breast will cause
contractions right after birth, leading to less
bleeding for the mom, and helping her uterus to it's
shape before pregnancy much faster.

Breast feeding will also burn calories, so a mom can
lose weight much faster than if she fed her baby with
a bottle. Breast feeding will also create a special
bond with the mother and the baby - which is one
thing formula simpy cannot do.

Breast Compression

The sole purpose of breast compression is to continue
the flow of milk to the baby once the baby no longer
drinks on his own. Compression will also stimulate
a let down reflex and often causes a natural let
down reflex to occur. This technique may also be
useful for the following:
1. Poor weight gain in the baby.
2. Colic in the breast fed baby.
3. Frequent feedings or long feedings.
4. Sore nipples for the mother.
5. Recurrent blocked ducts
6. Feeding the baby who falls asleep quick.

If everything is going well, breast compression may
not be necessary. When all is well, the mother should
allow the baby to finish feeding on the first side,
then if the baby wants more - offer the other side.

How to use breast compression
1. Hold the baby with one arm.
2. Hold the breast with the other arm, thumb
on one side of your breast, your finger on the other
far back from the nipple
3. Keep an eye out for the baby's drinking,
although there is no need to be obsessive about
catching every suck. The baby will get more milk when
drinking with an open pause type of suck.
4. When the baby is nibbling or no longer
drinking, compress the breast, not so hard that it
hurts though. With the breast compression, the baby
should begin drinking again.
5. Keep up the pressure until the baby no
longer drinks with the compression, then release the
pressure. If the baby doesn't stop sucking with the
release of compression, wait a bit before compressing
6. The reason for releasing pressure is to
allow your hand to rest, and allow the milk to begin
flowing to the baby again. If the baby stops sucking
when you release the pressure, he'll start again
once he tastes milk.
7. When the baby starts to suck again, he
may drink. If not, simply compress again.
8. Continue feeding on the first side until
the baby no longer drinks with compression. You
should allow him time to stay on that side until he
starts drinking again, on his own.
9. If the baby is no longer drinking, allow
to come off the breast or take him off.
10. If the baby still wants more, offer the
other side and repeat the process as above.
11. Unless you have sore nipples, you may
want to switch sides like this several times.
12. Always work to improve the baby's latch.

Breast Feeding Adopted Babies

Not only is breast feeding an adopted baby easy,
the chances are that you will produce a large
amount of milk. It isn't complicated to do,
although it is different than breast feeding a
baby you have been pregnant with for 9 months.

Breast feeding and milk
There are two objectives that are involved in
breast feeding an adopted baby. The first is
getting your baby to breast feed, and the other
is producing enough breast milk.

There is more to breast feeding than just milk,
which is why many mothers are happy to feed
without expecting to produce milk in the way
the baby needs. It's the closeness and the
bond breast feeding provides that many mothers
look for.

Taking the breast
Even though many feel the early introduction of
bottles may interfere with breast feeding, the
early introduction of artificial nipples can
interfere a great deal. The sooner you can get
the baby to the breast after birth, the better
things will be.

Babies will however, require the flow from the
breast in order to stay attached and continue
to suck, especially if they are used to getting
flow from a bottle or other method of feeding.

Producing breast milk
As soon as you have an adopted baby in sight,
contact a lactation clinic and start getting
your milk supply ready. Keep in mind, you
may never produce a full milk supply for your
baby, although it may happen. You should
never feel discouraged by what you may be
pumping before the baby, as a pump is never
quite as good at extracting milk as a baby
who is well latched and sucking.

Breast Feeding And Jaundice

Jaundice is a result of buildup in the blood of the
bilirubin, a yellow pigment that comes from the
breakdown of older red blood cells. It's normal
for the red blood cells to break down, although
the bilirubin formed doesn't normally cause jaundice
because the liver will metabolize it and then get
rid of it in the gut.

However, the newborn baby will often become
jaundiced during the first few days due to the
liver enzyme that metabolizes the bilirubin becoming
relatively immature. Therefore, newborn babies
will have more red blood cells than adults, and
thus more will break down at any given time.

Breast milk jaundice
There is a condition that's commonly referred to
as breast milk jaundice, although no one knows
what actually causes it. In order to diagnose it,
the baby should be at least a week old. The baby
should also be gaining well with breast feeding
alone, having lots of bowel movements with the
passing of clean urine.

In this type of setting, the baby has what is
referred to as breast milk jaundice. On occasion,
infections of the urine or an under functioning
of the baby's thyroid gland, as well as other
rare illnesses that may cause the same types of

Breast milk jaundice will peak at 10 - 21 days,
although it can last for 2 - 3 months. Contrary
to what you may think, breast milk jaundice is
normal. Rarely, if at all ever, does breast
feeding need to be stopped for even a brief
period of time.

If the baby is doing well on breast milk, there
is no reason at all to stop or supplement with
a lactation aid.

Breast Feeding And Positioning

For some people, the process of breast feeding
seems to come natural, although there's a level
of skill required for successful feeding and a
correct technique to use. Incorrect positioning
is one of the biggest reasons for unsuccessful
feeding and it can even injure the nipple or
breast quite easily.

By stroking the baby's cheek with the nipple, the
baby will open its mouth towards the nipple, which
should then be pushed in so that the baby will
get a mouthful of nipple and areola. This
position is known as latching on. A lot of women
prefer to wear a nursing bra to allow easier access
to the breast than other normal bras.

The length of feeding time will vary. Regardless
of the duration of feeding time, it's important
for mothers to be comfortable. The following are
positions you can use:
1. Upright - The sitting position where
the back is straight.
2. Mobile - Mobile is where the mother
carries her baby in a sling or carrier while breast
feeding. Doing this allows the mother to breast
feed in the work of everyday life.
3. Lying down - This is good for night feeds
or for those who have had a caesarean section.
4. On her back - The mother is sitting
slightly upright, also a useful position for tandem
breast feeding.
5. On her side - The mother and baby both
lie on their sides.
6. Hands and knees - In this feeding position
the mother is on all fours with the baby underneath
her. Keep in mind, this position isn't normally

Anytime you don't feel comfortable with a feeding
position, always stop and switch to a different
position. Each position is different, while some
mothers prefer one position, other's may like a
totally different position. All you need to do is
experiment and see which position is best for you.

Breast Feeding Complications

Sore nipples
A lot of mothers complain about tender nipples that
make breast feeding painful and frustrating. There
is good news though, as most mothers don't suffer
that long. The nipples will toughen up quickly
and render breast feeding virtually painless.

Improperly positioned babies or babies that suck
really hard can make the breasts extremely sore.
Below, are some ways to ease your discomfort:
1. Make sure your baby is in the correct
position, since a baby that isn't positioned correctly
is the number one cause of sore nipples.
2. Once you have finished feeding, expose
your breasts to the air and try to protect them from
clothing and other irritations.
3. After breast feeding, apply some ultra
purified, medical grade lanolin, making sure to avoid
petroleum jelly and other products with oil.
4. Make sure to wash your nipples with water
and not with soap.
5. Many women find teabags ran under cold
water to provide some relief when placed on the
6. Make sure you vary your position each time
with feeding to ensure that a different area of the
nipple is being compressed each time.

Clogged milk ducts
Clogged milk ducts can be identified as small, red tender
lumps on the tissue of the breast. Clogged ducts can
cause the milk to back up and lead to infection. The
best way to unclog these ducts is to ensure that you've
emptied as completely as possible. You should offer
the clogged breast first at feeding time, then let
your baby empty it as much as possible.

If milk remains after the feeding, the remaining amount
should be removed by hand or with a pump. You should
also keep pressure off the duct by making sure your
bra is not too tight.

Breast infection
Also known as mastititis, breast infection is normally
due to empty breasts completely out of milk, germs
gaining entrance to the milk ducts through cracks or
fissures in the nipple, and decreased immunity in the
mother due to stress or inadequate nutrition.

The symptoms of breast infection include severe pain
or soreness, hardness of the breast, redness of the
breast, heat coming from the area, swelling, or even

The treatment of breast infection includes bed rest,
antibiotics, pain relievers, increased fluid intake,
and applying heat. Many women will stop breast feeding
during an infection, although it's actually the wrong
thing to do. By emptying the breasts, you'll
actually help to prevent clogged milk ducts.

If the pain is so bad you can't feed, try using a
pump while laying in a tub of warm water with your
breasts floating comfortably in the water. You should
also make sure that the pump isn't electric if you
plan to use it in the bath tub.

You should always make sure that breast infections
are treated promptly and completely or you may
risk the chance of abscess. An abscess is very
painful, involving throbbing and swelling. You'll
also experience swelling, tenderness, and heat in
the area of the abscess. If the infection progresses
this far, your doctor may prescribe medicine and
even surgery.

Breast Feeding In Public

Babies that are breast fed are very portable and
easy to comfort no matter where your schedule has
you going. Many women however, worry about
breast feeding in public. The worry of nursing
in a public place is normally worse than the
actual experience and often times the only people
who notice you feeding are the other mothers who
are doing the same thing.

Many women find ways to breast feed discreetly.
You can ask your partner or even a friend to
stand in front of you while you lift your shirt
from the waist. When you breast feed, the baby's
body will cover most of your upper body and you
can pull your shirt down to her face to cover
the tops of your breast. Some mothers prefer to
put a light blanket over their shoulders as a
type of cover.

When you are visiting someone else's home, you
may feel more comfortable either leaving the
room or turning away from people when you first
put the baby to your breast. If you would like
more privacy, breast feed in an empty room, car,
or public restroom.

A lot of restrooms are becoming more baby
friendly and they even have a seperate are with
a changing table and a chair. Several shopping
malls now offer special mother's rooms where
the mom can breast feed her baby in privacy,
which will help sensitive babies who are too
distracted by feeding to nurse well in public.
It won't take long at all though, before your
baby will learn to breast feed without any fuss
at all.

An alternative way is expressing or pumping
your milk at home and then offer it in a bottle
while in public. Keep in mind, offering
bottles with artificial nipples in the first
few weeks can and probably will interfere with
breast feeding.

When breast feeding in public, you should always
use what works best for you. During the first
few weeks, it will take some getting used to,
as it will be as new for you as it is for the
baby. With some time, you'll have no problems
at all.

If you don't feel comfortable breast feeding in
a certain location, then you shouldn't. You
should feel a certain level of comfort when you
feed, as the baby can tell when you aren't
comfortable doing something. If you show your
baby that you aren't nervous - you and your
baby will be just fine.

Breast Feeding Toddlers

Because more and more women are choosing to breast
feed their babies, more and more are also finding
that they enjoy it enough to continue longer than
the first few months they planned on. Breast
feeding to 3 - 4 years of age is common in much
of the world recently, and is still common in
many societies for toddlers to be breast fed.

Because mothers and babies often enjoy to breast
feed, you shouldn't stop it. After six months,
many think that breast milk loses it's value -
which isn't true. Even after six months, it
still contains protein, fat, and other important
nutrients which babies and children need.

The fact is, immune factors in breast milk will
protect the baby against infections. Breast
milk also contains factors that will help the
immune system mature, and other organs to develop
and mature as well.

It's been shown and proven in the past that
children in daycare who are still breast feeding
have far less severe infections than the
children that aren't breast feeding. The mother
will lose less work time if she chooses to
continue nursing her baby once she is back to

If you have thought about breast feeding your
baby once he gets passed 6 months of age, you
have made a wise decision. Although many feel
that it isn't necessary, breast milk will always
help babies and toddlers. Breast milk is the
best milk you can give to your baby.

No matter what others may tell you, breast feeding
only needs to be stopped when you and the baby
agree on it. You don't have to stop when someone
else wants you to - you should only stop when
you feel that it's the right time.

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