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Breastfeeding does more than provide nutrition for your baby, it can create a wonderful bonding experience for mother and child. But getting your infant to latch on to your nipple can be a tricky business. Watch this video for helpful breastfeeding basics.
Transcript: If you're planning to breastfeed, you're in good company: Up to 70 percent of American moms give nursing...
If you're planning to breastfeed, you're in good company: Up to 70 percent of American moms give nursing a try. Of course, it's also okay not to nurse...You will raise a healthy, baby either way! Your breast milk is tailored to meet the needs of YOUR baby. It changes in response to the amount he or she consumes and contains at least 100 ingredients that aren't found in formula. Other benefits? Studies have shown that breastfed babies are: Less likely to suffer from infections, less likely to be overweight, more likely to have higher IQs, and more open to various foods as adults. And there are benefits for you, too! When your baby nurses, your body responds by releasing the hormone oxytocin, which encourages you to bond with your baby, AND shrinks your uterus. You'll also lose weight more quickly: Breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day! And, for moms who like convenience, breast is best. Forget heating a bottle at 4am or packing up formula for a 2-hour trip. So how does it work? Before you leave the hospital or birthing center, you'll be visited by a lactation consultant who will help you get started breastfeeding. You'll begin by holding your baby so you're both comfortable. Encourage him or her to open up by gently rubbing your nipple along your baby's lips. When your baby latches on, ensure that the mouth covers BOTH your nipple and areola. If it doesn't, break the suction by gently inserting your finger in the corner of the mouth. Then, try again until your baby is properly positioned. This is vital, because if your baby doesn't latch properly, you'll wind up with sore, or even cracked, nipples! You can ease nipple discomfort by exposing them to air or applying a lanolin-based ointment after each feeding. And while your breasts will be engorged for a few weeks after delivery, rest assured that they'll reduce once your baby figures out how much milk he or she needs, and your body responds. While nursing, you may notice a small, tender lump on your breast, which is probably a clogged milk duct. Continuing to nurse, massaging the duct, or applying a heating pad should fix the problem, but contact your doctor if it doesn't.When you begin breastfeeding you'll wonder how often to nurse. During the first weeks after delivery, your baby should eat eight to twelve times a day. Nurse when your baby is hungry. He or she will let you know by nuzzling against your breasts, sucking, or opening his or her mouth. Try not to wait for cries, because at this point, he or she is already uncomfortable. Breastfeeding is a big commitment, but an important one for the moms who make it! You're bound to have questions, and that's normal, so talk to your doctor about your concerns.More »
Last Modified: 2013-05-06 | Tags »
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When it comes to starting baby on solids, make sure your baby is ready. Learn how to spot the signs that your baby is ready for solids in this video.
Transcript: Somewhere between her fourth and sixth month, your baby will be ready to drop the liquid-only diet. ...
Somewhere between her fourth and sixth month, your baby will be ready to drop the liquid-only diet. Here, the basics of starting her on solids. Before you introduce solid foods to your little one, be sure she's ready for the challenge! Your baby should be able to hold her head upright and steady, and to sit well when supported. She should also have grown significantly, ideally doubling her birth weight. Finally, watch for your baby's solid-ready signals, like eyeing your own food with curiosity, or even reaching for it eagerly. If you've assessed the signs and think your infant is ready to give solids a go, start slowly! Many pediatricians recommend beginning with a rice cereal, which is less allergenic than other foods. To feed your baby, mix the cereal with a bit of breast milk or formula to make a semi-liquid. Offer the mix to your baby with a rubber tipped infant spoon, which is gentler on her gums than a metal one. Your infant may take some time to get used to the eating experience, and she may not actually CONSUME much in the beginning, but that's normal. Take your time, and wait to introduce more solids until your infant is comfortable eating a few tablespoons of cereal a day. At this point, begin adding new foods to her diet ONE AT A TIME, waiting at least three days after each new food. This step is vital, because you'll want to watch your baby for a rash, bloating, gas, diarrhea, or irritability-all signs of a possible allergic reaction. After several weeks of eating just rice cereal, your baby will likely welcome the next step-strained or mashed fruits or vegetables. Try applesauce, peaches, carrots, spinach, pears, bananas, sweet potatoes, or squash. In the coming months, you can also introduce finger foods, like well cooked pasta, lightly toasted bread, pieces of ripe banana and more. Eventually, you'll round out your baby's diet with protein, like tiny pieces of tofu or chicken. As you feed your little one, keep in mind that she may like things you don't, and offer her all kinds of foods. At the same time, respect her preferences, and don't try to force foods on her that she doesn't like. Give it time and she may come around. Remember also that most young infants only need solids once a day, while eight month olds will likely eat three times daily. Let your baby guide the process, and listen to her when she tells you she's full. She'll make it clear by pushing the spoon away, closing her mouth, or turning her head from the food you're offering. Above all, be sure to have a camera or camcorder ready to record the faces and fun of those early feedings!More »
Last Modified: 2015-11-23 | Tags »
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Transitioning your baby from formula or breastfeeding to baby food isn't easy. Your infant may resist the change. Here's how to introduce solids to your baby.
Transcript: Just as your baby may have had some difficulty learning to latch onto a nipple or use a bottle, she may...
Just as your baby may have had some difficulty learning to latch onto a nipple or use a bottle, she may encounter a few hiccups as you introduce solid foods. Usually, the transition from an all-liquid diet to a solid one occurs around your baby's fourth to sixth month. You'll want to do so with caution, however, avoiding certain problem foods for the first year. Among the foods to skip are peanut butter, which has a sticky consistency and can make swallowing tough...Cow's milk, which is hard for babies to digest and which can contain kidney-damaging minerals...Eggs, which are often a source of allergic reaction in young infants... And honey, which can cause botulism, a serious paralytic illness. To prevent choking, avoid small, hard foods, like nuts, popcorn and raisins-and very soft ones, like marshmallows and gumdrops. Of course, you'll also want to ensure that everything you feed your baby is pea sized or smaller, as even a grape can be too big for her little throat. Even with your careful planning, however, you may find that your baby gags as you begin the feeding process. If your baby is younger than six months, this may be gagging due to the tongue-thrust reflex, which causes your little one to stick her tongue out when the back of her throat is stimulated. This is a big part of the reason it's best to wait until your baby is AT LEAST four months old to start her on solids. If your infant is older, however, she could be gagging because you're giving her too much food at once, or because she doesn't like what you're feeding her. Make sure to offer very small bites on the tip of your baby's spoon, and stop if she consistently resists a food. Of course, you should also expect a BIT of gagging and tongue thrusting as your baby gets used to this new way of eating! Be patient during this sometimes-arduous process, and know that your baby will be a little food connoisseur in no time!More »
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When it's time to stop breastfeeding, transitioning your baby to formula or solid foods may not be as easy as you think. Watch this video to learn how to wean your baby successfully.
Transcript: Just like you chose to breastfeed your baby, you get to choose when to stop. But how will you know when...
Just like you chose to breastfeed your baby, you get to choose when to stop. But how will you know when that time has arrived? Weaning involves teaching your child to stop nursing. When your little one gets ALL nutrition from sources other than breast milk, this process is considered complete. The best time to wean your baby depends on many factors, including your child's continued desire to breastfeed and your own lifestyle choices. If you're looking for a more concrete deadline, however, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends feeding your baby ONLY breast milk for six months, then combining solid food with breast milk until your baby is AT LEAST one year old. When you do decide it's time to wean your infant, undergo the process gradually, as abruptly withholding the breast can be both emotionally and physically traumatic. One such method is to simply skip a nursing session, and then another, until your baby eats only from a bottle or cup. With this approach, you can substitute your breast with pumped milk or formula, or, for an older infant, solid food. You can also gradually shorten the time that your baby nurses. Cutting minutes slowly will help make the process easier for both of you. Another weaning method that can work is to postpone feedings and distract your infant with another activity, whether it's reading a story or playing outside. Or, if your child is old enough to understand you, you can simply explain that you'll feed him later, like at bedtime. But if all of your efforts to wean your baby are met with forceful resistance, it's possible that the time is not yet right. Children who are adapting to changes- like starting daycare-or those who have been sick may need more time to break the breast habit. Be patient, and know that weaning WILL happen in due time. Until then, enjoy the extra bonding with your baby!More »
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Weaning baby on your timetable marks the end of breastfeeding. Find out when may be a good time to wean in this video.
Transcript: If you're still nursing on your baby's first birthday, you've probably wondered whether or not it might...
If you're still nursing on your baby's first birthday, you've probably wondered whether or not it might be time to stop. But what if you're not ready? Extended nursing, which means breastfeeding beyond a baby's first year, is sometimes misunderstood, and at times looked down upon. But the World Health Organization recommends continued nursing until your baby is two! Meanwhile, in cultures where children are permitted to nurse until they stop naturally, they usually continue until three or four years of age. A. While your baby should be getting some nutrition from food sources after six months, B. there are proven benefits to offering breast milk in addition. Extended breastfeeding is directly linked to fewer infant illnesses due to the immunities, vitamins, and enzymes your milk contains. Additionally, studies have found that children who continue to nurse are MORE independent, not less, which is likely due to the reassurance that the breastfeeding bond provides. Equally as great are the benefits for you! Women who nurse more than 24 months in a lifetime have a 25-percent lowered risk of breast cancer.! And you'll also enjoy the continued benefits of breastfeeding hormones: Prolactin, which relaxes you, and oxytocin, which encourages bonding. Of course, extended nursing isn't for everyone, since the process can be quite demanding. Because many people think nursing an older child is odd, you may also have to deal with rude comments or raised eyebrows. Finally, some people believe that it is more difficult to wean a child after her first birthday, although there is no medical evidence to prove this. Despite these drawbacks, you may decide that the benefits of extended nursing make it worth the work. If so, stick to your convictions and try not to be bothered by others' opinions of your choice. Remember: no one knows better than YOU what is right for your child!More »
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Studies have indicated that infant allergies are linked to the diet of the mother. Find out which foods may cause an allergic reaction through this video on infant allergies.
Transcript: According to the FDA, 6% of children under three suffer from food allergies. Now that your infant is...
According to the FDA, 6% of children under three suffer from food allergies. Now that your infant is starting to eat solids, you may wonder if your baby will be among them. A food allergy occurs when your baby consumes a food that her body believes is an intruder, and responds by launching an immune system attack. During this initial "battle," she'll make an antibody called IgE, which is designed to detect the food if it's eaten again. Should that happen, IgE tells your child to fight the "invading" food with chemicals like histamine. The result is an allergic reaction, which may manifest topically as hives, swelling or eczema...or gastrointestinally, as bloating, diarrhea, or vomiting. If your baby consistently develops one or more of these symptoms within several hours of eating a food, call her pediatrician and request an allergy test. In very rare cases, an allergic reaction may be so severe that it results in a swollen face, lips and eventually, airways. This potentially deadly reaction happens right after exposure to a food, and calling 911 immediately is essential. While any food can set off any of these reactions, fully 90% of allergies are to one of eight food groups, which include...Wheat, soy, eggs, milk, peanuts, fish, tree nuts-like cashews and walnuts-and shellfish-like lobster and shrimp. For less severe allergies to these foods, the only treatment necessary is strict avoidance of the offending fare. In the rare instance that your child has a life-threatening allergy, your pediatrician may recommend that you carry an epinephrine auto-injector at all times. More commonly known as an epi-pen, this self-administered injection counteracts the effects of histamine, ending a reaction. Unfortunately, if you or your partner suffer from severe or minor allergies, your infant is 50% more likely to as well. And while conventional wisdom dictates that allergies may be avoided by delaying exposure to certain foods, the AAP has shown that there is no scientific support of this theory. So while there is no way to stop allergies from developing, you may be able to pinpoint them by introducing one food to your child at a time. In this way, you'll be more likely to notice an adverse reaction to a particular food. Additionally, some pediatricians believe it's possible to lessen or delay allergy development by breastfeeding your infant until he or she is at least 12 months. They hypothesize that this protection is due to the natural antibodies and immunities passed through breast milk. If, despite everything, your child does develop a food allergy, take heart. Studies show that some 80% of children outgrow them by age ten!More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-09 | Tags »
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Do you plan to feed your newborn baby formula? There are tricks to making formula properly. Watch this video to learn how to prepare a formula bottle.
Transcript: It'll be second nature soon, but preparing that first bottle can be baffling. Here, a step-by-step...
It'll be second nature soon, but preparing that first bottle can be baffling. Here, a step-by-step guide to formula mixology! Whether you choose to use powdered or concentrated liquid formula, it's vital to start by reading the mixing directions. Sounds obvious, but by not putting enough water in the mix, you can upset your baby's delicate tummy. And if you add TOO much, you risk depriving your infant of the calories and nutrients he needs. More importantly, too little water, or too much water, can upset your baby's sodium balance, and cause dehydration, even though this may seem confusing. In fact, this could lead to a need for a short hospitalization. So be careful with your measurements to avoid these predicaments. Once you've got your directions down, determine how much formula to prepare. Until your baby begins to eat solids, your infant will consume about 2.5 ounces of formula for every pound of body weight, every day. In other words, if your infant is eight pounds, he'll eat roughly 20 ounces of formula in a 24-hour period. Of course, this equation is a general rule! Your main indicator of how much formula to make depends on your baby. Don't freak out if your baby is eating more or less than this equation predicts...as long as there is good growth, plenty of diapers, and a happy baby, that is the main thing! That being said, babies tend to eat more during their growth spurts, which typically occur around three weeks, six weeks, three months and six months. Since infants eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full, it's OK to offer a bit more formula if your infant is still hungry after a bottle. Babies do not understand the concept of overeating, and they have not yet developed the socialized behaviors that adults have which center around food consumption! But no matter how much your baby tends to take, only mix what you think your infant will need in a 24-hour period. Store mixed formula in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 24-hours after you prepare it. And if you give a bottle that your baby does not finish, toss the rest of the mix. These simple steps keep your baby safe from bacteria and food borne illnesses. Finally, you might consider warming your baby's bottle. While not medically necessary, some infants, prefer warm milk. You can also run the liquid under a hot tap, or use a store-bought bottle warmer. NEVER heat a bottle in the microwave, as this creates "hot spots" in the milk that can burn your baby. Now, shake a few drops of formula on your inner wrist to test the temperature. If it feels just barely warm, it's safe for your little one to sip!More »
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Baby allergies appear in different forms. Watch this video for more information on identifying the symptoms and causes of baby allergies.
Transcript: Up to 8% of infants suffer from allergies to everything from dairy to dust. But how do you tell what's...
Up to 8% of infants suffer from allergies to everything from dairy to dust. But how do you tell what's bothering YOUR baby? Often, it takes some super sleuthing to pinpoint the EXACT cause of an infant's allergy. Is your child suffering from an itchy skin condition like hives or eczema? Hives are a welt-like rash that form in clusters and may resemble mosquito bites. Eczema, meanwhile, is a red, scaly or flaky rash that you may notice on your baby's torso and face, and in skin folds, like behind the knees and inner elbows. While these conditions can simply represent sensitive skin, hives and eczema are often signs of an allergy. Common culprits include pets, personal hygiene products, and cleaning agents. What if your infant's allergies manifest much like a cold, with itchy, watery eyes, and a stuffy or runny nose? It may be that your child is suffering from airborne allergens, like pollen or dust mites. If symptoms heighten when the seasons change, or if they appear worse in certain areas of your home, an airborne allergy is likely. If, however, you find that your child's cold-like symptoms kick in during damp, cold weather, the culprit may be mold. While not inexpensive, there are plenty of professionals out there who can check your household for mold, and you should consider this, especially if you have a basement. What if it's not your child's body, but his stomach that is frequently the problem? Abdominal pain, visible bloating, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting often signal an allergic reaction to a food like milk, or soy... PARTICULARLY if problems occur within two hours of consumption. And while all of these mentioned symptoms are bothersome, only some of them are particularly harmful. An extremely rare, but potentially life-threatening, allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Nuts and shellfish are common culprits here, Anaphylaxis occurs almost immediately after exposure to an allergen and manifests as...swelling of the face, lips, and tongue, which is a condition called angioedema. But also, there may be difficulty breathing and wheezing, rapidly growing hives, or uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea. If you think your child is suffering from anaphylaxis, now is not the time to figure out what caused it! This can rapidly evolve into shock! So, call 911 IMMEDIATELY. AND, If you have an epi-pen, USE IT! Later, once your child is stable, you can consider potential culprits. And remember: Whether mild or monstrous, it's ALWAYS a good idea to see your child's pediatrician if you suspect your baby has an allergy. The doctor will be able to determine or confirm the diagnosis, and will also suggest effective treatment options for the future.More »
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Is your baby refusing to suck the nipple? Just like breastfeeding, there can be some challenges with formula feeding, too. Check out this video for answers to formula feeding problems.
Transcript: You've prepared the perfect bottle, but your baby isn't sucking! There are a number of reasons why your...
You've prepared the perfect bottle, but your baby isn't sucking! There are a number of reasons why your baby may be uninterested in the bottle you've prepared, or why your little one may seem sick after eating. The most common problem, and the easiest to fix, is when a bottle is dispensing formula incorrectly. If you're new to bottle-feeding, the nipple which dispenses formula is sold in varying sizes for children of different ages. A newborn's nipple will dispense small, slow amounts of formula, while one made for a toddler offers faster formula flow. If you use a nipple that is too small, it will force your baby to suck very hard, which makes it tough to get enough to eat. Meanwhile, a nipple that is too large causes formula to flow too quickly. This may force your baby to take big gulps of air, which can lead to spitting up, painful gas, or bloating. Even if your baby's nipple is the right size, it's possible that it has become plugged or torn, both of which make eating harder. You can test for nipple problems by holding a bottle upside down and observing what happens. Every nipple will dispense a different SIZED drop of liquid, but a properly functioning one should release about one drop per second. If the nipple is in perfect condition, it is possible that your infant's formula is too hot or too cold. Meanwhile, if your infant spits up frequently during feedings, your little one may just need to be burped more often. Try to burp your baby after every two ounces of formula. Older babies will often tend to burp themselves, so this frequent burping practice is really intended for the younger babies. Another set of formula feeding problems may manifest as wheezing, mealtime irritability, or a tendency to arch the back after a feeding. These signs point to reflux, a problem that occurs when the valve connecting your baby's esophagus to the stomach isn't working properly yet. This allows painful digestive acids to flow out of the stomach and back up toward the mouth. If you suspect reflux, talk to your doctor about ways to ease the ache. There are a number of solutions that can be attempted before a trial of medications. BUT if none of these measures, including medications, makes your infant's feeding easier, it's possible that your baby may be sensitive to something in the formula. For example, a baby who experiences a good deal of gas, diarrhea, and bloating may be allergic to cow's milk, the base of most formulas. And if there is blood in your baby's stools, this is even more likely to be what's going on. If that's the case, your baby may do better on a soy-based product, although some 20% of infants with a cow's milk allergy have soy allergies, too. If your baby is allergic to both cow's milk and soy, your doctor may recommend a hydrolysate formula like Nutramigen or Alimentum. Hydrolysate formulas contain pre-digested milk proteins, so your baby's tender tummy won't get upset during the digestive process. And don't worry that these specialized formulas may not smell appetizing to you, they are perfectly nutritious for your baby. Whatever you suspect the formula feeding problem is, take it seriously. That bottle is an important source of your baby's nutrition for at least the first six months of life!More »
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Using a breast pump can be a challenge if you've never used one before. But a few pointers can make it easier for you and your baby. Check out our video to learn all about breast pumping tips.
Transcript: If you're among the 70% of women in the United States who give breastfeeding a try, you'll probably need...
If you're among the 70% of women in the United States who give breastfeeding a try, you'll probably need to pump your breast milk at some point. Breast pumps are electric or manual devices that express breast milk, allowing you to save it for later use. The most common reason to pump is to ensure your baby has breast milk when the two of you are apart. Pumping also allows your partner or another helper to feed your baby from a bottle, allowing you to get more uninterrupted sleep, or to perhaps take a break from baby care. Letting your partner share in the feedings can also be a good bonding experience with baby. Women going back to work pump in order to maintain their breast milk supply and to prep food for baby while they are away from home. Pumping can ALSO stimulate your milk production and allow you to nurse for longer. That's because breast milk works on a supply and demand basis: the more you express, the more you will make. And pumping allows you to build up a reserve of milk, which can come in handy if you need to be away from your baby unexpectedly. After you express your milk, store it in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours, or in the freezer for about three months. It's best to put breast milk in plastic or glass feeding bottles that have secure caps to seal in freshness. You can also use plastic bags made especially for storing breast milk or even disposable baby bottle liners, though they both may break more easily because the plastic is thin. Remember to write the date on the bottle or bag BEFORE putting it in the refrigerator or freezer so you'll know WHEN you pumped it. Breast milk may look different than you think when you store it: it's normal for the fat to separate and float to the top, and sometimes, the milk has a bluish hue. Please note though, that the process of freezing destroys SOME of the antibodies in the milk, so don't freeze unless necessary. HOWEVER, frozen breast milk is STILL healthier and offers more protection from disease than formula does. To thaw frozen milk, place the bottle or bag in a bowl of warm water and run it under warm tap water, or defrost it in the refrigerator overnight. NEVER use the microwave for defrosting or warming because it KILLS the nutrients in breast milk, and also heats unevenly, creating "hot spots" that can burn your baby's mouth. And most health professionals recommend throwing out any milk that's left in your baby's bottle after a feeding, as bacteria from the bay's mouth can get in, potentially causing an infection. If you are the mother of a baby who has trouble latching, you may also pump so that she can still consume breast milk. You might also use a breast pump to stimulate your milk production and increase your supply, to collect milk to feed a premature baby or one who can't latch on to your breast, or to relieve the pain and pressure of engorged breasts. To find the best type of breast pump for you, look at your budget and at how often you plan to be expressing your milk. The most efficient pumps are electric. These models are fully automatic, and can usually pump your breasts very quickly, and at the same time. Electric breast pumps range in price from about $200 to $350, and most pumps come with a one-year warranty. Some newer models are designed to mimic a baby's sucking patterns: they start with short, quick sucks to elicit the letdown response and then move into a slower, deeper sucking pattern. This feature can make pumping more comfortable, but it doesn't necessarily mean you'll produce more milk. Battery operated breast pumps are less expensive, ranging from about $50 to $150. But they can usually only pump one breast at a time, and are much slower. Finally, manual pumps allow you to express your breast milk by pumping a piston or pulling a lever. Ranging in price from about $30 to $60, these models are the cheapest but they are extremely labor intensive, and may not work as well. A note of caution: stay away from the models that look like bicycle horns, as the rubber balls can harbor harmful bacteria. To use any type of pump, start by putting a breast cup or shield over your nipple. Nipple shields come in many variations, so make sure you're using one that's built for your nipple size. To use an electric pump, turn the machine on and let it do the work of emptying your breasts into a storage container. An electric pump will let you adjust the suction settings to a level and speed that's comfortable for you. A manual model of course, will require that you do the pumping work. It's important to note that a good breast pump mimics the sucking action of a baby and WON'T cause you pain, but it is not super comfortable, either. And you might want to consider buying a pumping bra so you don't have to hold the cups on your breasts, which makes things much easier! Remember that pumping may feel a bit odd at first, and may hurt a little, but it should not last beyond the first few moments.. If you're experiencing pain, or are having trouble expressing your milk, talk to your doctor or lactation consultant about measures to help.More »
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There are many reasons why a mother think about supplementing breast milk with formula. Watch this video to learn about supplementing.
Transcript: Planning to feed your baby from the breast and the bottle? We've got tips to make supplementing simple!...
Planning to feed your baby from the breast and the bottle? We've got tips to make supplementing simple! Nursing mothers have various reasons to supplement some of their breast milk feedings with formula. Many women decide to do this when it's time to go back to work. This can be an especially good option for moms who have trouble pumping. Other women just like handing off occasional feedings to a partner or caregiver. And some moms supplement when their babies just aren't getting enough milk from the breast. If you think YOUR baby is in this boat, watch for signs that she's constantly hungry, which include... fewer than six wet diapers a day, significant weight loss, and constant fussiness or lethargy. Weight loss can be tricky to assess since fluctuations will occur depending on when your child has last been fed, and when the last diaper change occurred. A full diaper can account for more weight than you might think. So the best way to do this is to weigh your baby on the same scale, at the same time, in relation to feeding, at each weigh in. Irritability and wakefulness can also be possible indicators of hunger, so watch out for them. Symptoms like this mean it's time to speak to your child's pediatrician about whether or not supplementing makes sense for you. Whatever your reason, as a supplementing mother, you should understand that your milk works on a supply and demand basis. In other words, the less you nurse, the less milk you will produce. This isn't usually a problem for a woman who has a strong, established milk supply...but a brand new mother may find that supplementing too soon causes her breast milk to stop COMPLETELY. For this reason, some experts suggest waiting a month before adding formula to your breastfeeding routine. And ALL moms who want to continue nursing should do so several times a day to keep milk production going. When it's time to give the first bottle of formula to your infant, let someone else do the honors. Your baby can smell you, and will have no desire for bottle nourishment when the breast she's used to is present! It's also smart to offer the first bottle when your infant is definitely hungry, and isn't looking to nurse for comfort. On the flipside, don't wait until your baby is so starving that she's crying! Some parents mix pumped breast milk with formula for those early bottle feedings. This is fine, and can make the transition easier... but experts caution that if your baby doesn't finish the bottle, you'll waste your hard earned, pumped milk! ! It's not called liquid gold for nothing! If your infant has trouble adjusting to the bottle at first, keep trying. All babies get the hang of bottle-feeding eventually, and you'll soon have supplement success!More »
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Even after you've given birth, you still have to watch what you eat if you're breastfeeding. Check out our video to know how diet impacts breast milk.
Transcript: Like most nursing moms, you probably worry that something you eat or drink will pass into your breast...
Like most nursing moms, you probably worry that something you eat or drink will pass into your breast milk and affect your baby. Here's what you need to know about how things you consume affect your breast milk. While it's true that what goes into your body usually does make its way into your milk supply, the amount is generally a tiny fraction of what you ingest. Gas and fussiness in your baby are the most common signs that something you ate has made its way into your breast milk. Common cultprits include: cabbage, onion, garlic, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, eggs, wheat, corn, fish, peanuts, nuts, and soy. Chocolate and citrus fruits, as well as cows' milk products like milk, cheese, yogurt, and even butter can also be common culprits. Keep in mind that diarrhea and a skin rash could signal an allergy. If you notice these symptoms in your baby, try eliminating the food or foods you suspect might be the culprit to see if doing so helps. Talk to your doctor, however, before making any MAJOR changes to your diet. What about a glass of wine with dinner? Although alcohol passes through your milk, the amount your baby gets is MUCH less than the amount you drink. Studies have shown that alcohol levels in breast milk peak about 30 to 90 minutes after one drink. So while it's probably fine to have one or two glasses of beer or wine a week, wait until the last feeding of the day (just after you nurse rather than just before) to allow a couple of hours per drink for the alcohol to metabolize And that morning cup of java? Your baby may be more irritable and feed more frequently if you ingest A LOT of caffeine. One or two cups of coffee a day won't harm your baby, but try to limit caffeine intake while you're breastfeeding, because babies can't efficiently rid their bodies of caffeine, so it can build up in their systems. Too much caffeine can also cause sleep problems and nervousness. Try drinking decaffeinated coffee and tea, and avoid colas and other carbonated drinks that have added caffeine. And remember, caffeine can be found in chocolate, soft drinks, and some herbal teas and medications, in addition to coffee and tea. And no cigarettes Mom! Nicotine ingested by smoking tobacco can get into breast milk. Heavy smoking (more than a pack a day) has been known to decrease milk production and to cause vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heart rate, and restlessness in babies. Stop smoking, for your sake and your baby's. But if you just can't quit while you're nursing, try cutting back on the number of cigarettes you smoke each day, and don't smoke just before breastfeeding or around your baby, especially indoors. Eat good food, be stringent with drinking alcohol and coffee, don't smoke cigarettes, and take good care of yourself, Mom, and you'll help keep baby happy too!More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-09 | Tags »
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