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Breast-Feeding Articles


Getting Started With Breast Feeding

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 305)
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When you hold your baby for the first time in the

delivery room, you should put his lips to your

breast. Although your mature milk hasn't developed

yet, your breasts are still producing a substance

known as colostrum that helps to protect your baby

from infections.

If your baby has trouble finding or staying on

your nipple, you shouldn't panic. Breast feeding is

an art that will require a lot of patience and a

lot of practice. No one expects you to be an

expert when you first start, so you shouldn't

hesitate to ask for advice or have a nurse show you

what you need to do.

Once you start, keep in mind that nursing shouldn't

be painful. When your baby latches on, pay attention

to how your breasts feel. If the latching on

hurts, break the suction then try again.

You should nurse quite frequently, as the more

you nurse the more quickly your mature milk will

come in and the more milk you'll produce. Breast

feeding for 10 - 15 minutes per breast 8 - 10 times

every 24 hours is an ideal target. Crying is a

sign of hunger, which means you should actually

feed your baby before he starts crying.

During the first few days, you may have to wake

your baby to begin breast feeding, and he may end

up falling asleep during feeding. To ensure that

your baby is eating often enough, you should wake

him up if it has been four hours since the last

time he has been fed.

Getting comfortable

Feedings can take 40 minutes or longer, therefore

you'll want a cozy spot. You don't want to be

sitting somewhere where you will be bothered, as it

can make the process very hard.

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Breast Feeding And Positioning

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 330)
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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

recommended.

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.

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Other Foods While Breast Feeding

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 296)
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Breast milk is actually the only food your baby

will need until 4 months of age, although most

babies do well on breast milk alone for 6 months

or better. There is really no advantage to

adding other foods or milks before 4 - 6 months,

except under unusual circumstances.

Water

Breast milk is over 90% water. Even in the

hottest days of summer, a baby won't require any

extra water. If a baby isn't feeding well, they

still don't require any extra water - although

they will need the breast feeding problems to

be fixed.

Vitamin D

Although breast milk doesn't contain much vitamin

D, it does have a little. The baby will store up

vitamin D during pregnancy, and remain healthy

without any vitamin D supplementation, unless you

yourself had a problem with vitamin D deficiency

when pregnant.

Exposure to the outside will give your baby

vitamin D, even in winter and when the sky is

covered. An hour or more exposure during the

week will give your baby more than enough vitamin

D.

Iron

Breast milk contains less iron than formulas do,

especially those that are iron enriched. Iron

will give the baby added protection against

infections, as many bacteria need iron in order

to multiply.

The iron found in breast milk is utilized well

by the baby, while not being available to

bacteria. The introduction of iron should

never be delayed beyond the age of 6 months.

Breast milk is the best that your can feed

your baby, as it provides everything he will

need for probably the first 6 months. After

the first 6 months, you can introduce solid

foods to your baby if he is taking an interest

to them.

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Refusal To Breast Feed

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 295)
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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.

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Breast Feeding Adopted Babies

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 284)
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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.

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How To Choose A Breast Pump

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 305)
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The milk production in the breasts, much like so many

other things, work on the shear principal of supply

and demand. The more breast milk your baby consumes,

the more your body will need to make.

Breast pumps are generally used to insure continued

production of breast milk when you cannot feed your

baby - whether you are back to work, traveling, taking

medication, or just out of town.

Basic types of pumps

Breast pumps can either be battery operated, hand

operated, semi automatic electric, or even self cycling

electric.

Hand pumps

Manual hand pumps are designed to use the strength

of your hand or arm muscles for pumping one breast at

a time. You can also get pumps that will use the leg

and foot muscles for pumping both breasts at one

time. Mothers that with carpal tunnel syndrome may

want to consider using a pump designed for the arm

or leg muscles or even an automatic model.

Battery operated pumps

Pumps with battery operation are the best for women

who have an established supply of milk and want to

pump once or even twice a day. These pumps use

batteries to create suction, minimizing any type of

muscle fatigue. Most battery type pumps are designed

for pumping one breast at a time and are recommended

for occasional usage.

Electric pumps

Even though electric pumps are more efficient than

hand or even battery operated pumps, they also tend

to be more expensive. You can however, rent them if

you need to. Electric pumps can normally plug

directly into an outlet and are designed for pumping

both breasts at a time and even frequent use. Hospital

grade pumps are the most efficient for initiating and

maintaining milk supply, and are available for rent

or purchase.

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Starting Solid Foods

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 455)
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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.

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The First Six Weeks

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 452)
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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.

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Breast Feeding Toddlers

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 301)
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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

work.

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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