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Breast-Feeding Articles


Avoiding Foods While Breast Feeding

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 289)
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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.

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Engorged Breasts

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 456)
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Within the first two to three days after you have

given birth, you may discover that your breasts

feel swollen, tender, throbbing, lumpy, and

overly full. Sometimes, the swelling will extend

all the way to your armpit, and you may run a

low fever as well.

The causes

Within 72 hours of giving birth, an abundance

of milk will come in or become available to your

baby. As this happens, more blood will flow

to your breasts and some of the surrounding tissue

will swell. The result is full, swollen, engorged

breasts.

Not every postpartum mom experienced true

engorgement. Some women's breasts become only

slightly full, while others find their breasts

have become amazingly hard. Some women will hardly

notice the pain, as they are involved in other

things during the first few days.

Treating it

Keep in mind, engorgement is a positive sign

that you are producing milk to feed to your

baby. Until you produce the right amount:

1. Wear a supportive nursing bra, even

at night - making sure it isn't too tight.

2. Breast feed often, every 2 - 3 hours

if you can. Try to get the first side of your

breasts as soft as possible. If your baby seems

satisfied with just one breast, you can offer

the other at the next feeding.

3. Avoid letting your baby latch on and

suck when the areola is very firm. To reduce

the possibility of nipple damage, you can use

a pump until your areola softens up.

4. Avoid pumping milk except when you

need to soften the areola or when your baby

is unable to latch on. Excessive pumping can

lead to the over production of milk and prolonged

engorgement.

5. To help soothe the pain and relieve

swelling, apply cold packs to your breasts for

a short amount of time after you nurse. Crushed

ice in a plastic bag will also work.

6. Look ahead. You'll get past this

engorgement in no time and soon be able to

enjoy your breast feeding relationship with your

new baby.

Engorgement will pass very quickly. You can

expect it to diminish within 24 - 48 hours, as

nursing your baby will only help the problem. If

you aren't breast feeding, it will normally

get worse before it gets better. Once the

engorgement has passed, your breasts will be

softer and still full of milk.

During this time, you can and should continue to

nurse. Unrelieved engorgement can cause a drop

in your production of milk, so it's important

to breast feed right from the start. Keep an

eye for signs of hunger and feed him when he

needs to be fed.

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Breast Feeding And Jaundice

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 288)
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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

problems.

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.

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Returning To Work

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 460)
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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

(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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How Breast Milk Is Made

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 452)
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If you've every been pregnant or if you are pregnant

now, you've probably noticed a metamorphisis in your

bra cups. The physical changes (tender, swollen

breasts) may be one of the earliest clues that you

have conceived. Many experts believe that the color

change in the areola may also be helpful when it

comes to breast feeding.

What's going on

Perhaps what's even more remarkable than visible

changes is the extensive changes that are taking

place inside of your breasts. The developing

placenta stimulates the release of estrogen and

progesterone, which will in turn stimulate the

complex biological system that helps to make lactation

possible.

Before you get pregnant, a combination of supportive

tissue, milk glands, and fat make up the larger

portions of your breats. The fact is, your newly

swollen breasts have been preparing for your

pregnancy since you were in your mother's womb!

When you were born, your main milk ducts had already

formed. Your mammary glands stayed quiet until

you reached puberty, when a flood of the female

hormone estrogen caused them to grow and also to

swell. During pregnancy, those glands will kick

into high gear.

Before your baby arrives, glandular tissue has

replaced a majority of the fat cells and accounts

for your bigger than before breasts. Each breast

may actually get as much as 1 1/2 pounds heavier

than before!

Nestled among the fatty cells and glandular tissue

is an intricate network of channels or canals known

as the milk ducts. The pregnancy hormones will

cause these ducts to increase in both number and

size, with the ducts branching off into smaller

canals near the chest wall known as ductules.

At the end of each duct is a cluster of smaller

sacs known as alveoli. The cluster of alveoli is

known as a lobule, while a cluster of lobule is

known as a lobe. Each breast will contain around

15 - 20 lobes, with one milk duct for every lobe.

The milk is produced inside of the alveoli, which

is surrounded by tiny muscles that squeeze the

glands and help to push the milk out into the

ductules. Those ductules will lead to a bigger

duct that widens into a milk pool directly below

the areola.

The milk pools will act as resevoirs that hold the

milk until your baby sucks it through the tiny

openings in your nipples.

Mother Nature is so smart that your milk duct

system will become fully developed around the time

of your second trimester, so you can properly

breast feed your baby even if he or she arrives

earlier than you are anticipating.

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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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Poor Milk Supply

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 438)
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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.

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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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