Other Foods While Breast Feeding
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Getting Started With Breast Feeding
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
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.
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.
Your Nursing Area
Once you've reached the third trimester, you'll
probably start stocking up on nursing bras, breast
pads, and loose button down shirts for the coming
months ahead. While getting ready to breast feed,
you can also create your personal area, a custom
designed breast feeding area for yourself.
Your nursing area should reflect your personality.
If you like a loud, yet friendly surrounding, you
should consider setting in a corner of the living
room or family room. Keep an extra chair or two
near you so family members or even friends can keep
If you prefer peace and quiet, a cozy study or
empty guest room would be ideal. You can close
the door, dim the lights down, then take a few
deep, calming breaths while you breast feed.
Your own chair
No matter if it's a glider, overstuffed recliner,
or desk chair with wheels, you should make sure
your nursing chair is very comfortable. You'll
be sitting in the chair for hours each day, so
you'll want it to be very comfortable. You should
always look for one that offers back and shoulder
support, along with arm rests.
You can use a footstool, low coffee table or a
stack of pillows to elevate your feet as you breast
feed. If you raise your legs and feet to bring
your baby to your breast, you'll avoid possible
Pillows and more pillows
Your neck, arms, feet, and back will need as
much support as you can give, so don't hesitate
to surround your body with pillows. If you lay
a pillow across your lap for your baby to lay on,
he'll be very comfortable and that much closer to
your nipple. For extra comfort, you can even
purchase a specially made nursing pillow that
will encircle your waist.
Table for one
You should always keep a small table or stand
within arm's length of your breast feeding chair.
What you use should be big enough to hold a
coaster and glass of liquid. Some women prefer
to drink through a straw, while others prefer to
drink from the glass.
You'll also want to keep healthy snacks on hand
as well, such as fresh fruit, nuts, or crackers
and peanut butter to help you replace the
energy you use while you breast feed.
If your baby is a slow eater or has a really big
appetite, you may want to keep yourself busy
while he feeds. You can fill the shelves of a
nearby cupboard or bookcase with your favorite
books or crossword puzzles to occupy yourself
until your baby is full. You should also keep
a phone nearby as well so that you can talk to
family or friends to pass the time.
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.
Reasons To Breast Feed
For many years, scientists have been playing out
the ingredients that make breast milk the perfect
food for babies. They've discovered to day over
200 close compounds to fight infection, help the
immune system mature, aid in digestion, and support
brain growth - nature made properties that science
simply cannot copy.
The important long term benefits of breast feeding
include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity,
and some forms of childhood cancer. The more that
scientists continue to learn, the better breast
In addition to making your baby healthier, breast
feeding may also make him smarter. Many studies
have proved that breast fed babies tend to be
more smarter than babies who were fed with formula
or other methods. Breast feeding does help with
nutrients and the support of brain growth, which
is something every mother should think about.
The benefits for the nursing mom are just as
good as they are for the baby. The hormones that
are released during breast feeding will curb
blood loss post delivery and help to shrink the
uterus back to it's normal size.
Long term, the breast feeding mom will have a
lower risk for premenopausal breast cancer,
which is the kind that strikes before the age
of 50. The benefits will begin to show with
three to six months of breast feeding and increase
the longer that breast feeding continues.
By now, you should realize that breast milk is
one power packed liquid. It offers more for your
baby than formula, or any other scientific
creation for that matter. As you begin to plan
for the future of your baby, make a commitment
to breast feeding him for as long as you possibly
can - as it will do both your bodies good.
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
The First Six Weeks
Breast milk is the best food you can give to your
baby. Breast milk is a complete food source,
containing all the nutrients your baby need - at
least 400 of them to be exact, including hormones
and disease fighting compounds that aren't found
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
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.
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
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 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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