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Breast-Feeding Articles


Benefits Of Breast Feeding

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 322)
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Once you've given birth, breast feeding is the single

most important thing you can do to protect your baby

and help to promote good health. Best of all, breast

feeding is free.

Along with saving you money on HMR (Human Milk

Replacement), breast feeding can also help you to

keep your medical bills down. Babies that are fed

with formula get sicker more often and more seriously

than babies that are breast fed They also have more

ear infections, respiratory infections, and other

problems.

This can be even more true if your family has had a

history of allergies. When a baby is breast fed, the

antibodies pass on from the mother to the baby,

helping to protect against illness and allergies. As

the baby's system matures, his body will begin to

make it's own antibodies, and he'll be more equipped

to handle sensitivities of food.

Sucking on the breast will also help with the

development or jaw alignment and the development of

the cheekbone. For this very reason, there is less

of the need for costly orthodontic work when the

child gets older.

Unlike formula, breast milk is always ready, always

available, convenient, and always the right temperature

for feeding. Plus, it contains all of the vitamins

and minerals your growing baby needs, saving you a

lot of money.

Breast feeding also offers many benefits for the mom

as well. The baby sucking at the breast will cause

contractions right after birth, leading to less

bleeding for the mom, and helping her uterus to it's

shape before pregnancy much faster.

Breast feeding will also burn calories, so a mom can

lose weight much faster than if she fed her baby with

a bottle. Breast feeding will also create a special

bond with the mother and the baby - which is one

thing formula simpy cannot do.

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Breast Feeding In Public

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 423)
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Babies that are breast fed are very portable and

easy to comfort no matter where your schedule has

you going. Many women however, worry about

breast feeding in public. The worry of nursing

in a public place is normally worse than the

actual experience and often times the only people

who notice you feeding are the other mothers who

are doing the same thing.

Many women find ways to breast feed discreetly.

You can ask your partner or even a friend to

stand in front of you while you lift your shirt

from the waist. When you breast feed, the baby's

body will cover most of your upper body and you

can pull your shirt down to her face to cover

the tops of your breast. Some mothers prefer to

put a light blanket over their shoulders as a

type of cover.

When you are visiting someone else's home, you

may feel more comfortable either leaving the

room or turning away from people when you first

put the baby to your breast. If you would like

more privacy, breast feed in an empty room, car,

or public restroom.

A lot of restrooms are becoming more baby

friendly and they even have a seperate are with

a changing table and a chair. Several shopping

malls now offer special mother's rooms where

the mom can breast feed her baby in privacy,

which will help sensitive babies who are too

distracted by feeding to nurse well in public.

It won't take long at all though, before your

baby will learn to breast feed without any fuss

at all.

An alternative way is expressing or pumping

your milk at home and then offer it in a bottle

while in public. Keep in mind, offering

bottles with artificial nipples in the first

few weeks can and probably will interfere with

breast feeding.

When breast feeding in public, you should always

use what works best for you. During the first

few weeks, it will take some getting used to,

as it will be as new for you as it is for the

baby. With some time, you'll have no problems

at all.

If you don't feel comfortable breast feeding in

a certain location, then you shouldn't. You

should feel a certain level of comfort when you

feed, as the baby can tell when you aren't

comfortable doing something. If you show your

baby that you aren't nervous - you and your

baby will be just fine.

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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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How To Use A Breast Pump

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 443)
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Just like breast feeding, pumping is a skill that you

learn. When first trying a breast pump, most mothers

are only able to express a few drops of milk. With

the proper practice and knowledge, the mother will

be more efficient at pumping.

Preparing the breast pump

1. Read all the instructions in the kit

very carefully.

2. Every part of the breast pump will need

to be sterilized before you begin using it.

3. After use, all the parts of the pump will

need to be washed in warm, soapy water, then rinsed

with hot water and drained on a clean towel. The

plastic tubing doesn't need to be cleaned unless

you get milk into it. If you do wash it, it should

be hung to allow time to dry and drain thoroughly.

4. If your doctor feels the need, the

entire kit can be sterilized every day.

5. When you first start with an electric

pump, the suction level should be on the lowest

possible setting.

Getting started

- Warm compresses, gentle massages of the

breast and gentle nipple stimulation will help to

stimulate a quick let down.

- You should always relax while doing

breast massages during pumping. Some mothers prefer

to close their eyes then think about nursing the

baby, imagining the baby in their arms. The more

relaxed a mother is, the better let down she'll

have and the more milk will be dispensed.

- Your first attempts at pumping should be

considered practice sessions with learning to use

the breast pump as the goal, not how much milk is

actually dispensed.

- When you use a hand pump, quick, short

pumps at the start is stimulating and will imitate

more closely the way a baby breast feeds. Once

the let down occurs and milk starts to flow freely,

long, steadier strokes are more effective and

less tiring.

- When you learn to pump, you should

practice for 5 minutes on a side at least once or

twice a day. Always pick the least stressful part

of your day for pumping.

Relaxing and realizing that the pump is your

friend is the single most important thing that a

mother can do. There are several things that a

mother can do to help herself relax, such as

putting a picture of the baby on the pump, playing

cards or a game with friends, watching television,

read books, or talk on the phone. Simply watching

the collection bottle is not helpful and will

probably put more stress on you than you actually

need.

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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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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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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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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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Health And Diet

(category: Breast-Feeding, Word count: 298)
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The nutritional requirements for the baby will rely

soley on the breast milk, and therefore the mother will

need to maintain a healthy diet. If the baby is

large and grows fast, the fat stores gained by the

mother during pregnancy can be depleted quickly,

meaning that she may have trouble eating good enough

to maintain and develop sufficient amounts of milk.

This type of diet normally involves a high calorie,

high nutrition diet which follows on from that in

pregnancy. Even though mothers in famine conditions

can produce milk with nutritional content, a mother

that is malnourished may produce milk with lacking

levels of vitamins A, D, B6, and B12.

If they smoke, breast feeding mothers must use

extreme caution. More than 20 cigarettes a day has

been shown to reduce the milk supply and cause vomiting,

diarrhoea, rapid heart rate, and restlessness in

the infants. SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is

more common in babies that are exposed to smoke.

Heavy drinking is also known to harm the imfant, as

well as yourself. If you are breast feeding, you

should avoid alcohol or consume very small amounts at

a time.

The excessive consumption of alcohol by the mother can

result in irritability, sleeplessness, and increased

feeding in the infant. Moderate use, normally 1 - 2

cups a day normally produces no effect. Therefore,

mothers that are breast feeding are advised to avoid

caffeine or restrict intake of it.

By following a healthy diet and limiting your intake

of the above, you'll ensure that your baby gets the

right nutrients during your time of breast feeding.

This stage of life is very important - as you don't

want anything to happen to your baby.

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