Pediatrics/Breastfeeding for your baby
Things to Think About when Breastfeeding[edit | edit source]
Now that you have made the choice to breastfeed, you need to know a few things in regards to what you should and should not do while breastfeeding your baby. Such topics will include nutrition, positions to hold the baby at, and possible complications among many other topics. You’ve already made a great decision in deciding to breastfeed your baby. Keep it up with making good decisions while breastfeeding to make the process more effective and comfortable for yourself and your baby.
One of the first subjects to touch upon would include nutrition. Remember, everything you put into your body has the possibility of transferring to your baby through your breast milk. The best advice is to follow the food pyramid when planning your meals. Base most if not all of your meals with carbohydrates while adding lean proteins and calcium such as peanut butter, cheese, yogurt, and other meats. Next, make sure to add plenty of fruits and vegetables to your diet. These can be cooked or raw or even in the form of juices. Some foods that you may want to avoid would be spicy or gassy food because these have a tendency to make your baby fussy. As your baby develops they may be able to handle more types of food but it should be handled on a trial and error basis. Another good idea would be to supplement your diet with a prenatal vitamin to ensure you and your baby gets all of the necessary vitamins.
Another thing to consider is alcohol consumption. While the occasional glass of wine may not be bad for you, you need to remember that it will be passed along to your baby as long as it is in your system. Your baby’s body is not developed enough to handle that, so, please be mindful while you are still breastfeeding of any type of alcoholic intake.
Taking birth control is another issue many breastfeeding mothers have questions about. It is perfectly fine to take a form of birth control while you are breastfeeding but I would suggest taking something like the “mini” pill which is progesterone only. The reason for this is that regular birth control pills which contain estrogen and progesterone can affect your milk supply and your baby’s growth.
The positions at which you hold your baby during breastfeeding is another thing you must consider. There are a couple of options and it is a smart option to alternate these from time to time to prevent too much pressure on certain ducts. The first would be the cradle hold in which you place the baby’s head in the crook of your arm and support the baby’s back with your forearm while holding onto the buttocks or legs with your hand. Hold the baby with its head in line with the rest of its body facing you. Next is the cross cradle hold. This is similar to the cradle hold just facing the opposite way using the opposite arm. There is also the side lying hold where you and your baby lie on your sides tummy to tummy using your free hand to position the breast for the baby. Finally, there is the clutch hold. Here you will need to place a pillow under the baby to bring it level with your breast. From there position the baby’s legs under your arm while supporting the head with your hand. Position you breast to the baby and nurse.
Some issues to be aware of while breastfeeding would include thrush and blocked ducts. Thrush is a yeast infection inside of the baby’s mouth that appears as white patches on the gums, tongue or on the inside of the cheeks. It can also appear as diaper rash that peels or looks like red dots. Thrush is generally caused by antibiotics that are taken by the mother or baby. Thrush can then pass to the mother’s nipples and cause them to become red and sore. Thrush is generally treated with nystatin oil drops.
A blocked duct can occur for several reasons. Not emptying your breasts for reasons such as but not limited to, not nursing often due to a busy schedule or the baby sleeping throughout the night, too tight bras, stress, or poor nutrition. To prevent or alleviate a blocked duct get plenty of sleep and nurse often. Massage the breast before feeding or apply warm, moist heat to the breast. Also, changing the baby’s position when you breastfeed should help alleviate pressure on any one duct.
Overall, you have made a wonderful decision in deciding to breastfeed your baby. Just try to remember to take care of yourself and your baby. If you have any questions or concerns you can find plenty of information from the professionals at www.breastfeeding.com, which is where I found all of the information found here, or contact a La Leche Legue representative. You can find your local representative at www.llli.org.
Breastfeeding: Opening the Door to Your Child’s Healthy Future[edit | edit source]
Breastfeeding has innumerable benefits for your infant. It is simply the better choice! Women have been given the gift of providing their babies with the most nutritious food possible through breastfeeding. Your breast milk is uniquely formulated for your infant and changes to meet their needs as they grow. No laboratory can recreate or even come close to the brilliance of breast milk! Colostrum, also known as “liquid gold,” is the yellow milk you secrete shortly after birth and is the best nutrient source for your newborn. Packed with nutrients and antibodies, colostrum is the perfect food to give this little babe a healthy start. A few days after birth, your milk will become thinner, though it remains just as beneficial for the infant; your breast milk will alter itself to meet your infants changing needs as they get older.
One of the most rewarding benefits of breast milk is its ability to combat disease.
Breast milk helps FIGHT & PREVENT DISEASE It also lowers your infant’s susceptibility to several illnesses.
It decreases your infant’s risk of:
-Diarrhea -Asthma -Obesity -Ear infections -Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes -Leukemia -SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) -Bacterial Meningitis -Bacteremia -Respiratory Tract Infections -Urinary Tract Infections
Additional Benefits of Breastfeeding:[edit | edit source]
-Breast milk contains the appropriate amount of fats, vitamins, minerals, sugar, water, and protein that your child requires. Formula cannot begin to compare!
-Breast milk offers antibodies that boost your child’s immune system
-Breast milk is easier for your child to digest; because the proteins in formula are made from cow’s milk, infants can struggle with digestion.
-Breastfeeding reduces the risk of milk contamination, as you do not have to sterilize bottles or nipples.
-According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, postneonatal infant mortality rates in the U.S. are reduced by 21% in breastfed babies.
-Breastfeeding encourages skin to skin contact between mother and child, which allows them to bond with you in a special way. Physical touch has also been proven to highly benefit your child’s health. This skin to skin contact may also help the mother produce the hormone oxytocin; which can aid in increasing the mother's milk flow.
-Breastfeeding also saves money. Baby formula can cost anywhere from $20-$45 per can.
Breastfeeding and Premature Infants
-Premature infants are especially at risk for contracting infections and disease, so breast milk is certainly the best thing they can be given!
-According to the National Institutes of Health, premature babies that were given breast milk had higher mental development scores than low birth weight babies who did not; they were also less likely to be readmitted to the hospital after being sent home.
A Note from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) “Although economic, cultural, and political pressures often confound decisions about infant feeding, the AAP firmly adheres to the position that breastfeeding ensures the best possible health as well as the best developmental and psychosocial outcomes for the infant.”
The Best Choice[edit | edit source]
Breastfeeding is natural and one of the best decisions you can make for your child’s health. Doctors recommend breastfeeding until your baby reaches at least 6 months, but they strongly encourage you to continue as long as you can. From the unbeatable milk that helps prevent disease, to creating that special, intimate connection with your infant, breastfeeding is the simple choice. So what are you waiting for? Open the door to your child’s healthy future and breastfeed!
Resources[edit | edit source]
- Bump, The. (2009, October 19). Breastfeeding: everything for the new mom. Retrieved from http://www.breastfeeding.com