Breastfeeding Today

English: A baby breastfeeding

English: A baby breastfeeding (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Breastfeeding Today is an online magazine and this month they had a lovely article on how to handle criticism for breastfeeding. Its a question and complaint many breastfeeding mothers have, how to handle it when strangers, friends and family make rude comments or give terrible advice, no matter how well intentioned, about your breastfeeding relationship with your baby. I loved the suggestions the article in Breastfeeding Today provides, they are gentle and loving.

Breastfeeding Today

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Bad Breastfeeding Advice!!!

Here is a collection of ‘bad advice’ that many women are given in regard to breastfeeding from nurses, family, friends, etc. This bad advice is usually given with the very best intentions and is not meant to be ‘bad’. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything stated here!

*You must ‘prepare’ your nipples: rubbing with a towel/loofah/washcloth, pinching, pulling, etc. Leave your nipples alone! Your nipples were designed to breastfeed. Do not do anything to them; nipple stimulation is a labor inducer. During your third trimester, you can put Lansinoh cream on them, but you shouldn’t have to do anything else. Once you are nursing, use only warm water to wash your breasts, as soap may dry your nipples.

*Don’t put Lansinoh cream directly on your nipples; it will cause clogged ducts . Put it right on them; that’s what it’s for. Also, it does NOT need to be washed off before baby nurses.

*Baby shouldn’t nurse more than every 3-4 hours or you’ll spoil her. In the first few weeks, baby should eat at least every 3 hours-this is a minimum. It will often be closer to every 2 hours, as breastmilk digests in approximately 90 minutes. An increase in nursing time and frequency will happen during growth spurts, changes in routine, etc. Nurse on demand, as nursing is also a source of comfort for baby. You can never nurse too often; you can nurse too little. It’s a common thought that babies under 6 months cannot be spoiled.

*Switch breasts every 5-7 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. Never watch the clock when you are nursing. Baby will tell you that he is done by pulling off of your breast or falling asleep. When baby is finished with one breast, offer the second, though baby may or may not take it.

*You must not have enough milk, your milk must be bad, you should use formula if: baby is nursing so often, for such long periods, you don’t think you are pumping enough, etc. Baby will go through growth spurts, may cluster feed, or have some ‘marathon’ nursing sessions for any number of reasons. It does NOT mean your supply is low or that your milk is ‘bad’. These increases in frequency will come and go, but they will not last forever. Continue to feed on demand.

Never, never, never look to length of time nursing or pumping output as a reliable indicator of your supply. To see if baby is getting enough milk, watch her number of wet diapers and if she’s content after eating. Weight gain and meeting developmental milestones is also a good indicator that she’s getting enough. Your baby nursing is much more efficient than even the best breast pump.

*It won’t hurt to give one bottle of formula, a pacifier, etc: Both bottles and pacifiers can cause nipple confusion. With a bottle, baby may also decide he likes the faster flow of a bottle and may refuse the breast. Artificial nipples should only be introduced once nursing has been well established for a minimum of 3 weeks.

Milk production is a supply and demand process. If you give baby that one bottle of formula, your body will think baby doesn’t need as much milk, and will decrease your supply. With a lower supply, you will have to supplement with more formula, your body will continue to decrease your supply, and you’ll soon be down to nothing.

*Give baby a little cereal in a bottle; it will help him sleep through the night.Babies need NOTHING but breastmilk until at least 6 months of age. This cuts down on developing food allergies and gives the digestive tract time to mature. All babies are different, and giving cereal will not always guarantee sleeping through the night.

*There are no benefits to nursing past 6 months. The six month mark recommended by the APA, WHO, etc. is a minimum. The benefits to baby and you will continue as long as you breastfeed. In cases where food allergies are expected, breastfeeding is recommended a full year.

*If you have a sore breast, don’t nurse with it for a day or two. This can lead to a supply problem. Unless it’s very, very painful, you should nurse even a sore breast. It’s best to offer the healthy breast first, as baby will then be more gentle with the second breast. It’s best to see your doctor if you develop any problems ASAP.

*You can’t nurse if you’re sick. The only illnesses that require you to stop breastfeeding are HIV/AIDS HTLV-1 and septicetmia from food poisioning.  If you are sick, do continue to breastfeed-baby has already been exposed, and your milk will develop specific antibodies to whatever you have. If you are given medication, be sure your care provider knows you are breastfeeding. If a medication isn’t okay to take while breastfeeding, there is usually an alternative.

*Your baby isn’t getting enough milk when given a bottle. Up to 6 months, an exclusively breastfed baby will only need approximately 3 ounces of breastmilk per feeding if eating every 3 hours, 2 ounces if eating every 2 hours.  As baby grows, your breastmilk becomes more concentrated with the nutrients it produces. Formula doesn’t change, which is why it must be continually increased as baby grows. If baby seems to be eating significantly more than that, it’s most likely that the person giving baby the bottle isn’t adequately reading the signs that baby is finished.

*If baby is born and not producing enough wet diapers, you must supplement with formula. If there is a problem with baby not getting enough milk, pumped breastmilk is a better alternative to formula. To avoid nipple confusion, baby should be fed with a medicine dropper, oral syringe, etc. Babies are born with extra water to carry them through until mom’s milk ‘comes in’, generally 3-5 days after giving birth.

*It is better bottle feed … you can make your DH get up in the middle of the night to feed the baby. It isn’t fair that you should have to do all the work.Okay, formula feeding is easier on mom.  For about the first month, you will be the ONLY person that can feed her. This will take up a good portion of your post-partum time and energy. Dad and siblings need to realize that they’ll really have to do many of the chores: cleaning, cooking, laundry, etc.

*If your child is dehydrated, you must stop breastfeeding. Baby will not need any supplements to prevent dehydration IF he/she is eating often. Pedialyte can be used in addition to breastmilk, but should not replace it. Breastmilk does not dehydrate like cow’s milk.

original article here

Why you need to burn your crib, or make it an awesome laundry hamper!

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It seems to me that everything in western civilization is done backwards. In the beginning of life, when infants are the most sensitive and need physical touch and affection, at the point when their wants ARE their needs, parents refuse them this closeness, motivating it by the need to make them independent and for their safety. Then, when the baby is past this dependence stage (in most cases, with already developed sense of “wrongness”) and ready to become independent, parents all of a sudden, start following them around, constantly repeating disturbing messages like “don’t touch this, you going to hurt yourself”, “Don’t touch that, you’re going to break this”, “be careful, you’ going to fall” – basically setting them up for failure and undermining their sense of competency and self-confidence!

The truth of the matter is – holding your baby, breastfeeding your baby, sleeping next to your baby, isn’t just a nice social idea or a new trend. It’s physiological regulation for the baby’s body. It is what baby’s system expects to experience, so its heart rate, its breathing, its body temperature; his hormonal state and immune system will function efficiently.

It is not just an interesting innovation that someone, a middle class, white doctor, thought that the baby should be elsewhere, except where his parents are, but this was an unfortunate belief system that was just a few people’s ideas of what the relationship should be between the parent and the baby at night. But this belief system is completely in odds of what the biology of the infant is all about, and the biology of the mother is all about.

Here are the most popular arguments against bed sharing:

1 .It’s not safe

2. You will spoil them

3. Kids, who bed share with their parents, grow up too dependent.

4. They’ll never want to go to their own bed

5. It will affect unfavorably your intimate life with your husband

6. It’s uncomfortable

I will address every one of them:

  1. It is safe to bed share with your baby unless the mother is drunk, or on heavy medications, which will affect sleeping patterns, and make a person sleep heavier. Other than that it is safe.
Co-Sleeping

Co-Sleeping (Photo credit: Sugar and Vice)

Can you imagine that a pregnant woman would lay on her stomach while asleep, if she’s in sound mind and memory? Of course, not! We can say that a woman, who gave birth, already has an experience of bed sharing with her child. The only difference now – the baby is outside, not inside. Research was done on infant’s deaths from bed sharing, and it showed that all of them had a common feature – they were bottle-fed, not breast-fed. Breastfeeding mother lays her baby upper, close to her breast, so it’s impossible to roll over. Second point – is that breastfeeding mother is more attuned to her baby, and her sensitivity levels are higher, especially when asleep. From my own experience, I can share that even when I was deeply asleep, I’d grab my husband’s shoulder every time he rolled at night! It was so quick and automatic; I would wake up immediately, if my daughter sighed at night.

2.“You will spoil them”. I knew a mother who decided to put her baby in a separate crib in a separate room at three months old. She figured it was time to start incorporating discipline. The baby was screaming and weeping every night, but as she put it she “toughed it out” and he got used to it. She toughed it out… what about the baby, who was left alone screaming his lungs out? Usually this kind of ideas comes to individuals who are hurting, and have wounds from the past. This girl had a history of horrible family relationships, and subconsciously we always want to match our previous experiences with our present reality. You can’t get mad at those people either – the same was done to them, and they don’t know any better.

It is important to understand that at this age baby’s wants are their needs, and they are not trying to manipulate. His crying reflects his state. We all know what it means when the baby is crying, yet we don’t pick them up, because we listen to the “experts” with their parade of theories on how to treat an infant. Instead we should listen to our instincts, which know precisely how to nurture a baby. Every man, woman, boy and girl knows how to take care of the baby. But our instincts are shut down by the Intellect that reasons everything, and attempts to approach and analyze child care with logic.

Babies have certain inborn expectations that match their evolutionary experience and biology. When the expected does not happen they signal us by crying. Every baby cries when we put them down, this way they let us know  NOT to put them down. All babies do that, could they possibly be all wrong? No! This is a call of nature, pure and ultimate.

The baby knows what it supposed to get, his skin is crying out for nurturing touch of an adult, caregiver, he wants to be next to a live body, not in a lifeless box, wrapped in a lifeless cloth! When baby’s crying goes unanswered he develops a sense of wrongness, and the whole world becomes horribly wrong. It leads to multiple disorders later in life and turns on compensatory mechanisms that I can talk about for hours, but mainly, this kind of mistreatment causes the loss of natural ability to be happy.

When natural state of happiness is lost, it becomes a goal. Look how many books are written on subjects like – how to be happy, find happiness, etc! We are so used to our own misery, that we consider ourselves lucky if we are not homeless or in pain. And what was once man’s confident expectation on how he’s supposed to be treated, is now shut off, he’s told what he is supposed to have and want. But there is in him a sense of loss, a feeling of being off center, an intuitive longing for something he cannot name. Asked point blank he will seldom deny it. If I can contribute to my child’s happiness by simply responding to his genuine needs, I will take my chances!

3. Forming child’s independence. A child can become independent only after passing a stage of complete dependency from caregiver. Co-sleeping, and bed sharing as a form of co-sleeping, satisfies one of the basic needs of the child – is being close to his mother, being in constant physical contact. Besides hormonal and biological benefits of co-sleeping that ensures efficient development of all baby’s systems and reduces the chances of SIDS, it offers emotional and bonding benefits. Giving this secure base for the child will help him to feel secure within himself. Children who co-slept with their parents are more affectionate; easier self-disclose themselves to others, more trusting and capable of building long-lasting and harmonious relationships with others.  Another moment – by leaving a baby to sleep alone, we handle to him a responsibility for his own safety, which he’s not ready to take just yet. They are ready to take responsibility at around three or four years of age.

4. Children who successfully passed the stage of dependency will easily go to their own bed when the time comes. It doesn’t happen overnight, and takes certain steps that you can find here. At first the child goes to his own bed during day naps, and slowly transitions to sleep there at night. There are common sense rules that make this process easy and natural for both – mother and child. For example, mother and father need to take up the most of the bed, not giving priority to a child, this way it gets crowded and not very interesting for him, and eventually he leaves.

5. It won’t really affect your love life, considering the fact that there are plenty of different places, besides the bed. That’s all I have to say about that 😉

6. In fact it is extremely comfortable not to have to get up at night to nurse your baby. Sleeping through the night is not recommended for tiny breastfeeding babies. Dr. Sears explains that whether this is desirable or undesirable depends on parent’s mindset, but the facts state that breastfed babies wake more frequently for good reasons. Breastmilk is digested faster than formula, so breastfed babies get hungry sooner. Also, one of the main milk producing hormones – prolactin – is highest at night hours (usually between 1 and 7 a.m.). Could it be that a mother’s body is designed for night feedings? The focus in the first months of breastfeeding, should not be on getting the baby to sleep through the night, but rather learning to cope with his normal nighttime infant behavior. Besides, night feedings satisfy your baby’s emotional need.

Conclusion: Every family is different, and should find a sleeping arrangement that works for them. At the same time, it is important to remember that infants biology and expectations as well as mother’s biology and expectations should work together to reach optimal health, development and overall well-being.

Bed sharing can be really comfortable if you know how to breastfeed when lying down. I was very uncomfortable at first, and lactation specialist showed me the right position. Since then, night nursings are my favorite! Bed sharing is one form of co-sleeping, some people sidecar a crib next to their bed, so the baby is within arms reach. I hope you find the one that works for you. Happy Motherhood! Always yours, Valeriya Isernia

Co-sleeping – it’s safe and even useful!

When organizing bed sharing with your baby, you must be wondering – if it’s safe, and when will it end?

Safety wise there must be one condition met: the woman must be in sound mind and memory.

If certain areas of the brain are shut off, especially the ones that control sleeping, it is not safe to bedshare.

So as a result of alcohol, drugs usage or other conscious altering psychotropic drugs, a woman can accidently lay over the child, which is dangerous and she should not put the baby in the same bed.  All other cases are safe.

Can you imagine that a pregnant woman would lie on her stomach while asleep being In the right mind and memory? … No! Such cases are not known.

You can say that a woman who gave birth already has an experience of co-sleeping with her baby, right?

Only difference now is that the child is outside, not inside. And he continues, as before, to sleep next to his mother!

Now – when will it end?)))

The child goes into a separate bed at 2.5-3.5 years if:

  1. He was sleeping with his mother from birth
  2. There was no forced weaning or putting him in a crib initiated by both child or the mother
  3. Mom promptly established absences from the child, including absences at night.
  4. On the 3rd year the child has his bed for a day nap and he can go there at night, when he wants.
  5. The bed has always belonged to the mother, and the child wasn’t put to sleep there without her by saying: “This is mummy’s bed”
  6. The child was not imposed to separate sleeping before 3 years old.
  7. Father and mother of the child sleep in the same bed with the mother sleeping in the middle.
  8. Mom and Dad take up most of the bed, not giving priority to the child. It becomes crowded, not very interesting for him and he goes away.

The second and third children of the same woman go into a separate bed at an earlier age than the first one.

Just remember to treat your child appropriately to his age, and remember that it is necessary to sleep next to your husband, after all it’s all about balance! The baby’s there temporary=))

Breastfeeding – Great gift of nature

Breastfeeding symbol

Breastfeeding symbol (Photo credit: Topinambour)

Breast feeding – an evolutionary fixed optimal form of nourishment for young children. Breastfeeding has a multifaceted impact on the physical and mental development of children, shaping their behavior, resistance to unfavorable external factors.

No words, even the most scientific, can possibly describe fully how breastfeeding is good for mothers and children. It’s not only food given to us by nature, but something greater. The woman is not just feeding her child, giving it a part of herself, but also provides many different aspects of his future life. She invests love, and creates a psycho-emotional bond, provides physical and mental health, a sense of well-being and ability to develop both physically, intellectually and emotionally. Most of these aspects are known to a wide range of modern moms, but I still really want to reiterate that this is not only useful but also enjoyable. And once again show just how unique this simple-looking action as breastfeeding really is.

One of the most well-known advantages of breast feeding – a special composition of breast milk. It is because of the amazing ability of mother’s milk characteristics to adapt to digestion and metabolism, and because of a unique composition, it is the ideal food for infants. While scientists are trying to make formula as close in composition to human milk as possible, formula is still just a generic substitute and leads to changes in the processes of digestion, metabolism and composition of intestinal micro flora. Most of the ingredients produced from cow’s milk, some based on the goat’s milk. In this case, for example, breast-milk proteins contain alpha-lacto albumin and cow’s milk proteins and, therefore, formula instead contains beta-lacto globulin, often causing allergic reactions in children. Carbohydrates in human milk are 85% beta-lactose based which is slowly digested and thus promotes the growth of beneficial micro flora, particularly bifid bacteria. Cow’s milk carbohydrates are presented by alpha-lactose, which is rapidly broken down and absorbed. Unique absorption of iron from human milk – 50%, whereas formula iron is absorbed only 10%. Thus, breast milk prevents the development of anemia in infants. As for the biologically active substances, mother’s milk is not at all apart from the competition. A huge number of hormones, enzymes, as well as protective and growth factors are simply impossible to replicate artificially. Finally, breast milk is a unique composition of each woman and each child will have their own unique balance of nutrients that is appropriate for this child.

Another important advantage of breastfeeding is a unique formation of complex psycho-physiological relationship between mother and infant. Think of paintings depicting women who are breastfeeding: just how much affection in them, a special intimacy and love, ineffable spirituality. Breastfeeding continues physical and also spiritual contact with the mother and the child after his birth. It has a profound emotional impact on women, providing a stable balance of psycho-emotional sphere. It’s safe to say that nursing moms have a state of happiness and life satisfaction, and their role; they enjoy the process of motherhood. Breastfed children are breastfed grow calmer, friendly, spiritually rich, maintain a close relationship with their mother, have more profound emotional reactions. This means that at an older age they will easier communicate with others, fewer problems will arise in interpersonal relationships, and life will be filled with positive emotions.

The third advantage is the effect of breastfeeding on health. Again, the positive effect of breastfeeding is manifested in a woman, and child. For example, breastfed children rarely suffer from intestinal, allergic diseases and colds. Breast milk promotes harmonious growth and development of the child, gives it a high resistance to infectious agents and environmental hazards. It is proven that breastfeeding prevents the development of anemia, rickets, and is the best prevention of metabolic diseases in adulthood. For mother breast-feeding affects the normal course of metabolic processes and optimal hormonal status reduces the risk of obstetric complications and diseases. In lactating women smaller the risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. And these discoveries, scientists are finding more and more, each time re-affirming invaluable breastfeeding for physical health.

Finally, breastfeeding is just convenient and profitable. If, however, breastfeeding is not organized properly, then many of the benefits of breastfeeding may be unattainable. When mother does not know how to properly latch the baby to the breast and he damages nipples, causing pain, talking about the health benefits and receiving pleasure from communication with the child may sound as a joke. When the mother feeds the baby on schedule, not allowing to breastfeed for more than 15 minutes, it does not allow him to obtain a sufficient number of hind or fatty milk, and thus does not take full advantage of the uniqueness of its composition. When following the rules breast-feeding is not only useful for mother and child, but also provides a lot more advantages. One of the pluses is that breast milk is free, and mother will not have to spend money on breast feeding. It’s always ready for use, and never goes bad. It gives the mother the opportunity to live an active life with her child, because the breast can be given in any situation, visiting, traveling, and even making a purchase, or when visiting an exhibition of paintings. With the help of the breast is much easier and faster to calm the baby, or put it to sleep. Accustomed to close contact with the baby mama easily understands his needs and feels better his condition, and therefore knows best what her baby needs to be happy. Lactating woman effectively loses weight, feels happier and lighter, easier develops in the role of a mother, and thus is fully aware of herself as a woman. So she has plenty of time, mood and energy for her husband, which helps to maintain a favorable climate in the family.

Therefore, breast-feeding does not require much effort, is the perfect food, and creates a positive emotional background, helps preserve the health of mother and child, and it is given to us free of charge. Do you appreciate this sacred gift of nature and ready to care for it?

How often should my baby nurse? – Basic breastfeeding rhythms

A mother breastfeeds her 2-month-old baby girl...

A mother breastfeeds her 2-month-old baby girl at a UNICEF-supported breastfeeding counselling group in Vinzons, Camarines Norte province, the Philippines. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“On the rhythms of breastfeeding”

This is the most frequently asked question on breastfeeding forums. Every mother wants to know – “how often a child should nurse? And how often mother needs to offer the breast? I’ll briefly review the basic rules of rhythms in breastfeeding a baby.

Home Formula – nurse around naps and to soothe. I.e. nursing rhythm tied to the rhythms of naps (see the post about baby bio rhythms).  For each age there is a different characteristic of attachment, which is necessary for the child’s development.

Here are the examples of rhythms for different ages:

Newborn usually breastfeeds around naps. He sleeps a lot, stays awake for short periods of time, and relieves his needs, nurses and goes to sleep again. Sucking duration can vary from 20 to 40 minutes, sometimes less. Total, during one day and night the baby breastfeeds about 12-17 time, at this period he nurses to eat, to get full.

4-month-old baby sleeps 5 times a day, always breastfeeds before going to sleep, after sleeping, between naps and sometimes in the middle of the nap. During the day there can be 16-18 feedings, plus 5 at night, a total of 21-23 a day. Sucking duration reduced to 3-15 minutes.

7 month old baby sleeps four times a day, i.e. has 8 nursings around naps. At the age from 6 to 8 months, there is a reduced contact with the breast in the first year of life. It is due to the beginning of solid foods and start of crawling. While awake he may not require to nurse, or it can happen only 2-3 times a day. He can chew on a carrot, an apple, or even the chicken bone. He may already drink sips of water from a small glass. Next – is nursing in the evening to fall asleep, during the night – 3-4 times, and nurse before waking up. Total is about 15. Here, too, the duration of sucking will be minimal.

9-month-old baby sleeps 3 times a day, and has 6 nursings around naps.  During awake period he’ll need to latch 1-2 times. 4 times waking up with 1-2 nursings – is about 7 nursings for comfort. Then he will nurse to fall asleep, during the night 3-4 times, and again whenever he wakes up. Total: 6 + 7 + 5 = 18. The longest nursings that are associated with saturation shift to the daytime nap nursing and nursing to go to sleep for the night. The child nurses mostly when waking up or for comfort, to sooth.  The value of milk as primary food starts to decrease.

Nightly nursings – are very stable and stay unchanged up to a year. Obviously, all of the above would be characteristic for the child who sleeps at night next to his mother. If not, he will have other rhythms. But this cannot be called rhythms. This is a schedule-based model proposed by mom and pediatricians. Initially, this model has been set for children on formula.

A child of 1.5 years has one nap. If the mother is at home, there will be two nursings around this nap and 1-2 in the day for comfort.  Night – remain at around 5… But … the morning berastfeeding can turn into “long meal’ with the duration of 1-1.5 hours. Mom by then has long mastered the skill to sleep while nursing her baby and it does not cause her any discomfort or lack of sleep. Totalamount of breastfeeding for 1.5 years baby: 2 + 2 + 6 = 10 nursings.