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If you are going to bottle-feed the baby exclusively using your breast milk then you want to pump six to eight times each day to make sure that you keep producing milk.
You may also alternate between the breastfeeding and bottle feeding. In this case, you want to pump in between feedings if you know that you will be away from the baby.
When consuming cold or allergy medications while breastfeeding it is best to avoid combination products to reduce the unnecessary drug exposure common in these medications. Nasal sprays are preferable to pills as they reach the milk in significantly lesser quantities. Most antihistamines are safe for the baby, but may cause a reduction in milk supply for mom. Decongestants are preferable in the nasal sprays, but pseudoephadrine in small doses, after your infant is six weeks old, is normally acceptable.
Some mothers have reported trouble with proper latching techniques because their babies keep their tongues at the roof of their mouths. Pushing the tongue up is normal. If you take a close look at your child's mouth as they nurse, you will see that the tongue helps extract the milk by pushing upward. The easiest way to combat this is to lure the baby's mouth open. Cupping your breast, guide the baby's mouth open by using the nipple and tracing a line downward from just under her nose. She will instinctively open her mouth as this is done and have her tongue down for at least a tad, just enough for you to get her latched properly.
Many parents opt to delay introducing solid food to their exclusively breastfed babies for as long as possible. This choice is often made if there is a family history of allergies to foods. Some parents are also concerned about making sure that the baby's digestive system is completely mature before introducing solid foods.
Your baby may show an interest in solid foods when he is ready to progress. Common signs include the baby reaching for your food and watching you while you eat.
It is commonly recommended that the baby is introduced to solid foods in his sixth month. Some doctors recommend earlier than that. It is important that you discuss your options with your child's pediatrician before making a decision.
Sometimes a baby is more interested in one breast than the other. This may be because he can latch on to that breast easier. Ironically, the over-stimulated breast can become engorged and sore while the neglected side will produce less milk.
Uneven breast milk production and engorgement may also result from other types of stimulation. Warm water in the shower can stimulate the production of breast milk as well.
If your baby is gaining weight and you are not supplementing with formula chances are you are providing adequate breast milk. Babies go through growth spurts at times and seem never to be satisfied. The best thing to do would be let the baby lead. Arrange for some easy suppers, nutritious drinks and snacks for you and get lots of rest. Then nurse as often and as long as baby wants. This should increase your breast milk. If you are really worried, join a breast feeding support group or find a lactation specialist.
The amount of breastmilk that you are able to pump is not an indication of how much milk you actually produce. However, you can estimate how much breastmilk needs to be expressed to meet your baby's needs by dividing the amount of daily consumption by the number of feedings.
A baby that is given breastmilk exclusively consumes about 25 ounces each day. If your baby nurses eight times in 24 hours, you want to pump about three ounces of breastmilk available for each feeding.
What and how much you eat and drink will definitely affect how successful breastfeeding will be for you and your baby. Generally speaking, the breastfeeding diet is similar to the pregnancy diet with a few exceptions.
While breastfeeding, you should consume approximately 500 additional calories a day, which is slightly higher than the recommended 300 calories during pregnancy. These additional calories must be particularly nutrient-dense as your breastfeeding diet will need to include 20-50% more of most required vitamins and minerals.
An ideal breastfeeding diet should include:
- A variety of whole grains, fresh fruit, vegetables.
- 30% of your calories should be in the form of fats as the growing baby relies on a variety of fats to be strong and vigorous. Examples of good sources are vegetable oils, cow's milk, dairy foods and meat.
- Get outside on a nice day to build up your vitamin D reserves.
- Consider a regular multivitamin that offers 50-100% of RDA, but void consuming large amounts of extra vitamins, as potential harm to your infant is possible.
- Water is also imperative for your body and milk supply; make sure you consume at least 8 cups of fluid every day.
- Avoid alcohol, as it transmits directly into the baby's system at the same concentration as in the mother's blood.
- Reduce caffeine as it can lead to agitation and sleep problems in a young baby.
- Avoid the consumption of food additives such as chemicals, nitrates, coloring agents, artificial sweeteners, trans-fatty acids and MSG as they have been shown to cause problems in a baby's system.
- Be particularly careful in your consumption of wild fish and check with the State Fish Advisory Board in your area.
Moving from your bed to the crib is a huge, frightening change for your little one. You may not want to try to make the change all at once.
Try introducing her to her crib during naptime. Once she is able to fall asleep in the crib on her own she may be ready for a night-time trial.
Setting up a sleeping area next to her crib may provide a nice segue for her. You can try leaving the room after she is sound asleep or you can sleep next to her.
However, it does seem as if the fundamental problem is that she is using you as a human pacifier. Once she is weaned she may make the transition from your bed to her crib a little easier.
While many newer moms are eager to get their body back, remember that it took nine months to gain the weight, so realize it should take at least that long to lose it all. To help the weight loss process progress, consider these tips:
- Eating regular meals and limiting high calorie snacks and beverages.
Breastfeeding requires 500 calories a day for a typical baby. If a woman went to the gym and worked out for 45 minutes, she still would have trouble burning 500 calories. When eating reasonable amounts, these additional calories burn from the fat stores in the woman's body.
- Avoid crash dieting, as rapid weight loss will decrease the milk supply.
Vigorous dieting also produces other negative effects as the body stores toxic substances in fat. Therefore, rapid fat burning will release a large amount of toxins into the women's body and too many toxins at one time for a small infant body is potentially harmful.
- In order to maintain health while nursing, an average sized woman should consume at least 1800 calories a day.
For the average woman two pounds of weight loss each month is reasonable; but for an overweight woman, up to four pounds a month is acceptable weight loss.
- Moderate exercise while breastfeeding will boost energy and encourage weight loss.
Be sure to wear supportive bras or tops to protect your breasts as bouncing can cause the milk ducts to leak creating potential damage to the cells - leading to an increase in the risk of developing breast infections.
There are no statistics available that provide an actual number of women who quit breastfeeding because of pain. Breastfeeding can be challenging especially in the beginning. However, with effort and support mothers can face those challenges and continue to breastfeed.
The key is to understand the reasons for the pain. Breastfeeding should not hurt. The baby may not be latched on properly or the mother's breasts may be engorged.
There are lactation consultants available who can provide helpful information and support.
Breast shells are used to help inverted nipples protrude for adequate breastfeeding. They are also helpful in easing soreness associated with breastfeeding.
Breast shells are constructed of plastic so they need to be cleaned in between feedings. They also press against the breast which may cause excess leakage or overproduction of milk.
These plastic breast shells can be purchased at most stores that carry breastfeeding supplies. If you can't find breast shells in your local store, contact the International Lactation Consultant Association at: firstname.lastname@example.org