Formula vs breastfeeding. Do you know the facts? All moms want to do the best for their babies but they may not be aware of how formula, even in small amounts, can undermine even the best breastfeeding efforts.
Breastfeeding advocates have long known that free formula samples undermine exclusive breastfeeding by giving tired, frustrated mothers an easy out in the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Formula manufacturers have long known the same thing and they know that they best way to get mothers and babies hooked on the formula cycle is to offer free samples in the hospital in the form of "gift bags".
Lactivists and the formula companies may know it all too well, but unsuspecting new mothers believe they are simply getting a "perk" for delivering in the hospital. Forego the goody bag if you are a new mom because every sip of formula will alter your baby's latch and reduce your own milk supply. Leave it at the hospital or dump it down the drain if feel inclined but whatever you do, don't bring it home.
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[caption id="attachment_6795" align="alignleft" width="490"] Angelina Jolie Breastfeeding[/caption]
We love to see a breastfeeding celebrity because it does an amazing job of normalizing breastfeeding for everyone that sees it. No celebrity is more spotlighted than Angelina Jolie and it is simply delightful that she shared this picture with us and hopefully inspires her legions of followers to toss the artificial baby food and give breastmilk a try.
Nursing babies are a beautiful sight. Many mothers fall in love with their children as they watch them suckle and drift contentedly off to sleep. Babies are happiest while in their mother's arms. While few would argue that nursing babies are adorable, what's to be done with a toddler who stomps their foot in defiance and demands to be nursed right now? How old is too old to be breast fed?
Choosing to breastfeed your baby may have been a simple decision but determining when to wean a child can be difficult. When many mothers begin to breastfeed their babies, they assume that weaning will occur naturally. For some breast fed babies, the transition from the breast to the cup comes with a fight.
Nursing babies who have a difficult time adjusting to life away from the breast may be objecting to more than just weaning. Some breast fed babies crave the physical closeness of nursing more than breast milk. Determining if this is true for your child can help make the transition easier for both mother and child. Continuing to hold your child during feedings can help reduce the shock of weaning for a sensitive child.
While the appropriate age to wean a child is not set in stone, it is culturally acceptable in America to nurse a child for the first twelve months even though it is preposterous to assume that the benefits of breastfeeding suddenly end at 12 months of age.. Once solid foods are introduced into the child's diet and they begin to walk, American customs call for the weaning of the child.
Some breast feeding women choose to extend this period of nursing, sometimes until the child leaves for kindergarten. While many of them wean their babies shortly before returning to the workforce, some continue to pump breast milk and bottle feed their babies for several years.
The choice really is up to each woman and many choose to ignore social norms. Breast feeding women can even choose to keep their extended breastfeeding a secret by storing breast milk in the refrigerator disguised as cow's milk or formula.
When a mother decides to stop breastfeeding, she can feel a sense of loss and sadness as a chapter of her baby's life comes to a close. Sensing this unhappiness in the mother, a child can exhibit fussiness and tantrums during a mother's attempts to stop breastfeeding.
Before attempting to stop breastfeeding, a nursing mother must come to grips with any unresolved feelings she may be experiencing about weaning her child.
Mothers who choose to formula feed a nursing infant can be in for a fight unless the transition is made slowly. Abruptly springing a formula feed schedule in place of breast feeding sessions can be traumatic to nursing babies. The bottle should be introduced slowly and be filled with 100% breast milk at first.
Formula can be slowly added to subsequent bottles of breast milk until the child is completely weaned from the breast. Gradually substitute a breast feeding session with a bottle feeding session over a period of several weeks if possible.
Once a child is accustomed to the 100% formula feed schedule, the mother should continue to provide physical interaction with the baby during bottle feeding sessions to continue bonding and provide intense social interaction for the child.
Nursing toddlers can transition smoothly to the bottle or sippy cup if a nursing mother is emotionally prepared to wean her baby. Armed with a few facts, mothers can help nursing babies adjust smoothly to being away from the breast.
Not all nursing babies will be pleasant to nurse as they grow to be nursing toddlers. Each woman must decide for herself when her child needs to stop breastfeeding.
by Mike Selvon
About the Author: Breast feeding is an important aspect of your new born baby. Mike Selvon's portal has more information about nursing babies. Visit our portal and leave a comment at our breastfeeding blog.
Buy the book: Mothering Your Nursing Toddler[affiliate link]
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Bringing Up a Smart, Happy Baby
How Babywearing Makes a Difference
Have you ever wondered how you can get your baby to stop crying? How you can get something done around the house when your baby doesn't want to be put down? Have you wondered how you will get out and about now that you have a baby?
Babywearing will calm your baby down, let you work with both hands free, and give you complete freedom to get out of house - all while your baby is securely on your body. Even celebrity mamas are realizing just how wonderful babywearing is. Mamas like Angelina Jolie, Michelle Williams, Liv Tyler, and Joely Fisher have all been spotted wearing their babies around.
Babywearing is easy - just pick up one of the many baby carriers on the market and pop your baby inside. Most carriers come with clear photo instructions and some even come with videos to help you learn to wear your baby! Your baby will love being close to your body. A fussy baby is soothed by the rocking motion as you walk with him in the carrier. It's similar to how he felt in the womb - including the close, cradled position.
As your baby grows you can carry her sitting up and facing out or straddling your hip. She can see the world and you can get out in the world! Your baby will be able to interact with others in a way that is just not possible when she's close to the ground in a stroller. Babies in traditional societies were able to learn how their family and culture worked right from the start - because they were right there with their mothers. Your baby can have the same benefit. Your baby will pick up on language quickly because he'll be listening to you as you talk with other adults.
The shifting and bouncing that your child gets in the baby carrier will help enhance her sense of balance. She'll gain muscle tone and strength as she travels with you and learns how to adjust her body in the sling or carrier. It will also make her happy to be an active part of your day. Having your baby snuggled in the sling or cheerfully straddling your hip will leave your hands free to get some things done. Some baby carriers even allow you to put your older child on your back. What fun for baby and how nice for you! You'll easily be able to handle the housework. And you'll be able to take your baby out without having to lug a heavy stroller or baby carrier.
Your sling or baby carrier will also keep your baby close to you. People are less likely to ask to hold your baby while she is safely in the baby carrier. You can nurse your baby discreetly in a sling. And when you are in crowded areas your baby will feel more secure and be happier - meaning you can still hit your favorite malls or enjoy popular natural trails.
Wearing your baby in a baby carrier will result in a happier, more secure baby. And you'll be a happy mama (or maybe daddy!) knowing that you can take care of life and still get out to play - all with your bouncing baby on your hip!
by Kristen Hart
About the Author: Kristen Hart is the owner of Natural Birth and Baby Care.com, a website devoted to healthy pregnancy, natural birth, and the best baby care. You can learn more about babywearing and research all different types of baby carriers at Naturalbirthandbabycare.com
As a single mother, my New Native Carrier was the one thing that I absolutely positively could not live without. My daughter is now two and we still use it regularly. She sits in it rather than laying down so we can dash through airports, stroll through farmers markets or just walk to grandma and grandpas without all the extra "stuff". I usually ask her if she wants the sling or stroller and she will inevitably pick the sling.
While using the sling we talk and I get to shower her little noodle with kissies. While she is in the stroller however, we are generally just lost in our own thoughts. A stroller ride is a far cry from bonding.
When she was younger I regularly nursed her in public and people never knew. The outside of the sling covered her head and people thought she was sleeping. If I have the privilege of having another child I can pretty much guarantee that I will use the sling even more especially during the first 9 months or so. Babies love it and I promise that it makes your life unbelievably easier.
Buy Babywearing, The Benefits and Beauty of This Ancient Tradition
Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/happykatie/1511812102/
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="390"] Breasteeding facts[/caption]
Are you one of the increasing numbers of women experiencing unbearable nipple pain because of breastfeeding? Did you know that 83% of new mothers experience varying degrees of nipple pain and trauma as well as other lactation problems? Don't worry, you are not alone. These problems are thought to be due to the teaching of incorrect breastfeeding methods without being aware of breastfeeding facts.
Basically, current teaching involves the mother or others thrusting the baby onto her breast and this is completely unnatural, resulting in the baby being rammed to the breast by the base of the head, neck or shoulder, preventing the baby from vacuuming correctly and causing the nipple to be crushed between baby's tongue and the hard palate. This is not your fault.
It seems that for all its good intentions, our modern approach has overcomplicated the breastfeeding process and unnecessarily interfered with what should be for most mothers and babies a relatively simple and completely instinctual process. To 'unlearn' this unnatural method, especially with the first and early breastfeeds after birthing, it is suggested that mothers need to first understand a few key points about their newborn. Remember, healthy babies are not as helpless as you may think - they are programmed to survive. They are already skilled at drinking the surrounding water before birth.
Within minutes of birth the healthy newborn instinctively seeks, attaches and vacuums to the mother's nipple and breast in a natural, harmonious way which allows it to leisurely draw colostrum - the first, super-concentrated form of milk that mothers produce. The act of breastfeeding, when done correctly, is also critical in stimulating maternal hormones and milk volume over those vital first 72 hours.
It never ceases to amaze me as I watch a newborn's survival instincts in action - minutes after birth, if gently placed skin-to-skin with the mother, facing the breast, the baby's 'rooting reflex' will kick in. This is where they use their senses - smell, taste, sight and touch - in order to locate the nipple. The baby will eventually draw the breast and nipple comfortably into their mouth, perfectly and gently molding the nipple and breast tissue inside the oral cavity.
When a mother is focused on her baby, the "love" hormones present just after birth are primed, and without interruption the mother gently guides her baby so that nose, cheeks and chin touch her breast symmetrically. Once the baby is swallowing symmetry can be fine tuned by slight, gentle movements, improving extension of the tongue, preventing gums pinching and painful ridging of the nipple. Given that it sounds so simple, you might wonder why you weren't told this beforehand. This has to do with our modern tendency to overcomplicate many natural life events.
Western expertise assumes that newborns do not know how to feed, whereas in fact they have a pre-programmed instinct for it. Your baby already understands what it has to do to feed and the mother's role is simply to gently guide the baby into the right comfortable position for easy access. Natural breastfeeding allows evolved behaviors to have their play. The baby draws intermittently, swallowing in harmony with the pulsating ejections, taking in breast milk until they reach satisfaction. The baby will then generally stay nurtured in its mother's arms for a while until the important emotional and psychological part of the feed is completed.
The baby always knows how long to feed for satisfaction and emotion. Therefore, timing feeds interrupts this cycle. As a guide it is suggested that the young baby takes approximately one hour, including a rest in between each breast for digestion and a nappy/diaper change. The very first feed may take up to three hours changing from breast to breast until satisfaction with small amounts of colostrum is achieved.
A baby will feed from the first breast until relaxed and sleepy, and then continues nurturing until slipping off. Afterwards the baby rests and digests, lying stretched out, slightly inclined, in order to help with self burping and the transfer of pre-digested milk into the intestine. When ready for the second breast, the baby communicates with its arms and legs, and rooting begins again until the baby increasingly vocalizes. The feed continues from the second breast until the baby is relaxed and comes off again.
It's wise to hold the baby upright for a while until the stomach has time to settle. By this stage pre-digested milk from the first breast has transferred to the intestine, allowing milk from the second breast to refill the stomach. Time and patience minimize gastro-intestinal problems like reflux and colic, which encourages relaxed and healthy sleeping. Healthy mothers and infants should be able to breastfeed in an essentially painless and low fuss way. Nipple damage, she says, should not be the norm, but a rarity. So relax all you frustrated mothers - there is an alternative to the pain and anguish of incorrect breastfeeding methods.
by Robyn Thompson
About the Author: For more information on Robyn's incredible breastfeeding breakthroughs, and a host of breastfeeding tips, visit http://www.benefitofbreastfeeding.com/a1.html . For a limited time Robyn is offering a free ebook, '20 tips to pain-free breastfeeding'. You can also find out more about her instructional breastfeeding video.
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