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  • This internet blog provides information of a general nature and is designed for the purpose of education, and information. If you have any concerns about your health or the health of your baby, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.

Breastfeeding…a gift of life!

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           We have heard of the amazing benefits of breastfeeding for the baby (lower risk of ear infections, stomach problems, respiratory illnesses, asthma, skin allergies, diabetes and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).…

…But did you know that new studies are finding breast-feeding can help protect the mom’s from heart disease and diabetes (not to mention it appears to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression for mom’s)

 What a win win situation! What an amazing gift for you and your babe…

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Breast-feeding, even for just a couple of months, can significantly lower a woman’s risk of  a dangerous cluster of heart disease risk factors — years later, reports a new study appearing online Dec. 3 in the journal Diabetes.

In women who didn’t have pregnancy-related (gestational) diabetes, breast-feeding between one and five months lowered a woman’s risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 39 percent, while breast-feeding for the same duration lowered the risk of the syndrome by 44 percent in women with gestational diabetes. breast-feeding helps with the metabolism of blood sugar, which may lower their levels of insulin.

So women who are diagnosed with gestational diabetes have even more benefits by breastfeeding their little one!

And, the longer a woman breast-fed, the better it was for her later health. Breast-feeding for longer than nine months dropped the risk of this Heart disease cluster by 86 percent in women with gestational diabetes. Women without gestational diabetes saw a 56 percent reduction in their risk of metabolic syndrome, according to the study.

Breastfeeding…a gift…a practically free gift…of life!

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SOURCES: Erica Gunderson, Ph.D., epidemiologist and research scientist, Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, Oakland, Calif.; Jacob Warman, M.D., chief of endocrinology, Brooklyn Hospital Center, New York City; Dec. 3, 2009, Diabetes, online

Feeding the athlete…

Labor is probably not the time you will be requesting a huge steak dinner, but it is a good idea to continue to nourish your body before you head in to the hospital.

 Not eating during labor may reduce your energy, increase your fatigue and decrease your ability to deal with stress during labor.

Also…just as important…is drinking water (or water mixed with juice) and remembering to pee every hour or so.

A while back, I was reading Midwifery Today and found a short article about “The Midwife’s Pitocin”.

 This particular midwife recommends that her clients make a bowl of oatmeal, honey and nuts during labor and graze on it when they desire. If you break down the ingredients, you will find the perfect balance of complex carbohydrates, protein and natural sugar. Imagine that you are about to run a marathon – you would surely fuel your body with healthy supportive food! I have been recommending this concoction to my doula clients. It seems to have given them some lasting stamina.

The oatmeal will probably not be welcome at the hospital, but you can try to get some in your body before you head in. If you are birthing at a birthing center or at home, you can continue to eat when you like.

 Some women are concerned that eating during labor will cause them to vomit. But according to the same study referenced earlier, “Vomiting was not more common among women allowed to eat light foods, 18% of whom vomited once and 17% of whom vomited more than once, compared with 17% and 17% of women in the water-only cohort.” In fact, vomiting is a sign of transition and can actually help push the baby deeper down into the birth canal.

Here is a list of “light eating” that may be appealing to the laboring mom.

** Please note you are more likely to have a desire for food in early labor. Don’t force yourself to eat anything you don’t want to.

OatmealOatmeal

Whole wheat toast

Crackers

Soups

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Granola

Bagelbagel

Applesauceapple_sauce_reg

Mashed potatoes

Eggs

Should…knock on wood…we have a tropical storm or hurricane…

The Department of health has put together a feeding guide for your infant

In light of World Breastfeeding week, and the month of August declared as Breastfeeding Month in Florida…below are the guidelines for safe infant feeding:

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TALLAHASSEE – In the event of a hurricane, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) encourages new mothers to adhere to these guidelines:
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Mothers who are breastfeeding should continue to breastfeed their babies. Mother’s milk has everything a baby needs to grow well in the first six months of life.

Mothers who are both breastfeeding and formula feeding their infants should breastfeed as much as possible in place of bottle feeding.

Formula should only be used when mothers are unable to breastfeed.

Feeding with Infant Formula

Infant formula should be prepared according to the directions on the formula label and as instructed by the baby’s health care provider.

All baby bottles and nipples must be washed and sterilized before each use. If this is not possible, then single-serve, ready-to-feed bottles of formula must be used with a sterilized nipple.

Ready-to-feed formula does not need mixing and water should not be added. Just remember that once a can of ready-to-feed formula is opened it must be refrigerated and should be used within 24 hours or as specified on the infant formula label.

Always boil water before mixing concentrated liquid or powdered formula. Boiling water is the best way to make water safe to drink. Cold tap water or bottled water (except sterilized bottled water) must be boiled vigorously for 1 minute, allowed to cool, and then mixed with powdered or concentrated liquid formula following directions on the formula label. Once formula is mixed, it must be refrigerated and used within 24 hours or as specified on the formula label. If refrigeration is not available, mix formula each time baby is ready to eat and then discard extra formula.

Sterilized bottled water does not need to be boiled before mixing with concentrated liquid or powdered formula.

If unable to boil water, water may be sterilized by mixing 8 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of unscented household chlorine bleach per gallon of water. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes before use.

Never use a microwave oven to warm infant formula. Microwave ovens do not heat the formula evenly and there may be hot spots that could burn the baby.

For more information, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics website at www.aap.org/breastfeeding

Happy weekend!!

Breastfeeding Booby traps…before your baby is born

 

Booby Trap #1 : Having Unreasonable Expectations About the Beginning

excerpted from Best for Babes

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The first Booby Trap™ to avoid is believing that instinct alone will buy you automatic success.  The truth is that breastfeeding is instinctive – babies born after an unmedicated birth can actually crawl to the breast by themselves and self-attach! (Lennart Righard and M. Alade, “Effect of Delivery Room Routines on Success of First Breast-feed,” The Lancet 336, no. 8723 (3 November 1990): 1105-1107.)

But nursing is also a learned behavior and a skill that both you and your baby have to master over a period of time.  You have to learn how to read your baby’s hunger and satiation cues and your baby needs to learn how to milk your breasts efficiently.  This is what we call the learning curve of breastfeeding and generally lasts 4-6 weeks. and it’s why experts recommend that you commit to breastfeed to at least that point.

If that seems like too long, know that some women need to break it down even further to get past the first few days! 

Our game plan suggestion is to set small, attainable goals-commit to the first few days, then a week, then another week . . before you know it you’ll be at a month or 2 months.   Acknowledge and reward yourself at each juncture (or better yet have your partner do that!).  By the time you break the six week mark, you’ll start to have the hang of it and be glad you stuck it out. 

To use a great analogy: Breastfeeding is a lot like learning to ride a bicycle. bike Before you ever rode one, you probably were intimidated because you had never done it before.  You didn’t know how to balance yourself, or what that felt like, and you probably were frightened because you saw or heard of all the falls and skinned knees. 

Did that stop you?  No! 

You knew there was a light at the end of tunnel, and you could imagine yourself flying down the street on your new banana seat bicycle with the glitter on the handles!  So you mustered up your courage and a commitment to succeed.  Whoever was helping you didn’t let you quit, either.  Now, for almost everyone, that bike wobbled, tilted and knocked you down a few times.  What was the adage almost everyone heard?  “If you fall, get right back on and try again!”  You didn’t quit!  You brushed yourself off and mounted up again and again until you were sailing along effortlessly with the wind blowing through your hair! What’s more, whoever was helping you learn to ride a bike encouraged you, wouldn’t let you quit, and told you that you can do it. 

Sadly, too many well-meaning friends, family members and professionals tell expecting moms to “just try” without making sure they have the proper support.  

Before you have your baby…make sure you have the support you need. Check our Local Resources tab to find local support for breastfeeding mom’s in Indian River County!

The world celebrates breastfeeding! Yes!

World Breastfeeding Week

WBW Theme Logo 2009

Every first week in August is devoted to World breastfeeding week…Each year a different theme is chosen. This year we celebrate…
Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency Response
Are you ready?

OBJECTIVES OF WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK 2009

  • To draw attention to the vital role that breastfeeding plays in emergencies worldwide.
  • To stress the need for active protection and support of breastfeeding before and during emergencies.
  • To inform mothers, breastfeeding advocates, communities, health professionals, governments, aid agencies, donors, and the media on how they can actively support breastfeeding before and during an emergency.
  • To mobilize action and nurture networking and collaboration between those with breastfeeding skills and those involved in emergency response.

RATIONALE

  • Children are the most vulnerable in emergencies – child mortality can soar from 2 to 70 times higher than average due to diarrhea, respiratory illness and malnutrition.
  • Breastfeeding is a life saving intervention and protection is greatest for the youngest infants. Even in non-emergency settings, non-breastfed babies under 2 months of age are six times more likely to die.
  • Emergencies can happen anywhere in the world. Emergencies destroy what is ‘normal,’ leaving caregivers struggling to cope and infants vulnerable to disease and death.
  • During emergencies, mothers need active support to continue or re-establish breastfeeding.
  • Emergency preparedness is vital. Supporting breastfeeding in non-emergency settings will strengthen mothers’ capacity to cope in an emergency.

Source: http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/

Get inspired by your mom made Wonder-Food!

Lesser-Known Facts about Breastfeeding Written by Danielle Rigg, JD, CLC, and brought to you by Best for Babes

The magic elixir of breast milk provides complete nutritional benefits for your little babe. The experience of breastfeeding also feeds his/her emotional, social and behavioral needs and delivers lifelong major health and emotional benefits to both of you, Babe. Sit back…put your feet up and relax as we  dazzle and inspire you with the most amazing lesser-known facts about things your breasts can do for you and your baby!! Heck, by the time you finish reading this, you’ll feel like you’re ready to leap tall buildings in a single bound! And well, you should. Because you, Babe, really have got it all!

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  • Breastfeeding Your Baby Girl Reduces Her Lifetime Risk of Breast Cancer by as much as 25%. Protect two women for the price of one! 
  •  Your Milk is a Daily Vaccine Against Every Virus You Come Into Contact with. Worried about lactyour newborn getting that virus your 2 year old has? As you are nursing, your body will make antibodies against every virus you are exposed to and deposit them in your milk to protect your baby from getting sick, or help them to get better faster. This is why suspending nursing when you have a a cold or the flu is bad advice. We can’t tell you how many moms have been given such misguided advice by well-meaning relatives or ill-informed pediatricians.
  • Your Baby is born with an Immature Digestive System. Your Perfect Milk Completes the Development of Your Baby’s Stomach Lining Making it 15x Thicker Than that of a Formula-Fed Baby. This helps breastfed babies to absorb food more rapidly, grow better and resist contaminants and infections. In fact, this maturing process is being studied as lowering the risk of lifelong digestive diseases such as Crohn’s.
  • Your Milk Jump-Starts Your Baby’s Immune System. Your milk contains healthy bacteria, antibodies, white blood cells, antimicrobials and cell wall protectors — which is the science behind why exclusively breastfed babies have a significantly lower risk of contracting infections. Without this vital infusion, your baby is defenseless against common bacteria in our environment.

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  • Breastfeeding Helps Babies Regulate Their Breathing. Newborns have immature respiratory systems and often breathe erratically. The experience of nursing—being close to you, being perfectly nourished, hearing your lungs inflate and deflate, hearing your heart beat—all help baby to breathe rhythmically and without problems.
  • Your Milk Provides Perfect and Varying Proportions of Fat, Carbohydrates and Protein For Babies of Different Ages. Your body knows who’s nursing: a newborn has different nutritional needs than a three, six or nine month old. Your milk is constantly changing to provide the perfect balance for your baby—even changing composition to better hydrate a baby with the stomach flu! On the other hand, formula is just that: one formula, the whole way through.
  • Breastfed Babies Make Better Eaters as Toddlers. Breastmilk is gourmet dining for the tiny tot set! Different foods, oils and spices you consume flavor your milk, introducing and exposing your baby to a variety of flavors before (s)he ever tastes solid food. Formula has one bland flavor. Period.
  • Your Milk Knocks a Baby Out Like Nothin’ Else! Human milk contains substances that induce sleep and calmness in babies. A sleeping baby is a very desirable result, right? Also, milk “drunk” infants look like they’ve gone to Nirvana. The sense of satisfaction you get from knowing your body delivered that one-two punch is priceless! 
  •  Breastfeeding Has a Calming Effect on You Too. When your baby nurses, your body releases the hormone oxytocin, which causes calmness, even sleepiness. It’s also one explanation why breastfeeding mothers experience less postpartum depression, and why there are fewer incidences of child abuse and domestic violence. Double bonus: your body releases endorphins during breastfeeding also, which benefit you–this is why breastfeeding mothers report being happier, less tired and having less post-partum depression.

 

Breastfeeding….It’s what’s for dinner!

Bottle feeding tips…

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Breastfed mothers are right to worry that bottles may confuse their breastfed babies if they need to supplement. Formula fed babies can also experience problems with bottles, such as overfeeding. All babies will benefit from being bottle-fed in a manner closer to breastfeeding.

Follow these strategies if offering a bottle to a baby…

Latching On to The Bottle

It is especially important for breastfed babies to latch on to a bottle as if they are latching on to the breast since it can be helpful for the proper oral-facial development of all babies. Your baby should be encouraged to , open his mouth wide…like a yawn…before the bottle is inserted. His lips should be around the wide part of a wide based bottle and not on the narrow part of the nipple. The nipple should be far enough back in his mouth that it reaches his “suck spot” the place where his soft palate and hard palate meet. This will cause him to suck properly. He will suck differently if the nipple only reaches the front of his mouth.

A Slow Flow Is Best

Unlike our breasts, most bottles flow instantly with out any sucking needed and this can cause the milk or formula to flow too quickly. Bottle-fed babies are often held cradled in a caregiver’s arm practically on their backs, with the bottle held so that the milk pores into the baby’s mouth. Babies fed this way can havbottlee  difficulties breathing while eating and their oxygen levels may decline. Bottle-fed babies get used to a flow that happens on its own and may even forget that they need to suck to get milk. To avoid these problems, keep the flow slow. Use a nipple designed for newborns even if your baby is older. Holding your baby in sitting position and the bottle horizontally will slow the flow down even more and encourage sucking. Your baby will be able to  control the flow better and take breaks when he needs to. If he is swallowing constantly, take the bottle out after every 10 sucks or so. It should take him about 15 minutes to finish a bottle. He may not feel satiated if he eats too quickly and cry for more. It takes time for our brains to register that our bellies are full.

Switching sides midway through the feed

With a switch from holding the baby on one side to the other side midway through a feed will provides for eye stimulation and development, and thwarts the development of a side preference.

Follow Your Baby’s Cues

Unless medically indicated, your baby should be fed only when he shows hunger cues and until he is satiated. There is no reason to make him finish a bottle if he has clearly had enough. Don’t let your caregiver use the bottle as a way to calm your baby if he doesn’t need to be fed. He may take the bottle anyway because he wants to suck or because he has figured out that he is held only during feeds. Work out other ways to keep him happy.

Rock, hold and cuddle your baby…He loves it. So will you!

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Reference:   www.kellymom.com

                       www.breastfeeding.asn.au