Thursday, September 21, 2006

Separation anxiety

I'll be returning back to school soon. Very soon actually. In about 3 weeks time. I think I am experiencing separation anxiety here. I have insomnia every night. I toss and turn in bed for 1-2hrs before I fall asleep ( and very often that's like 1-2 hrs before Kieran wakes up for his night feed).

I worry about loads of things. I worry if he will be able nap in the afternoons, whether there will be enough milk for him in the fridge, whether his cries will be understood.

I worry that his milk will be heated up too warmly for him, thus scalding him. Or that all the beneficial nutrients in his milk becomes lost because he is made to drink "hot" milk.

I worry about all the cigarette smoke that he may come in contact with (tho' we are working on that), I worry that he will be brought out without his car seat or with him seated in the front seat.

Most of all, I am going to miss his 'singing' and yelling for Mummy to help him reach for a toy or his smiles and gurgles when I play with him. I will also miss his wake-up, blurry smiles in the mornings...


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Bad Breastfeeding Advice..

Bad Bfing 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.

This list was compiled from "bad bf advice" given to moms from iVillage's Breastfeeding Support/Ask the LC board, and brought together for us here by Theresa. Thank you, moms, and thank you Theresa for sharing this with us!
Copyright © 2000 - 2006 Jim Yount

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Why delay solids?

People have been coming up to me, telling me that K can start solids soon, i.e. next month (@ 4 mths). I've been trying to explain that I would prefer to delay it as late as possible, preferably 6 months. However, it's quite difficult as they (same people, different people...) keep come to me saying, it's ok to give solids already, rice cereal will not give allergies, baby will sleep through the night.. etc. So sometimes, it's quite tiring to have to explain myself! Times have changed. Research now shows that it is beneficial to delay solids until the baby is 6 months old and here's why!

Article taken from:

Reasons for delaying solids

Although some of the reasons listed here assume that your baby is breastfed or fed breastmilk only, experts recommend that solids be delayed for formula fed babies also.

Delaying solids gives baby greater protection from illness.
Although babies continue to receive many immunities from breastmilk for as long as they nurse, the greatest immunity occurs while a baby is exclusively breastfed. Breastmilk contains 50+ known immune factors, and probably many more that are still unknown. One study has shown that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 4+ months had 40% fewer ear infections than breastfed babies whose diets were supplemented with other foods. The probability of respiratory illness occurring at any time during childhood is significantly reduced if the child is fed exclusively breast milk for at least 15 weeks and no solid foods are introduced during this time. (Wilson, 1998) Many other studies have also linked the degree of exclusivity of breastfeeding to enhanced health benefits (see Immune factors in human milk and Risks of Artificial Feeding).

Delaying solids gives baby's digestive system time to mature.
If solids are started before a baby's system is ready to handle them, they are poorly digested and may cause unpleasant reactions (digestive upset, gas, constipation, etc.). Protein digestion is incomplete in infancy. Gastric acid and pepsin are secreted at birth and increase toward adult values over the following 3 to 4 months. The pancreatic enzyme amylase does not reach adequate levels for digestion of starches until around 6 months, and carbohydrate enzymes such as maltase, isomaltase, and sucrase do not reach adult levels until around 7 months. Young infants also have low levels of lipase and bile salts, so fat digestion does not reach adult levels until 6-9 months.

Delaying solids decreases the risk of food allergies.
It is well documented that prolonged exclusive breastfeeding results in a lower incidence of food allergies (see Allergy References and Risks of Artificial Feeding). From birth until somewhere between four and six months of age, babies possess what is often referred to as an "open gut." This means that the spaces between the cells of the small intestines will readily allow intact macromolecules, including whole proteins and pathogens, to pass directly into the bloodstream.This is great for your breastfed baby as it allows beneficial antibodies in breastmilk to pass more directly into baby's bloodstream, but it also means that large proteins from other foods (which may predispose baby to allergies) and disease-causing pathogens can pass right through, too. During baby's first 4-6 months, while the gut is still "open," antibodies (sIgA) from breastmilk coat baby's digestive tract and provide passive immunity, reducing the likelihood of illness and allergic reactions before gut closure occurs. Baby starts producing these antibodies on his own at around 6 months, and gut closure should have occurred by this time also. See How Breast Milk Protects Newborns and The Case for the Virgin Gut for more on this subject.

Delaying solids helps to protect baby from iron-deficiency anemia.
The introduction of iron supplements and iron-fortified foods, particularly during the first six months, reduces the efficiency of baby's iron absorption. Healthy, full-term infants who are breastfed exclusively for periods of 6-9 months have been shown to maintain normal hemoglobin values and normal iron stores. In one study (Pisacane, 1995), the researchers concluded that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 7 months (and were not give iron supplements or iron-fortified cereals) had significantly higher hemoglobin levels at one year than breastfed babies who received solid foods earlier than seven months. The researchers found no cases of anemia within the first year in babies breastfed exclusively for seven months and concluded that breastfeeding exclusively for seven months reduces the risk of anemia. See Is Iron-Supplementation Necessary? for more information.

Delaying solids helps to protect baby from future obesity.
The early introduction of solids is associated with increased body fat and weight in childhood. (for example, see Wilson 1998, von Kries 1999, Kalies 2005)

Delaying solids helps mom to maintain her milk supply.
Studies have shown that for a young baby solids replace milk in a baby's diet - they do not add to baby's total intake. The more solids that baby eats, the less milk he takes from mom, and less milk taken from mom means less milk production. Babies who eat lots of solids or who start solids early tend to wean prematurely.

Delaying solids helps to space babies.
Breastfeeding is most effective in preventing pregnancy when your baby is exclusively breastfed and all of his nutritional and sucking needs are satisfied at the breast.

Delaying solids makes starting solids easier.
Babies who start solids later can feed themselves and are not as likely to have allergic reactions to foods.
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