Breastfeed your Baby

Description

     Every baby is different in the number of feedings he or she needs per day. However all babies need to feed at least 8 or more times in 24 hours. Always let your baby take the lead. Watch your baby for early hunger signs and comfort needs. Breastfeeding is natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. You and your baby may need practice and almost all moms need a little help, especially in the beginning. The good news is that it gets easier with time.

    Breastfeeding should continue up to the baby’s first birthday as new foods are introduced. You can keep breastfeeding after the baby’s first birthday for as long as you and your baby would like. Breastfeeding (also known as nursing) is very healthy for you and your baby. Breast milk is the only food or liquid your baby needs for the first 6 months after birth.

Importance of Breastfeeding

  • Breastfeeding is important for your health and for your baby’s growth and development.
  • Breast milk has the right amount of fat, sugar, water, protein and minerals needed for a baby’s growth and development. As your baby grows your breast milk changes to adapt to the baby’s changing nutritional needs.
  • Breast milk is all your baby needs for the first 6 months. Water, juice, sugar water, formula, cereal and other foods are not needed during this time.
  • Breast milk is easier to digest than formula.
  • Infants who are breastfed receive protection from serious health conditions including respiratory, ear, gastrointestinal tract infections, allergies, diabetes and obesity. It can also reduce the incidence of SIDS. Breastfeeding benefits mothers by reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Breast milk contains antibodies that protect infants from certain illnesses, such as ear infections, diarrhea, respiratory illnesses and allergies. The longer your baby breastfeeds, the greater the health benefits.
  • Breastfeeding is recommended for the first 2 years and beyond, with the addition of complementary foods after 6 months.
  • Breast milk can help reduce the risk of many of the short-term and long-term health problems that preterm babies face.
  • Changes to meet your baby’s nutritional needs as she grows.
  • Breastfeeding may make it easier to lose the weight you gained during pregnancy.
  • Breastfed infants have a lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Breastfeeding gives you and your baby time to be close, get to know each other and bond. Breastfeeding is a healthy choice for both moms and babies.
  • Helps protect your baby from infection and illness.

What kinds of foods should I eat while breastfeeding

    Breast milk contains everything a baby needs for the first six months of life. Additionally, the fat and calorie content of breast milk changes both during a feeding and throughout the time you lactate. You also have an increased need for most nutrients, so it’s very important to eat a healthy and varied diet.

  • Your body needs about 450–500 extra calories a day to make breast milk for your baby. If your weight is in the normal range, you need about 2,500 total calories per day.
  • It is very important to eat a variety of nutritious, whole foods to ensure that you get all the nutrients you and your baby need.
  • Eat fish and seafood 2–3 times a week, but avoid eating fish with high mercury levels. Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish, and limit albacore tuna to 6 ounces a week. If you eat fish caught in local waters, check for advisories about mercury or other pollutants. If no information is available, limit your intake of such fish to 6 ounces a week, and do not eat any other fish that week.
  • Some lactating women may benefit from taking multivitamins, vitamin B12, omega-3 or vitamin D supplements.
  • Your health care professional may recommend that you continue to take your prenatal multivitamin supplement while you are breastfeeding.
  • If you do have an alcoholic drink, make sure you allow at least a couple of hours for the alcohol to go through your system before your next.
  • Drink plenty of water. Increased amounts of oxytocin stimulate thirst while breastfeeding.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and drink more if your urine is dark yellow.
  • A serving could be half a cup of green veggies or a small 50 g (1.5 oz) piece of cheese.
  • The amount of calories you require will depend on your baby’s age, size and appetite, as well as your own body mass index (BMI).

All babies need vitamin D drops (400-800 I.U. a day). Talk to your health care provider for more information.

Signs that your baby is hungry

  • smacks lips.
  • Being more alert.
  • sucks on fingers, hands or tongue.
  • Moving his head from side to side (called rooting).
  • searches (or roots) for breast.
  • Acting fussy.
  • Wakes from sleep it’s important to watch for these signs. Waiting until your baby is crying may make breastfeeding difficult.

Signs that your baby is full

It can be very tempting for a mom to urge her baby to gulp down that remaining bit of milk or give in to the impulse of feeding him some more when he seems reluctant to eat or has eaten less than usual.

  • Stops..lets go of breast and may turn head away.
  • In case the baby starts to play and look around instead of drinking milk it can be a sign that he is not hungry yet/anymore.
  • Feels settled and relaxed.
  • Your baby may start to fuss or cry at the breast after a nursing session signaling his satisfaction.
  • Arms and legs are stretched out.
  • Some babies upon becoming tummy-full may lull off to sleep while breastfeeding.
  • fingers are spread out.
  • If you notice that at the end of breastfeeding your baby’s hands are relaxed with fingers extending.
  • Hiccups may occur due to reflux when food and acid can upturn due to the fullness of the stomach.

    Many moms want or need to pump their breast milk. Find out why you might decide to pump, how to pump and store breast milk and how to solve common breast pumping problems. Parenting is hard work. It can be difficult to find time to take care of yourself. Keep your energy levels up by remembering to eat and drink regularly throughout the day.

     It’s normal to go through an adjustment period when you have a new baby mothers experience many different emotions. Parents expect to feel happiness with the arrival of a new baby, but many mothers and fathers are surprised by other common feelings such as sadness, anger, fear or anxiety.

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