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Breastfeeding does more than provide nutrition for your baby, it can create a wonderful bonding experience for mother and child. But getting your infant to latch on to your nipple can be a tricky business. Watch this video for helpful breastfeeding basics.
Transcript: If you're planning to breastfeed, you're in good company: Up to 70 percent of American moms give nursing...
If you're planning to breastfeed, you're in good company: Up to 70 percent of American moms give nursing a try. Of course, it's also okay not to nurse...You will raise a healthy, baby either way! Your breast milk is tailored to meet the needs of YOUR baby. It changes in response to the amount he or she consumes and contains at least 100 ingredients that aren't found in formula. Other benefits? Studies have shown that breastfed babies are: Less likely to suffer from infections, less likely to be overweight, more likely to have higher IQs, and more open to various foods as adults. And there are benefits for you, too! When your baby nurses, your body responds by releasing the hormone oxytocin, which encourages you to bond with your baby, AND shrinks your uterus. You'll also lose weight more quickly: Breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day! And, for moms who like convenience, breast is best. Forget heating a bottle at 4am or packing up formula for a 2-hour trip. So how does it work? Before you leave the hospital or birthing center, you'll be visited by a lactation consultant who will help you get started breastfeeding. You'll begin by holding your baby so you're both comfortable. Encourage him or her to open up by gently rubbing your nipple along your baby's lips. When your baby latches on, ensure that the mouth covers BOTH your nipple and areola. If it doesn't, break the suction by gently inserting your finger in the corner of the mouth. Then, try again until your baby is properly positioned. This is vital, because if your baby doesn't latch properly, you'll wind up with sore, or even cracked, nipples! You can ease nipple discomfort by exposing them to air or applying a lanolin-based ointment after each feeding. And while your breasts will be engorged for a few weeks after delivery, rest assured that they'll reduce once your baby figures out how much milk he or she needs, and your body responds. While nursing, you may notice a small, tender lump on your breast, which is probably a clogged milk duct. Continuing to nurse, massaging the duct, or applying a heating pad should fix the problem, but contact your doctor if it doesn't.When you begin breastfeeding you'll wonder how often to nurse. During the first weeks after delivery, your baby should eat eight to twelve times a day. Nurse when your baby is hungry. He or she will let you know by nuzzling against your breasts, sucking, or opening his or her mouth. Try not to wait for cries, because at this point, he or she is already uncomfortable. Breastfeeding is a big commitment, but an important one for the moms who make it! You're bound to have questions, and that's normal, so talk to your doctor about your concerns.More »
Last Modified: 2013-05-06 | Tags »
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The breast milk vs formula debate has supporters on both sides. Watch this video and find out what is good for your baby.
Transcript: It's the first BIG decision you'll make as a parent: Will you feed your baby from the breast or from...
It's the first BIG decision you'll make as a parent: Will you feed your baby from the breast or from the bottle? Eighty percent of new moms follow the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and try breastfeeding. Often called the "perfect food," breast milk offers unique advantages over formula milk. For example, breastfed babies receive infection-fighting antibodies from their mothers, and may tend to be healthier. Breast milk is also more easily digested by a baby's delicate tummy, and the milk exposes a child to varied tastes. The other advantage of breast milk is that it's completely free, and always ready. Nursing is beneficial for mom, too, as breastfeeding hormones encourage bonding with her baby, and stimulate her uterus to shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size. But nursing can be painful for some women, especially at the beginning. In addition, breast milk is often deficient in Vitamin D, a necessary bone-building nutrient for infants. This means that a Vitamin D supplement is usually necessary. Breastfeeding also requires that a mom continue to watch what she eats and drinks, as everything she consumes is ALSO consumed by her baby. For this reason, women who take certain medications and those who have contagious medical conditions may not breastfeed. And since breastfeeding requires more of a mother's time and energy, some women choose to use formula. Convenient and flexible, formula using gets both partners involved in baby feedings. But formula comes with its own set of challenges, not the least of which is cost-about $1,500 for a year's worth! Formula is also timely to prepare, as water has to be boiled and bottles have to be sterilized for every feeding. And because it does not contain antibodies, formula-fed infants may be slightly more likely to get sick, or to suffer from gas or constipation. Some mothers weigh these pros and cons and decide that-while breast milk is best-personally nursing won't work. In such cases, another lactating woman, or wet nurse, may be asked to step in and feed an infant. Although wet nursing was popular in centuries past, today's health organizations do not recommend it, since a mother's milk is formulated for her own infant's age and needs. In light of this, other women decide to use breast milk and formula to feed their infants. This tactic is even RECOMMENDED in some situations: Such as for babies with jaundice, and for those who are slow to gain weight or take to the breast. While there is nothing wrong with supplementing your breast milk, it can backfire if your milk dries up, or if your baby starts refusing the breast. No matter what you end up feeding your baby, however, it's important that you do so often! Newborn babies usually nurse eight to twelve times every 24 hours, while babies over one month eat seven to nine times daily. Note, though, that formula-fed infants may eat less often, as formula moves more slowly through the digestive system. And while feeding your baby may seem complex at first, you, your partner, and your infant, will figure it out fast!More »
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Breastfeeding problems are common in nursing mothers. Some of the most frequent issues mothers face is discussed in this video. Take a look.
Transcript: 8 out 10 ten new mothers try breastfeeding, but that doesn't mean it's always easy. If it's hard for...
8 out 10 ten new mothers try breastfeeding, but that doesn't mean it's always easy. If it's hard for you, don't despair, we've got some tips to help YOU bust through YOUR breastfeeding blockade! The most common complaint of newly nursing moms is nipple pain, cracking, or bleeding. While you adjust to nursing, you may experience mild soreness when your baby latches, but this normal condition will pass. Cracked or bleeding nipples, however, are often the result of your baby continuously latching to your breast improperly. You may eliminate this discomfort by ensuring that your baby's mouth bypasses your nipple, and instead, covers aboutone inch of your areola. If your baby is sucking properly, you should see "fish lips" and the tongue should be visible cupping your breast. While you wait for your nipples to heal, you can ease the discomfort by breastfeeding more frequently for shorter periods, which prevents your baby from sucking too voraciously. For deep, painful cracks, try medical-grade modified lanolin made specifically for breastfeeding mothers. Rub a small amount of the ointment on your nipples. This treatment, called "moist wound healing," relieves pain and allows the wounds to heal much faster without forming a scab. It does not need to be washed off before feedings. Additionally, you can apply a lanolin-based cream to your nipples. This treatment will allow them to heal quickly WITHOUT forming a scab. But even if your NIPPLES feel fine, your BREASTS may not. Many women report a very hard lump or tender spot in one breast while breastfeeding. A common source of such pain is a clogged milk duct, which occurs when your milk fails to drain completely. Although this can happen for a number of reasons-like a poorly fitting nursing bra or missed feedings-fixing it is often simple! In fact, the treatment is to nurse as much as possible! It may sound surprising, but frequent nursing will help completely empty your breasts and reduce discomfort and inflammation. And while you're waiting for a clogged milk duct to heal, frequently massage the painful area from armpit to nipple in a firm motion. Applying warm compresses before nursing may also help ensure that your milk is completely extracted. If your breasts are fine but your baby is not nursing correctly, you could be experiencing a problem with your milk supply. If your baby fails to gain weight, or does not wet at least four diapers a day, you should consult your doctor. Inadequate milk supply affects only 2 to 5 % of women, but it may require that you supplement your own milk with formula. If your baby chokes or gags as you begin to feed, you may have a problem on the opposite end of the spectrum-hyperlactation. This condition occurs when your body produces a great deal of milk that comes out fast and forcibly as your baby begins to nurse. To rectify it, express a small amount of milk before you allow your baby to latch on to your breast. While there are other difficulties that may hinder nursing, the bottom line is that breastfeeding should be a natural, pleasant bonding experience for both you and your baby. Successfully breastfeeding your baby can be a wonderful experience but it is sometimes challenging. If you are having difficulties, get help from a lactation consultant right away. It can make all the difference!More »
Last Modified: 2013-11-11 | Tags »
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There are any number of reasons why you might decide to feed your baby formula. Use these formula feeding facts to decide the right type -- and amount -- of formula to feed your baby.
Transcript: There are many reasons that women choose to feed their babies formula, not the least of which is a desire...
There are many reasons that women choose to feed their babies formula, not the least of which is a desire to have someone ELSE handle midnight feedings sometimes! Some women choose not to breastfeed because they know they must return to work, or because they have real difficulty nursing, or because they take medication or have a health condition that could be dangerous if passed to a baby via breast milk. Whatever the reason for choosing it, formula is advantageous in that it is often more convenient and flexible than breastfeeding. Additionally, formula fed infants do not require the Vitamin D supplements that many nursing babies do. Plus, today's formulas are made with baby-friendly fats, proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, all of which combine to simulate breast milk as closely as possible. Before you start your baby on a bottle, however, you'll have to choose the best formula, and that can be a challenging task! The most popular types of formula, like Similac and Good Start, contain a cow's milk base which is altered to suit a newborn's delicate stomach. Infants who have trouble digesting cow's milk or milk's sugary lactose may need to try a soy-based formula, like Alsoy or Isomil... or a lactose-free one like Enfamil LactoFree. Collicky babies sometimes do better on these alternatives to cow's milk. There are also formulas specifically designed for premature babies, for babies with other food allergies, and for those who are ALSO drinking breast milk. Whichever brand you choose, ensure that it's fortified with iron, a vital supplement in your baby's first year. Once you select a formula and learn how to prepare it, you'll probably wonder how much your baby needs. The good news is that babies are very intuitive when it comes to feeding-they eat when they're hungry and stop when they get full. If you'd like a more concrete understanding of the right amount to feed your baby, you should generally give your baby about 2.5 ounces of formula per pound, per day. So a ten pound baby should drink about 25 ounces of formula in one 24 hour day. If you're using formula as a SUPPLEMENT to breast milk, however, most doctors recommend sticking to a maximum of one bottle daily. This keeps your own milk flowing and ensures that your baby doesn't reject your breast. If you're still confused about the vast world of formula feeding, talk to your doctor or lactation consultant about the best brand and feeding schedule for your infant.More »
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If you're breastfeeding, at some point you may decide to pump your milk. Learn the breast pumping basics here -- from how to use a breast pump, to safe ways to store breast milk, and more.
Transcript: You have a hungry baby to extract your milk, so why would you need a breast pump? The most common reason...
You have a hungry baby to extract your milk, so why would you need a breast pump? The most common reason to pump your breasts is to collect milk so that your baby has a ready supply when the two of you are apart. Pumping your milk also allows your partner to feed your child without you, so you can take baby breaks. And-because the body produces milk according to what's extracted-some women pump to increase milk supply. If you decide to extract your milk, you'll use either an electric or manual breast pump. To use an electric pump, put a breast cup or shield over your nipple and turn the motorized machine on. Or, if you're using a manual machine, you'll extract milk via a squeeze device that you operate by hand. Generally, electric machines are faster and more efficient. However, if you're not pumping often, an inexpensive manual machine may be more economical. a. Once your milk is pumped, store it in bottles with tops or in plastic bags made specifically for breast milk, b. remembering to write the date on the container. You can then store the milk in the refrigerator for three days, or in the freezer for up to three months. It's better for baby to get refrigerated milk, as milk stored in the freezer can remove some of the antibodies. However, breast milk is still usually better for your baby than formula, so by all means, use the freezer if you need to! To prepare refrigerated milk, put it in a bottle and warm it by running the milk under warm water or putting it in a bottle warmer. If you've frozen the milk, you'll have to thaw it first. Run the milk under warm water, or leave it in the refrigerator overnight. But whatever you do, DON'T use the microwave to defrost milk, as this process can kill nutrients. Also avoid leaving breast milk out to thaw, as it will spoil within four hours of exposure to room temperature. And remember that thawed milk needs to be used within 24 hours, and should NEVER be re-frozen! After your baby consumes pumped milk, most doctors recommend throwing away any excess, to ensure freshness and sanitation. While this whole pumping process may feel funny at first, most women get the hang of it quickly. And your baby will thank you for the effort!More »
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Breast milk is a healthy, budget-friendly (it's free!) way to feed your baby, but some newborns don't start to nurse as easily as others. Get helpful tips on how to breastfeed your infant.
Transcript: If youve decided to breastfeed, youre among 80% of proud new moms. But how does nursing ACTUALLY work?...
If youve decided to breastfeed, youre among 80% of proud new moms. But how does nursing ACTUALLY work? The main key to successful breastfeeding is to get your baby to latch onto your breast correctly. To do it, brush his lips with your nipple, which will encourage him to open his mouth wide, as if yawning. 1. Then, quickly pull him to your breast with the arm that is holding him. 2. Your babys gums should bypass your nipple and 3. cover about one inch of your areola. If your baby is latched correctly, you shouldnt feel a lot of pain, and he should begin sucking with lips extended. Improper latching is the number one case for nipple discomfort, cracking, and pain. So if you feel uncomfortable, gently break the suction by putting your finger in the side of your babys mouth before trying again. There are many ways to hold your baby while breastfeeding, but the most important thing is that your babys shoulders and hips are facing towards you. The most popular hold is the cradle, in which your babys head rests in the crook of your elbow, with your forearm supporting the back and your hand holding his bottom. Use your other hand to lift and support the breast your baby is feeding from. The cross cradle hold is very similar, but your opposite arm supports your babys body. You may also try the side lying position, where you both lie facing one another. Use your bottom arm to position the baby as in the cradle, and pull his body in to yours. 1. Or, attempt the clutch hold, by placing a pillow under your babys body, 2. bringing your newborn to the level of your breast. 3. Then, position your baby so his legs are under your arm and his head is in your hand. Once hes nursing happily, youll probably wonder how long you should continue to feed. General wisdom is that your baby should empty one breast fully, at which point he or she will detach on his own. In newborns, this may be 5 to 10 minutes per breast every few hours. Older babies nurse less frequently, but for 20 to 40 minutes per breast. Once your baby is done with a breast, burp him, and then offer the other. If hes hungry, hell continue to nurse. Regardless of how much your baby eats, remember to always start with the full breast at his next feeding. The reason its so important to empty each breast fully is that your bodys milk changes according to your babys needs. When he or she starts to suck, your newborn will receive what is known as foremilk, a thinner, lower-fat, milk that will quench your babys thirst. This initial sucking will then signal your breasts to let down a fuller-fat hindmilk. Your hindmilk satiates your babys hunger. Although it may take some time to adjust to all these intricate of nursing, you will both get the hang of it sooner than you think!More »
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If you're not sure what to eat while breastfeeding it's important to make sure you're getting enough to eat of the right foods. Learn more in this video.
Transcript: A curry or a glass of wine taste great-but are your nutritional choices preventing your baby from getting...
A curry or a glass of wine taste great-but are your nutritional choices preventing your baby from getting the BEST breast milk possible? If you choose to breastfeed, your milk may be your baby's sole source of nutrients. Therefore, good nutrition is even more important after birth than it was during your pregnancy! To ensure the most nutritious breast milk, experts once recommended increasing your caloric intake by about 500 calories a day. But when you get those calories from empty foods, like chips or candy bars, your baby may not benefit. That's why it's now advised that you focus more on WHAT you eat and worry less about HOW much. Enjoy a diet similar to the one you ate while pregnant, full of complex carbohydrates, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean protein. If you're eating a balanced diet of this nature, you probably won't need to supplement with additional vitamins or minerals. Your doctor may recommend that you continue to take your pre-natal vitamin just to be safe, and that's fine. Of course, a healthy diet also means eliminating-or at least scaling back-on certain foods. For example, you should avoid mercury-rich fish, like mackerel, swordfish and shark, and keep tuna -both canned and otherwise-to a minimum. If an allergy to a certain food runs in your family, it's best to avoid eating it now. Meanwhile-whether it's hot spices, cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, or cow's milk-if you find a food that upsets your little one, avoid it! What you drink is important, too. Because breastfeeding causes you to lose fluid, rehydrate with at least eight glasses of water a day. If you like coffee in the morning, you can stick to your tradition as long as you don't consume more than about 300 milligrams of caffeine per day. There are about 100 mg of caffeine in the average cup of coffee, and about 75 mg of caffeine in 20 oz. soda bottles. If, however, your baby seems bothered or overly stimulated by caffeine, you should cut it out altogether. It's also wise to reduce or eliminate alcohol intake, as it can enter your milk and may irritate or tire your baby. In fact, studies have found that babies consume less milk when their mothers have even one drink a day. The alcohol may also interfere with your body's milk let-down reflex. On the other hand, the occasional celebratory cocktail doesn't seem to harm an infant over time. Just remember that alcohol will be most potent in your milk about one hour post-consumption. So if you have a drink, enjoy it immediately AFTER a feeding. In fact, this rule holds true for many foods that you really want, but that you worry might negatively affect your baby. And don't get too uptight about your breastfeeding diet-your little one will DEFINITELY let you know if you've made a bad food decision!More »
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When it comes to starting baby on solids, make sure your baby is ready. Learn how to spot the signs that your baby is ready for solids in this video.
Transcript: Somewhere between her fourth and sixth month, your baby will be ready to drop the liquid-only diet. ...
Somewhere between her fourth and sixth month, your baby will be ready to drop the liquid-only diet. Here, the basics of starting her on solids. Before you introduce solid foods to your little one, be sure she's ready for the challenge! Your baby should be able to hold her head upright and steady, and to sit well when supported. She should also have grown significantly, ideally doubling her birth weight. Finally, watch for your baby's solid-ready signals, like eyeing your own food with curiosity, or even reaching for it eagerly. If you've assessed the signs and think your infant is ready to give solids a go, start slowly! Many pediatricians recommend beginning with a rice cereal, which is less allergenic than other foods. To feed your baby, mix the cereal with a bit of breast milk or formula to make a semi-liquid. Offer the mix to your baby with a rubber tipped infant spoon, which is gentler on her gums than a metal one. Your infant may take some time to get used to the eating experience, and she may not actually CONSUME much in the beginning, but that's normal. Take your time, and wait to introduce more solids until your infant is comfortable eating a few tablespoons of cereal a day. At this point, begin adding new foods to her diet ONE AT A TIME, waiting at least three days after each new food. This step is vital, because you'll want to watch your baby for a rash, bloating, gas, diarrhea, or irritability-all signs of a possible allergic reaction. After several weeks of eating just rice cereal, your baby will likely welcome the next step-strained or mashed fruits or vegetables. Try applesauce, peaches, carrots, spinach, pears, bananas, sweet potatoes, or squash. In the coming months, you can also introduce finger foods, like well cooked pasta, lightly toasted bread, pieces of ripe banana and more. Eventually, you'll round out your baby's diet with protein, like tiny pieces of tofu or chicken. As you feed your little one, keep in mind that she may like things you don't, and offer her all kinds of foods. At the same time, respect her preferences, and don't try to force foods on her that she doesn't like. Give it time and she may come around. Remember also that most young infants only need solids once a day, while eight month olds will likely eat three times daily. Let your baby guide the process, and listen to her when she tells you she's full. She'll make it clear by pushing the spoon away, closing her mouth, or turning her head from the food you're offering. Above all, be sure to have a camera or camcorder ready to record the faces and fun of those early feedings!More »
Last Modified: 2014-08-25 | Tags »
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Transitioning your baby from formula or breastfeeding to baby food isn't easy. Your infant may resist the change. Here's how to introduce solids to your baby.
Transcript: Just as your baby may have had some difficulty learning to latch onto a nipple or use a bottle, she may...
Just as your baby may have had some difficulty learning to latch onto a nipple or use a bottle, she may encounter a few hiccups as you introduce solid foods. Usually, the transition from an all-liquid diet to a solid one occurs around your baby's fourth to sixth month. You'll want to do so with caution, however, avoiding certain problem foods for the first year. Among the foods to skip are peanut butter, which has a sticky consistency and can make swallowing tough...Cow's milk, which is hard for babies to digest and which can contain kidney-damaging minerals...Eggs, which are often a source of allergic reaction in young infants... And honey, which can cause botulism, a serious paralytic illness. To prevent choking, avoid small, hard foods, like nuts, popcorn and raisins-and very soft ones, like marshmallows and gumdrops. Of course, you'll also want to ensure that everything you feed your baby is pea sized or smaller, as even a grape can be too big for her little throat. Even with your careful planning, however, you may find that your baby gags as you begin the feeding process. If your baby is younger than six months, this may be gagging due to the tongue-thrust reflex, which causes your little one to stick her tongue out when the back of her throat is stimulated. This is a big part of the reason it's best to wait until your baby is AT LEAST four months old to start her on solids. If your infant is older, however, she could be gagging because you're giving her too much food at once, or because she doesn't like what you're feeding her. Make sure to offer very small bites on the tip of your baby's spoon, and stop if she consistently resists a food. Of course, you should also expect a BIT of gagging and tongue thrusting as your baby gets used to this new way of eating! Be patient during this sometimes-arduous process, and know that your baby will be a little food connoisseur in no time!More »
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When it's time to stop breastfeeding, transitioning your baby to formula or solid foods may not be as easy as you think. Watch this video to learn how to wean your baby successfully.
Transcript: Just like you chose to breastfeed your baby, you get to choose when to stop. But how will you know when...
Just like you chose to breastfeed your baby, you get to choose when to stop. But how will you know when that time has arrived? Weaning involves teaching your child to stop nursing. When your little one gets ALL nutrition from sources other than breast milk, this process is considered complete. The best time to wean your baby depends on many factors, including your child's continued desire to breastfeed and your own lifestyle choices. If you're looking for a more concrete deadline, however, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends feeding your baby ONLY breast milk for six months, then combining solid food with breast milk until your baby is AT LEAST one year old. When you do decide it's time to wean your infant, undergo the process gradually, as abruptly withholding the breast can be both emotionally and physically traumatic. One such method is to simply skip a nursing session, and then another, until your baby eats only from a bottle or cup. With this approach, you can substitute your breast with pumped milk or formula, or, for an older infant, solid food. You can also gradually shorten the time that your baby nurses. Cutting minutes slowly will help make the process easier for both of you. Another weaning method that can work is to postpone feedings and distract your infant with another activity, whether it's reading a story or playing outside. Or, if your child is old enough to understand you, you can simply explain that you'll feed him later, like at bedtime. But if all of your efforts to wean your baby are met with forceful resistance, it's possible that the time is not yet right. Children who are adapting to changes- like starting daycare-or those who have been sick may need more time to break the breast habit. Be patient, and know that weaning WILL happen in due time. Until then, enjoy the extra bonding with your baby!More »
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Weaning baby on your timetable marks the end of breastfeeding. Find out when may be a good time to wean in this video.
Transcript: If you're still nursing on your baby's first birthday, you've probably wondered whether or not it might...
If you're still nursing on your baby's first birthday, you've probably wondered whether or not it might be time to stop. But what if you're not ready? Extended nursing, which means breastfeeding beyond a baby's first year, is sometimes misunderstood, and at times looked down upon. But the World Health Organization recommends continued nursing until your baby is two! Meanwhile, in cultures where children are permitted to nurse until they stop naturally, they usually continue until three or four years of age. A. While your baby should be getting some nutrition from food sources after six months, B. there are proven benefits to offering breast milk in addition. Extended breastfeeding is directly linked to fewer infant illnesses due to the immunities, vitamins, and enzymes your milk contains. Additionally, studies have found that children who continue to nurse are MORE independent, not less, which is likely due to the reassurance that the breastfeeding bond provides. Equally as great are the benefits for you! Women who nurse more than 24 months in a lifetime have a 25-percent lowered risk of breast cancer.! And you'll also enjoy the continued benefits of breastfeeding hormones: Prolactin, which relaxes you, and oxytocin, which encourages bonding. Of course, extended nursing isn't for everyone, since the process can be quite demanding. Because many people think nursing an older child is odd, you may also have to deal with rude comments or raised eyebrows. Finally, some people believe that it is more difficult to wean a child after her first birthday, although there is no medical evidence to prove this. Despite these drawbacks, you may decide that the benefits of extended nursing make it worth the work. If so, stick to your convictions and try not to be bothered by others' opinions of your choice. Remember: no one knows better than YOU what is right for your child!More »
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Studies have indicated that infant allergies are linked to the diet of the mother. Find out which foods may cause an allergic reaction through this video on infant allergies.
Transcript: According to the FDA, 6% of children under three suffer from food allergies. Now that your infant is...
According to the FDA, 6% of children under three suffer from food allergies. Now that your infant is starting to eat solids, you may wonder if your baby will be among them. A food allergy occurs when your baby consumes a food that her body believes is an intruder, and responds by launching an immune system attack. During this initial "battle," she'll make an antibody called IgE, which is designed to detect the food if it's eaten again. Should that happen, IgE tells your child to fight the "invading" food with chemicals like histamine. The result is an allergic reaction, which may manifest topically as hives, swelling or eczema...or gastrointestinally, as bloating, diarrhea, or vomiting. If your baby consistently develops one or more of these symptoms within several hours of eating a food, call her pediatrician and request an allergy test. In very rare cases, an allergic reaction may be so severe that it results in a swollen face, lips and eventually, airways. This potentially deadly reaction happens right after exposure to a food, and calling 911 immediately is essential. While any food can set off any of these reactions, fully 90% of allergies are to one of eight food groups, which include...Wheat, soy, eggs, milk, peanuts, fish, tree nuts-like cashews and walnuts-and shellfish-like lobster and shrimp. For less severe allergies to these foods, the only treatment necessary is strict avoidance of the offending fare. In the rare instance that your child has a life-threatening allergy, your pediatrician may recommend that you carry an epinephrine auto-injector at all times. More commonly known as an epi-pen, this self-administered injection counteracts the effects of histamine, ending a reaction. Unfortunately, if you or your partner suffer from severe or minor allergies, your infant is 50% more likely to as well. And while conventional wisdom dictates that allergies may be avoided by delaying exposure to certain foods, the AAP has shown that there is no scientific support of this theory. So while there is no way to stop allergies from developing, you may be able to pinpoint them by introducing one food to your child at a time. In this way, you'll be more likely to notice an adverse reaction to a particular food. Additionally, some pediatricians believe it's possible to lessen or delay allergy development by breastfeeding your infant until he or she is at least 12 months. They hypothesize that this protection is due to the natural antibodies and immunities passed through breast milk. If, despite everything, your child does develop a food allergy, take heart. Studies show that some 80% of children outgrow them by age ten!More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-09 | Tags »
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