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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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Breastfeeding bonds mother to child, but you've got to know the correct way to give your baby the fullest benefits of nursing. Take this quiz to learn more.
Last Modified: 2011-08-25 | Tags »
Celebrity moms -- they're just like us. Even A-list movie stars and supermodels deal with breast milk supply and cracked nipples. See what your favorite celebs have to say about nursing.
Last Modified: 2013-08-28 | Tags »
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New parents may ask when can Baby drink from a cup rather than just the bottle or breast. Find out when you can introduce sippy cups in this video.
Transcript: Youre baby is several months old, so you might be wondering, when can my baby use a cup? The first cup...
Youre baby is several months old, so you might be wondering, when can my baby use a cup? The first cup parents usually try are sippy cups. A sippy cup is basically a cup with a lid to prevent spills and some kind of spout for your baby to drink from. Doctors generally agree that babies can start using sippy cups AFTER six months of age. Here are some tips on getting your little one used to using a sippy cup. Start slowly, giving your baby time to get used to using a cup. Demonstrate to your little one JUST HOW the cup is used. Make lots of appreciative sounds so that your baby will really want to taste the cup's contents, too! Try enlisting the help of an older sibling or little friend to show your little one how to use the cup. Babies LOVE to mimic others, so this may be JUST the incentive your little one needs! Avoid giving your baby the cup when he's tired or grumpy. And if he's very thirsty, he'll find the cup frustrating and may become tearful. The BEST time to encourage your baby to use a cup is early in the morning, when your little one is wide-awake and cheerful! Your goal is to have your baby using a cup, and feeling comfortable doing so, by that other big milestone, his or her 1 year birthday! For several reasons, do NOT let your baby go to bed with a cup of juice or milk. First, it might make a mess. And secondly, the liquid may 'pool' around the teeth, which can cause dental decay. Also, putting a child to sleep with liquids can lead to Eustachian tube dysfunction and heighten the risk of ear infections. And be sure to clean your baby's cup very carefully. The valve needs particular attention, as it is a great place for harboring bacteria and molds. Dont worry; your baby will be a pro at sippy cup in NO time!More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-29 | Tags »
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Weaning may seem daunting, but it's absolutely doable. Do you know how to introduce a bottle? How about your baby's first bite of solid food? Take this quiz and get your answers.
Last Modified: 2011-04-04 | Tags »
Whether you're nursing, feeding your baby formula or baby food, you'll want to make sure she gets all the nutrients she needs. Here's everything you need to know about meeting your baby's nutritional needs.
Transcript: Knowing when, what, and how much to feed your baby is quite the parenting challenge! Until your infant...
Knowing when, what, and how much to feed your baby is quite the parenting challenge! Until your infant reaches AT LEAST four months of age, she won't eat anything but formula, breast milk, or a combination of the two. If you're breastfeeding, your baby will be getting almost all of the nutrients she needs from your milk. The big exception to this rule, however, is bone-building Vitamin D. Only miniscule amounts of this essential vitamin are passed to your infant via nursing. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends giving your breastfed baby 200 IUs of Vitamin D daily. Vitamin D is the only supplement a nursing baby should need, unless YOU avoid all animal products. Breastfeeding moms who follow a vegan diet can benefit their babies by taking a Vitamin B12 supplement. This vital nutrient prevents anemia and helps your infant's nervous system to develop. Good news for parents of formula-fed babies! As long as you're using an iron-fortified formula, like Emfamil or Similac, your infant will get ALL the nutrients and vitamins she needs from milk for her first four to six months. If, however, you're combining formula feeding with nursing, determine how much formula your baby drinks a day. If it's less than 17-ounces, your doctor will probably recommend giving your infant a daily Vitamin D supplement. Although some parents start their babies on solid food as early as 4 months, most wait until their infant is six months old. Iron-fortified rice cereal is a common introduction into the world of solids. In the next three to four months, offer a daily dose of three to nine tablespoons of this and other iron-fortified cereals. Additionally, serve up four to five tablespoons of both fruits and veggies a day. Stick to pureed or strained varieties, including sweet potato, squash, avocado, banana, pears, and peaches. And around your baby's eighth month, start offering small amounts of protein, like egg yolk, pureed meats, tofu, and mashed beans. Babies and toddlers should have 1/4 cup of non-dairy protein a day, from meat, egg yolk, tofu, and/or bean sources. Then, they should get an additional 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dairy, like cheese, yogurt, frozen yogurt, or cottage cheese. All the while, continue to give your baby 24 to 32 ounces of breast milk or formula , spaced out in three to five feedings daily. Eventually there will come a time when your baby will no longer take any breast milk or formula. For most babies, this happens around their first birthday. As your baby transitions to a solid diet, make sure she's getting all the vitamins and nutrients she needs each day by offering one serving EACH of fruit AND vegetables, four to six servings of grains, two to three servings of dairy and two servings of protein. But keep in mind that a toddler's serving are much different than your own! Here's a sample day in the life of a 12 to 18 month old. For breakfast, serve 1/3 a cup of iron-fortified cereal, three ounces of 100 percent fruit juice, and 1/3 cup cottage cheese. A good morning snack is 1/4 to 1/2 of a bagel, lightly toasted and cut into bite-sized pieces. For lunch, you may offer one egg, 1/4 cup of pasta, and 1/4 cup of cut fruit, like apples, bananas, or melon. For an afternoon snack, serve one ounce of cheese or two whole-grain crackers. A great dinner would include 1/2 a cup of milk; two one-inch cubes of meat or tofu, and 1/2 a cup of vegetables, like well-cooked carrots, peas, or squash. You don't have to consistently prepare special meals for your child, though. Many parents feed their toddlers the same food they eat, but perhaps with fewer spices, as a child's palettes are more sensitive than ours. This is perfectly fine as long as you keep pieces bite sized and your baby's daily nutritional needs in mind. Remember: If you have questions or concerns about your baby's diet now or in the future, make an appointment to speak to her pediatrician!More »
Last Modified: 2014-02-03 | Tags »
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Formula feeding became the rage among new mothers after the rubber nipple was invented in 1845. But do you know what it takes to keep a baby full and happy when it comes to formula?
Last Modified: 2013-12-06 | Tags »
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Even after you've given birth, you still have to watch what you eat if you're breastfeeding. Check out our video to know how diet impacts breast milk.
Transcript: Like most nursing moms, you probably worry that something you eat or drink will pass into your breast...
Like most nursing moms, you probably worry that something you eat or drink will pass into your breast milk and affect your baby. Here's what you need to know about how things you consume affect your breast milk. While it's true that what goes into your body usually does make its way into your milk supply, the amount is generally a tiny fraction of what you ingest. Gas and fussiness in your baby are the most common signs that something you ate has made its way into your breast milk. Common cultprits include: cabbage, onion, garlic, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, eggs, wheat, corn, fish, peanuts, nuts, and soy. Chocolate and citrus fruits, as well as cows' milk products like milk, cheese, yogurt, and even butter can also be common culprits. Keep in mind that diarrhea and a skin rash could signal an allergy. If you notice these symptoms in your baby, try eliminating the food or foods you suspect might be the culprit to see if doing so helps. Talk to your doctor, however, before making any MAJOR changes to your diet. What about a glass of wine with dinner? Although alcohol passes through your milk, the amount your baby gets is MUCH less than the amount you drink. Studies have shown that alcohol levels in breast milk peak about 30 to 90 minutes after one drink. So while it's probably fine to have one or two glasses of beer or wine a week, wait until the last feeding of the day (just after you nurse rather than just before) to allow a couple of hours per drink for the alcohol to metabolize And that morning cup of java? Your baby may be more irritable and feed more frequently if you ingest A LOT of caffeine. One or two cups of coffee a day won't harm your baby, but try to limit caffeine intake while you're breastfeeding, because babies can't efficiently rid their bodies of caffeine, so it can build up in their systems. Too much caffeine can also cause sleep problems and nervousness. Try drinking decaffeinated coffee and tea, and avoid colas and other carbonated drinks that have added caffeine. And remember, caffeine can be found in chocolate, soft drinks, and some herbal teas and medications, in addition to coffee and tea. And no cigarettes Mom! Nicotine ingested by smoking tobacco can get into breast milk. Heavy smoking (more than a pack a day) has been known to decrease milk production and to cause vomiting, diarrhea, rapid heart rate, and restlessness in babies. Stop smoking, for your sake and your baby's. But if you just can't quit while you're nursing, try cutting back on the number of cigarettes you smoke each day, and don't smoke just before breastfeeding or around your baby, especially indoors. Eat good food, be stringent with drinking alcohol and coffee, don't smoke cigarettes, and take good care of yourself, Mom, and you'll help keep baby happy too!More »
Last Modified: 2013-04-09 | Tags »
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There are many reasons why a mother think about supplementing breast milk with formula. Watch this video to learn about supplementing.
Transcript: Planning to feed your baby from the breast and the bottle? We've got tips to make supplementing simple!...
Planning to feed your baby from the breast and the bottle? We've got tips to make supplementing simple! Nursing mothers have various reasons to supplement some of their breast milk feedings with formula. Many women decide to do this when it's time to go back to work. This can be an especially good option for moms who have trouble pumping. Other women just like handing off occasional feedings to a partner or caregiver. And some moms supplement when their babies just aren't getting enough milk from the breast. If you think YOUR baby is in this boat, watch for signs that she's constantly hungry, which include... fewer than six wet diapers a day, significant weight loss, and constant fussiness or lethargy. Weight loss can be tricky to assess since fluctuations will occur depending on when your child has last been fed, and when the last diaper change occurred. A full diaper can account for more weight than you might think. So the best way to do this is to weigh your baby on the same scale, at the same time, in relation to feeding, at each weigh in. Irritability and wakefulness can also be possible indicators of hunger, so watch out for them. Symptoms like this mean it's time to speak to your child's pediatrician about whether or not supplementing makes sense for you. Whatever your reason, as a supplementing mother, you should understand that your milk works on a supply and demand basis. In other words, the less you nurse, the less milk you will produce. This isn't usually a problem for a woman who has a strong, established milk supply...but a brand new mother may find that supplementing too soon causes her breast milk to stop COMPLETELY. For this reason, some experts suggest waiting a month before adding formula to your breastfeeding routine. And ALL moms who want to continue nursing should do so several times a day to keep milk production going. When it's time to give the first bottle of formula to your infant, let someone else do the honors. Your baby can smell you, and will have no desire for bottle nourishment when the breast she's used to is present! It's also smart to offer the first bottle when your infant is definitely hungry, and isn't looking to nurse for comfort. On the flipside, don't wait until your baby is so starving that she's crying! Some parents mix pumped breast milk with formula for those early bottle feedings. This is fine, and can make the transition easier... but experts caution that if your baby doesn't finish the bottle, you'll waste your hard earned, pumped milk! ! It's not called liquid gold for nothing! If your infant has trouble adjusting to the bottle at first, keep trying. All babies get the hang of bottle-feeding eventually, and you'll soon have supplement success!More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-29 | Tags »
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Baby allergies appear in different forms. Watch this video for more information on identifying the symptoms and causes of baby allergies.
Transcript: Up to 8% of infants suffer from allergies to everything from dairy to dust. But how do you tell what's...
Up to 8% of infants suffer from allergies to everything from dairy to dust. But how do you tell what's bothering YOUR baby? Often, it takes some super sleuthing to pinpoint the EXACT cause of an infant's allergy. Is your child suffering from an itchy skin condition like hives or eczema? Hives are a welt-like rash that form in clusters and may resemble mosquito bites. Eczema, meanwhile, is a red, scaly or flaky rash that you may notice on your baby's torso and face, and in skin folds, like behind the knees and inner elbows. While these conditions can simply represent sensitive skin, hives and eczema are often signs of an allergy. Common culprits include pets, personal hygiene products, and cleaning agents. What if your infant's allergies manifest much like a cold, with itchy, watery eyes, and a stuffy or runny nose? It may be that your child is suffering from airborne allergens, like pollen or dust mites. If symptoms heighten when the seasons change, or if they appear worse in certain areas of your home, an airborne allergy is likely. If, however, you find that your child's cold-like symptoms kick in during damp, cold weather, the culprit may be mold. While not inexpensive, there are plenty of professionals out there who can check your household for mold, and you should consider this, especially if you have a basement. What if it's not your child's body, but his stomach that is frequently the problem? Abdominal pain, visible bloating, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting often signal an allergic reaction to a food like milk, or soy... PARTICULARLY if problems occur within two hours of consumption. And while all of these mentioned symptoms are bothersome, only some of them are particularly harmful. An extremely rare, but potentially life-threatening, allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Nuts and shellfish are common culprits here, Anaphylaxis occurs almost immediately after exposure to an allergen and manifests as...swelling of the face, lips, and tongue, which is a condition called angioedema. But also, there may be difficulty breathing and wheezing, rapidly growing hives, or uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea. If you think your child is suffering from anaphylaxis, now is not the time to figure out what caused it! This can rapidly evolve into shock! So, call 911 IMMEDIATELY. AND, If you have an epi-pen, USE IT! Later, once your child is stable, you can consider potential culprits. And remember: Whether mild or monstrous, it's ALWAYS a good idea to see your child's pediatrician if you suspect your baby has an allergy. The doctor will be able to determine or confirm the diagnosis, and will also suggest effective treatment options for the future.More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-26 | Tags »
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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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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 »
Last Modified: 2013-03-26 | Tags »
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