Monthly Archives: January 2016

Top Reasons Why You Should Breastfeed Your Baby

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The milk from mothers is the best food for babies, not because it tastes better, but because it contains vitamins, minerals, and other substances which will make your babies immune from diseases. Moreover, the system of formula-fed babies does not respond well to vaccinations.

The result of taking breast milk instead of being fed from the bottle can be seen in statistics, according to endorsers of breast milk. The charts show that babies who have higher rates of illnesses are found to be bottle fed.

Why Breastfeed Your Baby?

The list of common diseases of babies which can be decreased and/or prevented by being fed milk from their mothers includes meningitis, respiratory infections, the most common of which is the condition called respiratory syncytial virus, diarrhea, sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS, reflux, allergies, lymphoma, ear infection, diabetes, leukemia, arthritis, and other bacterial infections. Some of the diseases manifest themselves in adulthood.

It has also been put forth that breastfed babies have higher IQs than those fed from the bottle. This is because breast milk contains fatty acids vital for the baby’s brain development.

Breast milk also changes in composition as your baby grows older. This is supported by the fact that there are different types of formula milk for different ages.

Sucking from breasts as compared to sucking from the bottle also has an effect on the development of the baby’s jaw. Research has pegged the need for orthodontic correctional care and problems and speech to bottle feeding.

Are There Known Disadvantages of Not Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is nature’s way of helping a woman’s uterus regain its elasticity so that it will be back to its regular or pre-pregnancy shape in no time. Thus, women who opt not to breastfeed have a higher risk of early postpartum hemorrhage because it is breastfeeding which acts as stimulant for the hormone to start contracting. Furthermore, they also have a higher risk of breast cancer and cancer of the ovary.

On the practical side, the formula is definitely more expensive. You get breast milk for free!

How to Breastfeed while Working

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Returning to work after having a baby can be disconcerting. When you have decided to breastfeed, it can be even more traumatic. However, with some planning and foresight, returning to work doesn’t have to be the end of your breastfeeding relationship. If you work near your baby, you can go on site to feed him each day or you can have your baby brought to you during each feeding. If these options are not possible for you, just like with other working mothers, then you would have to pump at work that your baby may consume on the following day.

The first step involves determining just how much you will be pumping. If you estimate that you will be pumping a lot, i.e., working full time, five days a week, etc., you will have to select the best pump you can afford. For the part time mother or just wanting to pump to run errands, a smaller electric or manual pump should do just fine.

What you are trying to do with a pump is to fool your body to think that the baby is nursing. These pumps are designed to mimic an actual baby’s sucking to help you get a letdown and be able to acquire more milk. Letdowns are very important in pumping. It is normal to be able to get 1 to 2 ounces of milk at each pump session just as it is also normal to be able to get 11 to 12 ounces of milk at each session. Every woman is different and it all depends on the circumstances around your pump session. This includes your schedule, level of relaxation, having a letdown, day of the week and the time of day You can expect to pump more on a Monday than you can on a Friday and produce more milk in the morning than you do in the afternoon or evening.

When your output is low, there are some tricks to help increase your supply. Try pumping more often, such as every two hours at work instead of every three. You might also want to try nipple stimulation, breast compression or massage to achieve a second letdown within the current pump session. Lean over to let gravity help, squeezing the part of the breast outside of the horn. It is also important to keep a regular pumping schedule. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest. There are also other ways to increase your supply such as taking the herb fenugreek or eating oatmeal. Keep in mind when you use these methods to help build your supply it’s going to take a couple of days so don’t expect it to happen on your next pump session.

You should know that when your pumping career begins, things may get a little hectic and your schedule might get messed up. Just try to relax and get extra rest. Things will get easier and before you know it you will feel like the pump is just a part of your day.

Everything You Need to Know about Breastfeeding

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Although people say that breastfeeding is best to make the mother-and-child bond stronger, there are mothers who have never breastfed their babies and still enjoy that kind of closeness. The fact is, breastfeeding is not feasible to all mothers. There are those who need to work, women whose culture does not allow such practice, and even babies who reject their mom’s milk, preferring milk formula.

If you are still confused on what method to use, breastfeeding is best in the meantime. It is easier to change from it to the bottle than feeding him from the bottle then shifting to breastfeeding. Here are other things you need to know about breastfeeding

Breastfeeding and Smoking

The fact is that nicotine passes on to your milk. If you cannot quit smoking while breastfeeding, make sure you feed your child at least an hour after smoking to minimize the nicotine content of your milk. Never smoke while you are feeding. This will lead to your child’s respiratory diseases or even death.

Breastfeeding and Work

Mothers who go back to work while still breastfeeding have two options – you either leave your baby with expressed milk or milk pumped from your breast, or you can feed the baby with bottled formula while you are away working. For those who choose to give their baby expressed milk, make sure to keep your milk supply strong by immediately nursing your baby after you get back to work and during the evening, and then the following day just before leaving. More info on breasfeeding at work you can find here.

Breastfeeding and Small Breasts

These two concepts are independent of each other. Even small breast have a complete set of glandular tissue necessary for milk production.

Breastfeeding and Sex

There is nothing to prevent a couple to engage in sexual activities while the mother is still breastfeeding. Regular menstrual cycle is interrupted while breastfeeding but this may not always be the case. Most women already have menstruation a month or two after giving birth. Thus, pregnancy is not unlikely.

Breastfeeding and Breast Reduction

The concern in this type of procedure is that the surgeon may have cut off some tissues necessary for milk production. Women who had their breasts reduced may notice that their milk does not come in large supplies and that your baby’s diet may have to be supplemented by bottled formula. Nevertheless, do not stop breastfeeding altogether because your baby still gets the necessary nutrients from your milk.

Breastfeeding and Breast Augmentation

Generally, there is no adverse effect of implants to your milk production and supply.

Breastfeeding and Caesarian Birth

Going through this type of operation may be of some discomfort when feeding your baby. To decrease discomfort, use a pillow as cushion for your baby and administer milk by lying down on your side.

Breastfeeding and Alcohol

Wine is allowed in small quantities but make sure not to feed your baby until at least an hour has elapsed. Heavy drinking affects your baby’s nervous system and motor skill development.

Things to Avoid When Pregnant

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The pregnant woman’s habits are directly proportional to the degree of healthiness of her unborn child. Hence, it is vital for a pregnant woman to avoid all that would adversely affect her unborn child’s health. The following are some of the things women should avoid during the period of pregnancy.

Cigarettes

Smoking for pregnant women is said to be one factor that leads to multiple pregnancy problems including miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, and other complications for the baby. Nicotine in cigarettes causes constriction of blood vessels which essentially means that the baby is deprived of sufficient amount of oxygen and proper nourishment that it needs to be able to grow properly.

Alcohol

Consumption of alcohol while in the period of pregnancy is a potential cause of birth defects, miscarriage, and other problems. Considerable, consistent consumption of alcohol in pregnancy on the other hand, may lead to fetal alcohol syndrome which is a lifelong and permanent condition.

Medications

A lot of the over-the-counter drugs and other prescribed medications can actually harm the unborn baby, hence it is important that pregnant women should inquire first with their physicians before ingesting any drug. The physician could also be asked to give a list of the drugs that could be ingested without harm to the unborn child or the mother during the period of pregnancy.

Narcotics

For most obvious reasons, illegal drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, can similarly, deprive developing babies of essential oxygen and proper nourishment which can cause birth defects and even infantile addictions for the newborns.

Caffeine

As for coffee ingestion or any product with high caffeine content, it is important that you discuss first with your doctor how much caffeine would be healthy to be ingested during the pregnancy period. Remember that caffeine is not only found in coffee; they are also present in tea, sodas and colas, and other products.

Contact with Cat Feces

Unknown to most, a serious and dangerous disease can be acquired from simply cleaning cat litter boxes. The disease is called toxoplasmosis, which is usually spread by a microbe that causes problems affecting the lymph node and the nervous system of an individual. If contracted by pregnant women, this parasite can actually cause miscarriage, serious birth defects, and stillbirths.

Pregnant women should therefore make the necessary effort to avoid contact and ingestion of the above-mentioned products, medications or areas to ensure good health for both the unborn child and the newborn. With love, patience and discipline all these would prove to be things which could be effortlessly accomplished.

Identifying and Accepting Autism in the Family

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The first step to overcoming autism in the family is identifying and accepting the condition. Learn how to recognize if you have a special child in the family.

Five-year old Francis has been pounding his fist on the table for almost 20 minutes non-stop. In all of his five years, his parents have yet to hear him utter an audible word. There are occasions when he expresses his needs by whimpering as he points towards objects and persons.

Francis is but one in a special class of five autistic children now enrolled in a school for special children. It is his second year in school. While he hasn’t spoken a word and has shown a much delayed development in his communication skills, it took his parents three long years to finally accept and consequently address his condition.

This unnecessary delay in addressing autism in children is mostly caused by the parents’ denial of the child’s special condition and needs is a common reaction, to the jeopardy of the autistic child’s development. Accepting your child’s condition is the first crucial step otherwise, tell-tale signs of autism may easily be dismissed.

Autism is the condition characterized by an unusual fixation with fantasy or imagination and a lack of concern for and involvement with if not a total disregard of reality.

Early signs of autism in infants include an indifference to affection. Autistic infants may not show any response when being carried or embraced. While normal babies may smile, communicate and acknowledge an adult’s presence, an autistic infant usually does not relate to adults that attempt to communicate.

While there are usually no signs of any difficulty in learning to crawl, stand, and walk, autistic toddlers show little interest in learning to speak, as well as in eating. Training autistic children to use the potty may be quite difficult and will need extra attention, too.

Changes in the surroundings, including rearranging furniture in the room and the introduction of new faces and environment distract and upset children with autism. The introduction of changes should, therefore, be made as gradual as possible and in the presence of familiar comfort.

Many autistic children, while undemonstrative of emotions and normal reactions, have been known to possess extraordinary skills. Some children specialize in the arts, while others have shown a knack for math and the sciences. There are those who have proven to possess an excellent memory and an unusually high level of intelligence.

Autism is a special condition. Depending on the parents’ acceptance of the condition as well as their readiness to address it, a child may retreat further into the imagination ore learn to respond and cope in the real world. Persistent and patient attempts at communication as well constant and intense display of affections, hugging and expressions of love are a most necessary therapy.