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Feeding

 

 

 

Newborn Feeding:

*Newborns need to eat every 2-3 hours. If your baby is very small she may need to eat more often. Newborns should be eating at least every 3-4 hours to grow normally. If your baby sleeps for more than 5 hours, you should wake him up to feed him.

*Infants need to eat 6-8 times daily, drinking 32 oz. of breast milk or formula every 24 hours. After the first few weeks, your baby may eat 4-5 times every 24 hours.

*It is important that mothers with new babies get plenty of rest and good nutrition.

*Including dads and older siblings in feeding is a good way to begin to involve them in feeding for your baby.

*You will know your baby is getting enough to eat when his diaper is wet about every 2-3 hours, he sucks well during feeding and he gains weight.

*Babies should always be held for feeding

*Feeding is a social time

*When your baby eats, you will notice a pattern of sucking and pausing. When she pauses to rest, this is a good time to look into her eyes and talk to her.

*Holding your baby for feeding is one way to make your baby feel loved and secure.

*It is best to hold your baby upright and never prop his bottle. If your baby lies on his back or has his bottle propped, he could choke or get an ear infection.

*Babies take in gas when they suck. Your baby will get fewer tummy aches if you burp her when you change breasts or after every 1-2 oz. of formula for newborns, and every 3-4 oz. when your baby is eating 6 or more oz. at a time.

*If you are concerned about your baby not gaining enough weight, it might help her to gain weight if you massage her legs, feet, arms and hands for 5-15 minutes (according to baby’s age), 3 times a day.
For newborns: 5 min
After 1month:  5-10 min
After 2months:10-15 min.

*Research has shown that pre-term infants and infants exposed to drugs during pregnancy gain more weight when they are massaged.

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Breastfeeding Information and Tips:

*Color and consistency of breast milk changes during the first 2 weeks after birth to meet the special nutritional needs of newborns.

* For mothers and babies, learning to breastfeed takes time and patience.
The more you nurse, the more milk you will make.

*Avoid caffeine, smoking and alcohol. These things end up in your breast milk and are not good for your baby.

*Some babies do not suck well. You may need to help your baby to learn by repeatedly offering your nipple and being patient.

*At first, breastfeeding may be uncomfortable.

* When your baby latches onto your breast, insert the entire areola(the dark area around your nipple). To remove the breast, gently stick your finger in the corner of your baby’s mouth. This will make him open his mouth with to let go.

* Breastfeed for 10-15 minutes on each breast. Since your baby sucks harder for first 10 minutes, don’t start each feeding on the same breast.

* Good foods for breastfeeding mother to eat include fruits, green leafy vegetables, yellow vegetables like squash and sweet potatoes, fish, meat or beans, milk, juice and water.

*continue breastfeeding when you have common illnesses like colds, flu or diarrhea. Your body will naturally protect your baby from these illnesses.

* Keeping your breast and nipples clean is important.

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Breastfeeding Positions
By Dr. Benjamin Spock
Reviewed and revised by Marjorie Greenfield, M.D.

Breastfeeding will be most enjoyable for you if you take the time to make yourself comfortable. In whichever position you choose, the most important things to remember are that:
*Your baby’s body should be facing your with her mouth directly in front of your breast so she doesn’t have to turn her head to nurse
*You should support yourself comfortably enough that you wont become stiff or sore if you find yourself nursing in that position for some time.

Lying down or sitting up:
Most mothers prefer to nurse sitting up, even in the hospital. The two most common ways to nurse a baby while sitting up are the “cradle hold” and the “football hold” laying down positions are described below.

The Cradle Hold:
The cradle hold works best for most mothers. Hold that baby across your lap with his head in the crock of your elbow facing your breast and with his back supported by your forearm. You can hold his bottom or thigh with your hand. His face, chest, stomach, and knees should all be facing you. A pillow under him and another under your elbow will provide good support.

With your opposite hand, support your breast by placing your four fingers under it and your thumb on top, well behind the areola (the dark skin around the nipple). Gently tickle the baby’s lips with your nipple until he opens his mouth very wide. (Be patient, this sometimes takes some effort.)

When the baby’s mouth is wide open, pull him in close so his mouth is over the nipple and is gums are well behind the nipple, with most or all of the areola in his mouth. (This is called latching on.)

His nose will be close to but not buried in your breast. If his breathing seems at all obstructed make sure you are not pressing the back of his head into your breast. Pull his bottom closer to you, or press your breast gently out of the way. This will make the extra space he needs to nurse without his nose being blocked.

The football hold:
The football hold is one you can use if you had a cesarean section birth, to nurse a small baby, or just for a different position. Sit in a comfortable chair (most prefer a rocking chair) or in bed with lots of pillows keeping you upright. Rest your arm on a pillow and tuck the baby’s trunk and legs under your elbow along your side, with his head resting in your hand and his legs pointing straight up the back of the chair or the pillows behind you. Then help him to latch on to the breast as described for the cradle hold.

Lying down:
If you prefer to nurse lying on your side, or if you’re more comfortable that way because you’ve had a cesarean section, have someone help you position pillows behind your back and between your legs. The baby should lie on his side facing you.

You may need to experiment with pillows under the baby and under your head and shoulder to bring the nipple to the right height for the baby. If you’re on your left side: curl your left arm around the baby in the cradle hold and then get him latched on described above.

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Bottle Feeding Information and Tips:

*Formula is available in premixed, concentrate or powdered forms.

*Not all water is safe for your baby to drink. While it may look clear and safe, it may contain dangerous levels of lead, bacteria or parasites that could make your baby sick or impair his development. Check with your local health care department for guidelines on how to make your water safe for your baby.

*If your water has not been tested for lead, it is best for you to mix formula or prepare other foods for your children with bottled water or cold water. Run tap water for 1 minute prior to using it for drinking or cooking. (The only way to know if your water contains dangerous levels of leas is to have it tested. Check with your local health department regarding these services.

*Carefully follow the direction for mixing formula.

* It is important not to change the brand or type of formula without talking to your health care provider.

*Formula should be warm, not hot or cold.

*Never mix more than 1 bottle at one time.

*Only refrigerate a 1-day supply of formula at a time.

*It is best not to save bottles that your baby has partially eaten. They could spoil and make him sick.

* You should not warm your baby’s bottle in a microwave or on the stove. It could heat unevenly and burn your baby’s mouth and throat. If you have to use a microwave make sure you shake the bottle very well and that the formula is not to hot. Test it several times on your wrist before giving it her.  It is always best to warm your baby’s bottle in a container of hot tap water.  It should only be lukewarm.

* Do not prop your baby’s bottle on something for feeding. He could choke, and he also likes to be close to you when eating.

*Your baby will need formula for 1 year. Milk is not a substitute for formula.

*Wash bottles and nipples with hot soapy water. 

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How do I know when my baby is hungry? 

Here are some things you baby might do when he is hungry.
* Sucks
* Cries
* Turns his head toward your breast
* Moves her hands toward her mouth and sucks on them.

 

How do I know when my baby has had enough to eat?

Here are some things your baby might do when he is done eating.
* Turns her head away
* Stops sucking
* Spits up
* Falls asleep

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Make Food Safe:

 Preventing choking:

*Most doctors recommend introducing your baby first to baby rice cereal or oatmeal, mixed with breast milk or formula, followed by strained vegetables and fruits.

*Give babies 7-9 months only foods that they can soften my sucking on them such as crackers or teething biscuits. 

* Put only small amounts of finger foods in front of your baby, because she may try to put all of them in her mouth at once.

*Use a “sippy” cup to prevent your baby from taking a gulp that is too big and may result in choking.

*Do not give your baby:
Popcorn
Honey
Peanut butter
Ice cube or chips
Foods that need to be chewed, such as brads or grains of rice.
Fresh fruits, vegetables or meats that are not mashed, ground or strained

* When your baby is old enough to eat them, cut round foods into quarters or strips, such as:
Hot dogs
Grapes
Peas
Beans 

*Do not use bottles of breast milk or formula for more than 1 feeding

*Refrigerate jars of baby food after they are opened.

*Mix just a 1-day supply of formula at a time even if you will be refrigerating it. (or mix just one bottle at a time if you don not have a refrigerator)

*Wash nipples with hot, soapy water

*Do not feed your baby honey or peanut butter or other foods that commonly cause allergic reactions.

*Introduce only 1 new food per week in the order recommended by your baby’s doctor/health care provider

*If your baby has the following reaction when you introduce a new food, do not reintroduce the food until consulting with your health care provider. It is always best to seek medical attention if you suspect allergic reaction to prevent any serious illness.
Diarrhea
Vomiting
Rash/hives
Running nose and eyes
Wheezing/difficulty breathing

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last updated 07/14/09