Saturday, September 4, 2010

Feeding your baby

Feed your baby right: Experts agree: breastmilk is best in the first year of life. Studies show that breastfed babies have fewer ear infections, lower respiratory infections, and urinary tract infections than children who receive formula. Breastfed babies are also less likely to become obese. “Breastmilk has all the basic nutrients your baby needs,” says Alan Fleischman, MD, medical director of the March of Dimes, a pediatrician and neonatologist. “The only supplement he’ll need is vitamin D.”

But some moms may be unable to breastfeed for health or other reasons. Formula is a perfectly suitable second-choice option, Fleischman says. Feed your baby whenever he’s hungry, which may be every two to four hours. Expect him to fall back to sleep after he eats. As long as your baby is gaining weight, has four wet diapers and one or two bowel movements every day, it’s okay to let your baby sleep a little longer. “These are very flexible recommendations,” Fleischman says. “Every baby is different.”

Babies are never allergic to breastmilk and they digest it easily. Rarely, a baby is so intolerant of cow's milk protein that he/she cannot handle even the mother drinking milk. These babies still do best on breastmilk but the mother may need to eliminate milk from her diet. If weaning occurs too soon, the baby may require expensive pre-digested formulas without milk or soy products.

Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months. Around that that time your pediatrician will have you introduce solids, beginning with rice cereal. By then the baby is developmentally ready to eat from a spoon. Breastmilk should continue as the primary source of nutrition through the first year of life and as long thereafter as desired.

Pediatrician Jenny Thomas "...learned about the importance of breastmilk for preemies and the way breastmilk guarded babies from infectious diseases. “I was enthralled,” Thomas recalls. “It was the first time I’d heard anything of the sort.” Thomas began devouring information about breastfeeding and she went on to nurse her two younger sons. Nursing, she admits, was not
always easy, and she struggled when she first started nursing her second son. “But I knew if I quit, I wasn’t going to be much of a role model,” she says." Best Blogger Tips

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