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Infant Feeding

Feeding a newborn is a round-the-clock commitment. It’s also an opportunity to begin forming a bond with the newest member of your family. Breastfeeding is the normal and unequalled method of feeding infants.

Infant Feeding

A baby’s stomach is about the size of its fist – taking in a lot of milk at one time just isn’t possible. No wonder infant spends so much of their time eating!

Breast-feeding is glorified and often associated with feeling of love, sacrifice and strength. There is no doubt that breast-feeding is the best of all. Human milk is the easiest to digest. The fats in it are better emulsified and because of higher proportion of lactoalbumin (human milk protein) it is easier to digest than casein (protein in buffalo or cow’s milk). It is easily digestible by premature babies. Iron in human milk is better absorbed and utilized, preventing the occurrence of iron deficiency anemia in infancy. Mother’s milk contains adequate quantities of vitamin C, provided the mother takes sufficient quantities of vitamin C in her diet (lemon, orange). Breast-fed children do not need supplements of vitamins and iron drops.

Besides providing nutrition, it gives protection to the child against many diseases. Colostrum is the early milk produced by the milk glands even before the baby is born. It is also produced for few days after birth. It is yellow in color than the milk, which follows. It is very rich in its protective value and must be fed to the baby.

Children who are exclusively breast-fed up to the age of five or six months, with no top feed are likely to suffer less from the diseases like eczema and asthma. Breast-feeding also helps the mother’s uterus or womb to return to its normal size. Incidence of breast cancer is lower in the mothers who breast-feed their babies.

Feeding Your Baby

If you’re breast-feeding, the first rule is to relax. Find a quiet place away from distractions and visitors for your first feedings. And don’t watch the clock. The baby doesn’t . if the father feels a bit left out, there are things he can do, such as changing and bathing the baby and bringing the infant to your bed for night feedings. Some parents decide to put their baby on bottle feed both to involve dad and to let mom get some needed sleep or a chance to get out of the house. It is easy to use powder milk as you can mix up just one bottle at a time.

Dress Comfortably for Breast-Feeding

  • Use a front – buttoning nightgown or one with concealed slits. Bring one to the hospital also.

  • Wear a stretch bra that can simply be lifted up for nursing. Some women buy bras a cup larger than they wore during pregnancy, but this doesn’t work for everyone.

  • Use a man’s soft handkerchief in your bra cup to prevent leaks from coming through, use about four layers of an knitted undershirt, or stitch together two-to-three inch circles of terry cloth. And of course there are nursing pads and other commercially available products.

  • Wear printed top or shirt of your suit to make stains less visible if you leak.

  • Unbutton front-buttoning blouse from the bottom for modest nursing. Or wear a cotton T-shirt or pullover to lift up; the baby’s head will cover your bare midriff, and the T-shirt will cover your breast.

  • Keep a cardigan sweater or scarves or your dupatta handy to throw over your shoulder, baby and breast, and don’t overlook the quick possibilities of scarves or receiving blankets.

Comfort Setups For Nursing

Protect linens and blankets when you nurse in bed by covering them with a crib-size waterproof protector.

  • Wrap up in a big blanket, or snuggle into a cozy sack with the baby in the winter if you sit up to nurse at night. Or just have a sweater or robe available. Milk flows better if you are warm and cozy.

  • Select a cushioned rocker, armchair, or sofa for nursing when you’re up, one with low arms to rest your own arms on, and put a pillow under your nursing arm.

  • Put the baby on a pillow on your lap, you may find that doing so puts your baby at just right level for comfort.

Best Techniques For Nursing

  • Keep track of which breast you used last by transferring a safety pin from one side of your bra strap to other. Or buy a lightweight expanded bracelet and slip it from one wrist to the other. Or you can do the same with your ring, which is loose enough to transfer easily from one hand to other.

  • Put your finger in the corner of the baby’s mouth to break the suction and ease an infant off your breast when you want to stop nursing.

  • If the baby falls asleep while nursing, change his or her diaper to wake him or her when you’re ready to change breasts.

  • Wear bright necklace of colored wooden beads or ribbons for your child to look at while nursing.

  • Try expressing milk in a warm shower or bath if you’re engorged and the baby isn’t ready to nurse.

  • Stop an older baby who bites while nursing by pinching the baby’s earlobe just hard enough to be a distraction.

Bottle Feeding

You can serve up a cold bottle to your child it will not harm your baby in any way. But if you are serving warm milk to your baby test the temperature of the milk or expressed breast milk by squirting a drop or two onto your wrist; if it feels comfortably warm, it’s right for your baby.

Few Tips To Remember

  • Mothers should be cautious if warming milk in microwave. It heats unevenly and can scald the baby’s mouth. Shake it well after heating and wait for thirty seconds, then shake it well and test it again before giving it to baby.

  • You can also warm a bottle by standing it in a couple inches of warm water in coffee maker for few minutes; or by setting it in any handy bowl, pan, mug or wide-mouth thermos of hot water; or by running hot tap water over it. Shake well occasionally to warm contents evenly.

  • Liquefy frozen breast milk in a bottle by letting it stand at room temperature until thawed, by running it under lukewarm water and gently turn the bottle. Do not shake it. Don’t reheat it in a microwave, as this will reduce anti-infective properties.

  • Keep a snack ready for yourself by the baby’s nighttime bottle to survive nighttime feedings.

Make Feeding Easier

  • Make 2 am feeding easier on parents of formula-fed (powder milk) by filling a thermos jug with warm water and keeping it in the baby’s room. Mix formula instantly instead of standing around the stove for fifteen minutes.

  • Take a cold bottle (from the refrigerator) to your room or the baby’s when you go to bed. It will warm to room temperature by the time you need it.

  • Once a day, prepare all formula you’ll need for the next twenty- four hours, and store it in the refrigerator.

  • Always keep extra formula in the refrigerator to add to a too warm bottle.

  • If going out and carrying the bottles with you, you need to keep formula or breast milk cold for that use reusable plastic ice balls chilled in the freezer in the bottles (which you should do before hand).

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