Breastfeeding your Baby : Latest Tips for New Parents

Share

Breastfeeding your Baby

breastfeeding

One of the smartest and best things you can do to ensure that breastfeeding gets off to a great start is to arrange a meeting with a Lactation Consultant before or at the latest a day or two after birth.

Lactation Consultants specialize in helping mothers get breastfeeding right and assist in solving any problems should they occur. You can obtain the name of a qualified Lactation Consultant from your La Leche League or pediatricians office.

It also a good idea to have someone else take over all other household duties for the first several weeks after birth – especially when your breastfeeding. Have your husband, relatives and friends take turns accommodating the “servant for a day” role.

Enlisting the help of others is crucial to the mother so that she can rest and concentrate on the baby. If possible, hire a Doula. Postpartum-care services are becoming very popular. A Doula specializes in taking care of the needs of the mother. Click here to see if a Doula is available in your area >> DONA (Doulas of North America).

The importance of Breastfeeding your baby as soon as possible

Babies have a period of unique awareness within their first hour of birth, and exhibit an initial sucking reflex that is not as strong until about 35-45 hours later. Nursing immediately after birth helps the uterus contract by stimulating the release of the important hormone oxytocin.

Remember, this is the first time you are introducing your baby to the breast. Be patient. Don’t attempt to force anything or put into practice everything you’ve studied up on. Every baby is different. Some will immediately latch on while others will initially nuzzle and lick the breast. Sucking will usually occur often with bursts and pauses. This is a typical pattern during the first few days.

Studies have shown that most babies can be put to the breast within minutes of birth. Given the chance, they will often crawl up to the breast from the mother’s abdomen and begin breastfeeding themselves. Because this process can take up to an hour or longer, this is the ideal time where mother and baby should be given ample time to begin learning about one another. Additional observation has revealed that skin to skin contact between mothers and their baby keeps the baby warm like an incubator.

In summary, because leading research has shown that babies who “self-attach” run into far fewer breastfeeding problems, the goal should be to guide your baby so that s/he takes the initiative on their own to “self-attach” – thus attaining the optimum result for both mother and baby.

Latching on & Breastfeeding

The primary objective is to get the baby to latch on properly. A baby who latches on properly will derive the best possible flow of milk. A baby who latches on poorly will have difficulty getting the mothers milk, which can be especially frustrating and inadequate if the milk supply happens to be low. An insufficient latch is likened to giving a baby a bottle with a nipple hole that is to small. Even though the bottle may be full, the baby won’t get much. Another side-affect resulting from improper latching is that the baby will begin causing the mother nipple irritation. Additionally, if s/he isn’t receiving milk properly that usually results in the baby remaining on the breast for longer periods thus causing further sustained aggravation to the mothers nipple.

Establishing a proper latch is critical to success. This is truly the key to successful breastfeeding. Unfortunately, many mothers are to often “counseled” by others who do not really understand what a proper latch is. If you are being told that your several day old latch is good despite experiencing very sore nipples, be skeptical and immediately seek the proper advice from a professional.

Prior to leaving the hospital, a proper demonstration should be made known to you so that you know that your baby is latched on correctly and that s/he is actually getting an adequate supply of milk from the breast. It also very important for you to know how to know that s/he is receiving that milk.

If you and the baby are leaving the hospital not knowing or fully understanding any of this, you need to get help quickly.

Bonding with your Baby : Latest Tips for New Parents

Share

Are you Bonding with your Baby?

bonding

Don’t forget that you have just gone through the most intense emotional and physical transition in your life. For some people it takes more time than others to develop the feelings of attachment that is imminent. Doctors and researchers are still learning about the short and long term effects of bonding.

Your baby’s first understanding of intimate connections stem from the early relationship between parent and child, and help to promote a positive sense of self-esteem. How a parent responds to an infant’s signals can impact their social and cognitive development later on.

Bonding with your baby can sometimes be a slow or gradual process.

Typically, an infant is ready to bond instantly, but his parents may not always be ready for it. Sometimes it takes a bit longer for a parent, especially if the baby was adopted or had been in intensive care.

Bonding with your baby is not something that happens by default within minutes or even days. It is a process. For many parents, it just happens without you realizing it. It naturally comes from your everyday caregiving, and the first time your baby smiles, you are suddenly filled with happiness and love.

Raging Hormones

It can be a paradox. Nursing your baby – on one hand – can be an excellent way to promote bonding with your baby, but it can also release the flood of raging hormones for the mom, which can also lead to postpartum depression. In this case, bonding with your baby could be delayed.

Difficult Delivery

Often, when mom is still in pain from a difficult delivery, she may unconsciously delay the natural bonding process.

NICU

If your baby spends some time in intensive care, don’t be put off by the equipment. It is still essential that you do your best to bond with your baby. The nurses there can help encourage you to handle and hold your baby through the openings in the isolettes, as well as watching and talking to your baby. Eventually, she will learn to recognize you and can respond to both your touch and the sound of your voice.

Here are some other steps you can follow to help kick start your natural instincts:

Baby Wearing. Wearing your infant in a carrier when you go out is a great way to help with bonding, and it also helps to relax him if he gets fussy.

Breastfeeding. There’s not many other activities that can compete with breastfeeding to establish to provide a feeling of closeness. Nurse as much as possible. Keeping your baby close while giving him nourishment is a powerful way to establish bonding and intimacy.

Touch. Perhaps your baby’s first language is touch. They respond to skin contact, and it naturally helps bring both of you together and is soothing and relaxing. This is a good alternative to breastfeeding if you are unable, or if it dad who is feeding.

Eye Contact. Babies can follow moving objects, and they also try and imitate your facial expressions. Eye contact is one of the best methods to express intimacy and babies can feel that.

Talk to your Baby. Babies are attracted to the human voice, and they try to vocalize themselves in an early attempt at communication. If you talk to your baby, he will try to listen and if you describe what you are doing, even though his response may not show it, he is processing what you say.

Bonding with Daddy

Men will often take longer to bond with the baby, mostly because they didn’t have the early advantage of breastfeeding and the natural intimacy between a mother and infant. Often this can be frustrating for fathers when they yearn for closer contact with their baby, but they should realize that their role is not the same as mom’s. They will share different activities that are just as important, and when both mom and dad can support each other positively, then they both benefit, and the baby also learns to understand the importance of the different roles.

Bonding activities that both mom and dad can share:

• feeding from either breast or bottle
• diaper change
• taking a bath with your baby
• imitating the baby’s first attempts at communication; vocalizations, cooing, etc.
• reading to your baby
• singing to your baby
• letting your baby feel the contours of your face

Bottom line is don’t worry if the attachment doesn’t take place as quickly as you’d like. It will all happen in due time, and if you take the steps listed above, it will help to facilitate quicker a natural sense of bonding with your baby.

Colic Babies : Latest Tips for New Parents

Share

How do I know if my baby has Colic?

colic

If your baby cries uncontrollably for hours…. chances are your baby has colic. The colic stage can begin as early as 3 weeks and extend to 3 months, even up to 5 months. Although upsetting, babies can be diagnosed with colic even if they are otherwise normal and healthy. Colic is not a disease and although it tends to peak between 6-8 weeks of age, colic won't cause any long term effects.

 

How do you tell if your baby’s crying is related to colic?

If your baby is experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, fever, mucus or blood in the stool, take him to see your doctor. These are not symptoms of colic.

Watch for the “3 pattern.” If your baby is crying uncontrollably for more than 3 hours a day, 3 or more days per week, and lasting for more than 3 weeks, this is the telltale sign that doctors use to diagnose that your baby is colicky.

It’s common for babies to cry when they are wet or hungry or frightened or tired or just plain cranky. But if your baby’s crying is inconsolable, seemingly unstoppable and excessive, and if it tends to happen at the same time of the day (mostly in the late afternoon or evening), then chances are good that your baby is colicky.
Other signs of a colicky baby is if his belly is bloated or enlarged. You may also notice that he is clenching his fists or alternating leg movements, pulling them up and extending them, and passing gas.

Why does your baby have colic, and what causes it?

The most common answer is that your baby has excessive gas in the belly. Doctors are not entirely sure what causes this, but it may be due to a baby’s undeveloped nervous system and sensitivities. As they get older, they learn to cope more with discomfort, but at this early age they may be highly sensitive to every discomfort, even if miniscule. Colic is not related to digestion problems, illnesses or other health conditions, and it is not at all your fault nor your baby’s fault. There is, however, some theories that point to the mother’s diet, if she is breastfeeding.

Can colic in breastfed babies be caused by the mothers diet?

There is lots of controversy about which foods mom includes in her diet that may influence – through her breast feeding – the baby’s colic condition. The #1 suspect is dairy. The first thing to try is to remove or minimize dairy from your diet (anything that comes from cow’s milk; butter, cheese, yogurt and milk) for a few weeks and see if it helps. You have to do this for at least a few weeks because cow’s milk proteins can remain in the body for 2 weeks. Beyond dairy products, there are other known suspects such as, alcohol, caffeine, garlic, strawberries, nuts, and cruciferous vegetables (i.e., broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage.) For the non-dairy suspects, you can usually tell in just a few days of eliminating them if they are a suspect in contributing to your baby’s colic.

If your baby increases his crying and fussiness again after you resume eating these foods, then you’ve most likely identified the problem. Once he outgrows his sensitivity (between 3 and 5 months of age) you can resume your normal diet as you please.

What can you do if your baby has colic? How can you ease the suffering?

Typically, if your baby has colic he will cry in the late afternoons and early evenings. If you’re able to pinpoint this pattern and predict his crying episodes, then there are a few steps you can take ahead of time to help. Keep visitors and all chaotic activity to a minimum during this time. Keep the room as quiet as possible and lower the lights. Remember even whispering can sound chaotic to a baby. Almost nothing will alleviate pain and discomfort, but perhaps the best known method of relaxing a baby who is upset and overtired, or to provide a soothing distraction away from his discomfort, is to play the Miracle BabySleep System CD soundtrack. It features the WombEffect technology which instantly reminds the baby of the peaceful, comforting and safe environment of the womb. If you can move the speakers close to the baby, it can also help mask other outside noises that may be occurring, such as outside traffic, television, phones ringing, talking, etc. The Miracle BabySleep System can be especially helpful if you know your baby has colic.

Lullabies, Music and Babies : Latest Tips for New Parents

Share

Lullabies, Music and Babies

lullabies

There's no debate that music can be an important part of a baby's development. Music has played a significant role in societies dating back as far as we know and there are countless chronicles that show that music has been enjoyed by infants, babies, toddlers and kids.

 

Music as a language

What makes music so unique, is that it supplies the baby with entertainment, even before learning a verbal language. Music can be enjoyed (and sometimes processed) years before the baby learns to articulate words.  What many people don't realize, is that music – in itself – is a language.  It can be simple, and it can be complex. Exposing a baby to this "language" is a wonderful way to start building her intelligence – just by listening.

Music and lullabies for babies

There are many different choices for parents, and most of the marketplace is loaded with lullabies. Some have singing and vocalizations, and some are purely instrumental and even orchestral. Lullabies are often chosen because they appear simple and often they are composed especially for babies.  Lullabies are also mostly in a major key, with simple triadic chords (3 note chords.) This sound is generally associated with joy and brightness, although in truth, the baby doesn't really know the difference because she has no cultural background association with the different types of keys. Over time, in Western societies we begin to associate a major key with a bright, positive emotion, and a minor key with a darker feeling; sad, tense or even scary. Almost all lullabies are in a major key and are generally believed to be simple and childlike in nature.

Do lullabies help babies sleep?

Music in general can help to distract a baby from an otherwise uncomfortable moment. If the distraction is held long enough, babies can fall asleep to it. However, lullabies generally put the brain in an active state. New theories suggest that the most sedating sounds to a baby are the sounds she remembers in the womb. The new outside world is an exciting place, but when it's time for sleep, she needs to know she is safe and protected so that she can relax and fall peacefully asleep. Being reminded of the womb can be an instant calmer. To date, the most accurate emulation of the sonic environment of the womb, is the Miracle BabySleep System CDs. Click here for more info >>

Do lullabies help make babies smarter?

All music – no matter where in the world it springs from – is organized sound.  For that reason, there is some degree of math and structure that the baby is exposed to, and that's a good thing. Any music is better than no music. If you look deeper, you'll find that some music has better mathematical symmetry than others. Mozart's music has routinely been chosen to study neurological effects because his music was so symmetrical. However, new theories suggest that even Mozart's music – while symmetrical – is actually more complex than an infant can possibly process.   New clinical observations are beginning to shed light on a new musical technology that dramatically simplifies music down to a core presentation, with the theory that even a newborn infant can identify and process it. In theory, this would help to connect important neural pathways earlier than normal, and at the very least, help to inspire more connections overall. The technique is called Pitch/Rhythm mapping, and thus far has shown to actually rejuvenate otherwise dying brain cells in infants born in critical condition.  New studies are forthcoming, but the initial indications are promising. This musical technology is the core of the Miracle MusicMath System CDs, and you can find more information here >> about lullabies, music and babies.

Separation Anxiety: Latest Tips for New Parents

Share

Separation Anxiety

separation anxiety

Nearly all babies experience some degree of separation anxiety. It is a natural occurrence in all creatures, not just humans. A baby who is naturally defenseless would need to know that s/he is safe, cared for and protected at all times. When mom walks away, the baby can naturally get upset and worried. This stage is frustrating to both the baby and the parents or caregiver. The good news is that it will pass and there are solutions for separation anxiety to help make it more manageable.

When does separation anxiety occur?

Separation anxiety can begin as early as 6 or 7 months, but generally speaking the crisis age tends to be between 1-2 years old. Separation anxiety can occur at night, when mom or dad leaves the baby in the crib for hours, but it commonly occurs during the day when they leave to go to work, or run an errand.

How does separation anxiety differ amongst cultures?

Generally speaking, Western societies tend to push for autonomy at an early age. In other countries, babies are seldom separated from their mothers for the first year and in some countries it's commonplace to breastfeed up to 2 years. Certain elements of attachment can be frowned upon or even not allowed in public in many Western countries, whereas it would be absolutely normal in China.

What are some solutions for separation anxiety?

1. If your baby is feeling anxious or frightened, you should minimize the amount of time your baby is separated from you, and it's important that your baby always knows that s/he is protected and cared for. Remember the stage of separation anxiety will pass.

2. If you absolutely must leave your baby alone, perhaps while you go to work, etc., then try to leave your baby with someone familiar, such as father, grandparent or close relative. Even if your baby cries when you leave, it will be better than leaving him/her with someone that s/he doesn't know.

3. If you have no choice but to leave your baby with someone they are unfamiliar with, then it's best to try and spend time with this person and your baby. This can allow your baby to become more familiar with the caregiver while you are still present.

4. There has been considerable enthusiasm and measurable results using the Miracle BabySleep System audio track, which accurately simulates the sound of the womb to calm your baby and help him fall asleep without stress. Using this technique has been shown to help with separation anxiety because your baby recognizes the sound of the womb and thus remembers how safe and protected he is.

How can I prepare my baby when I leave?

Transition. Ask the caretaker to arrive early, at least 1/2 hour before you leave. This can help allow your baby to get used to the caretaker and engage with him/her while you are still present. This same approach can be used at a daycare center or anyplace where you will be leaving your baby. Always say goodbye. A short moment of kissing and hugging is good. Tell him where you are going and when you will return. Don't sneak away, however, because your baby may get more upset if you suddenly have disappeared.

No drama. Remember your baby can feel your emotions, so when you leave make sure that you're not over-dramatic about it. If your baby starts to cry, counter it by keeping it light and make sure to display enthusiasm for the nanny or caregiver, who will probably tell you later that your baby stopped crying just after you left!

Once you leave, keep going. Don't make repeated trips back into the house, it only serves to sustain the aggravation for everyone involved.

Ease into it. Separation anxiety can be managed in gradual increments. It may be best to start with 30 minutes the first time, then building each time until you can feel comfortable staying away for hours at a time.

Separation Anxiety at Night.

You're much better off if you can get your baby to calm and fall asleep BEFORE laying her down in her crib and leaving the room. Establishing a routine about an hour before bedtime where you are there, calm and nurturing is ideal. If your babies wakes and cries after you've put her to bed, it's ok to go back to her, to make sure she is ok and also to reassure her that you're nearby. Here's an interesting tip: Make sure your visits are uneventful and actually boring. You'll find that she'll begin to fall asleep quicker due to lack of activity.

The Miracle BabySleep System CD or MP3 can again be helpful here. In the package is an additional CD that is meant to be played in a different room (i.e., the living room, etc) during the cuddle time – 1 hour before bedtime. Chances are good your baby will fall asleep during the first CD while you are with her, and then carrying her into the baby's room, (where the main CD is playing), there's a good chance your baby will remain asleep during the transition, thereby greatly minimizing the possibility of your baby's separation anxiety.

SEO Powered By SEOPressor