What Can I Give A Month Old Baby For Constipation 3 Breastfeeding Rules That Are Meant To Be Broken

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3 Breastfeeding Rules That Are Meant To Be Broken

Breastfeeding advice abounds in parenting magazines, books, websites, and even free brochures from formula manufacturers. Some of the information is contradictory and some of it is simply false. For example, here are 3 bad tips and why they will definitely lead to problems.

1) Only nurse for XXX minutes on each side

Fill in the blank here. It can be 5 minutes, 10 minutes or 15 minutes, but nursing mothers are often told to look at the clock instead of their baby. Well-meaning people (like the labor and delivery nurse who told me this after my oldest was born) say this because they think that pain is related to how long or how often babies nurse. It doesn’t. Pain is related to HOW babies nurse.

So why this bad advice?

Because babies can’t tell time. A newborn can take 15 minutes to nurse on one breast, especially if he (and you) are still learning the ropes. Don’t set a time limit for nursing your newborn. There is no such thing as non-nutritive suction. A baby will always be rewarded with ounces or drops of milk while at the breast.

In addition, the milk that a baby receives at the end of the feed, after the second failure, is higher in fat and calories. Limiting time at the breast can, for some babies, lead to slow weight gain, fussiness, excess gas and other problems.

2) Breastfed babies poop every day

While many young breastfed babies do have a dirty diaper every day, many do not. This has caused a lot of anxiety on the part of poor Mom who thinks her baby is starving if he doesn’t fill a diaper every day. Remember that breast milk is completely digested and there is no or little “waste”. Sometimes, especially during a period of rapid growth, your baby will skip days between bowel movements. My second child went 8 days without a bowel movement once when he was a newborn, and I was worried. When he finally got going, he made up in quantity what he lacked in frequency. If memory serves, it took several loads of laundry to clean up the resulting mess!

If your baby is producing lots of wet diapers, has no signs of dehydration, and is gaining weight on schedule, he is probably doing well. The consistency of your movements rather than the frequency is a more accurate sign of constipation. Remember that exclusively breastfed babies do not get constipated. If a baby who is eating certain solids is struggling to pass hard stools, call your doctor or lactation consultant. And don’t limit his time at the chest.

3) Don’t let him use you for a pacifier

This is another well-intentioned piece of advice in which the counselor tries to ease the burden of the

nursing mother, but it betrays a lack of understanding of the nursing relationship.

Breastfed babies don’t just nurse when they’re hungry. They also nurse when they are thirsty, tired, overstimulated, scared, injured, down with illness, lonely or bored. And that’s okay. Frequent nursing keeps mother’s milk supply at a high level to meet baby’s needs. A baby who suddenly wants to nurse “constantly” may be going through a growth spurt and is signaling Mom to “send more milk!” in the most efficient way possible. Or maybe he’s teething or otherwise not feeling well.

Think about how you might feel if someone told you not to comfort your preschooler when they fell and skinned their knee. A baby who uses the breast as a “pacifier” is no different from that older child, or a friend who calls you for a shoulder to cry on. It’s called a relationship.

Nursing is also pleasurable for babies. Sucking is comforting and regulates the nervous system, and for the young baby, the best type of sucking is the one that takes place at the breast. Babies who are offered pacifiers tend to wean earlier than babies who don’t take them.

Frequent nursing also has benefits for Mom. Levels of certain hormones are kept constant in her bloodstream, helping her feel calmer, more resistant to stress, and happier. Frequent nursing also tends to keep fertility at bay, which can be a desirable side effect and also protects her health in the long run.

The bottom line? Listen to the baby and your own common sense, and listen less to the books and advisors.

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