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Breast Milk Could Boost Premature Infants’ Metabolism

Different amounts of microRNA are found in the breast milk of mothers with premature babies compared to mothers with babies born at term, according to new research from Pennsylvania State University. The altered altered microRNAs may help premature babies catch up in growth and development. MicroRNAs are snippets of RNA that affect gene expression and […]

Colostrum and Breastfeeding

In the first hours to days of breastfeeding, a mother’s body doesn’t actually produce breast milk. It could take as long as seven days after the birth of your baby for your breast milk to actually come in. Until that time, what your baby will be getting is colostrum, a special type of breast milk.

Colostrum is the best thing you can possibly offer your newborn baby. It is adapted to meet his or her needs at the time. It is low in fat. It is high in carbohydrates and protein. It is also packed with antibodies to keep your baby healthy while his or her immune system is extraordinarily immature. Colostrum is the best first food for your baby for a number of different reasons.

One reason that colostrum is the best first food for your baby is because it is extremely easy to digest. It is a concentrated meal for your tiny newborn. It helps the baby have his or her first bowel movements, which are essential in the prevention of jaundice because they get excess bilirubin out of your baby’s system.

Colostrum is also the perfect first food for your baby because it gives them a range of different nutrients they need to start the growth process. Not only does it offer perfect nutrition, it also imparts immunity against the hundreds of germs their little immune systems are trying to deal with.

Breastfeeding and Cesarean Sections

Are you wondering whether or not it is possible to breastfeed after a cesarean section birth? It is, of course, possible, although it may be a little more difficult during the first few weeks. If your cesarean section was not expected, you may be a bit confused in terms of feeding. You had anticipated a natural delivery, and now you’re not sure about what to do.

You can avoid anxiety by putting together a birth plan. This can help clarify your desires and expectations no matter what kind of delivery you end up having. You will want to discuss the birth plan with your doctor, and make sure they have a copy. Also you can have the hospital put a copy of your birth plan on file. Among the things to address in your birth plan is what anesthetics are available in case you have a cesarean section. If you can have an epidural, you can be alert enough to breastfeed your baby right after delivery. Keep in mind that you are going to need some help, whether from your partner or a nurse. Hospital room equipment, such as IV lines and heart monitors can be a bit restrictive, so getting an extra pair of hands is necessary. Moreover, you will have to do your first feeding lying on your back, so nursing pillows might also be very helpful for that first feeding.

Alcohol and Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the preferred method of feeding babies and whilst drinking alcohol is a common, social custom in the majority of the western world, there is significant evidence to show that drinking alcohol during a pregnancy introduces severe and avoidable risk to an unborn baby.

Currently research suggests the occasional consumption of alcohol is not deemed to be harmful to the breastfed baby although it is recommended that one to two drinks per week should be the limit. Some experts suggest that if you are sober enough to drive a vehicle you should be safe to breastfeed.

However, the risks of drinking alcohol during breastfeeding are at present not truly defined. Some experts advise mothers that it is safe to drink alcohol in moderate amounts, although the exact ‘safe’ amount of alcohol that can be consumed still remains unknown.

Experts also suggest you avoid feeding your baby for two to three hours following the consumption of alcohol and other than your own comfort, there is no need to pump and throw away breast milk after you have consumed alcohol.

However if you are not with your baby you should aim to pump as often as your baby feeds to ensure your milk supply is maintained. By pumping with a mechanical pump or your hand, you will also ensure comfort whilst avoiding plugged ducts and mastitis. The alcohol does not accumulate in the milk. It leaves your milk when it leaves your blood.