Tag Archives: Baby

When to Consider Formula for Your Baby

Breastmilk is the preferred nutrition for your baby. It is easy to digest and provides the baby with important maternal antibodies or immune factors.  However, in order to ensure adequate supply of breastmilk, mothers need to have proper rest, good nutrition and take sufficient fluids. For this, the presence of a support network in the few weeks after birth is critical. Unfortunately, not all mothers have access to this support. In such circumstances, it is not surprising that a new mother may feel overwhelmed with responsiblity and this, in turn, can have an adverse effect on the milk supply. Other factors that lead to problems in supply include stressful births, baby’s inability to latch, inverted nipples, etc.

The important thing is to keep trying to breastfeed your baby or to use a breast pump to express the milk.  But if the experience becomes too frustrating and emotionally draining, speak to your lactation consultant and consider supplementing your baby’s feeds with formula. Remember, some breastmilk is better than none, and what your baby needs the most is a positive and happy home environment. Another thing to keep in mind is that whilst breastfeeding facilitates bonding, it is not the ONLY way to bond with your baby.

In the next post, I will discuss the homeopathic approach to baby blues and lactation problems.

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

The decision whether to breastfeed or use formula is no longer a straightforward one. Whilst it is common knowledge that breast milk is the preferred nutrition babies, there are circumstances when the use of formula should also be considered.

I will first briefly discuss the benefits of breastfeeding, which are manifold, for both the child and mother. The effects permeate not just the physical plane but also have a profound psychological and emotional impact. The moment a mother puts her baby to the breast shortly after birth, oxytoxin is released. This hormone helps to expel the placenta and promote healing in the womb. Mothers who breastfeed their baby recover faster after childbirth and have a lower risk of obesity, osteoporosis, breast cancer and ovarian cancer in the long term.

For the baby, mother’s milk contains all the necessary nutrients which are in a form that is easily digestible and assimilated by the baby’s delicate digestive system. Colostrum, which is a thin yellow fluid that flows from the nipple before breast milk is produced, is high in its calorie, protein and antibody content. Babies require milk that is high in fat content because they are unable to digest lactose properly. Hence, formula milk, that is generally high in lactose but contains a lower amount of fat, is more difficult for babies to digest.

The antibodies in the breast milk protect the baby against infections. Breast milk also changes the pH of the stool and intestinal flora, thereby protecting the baby against diarrhea. In terms of long term health, babies who have been breast fed tend to be protected from chronic diseases such as Crohn’s disease, diabetes, allergies, etc.

Breastfeeding is also a time for the baby and mother to bond with each other. Babies who have not been breastfed or have been weaned off too quickly from the breast tend to display subsequent emotional problems such as lack of confidence, a feeling of being neglected and eating problems, amongst others.

However, having mentioned the above, it is important to realise that there are situations where supplementation with formula should be considered and mothers need not feel guilty if they have to do so. I will touch on this topic in my next post.

Babies’ Ailments – Colic

Babies’ Ailments

Part 3: Colic

Sleeping, drinking milk and…crying are all part of a baby’s daily routine, especially in the first three months. However, if your baby keeps crying for more than three hours a day, without any apparent reason, chances are that he or she could be experiencing colic. By definition, colic is a condition in which an otherwise healthy baby cries or screams frequently and for extended periods without any discernible reason. Scientists have suggested an immature digestive system, lactose intolerance or even anxiety in breastfeeding mothers as possible causes for colic in babies but there is no established reason for this.

Generally, gripe water is the preferred remedy for many parents. It is a natural remedy that contains herbs such as dil, fennel, chamomile and ginger. Before purchasing a bottle of gripe water, it is necessary to check the ingredients’ list for the absence of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as this is not an ideal substance for your baby’s delicate system.

Baking soda is alkaline in nature and can upset the acid balance in your baby’s stomach in addition to producing other unwanted side effects. Thus, it is necessary to make an informed choice when selecting a suitable brand of gripe water for your baby.

If you are breastfeeding, also consider if there could be anything in your diet that is aggravating your baby. And finally, no matter how tired and distresed you are with the new parenting routine, remind yourself to remain happy and positive as your baby could simply be picking up your anxieties!

 

Babies’ Ailments – Diaper Rash

Babies’ Ailments

Part 2: Diaper Rash

While changing your baby’s nappy or diaper, you may have come across redness and tenderness on the buttocks and the surrounding area. This irritation is commonly known as diaper rash. There are many reasons for this, with the most common ones being prolonged exposure to a soiled diaper and use of new products.

The diapers that we use nowadays have very good absorption power. Hence, you may not find it necessary to change your baby’s diaper frequently. However, no matter how dry your baby may feel, it is necessary to change the diaper at least six times a day as exposure to a soiled diaper causes irritation and discomfort.

The wipes, powders and lotions that you use on your baby must be safe and gentle. In addition, some babies are sensitive to the detergents that are used to wash their cloth diapers. Hence, it is necessary to be mindful of these things that we may generally deem as insignificant.

Dietary changes may also contribute to diaper rash. This could happen when you introduce solids to your baby’s diet or if you are breast-feeding, it could be a response to changes in your own diet.

You must be extra mindful if your baby has been given a course of antibiotics as this generally upsets the balance of the good bacteria in the body, thus causing diaper rash. This also applies if you have taken antibiotics when breastfeeding your baby.

There are excellent homeopathic remedies which are available in cream or ointment form to help with the external dryness and irritation. However, if the problem persists even after external application, homeopathy also offers constitutional treatment that takes into account your baby’s unique temperament, diet, likes and dislikes. Constitutional approach is generally the preferred treatment strategy as it offers long-term health and wellness for your baby.

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