Tag Archives: Pregnancy

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.

Morning Sickness

For most pregnant women, the first trimester presents certain challenges, especially where diet is concerned. It may come as a surprise to first-time mothers that the foods they enjoyed most prior to the pregnancy appear almost revolting in their current state.

Nausea with or without vomiting is a common symptom in the early stages of pregnancy. It happens mainly due to a surge in pregnancy related hormones. The nausea is usually most intense upon rising in the morning and can be triggered by the sight or smell of certain foods. For some women, it can also intensify when in a moving vehicle. Generally, the pattern varies from person to person.

There are some important things to keep in mind if you are experiencing nausea with frequent vomiting. It is important to keep replenishing fluids into your system as frequent vomiting leads to dehydration, which can pose a lot of problems during this delicate time. It is also important to take small but frequent meals.

Most importantly, take all the positives and negatives of pregnancy in your stride as once your baby arrives, you will have to face a whole new set of challenges.

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