Baby Feeding  &  Nutrition

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    Is there anything worse than your baby biting on your nipple during a breastfeeding session? Talk about pain! When babies start biting, some moms get frustrated and stop nursing. Others just grin and bear it. But there's no reason to do either.

    You can figure out why your baby is biting and implement some tips to overcome it (saving your poor nipple in the process).

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    One of the things a breastfeeding mom worries about most is whether her baby is getting enough to eat. After all, you can’t really see the “bottle” draining. And if that’s not enough to stress about, some moms wonder whether their baby is getting the right kind of breast milk. There's lots of talk in breastfeeding circles about foremilk (watery, low-fat milk baby first gets when nursing) and hindmilk (the high-fat cream that follows). But is this something you really need to concern yourself with when nursing your baby?

    The short answer is no.

    "Breast milk is breast milk -- it all serves a great purpose," says Leigh Anne O'Connor, a lactation consultant in New York City. "Foremilk and hindmilk are the same thing; it's the fat content of the milk that is removed that varies. Most women do not need to worry about it at all." 

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    Breastfeeding is a global experience. Mothers around the world have the option to nurse their newborns, but the cultural expectations and ramifications vary by nation. Lansinoh Laboratories, Inc., a breastfeeding supply company, surveyed nursing mothers about how they view breastfeeding in their country.

    The global survey polled more than 13,000 moms in Brazil, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and show us just how differently the cultures perceive nursing.

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    Babies and bottles go together like Bert and Ernie ... which is why when the time comes to wean baby off the bottle, kids can act as though you've ripped out their heart and served it for dinner. But it doesn't have to be that way; if you start weaning at the right time and throw in a few tricks and incentives, transitioning a baby from bottle to cup can be surprisingly smooth sailing.

    With a little advice from the experts, your baby may be kicking the bottle before you know it. 

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    Finally, the brainiacs at MIT are addressing a real problem that desperately needs attention! They're hosting a "Make the Breast Pump Not Suck Hackathon" for engineers, designers, parents, public health researchers, and lactation consultants this weekend. 

    Hallefreakinglujah!

    I dreamed of torching my breast pump as a nod -- a fist-bump, if you will -- to my turkey baster nipples. They felt like they cooked for 12 hours in a 350-degree oven every single time I pumped. If the genius summit manages to improve even one aspect of the breast pump, I will give thanks. I may bow down ... or even stop calling them MIT geeks (yeah, I am so jealous I could never get in). Here, IQ champs, are seven udderly torturous breast pump problems you need to solve.

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    Despite every advantage -- a breastfeeding-friendly pediatrician and hospital, access to an extensive network of lactation consultants, a loving husband, and a genuine desire to breastfeed -- Suzanne Barston struggled. Her son had a tongue tie and wouldn't latch. He was also diagnosed with a severe milk allergy despite her vegan diet.

    Further complicating matters? Nerve damage in one of Suzanne's breasts made breastfeeding excruciatingly painful. And then there was her crippling postpartum depression (PPD) ... she had to deal with feelings of failure that she couldn't breastfeed through a haze of sadness.

    She felt alone, so she started to write. Suzanne launched her Fearless Formula Feeder blog with the mantra Standing Up for Formula Feeders Without Being a Boob About It. And that changed her life.

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    The first time you hear about nipple shields, your first thought may be "nipple what?" but don't knock it until you try it. The small silicone cups can be a godsend for many a breastfeeding mom.

    Made to fit over the nipple and areola with tiny holes for the milk to pass through, the nifty device "helps to keep the nipple extended so that the baby won't 'lose' it during a pause in sucking," says Brittany Welding at at MainLineDoulas.com.

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    While most moms know that burping is a necessity for bottle-fed babies, breastfed babies typically don't need to be burped as often ... or even at all. This is because "babies don't tend to swallow air while breastfeeding like those who are bottle-fed," says Cheryl Wu, MD, a pediatrician in New York. This means that little or no air gets trapped in the baby's stomach, which can cause tummy pain that can be relieved when that air is released -- with a burp. That said, it doesn't mean that a breastfed baby's feeding is always airtight -- and there are times when a good burping is in order.

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    It's dinner time! Your baby is strapped into her high chair and ready to chow down. But as soon you try the old airplane maneuver to convince her to open the hatch, she gives you the old head-turn ("no, thanks"). Or she tries one bite (yay!), then spits it out and flips that rice cereal onto the floor (boo!). Of course, you're tempted to throw in the towel -- that is, after cleaning up the mess with it -- but you know your baby has to eat. Not to worry, mealtime doesn't have to be so stressful with these tips for getting your baby to eat (no airplanes involved).

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    Add this to the list of things to deep fry your nerves, moms: The food choices you make for your infant, both in quality and method of delivery, may affect his dietary choices at age 6.

    No pressure, really. 

    According to a series of studies funded by the Centers for Disease Control and published in the journal Pediatrics, infant feeding patterns affect kids' dietary choices longer than anticipated. Children who breastfeed for longer periods tend to eat healthier at age 6. But there's something formula moms can do to give their kids a healthy edge, too. 

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