Baby Feeding  &  Nutrition

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    When your baby was born, all you probably heard was that breast is best, so you stayed up all night, every night, nursing every hour with cracked nipples, wondering if there was ever an end in sight. Sure, breastfeeding probably got easier and maybe you even like the bonding now ... but wouldn't you just loooove to wear a sexy non-nursing bra and not have your kiddo pawing at your shirt every night? That could mean that it's time to wean, because like all good things, breastfeeding must eventually come to an end. Here are 5 ways to know it's the right time to stop breastfeeding (and not feel guilty).

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    The Ultimate Guide to Breastfeeding

    posted by Judy Dutton Wednesday at 7:55 AM in Baby
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    August is National Breastfeeding Month -- and whether you're about to embark on breastfeeding or are already nursing, you're bound to encounter a ton of questions and challenges along the way. To increase awareness about breastfeeding and to help you out, we've compiled the ultimate guide to breastfeeding -- advice and insight on everything from how to get baby to latch, increasing your milk supply, how your husband can help, and real stories from moms who have been there. Read on and you'll have all your breastfeeding bases covered.

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    It's one of the biggest mysteries of new motherhood: baby has been breastfeeding like a champ, then suddenly, out of the blue, decides to call it quits. These so-called nursing strikes may be baffling but are surprisingly common -- and while some moms might assume it's a sign their baby is ready to self-wean, breastfeeding counselor Aliza Bancoff, founder of Main Line Doulas, says that's rarely the case.

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    In further proof that we absolutely need Breastfeeding Awareness Week, a new report has come out showing there are still people out there who have a problem with nursing moms. Still! And if you think at least the laws are on our side, think again: it turns out there's one state in the nation that does little to protect breastfeeding moms, particularly in public -- Idaho.

    Some 47 states, including Washington, D.C., and the Virgin Islands, allow mothers to nurse in any public place. South Dakota and Virginia exempt them from public indecency or nudity laws. But Idahoans have no such luck.

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    When to stop breastfeeding a baby is a highly personal choice: Some moms throw in the towel once they reach the American Academy of Pedetrics' recommended one-year mark; others play it by ear and let their kid call the shots on when to quit. To help you decide when the time is right to wean your child, we polled moms on the instant they knew they were ready. Their answers ranged in age from 6 months to 6-plus years, based on the onset of teeth (ouch!) to the cost of formula to their own child's growing self confidence.

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    The summer my daughter was born was a hot one. As I sweated buckets and downed gallons of Poland Spring to stay hydrated, I couldn't help but look quizzically at my infant and wonder: Does a breastfeeding baby need to drink water, too? At the time, my daughter was nursing exclusively, but that just didn't seem sufficient in this sweltering heat. Was she slowly dying of dehydration? After all, don't all living things need water?

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    This is hard for me to write. I'm usually the 'I don't care what other people think' type of person, but I feel like I've let myself down too this time. Which makes this particular situation even worse, because it's not just about me.

    I have five kids. With each one, my goal was to breastfeed for at least a year. I love everything about the concept of breastfeeding. The bonding, the not having to get up in the middle of the night to make bottles, the benefits for mom and baby, donating milk to others, toddler nursing ... all of it. I can easily tell other nursing moms what to do to help with their breastfeeding issues. But for some reason, when it comes to me nursing, it's a different story.

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    It's not easy being a mommy to two or more children -- especially when you're trying to incorporate the demands of breastfeeding into a schedule that takes your older child's needs into account. Schools, of all places, should be advocates for parents and make it as accommodating as possible for them to fulfill their kids' physical, social, and emotional needs.

    And that's why it's super shocking that a mom in Utah was instructed to put her breasts away -- I should say, to put her already covered breasts away -- and stop nursing her baby while attending an event at her older child's school.

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    Lots of women worry about what their breasts are going to look like after breastfeeding. It's a totally normal concern, of course. But imagine how your worries would be intensified if you were the star of a hit HBO show that often required you to bare your breasts while in bed with Alexander Skarsgard.

    Anna Paquin, we feel your pain.

    True Blood's Sookie Stackhouse, who gave birth to twins in 2012 with co-star and husband Stephen Moyer, recently revealed something about her post-breastfeeding breasts on Late Night With Seth Meyers that a whole lot of fellow mommies can relate to.

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    Trying to boost your milk supply? There are a lot of ways to do that, but why not try the yummiest? There are so many tasty recipes for lactation treats out there, we can hardly count them all. Everything from cookies to smoothies -- whatever you crave, there's probably a milk-inducing version of it.

    We've found 8 scrumptious recipes loaded with natural galactagogues, those special ingredients that help you make more milk. So enjoy snacking and lactating, mama!

    More from The Stir5 'Controversial' Foods Breastfeeding Moms Should Know About

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