The early weeks of pregnancy are fragile—and confusing. Here, the answers to your questions.
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[Q] My 10-month-old bites me every time she nurses. How can I get her to stop?
[A] It’s common for babies of this age to bite, but the good news is that you should be able to fix it within a day or two. This is how: The minute she bites, take her off your breast and say, “No biting!” Don’t say it angrily—just be firm and serious. (And don’t laugh or smile if she grins and giggles.) Keep her off the breast for a good five minutes; doing so will help her associate the fact that she did something wrong with the fact that she can’t eat. Then put her back on the breast; if she does it again, repeat the process. If she keeps doing it, take her off the breast for even longer. And if she bites at the end of a feeding, end the session altogether.
[Q] Where can I find an inexpensive nursing bra?
[A] Target, Sears and JCPenney carry a good selection. Also try www.breastisbest.com.
[Q] My mother-in-law is not supportive of my nursing. My 2-month-old son is healthy and growing well, but she constantly nags me to supplement with formula. Any advice?
[A] You and your husband need to have a heart-to-heart with her. Tell her that what she is doing is undermining your confidence not only in your feeding choice but in yourself as a mother. Emphasize that the baby is healthy and the pediatrician is pleased with his growth. Also point out that research is irrefutable about breastfeeding being the best feeding choice for your son. Beyond that, you may need to stand tall and say, “This is my parenting style and my feeding choice. I want you to be involved, but that means being supportive of me.”
[Q] I just had my baby and will be returning to work when she's 3 months old. I plan to keep breastfeeding exclusively and pumping my milk; when should I start introducing a bottle?
[A] Good for you for planning ahead! Many women make the mistake of not getting their baby used to a bottle before they return to work, only to find that the baby refuses to take a bottle at all. Needless to say, this is not a good situation.
Since many babies will refuse a bottle if it is introduced too late, we suggest starting when your baby is between 2 and 4 weeks old. Aim to give one bottle two to three times a week so you're not using up your precious supply of breast milk. Also note that the baby may revolt if you try to give her the bottle--it may be better for your partner or other family member to attempt it.