Whether you’re planning to, trying to or nursing your baby as you read this, we can all agree on one thing: Breastfeeding exclusively for six months—as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)—is invaluable for the health of you and your baby.
According to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stats, 74 percent of new moms agree and start out breastfeeding their babies. But, by the six-month mark, only 14 percent are still nursing exclusively.
Even before her baby arrived, Lindsay Miller was planning to breastfeed. After her son was born, the first-time mom was thrilled when he latched on quickly and easily. But he cried so much in the first few days that she suspected something might be wrong.
“I realized after several phone calls to fellow moms and the hospital nurses that he wasn’t getting enough milk from me,” she says. “We gave him a bottle of formula and he sucked it down.”
It's one of the most common questions among new breastfeeding moms: Is my baby getting enough milk? Not experiencing some uncertainty is difficult, since you can't actually see how much milk your body is producing, and, therefore, how much your newborn is getting.
You've heard the term "milk machine" when it comes to breastfeeding, but a Texas woman has really taken the term to a whole new level. Alicia Richman of Granbury, Texas, has donated a record-breaking 11,115 ounces (or roughly about 87 gallons) to the Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas, according to news reports from the local CBS affiliate station.
Whenever I post something about breastfeeding, we receive lots of passionate replies. I hope this post will do the same, but this time, I’m hoping readers will put their money where their comments are. I’m also hoping this breastfeeding topic is one we can all agree on.
I can only remember bits and pieces from the first 48 hours after my son was born. I remember the collective cheer that went up in my delivery room when he finally (after four hours of pushing!) came out. I remember calling him by his name for the first time when they put him in my arms. And, I remember my doula, Elena Vogel, who also happened to be a breastfeeding expert, helping my son latch on for his first feeding.
If you think that having delivered your little peanut means you can hop off the good-nutrition bandwagon, think again.
Even if you aren’t breastfeeding, you need a healthy diet to help repair your battered body—and if you are, it’s even more important to eat right. After all, don’t you want to make the best milk possible for your baby?
Breastfeeding is, undeniably, one of nature’s most natural, instinctive and beautiful acts, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come with its fair share of challenges and questions. Here’s some confidence-building information that can keep you going when things get tough.
Q: Should I avoid gassy or spicy foods to help prevent gassiness in my baby?
Honest women will tell you that breastfeeding can be challenging, especially at first. While 3 out of 4 new moms begin nursing after giving birth, about 67 percent are no longer exclusively breastfeeding at three months, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To help keep you on the good end of those statistics, here are some of the more common difficulties you might encounter, along with ways to overcome them.
After Audra Murray’s twins were born at 30 weeks, her breast milk took its time coming in. A hormonal condition, coupled with the fact that the babies were too weak to nurse, wreaked havoc on her supply. “My milk took about two weeks to show up,” says Murray, 37, who lives in Newton, Mass. “I was pumping every two hours every day, but my milk didn’t come in until I took Reglan [a drug that increases the milk-making hormone prolactin].”
When I had my first child 11 years ago, I was confident I wouldn’t have a problem breastfeeding. Not only had my three older sisters proved that the Anderson girls were lactation mavens, but the books and experts told me so: All women are made to breastfeed, they assured me, and all breasts are up to the task. And, sure enough, Dylan latched on like a champ and never let go.