Trying to get pregnant? Make sure you know the bottom line on baby-making—what you don't understand can affect your bub-to-be's health.
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There is no ‘correct’ age to wean your baby. Like diapers and pacifiers, breastfeeding is something that children outgrow at different ages.
If you’re breastfeeding, chances are you’re enjoying the closeness you share with your baby and the confidence that comes from knowing you’re giving him a healthy start in life. As your baby grows, however, you may find yourself being asked,
If someone told you there’s an elixir that could help protect your new baby from bronchitis, ear infections, pneumonia, diarrhea and urinary tract infections, would you want to know more? If you knew that the effects of this concoction would last into your child’s teenage years, reducing his risk for diabetes, allergies and high blood pressure, would you just have to have it? If the same potion might boost his IQ, wouldn’t you rush out to find it as soon as you could?
When it comes to breastfeeding, everyone from your mother’s second cousin to your hairstylist will ply you with advice and opinions. Some of the “wisdom” imparted may be helpful, but chances are much of it won’t be. “There are so many myths surrounding breastfeeding that it can be hard for women to know what’s true and what’s not,” says Wendy Haldeman, R.N., M.N., a certified lactation consultant and co-owner of The Pump Station, a breastfeeding-support center in Santa Monica, Calif. To help you sort through it all, here are the truths behind some of the most common myths.
As my milk came in after the birth of my first child, so did a torrent of questions. My midwife, who’d been up all night helping me give birth, answered the first 200 or so with good humor. But when I asked her how I’d know when to wean my baby, then only an hour old, I could tell she thought I was getting ahead of myself.
“Oh, you’ll know.”
She rubbed her eyes, yawning. “I don’t know. When he embarrasses you by demanding it in a supermarket.”
“Asking to nurse? With spoken words?”
When I was pregnant, I heard many a story about problems other women had with breastfeeding: bleeding nipples, painful engorgement and inadequate milk supply, to name a few. I knew that I wanted to nurse my baby and felt confident I could, but I wondered: Will this happen to me, too?
Whether you’ve already had your baby or are still pregnant, successful breastfeeding requires preparation and knowledge. Lactation consultants Corky Harvey and Wendy Haldeman answer questions to help you get it right.
When Cheryl Hendricks learned she was pregnant with her first child, she had no doubt that she’d adore being a mother. What took her by surprise was how much she loved breastfeeding. “It was such a powerful feeling to be able to do something for my daughter that no one else could do,” says the mother of three from Fishers, Ind.
Breastfeeding may be nature’s way of feeding babies, but not all new mothers and infants take to it naturally. In fact, for many, the whole process is so challenging that it can only be compared to using a computer while riding a unicycle. (Cirque du Soleil’s got nothin’ on us!) But that’s not to say that it can’t be done; with a little preparation and a few tricks from a professional, the vast majority of women are able to breastfeed their babies successfully.
when I was pregnant, I heard many a story about problems other women had with breastfeeding: bleeding nipples, painful engorgement and inadequate milk supply, to name a few. I knew I wanted to nurse my baby and felt confident I could, but I wondered: Will this happen to me, too?
Your baby. She’ll have your smile, his eyes and, ideally, your breast milk. To make that milk the best it can be, you may think that you need to follow the same stringent guidelines as when you were pregnant. The good news is, now you can relax a little.
It's as simple as this: the best way to feed your baby is to breastfeed. The benefits are numerous, chief among them being that breastfed babies are healthier—as infants and in later life—than their formula-fed counterparts. But babies aren’t the only ones who benefit from breastfeeding: Moms enjoy perks, too, post-delivery and even years later.
The day after I came home from the hospital with my brand-new daughter, I found myself sitting in an armchair with the baby nurse, my husband, a neighbor and a chirpy doula named Lori all leaning over me, staring in wonder and cooing encouragement. It wasn’t my baby they were looking at; it was my breasts. As they poked, prodded and discussed the shape of my nipples, I began to feel my breasts take on a life of their own. Maybe it was from lack of sleep, but I swear I saw them float up in front of me and say, “We’re in charge now, honey. Get used to it.”
If someone were to offer you an elixir that could help protect your new baby from bronchitis, ear infections, pneumonia, diarrhea and urinary tract infections, would you want to know more? If you knew that the effects of this concoction would last into your child’s teen-age years, reducing his risk for obesity, diabetes, allergies, asthma and high blood pressure, would you just have to have it? If the same potion might boost his IQ, wouldn’t you rush out to find it now?