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  #121  
Old 31.03.2010, 11:07
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Re: Breast feeding

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<snip>In the end, whatever decision you take you will never know what it may mean for you because no baby can be both exclusively breastfed and exclusively bottlefed and you can not have exactly the same baby twice.

So let it be, there is no point in agonising over it or feeling guilty or angry.
Those that do feel guilty IMO are made to feel guilty by society's expectations or the expectations of others. This is what I get *ahem* fed up with.

Now a lot has been written on this thread about this topic - specifically a kind of inverse situation where you are expected to breast feed, but OMG not in public - LOL. I appreciate the irony of this too. But nonetheless the messages that you could be actively harming your child, when based on data that are not 100% sound (if any data can ever 100% sound TBH) is not good in my (professional) experience.

(PS: genuinely though, thank you for your post - the formatting was all screwed up before so I couldn't thank )

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If you didn't see formula companies hanging around, then you just didn't notice.. things are very subtle. It's not a person, it's free samples, logos on the "Baby on Board" car sign you got in the mail, pictures of formula fed babies with happy fathers looking on with a photo on the same page of a tired mom, sans wedding ring and a father looking distant, while the mother "breastfeeds", "breast is best" as part of their marketing (this isn't required, this is what the formula companies have decided to say as it makes formula seem "next best" when really it is "worst" option), commercials saying "when breastfeeding fails, when you're too tired to feed, try xxx ".
Two points that this post made me think of:

1) Maybe I am just not as influenced as others, but I really don't care what others stick on their cars (unless it is funny). Samples that come through the post usually get sent back with a message of "don't bug me" or put straight in the bin. I generally don't pay that much active attention to advertising and try to do my own research before making a choice. Basically, I am trying to say that I don't buy your "insiduous advertising" line.

2) In medical communication terms "breast is best" is a pretty - no, make that very - strong claim. You are never allowed to make claims that anything is "the best" or "best" for that matter when talking about medical products. A strict no no. From where I stand it is a strong claim and not a weak one as you make out. Now, you would be right to say that this is not pharmaceutical communications, but my point is to share some/a different perspective on the claim itself.

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LOL! I don't think he means it literally. I think it's more like in comparison to bottlefed babies. I know it's not literally true. Haha! He's making a point.
Oh PaperMoon2 *sigh* so what you're saying is that this is just another emotionally-charged message of "breast is best" that doesn't help when trying to have a rational discussion...
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  #122  
Old 31.03.2010, 12:22
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Re: Breast feeding

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... But nonetheless the messages that you could be actively harming your child, when based on data that are not 100% sound (if any data can ever 100% sound TBH) is not good in my (professional) experience...

...In medical communication terms "breast is best" is a pretty - no, make that very - strong claim. You are never allowed to make claims that anything is "the best" or "best" for that matter when talking about medical products. A strict no no. From where I stand it is a strong claim and not a weak one as you make out. Now, you would be right to say that this is not pharmaceutical communications, but my point is to share some/a different perspective on the claim itself...
There is no absolute certainty that infant formula is harmful. There is, however, preponderance of evidence that suggests caution. If you go on Google Scholar, for example, and look for strictly scientific studies on this topic, you will find dozens of articles based on clinical studies that suggest that breastmilk is more beneficial in many ways than infant formula. Try Googling infant formula in the same way and you will find articles about bacterial contamination and potential adverse health effects. No serious scientific article suggests that infant formula is the same or better than breastmilk. Scientific community treats it more or less the same way it would any medication. Just like any other drug, it may be life-saving but you would not prescribe it to everybody.

These days there is a lot of discussion on potential harmful effects of energy-saving light bulbs. Apparently, they produce strong electromagnetic field and may have harmful effects if you are exposed for prolonged periods of time at a distance of less than 30 cm from the source. There is no absolute certainty that this electromagnetic field is harmful. But would you feel comfortable sitting under this lightbulb without making sure that it is at least 30 cm away? Would you put your newborn baby near it?

Now people will say that you can not compare lightbulbs and milk. Perhaps you can not be as emotional about lightbulbs. But at a purely rational level the same kind of precautionary principle applies.

Breastmilk and formula can not and should not really be compared at all. While you are right that no 'absolute best' claim can be made about medical products, only formula belongs to that category. Whether or not people are confortable with this truth, breastmilk outperforms formula in so many compelling ways that one can safely assume that it is the best available option.
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  #123  
Old 31.03.2010, 13:02
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Re: Breast feeding

But where is the evidence that the "positive" effects are because of the breastfeeding and not some other factor?

If you turn the argument around Switzerland has a relatively high suicide rate - is breastfeeding the cause?

Cheers,
Nick

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http://www.swissinfo.org/eng/front/R...42521000&ty=st



6 months, wow I thought a couple of weeks was the normal order of play.
Anyway there is a roadshow touring round Switzerland telling and hopefully(?) showing people all about the pleasures and necessity of breast feeding.
On a purely blokey point, its weird how unsexual breast feeding is, I mean all the necessary parts are there, breasts, nudity, female, sucking..but stick em together with a baby and its pretty meh!!
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  #124  
Old 31.03.2010, 13:05
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Re: Breast feeding

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...If you turn the argument around Switzerland has a relatively high suicide rate - is breastfeeding the cause?...
One can test all kinds of hypotheses, but the fact that two things happen at the same time does not mean that there is a causal relationship between them.
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  #125  
Old 31.03.2010, 13:07
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Re: Breast feeding

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But where is the evidence that the "positive" effects are because of the breastfeeding and not some other factor?
Nick, all the evidence is in this post...



<ducks for cover>

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I like what this doctor says.
Bottlefeeding, the grandaddy of all junk food, wasn't then, isn't now, and never will be "as good as " breastfeeding. Human milk is designed for human babies, cow's milk for calves. The structure and composition of each is suited to the particular needs of the intended recipient. Among animals, switching milk sources, say, for example, giving a calf sow's milk, results in sickness and, often, death for the newborn.
The bottlefed human baby is substantially more likely to suffer a whole nightmare of illnesses: diarrhea, colic, gastrointestinal and respiratory infections, meningitis, asthma, hives, other allergies, pneumonia, eczema, obesity, hypertension, atherosclerosis, dermatitis, growth retardation, hypocalcemic tetany, neonatal hypothyroidism, necrotizing enterocolitis, and sudden infant death syndrome. From a scientific, biological standpoint, formula feeding cannot be considered an acceptable alternative to breastfeeding, especially since more than ninety-nine percent of new mothers are perfectly capable of doing it.
Even premature infants should get breastmilk. When I had my pediatric training more than twenty-five years ago, I was strongly (and thankfully) influenced by one of the great nurses in the field of premature babies, Evelyn Lundeen. Miss Lundeen not only encouraged but insisted that mothers supply breastmilk to their premies even to those who weighed only two pounds. I can remember watching husbands deliver the bottles of milk their wives had pumped. There's no doubt in my mind that the premature infant fed breastmilk does much better than the premature infant fed formula In my own practice I have discharged from the hospital many babies who weighed less than five pounds, all breastfed, of course, since now I won't accept a child as a patient unless the mother is determined to breastfeed.
Telling mothers that breastfeeding is superior to formula feeding is my recipe for eliminating a pediatric practice. If a pediatrician tells a mother the truth that breastfeeding is good and bottlefeeding is dangerous, it will lead to feelings of guilt on the part of the mother who chooses not to breastfeed. The guilty mother then will scurry off to a pediatrician who's willing to relieve that guilt by telling her that it makes no difference whether or not she breast feeds. On the other hand, those women who do breastfeed will have babies that never get sick. There goes the pediatric practice!
You won't find many pediatricians who insist that a woman breastfeed her baby. Instead, you'll find what I call Pediatric doublethink, the statement that breastfeeding is best, but formula is just as good. You'll find pediatricians who hand out free sample six packs of infant formula to new mothers; you'll find pediatricians who insist that newborns waste their sucking reflex and energy on sugar-water bottles; you'll find pediatricians who push free "supplementary formula" kits on mothers who are breastfeeding; and you’ll find pediatricians who discourage a mother from breastfeeding if her baby doesn't gain as much weight as the manual provided by the formula company says it should. You'll find pediatricians neglecting to inform mothers that infant formula can contain from ten to I000 times as much lead as breastmilk; neglecting to tell a mother that breastfeeding protects her infant from all infectious diseases she has had or fought off through her immune system; neglecting to tell mothers that breastfeeding promotes better bone maturation and intellectual development; and neglecting to tell them that breastfeeding will help protect the mothers themselves from cancer of the breast.
Breastfeeding is better for the family too. The bond between a mother and her child is secure and healthy when the mother breastfeeds. Not only does the sucking of the infant stimulate hormones that reduce postnatal bleeding and discomfort and cause the uterus to shrink back sooner, but it also gives the mother sensual pleasure as well. Bottlefeeding, however, gives the mother no such pleasure. It does make possible-indeed necessary thesacred four-hour feeding schedule, which does untold damage to all involved, in the name of "regularity."
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  #126  
Old 31.03.2010, 21:23
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Re: Breast feeding at 8 !!

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Oh PaperMoon2 *sigh* so what you're saying is that this is just another emotionally-charged message of "breast is best" that doesn't help when trying to have a rational discussion...
No not at all!! What that doctor said was right on point! I was saying that I don't believe it's literally true that breastfed babies will never ever get sick under any circumstances. Of course that's not true. That part I think he meant kind of joking about how his telling women breastfeeding is best eliminates the need for a pediatric doctor. You misunderstood what I was saying. I definately agree with this docotor's words about breastfeeding is better.

Never mind.

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  #127  
Old 05.04.2010, 23:44
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Re: Breast feeding

This was just on Yahoo Health today and I thought about this thread.

Study: Breast-feeding would save lives, money


By LINDSEY TANNER, AP Medical Writer - Mon Apr 5, 10:53 AM PDT

CHICAGO - The lives of nearly 900 babies would be saved each year, along with billions of dollars, if 90 percent of U.S. women fed their babies breast milk only for the first six months of life, a cost analysis says.

Those startling results, published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics, are only an estimate. But several experts who reviewed the analysis said the methods and conclusions seem sound.

source: http://www.aolnews.com/story/study-b...e-lives/973950
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  #128  
Old 13.04.2010, 14:12
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Re: Breast feeding

There is only one thing that is 100% sure. A happy mother makes a happy baby. I've nursed three children (the last one finished at age 1 last week -- thank God) and the one thing I can tell you is that while it's totally worthwhile trying, if it's not working then don't do it! I've seen lots of mothers struggle with it for various reasons (faulty equipment, too sick to make adequate milk, too exhausted etc...) and while I'm sure breast milk is better, it's not worth driving yourself - and the entire family -- completely nuts. And frankly, men's opinion or advice on this matter doesn't really count for much. sorry but that's the truth.
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  #129  
Old 13.04.2010, 14:15
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Re: Breast feeding

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There is only one thing that is 100% sure. A happy mother makes a happy baby. I've nursed three children (the last one finished at age 1 last week -- thank God) and the one thing I can tell you is that while it's totally worthwhile trying, if it's not working then don't do it! I've seen lots of mothers struggle with it for various reasons (faulty equipment, too sick to make adequate milk, too exhausted etc...) and while I'm sure breast milk is better, it's not worth driving yourself - and the entire family -- completely nuts. And frankly, men's opinion or advice on this matter doesn't really count for much. sorry but that's the truth.
An open mind right up to the last 2 sentences. Ho hum.
Don't know whether to thank or groan that one...
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  #130  
Old 13.04.2010, 14:38
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Re: Breast feeding

My point is people who have never experienced it can't possibly imagine how painful, uncomfortable and exhausting breastfeeding can be, especially in the beginning. I certainly didn't -- I just assumed its a natural reflex and it is not! Both mother and baby have to learn how to do it and there have to be a whole host of supportive elements to keep it going. Not only do you need an experienced nurse to train you (or you might get viciously ill with infections) but you also need time (all my babies fed continously for the first week), and someone to do everything for you (because you have a small person hanging off your nipple)! Once the baby gets older (like 3 months or so) and it is not so all time absorbing, then breastfeeding is great (cheap, easy, sterile etc...) As I said, I've done it three times and really missed it when I stopped but I really cannot stand people making judgements without having the least idea of how difficult breast feeding really is. And I think if more expecting women understood what a daunting task they have ahead of them, they would be mentally better prepared. somehow birthing teachers aways skip that part in the parenting classes!
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  #131  
Old 16.04.2010, 10:14
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Re: Breast feeding

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My point is people who have never experienced it can't possibly imagine how painful, uncomfortable and exhausting breastfeeding can be, especially in the beginning.
It's called empathy.

1. the power of understanding and imaginatively entering into another person's feelings

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/empathy
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Old 16.04.2010, 11:01
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Re: Breast feeding

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I've seen lots of mothers struggle with it for various reasons
There is only one reason we struggle... we no longer see it being done around us, we cannot learn, and we are set up to fail. Damned if we do, damned if we don't. They don't struggle at all where the idea that it isn't possible isn't even there. Historically, even in times of famine women make enough milk for their nursing babies.

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... (faulty equipment, too sick to make adequate milk, too exhausted etc...)...
Women shouldn't need "equipment", how sick/tired we are doesn't usually affect milk production, but stress/fatigue can impede the milk coming out. Milk production will be affected if hospital staff take baby away so the mother can "rest". If baby doesn't suckle, milk won't be produced, and then it's the sickness/fatigue that's blamed, when really it's not the cause at all.

The capacity to make milk is generally there (a very, very small percentage of women cannot nurse or cannot nurse "exclusively"), we just aren't taught how it works and how to get it working, and we think we need "gadgets" or that for some reason, our boobs won't work because of x, y, z (too small, too big, flat nipples, large nipples, and the list goes on).

A great post here on why women in the "developed" world are set up to fail:
http://www.bestforbabes.org/breastfeeding-booby-traps/

My only wish: for women to stop saying "I couldn't breastfeed" when really they should be saying "I didn't receive adequate support to be able to breastfeed". If we choose to nurse, the vast majority are able to do so, provided they are supported in their choice and have resources to turn to if things aren't going the way the mother wants.
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  #133  
Old 16.04.2010, 13:07
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Re: Breast feeding

I don't agree with that. In Switzerland we have plenty of help and ressources and support.

I had help at the hospital and I had so much trouble at home, I got someone to come at home and help me. It took a long time to have it correctly and it wasn't because of not enough help.

And when I ''lost'' my milk. Again, it wasn't because of not enough of help, but because in this situation, my body decided that way.

As much as you can have a heart, a lung or kidneys failure, I believe you can have ''milk failure'' too.
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Old 16.04.2010, 17:43
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Re: Breast feeding

I had a similar experience to Nil's.

The very beginning was a bit tough, but with wonderful help from the hospital and later a breastfeeding consultant at home, my son gained weight and grew marvelously. No problems at all. Until...

Somewhere around 4 months, something happened. I'm not sure what caused it, but my milk supply severely diminished. At a doctor's checkup, we learned he had lost 400g... in like 2 weeks. He had always followed the 25th percentile curve in weight (50th in height), but he was no longer even on the chart.

I was still feeding him about every 2 hours during the day (not as much at night). I had not even realized he was not getting enough, though I guess the fact that he had been biting me should have clued me in.

I really, really wanted to breastfeed him, and I was certainly trying, even though I had large cuts from when he bit me and it was complete agony every time he ate. But somehow something wasn't working. I'm not trying to be a martyr here; I just want to explain that I was making an effort and wanted it to work out.

We managed to make it to 6 months with breastfeeding and formula. Finally, he decided my pathetic supply wasn't coming out fast enough, so he only wanted bottles. Personally, I didn't feel like a failure, but I was very sad about how it had turned out. I had hoped to make it to 1 year at least.

This turned into a really long story, and hopefully I haven't fueled the controversy. There seem to be a lot of breastfeeding experts on this thread, so I thought I'd ask some questions to make next time run more smoothly (hopefully).

What can a breastfeeding mother do diet-wise to increase supply? I know about drinking a lot of fluids, but is there anything else? Someone mentioned tea. Are there any particular brands here in Switzerland you can recommend?

Any other tips?
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Old 16.04.2010, 17:54
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Re: Breast feeding

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What can a breastfeeding mother do diet-wise to increase supply? I know about drinking a lot of fluids, but is there anything else? Someone mentioned tea. Are there any particular brands here in Switzerland you can recommend?

Any other tips?
The best thing I've heard of is a feeding marathon - 24 or ideally 48 hours in which you do nothing but stay in bed with the baby, feeding as much as possible day and especially night (more thingummie milk production hormones are released at night, apparently) whilst someone brings you a regular supply of nourishing foods and lots of fluids.

I know what you mean about the baby going off it, though. I fed my son exclusively until 4 months, then gradually introduced some bottles to recapture a baby/personal life balance. One morning, he just absolutely refused to feed from me. I expect I could have pushed it, but by then he was around 9 or 10 months and eating a wide and varied diet, and I wasn't convinced enough by the breastmilk nutrition arguments for that age to bother. A couple more months and he dropped milk feeds altogether anyway, with cows' milk becoming more a drink than a meal.

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  #136  
Old 16.04.2010, 22:58
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Re: Breast feeding

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What can a breastfeeding mother do diet-wise to increase supply? I know about drinking a lot of fluids, but is there anything else? Someone mentioned tea. Are there any particular brands here in Switzerland you can recommend?

Any other tips?
That's great people had nursing support, in our area, though, there ain't much, I had zero.

Milk just does not disappear. Think of it as tears. It is usually the demand/supply balance that is not working out and moms realize it too late to fix it or don't know how to. Unless moms get a hormonal disease, too much stress, etc. Some kids get confused with nipple shields, teats and binkies.

4mo is absolutely the normal benchmark for major nursing troubles, most nursing moms go through this. The ones who expect it deal with it so smoothly they do not have to notice any major difference in supply volume. It is all about being ready for it ahead of the time. Pumping after nursing even dry stimulates prolacting and fakes larger demand, hence kicking up the supply. 3/4 mo is a huge growth spurt period, kids focus on eating well and need it a lot more often, sometimes every hour in order to kick up the supply. Those moms with quick hormonal response do not need more than a few days of this drill and they can see the result. Others who's demand was not stimulated enough, didn't feed enough feedings per day, slept through the night, etc. might have to work a lot harder to kick up the supply. I knew prolactine works the best at night so at night I fed every two hours through this rough patch and it gave me easier days. My child slept thought all of it. It was quickly fixed soon, after some time of unsufficient supply I ended up with so much milk at the end I was soaking through the bed, ugh. You can also take your kid, strip yourself and him/her and stay in bed for a few days just nursing and cuddling. The smell of skin, love and leaving the stress outside will reinstall all the feeding balance. I have functioned the best when I trusted my guts with not much thinking through this. If you stay tuned in to your kid like this for say two days, you will inctinctively know for sure when you child needs what. It is a lovely bond and nursing makes this process milion times easier.

9mo is another specific nursing moment, kids are so distracted that nursing gets boring. It is not a natural weaning per se, but many kids are weaned during this time since moms take it for weaning cue. I was weaned at 9mo since mom thought I was into everything else but nursing. Supply of course deminishes slowly since if there is not a mom who offers frequently, the demand slows down, supply drops and show me a baby that wants to do a hard work sucking when there ain't enough milk to get. Too much work. For that, increase supply will automatically make the feeding a lot easier and the demand will grow respectively. I used nursing necklace to catch the kid's attention, it works beautifully. Clothes pins, odd little rattling things, finger puppets.

Anytime a mom decides to mix bottles with boobs, she runs a serious risk of deminishing the supply, getting the kid used to sucking out of bottle very easily and painlessly (as oposed to boobs, hard work again - more bottles, harder the nursing gets since a kid forgets the proper technique). I know it hurts to wean earlier than planned, I fought hard to make it long. I also have a friend who was sad she only nursed 7mo since her supply dropped, turned out she was supplementing since month 3, which is the way to wean early. Another way to wean early is to nurse only when the child asks for it and do not offer in steady intervals, say every 3hrs even at 7-8mo. The chance the kid will eat every offering is almost zero, but it is usually enough to keep up the supply.

Diet is really just a little helper, the mechanism itself is not really influenced much by food. A lot of water is good, oat meals supposed to be good, Weleda nursing tea, etc. Mint and parsley is supposed to go against nursing, by in my experience, nursing is all about technique. Diet plays a big role when your kid is gassy or has food intolerance, though.

Ok, ladies. All of ya anonymously reading here, I am planning to bill you for online consultation.....haaahhaaa. I am kiddin' just thought of the other thread.I forgot the disclaimer - really not trying to rub anything in or make someone feel like a failure, just talking to those interested in technique.
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Old 16.04.2010, 23:58
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Re: Breast feeding

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9mo is another specific nursing moment, kids are so distracted that nursing gets boring. It is not a natural weaning per se, but many kids are weaned during this time since moms take it for weaning cue. I was weaned at 9mo since mom thought I was into everything else but nursing.
Oh yes, I'd forgotten about this. It's probably one (or the only) reason why my son dumped breastfeeding around this age - it was a fearful struggle to get him to focus and stop yanking his head around to investigate every little sound or movement around him.

I must admit I was quite happy to go along with his plans by this point - after 18 months of pregnancy, birth and feeding, it was quite nice to get my body back (and to be able to stop wearing giant nursing bras with soak-up pads to bed and regain some marital moments...)
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Old 17.04.2010, 00:05
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Re: Breast feeding

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.. (and to be able to stop wearing giant nursing bras with soak-up pads to bed and regain some marital moments...)
Ugh. Tell me about those bras...Have you checked the beauties they make now? So not fair.
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Old 23.04.2010, 15:56
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Re: Breast feeding

Thanks for the advice!

I guess I simply realized my supply was low too late, and then the doctor said we needed to supplement with formula to get my son back on the weight growth chart. My supply seemed really great in the beginning, so it was kind of a shock. His tummy appeared to empty pretty quickly, so I offered him the breast about every 2 hours. Shouldn't that have helped?

I'll look out for the supply drop next time and call in the breastfeeding consultant if I notice any problems.
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Old 23.04.2010, 17:39
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Re: Breast feeding

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Thanks for the advice!

I guess I simply realized my supply was low too late, and then the doctor said we needed to supplement with formula to get my son back on the weight growth chart. My supply seemed really great in the beginning, so it was kind of a shock. His tummy appeared to empty pretty quickly, so I offered him the breast about every 2 hours. Shouldn't that have helped?
First off, a lot of the time we (moms) think our milk is low because feeding patterns have changed, but rarely it's the case (unless you've drastically reduced the number of times you feed in a day). I'm not saying yours actually wasn't, because I was not there at the time, but statistics say that its more that something else was going on.

Regarding growth, MANY MANY doctors are using old charts -- charts based on FORMULA-fed babies (and freely given to them by big formula companies). Formula-fed babies grow differently from breastfed babies so the charts are different (WHO pages have BF charts). If a doctor uses a formula-chart, this means a breastfed baby can fall WAY OFF the chart. But that baby is probably perfectly healthy.

If a baby is happy, healthy and gaining weight, then breastfeeding can continue. Breastmilk has MORE calories than formula so if a baby is breastfeeding WELL (good latch, etc.) more nursing sessions will actually be better for weight gain than a switch to formula).

As for a tummy emptying quickly -- yes, it will! Breastmilk is the ultimate food for babies so it IS quickly digested. And, during growth spurts babies will want to feed more often as they want more nutrition for their little growing bodies.

As for what others have said about 9 months -- it's a normal time for babies to grow more interested in the world. Some mothers find a dark room with limited distractions a good transition while baby gets used to the fact that they are cognitively seeing more. Then after a few weeks, nursing often settles back down. See: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/babyselfwean.html. It's also a growth spurt time, so these two things combined often mean Mom decides to stop. See: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/growth-spurt.html

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I'll look out for the supply drop next time and call in the breastfeeding consultant if I notice any problems.
You might also want to call someone who has breastfed before, such as a La Leche League leader (http://www.llli.org). Breastfeeding consultants are great (IBCLC ones the best trained), but not all have breastfed, so it's often advice "by the book" with no idea how a mom "feels" going through what's going on.

Good luck to all BF moms out there.

-mwe
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