Best Nutrition For Newborn Babies – What Do Experts Agree On?

The result of 9 painful and agonizing months is in your hand now in the form of a cute baby. He or she is the dearest to you. You have developed the strongest and the deepest bond with your baby since the moment he or she is born. You are ready to take the best care of your baby. However, the question in your mind is what do experts agree is the best nutrition for the newborn babies.

Your baby can barely open his eyes and yet has the strongest clench around your finger. However, he resorts to crying for his needs. Luckily, you can always understand his cry and fulfill his needs. The biggest need for the newborn is a healthy diet for proper growth.

Also Read: How To Be A Good Mom?

What do experts agree is the best nutrition for newborn babies?

To summarize what experts agree is the best nutrition for newborn babies in one word; the answer is breastfeeding. Breast milk contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals your baby needs for healthy growth. However, if for some reason the mother isn’t able to breastfeed her baby there is formula feed available. It is not as beneficial as the mother’s breast milk and should not be substituted unless required.

Also Read: Is It Safe To Breastfeed With A Cold?

Here is a list of foods compiled by the experts with their beneficial role:

Breastfeeding

Science has proven that breastfeeding is parallel to none when it comes to feeding a newborn. Here is the proof:

  • Breast milk contains high protein and low sugar content which is the best diet for a growing newborn.
  • It is loaded with all the necessary minerals and vitamins required by the baby for proper growth.
  • The thick yellow milk produced during the first few days after delivery is called colostrum which contains plenty of protective immunoglobulins. It helps your baby to fight infections.
  • There is a lot less risk of getting infections in the baby on breastfeeding as compared to the ones taking formula feed.
  • Breastfeeding has shown to produce positive results in the development of the brain and hence making the baby smarter.
  • It helps the baby gain a steady weight and avoid any risk of obesity which is seen with formula feed.

Besides the baby, there are a lot of advantages of breastfeeding for the mother. These include:

  • Reducing weight gained during pregnancy at a steady rate. It helps you achieve your shape in a much faster time.
  • Breastfeeding also helps the uterus to contract and reduces blood loss.
  • It also helps the mother to develop a strong bond with and baby and a lot fewer cases of depression in mothers are seen with breastfeeding.
  • Not only baby is being protected from infections with breastfeeding mother is also being saved from a lot of diseases.
  • Breastfeeding prevents menstruation and acts as natural protection. You don’t have to use birth control or other protective methods during this period.
  • Lastly, it saves both the money and the time.

Also Read: Corona Virus In Pregnant Women

Formula feed

For the mothers who can’t breastfeed for some reason or the mothers who choose not to breastfeed their baby various forms of formula feed are available. Companies make these feeds keeping in mind the necessities of the newborn and most of these resemble breast milk. Different companies have different vitamins and minerals added to the feed to increase the benefits.

Vitamin D enhanced formula feed which also contains added calcium for the strong bones of the baby is one such example. There is also special formula feeds for certain diets like gluten-free formula feed for the babies suffering from celiac disease.

Also Read: My Baby Is Not Pooping But Passing Gas – What Should I Do?

Here is a list of food beneficial for the babies of a younger age.

Banana

These are a good source of constant energy for the baby as they are rich in carbohydrates. It also contains fiber to avoid constipation.

Sweet potato

It provides plenty of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber and acts as an anti-oxidant.

Avocados

Your baby needs protein for the growing muscles and there is no better fruit than avocados for it. It also prevents the baby from several heart diseases.

Eggs

Eggs contain protein, zinc, and vitamins like A, D, E, and B12. It also helps in the smooth development of the brain. However, you should avoid eggs until the age of 12 months because of the risk of developing an allergy against it.

Carrots

Carrots are a rich source of vitamin A which babies require for the development of skin and reproductive organs. A healthy amount of carrots can be among the best nutrition for newborn babies as it ensures the smooth development and growth of the baby.

Yogurt

Yogurt is tasty food with a lot of protein, phosphorus, and calcium which makes the bones strong. Surely, among the best nutrition for newborn babies.

Baby cereals

Nowadays cereals come for all the ages. Cereals for babies have fortified iron in them. It is necessary for the production of blood in the body. Hence, baby cereals are among the best nutrition for newborn babies.

Cheese

It is rich in protein and fats which essentially is all energy for the growing baby.

Citrus fruit

It contains vitamin C and potassium. Not only does it keep the skin fresh but it also detoxifies the blood and keeps your baby healthy.

Also Read: How Do Babies Get Colic? All You Need To Know

Foods to avoid

You have seen the list for what do experts agree is the best nutrition for newborn babies but here are some foods you should avoid giving to your baby:

  • Honey contains a high content of bacteria and you should avoid it for the baby before the age of 1 year as it can cause infections like botulism.
  • Since the baby’s digestive system isn’t fully developed by the age of 1 year, you should avoid cow’s milk as it is hard to digest.
  • Similarly, you should avoid hard or dry food to your baby as these can result in constipation.

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Breast Soreness And Menstrual Cycle – Are These Inter-linked?

Relation of breast soreness with the menstrual cycle

Breasts develop under the action of estrogen and progesterone. During pregnancy, the levels of estrogen and progesterone vary determining the phase of the period. Since the levels change during the menstrual cycle they produce changes in the breasts as well. These changes range from a simple increase in size to irritating pain, often referred to as breast soreness.

Doctors call this breast pain or soreness “Mastalgia” and divide it into two types i.e. cyclic and non-cyclic. If the pain occurs regularly with your menstrual cycle at a specific day of the period and goes away once the periods are over it is called cyclic pain. However, if it occurs at random times and doesn’t usually go away once the periods are over it is called non-cyclic pain.

The breast soreness or pain varies in intensity from mere heaviness to sharp pain. In case you are a breastfeeding mother, you might have additional concerns like how to increase milk production, is it even safe to breastfeed in certain health conditions, or what if you have breast soreness while breastfeeding. Don’t worry, let’s explain things in a simple way for you.

What causes breast soreness or pain?

It is mostly the cyclic pain which is associated with the menstrual cycle and usually occurs after ovulation i.e. before the periods start. What happens is as the ovulation occurs the levels of estrogen start decreasing and the levels of progesterone increase.

Although the pathway is not clear; however, the changing levels of hormones during this period are considered the cause of breast soreness. The fact that the soreness improves once the periods begin further solidifies the logic because the hormones start becoming normal.

Breasts still sore after periods end, is it normal?

Cyclic pain is a normal thing. It occurs to most of the women and goes away once the periods occur. However, for some women breasts still stay sore after the period ends. If the pain goes on its own in a couple of days after the periods there is nothing to worry about. It may take a couple of days for the hormones to become normal. But if the pain persists longer you may want to look into the causes of the pain.

Most commonly this type of pain has nothing to do with the menstrual cycle and has some pathology associated with it. There is nothing much to worry at this point as most of the causes of this pain are easily treatable. However, you need to visit your doctor and figure things out.

Also Read: When Do Boobs Stop Growing?

Some causes if your breasts are still sore after periods end

If your breasts are still sore after the period ends here are some causes for it:

  • Sometimes the breast milk ducts get clogged with milk or infection and end up causing breast soreness or pain.
  • A dense and lumpy breast is due to the fibrocystic tissue. It is usually painful and the pain often persists after the period ends.
  • Uncomfortable bras or inappropriate size bras can cause breast soreness.
  • A history of breast surgery or implant can cause breast soreness.
  • A breast injury can cause breast pain.
  • Breast infection is painful which may turn into a breast abscess in severe cases.
  • Since hormones are the cause of the pain, taking hormonal medication can cause breast soreness.
  • Certain medications like; diuretics, methyldopa, spironolactone, oxymetholone, digitalis, chlorpromazine, etc.
  • Sometimes a simple dehydration or diet variation can produce breast soreness.
  • In rare cases, breast cancer can be the cause of your breast soreness or pain. But in such a case you can feel a lump inside your breast in a majority of the cases.

Remedies for sore breasts after periods

Start from the simple lifestyle changes and move on to medical remedies if the soreness persists. Here is what you can do if your breasts are still sore after the period ends:

  • Improve hydration.
  • Eating a healthy diet which includes; fruits, vegetables, cereals, etc. can help in reducing breast soreness.
  • Give up coffee, smoking, tea, energy drinks, soda, and alcohol as they can cause breast soreness.
  • Reducing salt content in your meals is also important to avoid water retention.
  • Try wearing a more comfortable bra especially at night.
  • Make sure that you are wearing an appropriate size bra to avoid breast soreness.
  • You can use ice packs or heating pads to reduce the pain.
  • Adding vitamin supplements especially vitamin E and vitamin B-6 has shown to reduce breast pain markedly.
  • Avoid heavy exercises like running, jogging, or jumping as these exercises increase the breast soreness. On the other hand, light exercises help to reduce soreness.
  • Avoid stress, most of the times the breast pain is found to be aggravated by stress.
  • If you are on the healthier side, reducing weight is not a bad idea. Besides reducing breast pain, it also reduces the risk of a lot of other harmful diseases.
  • If these remedies don’t work giving your doctor a visit will be appropriate. He can advise you some NSAIDs to help with the pain. These NSAIDs include; ibuprofen or acetaminophen, etc.
  • For non-cyclic pain finding out the cause and treating the underlying cause of the breast soreness or pain is the treatment of choice.

When to see a doctor?

Here are a few signs which indicate that this is the time you should visit a doctor now:

  • If you feel a lump inside the breast tissue whether it causes the pain or not you should get is assessed by the doctor.
  • You are noticing a foul-smelling or bloody discharge from the nipple.
  • If your breasts are still sore after the periods end and the pain persists for weeks you should consult your doctor.
  • The painkillers are not relieving the pain anymore.
  • If you have a fever or the breasts are red or warm this shows an active infection. Although the antibiotics are the answer. However, you need to consult a doctor for the right antibiotic.

The bottom line is that the cyclic pain usually occurs before the periods start and goes away on its own with the start of the periods. However, if the pain persists weeks after the periods it certainly is not normal and should be evaluated by a doctor.

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Diet For Breastfeeding Mothers To Increase Milk | The Right Parenting

Motherhood is a blessing. It is probably one of the most fulfilling things you will do as a woman. But this blessing also comes with its challenges. From conception to pregnancy, leading on to childbirth and then the life-long commitment to your children, every step in the way requires you to be prepared. Caring for your baby’s nutrition is one of these steps. And your baby’s nutrition and your own nutrition go hand in hand. That is why it is important to know the diet for breastfeeding mothers to increase milk.

Reasons for decreased milk production

There are many reasons for decreased milk production. Before we discuss diet for breastfeeding mothers to increase milk, let us take a look at those reasons.

Natural delay

Sometimes it is just a normal delay in the production of milk due to an imbalance of hormones. Often times when you go through an operative delivery (C-section) your hormones take some time to adjust. This leads to a delay in milk production. Keep on trying to feed the baby. You will get there! When the baby will start drinking, your body will start producing.

Medications

You may be taking some medicine that will cause a decrease in your milk. Consult your OB-GYN to discuss the pills you are on.

Less consumption

Milk production is a supply and demand procedure. If your baby is not drinking enough milk due to improper sucking, less milk will be produced. To counter this, use a breast pump to evacuate and store the milk so that more can be produced.

Infection

Infection in your milk ducts can also cause a decrease in your milk formation. Mastitis or inflammation of the breast can also cause pain and soreness. Take care of your hygiene and keep pumping. Use supportive bras and apply soothing lotions on your cracked nipples.

Also Read: Breast Soreness and Menstrual Cycle – Are these Interlinked?

Diet

Last but not the least, what you put in your body is going to be reflected in what you produce. Poor diet and nutrition will affect your milk production majorly. You will have to modify your intake to produce enough milk for your baby.

Diet for breastfeeding mothers to increase milk

Written below is a list and description of diet for breastfeeding mothers to increase milk. Give them a read.

Eat your greens!

The best diet for breastfeeding mothers to increase milk is the green portion of your plate. Vegetables contain many essential vitamins and minerals that are needed by your baby. Carrots and green leafy vegetables like spinach will boost production as well as the nutritious value of it.

Fruits

Fruits are also an important component of the diet for breastfeeding mothers to increase milk. The following fruits should be taken at different times during the day: Apples, oranges, apricots, strawberries, and bananas. Watermelons are also good for you as they give you vitamins as well as plenty of water.

Dry Fruits

Oatmeal, Oatmeal, Oatmeal! Write this on a sticky note and paste it in your room. Oatmeal will keep your immunity (protective mechanisms of your body) in a perfect state. You need your immunity for yourself and your baby. Antibodies and other protective agents are secreted in the milk for your baby. They will be produced by your body only if you are giving your body the building blocks for the formation. Add almonds and nuts in your snack routine to get those building blocks.

White meat/Pulses

Fish and chicken have the necessary proteins that make your milk the power-drink for your baby. Make up yummy dishes with chicken and fish as your meals. Make sure that you are having your white meat if you are not a vegan. For people following the vegan diet, add pulses, legumes, and barley to your diet for these much-needed proteins.

Garlic

Garlic not only adds aroma and flavor to your food but also gives your milk production a nudge in the right direction. Baking a garlic bread is as easy as counting one-two-three. You should get in your kitchen and spend your weekend making lots and lots of garlic bread. It will be a therapeutic and fun activity!

Carbs

Do not forget your carbs! You need them. They are the basic building blocks for everything. If you are worried about the weight gain, take them in a moderate amount mixed with other healthy components. Your baby needs sugar, honey! Bake muffins, make banana and garlic bread, French toasts, and sweet potatoes. Preparing a diet for breastfeeding mothers to increase milk can be a fun activity to spend time.

Calcium

Milk! Cheese! Yogurt! These are some must-haves for you. And you can integrate them into so many fun recipes. Make up yummy milkshakes. Arrange wine and cheese tasting at your place. Buy flavored yogurt. Keeping up with your diet needs does not have to be tedious and boring.

Also Read: Things To Do Before Pregnancy

Seeds

There are so many seeds that you can add to your meal. Garnish your meals with seeds like cumin, sesame, fennel, fenugreek, and flaxseed. These seeds not only help you in burning body fat but also increase your milk production. You can add these seeds for aroma and flavor in your tea or smoothies as well.

Teas and essential oils

Green tea and detox teas, as well as essential oils taken from seeds, can help in milk production. Use olive oil or sunflower oil instead of your regular cooking oil and you will notice a huge boost in your milk production.

Hydration

Hydration is the key. Milk is a liquid, so naturally, you need to keep taking fluids and water to keep a healthy production. Everything in your body needs water. Your skin, your kidneys, your breast milk, everything needs water to function properly. Take a minimum of eight glasses of water daily to get that milk flowing.

A final word on the diet for breastfeeding mothers to increase milk

Giving a quick read to the above discussion must have cleared up in your mind what you need to do now. Get yourself a journal or a diary. Start scribbling the recipes you need to make. Also, do not forget to add these items to your grocery list! Shop. Bake. Cook. Enjoy.

 

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Is Breastfeeding With A Cold Safe? A Comprehensive Guide For Mothers

Is breastfeeding with a cold safe?

Breastfeeding with a cold is a worrisome thing for all the mothers. However, for most of the cases, breastfeeding is completely safe. Most viruses responsible for flu have no transmission through breast milk. Instead, it is beneficial to breastfeed with a common cold. It gives you a peaceful time to relax and nurse your baby. However, if you are too sick to carry your baby and breastfeed you can use a breast pump and get some caregiver to feed your baby until you recover.

Symptoms of a cold

What comes to one’s mind after hearing a cold is a bit of fever with flu or cough? But there is a lot more to it. You can have headaches, sinusitis, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. In rare cases, one can have mastitis associated with the cold.

You can continue breastfeeding without any fear as none of this can transfer to your baby through breast milk. However, you should be careful about respiratory droplets and hygiene.

Why keep breastfeeding with a cold?

Stopping breastfeeding during a cold is not a smart idea. Instead, scientists are claiming that breast milk is essential for the baby even if you have a cold. Here is why?

Breast milk contains almost all the necessary ingredients your baby needs at this time of his age. Above all, it contains additional antibodies that protect your baby against infections. Since your baby’s immune system is not mature this will cover for it. Plus cold infection rarely transmits through breast milk. Furthermore, there are countless benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby. So stopping breast milk with a cold does more harm than good.

Cold medicines and breastfeeding

Cold medicines are generally considered safe both in pregnancy and while breastfeeding. However, not every cold medicine drug is safe. Thanks to the FDA we now have a list of drugs that are quite safe during breastfeeding. This list excludes all the herbal medications as they don’t come under the FDA regulation making them a risky choice.

Decongestants and expectorants are also available for congestion and cold. However, these medications are notorious for decreasing breast milk. This lasts as long as you take medicine and relieves automatically when you stop taking them. However, shifting to diet for breastfeeding mothers to increase milk production can overcome this problem.

Similarly, antibiotics are risky too. They have a higher risk and worse side effects and should be used with caution. There are a lot of these medicines which are excreted in the breast milk and cause side effects in the baby.

Risks of cold medicines during breastfeeding

Interestingly, the side effects and risks of cold medications are found to be almost the same for both the mother and the baby. Luckily these are pretty minor and include; drowsiness, jitters, and fever. However, antibiotics have greater risk and adverse side effects. These can be from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea to severe reactions in both the mother and the baby.

What to do then?

Consulting a child pediatrician before taking any medicine even a simple cold medication is the smartest thing to do. Your doctor can calculate the necessity of the medication and its safety.

It is always better to avoid any medicine unless you have no other option. A mild cold and flu are mostly viral and there is no need for any medication as it will go on its own. Simple diphenhydramine and ibuprofen are enough in worse case scenarios. However, if symptoms are even worse you may need an antibiotic. And there is no better than your doctor to prescribe one.

What to do if you can’t breastfeed your baby?

A few of the mothers have complained about the reduction in their breast milk after having a cold. Nothing to worry, it can happen. However, as soon as the cold goes the production becomes normal. You can avoid it with healthy eating and proper hydration.

If for any reason you cannot breastfeed your baby or you are hospitalized you can use a breast pump.

Also Read: When Do Boobs Stop Growing?

How to avoid spreading cold to your baby?

Instead of stopping breastfeeding and increasing the danger for your baby, you should try these simple acts to avoid the spread of cold:

  • Always wash your hands first before picking up your baby.
  • Avoid splashing your sneeze or cough droplets on your baby.
  • Use a face mask.
  • Avoid face to face contact as much as possible.
  • Use home-made remedies like hot beverages.
  • Seek help from baby care services if you are too ill to take care of your baby.
  • Avoid any medication unless it is necessary.
  • Keep yourself and your baby warm.
  • Eat healthy food and keep yourself hydrated.
  • Keep the vaccination schedule of your baby up-to-date.
  • After 6 months of age, you can also have flu shots for your baby.

Breastfeeding with a cold is tiring

Taking care of a newborn baby is a full-time job. You have to give all of your focus to your baby which leaves very little time for yourself. On top of it if you are ill it becomes a complete mess. Breastfeeding with a cold wears you out.

You should keep good care of your health in this scenario. Eat healthy food and keep yourself hydrated. Give yourself proper time to rest and if you have to ask for help, you can hire a babysitter as well.

 

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Having A Breastfeeding Baby Constipated? What Should You Do?

Basic things to learn if you have a breastfeeding baby constipated

Seeing a breastfeeding baby constipated can trigger parents to overthink a lot of stuff. But relax, you need to know some details before panicking. In young infants, the schedule of pooping is quite variable which makes frequency a poor indicator of constipation. So to define constipation in young infants, bowel movements play an important role.

A breastfeeding baby is said to be constipated if he has sluggish bowel movements along with hard pellet-like stools which are very difficult to pass.

Normal poop schedule in young infants

The schedule of pooping in young infants is highly variable. A baby who is exclusively on breastfeeding can go up to 2 weeks without passing stool. The reason is that breast milk is a pure form of nutrition for your baby with minimum waste. This makes pooping frequency low.

On the other hand, babies can even poop up to 6 times after every meal. This schedule is normal as well. However, it is seen that babies having formula feed instead of breast milk develop constipation more frequently.

Symptoms of a breastfeeding baby constipated

As the frequency is a poor indicator of constipation, it is hard to judge when your baby is constipated. Here are a few indicators which can help you assess whether the baby is constipated or not:

  • The baby has a tight, firm, and distended abdomen.
  • He passes hard stools like pellets.
  • Often cries while pooping.
  • Reluctant to feed.
  • You can find bleeding along with hard stools because of the tearing of the anal wall or sphincter.

Reasons for having breastfeeding baby constipated

It is pretty rare to find a breastfeeding baby constipated before 6 months because of the digestive nature of breast milk. Constipation usually occurs after 6 months when formula milk or solid diet is started. Here are some causes of constipation in a breastfeeding baby:

Rice

If your baby’s diet contains rice it can cause constipation as it absorbs water in the gut and makes the stool hard. If this is the case you should switch to barely or oatmeal for your baby.

Cow milk

Cow milk is more notorious for causing constipation as compared to breast milk.

Bananas

This fruit is a serious culprit of constipation and it is supposed to mess with the baby’s electrolytes causing constipation.

Low-fiber diet

Fibers make the stools soft and easy to pass. With fewer fibers in your baby’s diet, there is more chance of him having constipation. Things like white pasta and bread have low fiber content and you should avoid them.

Fewer liquids

Liquids make stool soft. There should be plenty of liquids in your baby’s diet if there is a complaint of constipation.

Stress

Stressful conditions like travel or heat can cause constipation. It normally relieves with rest and a healthy diet.

Sickness

Constipation is often associated with other sicknesses like common cold or infection. In such situations, it is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, anorexia, and other symptoms of the disease.

Medical issues

Multiple medical diseases can cause constipation in young infants. However, you should consult a doctor and should not take them lightly as these can slow the growth of the baby.

Constipation remedies – If you have a breastfeeding baby constipated

Here are a few home remedies which can help with the constipation problem of the breastfed baby:

Increase Fiber

You should add fruits and vegetables to your diet as they contain higher fiber content. If rice is causing constipation, you should switch it for barely and oatmeal.

Increase Hydration

Give plenty of fluids to your baby. It helps with the general condition of the baby and helps with the irritation besides softening the stool.

Tummy massage

Gently rubbing the baby’s abdomen in a circular motion especially around the umbilicus helps with constipation. It stimulates the digestive system and helps with excretion of the stool outside the body.

Exercise

Moving the hands and legs back and forth like riding a bicycle stimulate the digestive tract helps the baby poop. You can also place your baby on his tummy and encourage him to squirm with a toy. The theme is to increase the activity of the baby which in turn activates the digestive system to relieve constipation.

When to seek consultation if having a breastfeeding baby constipated?

So when is the right time to seek consultation? Constipation can be irritating for the baby and you shouldn’t hesitate if your gut says you to seek help from a doctor. However, here are a few indicators which can help you make the decision:

  • Constipation is persisting for a long time and home remedies are not effective.
  • The baby is irritated and distressed.
  • Your baby is not eating.
  • There is a fever or vomiting associated with constipation.
  • Your baby’s belly is tender and distention.

Can the mother’s diet be a reason for having a breastfeeding baby constipated?

Your baby is too little at this time and is completely dependent on you. From nutrition to protection everything depends on you. This makes healthy eating an important factor. If you are taking good care of yourself your baby is going to be healthy.

However, the mother’s diet does not affect constipation. A popular Korean study carried out in 2017 showed that the mother’s diet has no relation to constipation in the breastfeeding baby. Thus, adding fibers or hydration to the mother’s diet will not affect the baby. Breast milk develops from the blood not the digestive system, therefore, what you eat has little to no effect on the baby.

However, your baby gets all the nutrition from breast milk. Thus eating a healthy diet is always necessary for the well being of your baby.