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Feb 22

It is always very encouraging to read positive news about breastfeeding. I found this report on the CDC issued in April 5th 2008. The research is done by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.

In a gist,

Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys

* The percentage of infants who were ever breastfed increased from 60% among infants who were born in 1993-1994 to 77% among infants who were born in 2005-2006.
* Breastfeeding rates increased significantly among non-Hispanic black women from 36% in 1993-1994 to 65% in 2005-2006.
* Breastfeeding rates in 1999-2006 were significantly higher among those with higher income (74%) compared with those who had lower income (57%).
* Breastfeeding rates among mothers 30 years and older were significantly higher than those of younger mothers.
* There was no significant change in the rate of breastfeeding at 6 months of age for infants born between 1993 and 2004.

Human milk is the ideal food for most infants. Breastfeeding benefits infants and their mothers (1). Breastfed infants receive anti-bodies from breast milk, which protect against infection in the early postpartum period, and breastfeeding is less expensive than formula feeding. This report summarizes information on breastfeeding rates in the United States based on data from the 1999–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES). Results are reported for the total U.S. population and three race-ethnic groups by birth year cohort.

Please continue reading on CDC website. They have a .pdf format which you can pass around to breastfeeding advocates and breastfeeding moms.


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Jan 08

If my breastfed baby has no bowel movement for several days, should I be worried? Is my baby constipated?

The above is a common question asked by a lot of new mothers who breastfeed their babies.

Here is one question posted by a mom.

My Nina now is nursing fully, but it’s been 3 days since she’s moved her bowels. Is this something I should be worried about? I’m thinking of taking her to see my paed if she doesn’t do anything today. How long can a baby go without doing it? -Yat

And the other mothers who breastfeed their babies shared their own experiences :

Bowel – If Nina is not straining or looks uncomfortable, just sit and wait. You will be ‘rewarded’ with a big one soon. My son is also the same – sometimes poo about 7-9 times per day, then suddenly 3 days without bowel movement. All the moo-mies here will chorus – this is normal! if you are exclusively breast-feeding her. – Lilian

Not to worry! It’s normal for exclusively BFG babies do not pass the bowel very often. This is due to our super duper milk is almost 100% absorbed as nutrition by their body, thus not so much to be passed. At one time Wafiq (when he was 3 mths) did not do ‘bisnes’ for almost 10 days. Just minutes away before we went to see a paed, he gave us a surprise with long overdue bullet! – Fiz

There’s nothing to worry about. Joe Yue, now 3.5 months old, has been having bowel movement (since he turned 3 months)every 4 – 5 days. At first, I was worried like you too but after that I realised that it was normal. His paed said that there’s even a record of 11 days! As long as the poo-poo is not hard and pellet-like and your baby is not crying, it’s perfectly fine. – Christine

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Dec 10

I think my baby is suffering from nipple confusion. Can you help?

This is what was suggested in “The Nursing Mother’s Companion”:

“If you have waited longer than a month (to give a bottle) and the baby refuses to take a bottle, be sure to have someone else try. Frequently a baby is more confused and upset by the bottle when her mother tries to persuade her. Trying to force the baby is upsetting for everyone, and rarely successful. Some parents have succeeded by offering the bottle while walking with the baby. Hold the baby facing away from you and bounce her gently as you walk. Some babies dislike the taste of formula; try breastmilk instead. Tasteless silicone nipples may be more readily accepted than rubber types. Recently I’ve been successful in getting babies to take a bottle fitted with the Avent Fast-Flow nipple or the Evenflo HealthFlow nipple. Another technique that has been sucessful for some mothers is to nurse the baby for just a few minutes, then unlatch the baby and slip the bottle into her mouth. If she objects, you can try again after a few minutes more.

The baby who refuses a bottle may do surprisingly well with an ordinary cup, particularly if she is about six months or older.”

Here is my personal experience: ( Min)

Laura (aged 3 1/2 and breastfed for 28 months) was given a bottle too early, so refused the breasts for the first few weeks until she was re-trained to nurse directly from about 5 weeks. In the first few weeks, she was fed bottle fed EBM. My mom was ill at that time, so I spent a lot of time in the hospital with my mom which took me away from her. I nursed her whenever I could and only give her a bottle if I can’t make it back in time for her feed. I was afraid she would regress and not take to the breasts again but she didn’t, so everything was fine until she was about 3 months old. My mom had to be admitted into hospital again and the admission took a long time. I was away from Laura for more than 6 hours. She refused to drink from a bottle and chose to sleep instead after crying her lungs out. Since I was and still am a SAHM, I didn’t pursue trying to get her to use the baby bottle again and just worked around her feeding time and brought her with me whenever I could.

Adam (aged 9 1/2 months and still breastfed) was born with a tongue-tie, so couldn’t nurse directly in the first month. He was cup fed EBM for 4 weeks until he could nurse directly with the help of nipple shields. He drinks a lot and I work part-time, so he has to be fed EBM by my maid while I am away. At about 2 1/2 months, he refused the bottle too and would cry before taking to the bottle again. Initially, he was fed with a fast flowing nipple and he drank a lot because he still wanted to suck after the milk had finished. I was reluctant to give him pacifier but decided to try. He refused the pacifier! With some struggle at each bottle feeding time, he eventually accepted the bottle and now knows that when he wants milk and I am around he will nurse directly. When mama is no where in sight, he accepts the bottle from Dita. He still uses a slow flow nipple which seems to fulfill his sucking needs while giving him nourishment.

Julia, perhaps you can try cup feeding your baby while trying to get her to accept the bottle again. You can either get a feeding cup (especially made for cup feeding infants) from Medela or just use an ordinary cup. Pour small amount into the cup so your caregiver won’t risk spilling your precious EBM.

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