Healthy and Nutritious Food from the Start
Towards Lifelong Healthy Life
For the first six months of life,
your baby needs only breast milk.
...Breastmilk contains fats needed for optimal brain development and may reduce the risk of obesity, also exposes your baby to a variety of flavors from the foods you eat, since these flavors are transferred in your breastmilk.
How do I know if my baby is getting enough to eat?
Keep track of your baby's wet and poopy diapers. If your baby has 4-6 wet diapers and 3-4 poopy diapers in 24 hours that usually means they are getting enough milk. Talk to your baby's pediatrician at your office visits about your baby's growth chart if you are concerned or curious. It is important to remember that as babies get a little older the number of bowel movements per day may decrease. Some breastfed babies after about 2 months of age have only one bowel movement per week.
When should one seek medical care for problems with breastfeeding?
It is important to call your health-care provider if you develop serious symptoms such as fever or signs of mastitis (a breast inflammation that may be caused by an infection). Symptoms of mastitis include increasing pain in the breast, fever, chills, sweats, breast swelling and/or hardness, and redness of the skin over the affected area. A delay in treating mastitis could lead to a more severe infection and possible breast abscess.
Should certain foods be avoided while breastfeeding?
A normal healthy diet is all you need while you're nursing. Experts used to recommend that nursing moms get an extra 400 to 500 calories a day, but new research shows that you don't need that calorie boost, says breastfeeding expert Kathleen Huggins, author of The Nursing Mother's Companion. You'll want to maintain a well-balanced diet for your own health, but you don't need to follow complicated dietary rules to successfully nurse your baby.
....Some babies appear to be sensitive to certain foods in the mother's diet. Usually it takes about two to six hours for your body to digest and absorb the food you eat and pass it into your breast milk.
...A baby may become fussy, may have trouble sleeping, or may develop gas after the mother eats certain types of foods with strong flavors. Some of the most common triggers of fussiness in babies include chocolate, citrus fruits, and gas-causing vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli.
...You may also need to limit caffeine, and avoid chocolate, spicy foods, and other irritants that get into breast milk and can bother your baby. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend that nursing mothers should completely avoid eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish (also called golden or white snapper) because of potentially high levels of mercury.
...Be sure to drink lots of fluids — the oxytocin released by your body while you breastfeed will make you thirsty and help remind you to drink.
How and when do I start my baby on solid foods?
Your beautiful baby is a few months old now, and he seems hungry even with eight to ten feedings of breast milk or formula a day, or start showing a great deal of interest in the food of the adults and older children around, so you're beginning to think that you may want to give him solid foods. But you're not quite sure when and what you should feed your little darling.
...Feeding your baby solid foods for the first time can certainly be an adventure, but by making informed decisions, you'll be ok. Classes are available too.
...You may hear that solid food will help your baby sleep through the night, but this is a myth. Breast milk is far more nutritious than any solid you could give your baby.
....Breast milk is the only food your newborn needs until is four to six months old, when will begin to develop the coordination to move solid foods from the front of the mouth to the back for swallowing. At the same time, your baby's head control will improve and he or she will learn to sit with support , which are the essential skills and the signs that he is ready to start eating solid foods. Your baby's health care provider can talk to you more about the signs of readiness in your baby.
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Salud + Health Info is for information and educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal medical attention, diagnosis or hands-on treatment. If you are concerned abut your health or that of a child, please consult your family’s physician or health provider immediately and do not try to diagnose yourself.
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