Many new mothers tell me that they plan to nurse their babies for six months, or until they get teeth.?With the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) now recommending nursing for at least a year, it makes sense to re-examine our ideas about breastfeeding babies with teeth.?I have had two babies out of six who got teeth at four months, so if I had weaned them at that stage, they wouldn?t have been able to nurse for long at all.
These guidelines apply to milk that will be given to healthy, full-term babies. If you are expressing milk for a sick or premature baby, check with your doctor or hospital staff regarding collecting, handling, and storing your milk.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting solid foods at 4 ? 6 months.?What many mothers don?t realize is that the four month recommendation applies more to formula fed infants, and the six month recommendation applies more to breastfed infants.? This is because formula is not as complete a food as breastmilk, and formula fed babies are more likely to become anemic than babies who are breastfed, so they need iron-enriched food earlier.
Relactation is the process of rebuilding your milk supply once you have started nursing and then stopped for a period of weeks or months. Induced lactation is the process of building a milk supply in a mother who has either never nursed a baby, or who has nursed years before.
Although concern about not having enough milk is the number one reason that mothers wean their babies early, having too much milk can also be a problem.?When you consider the fact that a small percentage of women don?t have the capacity to produce enough milk for their babies no matter what they do, then having too much milk is a relatively good breastfeeding problem to have, and is usually fairly easy to resolve.
Most mothers are highly motivated to eat a nutritious diet during their pregnancies. Assuming that you ate an adequate diet while you were pregnant, you can produce plenty of milk for your baby by keeping up this motivation and making sure that you continue your healthy eating patterns during lactation. While you should attempt to eat a “good diet” while you are nursing, you need to be aware that your diet doesn’t have to be perfect in order to support lactation. You can still breastfeed even if your diet is less than ideal. You may be surprised to learn that studies have shown that maternal nutrition has only a minor effect on the composition and quantity of breastmilk produced. Usually, unless a mother is severely malnourished, her milk is fine. Mothers whose diets are poor deplete their own energy levels, and may become anemic, but their bodies will continue to produce the milk their baby needs by pulling from the mother’s energy stores at her expense, but not her baby’s. Most women in this country don’t suffer from a lack of food, but rather from eating too much of the wrong kinds.
While my personal belief is that nothing in the world is more natural than breastfeeding, and therefore every nursing mother should feel comfortable pulling her shirt up or off and nursing anywhere at all, I understand that we live in a society where this just isn?t possible.? In this country, breasts are considered sexual objects, and while it is just fine to expose them on Baywatch or in Penthouse, many people feel that there is something disgusting about a baby at the breast.
The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends exclusively breastfeeding your baby for the first six months of life, with no solids or supplements, and continuing to nurse throughout the first year of life and beyond. During the period of exclusive breastfeeding, it is very unlikely that you will become pregnant. However, as more and more mothers recognize the advantages of long-term nursing and natural weaning, more of them will become pregnant while they are nursing their baby.