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What to Eat When Breastfeeding

When breastfeeding it is extremely important that you get the right intake of food and drink, but more importantly is what you are actually eating and drinking because you want to offer your child the best breast milk and you can do if you monitor what you take in and make sure that it is balanced. After all, if you eat the wrong foods and drink the wrong liquids you may end up providing the wrong milk to your child which could even be bad.

When starting off breastfeeding it is important that you have thought ahead and worked yourself into a healthy diet because the diet for which you are making the right breast milk for can be quite strict at times, but at the end of the day it has to be to enable your child the best diet as it is developing, especially in the early stages.

Experimentation sometimes is not a good idea since you want to be making sure that your child is getting the best breast milk. It is important when you are breastfeeding that you drink a lot of liquid, it is preferable that you drink a lot of water since it will help liquidize and hydrate the milk much better, this will make the milk much easier and much better for the child to consume and it will also contain minerals which are good for a new born baby. However, even though you must drink a lot, you have to drink a lot of the right things, drinking milk can be a good thing, whilst drinking alcohol can be a very bad thing. It is up to you what you drink, but make sure you think carefully and logically about what you are about to intake before you actually do so.

When it comes to eating, you really do have to watch out what you eat. Eating a lot of meat is advised since it contains a lot of protein, however do try your best to avoid spicy flavourings or sweet and sour since they are not good in terms of the creation of breast milk. Eating vegetables is important but you do have to watch and be aware of what you eat because sometimes it can be unsuitable. Fruits are great in terms of vitamins and if you can pass on vitamins you can give your child a stronger immune system. These are some of the foods suggested, it is okay to eat fatty foods but do not eat too much, moderate yourself and don’t over indulge. You need to get an equal balance and by eating what is needed you will be able to ensure that your baby is getting the best diet. If you research on the internet you will find some in depth nutritional guidelines which are very helpful.

My hope is that this has offered you a general outline as to what to eat, just remember to take things in moderation and don’t over indulge with the wrong types of food and drink.
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The Pros and Cons of Getting Pregnant at 40

Getting pregnant at 40 years old definitely has its good points as well as bad points. Many couples have been trying for years to get pregnant only to finally get a positive result at the age of 40. Others have chosen not to get pregnant until this age to ensure that they were financially grounded before starting a family as well as having established careers before embarking on the journey of parenthood. There are definite pros and cons to waiting until you have reached an older age to get pregnant. If you are approaching the age of 40 and are debating whether or not you want to become parents, it is important to weigh all of your options before bringing a child into this world.

Many couples wait to have children based on selfish (but completely understandable reasons). Some couples want to travel and see the world without having to be weighed down with the responsibility of parenthood. While it is possible to bring your children along on your travels, the carefree days of leaving for days on end with only a bikini and a toothbrush are long gone. There are also financial benefits to waiting to become parents until you are older. Having more years to save that nest egg up allows for a longer maternity leave, or will allow you stay home with your child without the financial worry. Studies also show that people who wait to become parents until their forties are more attentive to their children than those who become parents in their 20’s or 30’s.

Some of the cons to waiting until you are 40 to become a parent are also very apparent. It is certainly much harder for a woman to get pregnant the older she gets so you may be faced with the likelihood of having to go through fertility treatments in order to get pregnant. There are also higher risks to getting pregnant at 40. The chances of fetal abnormalities such as Downs Syndrome greatly increase after the age of 35 years old. You also have a greater risk of miscarriage. Even with a healthy pregnancy, you are then faced with the knowledge that you will be much older than of the other parents on the PTA and may not have the energy that you once had in your 20’s to run around after a busy toddler.
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Do’s and Dont’s of Breastfeeding

Health program for the mother

The program must be comprehensive enough as to ensure that the mother will stay healthy all throughout the period of her pregnancy until she gets to nurse the baby. After all, it takes a healthy mother to feed a healthy baby. An effective health program for the mother consists among other things of a proper diet, enough exercise, and staying away from pollutants or an unhealthy environment. This may not be a concern for mothers who have no health problems in the first place. But if the mother has a record of health problems in the past, or if she has been used to a free-wheeling lifestyle where, for example, intake of fatty and high-cholesterol foods, alcohol or nicotine has been excessive or uncontrolled, it is necessary for her to take steps to ensure that she puts herself back in the pink of health.

Breastfeeding instructions

Specific tasks need to be undertaken during the initial six months of nursing itself. The flow of breast milk does not normally stabilize until two or three days after delivery, especially for mothers giving birth for the first time. During this hiatus, a mixture of milk (about two thirds), water (about one third), thin gruel, and sugar can be fed to the infant.

Full ration of breast milk should be fed to the baby as soon as its supply stabilizes. Mothers have to be sensitive to how often their babies need to suckle. The first ten days of the baby’s total dependence on mother’s milk requires paying close attention to how the baby reacts to each feeding. Both under and over feeding can have awful consequences to the baby. The stomach of an infant is thin and delicate, yet unaccustomed to the process of digestion, and is likely to stimulate feedback to be baby’s brain in the number of ways. How the baby communicates and makes himself or herself understood by the mother is therefore crucial for both of them to get the breast-feeding program on track.

After a week up to ten days, a feeding interval of three to four hours is generally advisable. This must be done day and night. A practical timetable for both mother and child with regards to night feeding is setting it at ten o’clock in the evening and five o’clock the morning after. It is not good to leave the baby sucking the nipple until both mother and baby find themselves asleep. This can only further deprive them of more time for sleep; after all sleep is something which they are often short of. A structured break allows sufficient time for proper digestion to take place and thereby stabilize the baby’s bowel movements. It makes babies less irritable and cranky, and because of which they are wont to show by crying.

The breast-feeding program should be consistently applied until the baby reaches six months after birth. It is even advisable to carry on with this program beyond this period, or until the time the baby weans, for as long as the mother stays healthy and is able to maintain producing breast milk at the same level of quantity and quality.

Breast compression

Breast compression is helpful when breast-feeding runs into problems. If you are the nursing mother, here is how you can apply it.

1. The baby held with one arm, cup your breast with the other arm. Put your thumb on top of the breast while your other fingers are slightly pressing the breast from under it, two or three inches away from your nipple.

2. Being alert all the time is not necessary, but you still need to keep a close watch on the suckling. Guide the baby so that he or she can quickly get the hang of an open-pause type of feeding; this will allow him or her to drink more volume of milk. When the baby begins to nibble or when he or she stops drinking, compress your breast firmly but not too hard. Breast compression causes the milk to flow and the baby is likely start to sucking again.

Keep pressing your breast until your baby stops responding to the compression. If your baby does not latch away from your breast even after you have released the pressure, pause for a few seconds and then start compressing again. Releasing the pressure allows you to rest your hand; it also induces your milk to flow into the baby’s mouth again. If your baby ceases to suck upon releasing the pressure on your breast, it is again likely that he or she will resume sucking the moment he or she senses milk. If the baby is unable to drink enough milk, try to recompress your breast.

3. Go on feeding with compression until your baby stops to drink. Pause until your baby begins to drink again, without your egging him or her on. If you can sense that your baby has stopped drinking, let him or her unlatch, or just take him or her off from your breast.

4. See if your baby still wants to feed. If he or she does, offer the milk from the other breast. Follow the same procedure you earlier did with the other side. You can repeat switching one breast to the other a number of times unless your nipples get sore. Help your baby improve his or her latch.

Pitfalls of breastfeeding

One of the more common mistakes made by nursing mothers, particularly those who are inexperienced, is feeding their babies every time they cry or show signs of discomfort, thinking they are hungry. This may lead to over feeding. This is not necessary nor recommended. When over feeding happens, the digestion process can get disrupted causing, among other things, loose bowel movements, more restlessness on the part of the baby and even fever.

Also, there had been cases when mothers just cannot do away with unhealthy habit or tradition. Inadequate information on the part of lactating moms is often to blame, sometimes leading to more health problems. One misconception is eating as much food as the mother can in the belief that this will fully support the milk production capacity of her mammary glands. While input often equals output, it does not necessarily mean that gaining weight equals gaining health. For that is what excessive eating is all about: gaining weight. The breasts may supply enough milk, but the overall health condition of the mother may be compromised.

Another pitfall which often victimizes young mothers who are nursing for the first time is drinking dark sweet beer called porter. The practice draws from tradition where many a mother has been taught that porter increases the supply of milk and helps sustain her perfect physical health. Without doctor’s approval on a case to case basis, this practice poses threats to the mother. There had been cases when porter intake, particularly in large amounts and on a regular basis, has instead caused the loss of milk supply in the mother and induced loose bowel movements in the baby. Mothers may also experience headache, thirst, hot skin, drowsiness, and fever.
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Six Helpful Suggestions About Potty Training Your Toddler

Training toddlers to use the potty can be one of the most challenging tasks for parents of toddlers. There are many books, resources, and products designed for potty training but it can still be challenging for many children and their parents. While potty training is a rite of passage for young children it should not be a harrowing experience.

Because potty training is challenging for most children at least at first, parents look for help when training their toddler. Here are six tips to make potty training easier.

Your child will be ready for potty training on their own time. While most parents would be happy getting potty training done as soon as possible, many children aren’t ready as soon as parents would like. It is very common for children, especially boys, to not be ready for potty training until age three or even three and a half.

If your child does not take to potty training right away there is nothing wrong with stopping and resuming it when they are ready. It your child is struggling it may be best to try again in a few months when your child is older and may be more receptive.

While accidents should not be rewarded, punishing or belittling a child is counter productive to potty training. Accidents should be handled matter-of-factly without criticism or making a child feel ashamed.

Using pull ups or other training pants that absorb like diapers may keep your child from learning quickly as they cannot feel the wetness. Cloth training pants or regular underwear that allow your child to feel wetness may help them learn better if they are having trouble learning with pull ups.

Many parents would not consider allowing their child to run around the house naked, but doing so can be a good potty training method. Many children find it easier to use learn to use the toilet if they are allowed to forgo pants and underwear.

Make our child feel good about using the toilet, but do not push them or stress out over it. Putting too much pressure on a child to potty train can be counter productive and cause them to have trouble learning.

Parents look forward to the end of diapers, but potty training offers new challenges to the parents of toddlers. Approach potty training only when your child is ready and be sure to use plenty of positive reinforcement and low pressure.
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Getting Involved in Your Child’s School

It is important for parents to be involved in their child’s school. Children whose parents participate in their school have higher grades and test scores and better attendance, and are more likely to be well adjusted and enjoy school, according to a report from the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and the National Coalition for Parental Involvement in Education (NCPIE). The U.S. Department of Education and the National Committee for Citizens in Education also report that children of involved parents achieve more in school. For some parents who work full-time, this may be a difficult task. But there are still ways for working parents to be involved.

Here are some ways for you to get involved:

• Attend school functions such as open houses, family nights, and school carnivals.

• Be sure and meet the teachers and principal and let them know you are interested in being involved in events. Let them know your schedule and when you are available.

• Volunteer in your child’s classroom. Help the teacher with projects, making copies, or reading to the class. If you can’t do this on a regular basis, be sure and check with the teacher periodically to see if you can help. Most teachers welcome parental help in the classroom.

• Being a homeroom mom or dad is a great opportunity to be involved. You can help plan activities, classroom parties and events throughout the year. Although this usually requires more time it is a great way to be involved.

• Join the local parent teacher association (PTA) to meet other parents, and raise funds for projects and materials for the school. The PTA often meets after school and normal work hours.

• Get to know other parents. By attending events at the school you will get to know other parents and build a network. You can even set up a parent center at the school or elsewhere for parents to meet and talk.

• Volunteer to tutor students or help with students who have special needs.

• Volunteer to be a chaperone for field trips, dances, or sporting events.

• Volunteer to assist in the library area of your school. School librarians often need help.

• Share a talent. If you are a good artist or musician, volunteer to perform or do an activity at the school. Or if you have an interesting career or have done something interesting, volunteer to be a guest speaker for your child’s class.

Being involved in your child’s school lets them know you are interested in their education. Also by being involved in the school, it gives you an inside track on what is going on there such as new projects, upcoming events or even any problems that are happening with your child or the school. But be sure not to overextend yourself by volunteering for everything that comes along. Sometimes this can backfire and take too much time away from your child and family. Find the right balance of involvement for you and your family.

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Potty Training Your Toddler – Make it a Success

Successfully potty training your toddler is a significant point in your child’s developmental process. Some children are ready for potty training as early as their second birthday while others are not quite ready until closer to their fourth. Part of the parents’ responsibility is to watch for signs of readiness in their children so as not to begin too early. Some of the signs include your child mimicking others’ behaviors such as going into the bathroom, curiosity concerning the functions of the toilet, being able to pull their pants up and down, and expressing to you when they need to go to the bathroom. Once a child begins to demonstrate these independent characteristics, they could be ready to begin the often tedious, but ultimately rewarding process of potty training.

After you have ascertained that your child is ready to get rid of their diapers, you must invest in the right equipment to make their potty training a success. One of the necessary elements is acquiring a child-sized toilet or other specialized equipment that you can attach to the regular toilet. In the event that you opt for the second type of equipment, it’s generally a good idea to also invest in a small step to assist your child in climbing onto the toilet. Another useful tool is specialized training pants that work in much the same way as diapers, but feel and look more like real underwear, also allowing your child to pull them up and down without having to unfasten the sides, like a diaper. Nighttime training pants can also be purchased which will assist you when it’s time for your child to begin potty training overnight.

Once you transition your child from the diaper to the training pants, start a routine with them concerning their potty training. Make sure to show your child how the toilet works and sit them on it regularly so that they know what it sounds like and how it feels while being secure with your presence. The important part is to explain the process to your child while showing them physically what your words mean. Teach them to flush the toilet, to dress themselves, and wash their hands after going to the bathroom. Encourage their independence while staying close by to ensure your child’s comfort with the process. A large factor in your success with your child’s potty training is teaching them that it’s okay to be independent. It’s important to remind them that the toilet is there and encourage them to use it when they demonstrate a need to go to the bathroom.

Night training is the last hurdle to jump when potty training. Even if your child quickly conquers daytime training, it could take a significant amount of time more for them to get comfortable with nighttime training. Part of the reason for this is that a child’s body cannot be relied upon to wake them up in the middle of the night when they need to go. A good thing to reinforce the need to use the toilet is to place their training chair near the bed. Another thing is to make use of the nighttime training pants readily available on the market. They feel wet, unlike a diaper, when your child uses them during the night, encouraging them to get up to go to the bathroom. Just make sure that your child knows that he/she can call you for help at any time when they wake up. It’s very important that they know that you as parents are still available for support at any time.

Potty training is a sometimes difficult but ultimately rewarding process. As long as you help your child along with not only explanations, but also physical demonstrations, encouraging them along the way, success will ultimately be a reality as your child discovers the independence of using the toilet.
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Potty Training My Toddler

How To Potty Train a Toddler. Top 5 ways of knowing if your child is ready for that big step. One of the most frightening things about being a new parent is figuring out when a child is ready for the “next stage in life”. When are they ready to stop drinking from a bottle, or when should they attempt to feed themselves or when should a parent start potty training? These changes were quite frightening for me because as I read many expert opinions about the subject and the consequences associated with doing something wrong, you have no choice but to be scared of messing up so bad that your child will have to deal with the consequences forever.

I’m here to tell you to relax. The wonderful thing about most of these stages, they are part of nature and most of the time nature will prevail despite our short falls. The best advice for new parents is to follow the signs that nature provide.

The top 5 signs that signal you that your child maybe ready for potty training are as follows:

1) Your child stay dry for longer period of time
2) Your child wakes up dry often in the morning
3) Your child starts dressing herself/himself
4) Your child let you know they need changing or if they are wet
5) Your child show interest in wearing big kids underpants

These signs tell you that this is a great time to make an attempt at potty training. Now it is important to remember in all the different stages in your child’s life, the most important ways to influence change is through consistency and serving as the role model.

When beginning to potty train my daughter, I first took her to the store to select the “Big Girl” underpants to serve as her motivation. I selected to begin this process at a time when I was home on leave from work with her and when we would have very little distractions from our schedule.

The next day, I introduced her to the potty. We started our day on the potty. During that day, every time I went, my daughter sat on the potty. The second day, I put on the Big girl underpants on her for an hour and I move the potty to the family room where we spend most of our day. Every 30 minutes I would have her sit on the potty. This would go on for several days, until she finally goes on her own. I celebrated with her, but not excessively. I wanted her to know that this was a great thing but also a normal part of life.

Like I mentioned before, relax if your child resist at first. Eventually, your child will come around. You will not have an 18 year old in diapers. It will happen in due time. Be patient, relax, stay consistent and motivated.
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What Foods Should I Avoid While Breastfeeding?

Women in our culture are sometimes advised to avoid spicy or “gassy” foods when nursing. Or they are told that chocolate, citrus, carbonated beverages or dairy causes problems in all nursing babies.

As a breastfeeding educator, I often see women warning other Moms that they need
to avoid certain foods while breastfeeding. There are also websites that give
unproven breastfeeding advice that claim that women must eat a certain kind of
diet in order to make quality milk for her baby. So what is the truth?

Does a nursing Mom need to restrict her diet?
Are there foods that a Mom should avoid while breastfeeding?

Generally speaking, a nursing Mom does NOT need to restrict her diet.

Obviously, drinking heavily or excessive caffeine consumption (meaning several cups
of coffee a day) is a no-no, but other than that, there is no reason for a
breastfeeding Mother to assume that she needs to avoid any foods.

So called “gassy” foods do not affect the nursing infant because the undigested
carbs that cause gas in Mom do not pass into breastmilk. It is literally impossible
for “gassy” foods to cause gas in babies except in the rare case of an infant being
allergic to one of these foods.

Interestingly, according to the La Leche League (considered the world’s foremost
authority on breastfeeding) website, “In Italy, mothers are often told not to eat garlic,
cauliflower, lentils, and red peppers. In India most mothers eat all these things and
breastfeed very happily. Actually, in parts of India they believe that garlic helps a
mother to breastfeed successfully!”

There are even a couple of studies that showed that babies nursed longer and with
more vigor when their Moms ate garlic.

The advice given to a nursing Mom varies according to local culture and the popular
“old wive’s tales”. Women all over the world eating a wide variety of foods produce
good quality milk and have thriving babies. There is not a shred of evidence that
supports the idea that eating a special diet helps make breastmilk “richer”.

Consequently, there is no one food that all breastfeeding Moms should avoid.
Breastfeeding women should eat a variety of healthy foods, just as they did
while they were pregnant.

The only exception would be if your baby has food allergies/sensitivies, which is
rare but not unheard of. If your family has a strong history of allergy to a
specific food (such as peanuts), you might consider avoiding that food while nursing
and during pregnancy.

Enjoy nursing your baby!

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Breastfeeding in Public – How to Feel Comfortable With Public Breastfeeding

Some women can feel shy about breastfeeding in public, however if you are only comfortable to breastfeed at home then you will need to be prepared to stay home a lot. There are two things that will help you to feel a lot more comfortable breastfeeding in public and that is:

Wearing the right clothes and having the right attitude!

Firstly the right clothes

If you are wearing a nursing bra or a nursing t-shirt you are able to stay fully clothed and just undo your bra or t-shirt without showing any skin at all. It is very possible to breastfed discretely if you are wearing the right clothing. The baby covers up the rest. Some women feel more comfortable draping a shawl or blanket over their shoulder as well, however my baby didn’t like this one bit and I found this made it even more obvious that we were breastfeeding.

Secondly the right attitude

Breastfeeding your baby is a very natural thing to do. When your baby is hungry they need to be fed and it is important that you know it is your baby’s right to be fed when they need to be and I can’t think of anywhere that would be inappropriate.

You may fear that someone will ask you not to breastfed however I breastfed my baby everywhere for 19 months from the public library, the mall, restaurants to the customs hall at the airport and in 5 different countries including the Middle East and I was never asked once to not feed my baby. I was however discrete and I did believe it was my son’s right to be fed when he needed to be no matter where we were. It is important however to know what you would say and do if this were to occur.
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Stages in Potty Training Toddlers

When it comes to potty training toddlers, close observation of your child’s elimination patterns is necessary for all parents and child caretakers. Children, nearing three years of age, are usually ready to begin this process. Sometime after two years old, some children begin to develop a new pattern of going to a certain part of the house when they are about to defecate – and it’s not always the bathroom! This behavior exhibits a toddler’s ability to recognize what their body is preparing to do, as well as control the action.

Rather than assume that your child is playing a game of hide-and-seek, your toddler may be non-verbally expressing the need for some amount of privacy while she releases her bowels or urinates. These three signs – feeling the need to eliminate, possessing the ability to hold it, and going to a place where he or she is comfortable enough to release their waste is critical in the development of toddlers.

Parents who have observed this pattern should then take it upon themselves to gently lead their toddler to the bathroom – away from the hiding place. With baby potty training, assurance is critical; a child should not be made to feel that he or she did something wrong by not going directly to the right place. It is best to have a potty already in place in the bathroom, so that your child is familiar with it, eliminating a new distraction, which she may assume is a toy.

The beginning stage of potty training girls does not mean that you must immediately remove your child’s diapers before allowing him or her to sit on it. Once the potty is no longer a novelty, then you might begin to prod your child towards the next step of urinating or defecating into it. By now, you are probably aware of your toddler’s elimination clock, which is usually within a half hour after a meal, or after drinking. Within that time frame is the perfect opportunity for you to lead your child to the potty, assist him or her with taking off their diapers, and allow them to calmly sit on the potty for 5 -10 minutes.

Potty training stages vary from baby to baby. What may be the “right” age or time for one child may not be the right time for another child. In fact, development training stages aren’t hard and fast, and some children pick up different stages in different orders.

While you may not always be successful in the initial timing, eventually your toddler will know when they are ready. Remember, potty training toddlers should feel comfortable and relaxed during this natural stage of learning and development. Criticizing, or behaving in a manner less than calm, will postpone success.
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