Tag Archives: breast feeding

Nutrition Improves in the US (Article)

Nutrition experts believe that breast milk is the best food for babies, plain and simple. Human milk contains vital nutrients and other substances that allow babies to thrive. Mothers need all the help we can give to be successful in this important task of motherhood. We should all want mothers to not only choose to start breast feeding, but to continue the practice as necessary.  Recent studies have found that more mothers are choosing to start and continue feeding from the breast. The National Immunization Survey (NIS) collects vaccination and other health data from households with children.  In 2003, the NIS found over 70% started breastfeeding, 34.5% breastfed for 6 months, and exactly 16% breastfed for 12 months.  Their latest data, from 2008, showed improvement in these percentages with 74%, 44.4%, and 23.4%, respectively. Interestingly when racial/ethnic data were included in the 2001 data, the survey found over 47% of African Americans, 71% of Caucasians, and 77% of Hispanics initiated breastfeeding.

 

Are we in the midst of a food “Renaissance”?  Mothers in the US are increasingly choosing more natural foods as their primary source of nutrition for their infants and children.  I think we should all be thrilled by this news. Breastfeeding an infant for six to twelve months, or longer, is great for babies as well as mothers. The twentieth century ushered in the revolution of fast, convenient, processed, inexpensive foods. Infants and children shared in this “revolution” by increasingly being served such things as infant formula, sodas of all variety, processed meats, juices, and of course, fast food.  Maybe the 21st century will undo much of this “progress”.

 

Artificial food has lost much of its luster in recent days, with parents increasingly seeking and demanding whole foods for their children.  What could be more “whole” than breast milk? In the midst of the obesity and diabetes epidemic, I think that parents sense how important good food is to the well-being of their children. I see parents, whenever possible, pushing back the clock to a time when food was food and natural was natural.  What better place to start than the day a baby is born by starting with what almost everyone agrees is the best food for newborns, your mother’s milk!

 

I welcome your comments at my blog, www.docsmo.com.  Until next time.

 

Written by Norman Spencer and Paul Smolen M.D.

 

Smo Notes:

 

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6205a1.htm?s_cid=mm6205a1_w

 

Why You Shouldn’t Let Sleeping Babies Lie (Pedcast)

Transcript:

 

 

So, you are coming home from the hospital with your newborn.  You’re a little on the tired side…No, you’re exhausted.  Everyone in a hospital wants you to deal with him or her on their terms.  Always waking you up.  Telephone, friends coming by.  Finally, you’re home in your bed, your house…some sleep!

 

You’re thinking, “My baby is quiet, doesn’t demand much, sleeps a lot.  I HAVE A GREAT BABY.”  You’re hoping that maybe the quiet bliss will continue.  You need to decide, “Now that I am home, I will let him or her set their own schedule.”  Is that a good idea the first week home?  In today’s pedcast, we are going to explore the question of whether babies need to be awakened for feeds in the first week of life.  “What’s wrong with letting my baby demand feed in the first week of life…they know when they are hungry, right?”

 

 

 

Let’s back up and look at life from your baby’s perspective. In the womb, babies are fed continuously; they are never hungry or thirsty.  YOUR BABY HAS NEVER EXPERIENCED HUNGER OR THIRST AND MAY NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THAT FEELING!  BABIES HAVE NO REPONSIBILITIES IN THE WOMB!  “Life is good man.  I can’t mess up.”

 

 

 

Now your baby is born, after a long and strenuous process.  If your baby could talk in the first 2 days of life, they probably would say something like, “Wow I have a headache.  I am so tired.  Just leave me alone.  I just want things to be quiet and stop undressing me, I hate that.  And while you’re at it, turn down those lights and tell Junior next to me to stop crying.  I suck so much and I only get a few drops of milk.  Sucking is fun but not very rewarding.  No mind, I’m not very hungry anyway, since I was born with plenty of extra water in my body.”

 

Now your baby is 3-4 days old, and his or her thinking has changed: “Something is not right.  I have this uncomfortable feeling.  I’m hungry and thirsty…never been there before.”  As they say around NC, time for your baby to fish or cut bait.  Time to separate the men from the boys, the divas from the wallflowers.  Most babies at this point become demanding, scream until they are fed, and quickly learn how to deal with the hunger feeling…but not all.  Some babies are still very sleepy from delivery and simply don’t respond to this new feeling…hunger.  They just sleep.  They remain dopy and lethargic.  These sleepy babies can get into serious trouble with dehydration and jaundice because they have had very little intake for days, they have used up their reserve, and their tanks are on empty.  They can get very weak.  Poor parents can be thinking that everything is OK since junior isn’t demanding feeds

 

One moment, I see a question coming in from Ireland:

 

“Doc Smo,  Marge McCracken from Ireland here.  My little ______ sleeps all the time.  How do I know if they are one of those sleepy babies you talk about?”

 

I’m glad you asked, Marge.  The sleepy babies, unless woken up every 3 hours, can get into serious trouble with dehydration and jaundice.  As your baby’s jaundice builds, so will his or her  sleepiness.  Here are some signs your baby may be getting into trouble:

 

  • Wet diapers are not coming every 4-6 hours, may be dehydrated, leads  to weakness
  • Your baby is getting more yellow…i.e. jaundiced, also makes them sleepy
  • Your baby’s poop has not changed from its initial black color to a yellow, green or brown color by the 4thday of life: this is a sign that milk is not getting through
  • Finally, your baby has lost more than 10% of their birth weight; this is a clear sign of trouble

 

Marge again.  What are your recommendations for parents as far as feeding in the first week home?”

Here is what I recommend, Marge:

 

  • Wake every 3 hours from the beginning of one feed to beginning of the next
  • Try to get your baby checked as close to the 4th day as possible
  • Be extra careful if your baby born on Thursday…4th day is Sunday
  • If you have a preemie (that is, less than 37 weeks), be extra careful. They can have trouble with the simplest things.
  • Look for wets every 4 hours.  Lack of urine should alarm you.
  • Poop should turn golden by the 4th day of life…If it does not, that should be cause for alarm.

 

Bottom line, lack of stool and urine in a sleepy baby who is difficult to feed could mean trouble.  Call your pediatrician for help.

 

This is Dr. Paul Smolen, broadcasting from famous Studio 1E in Charlotte, NC, the Queen City.  Visit Doc Smo on Facebook, Twitter, iTunes, or my website, Docsmo.com.  If you have a comment, feel free to share your thoughts…that’s what blogs are all about!  This is Doc Smo, hoping if you have a new little squirt, that they stay well fed and alert.

 

Until next time.

Subscribe on iTunes!Subscribe on iTunes!

*By listening to this pedcast, you are agreeing to Doc Smo’s terms and conditions.

All Rights Reserved