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Huggies - The Trouble With Feeding
As you can tell from the cheeks on my youngest, getting her to eat as a newborn was never an issue. I nursed all three of my children until they were around a year old, but here is the deal: I planned on breastfeeding them, I was home with them full-time, and we didn't have any issues with feeding or latching. So I breastfed. I plan to do the same with baby number four when he arrives, but I won't for a minute feel guilty if it doesn't work out that way. You have to decide what is best for your family.
I know women who nurse for a short time to make sure the baby gets the antibodies that are found in colostrum. I also know women who pump for only the first week for the same reason. And I know women who have never breastfed their babies. They all have healthy, beautiful, intelligent children. I am not saying there aren't benefits to breastfeeding, but I do think having a happy mother is a great benefit to a newborn as well.
If you are nursing, make sure to have nursing pads and a breast pump handy from day one. Even if you don't intend to pump often, an inexpensive pump could come in handy when your milk comes in and your little one hasn't gotten the hang of nursing yet. I learned this lesson the painful way with my firstborn.
If you plan to bottle feed, I recommend having a couple of different types of bottles to try. Open your first choice, but if the baby doesn't take to it, you won't need to have someone run to the store while you try to console a hungry baby. You might even want to check with the hospital you will be delivering at and see what type of nipple they use on the bottles they provide. If your newborn gets used to the hospital bottles, you might want to have something similar on hand. This actually is good advice for breastfeeding moms too. You never know if, by choice or by circumstance, you will need to pump and have your baby fed by a bottle, so you might want to have some on hand as well.
And what about how often to feed them? How will you know when they have had enough? If you are unsure, it is always a good idea to consult with your pediatrician and a lactation consultant. Both will come right to your hospital room before you head home. In my experience, your baby will be the best indicator of when and how much he or she wants to eat. Unless you have concerns because of lack of diaper changes needed or because the baby seems fussy, you are probably on the right track.
And most importantly, no matter what your feeding choice or schedule, you will know when you find what works for you. So be confident in your choices and know that you are doing a great job.
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