Monday, March 22, 2010

Milk Intake: Your Breastfed Baby at 12-36 months

As a Lactation Consultant, my main clients are mothers whose babies are under 12 months of age, so when looking for information for my daughter-in-law, I found it hard to find anything on milk intake for babies older than 12 months.  After doing some research, I have come to the following conclusion that I thought I would share with all moms.

Babies who are 12-24 months of age and weigh 20 lbs or more should take in 16-20 oz of milk; more if they are underweight. Normal weight gain during this period is 2 oz per week. A typical schedule would be nursing or feeding expressed milk 4 x daily, feeding solids 3 x daily with one or two healthy snacks in between. If you are weaning to cows milk, it should be whole milk unless advised otherwise by your pediatrician.  For toddlers 2-3 years or age, typical milk intake is 3 servings or nursings per day. After 24 months, most pediatricians recommend switching to 2% milk if you have weaned from breast milk. Toddlers 24-36 months should gain approximately 1 oz per week and eat 3 meals per day with one healthy snack.

Between the ages of 12-24 months, toddlers can still get about 15 oz per day from nursing. These 15 oz provide the following RDA: 29% of energy, 43% protein, 36% calcium, 75% vitamin A, 76% folate, 94% vitamin B12, and 60% of Vit C so if you are pressured to wean before you or your baby is ready, stand your ground, even if it is in the snow!

Happy Nurturing,

Monday, March 8, 2010

Weaning: Gradual & Partial

There are many considerations when deciding to wean your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least one year. If you choose to wean before one year, first make sure your baby tolerates other foods well. Next absolutely, positively, do not wean cold turkey. Before you wean, consider your alternatives such as pumping at work or partial weaning. Partial weaning works well when a baby is older than 4 months. Moms can choose to use formula during the day while at work and still nurse in the morning and at night. This only works after milk supply is well established which is why you should wait until at least 4 months of age before employing this method and always follow the same schedule seven days per week. You cannot put the baby to the breast in the middle of the day, if you have weaned that feeding. Whether you choose to partially wean of fully wean, drop one feeding every three to five days. For example, if you are nursing 8 times per day, drop one feeding in the middle of the day, substitute formula, and continue that schedule for at least three days. At the end of the three days, if your breast have no plugged ducts or pain, you can drop a second feeding. If you feel discomfort, wait until the 5th day to drop another feeding. You continue dropping on feeding every 3-5 days until all feeding are dropped. After the last feeding is stopped, you may need to nurse or pump one or both breast a final time within the next week to make yourself comfortable. One pumping or nursing in a 24 hour period will not increase your milk supply and helps to alleviate any discomfort. This method is slow, but pain free. Sudden weaning can lead to clogged milk ducts, breast infections and even breast abscess. Both you and baby will be happy with gradual weaning.

Don't be misled by advice that tell you to bind yourself.  If you need to expedite weaning, cold cabbage leaves in your bra replaced every hour can help, but make sure you listen to your body and if it is talking to you by means of pain, you are weaning too quickly and you will need to nurse or express milk if you are feeling lumps.  If you have chills, fever or flu-like symptoms, call your doctor right away.

Best wishes for painless weaning,

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Recently I have had several moms who started on formula switching to breastmilk due to baby's lack of formula tollerence.  Fortunately, re-lactating is an option, but these moms may not have had to go through this struggle if they were given the information on breastfeeding in the first place.

This is a condensed version of 101 Reasons to Breastfeed, written by Leslie Burby for those of us with too little time to compile one. For the full version along with explanation and references, visit

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends it

Breastfeeding promotes bonding between mother and baby

Breastfeeding satisfies baby's emotional needs

Breast milk provides perfect infant nutrition

Not breastfeeding increases mother's risk of breast cancer

Formula feeding increases baby girls' risk of developing breast cancer in later life

Formula Feeding is associated with lower I.Q.

Breast milk is always ready and comes in a nicer package than formula does. Need we say more?

Breast milk helps pass meconium

Breast milk contains immunities to diseases and aids in the development of baby's immune system.

Breast milk is more digestible than formula

Baby's suckling helps shrink mother's uterus after childbirth

Baby's suckling helps prevent post-partum hemorrhage in mother

Nursing helps mom lose weight after baby is born

Pre-term milk is specially designed for premature infants

The World Health Organization and UNICEF recommend it

Breastfeeding protects against Crohn's disease (intestinal disorder)

Formula feeding increases risk of baby developing type I (juvenile, insulin-dependent) diabetes

Breastfeeding baby helps decrease insulin requirements in diabetic mothers

Breastfeeding may help stabilize progress of maternal endometriosis

Not breastfeeding increases mother's risk of developing ovarian cancer

Not breastfeeding increases mother's risk of developing endometrial cancer

Formula feeding increases chances of baby developing allergies

Breast milk lowers risk of baby developing asthma

Formula feeding increases baby's risk of otitis media (ear infections)

Formula feeding may increase risk of sudden infant death syndrome (S.I.D.S.)

Breastfeeding protects baby against diarrheal infections

Breastfeeding protects baby against bacterial meningitis

Breastfeeding protects baby against respiratory infections

Formula fed babies have a higher risk of developing certain childhood cancers

Breastfeeding decreases chances of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis

Breastfeeding decreases child's chances of contracting Hodgkins disease

Breastfeeding protects baby against vision defects

Breastfeeding decreases chances of osteoporosis

Breast milk aids in proper intestinal development

Cows milk is an intestinal irritant

Formula-fed babies are more at risk for obesity in later life

Breastfed babies have less chance of cardiopulmonary distress while feeding

Breastfed babies have less chance of developing ulcerative colitis

Breast milk protects against hemophilus b. bacteria

Breastfed babies require shorter pre and post-surgical fasting

Breastfeeding results in less sick days for parents

Breastfeeding enhances vaccine effectiveness

Breastfed babies have less chance of developing necrotizing enterocolitis

Breastfeeding is a natural contraceptive

Breastfeeding is easier than using formula

Breast milk is free

Formula is expensive (approx $150/mo)

Formula costs the government (and taxpayers) millions of dollars

Breast milk is always the right temperature

Breast milk always has the right proportions of fat, carbohydrates and protein

Breast milk acts like a natural tranquilizer for baby

Breastfeeding acts like a natural tranquilizer for mom

Breast milk tastes better than formula

Breastfed babies are healthier over-all

Breastfed babies are less likely to die before their third birthday

Breastfed babies require fewer doctor visits

Breastfeeding mothers spend less time and money on doctor visits

Fewer waste packaging products

No bottles to tote: Have milk will travel.

Less cow induced global greenhouse gasses

No need to refrigerate

Cows milk is designed for baby cows

Human milk is designed for baby humans

Natural pain relief for baby

Perfect food for sick baby

More sleep for mom

More sleep for baby

More sleep for dad

Less equipment to maintain and store

Less equipment to buy

Breast milk has never been recalled

Fresh breast milk is never contaminated with bacteria

No need to worry about which brand is better

No need to worry about adding contaminated water

Breastfeeding helps reduce cruelty to farm animals

Facilitates proper dental and jaw development

Breastfed babies get fewer cavities

Less money spent on corrective orthodontia

Better speech development

Less chance of baby getting eczema

Breastfed babies have great skin

Less gastrointestinal reflux (Spit-up)

Easier to clean spit-up stains

Breast milk contains no genetically engineered materials

Breast Milk contains no synthetic growth hormones

Lack of breastfeeding associated with multiple sclerosis in later life

Less chance of inguinal hernia

Better cognitive development

Better social development

Decreased risk of baby developing urinary tract infections

Suckling optimizes hand-to-eye coordination

Protects mothers against anemia (iron deficiency)

Less money spent on menstrual supplies for mom

Self confidence booster for mom

Breast milk may help combat eye infections

Breast milk may be a good natural antibiotic for wounds

No worry about latest ingredient discovered to be missing from formula

Much nicer diaper changes

Breastfed babies smell fantastic.

It's what breasts were designed for!

Happy Nurturing!