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Breastfeeding v/s Formula Feeding

By Mayo Clinic staff

Jay Hoecker, M.D.
Breast-feeding is the optimal way to feed a newborn. Depending on the circumstances, however, various factors may lead you to consider formula-feeding. Here, Jay Hoecker, M.D., an emeritus pediatrics specialist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., answers important questions about breast-feeding and formula-feeding.

How long are mothers encouraged to breast-feed?
Breast-feeding until your baby is age 1 is recommended. Breast milk contains the right balance of nutrients for your baby and boosts your baby’s immune system. Breast-feeding is also the most convenient and least expensive way to feed your baby. Breast-feeding after age 1 continues to support your baby’s growth and development.

Is any additional nutrition necessary?
If you’re exclusively or partially feeding your infant breast milk, consult your baby’s doctor about vitamin D supplements for your baby. Breast milk may not provide enough vitamin D, which is essential to help your baby absorb calcium and phosphorus — nutrients necessary for strong bones.

What factors promote successful breast-feeding?
Taking care of yourself can go a long way toward promoting successful breast-feeding. Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of fluids and rest as much as possible. To boost your confidence, learn as much as you can about breast-feeding. Keep the environment calm and relaxed. Look to your partner and other loved ones for support. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Friends who’ve successfully breast-fed may be a good source of information. Lactation consultants are available at many hospitals and clinics. Your baby’s doctor can help, too

Is it risky not to breast-feed?
Breast milk is the best food for babies. If breast-feeding isn’t working for you, however, your baby may not receive adequate hydration or nutrition. In this case, your baby’s doctor may suggest supplementing with formula. The need for adequate nutrition and dehydration outweighs all other considerations.

Does infant formula pose any risks to a baby?
Commercial infant formulas don’t contain the immunity-boosting elements of breast milk. For most babies, breast milk is also easier to digest than formula. When prepared as directed, however, infant formula supports healthy babies who have typical dietary needs.

Can mothers combine breast-feeding and formula-feeding?
Many mothers successfully combine breast-feeding and formula-feeding — especially after breast-feeding has been well established.

How can mothers who choose not to breast-feed handle feelings of guilt?
Instead of feeling guilty about your decision, focus on nurturing your baby. You might also share your feelings with your doctor, your baby’s doctor or others in your support circle. Remember, parenting is an adventure that requires choices and compromises. What counts is doing the best you can as you face this new challenge.

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Appointment Change

Apparently Dr. Roberts’ office called my cellphone on Friday to let me know that they are going to have to change an appointment of mine. Well, if you know me, then you will know that I NEVER answer my cellphone when I am at home unless there is an emergency. So, I just happened to check my voice mail today, and heard the message.

When I called them, the lady was like, do you know which appointment it was. Um… no… the lady that left the message just said one of my appointments. It turns out that it is the one for the ultrasound where we may find out the sex of the baby.

The receptionist went through all the available appointments for the day, and they were all in the morning, and Michael needs time to sleep. So, I asked about the day before instead. She said all she had was near closing time, and I would have to see a different doctor. I didn’t want to do that, so I have settled for August 10th at 10:50. I hope Michael can get enough sleep, it’s a good thing he has already taken off for that day.

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More Optional Prenatal Tests

As I reported last week, I had the ultrasound and blood test to see if I was a risk for having a baby with Down Syndrom or Trisomy 18. All of that came back just fine, but now I have to decide of I want to have the Multiple marker screening done. I think it is just a blood test, and it will give us more information about if we are at risk for a baby with Downs or Trisomy 18 along with the chances of having a baby with neural tube defects, such as spina bifida.

Here is my problem: If I get the test restults back and they say that the baby has a 1 in 1 chance of having one of those problems, it WILL NOT make me change my mind about this pregnancy. However, I want to be prepared for any problems that I need to be concered about about and even prepared for when the baby is born.

Here is a little bit from the atrical on BabyCenter.com

The multiple marker test is usually given between 15 and 18 weeks of pregnancy, but it can be done as late as 20 weeks. You’ll have a blood sample taken and sent to a lab for analysis. Results are usually available in about a week.

The triple screen measures the levels of three substances in your blood: alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and unconjugated estriol (uE3). Some testing centers measure the hormone inhibin A as well — this is called a quadruple screen.

High AFP can mean several things. A baby produces AFP throughout gestation, and a certain amount of it should cross the placenta into the mother’s bloodstream at each stage.

If there’s more AFP than expected, it may mean that you’re carrying more than one baby or that your baby is older than your practitioner thought. But in some cases, it’s a sign of an abnormal opening in the baby’s spine (spina bifida), head, or abdominal wall that’s allowing AFP to leak out. In rare cases, it can also signify a problem with the baby’s kidneys. And in some cases, it doesn’t mean any of those things.

Low AFP, low estriol, high hCG, and high inhibin A are associated with a higher risk for Down syndrome. Low levels of the first three mean your baby has an increased risk of having trisomy 18, a more severe and less common chromosomal abnormality.

Certain results may also indicate that you yourself are at a somewhat greater risk for problems such as preeclampsia, premature birth, intrauterine growth restriction, or miscarriage. Knowing this can enable you and your practitioner to be on the lookout for signs of trouble.

So for all you recent mothers/fathers, what did you decide to do? If you could leave me a comment with your opinion.

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A Little About Baby at Week 13

From BabyCenter.com

Fingerprints have formed on your baby’s tiny fingertips, her veins and organs are clearly visible through her still-thin skin, and her body is starting to catch up with her head — which makes up just a third of her body size now. If you’re having a girl, she now has more than 2 million eggs in her ovaries. Your baby is almost 3 inches long (the size of a medium shrimp) and weighs nearly an ounce. As you start your second trimester, most of your baby’s critical development will be completed and your odds of miscarriage drop considerably.

From The Bump

Baby’s now the size of a peach!
Your fetus is forming teeth and vocal cords…savor this, their nonfunctional phase. Baby is approaching normal proportions, with his head now only one third the size of his body. And intestines are in the process of moving from the umbilical cord to baby’s tummy — much more convenient.

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Update on the Crib

I got a response from the company we got the crib from, and they are sending us a whole new piece to replace the piece that was scratched so bad! They said it will take 3 to 4 weeks, but hey, we are no where near the due date, so it should be fine.

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Crib and other things

The crib finally made an appearance Tuesday evening, and ABF did bring their huge semi truck into the subdivision. The guy that was delivering it called me, and asked if he could just deliver it later in his pick-up truck. I wasn’t too sure about that, and asked if he could try to make it through to my house since we are not too far into the subdivision. He made it just fine, and even brought it in the house for me.

The box was HUGE, and I didn’t think I would be able to lift it. Being as excited as I was, I wanted to look at the crib right away, but I couldn’t even get the box open far enough to take a peek. So, I had to wait until Michael got home.

The crib it absolutely beautiful!!! There is one small problem though, there is a area, about 2 inches in diameter, that has been scratched. I emailed the company today to see what to do about, since I couldn’t find anything in the paper work about that. But they haven’t emailed me back yet. If they don’t email me back in the next few days (or by Monday) I will have Michael call them.

At the doctor on Tuesday, I got all set up for my next appointments, had a bunch of blood taken, and had an ultrasound (see below for ultrasound). The Dr. Roberts is wonderful, and answered all the questions I had. She was very truthful with me, and that is what I wanted. She said that she wants me to come in every two weeks for a while since I was so nervous. HAHAHA So my next appointment is July 27th, and then I have another ultrasound on August 10th. They said that they might be able to tell the sex of the baby at the next ultrasound (YAY!).

They tested me to see how likely I am to have a baby born with Downs or Trisomy 18. I got the results today, and there is a very very very very small chance that I will have a child born with either. Like 1 in 10,000 chance for both! We were very relieved to hear that.

So I guess we start the countdown to see what color the baby’s room will be painted, green or purple.

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Ultrasound #4

Ultrasound removed for now. Please check back again later.

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Too Much, Too Soon

So last night I got the cleaning bug, and decided to clean out my clothes. I had more of a mess then anything, but I did get a HUGE trash bag full of clothes for Goodwill, and I still have more to go through. The only problem with my “cleaning bug” is that today I have had some cramping and other problems. Kind of scary. I called my new doctor in a panic, and she told me not to worry, that I probably just done too much too soon. So once again, I am bed rest, and not able to finish cleaning out my drawers and closet. I am still very worried though. Prayers are always welcome!

P.S. On another note, I called today to schedule a time for ABF to deliver the crib!

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A Little About Baby at Week 12

The most dramatic development this week: reflexes. Your baby’s fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won’t be able to feel it. His intestines, which have grown so fast that they protrude into the umbilical cord, will start to move into his abdominal cavity about now, and his kidneys will begin excreting urine into his bladder.

Meanwhile, nerve cells are multiplying rapidly, and in your baby’s brain, synapses are forming furiously. His face looks unquestionably human: His eyes have moved from the sides to the front of his head, and his ears are right where they should be. From crown to rump, your baby-to-be is just over 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce.

From www.babycenter.com

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Just a little info for you all…

Estimated Due Date January 22, 2011
First Heartbeat May 29, 2010
2nd Trimester Begins (Weeks 13-26) July 17, 2010
3rd Trimester Begins (Weeks 27-40) October 23, 2010
Quickening Begins (~16-24 Weeks) Between August 7, 2010 and October 2, 2010
Viability (24 Weeks) October 2, 2010
Pregnancy considered term if delivered Between January 1, 2011 and February 5, 2011
Gender Ultrasound (~18-20 Weeks) Between August 21, 2010 and September 4, 2010

Found this at http://www.countdowntopregnancy.com/tools/duedatecalculator.php

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