Feeding your baby breast milk does more good than you might think.

I saw this article today, and thought I would share.

    You’ve likey heard that breastfeeding can confer some pretty impressive benefits to your baby—reduced ear infections and asthma, maybe even a bump in IQ among them. Turns out there are even more perks for your little one, not to mention for you, society and even Mother Earth.

    1. Fewer infections “The incidence of pneumonia, colds and viruses is reduced among breastfed babies,” says infant- nutrition expert Ruth A. Lawrence, M.D., a professor of pediatrics and OB-GYN at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, N.Y., and the author of Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession (Elsevier-Mosby). Gastrointestinal infections like diarrhea—which can be devastating, especially in developing countries—are also less common.

    2. Reduced risk of chronic illnesses Breastfeed your baby and you reduce his risk of developing chronic conditions, such as type I diabetes, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease (inflammation of the digestive tract).

    3. Less chance of SIDS Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome by about half.

    4. A leaner baby—and a leaner mom It’s more likely that neither of you will become obese if you breastfeed.

    5. Faster recovery from pregnancy and childbirth The oxytocin secreted when your baby nurses helps your uterus contract, reducing post-delivery blood loss. Plus, breastfeeding will help your uterus return to its normal size more quickly—at about six weeks postpartum, compared with 10 weeks if you don’t breastfeed.

    6. Lower risk of some cancers Breastfeeding can decrease your baby’s risk of some childhood cancers. And you’ll have a lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer, an often deadly disease that’s on the rise. You may also reduce your risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

    7. Confidence boost “There’s nothing more empowering as a new mother than seeing your baby grow and thrive on your breast milk alone,” Lawrence says.

    8. Bigger calorie burn You may have heard that breastfeeding burns an extra 400 to 500 calories a day. And that’s almost right. “Breastfeeding doesn’t burn calories, but it does use them,” Lawrence explains. “Breast milk contains 20 calories per ounce, so if you feed your baby 20 ounces a day, that’s 400 calories you’ve swept right out of your body.”

    9. A green machine Dairy cows, which are raised in part to make infant formula, are a significant contributor to global warming: Their belching, manure and flatulence (really!) spew enormous amounts of methane, a harmful greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. “Plus, most formula companies don’t purchase milk from American farmers, so they’re not even helping our economy,” Lawrence says.

    10. A customized food supply Whereas formula isn’t able to change its constitution, your breast milk morphs to meet your baby’s changing needs. Colostrum—the “premilk” that comes in a day or two after you deliver—is chockfull of antibodies to protect your newborn baby. “It’s also higher in protein and lower in sugar [than ‘full’ milk], so even a small amount can hold off your baby’s hunger,” says Heather Kelly, an international board-certified lactation consultant in New York City and a member of the Bravado Breastfeeding Information Council’s advisory board. When your full milk comes in (usually three to four days after delivery), it is higher in both sugar and volume than colostrum—again, just what your baby requires. “He needs a lot of calories and needs to eat frequently to fuel his rapid growth,” Kelly explains. “Your mature milk is designed to be digested quickly so he’ll eat often.”

    11. More vaccination protection Research shows that breastfed babies have a better antibody response to vaccines than formula-fed babies.

    12. Fewer sick days Since your baby will be ill less often, that means less missed work for you.

    13. A vacation from your period Breastfeeding your baby around the clock—no bottles or formula—will delay ovulation, which means delayed menstruation. “Breastfeeding causes the release of prolactin, which keeps estrogen and progesterone at bay so ovulation isn’t triggered,” Kelly explains. “When your prolactin levels drop, those two hormones can kick back in, which means ovulation—and, hence, menstruation—occurs.”

    Even if you do breastfeed exclusively, your prolactin levels will eventually drop over the course of several months. Many moms who nurse exclusively get their first period somewhere between six and eight months after having a baby, Kelly adds; others don’t for a full year. Another benefit in the green category: Fewer periods mean fewer sanitary products in landfills.

    14. Free birth control Breastfeeding can be 98 to 99 percent effective as birth control if a few general guidelines are followed: Your period must not have resumed; you must breastfeed at least every four hours around the clock; you must not give your baby any pacifiers, bottles or formula (doing so may cause him to nurse less); and you must be less than six months postpartum.

    According to Kelly, nighttime feedings are the most important to the “lactation amenorrhea method,” so do not let your baby (or yourself) sleep through a feeding. “Going long stretches at night without nursing seems to be directly responsible for the return of ovulation,” she says. In the same way, prematurely sleep training your baby can hasten ovulation—which means, of course, that you can get pregnant.

    15. Faster familiarity “You have to read your baby’s ‘satiety cues’ a little better, because unlike with a bottle, you can’t see how much he’s eaten,” Kelly says. “You have to rely on your own instincts and your baby’s behavior to know when your baby is full.”

    16. Budget boost According to La Leche League International, the cost of formula can range anywhere from $134 to $491 per month. That’s $1,608 to $5,892 in one year!

    17. Just so easy Simply pull up your shirt and latch your baby on. No mixing or heating of formula necessary—breast milk is always available and always at the right temperature. And it’s in a pretty nice container to boot!

    18. Perks for society According to a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics, the United States would save about $13 billion per year in medical costs if 90 percent of U.S. families breastfed their newborns for at least six months. Even more important, because of breastfeeding’s health benefits, as many as 911 infant deaths would be prevented.

    Start smart For everything you need to know to make nursing work—from getting the right latch to where to turn if you need help—visit fitpregnancy.com/breastfeeding.

Something to think about when choosing whether or not to breast feed your baby.

A Little About Nora at Week 28


Week Twenty Eight: May recognize your voice

You are 28 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 26 weeks)

  • The baby has its own regular intervals for sleeping and being awake.
  • The weight has increased to 1000 grams and is 37.5cm in length.
  • 2.2 pounds weight and is 14.8 inches in length from head to heel.
  • The feet are just over 2 inches (5.5cm) long.
  • The hair on the head is now clearly visible.
  • The milk teeth have developed under the gums.
  • The eyes are starting to move in their sockets.
    Brain waves show rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which means your baby may be dreaming. Eyelids are opening. Eye color may change within the first six months of life especially if your baby’s eyes are blue or gray-blue at birth. Remember to talk to your baby often; reading stories, singing songs has been seen to slow the baby’s heart rate. He or she can recognize your voice now and will often calm to it later after birth.

    Your uterus will be about 3 inches (7cm) above your bellybutton. During this time of your pregnancy, your belly will grow about half an inch (1cm) each week. If you have been following a nutritious, balanced meal plan, your total weight gain is probably between 17 and 24 pounds (7.5 and 10.5 Kg).

    Branches of lungs are quite developed now, so there is a good chance that baby would survive if born prematurely now. If your baby is born this week, the chances of survival is now at least 90 percent. However, some complications are still possible.

    Pregnancy Today
    It’s a big week in the life of your little baby. Her eyes, which have been fused shut until about now, open and she begins to blink. The irises don’t have any pigment yet; they’re a slate grey. But her pupils will react to different levels of light by contracting and dilating. And she may respond to a bright light from outside by giving a little kick. Your baby already looks a lot like she will appear at birth. She’s still quite wrinkly though, because of being surrounded by the amniotic fluid.

    Her respiratory system is still very immature (were she to be born now she would still need very intensive care and lots of intervention and help with breathing), but it has developed to the point where gas exchange is possible.

    Baby Center
    By this week, your baby weighs two and a quarter pounds (like a Chinese cabbage) and measures 14.8 inches from the top of her head to her heels. She can blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. She’s also developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world.

    The Bump
    Baby’s now the size of an eggplant!
    Baby’s lungs are mature enough that, if born right now, she has a pretty good chance of surviving (with help from medical technology). Her skin is still pretty wrinkly (one byproduct of living in amniotic fluid) but will smoothen as fat continues to deposit.

  • Update on 3hour Glucose Test

    So, if you guessed that I failed, you would be correct. If you remember the chart from last time explaining what the glucose should be under here is how things turned out. Fasting glucose = with in normal limits, 1 hour after nasty drink = 6 points over normal limit, 2 hours after nasty drink = 10 points over normal limits, 3 hours past nasty drink = 29 point over normal limits.

    I don’t know what that really means, I just know that I have to go for a consolation at the diabetes center at the hospital, and they will set me up with a meter. I don’t know all this will happen, I have to wait for them to call me back in the next few days to set up the appointment. I will know more after the appointment at the diabetes center.

    Color Change

    This past week Michael and I were looking at the color we had picked out for Nora’s room and compairing it to the green color in the bedding set. We have decided that it’s just not going to work. So we had to go back to Home Depot for another look at paint swatches. We came home with two different colors that we think might work. Here is the first one:

    This one is called “Friendly Frog”.

    Now for the next one:

    Now, I know it is blue, but it looks really good along with the bedding set. However Michael and I think we will be repainting the room in a few years anyway.

    If you don’t know what the bedding set looks like, here it is:

    A Little About Baby at Week 27

    Week Twenty Seven: Eyes can open

    You are 27 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 25 weeks)

  • The fetus weighs almost 2 pounds now and is about 14.5 inches long.
  • Baby now weighs about 875 grams and is 36.5 cm in length.
  • The head is over 2.5 inches (7cm) in diameter.
  • Your baby’s hearing continues to develop.
  • The eyes can blink, open and close.
    Welcome to the third trimester. Congratulations! You have made it 2/3 of the way through. It may be hard to believe, but your baby now appears much like he or she will look like at birth. Baby now has eyebrows and eyelashes and hair is growing everyday. The muscle tone is improving and his or her body is getting plumper.

    Your little one’s brain continues its rapid growth. Don’t forget to share music, conversation, and even books with your baby. Baby may start to recognize your voice as well as your partner, so be sure to say lots of nice things.

    The retina at the back of your baby’s eyes is beginning to develop. Those beautiful baby eyes can open now, and the baby will notice and may turn his or her head if you shine a flashlight against your belly.

    At 27 weeks, your baby’s length will have tripled or quadrupled from the 14 week mark. If your baby is born this week, the chances of survival is now at least 80 percent. However, serious complications are still possible.

    Pregnancy Today
    Just 10 weeks to go until your baby reaches full term! From now until about week 30, he goes through a very active phase. His muscles are increasingly developed and his nervous system is mature enough to control some of his bodily functions. So you can look forward to your baby kicking and moving around a lot.
    The rest of the time he will be sleeping. He’s settling into a sleep cycle that’s similar to what he’ll follow as a newborn: asleep during the day and awake at night! His brain is growing rapidly, too, and the grooves on the surface are developing. Some experts believe your baby begins to dream around now while he’s in REM sleep.
    He’s practicing his sucking reflex a lot now. This is important as it will help him feed effectively once he’s born. Meanwhile his muscles, organs and limbs are all formed, and throughout this final trimester he’ll be busily building up fat stores and muscle mass.

    Baby Center
    This week, your baby weighs almost 2 pounds (like a head of cauliflower) and is about 14 1/2 inches long with her legs extended. She’s sleeping and waking at regular intervals, opening and closing her eyes, and perhaps even sucking her fingers. With more brain tissue developing, your baby’s brain is very active now. While her lungs are still immature, they would be capable of functioning — with a lot of medical help — if she were to be born now. Chalk up any tiny rhythmic movements you may be feeling to a case of baby hiccups, which may be common from now on. Each episode usually lasts only a few moments, and they don’t bother her, so just relax and enjoy the tickle.

    The Bump
    Baby’s lungs are going through some major developments these days, which (combined with the opening of previously plugged nostrils) means he’s now able to practice inhaling and exhaling. The lack of air in your womb means every “breath” is filled with amniotic fluid, but hey — it’s progress.

  • Update on Latest Glucose Test

    Last week I had my second 1 hour glucose test, and the results are…I failed. The nurse called me yesterday, and told me to come in sometime this week for a 3 hour glucose test. Only problem is I have to be there between 8:30 and 9:00. That is quite early for someone who goes to sleep at 3 or 4 in the morning. If you are wondering what the 3 hour test is like, here is some information I found on Baby Center.

      For three days before the test, you’ll be told to eat at least 150 grams of carbohydrate a day. If you eat a normal diet and have an extra piece of bread at each meal, you’ll likely be getting enough carbs. For eight to 14 hours before the test, you can’t eat or drink anything but sips of water (and you’re not supposed to smoke or exercise either), so you’ll want to schedule it for first thing in the morning.

      When you arrive for the test, the technician will take a blood sample to measure your “fasting blood glucose level” and then ask you to drink either a more concentrated dose or a larger volume of the glucose solution. Then brace yourself for three more arm pricks, as your blood is tested every hour for the next three hours. The technician should alternate arms each time she draws your blood.

      You’ll definitely need something to distract you this time, because you’ll have to stay seated in the waiting room between blood drawings. And bring something to eat right after your final blood sample is drawn because you’ll probably be starving.

      If one of the readings is abnormal, you may have to take another test later in your pregnancy. Or your practitioner may ask you to make some changes in your diet and exercise routine. If two or more of your readings are abnormal, you’ll be diagnosed with gestational diabetes and you’ll need to talk to your practitioner about a treatment plan. This chart shows the levels that the American Diabetes Association considers abnormal at each interval of the test:

      Interval Abnormal reading
      Fasting 95 mg/dl or higher
      One hour 180 mg/dl or higher
      Two Hours 155 mg/dl or higher
      Three hours 140 mg/dl or higher

    Pray all goes well.

    A Little About Baby at Week 26

    Week Twenty Six: Second trimester ends this week

    You are 26 weeks pregnant. (fetal age 23 weeks)

  • The baby measures 14 inches long and weighs over 1.7 pound.
  • Baby measures 35.5cm long and weighs over 760 grams.
  • The feet are 2 inches (5cm) long. Hands are very active.
  • The baby’s eyes begin to open around this time.
    The fetus makes breathing movements, but there is no air in the lungs yet. Hands are active and muscle coordination is such that they can get a thumb into the mouth. Thumb sucking calms the baby and strengthens the cheek and jaw muscles.

    The fetal brain scan will show response to touch. Touching and playing with the baby is possible now, as they may respond to your touch through your belly wall. Brain growth continues with brain wave activity for the visual and auditory systems starting to develop. Baby is probably very active in the womb, as the most active weeks are typically between weeks 24 and 28.

    You may begin feeling your belly tighten and relax at odd moments or irregular intervals. These are Braxton Hicks contractions. They are painless and help the uterus prepare for the birth. Many babies have developed a predictable routine for sleep and active periods. Twins may have entirely different routines from each other.

    If your back is feeling the strain of your growing belly, try doing some pelvic rocks to relax it. Stand with your back against the wall, knees slightly bent. As you inhale a breath, press the small of your back against the wall. Exhale and relax your back. You may be experiencing shortness of breath as the uterus is very close to the rib cage at this stage. Some moms are not able to fully expand their rib cages; however, this does not negatively affect the baby in any way.

    The end of week 26 marks the end of month six, which is the last month of the second trimester.

    Baby Center
    The network of nerves in your baby’s ears is better developed and more sensitive than before. He may now be able to hear both your voice and your partner’s as you chat with each other. He’s inhaling and exhaling small amounts of amniotic fluid, which is essential for the development of his lungs. These so-called breathing movements are also good practice for when he’s born and takes that first gulp of air. And he’s continuing to put on baby fat. He now weighs about a pound and two-thirds and measures 14 inches (an English hothouse cucumber) from head to heel. If you’re having a boy, his testicles are beginning to descend into his scrotum — a trip that will take about two to three days.

    The Bump
    Baby’s now the size of an eggplant!
    Baby’s soaking up your antibodies, getting her immune system ready for life outside the womb. Eyes are forming, and she’ll soon be practicing the blink…perfect for batting those freshly grown lashes.

    Pregnancy Today
    Your baby’s nostrils are opening up, so she’ll be able to practice breathing through her nose as well as her mouth. Her eyes are developing the ability to focus, although she’ll only be able to see objects 6 to 8 inches away at birth. Her lungs are maturing and she’d have an 80 percent chance of survival if she were born now.

    Lengthwise, your baby’s growth has slowed down now, but she’s still gaining lots of fat. Her movements are likely to be strong enough to be seen from the outside, and you may be able to make out the rough shape of a protruding foot, elbow or bottom. The network of nerves to her ears are now fully developed, and she’ll noticeably react to external noises. She’s also likely to have a burst of activity just after you’ve eaten.