The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that: "Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child."
- La Leche League International
There are many benefits to breastfeeding, which range from protecting the baby from illness through antibodies to providing comfort and security. There are also a myriad of benefits for the mother, which include everything from the special bonding that takes place to reduced rates of breast and ovarian cancer.
Despite a mother's best intentions, breastfeeding can prove to be challenging for both new and experienced mothers. And because many hospitals have reduced or eliminated programs on lactation, many mothers are often left relying on the advice of friends, family or a much too busy obstetrician or pediatrician. In a friendly, informative and easy-to-read manner, Better Breastfeeding addresses the concerns, problems and issues breastfeeding mothers face and answers the most commonly asked questions.
Some of the issues that are addressed include:
Knowing if the baby is getting enough milk
Plugged ducts and breast infection
Nursing strike, thrush, and twins or multiples
Challenges of latching
Sore nipples and engorgement
Going back to work.
The authors also provide 125 recipes for the breastfeeding mother that serve her unique needs and, ultimately, those of her baby. There is also some research which indicates that a child's taste preferences are influenced by what a mother eats during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Since the flavor of breast milk changes according to the mother's diet, it influences the types of foods the baby is willing to accept and enjoy during weaning to solid foods.
Daina Kalnins, MSc, RD, is a registered dietitian and academic and clinical specialist at the Hospital for Sick Children. She has over 25 years' experience in pediatric research and nutrition and is author of Better Baby Food, Better Food for Kids, and Better Food for Pregnancy.
Debbie Stone and Joyce Touw are both Registered Nurses and Registered Lactation Consultants with The Hospital for Sick Children. They teach both parents and health professionals about lactation.
Top 10 Tips for Better Breastfeeding
Part 1: Better Nutrition and Techniques for Breastfeeding
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Benefits for Mothers
Benefits for Babies
Healthy Breastfeeding Nutrition and Lifestyle
Healthy Body Weight
Healthy Breastfeeding Basics
Breast Milk Composition
Strategies for Healthy Breastfeeding
Sucking and Swallowing
First Week Urine and Stool Patterns
Settling into a Routine
Alternative Feeding Methods
Special Babies and Mothers
Expressing Breast Milk
Introducing Solid Foods While Breastfeeding
Weaning Your Baby
Part 2: Better Recipes for Breastfeeding
Breakfast, Breads and Muffins
Appetizers and Dips
Fish and Seafood
Vegetarian Main Courses
Pasta and Noodles
For years, human infants have survived from generation to generation nurtured by their mother's milk, and after years of scientific investigation into the growth and development of children, the evidence is clear. Human breast milk is the optimal way of feeding human infants to ensure their well-being. Increasingly, health-care providers are promoting natural breastfeeding rather than artificial formula-feeding for babies in their first year of life and beyond. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that infants be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months of their lives, and that breastfeeding continue thereafter as solid foods are introduced into their diet. This recommendation has been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Canadian Paediatric Society, the American Dietetic Association and the Dietitians of Canada. Human breast milk provides all of the energy and nutrients that a full-term infant requires for normal growth and development (preterm infants may require vitamin and mineral supplements).
While breastfeeding is a most enjoyable experience for most women, the mention of breastfeeding to new mothers raises a variety of emotions, ranging from "of course, I'm going to breastfeed," to "I'll give it a try," to "There's no way I'm going to breastfeed." In making the decision to breastfeed or formula-feed their babies, many new mothers can't look to their mothers or female relatives for advice because most of these women, caught up in an era that advocated artificial feeding and lacked the experience of breastfeeding, formula-fed their babies. Advances in nutrition science and the changing needs of working mothers over the past century have led to the promotion of a manufactured infant-food "formula" to replace human milk, which enables any caregiver to feed the infant with a bottle. Other women feel embarrassed if they breastfeed. We have no difficulty watching horses, cows, dogs, or cats nurse their newborns, yet today people still express a vast range of emotions when it comes to watching a human infant nursing at a mother's breast.
For breastfeeding to be successful, education of the mother during pregnancy, as well as support from health-care workers with breastfeeding expertise, is needed. With the appropriate support from trained health-care workers, in most cases, breastfeeding issues can be resolved.
Better Breastfeeding aims to resolve these issues. This book was written for women who are making the decision to breastfeed and desire more information during lactation. It should serve as a convenient and authoritative resource for new mothers and fathers, and others who are part of the woman's supportive circle, in understanding the value of breastfeeding and in the practice of breastfeeding.
Specifically, this book presents the scientific evidence for the benefits of breastfeeding for mother and child, expert advice on healthy eating during breastfeeding, and an understanding of breastfeeding physiology and breast milk composition. The book features a full set of practical strategies for breastfeeding successfully, including many how-to guides and troubleshooting tips. Uniquely, 150 recipes are provided to improve the mother's and, through her breast milk, the baby's health. There is something for everyone, whether you're a meat or fish lover, or someone following a vegetarian diet. The recipes provided are simple to prepare and are designed to be included in the family's meal plans for years to come.
Written by a registered dietitian and two registered nurse lactation consultants at the world-renowned Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, this book offers expert advice on managing the most common complications experienced by women during breastfeeding. By being prepared to deal with these complications and knowing that there are proven solutions, it will be possible for women to breastfeed successfully. The outcome of this beautiful experience is the improved well-being of mother and child. If we can help you achieve this outcome by helping you to breastfeed successfully, we will have done our job.