Feeding Your Baby

Infant Nutrition
Choosing how to feed your baby is an important decision that has life-long effects for your baby and for you.
Feeding Guide for the First Year
It's important to feed your baby a variety of healthy foods at the proper time. Solid foods should not be started before 4 months of age.
Bottle-Feeding
Detailed information on bottle-feeding, including information on the different types of baby formula

Breastfeeding Basics

Maternal Nutrition and Breastfeeding
Women who are breastfeeding should eat a well-balanced, varied diet and drink enough liquids.
Knock Down the Hurdles to Breastfeeding
Ideally, you should breast-feed exclusively for the first six months, with a goal of continuing breast milk for at least the first year.
Breast Milk Is the Best Milk
Your milk contains just the right balance of nutrients, and it contains them in a form most easily used by the human baby's immature body systems.
Effective Breastfeeding
Think there’s only one way to breast-feed? Think again! Moms can position their babies in several positions during feeding time that can be comfortable for both.
Effective Sucking
It’s important for your baby’s health to be able to effectively remove milk from your breast during nursing. To do this, your baby must learn the proper way to suck. But how do you know if your baby is actually getting the nutrition he/she needs? Here’s a guide to help you.
Breastfeeding: Getting Started
The first weeks of breastfeeding should be considered a learning period for both you and your baby. Don't expect to work as a coordinated team immediately.
How Milk Is Made
Detailed information on how breast milk is made for breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Difficulties

Mom

Flat or Inverted Nipples
Detailed information on breastfeeding and flat or inverted nipples
Insufficient or Delayed Milk Production
Detailed information on insufficient or delayed milk production
Mastitis
Detailed information on breastfeeding and mastitis
Plugged Milk Ducts
For mothers who breastfeed, some may be more susceptible to plugged ducts than others. Get some quick tips on how to avoid and manage this concern, so you can keep you and your baby happy and healthy!
Low Milk Production
Detailed information on breastfeeding and low breast milk production
Sore Nipples
Detailed information on breastfeeding and sore nipples

Baby

Ineffective Latch-on or Sucking
Detailed information on ineffective latch-on or sucking during breastfeeding
Mismanaged Breastfeeding
Detailed information on mismanaged breastfeeding, including information on breastfeeding positions
Overactive Let-Down
Many nursing mothers worry if their babies aren’t getting enough milk—but what if the opposite were true? Here’s what you can do to make sure your aren’t overwhelming your baby during feeding time.
Slow or Poor Infant Weight Gain
Are you concerned that your little one has slow or poor weight gain? Unsure? This article will help you sort out your questions and concerns.

Going Back to Work

Maternity Leave
The length of time given for a paid maternity leave of absence varies among companies. Some women extend their maternity leaves by taking additional weeks of unpaid leave.
Your Workplace
Discuss your plan to continue to breastfeed, and your need to pump/express breast milk during the workday, with your employer when you are pregnant or before you return to work.
Child Care
Choosing a childcare provider for your baby is an important decision. Find one who supports your choice to breastfeed and is willing to carry out your plan. Doing so will give you peace of mind and make your transition back to work easier.
Introducing a Bottle
You’ve been breast-feeding your baby up until now—but it’s time to return to work. You haven’t given her a bottle with breast milk yet. When should you make the change? Here are tips to make a successful transition from breast to bottle.
Milk Expression
You will have to remove milk from your breasts on a regular basis if you are to provide enough of your milk for your high-risk baby.
Breast Milk Expression - Helpful Equipment
Hospital-grade, electric breast pumps are the only pumps built for frequent and prolonged use. These pumps automatically cycle suction with release of suction—similar to a baby's sucking action.
Getting Ready
About two weeks before you return to work, start pumping or expressing milk for storage to use once you return to work.
At Work
Many mothers find they maintain milk production more easily if they breastfeed before showering or getting ready for work and then breastfeed again just before leaving the baby with the care provider.

Pumping and Storing Breast Milk

Using a Breast Pump
A breast pump is an important piece of equipment for the breastfeeding mom who wants to increase her supply or store pumped breast milk. While it seems like a simple thing to sit down and pump out milk, there are things you can do to make pumping more effective.
Storing Your Breast Milk
Glass or hard plastic containers are the best storage containers for human milk, especially if it is to be frozen and stored for weeks or months.
Thawing Breast Milk
Use the oldest milk first, and thaw it by placing the collection container in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
Taking Care of Your Breast Pump and Collection Kit
Moms who bottle feed their babies are always worried about keeping the bottles and nipples clean and sterilized at all times. Likewise, if you’re a breastfeeding mom you have to be concerned with keeping your breast pump and all its parts clean to keep your baby safe from breast milk contamination.

Breastfeeding Your High-Risk Newborn

The Benefits of Mother's Own Milk
Premature babies who receive their own mothers' milk develop better eye function. They, and other high-risk babies fed mothers' milk, usually perform better on different kinds of intelligence tests as they grow older.
Adding to Mother's Milk
Although your milk is best, it is not always complete with the nutritional needs of very small premature babies or some very sick newborns.
Milk Expression
You will have to remove milk from your breasts on a regular basis if you are to provide enough of your milk for your high-risk baby.
Milk Expression Techniques
Most mothers find they get more milk in less time when using a hospital-grade, electric breast pump with a double collection kit when providing milk for high-risk newborns.
Breast Milk: Pumping, Collecting, Storing
"Fresh breast milk" contains the most active anti-infective properties. Refrigerated breast milk has fewer anti-infective properties than fresh milk and frozen breast milk has the least.
Delayed or Not Enough Milk Production
A delay in the time when milk "comes in" sometimes occurs after the birth of a high-risk baby. Also, it is not unusual to experience a drop in the amount being pumped after several weeks.
Moving Toward Breastfeeding
Learning to breastfeed effectively is a process that may take days or weeks for premature and many other high-risk babies. But you and your baby can become a breastfeeding team if you are patient and persistent.