We are proud to announce that Laura Barmby’s booklet, Breastfeeding Your Baby with Reflux, is now available for free. All parents want to give their babies the very best start. Breastfeeding remains unchallenged as the best source of nutrition for babies. Human milk has the perfect balance of protein, fat, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, iron, and calcium for human babies. Breast milk serves as baby’s first immunization, providing protection from common illnesses as well as health problems in later life. Breastfed babies have a lower incidence of ear infections, allergies, respiratory disease, gastrointestinal illness, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Another common recommendation is that parents thicken the liquids that their baby receives by adding cereal to the bottle. The theory is that thick food has a harder time bouncing back up the esophagus, but research has not proven this to be effective. You should be aware that giving bottles of thickened milk, even thickened breast milk, can interfere with breastfeeding. If you and your doctor decide this is worth a try, you may want to do it only on a trial basis to see if there is any improvement in your baby’s health or demeanor.
It is important to make sure that the baby is latched on to the breast properly when nursing. An improper latch-on means that the baby cannot get enough milk and the mother may get sore nipples. You should support your breast while the baby nurses with your thumb on top, fingers underneath. (This is necessary with newborns, though less needed as baby grows.) The baby should open his mouth very wide, like a yawn, when taking the breast. To get the baby to open wide, try tickling his lips with the nipple. Wait for him to open wide and when he does, quickly pull him into the breast. He should have a large portion of the areola in his mouth. His lips are flanged out and relaxed, and his tongue is cupped beneath the areola. If the baby will not open wide enough, you can open his mouth wider by gently but firmly pulling down on his chin with the index finger of the hand supporting the breast.
The baby should nurse well and long from one or both breasts during each feeding. Watch the baby’s sucking. If the baby is sucking and swallowing effectively, let him finish that breast. If he is not sucking or swallowing well, you may try switch nursing to encourage him to nurse longer. This means switching breasts several times view it now during the feeding whenever the baby stops nursing well. Make sure that you hear ten to twenty minutes of sucking and swallowing during each feeding. It is important for the baby to get the calorie-rich hindmilk, which comes at the end of each feeding. The hindmilk is responsible for a good part of the baby’s weight gain.