Attn Mothers: You already have access to the single most nutritious food available for your baby… breast milk.
From time to time however, some women may be either unwilling to breastfeed or unable due to difficulties such as low breast milk production. If the latter is the case, try these tips.
- Have the mother drink more reverse osmosis water
- Eat more protein in the form of eggs, seeds and nuts.
- Get tested – If the mother has nutritional imbalances and deficiencies, it can not only affect her milk supply, but also the health of her child.
- Continue every effort to breastfeed – The more the infant suckles the breast, the greater the stimulus to produce milk.
If the situation arises where the infant requires an alternative means of nourishment, we recommend substituting goat’s milk diluted with filtered water by 1/3 (5 oz water per 16oz milk). The proteins and fats found in goat’s milk are smaller than those in cow’s milk and easier for infants to break down and digest. On the nutrient scale, goat’s milk also proves the better choice with 13% more calcium, 25% more vitamin A, 34% more potassium, 350% more niacin and 27% more selenium than cow’s milk.
One should also add a children’s liquid vitamin and mineral with iron (avoid ones with artificial colors, preservatives and sugars) and Children’s DHA Ultimate Omega (we recommend Nordic Naturals) to aid with any nutrient deficiencies.
First of all, never wake the sleeping baby. Allow the infant to rest according to his/her schedule and give it every opportunity to complete the sleep cycle.
If the mother is breastfeeding, her diet will affect the baby…sometimes up to the point of colic. New studies from the Colic Clinic at Brown University suggest that nearly 50% of colic cases are related to mild gastro esophageal reflux. We recommend breastfeeding mothers avoid all soy, dairy and cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, etc) as well as spicy foods. Most of the time it’s just one or two foods that affect the baby, so you can reintroduce cruciferous vegetables one at a time to determine a specific sensitivity.
Many times, chiropractic care is necessary if the colic symptoms are caused by a structural problem. The birth process is very traumatic and it’s possible for the infant’s vertebrae to become misaligned, pinching the nerves controlling digestion and esophagus function or the esophagus itself may have slid up thru the baby’s GI sphyncter.
With the predominance of allergies and digestive disorders in infants, it’s astounding how the early feeding paradigm continues to be promoted as the norm for our society. Solids are filling, less nutritious and decrease an infant’s breast milk intake which in turn decreases the mother’s milk supply. Recent studies show that hydrochloric acid (used to digest most protein) doesn’t even appear in the stomach until the end of the seventh month and doesn’t peak until the eighteenth month, and Ptyalin (a digestive juice for carbohydrates) isn’t seen until the end of the baby’s first year. If solids are introduced before a baby’s digestive system is ready to handle them, the child can also develop food allergies.
So when is it okay to introduce solids? Watch the baby, not the calendar and follow the guidelines below. We do not recommend any solids before 10 months of age.
First two weeks (around 10 mos): Introduce foods that are naturally soft with no cooking – avocados, bananas (ripe with some dark spots, not green).
10 ½ mos-12mos: Progress into soft and semi-soft fruits and vegetables with or without cooking – avocados, bananas, applesauce, slightly mashed cooked carrots, broccoli, sweet potato, etc.
12+ mos: Implement chunks – grapes (cut in halves until teeth develop), blueberries, cooked carrots, cooked broccoli, eggs, beans, peas, whole grain bread, and meat (fish and chicken can be used if the baby will tolerate them but red meat is very hard to digest and should be minimally used). Snack cereals like Puffins or Oatios (similar to Cheerios but no sugar and organic) may also be introduced.
Is Fruit Juice Okay?
The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) says infants who drink too much juice may become malnourished if the beverage replaces human milk. Even if parents are not intentionally replacing human milk, fruit juice is filling and the infant will be less likely to want to nurse. Young children also have a hard time breaking down carbohydrates including sugars; and fruit juice that contains sorbitol or high levels of fructose as sweeteners may cause restlessness, gas and stomach distress in infants. Kids who drink sweet beverages are 60% less likely to eat fruit, have a high overall calorie intake and are at a higher risk for obesity.
Fruit juice should not be given to children under 6 months and should be used minimally with children younger than one. The AAP recommends no more than 4-6 oz of juice per day for 1-6 year olds and 8-12 oz per day for 7-18 year olds. All children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits instead.