Nutrition during Pregnancy & Planning for Lactation
How to Feed Your Baby
You have this beautiful newborn and now begins the ongoing ritual and practice of feeding your baby. Should you breastfeed or bottle feed? infant formula or breastmilk?
In today's online environment everyone has an opinion, so we thought it would be helpful to compile a healthy mix of peer reviewed research, as well as parental experiences to help paint a picture of what feeding your baby can look like. With all the choices available, and such an adjustment in ones life when a new baby is born we would like to offer some conversation about the choice of how to feed your baby and hopefully provide a roadmap for you, so that even an overwhelmed first-time parent can make a informed decision about "how to feed your baby."
It is amazing how the human body can support another human’s needs through breastmilk but there are sometimes barriers to being able to nurse or nurse long term. There are many that need or choose to bottle-feed (whether with breast-milk or with infant formula). Bottle feeding, if done mindfully can provide the same feelings of warmth and physical closeness with a care provider, that are found in breastfeeding.
Bower, K. (2022). Chapter 5: Physical Growth, Health, and Nutrition. [PowerPoint
Brown, J. E., (2020). Nutrition through the Life Cycle (7th ed.). Cengage. (ISBN 978-1-
Colen, C. G., & Ramey, D. M. (2014). Is breast truly best? Estimating the effects of
breastfeeding on long-term child health and wellbeing in the United States using sibling comparisons. Social Science & Medicine, 109, 55–65.
Shaw, G. (2021, June 17). Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding.
A great continuation of our "How to Feed Your Baby" Articles, Baby-led weaning walks through the infant feeding stages and how they can progress into solid foods. Many parents wonder when and how to transition from infant formula or breastmilk to eating solid food.
The truth of the matter is people do this is many ways. We have gathered research around how and when to begin solid foods for infants and toddlers to provide some guidance and space for when and how to make those first steps towards "solid food" from breastfeeding and/or infant formula.
Either way you choose, each family must make the decision that makes the most sense for them. There is a large body of research that supports the numerous benefits to introducing infants to solids with a baby-led approach so we will outline some of those benefits here and on our blog post on the topic.
Some of the top benefits include : learned appetite control, a larger variety of foods as compared to baby purees and emphasis on family's "normal" foods and food staples, as well as further development of motor and oral skills since "table food" has more variety of textures and flavor combinations as compared to traditional infant purees and cereals.
Read more on our blog!
Bower, K. (2022). Chapter 5: Physical Growth, Health, and Nutrition. [PowerPoint presentation].ELC https://uga.view.usg.edu/d2l/le/content/2474815/viewContent/39617509/View
Brown, A., Jones, S. W., & Rowan, H. (2017, January 1). Baby-Led Weaning: The Evidence to Date. CURRENT NUTRITION REPORTS, 6(2), 148–156. https://uga.view.usg.edu/d2l/le/content/2474815/viewContent/39239490/View
Infant Sleep - Room & Bed Sharing / Co-Sleeping
Want to learn more about infant sleep practices, how much babies really need sleep, what infant sleep patterns look like, and how you as a new parent can find sleep? This article will give some practical info about sleep norms from infants to toddlers and also provide parental support for how to prioritize sleep while also living a modern life.
Bed-sharing and co-sleeping are two terms that can be used interchangeably. These terms mean sleeping together, in the same bed with your infant.
Room-sharing means the baby sleeps alone in a crib or bassinet, but in the same room as the parents/guardians.
Even with-in co-sleeping there are different classifications. Reactive co-sleeping (happens in the moment as a result of something in the night or interrupted sleep cycle) and planned co-sleeping where one sets out with the intention of co-sleeping.
Sobralske, M. C., & Gruber, M. E. (2009). Risks and benefits of parent/child bed-sharing. Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, 21(9), 474–479. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-7599.2009.00430.x
Praise vs. Encouragement
While praise often happens naturally as parents want to build up their children, encouragement can be a much more effective method for building self-confidence as opposed to praise.
What’s the difference between praise and encouragement?
One of the best ways to begin considering your parenting style is with this comparison of praise or encouragement. Should you get a gold star for using the potty? or should you be encouraged? What is encouragement? and How can I encourage my very young children (infants and toddlers) to make important practices, great habits? We hope to start the conversation with you here.
Praise often recognizes an outcome, achievement, or ranking while encouragement focuses more on the effort put in, the person, and the internal aspects.
Encouragement is showing interest in the person and the process. Also, asking how they feel reaffirms their own internal feelings and generates self-confidence.
Read more on our blog post where University of Georgia Human Development & Family Sciences Major and Family and Consumer Sciences Intern, Allison Cress, takes a deep dive into Praise versus Encouragement as approaches to parenting styles.
Kennedy, B. (Host). (2021, June 29). Does Praise Have Unintended Consequences? (No. 12)
[Audio Podcast Episode]. In Good Inside with Dr. Becky. Apple Podcast. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/does-praise-have-unintended-consequences/id1561689671?i=1000527218796
Maternity & Paternity Leave
How do you plan for what you will do once a baby is born regarding work and income? It is a challenging decision for almost every single parent in our modern world. Infants require so much attention for the first year of life especially, how do parents and care providers navigate how to take Maternity or Paternity leave if it is available and What do these options look like in other countries?