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  Mother and child
 
Why Mothers Nurse Their Children into Toddlerhood

When I ask mothers who have nursed longer than a year why they chose to do so, they usually say, "It just seemed natural," or, "He seemed to need it still." Some mothers, taking their cues from the child rather than the calendar, say, "I never even thought about it." One mother describes the way she felt about her child's continued nursing: "I knew and felt her need for me and her desire to nurse. I love her, and it would break my own heart to disappoint her and refuse myself to her." If we look past all the social...

Is Your Baby On A Nursing Strike?

Nursing strikes can be trying to say the least. Mothers feel understandably anxious, rejected, and panicky about whether their babies are starving themselves. It's easy to jump to the conclusion that a baby who doesn't want to nurse is weaning himself. But if the refusal to nurse is sudden, it's not a sign of readiness to wean. A baby who is itching to wean will almost always do so gradually, over a period of weeks, months, or even years. And it is highly unlikely that a baby under a year old will self-wean. If your baby is on strike, now...

Childbearing & Mothering ...

Women helping other women deliver babies is as old as humanity. It makes sense. So why do mainstream doctors and hospitals act like midwifery is some radical, dangerous, medically-irresponsible quackery? In Scandanavia, the UK, and the Netherlands, female midwifery is a thriving occupation. Yet in America, it has been constructively outlawed as a profession, for 100 years. While I was in labor, during my home birth, I actually asked the midwives, “Are you sure this is okay to do at home, and not in a hospital?” They said, “Kirsten, think about it. THIS is the way women birthed for thousands...

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Breastfeeding a Toddler

Because more and more women are now breastfeeding their babies, more and more are also finding that they enjoy breastfeeding enough to want to continue longer than the usual few months they initially thought they would. UNICEF has long encouraged breastfeeding for two years and longer, and the American Academy of Pediatrics is now on record as encouraging mothers to nurse at least one year and as long after as both mother and baby desire. Even the Canadian Paediatric Society, in its latest feeding statement acknowledges that women may want to breastfeed for two years or longer and Health Canada...

Will Breastfeeding Give Your Child Cavities?

Breastfed children have far fewer dental cavities than those who are bottle-fed. This includes nursing caries as well as other cavities. The unfortunate term "nursing caries" refers to a typical pattern of dental decay seen when juice, formula or breast milk sits in the mouth frequently for extended periods. Nighttime snacks are highly cavity-causing because saliva is not very mobile during sleep, leaving baby without its rinsing and antibacterial qualities. Juice bottles by far promote the greatest number of nursing caries and should never be given at night. Both breastfed and bottle-fed infants have a need for comfort nursing. The...

Breastfeeding Trial

Moments after he was born, I lifted my newborn son to my breast. He nursed beautifully for fifteen minutes, the perfect end to the perfect birth. Ha! Somewhere in those blissful first hours, the nursing know-how came and went, because he didn't nurse again for three days. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. We didn't worry much about his lack of interest for the first twenty-four hours or so, but as my breasts became increasingly engorged, and he grew increasingly hungry, it looked as though something ought to be done. I was propped up comfortably in a quiet, dimly lit...

Trouble Putting The Kids To Sleep

Although about half of pediatricians recommend that children under age 2 can be given diphenhydramine to help them sleep, the first study to look at effectiveness of the agent in children who are that young found no benefit. In fact, the national study, conducted by researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center and published in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, found that the drug appeared to perform worse than a placebo agent. Only 1 out of 22 children showed improvement in sleeping after using diphenhydramine compared to 3 in 22 children who used a placebo. The...

Breastfeeding - Starting Out Right

Breastfeeding is the natural, physiologic way of feeding infants and young children, and human milk is the milk made specifically for human infants. Formulas made from cow’s milk or soybeans (most formulas, even “designer formulas”) are only superficially similar, and advertising which states otherwise is misleading. Breastfeeding should be easy and trouble free for most mothers. A good start helps to ensure breastfeeding is a happy experience for both mother and baby. The vast majority of mothers are perfectly capable of breastfeeding their babies exclusively for about six months. In fact, most mothers produce more than enough milk. Unfortunately, outdated...

One Father's Perspective on Demand Nursing

I wanted only the best for my child. Yet then, as now, the issue seemed to be: who will control? It didn't make any difference to me whether or not he needed to nurse every 45 minutes. It wasn't I who had to be available constantly, day and night. In the morning before leaving for work, I would set my wife and child up for "nursing and napping" in the rocking chair. I'd put the phone, books, notebooks, a glass of juice, clean diapers, and other necessities within reach. At night, I was useless, and soon learned not even to...

So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

I nursed my first child every 45 minutes--big deal. Boy, was it! I never expected a child of mine to be so demanding. He had to nurse every 45 minutes or else ... else he'd scream till the end of time. Or so I thought; I never found out. After all, if I let him nurse every 45 minutes, he was in seventh heaven, so who was I to complain? Hmmm ... complain. What about all those baby books bedecked with lovely charts and graphs of when babies sleep, eat, and have alert periods? Reading them as a pregnant lawyer,...

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