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Is “Breast Plus Formula” ideal?

Here’s a question from Narinder in Brampton:

Q: My baby is due next month. Some of my friends say that they combined breastfeeding and formula feeding and that this gave them the best of both worlds – what do you think?

A: I know that this is a popular notion, Narinder, but it is not the best option. Breastmilk is superior in every way to formula, and there is no need for babies to have any other kind of feeding unless in a rare situations and as advised by your lactation consultant – even water is amply supplied by breastmilk. Women who combine breast and formula are much more likely to wean before the recommended 12 months, thus depriving baby of the ideal balance of nutrients and of antibodies. Research has also shown that exclusive breastfeeding also protects the baby by colonizing the baby’s digestive system with healthy bacteria, and that even one bottle of formula upsets this balance and unhealthy bacteria are no longer inhibited. Even when exclusive breastfeeding resumes, it can take weeks for the healthy bacteria to return to their former level.

The only “advantage” of formula is that someone else can give a bottle when you’re away from your baby. In the first 4 -6 weeks, this can cause nipple confusion as the baby sucks very differently from a bottle than they do from the breast, which increases the risk of early weaning. After 4 -6 weeks, you can easily pump your milk and leave this for a caregiver to give when you are out, and this way the baby will receive the “gold star” milk all the time and never has to receive second-best.

The familiar saying, “Breast is Best!” is so true, and research is revealing more reasons to affirm this all the time!

Nancy Lahn RN

Developer of the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow

Originally posted 2016-02-10 14:09:29.

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Will massage help if my baby has gas?

Here’s a question from Tammy S. in Halifax, N.S.:

Q: My baby is 8 weeks old, and seems troubled with painful gas attacks. He draws his knees up and gets red in the face and cries as if he’s in pain. It’s worst in the evenings. I’ve tried eliminating dairy from my diet (he’s breastfeeding) but that doesn’t seem to help. I’ve heard that massage can be helpful but I don’t know how to do it.

A: It’s very common for babies at your son’s stage of development to have colic, Tammy. It’s always a good idea to have them examined by a doctor, but usually it’s not an illness – just a symptom that occurs as their digestive system matures. Massage can indeed be helpful in helping them to pass the uncomfortable gas. You can try this method: First, rub his abdomen from ribcage to diaper, one hand after the other, for a count of 15. Then, take his legs and bend them to his belly and hold for a count of 15. Next, rub his belly in a clockwise motion for 15 seconds (it’s important to rub clockwise, as this follows the direction of the bowel and helps the gas to be moved out). Last, bend his legs to his belly again for 15 seconds. It’s recommended that you repeat this massage session three times a day. Many find that this technique helps them to soil their diaper as you do it, so do it with them lying on a diaper or you may get a surprise! :)

Originally posted 2015-02-24 14:44:50.

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Do breastfed babies grow into adults with higher IQ?

Here’s a question from Asha in Brampton, ON:

Q: Someone told me that breastfeeding makes babies more intelligent – can that be true?

EinsteinA: Yes, Asha, we’ve known for a long time that the fat in breastmilk is perfect for the development of the human brain (which, incidentally, is comprised of about 60% fat!). Research is now showing that children who were breastfed for at least 6 months grow into adults who score close to four points higher on IQ tests, attend school for a year longer and made 15% more money at age 30! These were the findings of a recent study of nearly 6,000 babies. Interestingly enough, the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Bernardo Lessa Horta from the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil noted that “What is unique about this study is the fact that, in the population we studied, breastfeeding was not more common among highly educated, high-income women, but was evenly distributed by social class.”

One more great reason to breastfeed your baby!

Nancy Lahn RN
Developer of the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow

Originally posted 2015-04-14 15:58:57.

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How long can I keep expressed breastmilk in the refrigerator?

Here’s a question from Sandy in Ingersoll, Ontario:

Q: If I’m unable to breastfeed immediately, how long can I keep my expressed breastmilk in the refrigerator? And if I take it in a cooler, how many hours is it safe to use?

A: Good question, Sandy! Here’s a handy guide for the safety of expressed breastmilk:ColdThermometer

  • Room temperature (less than 25 degrees C) for 6-8 hours
  • Refrigerator (<4 degrees C) for 5 days
  • Freezer of a 2-door refrigerator (-18 degrees C) for 3-6 months
  • Freezer of a deep freezer – chest or upright (-20 degrees C) for 6-12 months
  • When travelling, carry expressed breastmilk in cooler bag with ice packs and use within 24 hours


Nancy Lahn RN
Developer of the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow

Originally posted 2015-04-07 16:35:44.