Grandmothers want what is best for their children and their grandchildren. They want to make sure that their daughters get enough sleep and that their grand babies are healthy and well fed. They also are good at teaching what they know and for many grandmothers, the way they fed their babies was with formula. In fact, when grandmothers were mothers or even children, formula was thought to be the very best way to feed a baby - it was the way the wealthy could feed their baby and according to the ads, it had the best nutrition possible.
Funny how times change!
Now we know that breast milk is actually much better for our babies than any kind of formula that can be made. It has special antibiotics (medicine) to keep the baby healthy, it helps baby not develop asthma or diabetes, can help prevent ear infections and even some types of cancer. We have had scientists compare breast milk and formula and breast milk is clearly the winner. And unlike earlier days - now the wealthy and famous are working hard to breastfeed their babies because they know they know it is best.
Teaching something you never did can be hard...
Like most grandmothers and great grandmothers, we haven't breastfed our own babies - so how do we help our daughters/in-law feed our babies the best way? New breast-feeding moms do need lots of help! Mom and baby need to spend LOTS and LOTS of time together so they can learn how to breastfeed but this means that the new mom needs help with all the other parts of being a mom - this means you can help with
- making sure mom gets healthy food to eat
- helping with the new babies older brothers and sisters
- washing/folding new baby's unending dirty clothes and blankets
- comforting baby in between feeds so moms can nap
- learning about breast milk/nursing and helping educate the family about how important it is
The baby seems like he is always nursing and I want my grand baby to have enough to eat!
How do I know that my grand baby is getting enough to drink? The new mom is tired and that baby is HUNGRY! I think we should give him a bottle just to be sure he is getting enough. - That sounds like a good idea but actually giving a new baby a bottle really makes things more difficult for a mom who is trying to breastfeed. A new baby's stomach is only as big as a marble and only needs a teaspoon of milk at each feed for the first day. Giving a new baby a bottle makes breastfeeding much harder and even one bottle in the first few weeks can ruin a family's chance at successfully breastfeeding. Of course babies can learn to both breastfeed and bottle feed but they have to learn how to breastfeed FIRST and learning how to nurse well can take a number of weeks. Bottles should really wait until the baby is 6 weeks or older.