Feeding Your Newborn

A Valuable Tip for the Early Days of Breastfeeding

Here is a tip that may help you in the early days of breastfeeding.

Yawning Baby

Yawning Baby


As you may remember from one of the stories in the book my son happened to be born in a hospital without rooming in and without any offer of breastfeeding support. When the nurses would bring my baby to me for feeding, they’d leave him in the crib and disappear very quickly. As a first-time mother, prior to my nursing career, I would look at the empty doorway, and look at my baby, and wonder what I was supposed to do. Without any offer to help me I concluded that I should, as a mother now, know how to breastfeed.


I was so excited to hold my baby and so in awe of him, this tiny person who came to live with me, that I would end up just visiting with him as I got lost in the wonder of it all. He slept (so it seemed to me) on my chest as I explored fingers and toes and got to know him. My inexperienced eye judged him as sleepy rather than hungry. I never managed to feed him while in the hospital even though milk ran down both sides of my body in response to holding him. When the nurse would return to check on me I would say “He’s not really hungry” … and they would let me! They’d whisk him away back to the nursery and, thankfully, feed him a bottle of formula. I was discharged 24 hours after birth, and it never occurred to me that breastfeeding might have some challenges.

From Home to ED

After breastfeeding my baby by connecting baby and breast as best I knew how, my baby developed projectile vomiting. I took him to the Emergency Department to rule out stomach problems. After examining him and viewing the X-ray the doctor was surprised to report that my baby was “90% air!” A few questions about feeding revealed that I needed help with breastfeeding. The ED nurse watched what I was doing and then gave me this valuable tip that I want to share with you.

Valuable Tip

She realized that with my lack of experience I was not waiting for my baby to open his mouth wide enough before trying to latch him for feeding. Consequently he had a poor latch and took in a lot of air with feeding. The nurse suggested I take a good look at how wide his mouth opened when he was crying. I was so surprised at the shape of his mouth! She told me to wait until I saw his mouth open about that wide before trying to connect him for feeding. She guided me to the perfect latch and let me feed him for awhile before leaving. Breastfeeding suddenly became very easy and very rewarding … for both of us. I was able to breastfeed for 14 months, and even today I am so grateful for the help.


Perhaps this little tip will help you when you are first learning about breastfeeding your newborn. A good latch involves a wide-open mouth, and your baby will define “wide open” during crying or yawning. Now we know!

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

Can We Influence Breastfeeding With a Positive Expectation?

The role our thoughts and expectations play in breastfeeding.

A Positive Breastfeeding Experience

Happy Newborn Happy Mom

When you first know you want a baby in your life, you begin to plan for the best experience for both of you. You realize you have many choices to make, and one of those important choices is how to feed your baby. If you choose breastfeeding, I believe there is something you can do to positively influence your experience. Epigenetics, and my own experience, each convince me that it is possible, and therefore worth sharing.


There is an interesting article I just discovered about epigenetics. The scientist in me is intrigued by the results of the experiment shared in “Genetics, Epigenetics, and the Mind-Body Connection” by Eric Nelson, posted in the PaloAltoPatch 6/6/13. (Click here)

Essentially the experiment demonstrates that taking identical stem cells (growing in a Petri dish), and dividing them into three different Petri dishes with three different environments causes the originally-identical stem cells to grow into three different things (in this case muscle, bone, and fat). The only change was their environment. I find that amazing!

What It Means for Us

The article goes on to say that the human body is just a Petri dish full of cells (about 50 trillion cells) covered by skin. Like the stem cells in the experiment above, our environment has an influence on us. Everything from what we eat to how we think influences the cells in our body. Think of the possibilities!

My Breastfeeding Experience

Because I’ve loved babies all of my life I started making choices about the baby in my future long before I became pregnant. When I discovered the benefits breastfeeding offers babies, I decided at that moment that I would breastfeed my baby.

It was several years before I had my baby, but my conviction to breastfeed held true. The thought never ever crossed my mind that I could not breastfeed.

My positive thoughts and unwavering conviction about breastfeeding gave me a wonderful experience. I sincerely believe your positive thoughts and beliefs can do the same for you too!

The Future

And now, inspired by the thought that I am a walking Petri dish, I am excited to think about the possibilities!

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

Nipple Confusion: A Misnomer

It is my observation as a baby nurse that “nipple confusion” is not what it seems.

No Nipple Confusion

Bottle versus Breast

When you introduce a bottle to a baby who is learning to breastfeed, some babies do refuse to nurse at the breast again … temporarily. This is what lactation consultants call “nipple confusion.” But I believe your baby is not “confused” but is simply choosing the path of least resistance.

By comparison, at the very beginning of feeding it’s easier for your newborn to get milk from a bottle than from your breast. Milk from a bottle flows easily and immediately. Milk from your breast requires some sucking without reward until letdown (release of milk from the glands) allows the milk to flow easily. Your baby made a discovery, and wants the path of least resistance. There is no confusion about it.

No worries.

Helping Your Baby

Knowing this may happen, there are some things you can do to help your baby transition from bottle back to breast.

You may express some milk with your hand or a pump to stimulate letdown and get the flow of milk started before you put your baby to breast. This readily available milk makes it easier for your baby to get instant gratification without too much work.

You may also leave some expressed milk on your nipple to give your baby the smell and taste that promotes a good latch (that is, a wide-open mouth as full of mom as possible) that will help your baby get the milk more easily.

You might also try putting your baby to breast before fully awake, letting natural sucking cues take over while your baby is still sleepy.

Both Ways

After successfully feeding with a bottle, and returning successfully to feed at the breast, your baby should be able to switch between the two methods of feeding as needed. It just may take a little patience and understanding.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

Benefits of Breastfeeding

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health article “Why Breastfeeding Is Important” breastfeeding is not only beneficial for your baby, but as you will soon see it’s beneficial for you, and for society too!

Newborn Breastfeeding

Newborn Breastfeeding

Baby Benefits

Breast milk composition changes naturally (like magic) to exactly match your baby’s growing needs.

Breast milk proteins are easier for your baby to digest than cow’s milk proteins.

Breast milk is rich in antibodies and nutrients that help your baby’s immune system provide protection against: ear infections, stomach viruses, diarrhea, respiratory infections, atopic dermatitis (dry itchy skin), asthma, obesity, diabetes types I and II, leukemia, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). That’s powerful!

Mommy Benefits

Breastfeeding burns calories and has been shown to help mothers with weight loss after birth.

Breastfeeding releases the amazing hormone oxytocin which helps you to relax, gives you that feel-good sensation, and acts to create a special bond between you and your baby.

Breastfeeding is less expensive because you don’t need to purchase food (until solids of course) or bottles.

Breastfeeding saves you time and money, with fewer trips to the doctor for yourself and for your baby.

Moms who breastfeed their babies have a lower risk for diabetes type II, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, postpartum depression, and osteoporosis … thank you Mother Nature!

Society Benefits

Babies who are breastfed are protected against many diseases and illnesses, therefore:

There are fewer visits to the doctor.

There are fewer medications prescribed.

There are fewer admissions to the hospital.

Breastfeeding reduces health care costs.

Fewer mothers miss work, given that their babies are healthier.

Work productivity is higher and medical costs to the employer are lower.

Breastfeeding is environmentally friendly, due to less waste from plastic bottles and cans.

In Summary

As you see breastfeeding your baby has many life-affirming outcomes and benefits for you, your baby, and society.

For the full article click here.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

Benefits of Bottle Feeding

Here are some benefits that bottle feeding provides.

Newborn bottle Feeding

Powerful Connection


Bottle feeding is usually easier for mothers and babies to learn.

It’s comforting to see how much your baby is taking at each feeding.

Any trusted person of your choice can feed your baby.

New mothers may take a baby-feeding break and get much needed rest.

Bottle feeding in public is easily accepted.

Mothers who bottle-feed may take medications as needed without worry of passing unwanted chemicals to their baby.

Mothers who bottle-feed may wear non-baby-related clothing sooner.

Mothers who bottle-feed may practice estrogen-containing oral contraception sooner, as concerns about decrease in breast milk volume do not apply.

Human Touch, Attention, and Love

You can enhance your baby’s bottle-feeding experience by intentionally adding human touch, attention, and love, the three elements of intentional baby care. The mom and baby in the picture above are sharing this powerful connection that accompanies intentional baby care.

All of the care you give your baby, whether bottle-feeding, changing a diaper, or soothing your baby is elevated to extraordinary care when you intentionally add attention, touch, and love.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

Bottle or Breast for My Newborn?

Gathering information will help you choose for your newborn.

Newborn Rooting

Hungry Baby

Making the decision to feed your newborn by bottle or by breast can be confusing for some new mothers. Here are some thoughts that may help you.

Whether your baby is in your womb, in your arms, or in your future, you have within you a reliable guide to help you make decisions on behalf of your newborn. This guide is the feeling you get when presented with any choice … most commonly known as your gut response.

As you gather information for and against bottle and breast this guide within you will react to the information you find. When you “feel good” about what you are learning, adopt that information or belief as your own. When you “feel bad” about what you are learning, discard that information and choose another direction.

This internal guide, that responds to the information you gather, works for all of your decisions for your baby, not just for feeding decisions.

When you make a choice that feels right for you, you will be happier. And when that happiness persists, it acts to confirm your decision.

Because your baby naturally takes his or her cues from you, you’ll see that when you are happy your baby will be happier too!

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN

Tips About Feeding

Tips about feeding that will make your baby and you happy.

newborn baby burping upright

Upright After Feeding

Upright After Feeding

Holding your newborn in an upright-burping position over your shoulder for about 20 minutes after feeding is a very important tip. It may sound like a luxury, but I assure you it is a worthwhile endeavor.

After a Feeding  

Newborns usually fall asleep easily after a feeding. A little upright holding with your baby’s arms over your shoulder, a little patting, and soon you have a happy, sleeping baby. The newborn in the picture shows how completely relaxed in sleep your baby can be after a feeding.

Deep Sleep

And, 20 minutes after falling asleep your baby should be in a deep-sleep state. Once in deep sleep it’s easy to transfer your baby to the crib without waking your baby.

More Comfortable

Your newborn should also be more comfortable and settle more easily because all of the burps should have a chance to escape during the extra holding and burping time.

Less Spitting Up

Upright after feeding also provides the added benefit of leaving the food inside when your baby burps. That’s not always the case when you lay your baby down shortly after a feeding. Frequently, these lying-down baby burps push out some of the milk too!

Saves Time and Laundry

In the long run your baby should spit up much less with the additional holding time, which means less laundry for you and more comfort for your baby. You may save time by taking time with your baby.

Spending this relaxing time with your newborn is very enjoyable as you’ll soon see.

For you and yours,

D. Fravert, RN