Breast Feeding Is the Gold Standard

There are many reasons why breast feeding has great advantages. Most doctors recommend breast feeding over formulas when possible. One doctor called mothers milk “liquid gold”. Another doctor look at formulas as a distant 2nd to mothers milk. The reason is that babies benefit greatly from mothers milk over formulas for multiple health reasons that go beyond infancy. Immune factors (infection, disease) and brain building factors (DHA, cholesterol) are generally the two distinct health benefits babies receive from being breast fed. Besides being the best nutrition it provides the strongest bonding time between mother and baby.

No formula can compete with the natural diet breast milk offers. Perfectly balanced amounts of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates made specially for human babies. The whole process of pregnancy includes the production of milk for your baby. This is true of all mammals alike. The basic ingredients found in milk are protein, vitamins, minerals, lactose, fat and water. The difference that makes the milk unique to each species are proportions and the kinds of proteins and fats found in the different species milk. One example is the fact that protein in human milk is lower than other species especially cow’s milk. Also within the protein, amino acids play an important role in the make up of these proteins. Taurine for example is an amino acid that is found in large quantities in human milk and plays an important role in brain and eye development. The vitamin’s and mineral’s in mothers milk are specially formulated naturally by the human body.

One of these minerals is called iron. Everyone has heard of this mineral and knows it is vital to good health. Fifty to seventy five percent of iron in breast milk gets absorbed into the babies blood stream. As little as four percent of the iron in formulas are absorbed by babies. To make up for the difference manufacturers manipulate the proportions of vital nutrients in the formulas to try to balance the absorption levels out. The fats that are found in human milk are at a specific level and are easily absorbed into the babies blood stream. The enzyme called lipase breaks down to an ideal size that enables this easy absorption. The changing amounts of fats consumed during a feeding is something that you could never control with formula. There are hormones and enzymes only found in breast milk that may promote good health right from the start. Remember mothers milk is naturally formulated for the perfect amounts of all the nutrients required to promote good health for your babies entire life.

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Manner of Breast Feeding

In comparison with the benefits of breast-feeding in terms of nutrition, immensely greater benefits result from the proper manner of breast-feeding. Breast-feeding is a scientific process, and cleanliness as well as health is intimately connected with it. The mother should wash her hands, scrubbing them well with soap beforehand. She should also clean cloth dipped in warm water. It is only after these measures that the baby should be fed.

The first feed at about six o’clock in the morning should be invariably given while lying down in bed, because the first feed must be given when the mother is comfortable, relaxed and mentally at peace. Sometimes the mother can recline against the wall or cushions, and hold the baby in her arms while feeding it, and she should relax for some minutes after the feed. In any case, the mother should assume a comfortable position, and feed the baby lovingly, with a peaceful mind, taking care to see that no discomfort or difficulty is caused to the baby. If necessary the baby’s health can be supported in the crook of the arm, the rest are large and heavy, it would be advisable to support the breast being used for feeding with the free hand, so that its weight does not bear down on baby’s face or neck.

Breast feeding is not merely a physical process; the activity involves, and is affected by, the entire personalities and emotions of the mother and baby. That is why it is important for caresses, while thinking noble, peaceful thoughts and in a generally benign mood. This is not an activity to be engaged in when you are angry or in a hurry. Never should the baby be fed while mother is engaged in quarreling or loud altercation. Feeding under these conditions will not benefit the child, nor quieten its emotions, As the body or the child is intimately soothing and inspiring atmosphere while feeding.

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Leopard Geckos and Feeding

Being nocturnal, geckos prefer to feed at night time and usually become active at dusk in the wild. In captivity we use artificial lighting to produce this affect thus triggering feed times. While our lights may be on in our living space the gecko will react to their lights going out in theirs. The easiest way to go about this is to set your lights on a timer to go out in the early evening.

Leopard geckos mainly eat insects like crickets, meal worms, superworms, silk worms, and wax worms. They will also eat some commercially prepared foods, but I personally have not had any luck with these products. Pinky mice are also offered once in awhile as a treat or to fatten up breeding females. The food source must not be to big because geckos do not chew their food but swallow it whole. Geckos do have teeth but they use them for holding their prey and not for chewing. I feed my geckos every 2 or 3 days but this is not written in stone. Sometimes I feed them every other day, but never more than 3 days apart. I tend to give my male 4 gut loaded superworms and my female 8 gut loaded meal worms. Both of my geckos will not eat crickets, but wax worms and silk worms are added as treats once in awhile. My male loves pinky mice but the female is scared of them along with superworms.

Some people like to feed their geckos in the cage so they can watch it hunt its prey. This is alright to do as long as you realize the problems that this can cause. A problem that can occur is that the insect will hide and then come out  when your gecko is asleep. This can cause stress if your gecko keeps getting woken up by them. Crickets when starving will actually try and feed on your gecko which in turn can cause infected wounds. Another problem is the insect that is hiding will lose its nutrients over time and also may feed off your geckos own feces. If you suspect that an insect is hiding you may try to draw it out of hiding by adding a small piece of carrot in the enclosure.

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Breast Feeding and Weight Loss

Breast feeding is both a practical skill and a performing art which is best learnt through apprenticeship — in this case to a breastfeeding mother.

Breast

Breast-feeding may even help you lose weight after the baby is born. Breast-feeding releases a hormone in a woman’s body that causes her uterus to return to its normal size and shape more quickly and reduces blood loss after delivery. Breast-feeding uses up calories and usually helps mothers lose some of the extra weight they gained during pregnancy.

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Feed Tags, Food Labels and Tunnel Vision

Ask many horse-people what they feed their horse and you will likely get answers such as “a 12% pellet” or “a 14% sweet feed”. Ask the same people what are they feeding themselves and the answer is likely to be something along the lines of “whatever is fast and easy.” Equestrians are busy people. Being so busy often leads to taking shortcuts and sometimes even tunnel vision when it comes to what we eat and what we feed our horses.

Case in point: the issue of “a 12% pellet”… The 12% mentioned here is simply referring to the minimum amount of crude protein guaranteed to be in the feed. By law, this 12% pellet could actually contain 14, 16 or even 20% or more crude protein because 12% is just a guaranteed minimum. You see, that number actually represents a measurement of nitrogen in the feed which is used to estimate the amount of protein. Chicken feathers are high in nitrogen and some feed companies will add them to a feed formula to increase the crude protein measurement but this is not a protein source that is available to horses. The assumption, by the person buying the feed, is that there is 12% digestible, usable, protein in the feed; but that may not be the case. The protein must be rich in a variety of amino acids and from a source that the horse is capable of utilizing. Relax, most reputable feed companies do not put chicken feathers in horse feeds (more often in cattle feed) and it is cheapest for them to keep the protein level as close to the guaranteed minimum as possible so there is no need to panic at this point.

There are two things I want you to take away from the previous paragraph. The first is that there are a multitude of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fats, amino acids, digestive aids, etc.) in a commercially prepared horse feed. Why would you focus on just one (the protein)? The second is that what you see isn’t always what you get. The same can be said for what you feed yourself. One of my nutrition professors had the best piece of advice about food packages. He said “Never, ever, believe anything written on the front of any food package… EVER!” The regulations regarding what can be written on the front of a food package are very loose. “Natural” implies that the food has nothing artificial in it but in many cases, there are chemical preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup present. Buying a food because it says “Natural” on the front is like buying a feed because it says “12% pellet”. There’s a tiny bit of information there but you need a lot more information in order to know if this is something you really want to buy and eat.

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