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December 03, 2018

Food, Love, Warmth by Midwife Cath

I often mention three words; food, love, warmth. As a parent, I believe if you go by these three, simple words you can’t go wrong.  It’s basic. Food, love, warmth.  Keep those words in your mind. Keep saying them to yourself when you’re questioning your ability as a parent and when worrying about your baby.

New parents often look at their crying baby and try to work out what is wrong.  An important thing to remember is that your baby cannot be sick and well at the same time….so if your baby is well treat her as well, believe me you will know when your baby is sick.  You know your baby the best so when you look at your baby you know instinctively she is well…so treat her as well.  When a baby is sick you will know.  She will be pale, floppy, have a high temperature and unwell.

Let’s turn that around by looking at your baby and thinking, you are a well baby, but you are crying. Let’s look at food, love, warmth. If your baby is crying, wrap your baby, put the baby back on your breast, or give her a bottle of formula. Wrap your baby up, keep him nice and close, walk around with him, sing and talk to him gently…the singing helps you as well as the baby!

It’s important to remember you can never overfeed a baby. Many new mothers won’t feed their baby if he has recently fed and is now crying “but I just fed him, he can’t possibly be hungry”.  A baby needs to put on weight every day, every week, every month and every year for healthy growth and development.  So it’s important to feed a baby every time he looks hungry and not what the clock says!
The baby needs milk as its primary food source in the first year and then the introduction of solids in the last 6 months of the first year.  Milk becomes secondary to the family diet one the baby turns 12 months and its important the baby has 3 cups of milk a day along with other dairy products.  So for your baby to grow you need to feed him…a baby needs to be at least 8-9 kgs to have the capacity to sleep a long stretch of time at night time.  It’s ok to feed him again. You can under feed a baby, but a baby can never be overfed.

 About the author:

Midwife Cath has been a midwife for over 40 years and has delivered more than 10,000 babies throughout her career. She is a qualified midwife, qualified Maternal & Child Health Nurse, she was instrumental in setting up birthing centres around Melbourne, and is a parenting educator and author of “The First Six Weeks”. Follow Midwife Cath on Instagram @midwifecath or keep up to date via Cath’s website

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