Health Library

The Health Library is a collection of health and wellness resources created for learning and accessibility. Select a topic below for related health information or search for a topic in the search bar for more information on other medical conditions.

Newborn and Infant Care

  • Learn how to do infant CPR in 3 minutes—just in case.

  • Infant formula is a nutritional product that is made from processed cow's milk or soybean products. Special processing makes cow's-milk formula more digestible and less likely to cause an allergic reaction than regular cow's milk. Vitamins and...

  • Learn five ways to prepare for breastfeeding.

  • Learn how to get your baby to latch on and what to do if you're having pain or problems.

  • Learn how often your baby needs breast milk or formula.

  • Nipple shields are devices to help with certain breastfeeding problems. A nipple shield looks like a little hat with a brim. The crown of the hat fits over the nipple, and the brim lies over the areola. Most nipple shields are made of a soft, thin,...

  • Feeding a baby who has cleft palate can be a challenge. Your baby may have a problem making a tight seal between his or her mouth and the nipple. But with a little preparation, you can successfully feed your baby with breast milk or formula. A...

  • Most medical professionals recommend letting a baby eat on demand. But during the first few days of breastfeeding, be sure to awaken your baby for feedings about every 2 hours. This will help to get your milk supply going. To make the transition...

  • Most infants lose up to 10% of their birth weight in the first week. A baby's weight decreases from the normal loss of fluid, urine, and stool. Babies also get few calories from early breastfeeding patterns. Their bodies have special fat stores for...

  • Pain during breastfeeding is a sign of a problem and should not be ignored. Although sore or tender nipples are common during the first few days of breastfeeding, it should improve. Normal soreness or pain usually occurs for about a minute when the baby first latches on to the breast. Pain that is severe or continuous...

  • Breastfeeding in the proper position will help your baby latch on and breastfeed correctly and make your experience more enjoyable. Also, when you are in a comfortable and relaxed position, let-down occurs more easily. You are more likely to drain...

  • Most mothers can produce enough milk to breastfeed two or more babies. If you have twins or triplets, breastfeeding becomes more physically and emotionally challenging. But with support and guidance, you can be successful. Breastfeeding fosters the...

  • A cesarean delivery may delay the start of breastfeeding. You may be sleepy from medicine or in pain from the surgery. Try breastfeeding your baby as soon as you are able. Ask whether your baby can be brought into the recovery room to be held and...

  • The exact cause of colic is not known. But some breastfeeding mothers have noticed that certain foods seem to cause colic in their babies. It is possible that some foods may affect breast milk and contribute to intestinal gas or other digestive...

  • Overfeeding a baby often causes the baby discomfort because he or she can't digest all of the breast milk or formula properly. When fed too much, a baby may also swallow air, which can produce gas, increase discomfort in the belly, and lead to...

  • What is breastfeeding? Breastfeeding is feeding a baby milk from the mother's breasts. You can feed your baby right at your breast. You can also pump your breasts and put the milk in a bottle to feed your baby. Doctors advise breastfeeding for 1 year or longer. But your baby benefits from any amount of breastfeeding...

  • Is this topic for you? This topic discusses using a bottle to feed formula to your baby. To learn about using a bottle to feed breast milk to your baby or to learn about breastfeeding, see the topic Breastfeeding. When is bottle-feeding with formula the best choice for your baby? If you are having a hard time...

  • Feed your baby whenever he or she seems hungry (on-demand). During the first few days or weeks, breastfeedings tend to occur every 1 to 3 hours around the clock. And formula-feedings tend to occur every 3 to 4 hours around the clock. You may have to wake your sleepy newborn to feed in the first few days after birth...

  • A number of things influence how much milk you produce (your milk supply). The two most important things are how often you breastfeed and how well your breast is emptied. The hormone that regulates milk production ( prolactin) is stimulated by breastfeeding. So the more frequently you feed your baby and empty your...

  • You can be reassured that your baby is eating enough and is well nourished when he or she: Shows an eager desire and wakes up frequently to breastfeed. Rhythmically sucks and swallows milk. The fronts of your baby's ears will move slightly, and you...

  • Breast milk or formula is the only food babies need for the first 6 months of life, at which point solid foods can be gradually introduced. Ideally, your baby will be fed only breast milk until 6 months of age. Some babies may be ready for solid foods at 4 or 5 months. Ask your doctor when you can start feeding your...

  • Inverted nipples fold inward instead of pointing out. Most women with inverted nipples will still be able to breastfeed. If the baby is having a hard time latching on to the breast, ask your doctor, midwife, or lactation consultant for help. To find...

  • Infant formulas take two times longer for a baby to digest than breast milk. The slower digestion of infant formula can affect: Feeding frequency. Babies who take infant formula usually want to feed less often than babies who are breastfeeding....

  • Bottles Small, 4 fl oz (120 mL) bottles are a good size for newborns. As your baby starts to take more formula during a feeding, you will likely want to have bigger 8 fl oz (240 mL) bottles on hand. Bottles are made of glass or plastic. Glass bottles can be cleaned by boiling them. Plastic cannot be...

  • You may choose to breastfeed and give infant formula for some of your baby's feedings. Supplementing breast milk with formula may decrease your supply of breast milk. But it will not stop your breast milk production. It is best to wait until your...

  • If your premature infant was born before the gestational age of 32 to 34 weeks, he or she cannot feed by mouth. This is because of: Poor coordination (or lack) of sucking, swallowing, and gag reflex. Weakness of both the oral and stomach muscles. Small stomach capacity. Until your infant becomes stronger and more...

  • From birth, infants follow their internal hunger and fullness cues. They eat when they're hungry and stop eating when they're full. Experts agree that newborns should be fed on demand. This means that you breast- or bottle-feed your infant whenever he or she shows signs of hunger, rather than setting a strict schedule...

  • The foundation for breastfeeding is established in the first few weeks after delivery. Planning ahead for breastfeeding can help you build a good breastfeeding routine. Minor problems may occur during breastfeeding. But with proper planning,...

  • Breastfeeding more than one child is called tandem breastfeeding. If you continue to feed your older child along with your newborn, keep in mind that the newborn's feeding is the higher priority. Some general feeding guidelines can help ensure that your newborn is properly nourished: Feed the newborn about 8 to 12...

  • If your baby has signs of a minor illness (such as cold symptoms or mild diarrhea), it is best to continue your breastfeeding routine. Breast milk provides your baby with the best possible nutrition. If your baby is too ill to breastfeed, try cup-feeding. With this technique, you feed your baby collected breast milk...

  • Cup-feeding is a way to provide breast milk or formula to a baby who is unwilling or unable to breastfeed or drink from a bottle. If a mother wants to breastfeed, cup-feeding is also sometimes used as an alternative to bottle-feeding for a baby who needs supplementation for a few days. To cup-feed your baby, fill a...

  • The division of responsibility is a way of feeding your child that takes the battle out of meal times. From birth until your child is between 6 months and 1 year old, you are responsible for what your child eats, and your child is responsible for how much and how often he or she eats. (Infants are fed on demand.) As...

  • Guides through decision to breastfeed. Discusses common concerns and issues related to breastfeeding. Links to personal stories. Covers benefits and risks. Includes an interactive tool to help you make your decision.

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