Food provides the energy and nutrients that babies need to be healthy. For a baby, breast milk is best. It has all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Infant formulas are available for babies whose mothers are not able or decide not to breastfeed. Infants usually start eating solid foods between 4 and 6 months of age. Check with your health care provider for the best time for your baby to start. If you introduce one new food at a time, you will be able to identify any foods that cause allergies in your baby. Some foods to stay away from include eggs, honey, peanuts (including peanut butter) and other tree nuts. NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS OF THE NEWBORN
a. Fluid. Newborns require more fluid relative to their size than adults require. Additional fluids are required with fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. (1) Dehydration. Until the ability to retain body water through kidney function improves in the early months of life, the infant is at risk for dehydration. Signs of dehydration are: (a) Depressed fontanels.
(b) Rapid, weak pulse.
(c) Elevated low-grade temperature.
(d) Dark, concentrated urine.
(e) Dry, hard stools.
(f) Dry skin with little turgor.
(g) Elevated specific gravity (1.020).
(2) Water. Prepared infant formulas provide sufficient water under normal environmental conditions. Water intoxication may result from excessive feeding of water to infants. It may occur when water is fed as a replacement for milk. Signs of water intoxication are: (a) Hyponatremia.
(d) Vomiting, diarrhea.
(e) Polyuria or oliguria.
(3) Nursing care.
(a) Maintain accurate input and output (I&O).
(b) Observe frequently for signs of dehydration or water intoxication. b. Vitamin, Mineral, and Caloric Requirements.
(1) The newborn's rapid growth makes him especially vulnerable to dietary inadequacies and iron deficiency anemia. Adequate vitamin intake is especially important to support normal growth and metabolism. When the mother is well-nourished throughout her pregnancy, the full-term neonate can be expected to have adequate vitamin stores at birth. Calcium and iron are the two basic minerals that are of particular importance in maintaining adequate nutrition. (a) Calcium is essential for the rapid bone mineralization that takes place during the first year of life, muscle contraction, blood coagulation, nerve irritability, tooth development, and heart muscle action. (b) Iron is an essential element needed for synthesis of hemoglobin and cell metabolism. (2) Due to the limited nutritional stores, newborns require vitamin and mineral supplements. An infant may become hypoglycemic and require feeding sooner than normal. His blood glucose is checked at one hour of age and if it is decreased, the baby is first fed sips of water to ensure sucking swallowing coordination and is then fed formula to increase calories and decrease utilization of glucose. 9-3. FIRST FEEDING FROM THE MOTHER
Signs of hunger are demonstrated by the infant searching for food, sucking motions, and crying. The mother may begin to breast-feed at this time if she had planned to breast-feed, her condition is stable, and she desires to feed the infant. See figure 9-1 for common breast-feeding positions [pic]
Figure 9-1. Common nursing positions.
9-4. FORMULA FEEDINGS
|A formula must satisfy the infant's requirements for water, | |calories, vitamins, and minerals. | | | | | | |
a. Formula Requirements. A formula must satisfy the infant's requirements for water, calories, vitamins, and minerals. Commercially prepared formulas are made according to established standards. b. Types of Formulas.
(1) Ready-to-feed. These are liquids packaged in cans and bottles. They are convenient and considered...
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