Breastfeeding offers many benefits for both mother and baby. A healthy baby can benefit from breast milk, infant formula or a combination of the two. Breast milk is extremely nutritious and contains carbohydrates, proteins and fats essential for your baby’s health. Breastfeeding, apart from helping babies get proper nutrition, can help mothers recover from pregnancy and delivery. Breastfeeding can
Expecting mothers planning to nurse should discuss breastfeeding with a doctor, nurse or certified lactation consultant before giving birth. Although breastfeeding is a natural process, most of us need to learn how.
If you decide to breastfeed your child, you should understand that breastfeeding is a major responsibility that requires you to maintain excellent nutrition and health. You should eat well-balanced, nutritious meals. Generous portions of whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products with an abundance of calcium are recommended. Most babies are born knowing how to breastfeed, but sometimes it may take time for both of you to learn this new skill. Midwives and nurses in the hospital will help you and your baby start breastfeeding.
Most physicians agree that it is safe to consume small amounts of caffeine (equivalent to one to two cups of coffee per day), though larger amounts of caffeine may interfere with your baby’s sleep or cause him or her to become fussy.
Alcohol should be avoided because it can be passed through breast milk to your baby. An occasional drink (no more than two ounces of alcohol) is probably safe.