Proper breastfeeding lays the foundation for a healthy and happy baby. However, for many women breastfeeding can be extremely difficult and painful at the beginning. In order to provide your baby with the maximum amount of nutrition and you with the least amount of pain there are a few actions you should avoid while breastfeeding.
DO be mindful of what you eat: What you eat your baby eats
Now that you are not pregnant any longer, you might feel tempted to eat and drink all the things you couldn’t while pregnant…like alcohol. SLOW down there, mommy! Since you are breastfeeding this means continuing to keep a close eye on what you eat and drink to make sure harmful foods and liquids aren’t being passed on to your child. When it comes to alcohol, be mindful of how many drinks you are having. You should wait at least two hours before breastfeeding after consuming an alcoholic beverage. If you’ve had two drinks, wait four hours. You can also pump milk during this time and pour it down the drain to avoid a harmful milk supply.
Also, there is a chance your baby could be allergic to certain foods, so keep track of everything you eat. If you notice your baby rejecting your milk with constant vomiting and/or rashes then your baby could be allergic to a specific food you are eating. Remember what you’re eating and how your baby reacts to the milk. Being mindful of the foods you eat and potential allergies will make breastfeeding significantly less frustrating if an allergy does exist.
Don’t Deprive Yourself Or Your Baby.
Now that your bundle of joy is OUT of your body, surely you’d like to get back to the body you had pre-pregnancy. However, jumping into extreme fad diets while breastfeeding can seriously deprive your baby of the milk supply he or she needs to stay healthy. Women who are breastfeeding require a minimum of 1,500 calories a day, although the recommended amount is 1,800 calories. Exercise, however, should not be an issue for breastfeeding moms so long as you stay hydrated and are not losing excess amounts of weight (1.5 lbs. /week or more).
DO Ask For Help.
Keeping your baby nourished does not have to be a one-woman job. Your partner or family member can assist with the midnight feedings so long as you pump milk beforehand and keep a fresh supply in the refrigerator. In fact, keeping a stash of breast milk stored is always a great idea in case of emergencies, like if you have to rush to work or the hospital and will not be around in time for your child’s feeding.
Breastfeeding is easier now more than ever with advanced breast pump technologies and lactation consultants always available. If breastfeeding seems too difficult or uncomfortable to handle, don’t give up just yet! See a female OBGYN in Orlando at Contemporary Woman’s Care and learn how to make breastfeeding as easy as possible for you and your baby.