Breastfeeding decisions can be challenging. There are so many advices from various ‘experts’ that make decisions on breastfeeding, especially for young nursing mothers daunting and sometimes confusing.
Tips for Breastfeeding Mums
- Study and learn about breastfeeding – Before your child is born, use this time to really learn more about breastfeeding and what to expect. This way, you will know exactly what you are getting yourself into and you can be prepared for whatever possibility.
- Breastfeed as soon as you can – It is recommended that moms nurse their child within an hour of delivery. This can create the bond as soon as possible as well as provide protection your child needs.
- Lie on your side – Breastfeeding while sitting down can take a toll on your body. Try doing it while lying on your side. This can help rest up your arms and lower back. Simply put a pillow between your knees, an arm under your head, and bring your baby towards you. It’s a good idea to get your spouse to help out when you’re trying this out for the first time.
- Find a pump that fits right – Pumps are a lifesaver. They can help ease some of the pain in your breast, and also allow you to keep a small reserve of your breast milk handy. These pumps come in different sizes, so it’s a good idea to shop around and find one in your size. Never buy these second hand.
Recommended food for Nursing Mums
Because you are breastfeeding, you need to watch what you eat because what you eat, your child will eat as well. Eating healthy is the first step. And you should remember that you cannot drink any alcohol or caffeine during this time.
This article on WebMD highlights some of the super foods for new mothers. Here are some of the good foods you should include in your diet to ensure you and your child are healthy.
- Salmon – This food is rich in DHA which is essential in the development of your child’s nervous system. Eating salmon not only benefits mothers, but their child as well as it helps to increase DHA in the milk you produce. Salmon has also been known to help prevent postpartum depression in new mums.
- Low-Fat Dairy – Babies are born with still developing bones, and what better way to get calcium than milk? Drinking any low fat dairy product like yogurt and milk can help your child’s bones develop.
- Lean Beef – Taking care of a baby can take a lot out of a mum. And since you can’t have caffeine to get your energy, lean beef will have to do. Lean beef is rich in iron which can help you recharge and have enough energy to get you through the day.
- Brown Rice – Another food that can help you keep your energy up is brown rice. It contains the right amount of calories for mums so that they don’t lose weight too fast, and can keep breast feeding without worry.
- Oranges – Want to keep a snack for yourself when you go out with your child? Oranges are a good option. They are packed with vitamin C and are easy to carry around. Whether you’re an adult or a child, oranges are always a good choice for a snack.
What Nursing Mums Should Avoid
Mothers who feed for two need to remember to avoid certain activities and food in order to make sure that their child stays healthy. While you are breastfeeding, your food choices and your activities are also limited.
This study tells you all you need to know, but here is a short list to give you an idea on what to avoid while breastfeeding:
- Seafood – Certain types of fish are okay to eat like salmon. Be selective in choosing what seafood to eat because there are types of fish that are rich in mercury which can be harmful to mum and the baby.
- Chocolate – Chocolate can be a source of caffeine and can cause diarrhea in babies. In some cases, it is okay to eat some chocolate, but watch your baby. If he begins showing signs of diarrhea, then it is time to lay off the stuff completely until your child is completely weaned.
- Parsley or Peppermint – Consuming these herbs can reduce your milk supply, so it is best to stay away from them for the time being.
- Take birth control – A study has shown that breastfeeding can reduce your chances of pregnancy. Although this is not foolproof, you should know that taking birth control pills can have an effect on your supply as some pills are estrogen only. It is best to avoid the pill altogether during this time or talk to your OB Gyn about other contraceptive options.
- Consume over the counter medication – While you are breastfeeding, avoid taking any over the counter drugs designed to treat a flu or cold. It is best to consult your doctor before taking any kind of medication during this stage as this can also reduce your milk supply.
- Ignoring your health – Mums should always keep healthy while they are breastfeeding so that they may not pass on any diseases or bacteria onto their child.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle post-birth can really do wonders for mum and child. As soon as your child is weaned or has moved on to formula, you can start eating your favorite food and drinking wine again. But for now, your small sacrifice will go a long way for your child’s well-being.