How to Manage Breastfeeding and Pumping

Published: January 1, 2017


breastfeeding tips

Breastfeeding not only ensures that your baby gets the antibodies he or she needs to fight off infections and illnesses, but it also provides the highest concentration of nutrients and creates a special bonding time between you and your little one. Here are three things you should know about breastfeeding to help you make better decisions for your baby and yourself.

Alcohol and Breastfeeding Guidelines

Studies have shown that only small amounts of alcohol in breastmilk can affect a baby’s sleeping and eating patterns negatively. For this reason, it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether when breastfeeding. If you choose to ingest alcohol, limit that consumption to two four-ounce glasses of wine, two 12-ounce beers, or two ounces of liquor, and avoid nursing for two hours after consuming, per American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines.

Avoiding Certain Foods

Although you can eat nearly anything you like, there are certain foods to avoid while breastfeeding. For example, there are compounds in citrus fruits that can irritate your baby’s delicate tummy. What’s more, while some babies seem to enjoy their mothers’ love of spicy foods, others simply cannot tolerate it. Finally, foods like onions and garlic that have particularly pungent odors can affect the way your breastmilk tastes. This may cause your baby to have an aversion to feeding. Also, don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamins!


Recommended Breastfeeding Gear

If you are interested in breastfeeding, here are some items to help make it easier:

It Doesn’t Always Work Out

If there’s one thing to remember when it comes to breastfeeding, it’s the fact that not all mothers can successfully breastfeed their babies for the first year (or more) of their lives. If you can only breastfeed a few days, you should do so. Your baby will receive colostrum, which is just as powerful as an immunization against certain types of viruses and bacteria. If you breastfeed for four to six weeks, you will have gotten him or her through the most critical part of infancy and provided a wonderful start to his or her life. Things like convenient nursing bras, baby pillows, breast pumps, and other items will make it easier – and more comfortable – for you to breastfeed as long as possible. And when you can’t anymore, there are plenty of good formula options out there if you make that decision.

When it comes to breastfeeding, it’s important to stick with it as long as is comfortable for you and your baby. These tips will help you make the best choices about your diet, and they’ll also help you better understand just how nutritious and important your breastmilk truly is for your infant.

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