How to Manage Breastfeeding and Pumping
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:
- Nursing pads can help with painful nipples, but be sure to change them frequently so you’re not wearing wet pads. Also consider reusable pads, like LilyPadz, which are made out of silicone.
- Nipple cream – Another must-have for the pain and discomfort of nursing.
- Breast pump – For those returning to work, a solid dual breast pump is a necessity. Get in touch with your insurance company to see if this is covered, and don’t forget accessories like back-up batteries and collection and storage bottles.
- Nursing camisoles – Be sure to get one of these for the hospital for easy access! When picking one before baby arrives, be sure to pick something loose that gives your breasts room to grow even more in those first days after delivery.
- Nursing bras – An essential for nursing mothers on the go. Once again, if buying in advance, be sure to buy something that you can grow into (not burst out of) when your breasts enlarge.
- Nursing pillows – Many mothers swear by their Boppy pillows, and My Brest Friend is another favorite (especially for plus-size mothers).
- Bottles and bottle-cleaning supplies (if you plan to pump)
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.
Categorised in: New Mom Life