Breast Feeding - First Six Weeks, Benefits, What to Avoid

Breast Feeding - First Six Weeks, Benefits, What to Avoid

Avoiding Foods While Breast Feeding


Many women find that they can eat whatever they may like during breastfeeding.  Even though it's true that some strongly favoured foods can change the taste of your milk, many babies seem to enjoy the varieties of breast milk flavours.  Occasionally, your baby may get cranky at the breast after you eat certain foods.  If you notice this happening, simply avoid that particular food.

The most common offenders during breastfeeding include chocolate, spices, citrus fruits, garlic chilli, lime, gassy vegetables, and fruits with laxative type effects, such as prunes and cherries.

You can have a cup or two of coffee a day, although too much caffeine can interfere with your baby's sleep and even make him or her cranky.  Keep in mind, caffeine is found in many soda's, tea, and even over the counter type medicine as well.

It's okay to have an alcoholic beverage every now and then, although having more than one drink can increase your blood alcohol level, putting the alcohol into your breast milk.  

If you are planning to have more than one drink at a time, it's best to wait two hours or more drink before you resume any type of nursing or breastfeeding.  There is no need to pump and dump unless your breasts are full and its time to feed your baby.  While breastfeeding, any type of heavy drinking should be avoided.

Before you actually omit any foods from your diet, you should talk to your doctor.  If you avoid certain foods and it causes a nutritional imbalance, you may need to see a nutritionist for advice on taking other foods or getting nutritional supplements.


Benefits Of Breast Feeding


Once you've given birth, breastfeeding is the single most important thing you can do to protect your baby and help to promote good health.  Best of all, breastfeeding is free. Along with saving you money on HMR (Human Milk Replacement), breastfeeding can also help you to keep your medical bills down.  Babies that are fed with formula get sicker more often and more seriously than babies that are breastfed  They also have more ear infections, respiratory infections, and other problems.  

This can be even more true if your family has had a history of allergies.  When a baby is breastfed, the antibodies pass on from the mother to the baby, helping to protect against illness and allergies.  As the baby's system matures, his body will begin to make its own antibodies, and he'll be more equipped to handle sensitivities of food.

Sucking on the breast will also help with the development or jaw alignment and the development of the cheekbone.  For this very reason, there is less of the need for costly orthodontic work when the child gets older.

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Unlike formula, breast milk is always ready, always available, convenient, and always the right temperature for feeding.  Plus, it contains all of the vitamins and minerals your growing baby needs, saving you a lot of money.  Breastfeeding also offers many benefits for the mom as well.  The baby sucking at the breast will cause contractions right after birth, leading to less bleeding for the mom, and helping her uterus to its shape before pregnancy much faster.  

Breastfeeding will also burn calories, so a mom can lose weight much faster than if she fed her baby with a bottle.  Breastfeeding will also create a special bond with the mother and the baby - which is one thing formula simpy cannot do.


The First Six Weeks


Breast milk is the best food you can give to your baby.  Breast milk is a complete food source, containing all the nutrients your baby need - at least 400 of them to be exact, including hormones and disease-fighting compounds that aren't found in formula. The nutritional makeup in breast milk will adjust to your baby's needs as he or she grows and develops.  Aside from the brain building, infection-fighting benefits of breast milk, which no formula can match, nursing will also help to build a special bond between you and your baby.  When nursing, your child thrives on the contact, cuddling, and holding - which you will as well.

Since breastfeedings can take up to 40 minutes or more, you should pick a cosy spot for nursing.  The atmosphere is very important, even more so in the early days of breastfeeding when you're still trying to get the hang of it.  If you get easily distracted by noise, go somewhere quiet.

You should always hold your baby in a position that won't leave your arms or back sore.  It works the best to support the back of your baby's head with your hand, although which position you choose depends on what's more comfortable to you. 

When supporting your baby, a nursing pillow can sometimes be a big help.  You should never feed until both you and your baby are comfortable.  Pay attention to how your breasts feel when your baby latches on, as his mouth should cover most of the areola below the nipple and the nipple should be far back into your baby's mouth.

While some women adjust to breastfeeding easily, other moms find it hard to learn.  If you feel discouraged, always know that you aren't the only one.  Everyone feels different when starting, it all depends on the mother and the situation.

Breastfeeding will take practice.  Therefore, you should give yourself as much time as you need to get it down to second nature.  Always take it one feeding at a time.  If you are having a bad day, tell yourself that it'll get better.  Keep in mind that any problems are temporary, as you'll be nursing like a pro by your six-week postpartum checkup.


The first six weeks will be both an adventure and training.  You can't expect to know everything when you begin, which is where training and practice will really help you excel.  The more you breastfeed, the more you'll learn.  You'll also build a bond with your baby - which is something you'll always have for the rest of your lives.


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