Nutrition for breastfeeding mothers

Your breastmilk is specially designed for your infant, but what you eat and drink can enter your breastmilk, so here are some useful guidelines:

  • Medications: If you need to take any medicines, either prescription or over-the-counter, be sure to discuss them with your doctor and your pediatrician to be certain they are safe for your baby.
  • Caffeine: One caffeinated beverage a day is fine.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol can make your baby sleepy, or in large quantities can affect her brain and liver function. Small amounts of alcohol, however, are acceptable on occasion. If possible, drink any alcohol (up to one drink) immediately after nursing. If you are drinking more than one, and certainly if you are intoxicated, pump and discard your milk for six hours.
  • Calcium: You need at least 1200 milligrams of calcium daily to maintain your own bone health during breastfeeding. Spread the calcium out during the day, as taking it all at once results in much of the calcium being excreted by your body.

Feeding your newborn

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Breastfeeding comes easily to some mothers and their babies, but can be a challenge for others. Latching your baby correctly is the first step in breastfeeding.