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Breastfeeding Safety Tips

Breastfeeding Safety Tips for New and Expecting Parents

During your baby’s first year of life, breast milk is the best option for ensuring your baby grows strong and healthy. What you put in your body is also what you are feeding your baby.

It is important to provide them the nutrients they need while avoiding harmful substances that can be dangerous to their health, development, and growth.

Breast Feeding – DOs

Eat healthy foods while breastfeeding to ensure your baby is getting the vitamins and minerals they need. You will also need to take a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin each day as you are not only feeding yourself but also your baby which will require additional nutrients.

Eat foods including fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread, and lean meats. Cut down on sweet and salty foods and snacks. During the period you breastfeed, your body may also require a higher caloric intake by up to 450 to 500 extra calories per day in order to produce breast milk.

It is also important to stay hydrated. Drink whenever you experience thirst, and have a glass of water each time you breastfeed to replenish your fluids. You should also limit the amount of caffeine you put in your body. It is a drug and is found in things like coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, chocolate, and some medications.

Too much caffeine passed through your breast milk to your child can give them trouble sleeping, and make them fussy or agitated. Limit yourself to no more than two cups per day of caffeinated beverages.

Breast Feeding – DON’Ts

You can cause serious short-term and long-term problems for your child by putting things into your body that are harmful to children. Do not smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, or use any type of harmful drugs whatsoever.

Also, talk to your doctor about any prescription medications you take to ensure it is safe to take them while breastfeeding your baby. If you do enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage, limit yourself to no more than two drinks per week.

After consuming a beverage, wait a minimum of two hours before you breastfeed.

Marijuana, along with all other drugs – even if they are legal in your state, should not be taken while breastfeeding. THC and other chemicals can be passed to your baby through breast milk giving them an increased risk for problems with brain development, and growth.

Do not use any drugs while breastfeeding and avoid situations where drugs are being used that could be passed to you second-hand.