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Breastfeeding newborn

5 Questions For New Nursing Mothers Answered

Posted 5 years ago by Lori Scholle

As an “expecting” mother makes the monumental switch to becoming a “new” mother there are bound to be questions about nearly everything.  New moms often become so focused on their new baby’s needs that they forget about taking care of themselves.  Fortunately taking care of yourself is not much different than when you were pregnant.  The challenge on this side of the journey is to take the time to ensure you are getting what you need.   Below are 5 questions for new nursing mothers answered:

  1. Do I need to eat more when I breastfeed? A breastfeeding mother will need about 400-500 calories more per day.  Be sure to get these extra calories from nutrient rich foods like whole grain breads, whole fruits and vegetables or fat free dairy like milk or yogurt and lean proteins.
  2.  What kinds of foods should I be eating while breastfeeding? For most mothers there is no need to go on a special diet while breastfeeding.  Eat a variety of foods that include whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy and lean proteins.  Eating a normal healthy diet will expose your baby, through your breast milk, to the tastes of foods that your family normally eats.  This will prepare them to accept those flavors when the time comes to try solid foods.
  3. How much fluid should I be drinking per day?  A breastfeeding mother should drink enough fluids to meet her thirst needs.  Try not to focus on a specific number of glasses a day as drinking large amounts of fluid will not increase the amount of breast milk your body will make.  A good habit to form is to drink a glass of water each time you sit down to breastfeed.  Remember that the foods you eat provide liquid too and help contribute to your daily needs.  Make smart beverage choices like water or milk and avoid consuming large amounts of caffeinated and sugary beverages.
  4. Can I have caffeine?  Even though you may not be getting a lot of sleep in the early weeks it is best to keep your caffeinated drinks to about 300-500mg or the amount in about 2 (8 oz) cups of coffee per day.
  5. Can I consume alcoholic beverages? Alcohol does pass through to your breast milk and to your baby.  There is no level of alcohol in breast milk that is considered safe for a baby. If you decide to have a glass of wine, try to avoid feeding the baby until after the alcohol has cleared from your breast milk.  It takes about 2 to 3 hours for a serving of an alcoholic beverage to clear your breast milk.