How to Stay Healthy While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a most wonderful experience for a mother.  Being able to share such an intimate bonding with your child each time you breastfeed is truly something to be treasured.

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Now that my kid is a toddler, I can see that breastfeeding for two years has brought so many benefits to my baby.  Looking at my kid, I couldn’t help but smile. I sometimes miss those breastfeeding years but even though we’re through that stage, I know that my child is healthier now because we’ve gone through that phase together.

Whenever I meet expectant moms, I always suggest that they breastfeed their child for as long as they can. If possible, they should continue breastfeeding until their baby reaches the second year.  Occasionally, I get hesitant responses because these first-time moms do not know what to expect.  Yes, it can be painful at the beginning but the benefits are worth the pain.  Besides, the pain will not be there always.  A first-time mom might have to deal with the pain for the a few weeks or the first month.  After that, everything should be smooth and easy.

If you are an expectant mother yourself, perhaps you’re wondering, what are some of the things you should do to make sure that you will stay healthy during breastfeeding?  Are there certain types of food that you should eat and are there foods or drinks that should be avoided?  I came up with this list of reminders that every mom should keep in mind while breastfeeding.

Feed yourself right :  Moms who breastfeed should eat healthy foods and make sure that they get sufficient nutrition, vitamins, and minerals.  Fresh vegetables and fruits are essentials to a healthy diet.  However, that doesn’t mean you should stay away from protein-rich foods like meat and fish.  Remember, the nutrients you take in will also be absorbed in your milk which in turn will feed your baby so it’s crucial to eat healthy.

Exercise regularly :

Do you exercise regularly? Do you do stretches or low-impact aerobics every day?  I know that there are days when you might feel sluggish or too lazy to get up in bed.  However, it’s important to do some physical activities as soon as you’re through giving birth.

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Needless to say, you will need approval from your doctor as to what kind of an exercise routine would be best for you.  Since women have varying health conditions, be sure to consult your doctor first before engaging in any kind of exercise.

Hydrate yourself :  Vegetable soups are wonderful for moms who breastfeed their infants.  When I was breastfeeding, I made a point to drink plenty of fluids every day, especially water.  I prefer to drink fresh fruit juices like freshly squeeze orange or lemon or apple juice.  However, I stay away from ready-to-drink beverages which only contain artificial flavorings.  Keep in mind that you’re after the vitamins and anti-oxidants that fresh fruit juices. You can’t get it from artificial beverages.

Limit coffee consumption :  I’m a big coffee drinker but for during those 2 years of breastfeeding my child I have limited myself to one cup to two cups of coffee in one day.  Too much caffeine consumption is obviously not good because your baby would also be able to drink some of it through your milk.

Quit smoking :  There are a lot of good reasons why people should stop smoking altogether.  However, but nursing mothers have all the better reason to do so.  If you are a smoker who breastfeeds, the side effects can prove to be damaging or even fatal for your child.  Needless to say, this habit itself is bad not just for the smokers’ health but also for the people around them.

Steer clear from alcoholic beverages :  How about spirits or alcoholic beverages?  Obviously, you can pass that alcohol to your baby through your milk so it’s best to avoid such drinks entirely if you are breastfeeding.

Take only prescription medication :

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There are times when you might fall ill and you might need to take in medication.  Be sure to consult your doctor first to get a proper diagnosis and prescription.   Some doctors may recommend that you switch to formula milk during the period of medication especially if you are administered with antibiotics.  The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Drugs has released a list of safe medicines for breastfeeding mothers and your obstetrician should be well aware of the facts.  To be sure, never try to take in over-the-counter medicine without first consulting your doctor.

Take in supplements : Aside from eating well-balance meals and following a clean, healthy lifestyle, it would be great for breastfeeding moms to take in supplements as well. This will ensure that your baby would get all the vitamins and minerals he or she needs while growing up.  However, ask for a recommendation from your obstetrician as to which supplements are best for you. You can visit my website for more tips about Breastfeeding.


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