Breastfeeding offers many benefits for both mother and baby.
A healthy baby can benefit from breast milk, infant formula or a combination of the two. Breast milk is extremely nutritious and contains carbohydrates, proteins, and fats essential for a baby’s health. Breast feeding, apart from helping babies get proper nutrition and can help mothers recover from pregnancy and delivery.
Breast feeding can:
Expecting mothers planning to nurse should discuss breast-feeding with a doctor, nurse, or certified lactation consultant before giving birth. Although breastfeeding is a natural thing to do, most of us need to learn how.
If a mother does decide to breast-feed her children, she should understand that breast-feeding is a major responsibility that requires her to maintain excellent nutrition and health. Women who breast-feed should eat well-balanced, nutritious meals. Generous portions of whole grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products with an abundance of calcium are recommended. Most babies are born knowing how to breast feed but sometimes it may take time for both of you to learn this new skill. The nurses in the hospital will help you and your baby start breastfeeding.
Breast feeding and Coffee
Most physicians agree that it is safe for breast-feeding mothers to consume small amounts of caffeine (equivalent to one to two cups of coffee per day), though larger amounts of caffeine may interfere with a baby’s sleep or cause him or her to become fussy.
Breast feeding and alcohol
Alcohol should be avoided by breast-feeding mothers because it can be passed through the breast milk to the baby. An occasional drink (no more than two ounces of alcohol) is probably safe.
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