Breast feeding is universally recommended as the method of infant feeding. Breast milk’s many benefits are clear: it contains elements which may help protect the infant against common infections, it’s composition is ideal for the infant’s digestion, brain development and growth, and it fosters an early attachment between mother and child. Breast milk is economical and readily available.
In regard to breastfeeding, the baby should be encouraged to feed approximately every 2-2 1/2 hours, for 15-20 minutes on each breast. Both breasts should be offered at each feeding, alternating the breast with which you start. Breast feeding may be offered on demand, but feeding more frequently and for longer periods can lead to soreness and fatigue in the mother. Unless otherwise instructed, try to avoid bottle feeding during the first 2 weeks of life. After this time, you may use bottles occasionally in order to familiarize the baby with a bottle, especially if you will need to go back to work and/or wean from breast feeding. Medications: Mothers should avoid self-medication. Pain medications prescribed in the hospital are safe for short periods of time. After discharge, you may use ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain as needed. Any other medications should be cleared with us to determine if it is safe to take while breast feeding.
Diet: Eat a regular, well-balanced diet. It is not necessary to eat or drink more than you desire. Avoid foods that are known to cause allergies or stomach upset in your family. Foods you eat pass into the breast milk quite rapidly. Nicotine and alcohol also pass into the breast milk and should be avoided. Any food that causes an adverse reaction in your baby should be eliminated from your diet. Continue to take your prenatal vitamins during lactation, particularly if your diet is not well-balanced.
Vitamins: Breast-fed infants should be started on tri-vi-sol vitamins beginning at 1 month of age to ensure adequate vitamin D supplementation. All infants will start a multivitamin with fluoride at 6 months of age.
FOOD PRODUCTS THAT MAY CAUSE DISCOMFORT IN BABIES OF NURSING MOTHERS:
- MILK/MILK PRODUCTS
- EGGS / WHEAT
- BROCCOLI / CAULIFLOWER / CABBAGE /
- BRUSSEL SPROUTS / LEGUMES
- SHELL FISH
- FOOD ADDITIVIES
- ANY KNOWN FOODS THAT ARE
- A PROBLEM IN THE FAMILY
Storage: Breast milk can be collected by pumping with either an electric or hand pump, and used for bottle feeding. Breast milk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Plastic bottles or bags are convenient for storage.
Vitamins: Breast-fed infants should be started on tri-vi-sol vitamins beginning at 2 weeks of age to ensure adequate vitamin D supplementation. All infants will start a multivitamin with fluoride at 6 months of age.