Breastfeeding Information

As you approach being a mother for the first time, you undoubtedly have lots of questions about your breasts and breastfeeding. You see so many other mothers doing it, and you wonder if it's as easy as it looks. You may have other questions too regarding nutrients for breastfeeding mothers, or what you should or should not eat or drink as a breastfeeding mom.

There are classes you can take with other expecting mothers via Doylestown Women's Health Center. The classes are offered to patients of Dr. Jean Fitzgerald and Dr. Nestor Sendzik, both licensed gynecologists and obstetricians. If you don't want to join a group class, you can always speak to one of the doctors or a lactation expert.

What You Should Know About Nutrition as a Breastfeeding Mom

It's important to note that some of your nutritional needs will change after giving birth. You will still need a healthy, balanced diet. You may lose the cravings you had during pregnancy. You won't need a ton of additional calories to support pregnancy, and quite honestly, that's a myth anyway.

You only need a few extra hundred calories each day during pregnancy, and after birth, you only need one hundred extra calories a day to produce milk. Your caloric needs will drop down almost to what was necessary for you prior to becoming pregnant. Too many women make the mistake of thinking they need a ton of calories to produce milk.

They don't, and that is where post-pregnancy weight ends up being greater and more difficult to lose. A single extra snack, such as a piece of fruit or half a sandwich, is all you really need to help your body make milk. Additionally, it's advisable to consume large quantities of water, since breast milk is the leading source of fluids your baby receives, and more water in means more milk out.

What You Can Eat and Drink vs. What You Can't

Thankfully, once the baby is born, you can go back to eating most kinds of fish, meat cooked any way you like, and other items that may have been off the menu while you were pregnant. In fact, it's advisable that you consume a very wide variety of foods because your baby will actually get a taste of everything you eat in his or her breast milk!

It's what helps a baby learn to like different flavors in his or her food, so not much is off-limits. What is still off-limits is alcohol and excessive consumption of caffeine. If you are used to drinking one soda or one cup of coffee every day, you can still do that, as long as your gynecologist and OB say it's okay. You may have to continue taking your pregnancy vitamins or switch to different daily vitamins per your doctor.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask Questions!

It may feel awkward or uncomfortable, but a well-educated mom is one who can make the right choices to breastfeed or not breastfeed. Don't be afraid to ask questions when talking to Dr. Nestor Sendzik or Dr. Jean Fitzgerald at your next appointment with Doylestown Women's Health Center.