- Breastfed babies are less likely to develop infections early in life because you are able to pass some of your immunity (antibodies) to your baby in your breastmilk.
- Breastfed babies are also less likely to develop various diseases later in life, such as diabetes, allergies, heart disease, and obesity.
- Breastfeeding can also be beneficial to you too, mom, by:
- Promoting weight loss after birth
- Helping your uterus return to normal size faster
- Reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis later in life
- Possibly decreasing your risk of developing breast, uterine, endometrial, or ovarian cancer
While breastfeeding it is very important that you eat a well-balanced diet to ensure that you and your baby are receiving all necessary nutrients. Eating a variety of different foods causes changes in the texture and taste of your breast milk depending on the type of food. This helps your baby become used to different foods and textures on their palate which may make them a less picky eater when transitioning to a soft food diet. While there are many foods that you should be eating, there are also some that you may want to eat in moderation due to their risk of causing colic in your baby. Some of these foods are listed below:
- Eating a lot of melons or fruit
Drinking large amounts of caffeine can cause irritability and poor sleeping patterns in your baby, so it is recommended that you limit your intake to less than 1 gram per day.
Vitamin supplementation is often recommended during lactation to ensure proper growth of your baby. Some of these recommendations are listed below:
- Folic acid: 0.5mg/day
- Calcium: recommended that you receive 1000mg/day of calcium
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the preferred vitamin D supplement
- Recommended that you receive 600 IU/day
- Thiamine (Vitamin B1): recommended dose is 1.4mg/day
- It is recommended you avoid long-acting, maximum or extra strength formulations of medications
- It is suggested that you take medications right after a feeding or right before your baby goes down for their longest periods of sleep
- Try to avoid over the counter medications that contain multiple active ingredients