St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Breastfeeding - self-care

    Nursing mothers - self-care

    As a breastfeeding mother, know how to take care of yourself. Keeping yourself well is the best thing for breastfeeding your baby. Here are some tips about taking care of yourself.

    Eat to Stay Healthy and to Feed Your Baby

    • Eat three meals a day.
    • Try to eat foods from all the different food groups.
    • Vitamin and mineral supplements are not a substitute for healthy eating. Know about food portions, so that you eat the right amount.

    Eat milk foods, at least 4 servings each day. Here are ideas for one serving of milk food:

    • A cup of milk
    • One cup of yogurt
    • 4 small cubes of cheese or 2 slices of cheese

    Eat protein-rich foods, at least 3 servings each day. Here are ideas for one serving of protein:

    • 1 - 2 ounces of meat, chicken, or fish
    • ¼ cup cooked dried beans
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter

    Eat plenty of fruits, 2 - 4 servings each day. Here are ideas for one serving of fruit:

    • ½ cup fruit juice
    • Apples
    • Apricots
    • Peaches
    • 1/2 cup cut up fruit, such as watermelon or cantaloupe
    • ¼ cup dried fruit

    Eat plenty of vegetables, at least 3 - 5 servings each day. Here are ideas for one serving of vegetables:

    • 1/2 cup cut up vegetables
    • 1 cup of salad greens
    • ½ cup vegetable juice

    Eat grains like bread, cereal, rice, and pasta, eat about 6 servings. Here are ideas for one serving of grain:

    • ½ cup cooked pasta
    • ½ cup cooked rice
    • 1 cup cereal
    • 1 slice of bread

    Eat one serving of oil each day.

    • 1 teaspoon oil
    • 1 tablespoon of low fat mayo
    • 2 tablespoons of light salad dressing

    Drink plenty of fluids.

    • Stay hydrated when you are nursing.
    • Drink enough to satisfy your thirst. Try to drink 8 cups of fluid each day.
    • Choose healthy fluids such as water, milk, juice, or soup.

    Don't worry about your food bothering your baby.

    • You can safely eat any foods you like. Some foods may flavor the breast milk, but babies are usually not bothered by this.
    • If your baby is fussy after you eat a certain food or spice, avoid that food for a while. Try it again later to see if it is a problem.
    • Some highly allergenic foods (such as strawberries and peanuts) may be passed into breast milk. This may increase the risk of a later food allergy in the baby. If you are concerned, discuss food allergies with your health care provider.

    Caffeine, Alcohol, Smoking, and Breastfeeding

    Know that small amounts of caffeine will not hurt your baby.

    • Limit your caffeine intake. Keep your coffee or tea at 1 cup per day.
    • If you drink larger amounts of caffeine, your baby may get agitated and have trouble sleeping.
    • Learn how your baby reacts to caffeine. Some babies may react to even 1 cup a day. If that happens, stop drinking caffeine.

    Avoid alcohol.

    • Alcohol affects let down of your milk.
    • If you choose to drink, limit yourself to 2 ounces of alcohol.
    • Talk to your health care provider about drinking alcohol and breastfeeding.

    Try not to smoke. There are many ways to help you quit.

    • You put your baby at risk if you smoke.
    • Breathing in smoke increases your baby's risk for colds and infections.
    • Get help to quit smoking now. Talk to your health care provider about programs that can support you to quit.
    • If you can quit, you will feel better and decrease your risk of getting cancer from smoking. Your baby will not get any nicotine or other chemicals from cigarettes in your breast milk.

    Know about your medicines and breastfeeding.

    • Many medicines pass into mother's milk. Most of the time, this is safe and okay for your baby.
    • Talk with your health care provider about any medicines you take. Do NOT stop taking your medicine without first speaking to your health care provider.
    • Know that medicines that were safe when you were pregnant may not always be safe when you breastfeed.
    • Ask about drugs that are okay with breastfeeding. The American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Drugs keeps a list of these drugs. Your health care provider can look at the list and talk to you about medicines you take when breastfeeding.

    Breastfeeding and Contraception

    Know that you can get pregnant when breastfeeding. Do not use breastfeeding for birth control.

    You are less likely to get pregnant while breastfeeding if:

    • Your baby is younger than 6 months old.
    • You are breastfeeding only, and your baby does not take any formula.
    • You have not yet had a menstrual period.

    Talk to your health care provider about birth control. You have lots of choices. Condoms, diaphragm, progesterone-only pills or shots, and IUDs are safe and effective.

    Breastfeeding delays the return of normal menstrual periods (called lactation amenorrhea). But your ovaries will make an egg before you have your period. You can get pregnant before your periods begin again.

    BACK TO TOP

          A Closer Look

            Talking to your MD

              Self Care

              Tests for Breastfeeding - self-care

                Review Date: 9/27/2012

                Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.

                The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
                adam.com

                A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


                Back  |  Top
                About Us
                Contact Us
                History
                Mission
                Locations & Directions
                Quality Reports
                Annual Reports
                Honors & Awards
                Community Health Needs
                Assessment

                Newsroom
                Services
                Brain & Spine
                Cancer
                Heart
                Maternity
                Orthopedics
                Pulmonary
                Sleep Medicine
                Urgent Care
                Women's Services
                All Services
                Patients & Visitors
                Locations & Directions
                Find a Physician
                Tour St. Luke's
                Patient & Visitor Information
                Contact Us
                Payment Options
                Financial Assistance
                Send a Card
                Mammogram Appointments
                Health Tools
                My Personal Health
                mystlukes
                Spirit of Women
                Health Information & Tools
                Clinical Trials
                Health Risk Assessments
                Employer Programs -
                Passport to Wellness

                Classes & Events
                Classes & Events
                Spirit of Women
                Donate & Volunteer
                Giving Opportunities
                Volunteer
                Physicians & Employees
                For Physicians
                Remote Access
                Medical Residency Information
                Pharmacy Residency Information
                Physician CPOE Training
                Careers
                Careers
                St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
                Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile