Safeguarding your breastmilk. Mother's milk or formula for a baby

Safeguarding your breastmilk. Mother's milk or formula for a baby

Breastfeeding isn't as easy as it looks! If you're planning to breastfeed it's never too early to get informed. Learn the basic do's and don't's in advance to ease any anxieties you have about breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding Basics It's never too early to get informed. If you're planning to breastfeed – and we highly recommend you do – knowing the basic do's and don't's in advance will take away some of the worries you might have and help you as you learn this new skill once your baby is born.

EATING, DRINKING AND NURSING Nature has made it easy for you to breastfeed. Your body will produce mother’s milk on demand in response to your baby’s growing needs, and just the right amount of high-quality nutrients to make this the most healthy food your little one can have and much more convenient than formula for a baby. To ensure that you always have plenty of fuel for this important job, your appetite will increase and you are likely to feel more thirsty than usual. You won’t have to worry about eating special foods or particular amounts while nursing to produce mother’s milk because you will have automatic cues telling you when to eat and drink more. Nevertheless your body can only use what is available, so it is up to you to ensure you always eat a well-balanced diet to keep both you and your baby healthy. (For nutrition guidelines, see "Eating for Two.")

KEEPING IT PURE Unfortunately, along with all the good nourishment and nutrients your body provides, bad stuff can also be passed on to your baby through breast milk. Alcohol, drugs and other unhealthy substances, can all affect mother’s milk. The occasional glass of wine with dinner won’t do any harm. And taking a paracetamol for aches and pains once in a while is fine too. But excessive amounts of alcohol and other drugs must be avoided if you stick to nursing instead of formula for a baby, as they can be passed on from mother to baby.

NO BUTTS ABOUT IT If you were a smoker and quit when you got pregnant, don't take it up again as soon as your baby is born – especially if you plan to breastfeed rather than using formula for a baby. Nicotine and other toxins will be passed to your baby through your milk. You will also be putting your baby’s health at risk through second-hand smoke. Passive smoking is extremely dangerous, so stay smoke-free–for both of you!
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