SIX BREASTFEEDING INSIGHTS FROM PARENTING EXPERTS
Expecting a baby or welcoming a new born can be as scary as it is exciting, especially for first time parents. And since our little bundles of joy don’t come with instruction manuals, we default to trusty old Google. Type ‘breastfeeding 101’ into your search bar and you’ll see the reams of articles on the topic, but is all of it true? And how do you distinguish the good from the ‘not-so-great’ advice?
Pampers® has partnered with parenting expert, Sister Lilian and they have put together some insights into the most frequently asked questions asked by expectant and new moms.
- Should I eat specific food whilst I breastfeed?
Yes! When breastfeeding it is vital for new moms to maintain a healthy diet that is rich in fresh produce and consists of more plant-based than animal foods. These are the most important considerations;
- Have a varied diet of most foods in moderation,
- Add a healthy drink to every meal to keep up your liquid intake (water is best),
- Eat smaller meals more often to keep up your energy levels and milk-making ability,
- Avoid alcohol consumption as it goes through to breast milk,
- Wash all fresh produce thoroughly before consumption and choose organic produce if possible,
- Ensure your dietary balance by including foods from most of nature’s colour groups on most days.
- How long should I breastfeed my baby?
As long as you possibly can, there is no set time of how long you can breastfeed, you can breastfeed your baby until the age of two to three years old. Healthcare professionals highly recommend exclusively feeding your baby for the first six months, this will help reduce your baby’s potential health problems, and greater cognitive functioning. Thereafter, you can start introducing your baby to solid foods until the age of one.
- Is it ok to breastfeed and use formula at the same time?
No! The WHO (World Health Organization) and the Department of Health guidelines recommend that the mother breastfeed exclusively for six months or even longer. Exclusive breastfeeding means nothing else – no formula milk, no baby cereal, no water, no tea. This is an evidence-based guideline and is one of the most important ways to achieve glowing health in babies (and moms). The positive impact on babies’ health should be enough to motivation for mommies to hang in there – breastfeeding really becomes easy-peasy after the first three-four months…so easy you’ll be doing it in your sleep.
- When I breastfeeding, do I need a time table or is it timed to when my baby cries?
No, never feed your baby on a schedule! Mostly, it is unpredictable to know when your baby will become unsettled or start crying. Breast milk and suckling on the mother’s breast create comfort and nourish your baby. Constantly check your baby for any obvious causes of discomfort, and trust your instincts – you will soon learn when your baby is hungry and be able to distinguish his/her cry for food.
- Is it okay to breast feed another child along with my own?
Not really, your milk is specifically intended for your baby – of course, you can very successfully nurse multiples. The more you feed a baby, the more milk you produce, so there are almost no problems with that. However, hygiene and infections are a real issue to take into account, even if breast milk contains elements that fight infection. Donating excess milk to breast milk banks for babies who have a compromised start in life, is a wonderfully philanthropic thing to do. Click here for more information.
- Is it okay to breastfeed in public?
Yes. You can’t predict when your child will be hungry and why not respond to your baby’s hunger (and need for comfort) in a public place? Nursing a baby is not a scandalous activity and mothers don’t expose themselves – it’s all quite discreet, actually. Restaurants are starting to allow women to breastfeed freely.
If you have more questions and need an all-in-one resource for accurate and reputable information, visit Pampers or join their Facebook page for interesting information for a community of new moms and dads.