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Breast-Feeding - Topic Overview

How often do you need to feed your baby?

Feed your baby whenever he or she is hungry. In the first 2 weeks, your baby will breast-feed about every 1 to 3 hours. This schedule can make you very tired. But know that your baby will soon start eating more at each feeding, and you won't need to breast-feed as often.

Plan for times when you will be apart from your baby. Use a breast pump to collect breast milk ahead of time. You can store milk in the refrigerator or freezer for times when someone else will be taking care of your baby.

Do you need to limit what you eat and drink?

Anything you put in your body can be passed to your baby in breast milk. If you are breast-feeding, don't drink alcohol, take drugs, or smoke. Before you take any kind of medicine, herb, or vitamin, ask your doctor if it is safe.

Be sure to eat healthy, balanced meals and snacks to get enough of the vitamins and minerals you need while breast-feeding. You need to eat extra calories and may need to keep taking your prenatal vitamins.

If you have questions about what to eat and what to avoid, talk with your doctor or midwife.

Frequently Asked Questions

Learning about breast-feeding:

How to breast-feed:

Common problems:

Your health and nutrition:

Breast-feeding with special conditions:

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 01, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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