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Breast-Feeding - Your Health and Nutrition

A healthy lifestyle—including having a balanced diet, getting plenty of rest, and being active—is important while you breast-feed. It can help you have more energy and reduce stress. It can also help you build a healthy milk supply.

It's also important to know what to avoid. Anything you put in your body can be passed to your baby in breast milk.

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Have a healthy diet

  • Have a balanced dietHave a balanced diet so that you get the vitamins and minerals you need for breast-feeding. You'll need to eat extra calories compared to the amount you ate when you weren't breast-feeding. It's a good idea to continue taking your prenatal vitamins while breast-feeding.
  • Avoid quick weight loss. If you want to try to lose your pregnancy weight, lose it a little at a time so you don't affect your breast milk.

Some moms notice that certain foods make their babies more fussy. You may want to keep track of what you eat and how your baby acts.

If you have special dietary needs, talk to a dietitian. He or she can help you plan healthy meals.

Balance activity and sleep

  • Try to sleep and restTry to sleep and rest as well as you can. You likely will not have a normal schedule when you first start to breast-feed. But you can take naps and find time to rest for short periods throughout the day, such as when your baby sleeps.
  • Be activeBe active. Exercise helps with weight loss, improves your energy level, and can help relieve stress.

Use medicine wisely

  • Be careful taking medicineBe careful taking medicine. Many medicines can affect your breast milk. Talk with your doctor before taking any over-the-counter or prescription medicines or herbs.
  • Stay current on your immunizations. It's okay to get routine immunizations while you are breast-feeding. They do not harm your baby.

Know what to avoid

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