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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Getting started breastfeeding part 3

How to get comfortable

Since feedings can take up to 40 minutes, pick a cozy spot for nursing. Hold your baby in a position that won't leave your arms and back sore. It works well to support the back of your baby's head with your hand, but the position you choose really depends on what's comfortable for you. If you're sitting, a nursing pillow can be a big help in supporting your baby. Don't feed until you and your baby are comfortable because you'll be sitting (or lying) in that position for a while.

What you should eat

A normal healthy diet is all you need while you're nursing. Experts used to recommend that nursing moms get an extra 400 to 500 calories a day, but new research shows that you don't need that calorie boost, says breastfeeding expert Kathleen Huggins, author of The Nursing Mother's Companion. You'll want to maintain a well-balanced diet for your own health, but you don't need to follow complicated dietary rules to successfully nurse your baby.

You may want to limit caffeine, and avoid chocolate, spicy foods, and other irritants that get into breast milk and can bother your baby. Be sure to drink lots of fluids — the oxytocin released by your body while you breastfeed will make you thirsty and help remind you to drink.

Remember that although breastfeeding is natural, it can be difficult in the first days of your baby's life. Take the time to get encouragement and advice from a lactation consultant or friends who have nursed — their support and tips will be invaluable.

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