National Breastfeeding Awareness Month
Breastfeeding can be one of the most rewarding yet challenging experiences for any new mother and baby. It’s important to remember that no one has the same breastfeeding experience and that's ok! Every family has the right to choose how they nourish their baby and what works best for them! As we embark into National Breastfeeding Awareness month we are here to give you a quick overview on what to expect if you choose to breastfeed your new baby. If you have more questions or would like to talk to one of our experienced dietitians please schedule a call with us!
Breast milk has three different and distinct stages: colostrum, transitional Milk, and mature Milk.
1: 2-4 days post birth:
Colostrum: is the first stage of breast milk that occurs during pregnancy and lasts for several days after the baby's birth. It is also much thicker than the Milk produced later in breastfeeding and can be a yellow/creamy color.
Colostrum is high in vitamins, minerals, protein, and antibodies to help nourish and support infant health and immunity.
2: One - two weeks:
Transitional Milk: is the second state of breastmilk which takes place for two weeks after colostrum. Transitional Milk contains high levels of fat, lactose, and vitamins and minerals with higher calories than colostrum.
3: Three weeks+
Mature Milk: can be broken down into two categories - foremilk and hindmilk.
Fore-Milk: Is found at the beginning of pumping/feeding and contains water, vitamins, and protein.
Hind-Milk: is found after the initial expression of Milk and contains higher levels of calories and fat essential for growth.
Breastfeeding Nutrition Tips:
Water/fluid intake: It is important to remember to hydrate while breastfeeding. It is recommended to consume roughly 16 cups of fluids. Tips: bring a water bottle with you to encourage hydration. OR drink 1 16 oz glass of water at each feeding to encourage hydration.
Alcohol: If you choose to have an alcoholic beverage (1 standard drink per day) it is important to wait at least 2 hours before breastfeeding. Alcohol levels in breast milk are generally highest 30-60 minutes after consumption. Tip: If you plan on having a drink consider pumping earlier in the day so you can have a supply on demand for the baby.
Caffeine: Caffeine consumption is generally recognized as safe for mothers who are breastfeeding. It is recommended to consume no more than 1-3 8 oz cups of caffeine while pumping/feeding. (Less than 300 mg caffeine daily)
Mastitis is an inflammation or infection of breast tissue that sometimes may occur in mothers who are breastfeeding. Mastitis can occur due to a clogged milk duct or the introduction of bacteria in the breast. If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms please contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Breast tenderness or warmth
Pain/burning sensation continuously or while breast-feeding
Thickening breast tissue or lump
Flu like symptoms
Fever of 101 F or greater
Important tips to remember/Resources:
Breastfeeding is different for every mom and baby. It can feel like a full time job. If you are having pain or trouble getting your baby to latch do not hesitate to reach out to your doctor or other resources like:
Our very own Jacqui Stevens who is a Certified Lactation Counselor for tips and assistance with breastfeeding nutrition
Know your rights as a new mom in the state of Maine:
Breastfeeding and workplace rights for new mothers: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/population-health/hmp/panp/workplaces-and-breastfeeding-support.html
How to get a breast pump through your insurance provider:
In this article they review the steps and questions to ask your insurance carrier to see if a pump is covered under your plan.
For more information on maintaining a healthful balanced diet while breastfeeding make an appointment with our wonderful staff. We are here for YOU.
La Leche League International (international organization that informs and supports breastfeeding mothers)