All mothers have increased nutritional needs related to pregnancy and childbirth. Women are more likely to be successful at breastfeeding if they receive assistance with breastfeeding basics, relieving engorgement, appropriate birth control methods, and special situations. Combined estrogen and progestin pills may reduce milk volume and the duration of breastfeeding; progestin-only pills have not been found to have this effect.2

For the Lactating Woman:

Special Recommendations for Lactating Women

  •  Avoid diets and medications that promise rapid weight loss.

  •  Eat a wide variety of breads and cereal grains, fruits, vegetables, milk products, and meats or meat alternates each day.

  •  Take three or more servings of milk products daily.

  •  Make a greater effort to eat vitamin-A-rich vegetables or fruit often. Examples of vitamin-A-rich foods include carrots, spinach or other cooked greens, sweet potatoes, and cantaloupe.

  •  Be sure to drink when you are thirsty· You will need more fluid than usual.

  •  If you drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages, such as cola, do so in moderation. Two servings daily are unlikely to harm the infant. Caffeine passes into the milk.

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