often as your baby wants, provided that attachment has been checked to avoid sore nipples. Sometimes feedings will be only about 11/2 hours apart.

  • Foster a rooming-in situation in the hospital.

  • Discourage the hospital staff from giving any supplemental feedings or water.

  • Reassure: Your diet does not have to be “perfect" to nourish your baby well.

  • The more your baby nurses, the more milk you will produce.

  • Take enough fluids (especially milk, juice, water, and soup)to keep from getting thirsty.

  • You need enough food (at least 1,800 kcal/day)to help maintain milk production and to provide the nutrients that you and your baby need.

  • For the first 6 weeks, the best guide to how much you should be eating is your own appetite.

  • Try to keep your intake of coffee, cola, or other sources of caffeine to 2 servings or less per day.

  • Advise against alcohol consumption, and inform the mother that drinking beer does not aid lactation.

  • For those who choose to take alcoholic beverages, advise: It is best to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages, but certainly have no more than 2 to 2.5 oz of liquor, 8 oz of table wine, or 2 cans of beer on any one day (less for small women).

  • If environmental contaminants (e.g., heavy metals such as mercury and organic chemicals such as pesticides) are a potential problem in the area, be on the alert for official advisories concerning foods or areas to avoid.

  • If the mother wishes to use beverages containing sugar substitutes, suggest moderation and discourage her from using these to replace important sources of nutrients.

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