The question of quantity
Now that you know how to keep your milk safe, is there anything you can do to increase the amount you produce? Most remedies are old wives’ tales, Lawrence says, with one exception: rest. “The No. 1 enemy of a good milk supply is fatigue,” she says. “Lie down when the baby rests, don’t try to do too much and do say no to too much company. That’s what makes good milk.”
Eating and drinking enough also are important, although it’s a myth that you need to force fluids, nutritionist Gabela says. You will be thirstier than non-nursing women, but you don’t need to overhydrate. Because breastfeeding burns calories, you’ll also be hungrier. You’ll need a minimum of 1,800 calories per day to maintain an adequate milk supply, even more if you’re exercising. “A good rule of thumb is ‘eat to hunger, drink to thirst,’” Gabela says.
Is it safe? Where to find out
If you have a question about whether a particular medication or food is safe, ask your doctor or lactation consultant to call the Breastfeeding and Human Lactation Study Center in Rochester, N.Y., which operates a hotline for health-care professionals: 585-275-0088.
The University of California, San Diego, Drug Information Service offers information on medications: 900-288-8273. The charge is $3 for the first minute and $2 for each minute thereafter.
For information about foods that babies are most often sensitive to, visit www.hallpublications.com and click on “Joneja Food Allergen Scale” or “Sequence of Adding Solid Foods for the Allergic Infant.”
The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, at www.food allergy.org, is another resource for parents of children with sensitivities to certain foods.