Feeling frenzied all the time can take a toll on your fertility. Here’s how you can chillax and boost your odds of baby-making success.
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Month 4} Is it OK for me to have a glass of wine yet? An occasional drink—one serving or less of alcohol per day—hasn’t been shown to be harmful to a breastfeeding baby, according to La Leche League International. However, moderate or heavy drinking can have a negative effect on your milk production and on your baby’s weight gain. If you do choose to have an occasional glass of wine, it’s best to drink slowly and on a full stomach.
Month 5} Should my breastfed baby be sleeping through the night yet? First, keep in mind that “sleeping through the night” at this age actually means five or six hours, not eight or nine. Second, every baby is unique. Some will start sleeping through at 3 months; others won’t until much later. “Babies sleep through the night when they’re ready, whether or not they’re breastfed,” Panchula says. That said, because breast milk is digested so completely and more quickly than formula, breastfed babies do tend to eat—and therefore wake— more frequently than formula-fed babies.
Month 6} My baby seems ready for solids. How and when do I introduce them? “Breast milk still is the most important part of your baby’s diet at this age, so breastfeed right before you offer cereal or other food,” Page Ferrarello says. When you do offer solids, start with rice cereal and gradually add a cooked or mashed fruit or vegetable. Be sure to wait three to five days before introducing a different food so you can trace the cause of any allergic reaction.
Month 7} Can I take birth-control pills if I’m breastfeeding? “Yes. But opt for a progestin-only ‘mini-pill,’ since pills containing estrogen can decrease milk supply,” Page Ferrarello says. Depo-Provera (injections given every three months) is another progestin-only contraceptive that is safe to use while breastfeeding.