A top lactation consultant offers breastfeeding advice you can really use.
To produce enough breast milk, should I drink milk or take calcium?
No. While having plenty of calcium in your diet is a good idea, the milk supply is largely independent of what you eat or drink, except for water.
Are there foods I should not eat or drink while breastfeeding?
Some infants are sensitive to foods in a mother’s diet, particularly, onions, chocolate and citrus fruits. One to four hours after nursing, your baby may become fussy, gassy and fretful. Only 1 percent of caffeine passes into the milk, so very little gets to the baby; however, repeated doses of caffeine throughout the day can cause an infant to be fussy. Alcohol passes into breast milk, and daily drinking by a mother has been linked with developmental problems. However, an occasional drink with meals is probably not harmful. For safety, wait two hours after having a drink before you nurse. Most medications are safe, but avoid frequent use of antihistamines or long-acting cold preparations, and aspirin (take acetaminophen instead).
Is there a length of time to breastfeed that is considered too long?
No. Most children will give it up on their own between 2 1/2 and 4 years, and mothers who have allowed their children to breastfeed this long find that they wean on their own and are very secure, happy children. Try not to predetermine the length of time you will breastfeed. Keep an open mind about it.