Breastfeeding Basics | Fit Pregnancy

Breastfeeding Basics

Nursing While Pregnant


Continuing to nurse likely is safe for you, your son and your baby in utero. A few caveats: Since breastfeeding burns calories and requires more fluids, you must eat and drink enough to stay well-hydrated and nourished and gain adequate weight. Also, breast stimulation in the last six weeks of pregnancy can lead to uterine contractions, so if there are concerns about preterm labor, your obstetrician may want you to stop nursing.

Bowel Movements


Yes, it is. Your daughter is eating perfect food, one that has been custom-made just for her. As her intestines mature and she is able to digest your breast milk more completely, the amount of waste your baby produces is naturally decreasing--which means she now can go for days without having to poop. This pattern often begins at about 6 weeks of age and can continue for the entire time a baby is exclusively breastfed, which is until the age of about 6 months in many families.

Nipple Confusion


Nipple confusion can be a problem for many breastfed babies if they are given a bottle too early, even if it's filled with breast milk. Here's why: Infants coordinate their jaw, cheek and swallowing muscles in a specific way when they are breastfeeding. With a bottle, their feeding patterns are completely different--a bottle, for instance, gushes milk into a baby's mouth, and the child needs to move his tongue to control the flow. Not so with the breast.

Alcohol and Breast Milk


Yes—as long as it's in moderation. Since anything you eat or drink can be transferred to your baby through your breast milk, you do need to watch what you put in your body.

What Not To Avoid

"Fruits and vegetables are essential to the breastfeeding diet," says Gina Solomon, M.D., M.P.H., a scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "Organic, pesticide-free produce is best, but if you can't find organic, rinse well and enjoy." Should your budget for organic foods be limited, she suggests buying organic versions of the produce most often treated with pesticides: berries; stone fruits (peaches, cherries, apricots, nectarines, plums, etc.); leafy greens; and imported grapes. Domestic (in season) grapes are OK.

Toxic Cleanup



Breast Is Still Best

Breastfeed your baby, save the planet. It's a nice mantra for the eco-conscious times we live in. And it's true: More nursing means fewer bottles and formula cans to produce, ship and then dispose of.

Secrets Of Success

You've read books, visited chat rooms, taken classes, made the (very smart) decision to breastfeed. You're ready, right? Mentally, yes, but once your baby makes his entrance, you're faced with the prospect of actually doing it—of maneuvering his tiny, floppy head onto your swollen breast and coaxing him not only to latch on, but to draw enough of that liquid gold into his body to sustain himself for the next hour, the next day, the next six months. We're here to help, with real-world tips to get you through those first hours in the hospital and first weeks at home.

The First Year

Even though the first days and weeks of breastfeeding are the most important—it's when your milk supply is established and you and your baby get into the groove of things—many moms focus on this period to the exclusion of all others. But at some point down the road, you're likely to have different concerns and questions. Here's a look at some of the breastfeeding issues you're likely to face through the first year.

Extreme Makeover: Breastfeeding

Possibly the most shocking moment in the final season of The Sopranos didn't involve a murder or betrayal. Rather, it was the image of a glamorous woman nursing her infant--in front of others. Babes for Breastfeeding (, a nonprofit organization formed last year by a lawyer and a businesswoman who became lactation counselors, intends to inspire a cultural shift that makes scenes like that the norm in TV, movies and everyday life. "Women don't need more pressure and guilt," says co-founder Danielle Rigg, a mother of two in New York City.