Hi there Mummies! (It is Courtney!)
I thought I would start my blogging adventure by debunking some of the reasons mummies have for cutting nursing short or even making the choice not to nurse. I would like to start with a disclaimer that I do not advocate for any of the "vices" that I'm going to reference, nor do I pass any condemnation if you partake in them.
Many women choose not to nurse because, frankly, they are tired of self sacrifice after nine long months of living to meet someone else's demands. There are many, many, MANY things that the pregnant woman must abstain from for the health of her unborn child. So I would like to talk about some things that you can have back and continue to nurse.
Well start small and work our way up:
Deli Meat: During pregnancy, deli meat should be heated until steaming because it may contain a bacteria called listeria, which can cause miscarriage. Listeria passes through the placenta but does not pass into breastmilk. The same applies for soft cheeses, smoked seafood and unpasteurized milk.
Fish- It is recommended that pregnant women avoid certain kinds of fish because of the high mercury levels. Mercury does pass into the breastmilk but typically the amount of mercury in the breastmilk will be about 1/3 the levels in moms blood. It is safe to resume eating fish, but moderation is key.
Caffeine: COFFEE!!! Yay, it's back! Some studies have shown that even small amounts of caffeine can increase a woman's chance of miscarriage, especially in the first trimester. When nursing, usually less than 1% of caffeine intake enters the milk supply. A baby's body can not easily break down and excrete caffeine so moderation (again) is key. A maximum of 300mg/day is safe for most babies. Just watch your baby for signs of caffeine build up: crankiness, trouble sleeping, jittery are all signs that your baby may be more sensitive to caffeine and if you see these you should decrease your intake.
Sushi- Since the greatest risk now is that contaminated sushi could make you sick, and you have a very important job to do, it is wise to be careful about where your sushi is coming from. But the bacteria doesn't cross into your milk so baby should be fine.
Alcohol- this is a hot button issue but the American Academy of Pediatrics says that nursing mothers can enjoy "small and celebratory" drinks occasionally while nursing. This leaves a lot open to interpretation. I know if I'm in the mood for red wine, I can celebrate the fact that it's Tuesday:) The guidelines that I have been taught are one "dose" (which would be one shot, one glass of wine, one beer... NOT one long island iced tea or one of those big fancy fishbowl drinks) one dose is ok for baby, after that you must pump and dump for 2 hours per extra drink that you have. Remember that blood alcohol level=milk alcohol level so IF YOU ARE DRUNK, YOUR MILK IS TOO.
Cigarettes: It is NEVER a good idea to smoke around your baby. A baby is an excellent reason to make some healthy lifestyle changes. That said, if you continue smoking you should still breastfeed. Since smoking increases your baby's risk for SIDS, it is a good idea to breastfeed (which helps to reduce the risk). Never breastfeed immediately after smoking (when levels of carcinogens are at their highest) and NEVER SMOKE WHILE FEEDING YOUR BABY.
These are just a few of the things that I've run across in my training. I am not a doctor or a medical expert. I'm just passing along my research to you...hope that it helps.