Heights OBGYN


Info you need about breastfeeding from our Bexar County OBGYNs

As you get closer to your due date, you may be considering how to feed your baby. Breastfeeding and breast milk provide many benefits for you and your infant. For the first six months of your baby’s life, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively. After the six-month period when you introduce solid food, they suggest that you continue to nurse your baby for as long as it suits you and your child.

Breast milk benefits your baby in several ways

Your milk provides all the nutrients, fluids and calories your baby needs to thrive in the first six months. It provides several benefits for your infant.

  • Antibodies in your milk help protect your baby against everything from asthma to respiratory issues, ear infections and more.
  • Your milk is easier for your baby to digest.
  • Breast milk changes to meet your baby’s needs as he or she grows

Nursing also benefits you

When you nurse, it triggers the release of the hormone, oxytocin. This hormone helps your uterus contract. Nursing also burns extra calories and may reduce your risk of developing ovarian and breast cancer.

It’s important to remember that nursing is not a reliable contraceptive. You should talk to our Bexar County OBGYNs about birth control after you give birth.

Knowing when your baby needs to nurse

You may get advice from other people about feeding your baby on a schedule. Babies’ needs set the schedule when breastfeeding. Here are some tips about when to nurse your baby.

  • Look for signals from your baby that indicate hunger. These include crying, looking awake or alert, opening and closing their fists, and mouthing their hands and fingers.
  • Most babies eat every two to three hours during the first weeks. They usually spend about 10 or 15 minutes nursing from each breast.
  • Remember that your infant’s nursing needs are as individual as your child. Pay attention to his or her needs. Ask questions if you are concerned about eating patterns.

Nutritional concerns and lifestyle issues affect breastfeeding moms and babies

When you are nursing, you need to get an extra 450 to 500 calories each day. You should continue to take your prenatal vitamins and avoid the following things.

  • Fish that contains high levels of mercury, such as swordfish, orange roughy or bigeye tuna
  • Drinking more than 200 milligrams of coffee each day
  • Drinking more than two alcoholic drinks each day
  • Smoking
  • Using prescription medications you haven’t been prescribed by a physician, or using illegal drug

Talk to your OBGYN about your over-the-counter and prescription medications and how they affect your breast milk.

Our Bexar County OBGYNs are here to answer your questions about nursing

After you give birth, the hospital staff can coach you as you learn to breastfeed. It’s natural to have questions. Breastfeeding help is available. You can talk to your nurse, your OBGYN or a lactation consultant. Contact us for an appointment.