|D oes my breastfed baby need vaccines? Is it safe for me to get a vaccine when I’m breastfeeding?|
|When should I wean my baby?|
|Is it safe to smoke, drink, or use drugs?|
|What should I do if I have postpartum depression?|
|Can I breastfeed if I am sick?|
|Will my partner be jealous if I breastfeed?|
|D o I have to restrict my sex life while breastfeeding?|
|D o I still need birth control if I am breastfeeding?|
Yes. Vaccines are very important to your baby’s health. Breastfeeding may also enhance your baby’s response to certain immunizations, providing more protection. Follow the schedule your doctor gives you, and, if you miss any, check with him or her about getting your baby back on track.
Breastfeeding while the vaccine is given to your baby – or immediately afterward – can help relieve pain and soothe an upset baby. Most nursing mothers may also receive vaccines. Breastfeeding does not affect the vaccine. Vaccines are not harmful to your breast milk.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding beyond the baby’s first birthday, and for as long as both the mother and baby would like. The easiest and most natural time to wean is when your child leads the process. But how the mother feels is very important in deciding when to wean.
If you smoke, it is best for you and your baby to quit as soon as possible. If you can’t quit, it is still better to breastfeed because it can help protect your baby from respiratory problems and sudden infant death syndrome. Be sure to smoke away from your baby and change your clothes to keep your baby away from the chemicals smoking leaves behind. Ask a health care provider for help quitting smoking!
You should avoid alcohol, especially in large amounts. An occasional small drink is okay, but avoid breastfeeding for two hours after the drink.
It is not safe for you to use or be dependent on an illicit drug. Drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, heroine, and PCP harm your baby. Some reported side effects in babies include seizures, vomiting, poor feeding, and tremors.
If you have postpartum depression, work with your doctor to find the right treatment for you. Treatment may include medication such as antidepressants and talk therapy. Research has shown that while antidepressants pass into breast milk,few problems have been reported in infants. Even so, it is important to let your baby’s doctor know if you need to take any medications.
Let your doctor know if your blues do not go away so that you can feel better. If you are having any thoughts about harming yourself or your baby, call 911 right away.
Some women think that when they are sick, they should not breastfeed. But, most common illnesses, such as colds, flu, or diarrhea, can’t be passed through breast milk. In fact, if you are sick, your breast milk will have antibodies in it. These antibodies will help protect your baby from getting the same sickness.Breastfeeding is not advised if the mother:
|Has been infected with HIV or has AIDS. If you have HIV and want to give your baby breast milk, you can contact a human milk bank.|
|Is taking antiretroviral medications.|
|Has untreated, active tuberculosis.|
|Is infected with human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I or type II.|
|Is taking prescribed cancer chemotherapy agents, such as antimetabolites, that interfere with DNA replication and cell division.|
|Is undergoing radiation therapies, but such nuclear medicine therapies require only a temporary break from breastfeeding.|
If you prepare your partner in advance, there should be no jealousy. Explain that you need support because of the following reasons:
|The important and lasting health benefits of breastfeeding.|
|Explain that not making formula means more rest.|
|Breastfeeding saves money.|
|Your partner can help by changing and burping the baby, sharing chores, and simply sitting with you and the baby to enjoy the special mood that breastfeeding creates.|
|Your partner can also feed the baby pumped breast milk.|
No. But, if you are having vaginal dryness, you can try more foreplay and water-based lubricants. You can feed your baby or express some milk before lovemaking so your breasts will be more comfortable and less likely to leak.
During sex, you also can put pressure on the nipple when it lets down or have a towel handy to catch the milk.
Like other forms of birth control, breastfeeding is not a sure way to prevent pregnancy. Breastfeeding can delay the return of normal ovulation and menstrual cycles. You should still talk with a health care provider about birth control choices that are okay to use while breastfeeding.
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