Facilitators of Change Nutrition/Behavior Counseling

Concerns about Dietary and Health Practices

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Concerns about Dietary and Health Practices

*Mothers might say:

  • I drink. I smoke. I’m taking medicine.”

  • I don’t want to have to watch what I eat.”

  • They say you can’t eat onions, garlic, jalapenos…My life is too complicated.”

*Mothers may have these concerns:

  • Many women feel that breastfeeding will require them to change many dietary or health practices. They are unwilling or unsure of their ability to:

  • give up smoking

  • give up drinking alcohol

  • drink enough milk

  • give up junk food and/or spicy food

  • get enough sleep

  • be relaxed

*Mothers might appreciate hearing the following information:

  • A long time ago, there were no nutritionists telling people what to eat, and everybody breastfed just fine.

  • Women in other countries often have very poor diets, yet they breastfeed their babies for two, three, or more years.

  • There are no foods that you need to avoid in order to breastfeed. Think of women in Mexico or India. They eat very spicy foods and still breastfeed. Don’t listen to what everyone says about chocolate or cabbage or pizza.

  • It is important for all of us to eat healthy foods all through our lives. If you eat right, you’ll look and feel better, but what you eat doesn’t have much to do with your ability to breastfeed.

  • It is not good to smoke whether you breastfeed or bottlefeed. Second-hand smoke causes many health problems in babies and children.

  • Women who tend to be tense and “hyper” can breastfeed just fine. In fact, the hormones your body makes help you relax and feel calm and peaceful.

  • If breastfeeding were as difficult and involved as many restrictions as some people think, nobody would do it.

  • Your doctor can usually find a type or prescription drug or recommend a medicine that you can take that will not interfere with breastfeeding.

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