Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition

Alcohol, Smoking, Diet, and Medications

Do I have to eat a special diet?

No. Your body will make the perfect milk for your baby no matter what. For your own health, of course, it is best to eat a balanced diet regardless of how you feed your baby. Nursing mothers need to drink plenty of fluids, enough so that you are never feeling thirsty. This may mean 2-3  

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What if I have had breast surgery?

Breast surgery can sometimes affect the anatomy of the breast, so you and your baby should be followed closely at first to make sure you are physically able to make enough milk. It’s a good idea to see a lactation consultant early. Sometimes women who have had breast surgery need to supplement with formula.

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Can I breastfeed if I have silicone breast implants?

Yes. Breastmilk from mothers with silicone implants actually has less silicone in it than formula and cow’s milk. However, bear in mind that breast surgery can sometimes affect the anatomy of the breast, so your baby should be followed closely at first to make sure your are physically able to make enough milk.

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Can I drink coffee or caffeinated drinks if I breastfeed?

Yes. You can have a couple cups of coffee a day, and this is considered safe.

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What if my doctor prescribes medications for me?

Most medications are safe in breastfeeding but a few are not. Sometimes doctors are not completely familiar with the most current information on medications and breastfeeding, so it does not hurt to double check your doctor’s advice, especially if you are advised to stop breastfeeding.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has published guidelines on which medications  

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Can I drink alcohol if I breastfeed?

Small amounts of alcohol are considered acceptable — one drink a day or less, on average. If possible, time your drink so that your baby will not need to nurse for about 2 hours after your drink (feed, then drink). Do not drink more than one drink between feeds. Avoid alcohol if your child is  

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Can I breastfeed if I smoke?

Breastfeeding is still the healthiest way to feed your baby, even if you smoke. If you can’t quit smoking, limit your smoking to outdoors and away from your baby. Children who live with smokers have higher rates of ear infections and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and breastfeeding can help reduce the risk of these  

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