There is a lot of pressure on women to breast-feed: breast-feeding has health benefits for both you and your baby and it helps with bonding. People may already be asking you whether you intend to breast-feed or not, and it's reasonable that you don't yet know the answer. After all, you haven't tried!
Most women want to try breast-feeding, but some feel uncomfortable with the thought of doing it, especially in public. There will likely be a lactation consultant in the hospital or you may be able to hire one. In some areas you can go to classes during pregnancy, which will explain the benefits of breast-feeding and aspects such as positioning the baby so that you're both comfortable and the baby is latched on .
The expectation of breast-feeding is that, because it's natural, it's easy. The reality is that until you get the hang of it, it can be a little more difficult. Ask your delivery nurse to show you how to position the baby. Most importantly, keep an open mind and try it. Once breast-feeding is established, it's beneficial to your baby's health, great for your figure, and a wonderful way to be close to your baby.
Probiotics-such as some yogurts, miso (a Japanese paste, often used in soups), and some juices and soy products-contain enzymes and bacteria that help your body digest food, and build up friendly bacteria in the intestines. If your digestion is sluggish and you're finding constipation a problem, ask your doctor about whether eating more probiotic foods could help.
Some pregnant women experience some leakage of breast milk, perhaps when their breasts are massaged or sexually stimulated, and sometimes for no apparent reason. Some discharge in pregnancy does mean that things are working properly, but women who don't experience this symptom are perfectly able to produce and provide milk for their baby.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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