TAKING CARE OF ME...
I You should go to your health care giver about 2-6 weeks after your baby is born. Make an appointment for this "postpartum" visit as soon as possible. If you have questions or problems before then, call your health care provider.
I Ask your health care giver if you are protected against rubella. If not, get a shot to protect you before you leave the hospital.
I Ask your health care giver about family planning. You can get pregnant again even if you are breastfeeding. Your body is not ready for another healthy pregnancy right now.
I Call your care giver right away if you have any of the postpartum warning signs listed on page 47.
I Many new mothers feel depressed, cry easily, or are just very tired. These feelings are often due to lack of sleep; it doesn't mean you don't love your baby. If you have some of these feelings, you may want to talk to your family, a friend, or another mother about it. If you need help to cope with your feelings, call your health care giver.
I Breastfeeding is best for your baby. It is good for you too. It will help get your uterus (womb) back in shape. Almost all mothers breastfeed easily. Some need advice or help. Call your childbirth educator, nutritionist, or the La Leche League (1-800 LA LECHE) if you have problems or questions.
I Eat a variety of healthful foods and drink 6 to 8 glasses of water and other liquids each day, just as you did while you were pregnant. You need food for energy and to pass on to your baby if you are breastfeeding. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. They are not healthy for you and can harm your baby if passed through your breast milk.
I Try to sleep when your baby sleeps. If you feel under stress, take a break. Put your baby in the crib and take a shower or bath or call a friend. Ask a family member or a friend to watch the baby while you go for a short walk. If you feel as though you are under too much stress, call your health care giver and ask where you can get help. Taking good care of yourself and your baby is most important now.
I Spend some special time with your other children.
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For many years, scientists have been playing out the ingredients that make breast milk the perfect food for babies. They've discovered to day over 200 close compounds to fight infection, help the immune system mature, aid in digestion, and support brain growth - nature made properties that science simply cannot copy. The important long term benefits of breast feeding include reduced risk of asthma, allergies, obesity, and some forms of childhood cancer. The more that scientists continue to learn, the better breast milk looks.