Looking after yourself

Self care

Having a baby is full of challenges. It is normal to experience tiredness, irritability, sleep disturbance, aches and pains and you may feel overwhelmed by the transition to your parenting role, responsibilities and relationships.

As well as linking to support people, looking after yourself is important. Some key health areas to think about include:

Recommendations about smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeine

  • Smoking is not recommended while breastfeeding. Smoking can affect the nutrient content of breast milk and reduce supply. It also increases the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
  • The safest option is to avoid drinking alcohol while breastfeeding.
  • Limit tea, coffee and hot chocolate to 2–4 cups each day. You can reduce the amount of caffeine that passes into your breast milk by having these drinks after a breastfeed.

If you are having trouble adjusting to this change in your life, or want to learn more about ways to reduce risk to your baby, speak to your GP, a Maternal and Child Health Nurse or the Mum to Mum Helpline – 1800 686 268 – ABA.