Having a baby
Delivering a Healthy WA
Having a baby

Lifestyle

A newborn baby wrapped in a blanket lying on its mother

Healthy eating

  • Healthy eating for breastfeeding women (external site)
    Gradual weight loss happens after the birth of your baby through breastfeeding, healthy eating and exercise. This website includes examples of a healthy meal plan for a breastfeeding mother, foods that may adversely affect a breastfed baby and healthy food servings. Information on healthy eating while breastfeeding is available from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.
  • Nutrition – women’s extra needs (external site)
    Menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding and menopause are times of increased nutritional demand for women. Breastfeeding women must pay particular attention to their needs of protein, calcium, iron, vitamins and fluids. Information on women’s extra nutritional needs is available from the Victorian state government Better Health Channel.
  • Pregnancy and weight gain/loss (external site)
    It took nine months to create your baby, so it is important to remember that it will take at least that long for your body to return to its pre-pregnancy shape. Smart eating tips after the birth of your baby and information on pregnancy and weight gain/loss is available from the Dietitians Association of Australia.

Exercise

  • Postnatal exercise - sample exercises (PDF)
    Exercise and wellbeing after pregnancy (PDF)
    Regular exercise after the birth of your baby can help you return to your pre-pregnancy shape, give you increased energy as well as a range of other health benefits. Walking is the simplest way to start exercising as your baby can come too. Other forms of exercise require a bit of planning as your baby may not always be able to come with you. Sample exercises are available from King Edward Memorial Hospital, Department of Health WA. Information on exercise and wellbeing after pregnancy is also available from Sports Medicine Australia.

Medications and other drugs

  • How common medications can affect your breastmilk (external site)
    Some medications you may take can pass into your breastmilk and your baby. The ingredients and how you take the medication influence how much actually passes into your baby through breastmilk. Information on how common medications can affect your breastmilk is available from the Victorian Royal Women’s Hospital.
  • Drugs and breastfeeding (external site)
    If you are breastfeeding, medications you are taking may be transferred to your breast milk so it is important to know if this will affect your baby. Information on drugs and breastfeeding is available from King Edward Memorial Hospital, Department of Health WA.
  • Illegal drugs and your new baby (external site)
    The effects of illegal drugs on a baby are not known. If you are using illegal drugs, please discuss your use with your doctor before stopping or reducing your use as doing it suddenly may be dangerous for you and your baby. Information on illegal drugs and your new baby is available from the New South Wales Department of Health.

Smoking

  • Smoking and your baby (external site)
    Babies exposed to second hand smoke and drinking breastmilk produced by a smoking mother can have serious health problems. This can include more frequent and severe infections and diseases of the ear, nose and throat. Information on smoking and your baby is available from the Western Australian Department of Health.
  • Care for my air! Newborns Asthma Parental Smoking Project (external site)
    The Newborns Asthma and Parental Smoking (NAPS) Project encourages new mothers to protect their new baby from passive tobacco smoke to reduce their risk of developing asthma. It promotes the health message ‘Care for my air!’ and ‘Fresh air grows solid babies’. Information on NAPS is available from the Asthma Foundation of WA.

Alcohol

  • Breastfeeding and alcohol (external site)
    Try to avoid alcohol in the first month after your baby is born. If you are breastfeeding, you should consider expressing milk in advance if you are going to consume alcohol. Information on breastfeeding and alcohol is available from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.

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Further information

» Early days after the birth
» Life with your new baby
» Relationships
» Mental health and emotional wellbeing
» Work


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