Q How do I know if breastfeeding is going well?
some initial tenderness is to be expected, breastfeeding should not be
painful. If you experience nipple pain or soreness, be sure to ask for
assistance with positioning your baby at the breast. Correct latch is
important to prevent nipple damage and to help your baby get more milk.
day 5 baby should be making 6-8 wet and 3-5 soiled diapers in 24
hours and stools should appear bright yellow and seedy. All of these
signs mean you are developing an adequate milk supply and baby is
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all breastfeeding mothers and babies have a breastfeeding evaluation within the first week of life, usually around day five, or sooner if there is a concern. A lactation consultant can determine if everything is going well, and address any concerns early to help ensure you are able to reach your breastfeeding goals.
Q Do I need to attend a breastfeeding class?
A Breastfeeding is natural, but it is not always easy. Both you and your baby will be learning something new together. A breastfeeding class can help you to understand how breastfeeding works and what to expect.
So the answer is, yes! Learning all you can about breastfeeding before your baby is born will help ensure you are prepared to reach your breastfeeding goals once you baby arrives.
Group classes are available at most area hospitals. If you would like information about a private class, or have special concerns about breastfeeding, contact me to schedule.
Q What happens at a breastfeeding evaluation?
A At the initial visit, the LC will observe to see if the baby is nursing well. The baby will be weighed before and after nursing to determine how much milk your baby has received, and if your baby is gaining properly.
The LC will answer any questions you may have about breastfeeding and will address any
problems you may be having. Most early breastfeeding challenges can be addressed in 1 to 3 visits.
The written report of your visit is faxed to both your obstetrician and your baby's pediatrician and becomes a part of the medical record.
Q Why Would I Need A Hospital Grade Breast Pump Rental?
A A good quality retail electric pump is fine for mothers who have a well established milk supply and are pumping for convenience.
If a mother needs to build her milk supply, if her baby is unable to nurse or is not nursing well, or if she has twins (or more!), a hospital grade pump is recommended to build and maintain a good milk supply. Rental is provided at a reasonable monthly fee.
Q Do I Need A Breast Pump?
A Frequent nursing it the best way to establish and maintain a good milk supply.
You may choose to hand express your milk for comfort or an occasional feeding after breastfeeding is well established. Pumping in the first four weeks is not recommended unless there is a medical reason.
After four weeks, and especially if you plan to go to work and school, be sure to invest in a good quality double electric pump that is both gentle and efficient.
A lactation consultant can help you develop a plan for back to work. Have her check your pump flanges for proper fit.
Q Where should my baby sleep?
A Experts agree the safest place for newborns to sleep is in their parents room, near the parents but in a separate bed, like a co sleeper or a portable crib, for at least the first six week of life. It is believed being near the parents helps to regulate the baby's breathing and heart rate and may prevent SIDS.
Bed sharing is not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Q When will my baby sleep through the night?
A Newborns have little pattern to their wake and sleep cycles. It takes at least six weeks before we begin to see a sleeping pattern begin to develop. Newborns have tiny tummys, and must eat at least 8 or more times in 24 hours. This means new parents don't get much sleep for the first six weeks. Gradually babies do begin to sleep for longer intervals, but many have periods of wakefulness off and on throughout the first year.
Nursing mothers often find that, when their babies begin to sleep for more than 4 or 5 hours at night, their breasts become engorged. It is important to either feed the baby or pump when this occurs in order to protect your milk supply. Otherwise, if engorgement occurs repeatedly at night, you will see a decline in production.
Q When can I give a bottle or a pacifier?
A It can take up to 4 weeks for breastfeeding to become well established. Colostrum is the perfect first food for babies, and unless supplemental feeding is medically indicated, breastfed babies should receive only the breast.
If you plan to give an occasional bottle, introduce a bottle containing pumped milk at about 4 weeks. Most experts agree that at this age one bottle per day is unlikely to interfere with breastfeeding so long as you "pace" the bottle feeding by making it last as long as a breast feeding would normally last.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfed babies be given a pacifier around four weeks of age at nap time and bedtime to reduce the risk of SIDS. When the pacifier falls out, do not replace it if the baby is sleeping.