In this article we’ll provide a list of seven common questions about breastfeeding, along with their answers.
Breastfeeding a baby is a momentous commitment. Your baby won’t just seek out your breast to nurse. Babies look to you instinctively for comfort, protection, warmth and love.
Who better to give your child this than you, their mother?
Breastfeeding is an act of love. What your baby most needs at this early stage of life is to have you close at all times.
Many women are aware of this. And experts now agree that breastfeeding is best, not just in terms of nutrition but also to calm and comfort your child.
Along the way, however, you might have many questions about breastfeeding. You may be worried about nursing your baby, or concerned that you aren’t doing it right.
A good breastfeeding technique isn’t always easy to achieve. Fortunately, there are experts who can help clear up your questions about breastfeeding, such as pediatricians, midwives and nurses.
These medical practitioners will be able to evaluate the situation and make corrections if your posture is not ideal.
7 common questions about breastfeeding… and the answers
I don’t have much milk. What can I do?
Many mothers feel they don’t produce enough milk for their baby to feel full. They worry they’re doing something wrong, or that their milk is somehow not suitable.
However, scientists have proven that, excluding certain extreme circumstances, every mother produces the amount of milk that her baby needs.
What is necessary, however, is to feed your baby on demand, using the right breastfeeding technique.
If your baby is nursing at least 8 times a day, this will stimulate the skin of your breasts, ensuring that the hormones associated with milk production are able to work. This is especially important during the first few weeks.
How do I know if my breastfeeding technique is correct?
To answer this question, it’s important to know that babies are only able to feed correctly when their mouth covers the nipple and much of the areola. In this way, the baby is able to latch on properly and empty the breast.
Suction is closely related to milk production. The breast needs to be stimulated by the baby’s mouth in order to produce milk.
If your baby doesn’t open their mouth completely, they won’t be able to suck efficiently. The same is true if your baby is tongue-tied; that is, if the strip of skin connecting their tongue to the floor of their mouth is shorter than usual.
This may cause the baby to feed for longer without getting enough milk to feel full.
Finally, an unsuitable breastfeeding technique can lead to painful breasts and cracked nipples, both of which are quite painful. If you notice any of these problems, speak to a professional.
Is it a good idea to express milk using a pump?
For many mothers, particularly those who need to leave their baby with others, a breast pump can be a good solution.
Expressing milk can stimulate your breasts to produce more, which is positive. However, feeding your baby from a bottle can deprive the child of certain stimuli that they receive when breastfeeding.
How do I know that my baby is feeding enough?
For the first 48 hours, your baby will feed on colostrum. This liquid helps provide immunity to protect a newborn’s body for the first few days of life. However, most women don’t notice the difference when their regular milk comes in.
From the third day onwards, your baby should feed over 8 times a day, and have 3 or more bowel movements. If this is the case, you can be sure that your baby is feeding correctly.
I want to feed my baby on demand… how can I do it?
Feeding on demand means feeding your baby whenever they want. The best way to do this is to offer your breast whenever your baby sucks their fingers, seeks out your breast or makes a noise.
Don’t wait until they cry from hunger.
It’s important for your baby to drain one breast completely. This is because the last milk to come out is highest in fat and calories. If your baby is still hungry, you can always offer the other breast.