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Breastfeeding can be a confusing topic for many moms, especially those without a family history of breastfeeding. New moms and moms-to-be often have some several questions about the whole experience. Here are some of the top questions moms all over are asking about breastfeeding.
When can I give baby a pacifier?
I know how helpful and soothing pacifiers can be. The biggest issue is that they confuse your baby and your infant may begin to prefer the pacifier nipple over your nipple. In addition, use of a pacifier may disguise hunger cues and you may miss out on opportunities to nurse your little one. I recommend waiting at least three weeks after your baby is born to make sure nursing is well established.
Does breastfeeding hurt?
This is a common question of moms-to-be because nipples are sensitive. Keep in mind, when a child latches correctly, they don’t just nurse on your nipple, they take in much of your areola which often lessen any pinching or soreness for mom. However, as you both learn to breastfeed, most mother’s experience some initial nipple soreness. I always suggest keeping some nipple balm and breast soothies on hand to soothe soreness. If you experience extended pain or discomfort, you may need to consult a lactation consultant to see if your child’s latch needs to be adjusted.
When should I let baby sleep through the night?
Newborns feed often, usually every two hours. The first few months of motherhood can be challenging, so don’t worry if you don’t have a clear cut “feeding schedule”. In most cases, children fall into a routine and “on demand” feeding is actually recommended for children under six months. Just watch for hunger cues and feed your child when they’re hungry. You may be lucky to have a baby who enjoys sleeping for long stretches, but don’t let an infant sleep for more than a few hours without nursing. They need fuel and moms needs to breastfeed so her supply stays high.
Keep in mind, you can also “dream feed” which means nursing your baby without waking him or her up. The sucking motion is entirely instinctually, so they don’t have to be awake to do it. How cool is that?
How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk?
Moms are always concerned about this. I understand you want to make sure your child is actually getting his nutrition, there’s actually a pretty simple way to assess if s/he is eating enough. You simply count the diapers! If he’s wetting a lot of diapers, gaining weight, and appears satisfied after breastfeeding, he’s getting plenty. Here’s a longer explanation.
Can I nurse if I have small breasts?
Breast size has nothing to do with milk production or latching.
How long does it take to breastfeed?
Infants feed about 15-20 minutes per breast at feeding and you’ll usually offer both. Even though they require more milk, older children become far more efficient at feeding and shorten to around ten minutes (plus children past six months get a mix of breast milk and solid foods).
Who do I speak to for help?
The best resource is a lactation consultant. You can use the La Leche League to find one. Depending on the size of the office, your pediatrician may have a certified lactation consultant. You can also speak to a veteran mom in your family who nursed before. Don’t be shy!
How often should I be nursing?
A lot. A lot. During the first few days, you should be breastfeeding 10-12 times per day. For the first few weeks it will seem like that’s all you do. But over time, the frequency will decrease and the amount of time per session will decrease.
Do I have to eat more food when I’m breastfeeding?
Yes, but not by much. You need about 300 extra calories per day while you’re nursing. You can easily get that with some high fat, high protein snacks. Avocados are perfect, but also look to beans, lentils, and fish, and these superfoods.
Do you have any breastfeeding questions you’d like answered?
Written by Melissa LaHann, Founder and CEO of Happy Fig, LLC
Like many moms before her, Melissa cradled her hungry, crying baby as she clumsily adjusted her bra and sat uncomfortably holding up her shirt. Before she knew it, her baby was squirming, her shirt was falling, and the nursing session was interrupted. She needed a better solution, so she created LatchPal, the first nursing clip of its kind.
LatchPal is a breastfeeding shirt clip that holds up a mother’s shirt during breastfeeding. It eliminates shirt re-positioning and feeding disruptions, and helps a mom nurse hands-free in comfort to maximize milk flow. LatchPal was designed with moms in mind. The multi-use solution only requires one hand to latch. It’s a must-have breastfeeding accessory and essential for post-partum moms, pumping moms, and nursing in public.
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