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Breastfeeding Magazine

Got Questions about Breastfeeding?

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(THIS POST PROBABLY CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. OUR FULL DISCLOSURE POLICY IS REALLY BORING, BUT YOU CAN FIND IT HERE.)

Here are some frequently asked breastfeeding questions. We hope the answers will help you confidently breast-feed your sweet child! Check back often because we will add more!

Common Questions about Breastfeeding:

Click on each of the questions about breastfeeding to go to the answers below:

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babyrattleI am excited about my upcoming pregnancy. What can I do to prepare to be ready to breastfeed my baby?

babyrattleHow long should I wait after I have my baby to try to breastfeed?

 

babyrattleHow do I know if my breast milk has come in?

 

babyrattleI am totally exhausted. My baby wants to eat all the time. Is that normal?

 

babyrattleI thought my baby was starting to be on a schedule but now she seems suddenly to want to eat all the time again. Am I losing my milk supply?

 

babyrattle I am worried that my baby is not getting enough breast milk. How can I be sure?

 

babyrattleHelp! I woke up in the middle of the night with pain in my breast. It is red too. What could it be?

 

babyrattle I don’t think a breast pump is going to work for me. I tried pumping and an only getting an ounce. Am I doing something wrong?

babyrattleMy doctor says that I am suffering from postpartum depression I need to start taking medication for it. Do I have to stop breastfeeding my baby?

babyrattle Ouch! I know breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt, but my nipples are sore. What is wrong?

babyrattleI am sick and worried about losing about my milk supply –what can I do to boost it?

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babyrattle Other parents have babies sleeping through the night at a few weeks old, but my five month old is still waking up every night. Why?

babyrattle Can I drink wine while breastfeeding?

 

babyrattle When will I start having my period again?

 

babyrattle Can I drink peppermint tea while breastfeeding?

 

babyrattle Can I nurse an adopted baby?

 

 

babyrattle

 I’m nervous about nursing in public. Do you have any suggestions?

 

babyrattle My breasts are always leaking! Can I do anything about it?

 

babyrattleI would like some tasteful nursing photos taken of me and my baby.

 

babyrattle Do you have any special tips on creating great breastfeeding photography?

 

babyrattle When should I wean my baby?

 

babyrattle What if I still have questions about breastfeeding?

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Answers to the Questions about Breastfeeding:

babyrattleI am excited about my upcoming pregnancy. What can I do to prepare to be ready to breastfeed my baby?

Your commitment matters! Some experts say the commitment to give breastfeeding an honest try is one of the biggest factors in successful nursing. Click on the link to check out our How to Prepare For Breastfeeding page for or more helpful tips. We hope that page will get you started and that you continue to browse our site to answer all your questions about breastfeeding. Good luck to you…and Happy Nursing!

Return to the Breastfeeding Questions List.

babyrattleHow long should I wait after I have my baby to try to breastfeed?
Beautiful Pregnant African Mother

Babies are very alert during the first hour of life, so this is an excellent time to introduce them to the breast. You may not always be permitted to breastfeed right after delivery, but if it is possible then you should introduce them to the breast right away.

You will know that your baby is ready to feed by their behavior. They will make sucking noises and will root around with their mouths, ready to suck on anything their little lips can find. This is when you need to bring them to your breast for the first breastfeeding sessions.

Also, you can click on this link to check out our Latching-on page for help knowing if you are getting a good latch.

Most hospitals have lactation consultants who will answer all of your questions and work with you and the baby on technique. If there are problems breastfeeding, use the expertise of the consultant so you feel comfortable breastfeeding when you are released to go home.

babyrattleHow do I know if my breast milk has come in?

Your milk could come in as soon as the day after birth, or as late as six days after birth. Every woman’s body is different, and there is no way to know for sure when it will happen for you. However, you can watch for changes in the color and texture of the baby’s stool to determine when they are receiving milk.

The baby’s stool will be black and sticky, much like wet tar, right after birth. Once your milk drops, it will start to change colors and the sticky consistency will go away. If you get past a week of birth and believe your milk has not come in, then a call to your doctor is in order.

Return to the Breastfeeding Questions List.

babyrattleI am totally exhausted. My baby wants to eat all the time. Is that normal? 

It is completely normal, so try to relax and find some form of relaxation and self-soothing. The consistent eating throughout the day and night is what signals your body to continue producing milk. Your body knows that more milk is needed by the constant demand for more milk, and your baby intuitively knows this.

Have you ever wondered how a mother with a single baby produces enough milk for her baby, but a mother of triplets will produce far more milk to sustain all three of her babies? The demand for milk by the babies signals to the mother’s body how much milk is needed.

Once your baby is no longer a newborn, they may nurse less except during growth spurts. During growth spurts they may need to nurse frequently throughout the day and night, just like they did after birth. Do not think twice about feeding your baby when they need it. They are simply doing their job keeping your milk supply up so they can grow.

babyrattleI thought my baby was starting to be on a schedule but now she seems suddenly to want to eat all the time again. Am I losing my milk supply?

Your baby is most likely in the middle of a growth spurt. This typically happens around three weeks old, six weeks old, twelve weeks old, and then again around six months of age. The increased demand to feed should only last a short period of time, during which your body will pick up signals and start producing more milk. You and baby will settle rather quickly back into a more reasonable feeding routine.

babyrattleI am worried that my baby is not getting enough breast milk. How can I be sure? 

If you are changing the appropriate number of wet and dirty diapers daily, then your baby is probably getting the nourishment they need. Your doctor can give you a specific number of wet and dirty diapers that your baby should be producing, but in general a baby will have at least five wet diapers and two dirty diapers each day.

You can also keep count of the number of feedings you go through daily. A healthy baby should be feeding between eight and ten times a day. During feeding, you should hear noises that confirm the baby is getting milk. After feeding, they should be content with full bellies.

Finally, your baby should have periods of alertness during the day. They should be active and exploring the world when not asleep.

If you are still concerned or have additional questions about breastfeeding, you may want to talk to your baby’s doctor or look at the WHO growth chart standards available here.

Return to the Breastfeeding Questions List.

Sleeping baby

babyrattleI woke up in the middle of the night with pain in my breast. It is red too. What could it be? 

You may have a plugged milk duct. Click here for information on handling plugged ducts.

However, if you have a fever or the chills, you may have developed a more serious condition called mastitis. Click here for more information.

babyrattleI don’t think a breast pump is going to work for me. I tried pumping and an only getting an ounce. Am I doing something wrong?

Many women struggle to master pumping, and some breasts just don’t let down easily without the warm suckling lips of a baby. You can work through the following steps to help make this better:

  1. Read our article on the top recommended pumps. It is much easier if you have a high quality pump. If you think the pump is part of the problem, get a new one. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it does have to be decent and compatible with your body.
  2. Explore the different suction settings on your pump and find the setting most comfortable for your body.
  3. Try feeding while looking at a picture of your baby.
  4. Take deep breaths and learn how to relax from head to toe while breastfeeding. Tension can disrupt the process.

If you try and are unsuccessful, you may want to try a different kind of pump!

babyrattleMy doctor says that I am suffering from postpartum depression I need to start taking medication for it. Do I have to stop breastfeeding my baby?

No! Feel free to take care of yourself. Your baby needs a healthy mommy!

Congratulations on acknowledging your own health needs and taking steps to protect your own health. Your health is the best gift you can give your child. Breastfeeding can actually help with your depression, as you bond with the baby and start to appreciate that special time with them.

Most antidepressants are completely safe for nursing mothers, but you should ask your doctor just to be safe. Our medication page can also help you identify antidepressants that are safe while breastfeeding.

babyrattleOuch! I know breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt, but my nipples are sore. What is wrong?

It is normal for the nipples to get a bit sore during the initial days of feeding. In many cases, the problem is improper latching. Lanolin cream can give some immediate relief, but you should take steps to make sure the baby is properly latched during feeding. Click here to see how to know if you have a good latch.)
If the latch is not the problem, and your nipples continue to be sore, then you should consult with your doctor or see a lactation specialist. Intervening early can aid recovery and prevent further nursing problems. Don’t worry…sore nipples will heal.

Return to the Breastfeeding Questions List.

babyrattleI am sick and worried about losing about my milk supply –what can I do to boost it?

Taking care of mommy is always a good place to start. Get enough rest, eat well and drink lots!

First, make sure you are taking care of your own body. You should be getting enough rest to refresh your body, enough healthy food to nourish your body and your milk supply, and movement to sustain physical health.

Once that is taken care of, use these tips to keep your milk supply up as much as possible:

  1. Allow your baby to feed whenever they need to, so your body gets those signals to continue milk production.
  2. Check your local health foods store for mother’s tea and fenugreekcapsules.
  3. As a last result, ask your doctor to prescribe domperidone. Do not take Reglan. Only go this route if there is a confirmed issue with milk supply. It should always be the last resort.

Nursing baby

babyrattleOther parents have babies sleeping through the night at a few weeks old, but my five month old is still waking up every night. Why?

There are many reasons babies stop sleeping through the night. They may be teething, they may be experiencing anxiety separation, or they could have gas. Night feeding should only be a problem if is causing you or the baby to lose needed rest and feel stressed. If you are both okay and well rested, then continue the night feeding as the baby demands.

If you are getting too tired and drained, then try cuddling when the baby wakes up at night, rather than feeding. With time, the baby will know no milk is coming in those hours of the day, and they will stay asleep. Most babies do not have a physical need to nurse during the night at this age.

Return to the Breastfeeding Questions List.

babyrattleCan I drink wine while breastfeeding?

Drinking alcohol is generally safe for nursing moms. To see our complete discussion of breastfeeding and alcohol, click here.

babyrattleWhen will I start having my period again?

While every woman may have a different experience, we have answers to your questions about breastfeeding and menstruation, on our Menstruation and Breastfeeding page.
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babyrattleCan I drink peppermint tea while breastfeeding?

Although you should be careful when using any herbal supplements or teas while breastfeeding, click here for reasons why peppermint tea might be helpful for nursing moms.

babyrattleCan I nurse an adopted baby?

Absolutely! Go to our Adoptive Breastfeeding page for more information and answers to your questions about breastfeeding and adopted baby.

babyrattleI’m nervous about nursing in public. Do you have any suggestions?

It is understandable to feel a bit nervous about this as a new mother. Remember that you are doing your baby an amazing service of love by breastfeeding. There is nothing to feel embarrassed about, even in public. We do have a public breastfeeding page where you can get more tips on this.

Just remember, though…be proud of yourself for giving your baby the best food available and for being a beautiful ambassador for breast-feeding.

babyrattleMy breasts are always leaking! Can I do anything about it? 

Welcome to the club! Leaking is a sign of healthy milk supply, but that doesn’t make it any less aggravating. My right breast produced an abundance of milk, but I only had one baby in need of that milk. Other than wearing high quality, comfortable nursing pads, there is not much you can do about this problem. All women find different pads work best for them, so do some experimentation. I always liked the disposable pads, since my right breast leaked so heavily.

babyrattleI would like some tasteful nursing photos taken of me and my baby. Do you have any special tips on creating great breastfeeding photography?

Breastfeeding photos become very precious as your child grows. Click hereto get some tips on capturing those special moments on film!

babyrattleWhen should I wean my baby?

This is a very personal choice between you and your baby, but one of our common questions about breastfeeding. Click here to see our When to Stop Breastfeeding page for some helpful advice!

Return to the Breastfeeding Questions List.


Still Have Questions about Breastfeeding?

babyrattleIf you have additional questions about breastfeeding, we can try to help! Here are some additional questions previously asked by visitors to the site:

We will update the questions and add more answers to your questions about breastfeeding…so check back often!


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