Sunday, March 10, 2013

Top 10 Breastfeeding questions.

As you may or may not know I am very pro breastfeeding. I also know not all mothers are capable or can breastfeed. Still, I believe breast is best. It should be the normal but sadly this isn't the case. A friend of mine is expecting her second child and came to me with many questions regarding breastfeeding. 

She did not breastfeed her first child. She was a teen mom and though that people only breastfed if they couldn't afford formula. That felt like a blow to the gut for some reason. I have never heard such a thing, and I am the same age as her. This is the way that a lot of people think apparently. At least, the people who live around here. She has gotten many comments about her choice to try and breastfeed. 

Comments such as how gross it is, or "eww". I feel for my friend. I have overcome many obstacles myself. A lot of comments I had to defend. A huge part of successfully breastfeeding is having a great support system. I am planning on being there no matter what. I told this friend she can call me day or night. 

First, I want to say shame on those who say how gross breastfeeding is. If you drink cows milk, where do you think that comes from? A mama cow! 
I'm not in any way bashing formula. It is great for those who need it. But breastfeeding is not for poor people. It is for all babies! There are even milk banks! Kudos to those who want to try and if you can't do it at least you tried. This post is all about common questions mothers ask. I have breastfed three children. Currently 6 months in EBF my third child. A lot of these questions I have been asked. There are so  many more questions that can be asked. This is just a rough outline. 

Top 10 asked breastfeeding questions

Where do I start?

  • A great breastfeeding class.
  • Read!! There are so many amazing resources out there. Knowledge is power.
  • Limit visitors and visiting times when you are in the hospital, as well as in the early postpartum days after you return home.
  • A lot of skin-to-skin time with your baby, starting as soon after birth as you can.
  • Start breastfeeding as soon after baby’s birth as you can.Within an hour is great.
  • Nurse your baby a minimum of 8–12 times in 24 hours. (I exceeded 12 times in 24 hours)
  • Avoid bottles and pacifiers. Usually it is OK after 4 weeks.
  • Ask other mothers who breastfeed!
  • Don’t hesitate to seek help if you encounter challenges.

How can I build my Milk Supply?
It will take up to several days for your milk to come in. Nurse as much as possible on demand. Your baby will help let your body know how much milk to make. Supply and Demand.
Also, a good latch is important.

How do I know that my baby is hungry?
Watch your baby for these early signs of hunger:

  • Sucks hand
  • Licks lips
  • Moves and stretches arms
  • Opens mouth
  • Turns head from side to side
  • Turns head toward your head or chest
  • Don’t wait until your baby cries before offering your breast. A crying baby has a hard time latching.

How long should each breastfeeding session last?
The length of each breastfeeding session can vary, depending on baby’s age and hunger level. Newborns will feed anywhere from 5–40 minutes. While older babies tend to finish in a shorter time. Start on one breast. When baby slows down or stops, try to burp them, and then offer the other breast. 

How do I know when my baby is full?
Let your baby decide when she is full. Some of these signs may help.

  • Sucking slows down or stops
  • You no longer hear swallowing
  • Baby’s arms and hands relax
  • Baby lets go of the breast, and does not attempt to latch again

How can I tell if my baby is getting enough milk?
Watch baby’s weight gain, as well as how many diapers he has.
Most babies lose weight in the first several days of life. This is normal and they can lose up to 10% of their body weight. usually gaining it back within 1-2 weeks. As long as you see several wet and poopy diapers you are golden.

How much breastmilk does my baby need?
The amount a baby takes depends on age. Newborns do not need very much in the first days. Their stomachs are very small.

Day 1  about 1 teaspoon per feeding
Day 3  about 1 tablespoon per feeding
Day 10  about 2 oz. per feeding
1 month+ about 2–3 oz. per feeding

Can I breastfeed if I am sick?

Some women think that when they are sick, they should not breastfeed. Most common illnesses, such as colds, flu, or diarrhea, can’t be passed through your breast milk. In fact, if you are sick, your breast milk will have antibodies in it. These antibodies will help protect your baby from getting the same sickness.

How do I know that my baby is latched on well?

  • No Pain
  • Wiggling ears. Your baby's ears may move while suckling.
  • Both lips are curled out.
  • You can see more of your areola above baby’s top lip than below her bottom lip.
  • cheeks are rounded, not dimpled or sucked in.
  • You can hear her swallow.
  • You do not hear any clicking or smacking sounds.
  • Relaxed baby.
  • She takes long, rhythmic sucks, and you can see her upper jaw and ear move.
  • You feel a strong tug while breastfeeding, but do not feel pain.

Will it Hurt?
Breastfeeding will cause many sensations. Sometimes it can sometimes be confusing to distinguish between what is normal and what is a problem. Generally there should be no pain. Every women has a different level of sensitivity. In the first weeks you will experience many sensations. Usually just tugging and tenderness. Which usually will subside if you have the right latch. You may feel tingling or pins and needles with let down. Which is your body releasing milk. This usually gets better. Cramping is also to be expected.

If you experience any pain you should contact a lactation nurse. If the pain causes your toes to curl seek help. Also, a burning sensation could signal a problem.

When in doubt, seek help.

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