Breast feeding Q&A

Despite the fact, that breastfeeding has been used to nourish babies since the beginning of man, there are many questions associated with the practice, and if you are a first-time mom, you likely have little information regarding the topic. The following list of questions and their answers, are sure to help you feel well informed and ready to begin.

How long does it take?

Breast feeding requires a lot of time and effort, but it is well worth it. Each feeding session usually takes about fifteen to twenty minutes, as your baby gets older, it may take up to a half hour. When you pump milk, it is recommended that you do it the same amount of time you would feed your baby, and in the same number of intervals. You can breast feed for up to two years, or whatever length of time you are able to do it. Breast feed for as long as you can, so your baby can reap the most benefits.

What are the benefits to breastfeeding?

Your baby will be smarter and healthier. He is less likely to develop allergies, or most illnesses for that matter. When you breastfeed, it improves your baby’s immune system, helps his breathing, and regulates his heartbeat. For you, it lowers your risk of developing breast, cervical, and ovarian cancer, it also helps you naturally lose your baby weight. Breast feeding will also help you feel more connected to your newborn.

When should I start bottling and storing my breast milk?

Start packaging, and storing, your milk right away. It will make it easier on you in aspects of long term, and will help you produce more milk. Your milk production is based solely on the amount your baby is using, so it is best to help yourself produce a little extra. Especially if you’re a working mom, having stored breast milk on hand is extremely important and when you go back to work you will need it for your care provider or family. Take the pressure off by prepackaging and storing the milk. Pumping excess milk also decrease your discomfort.

Is it okay to let my baby drink breast milk from a bottle and if so when to start?

Yes, it is okay, but wait until he properly latches. If you give a baby a bottle before he learns to latch, it will be much harder to coax him into latching properly, if at all. It is much easier and the milk flows much faster from a bottle, especially in the first few days after giving birth. If you can it’s best to wait until you have no choice but to feed him from a bottle. Ideally, when you start going back to work.

What can I do to help my baby latch properly?

There are many things you can do to help your baby latch. In the hospital, they have miniature bottles of sweet liquid to drop on your breast and encourage your baby to latch, but you could also just tease out a small amount of milk prior to letting your baby latch. It will immediately satisfy your baby and encourage him to try to drink more. If you are exceptionally worried about not being able to get your baby to latch, ask for a couple of the bottles, the nurse will likely be happy to give you a few.

I’m having a hard time discovering the right position?

The best thing to do in this situation is buy a nursing pillow, these are specially shaped pillows to help you find a good feeding position. The most common positions to breastfeed are, cradling your baby in front of you, while supporting his head, by raising it slightly above his body, tucking your baby against your side like a football, with his head positioned in front of your breast, and laying on your side, while your baby lies facing you. Ensure you talk to the lactation counselor at the hospital before leaving and set up an appointment to come back and see her. She will want you to succeed and will likely be eager to help with some great advice and techniques.

What if my baby still won’t latch, properly?

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things in the world, it is your baby’s instinct to latch. Right after giving birth, you haven’t produced breast milk yet, it’s more of a pre-nourishing fluid. Give your baby some time to figure it out. He may need to wait until your body has produced actual breast milk. If he still won’t latch, after going home, feed him breast milk from the bottle, you don’t want your newborn to be starving.

What do I do if my baby isn’t getting enough milk?

Excessive crying could be a sign your baby isn’t receiving enough nourishment. If you have doubts about whether your baby is drinking enough, contact his doctor, who will be happy to help you find an appropriate supplement. Keep track of the number of dirty diapers you change, your baby should have four to six wet diapers in a day and he should have two or three bowel movements in that time. There are several different supplemental formulas out there. If your baby is getting a lot less milk then he needs, you may want to supplement with formula too. It is important that you eat healthy and plenty, so that your body has the nourishment to feed a baby. After a baby drinks formula from a bottle, it becomes increasingly hard to give them breast milk. Give yourself the best chance to make this a success by taking care of your needs, in turn it will take care of your baby.

How can I help my significant other feel closer to the baby?

Sometimes when you breast feed, the man in your life may feel left out. They may even want to feed the baby from a bottle. If you are devoted breastfeeding from the breast, arrange for your baby and his father to give Kangaroo Care. This is just time the baby is solely in a diaper and laid against a parent’s bare chest. Wrap a blanket around the two of them to ensure your baby does not get cold. Kangaroo Care is a great way for a father to provide the emotional support and comfort, both the baby and father crave. The skin to skin contact stabilizes your babies heart rate and breathing, it also promotes babies to drink more milk and more often from the breast.

What do I do if my baby gets hungry in public places?

Breast feeding is natural and the vast, majority of people don’t really care whether you do it in public. Purchase a nursing blanket or use a baby blanket to conceal the two of you in a quiet spot out of the way, you could also search for clothing specifically designed for the breastfeeding mom. If you aren’t comfortable with that, you could go to your car, or in the rooms some places have just for mothers, you could also purchase a bottle warmer and bring a couple of bottles of milk out with you, when you leave the home. Be sure to bring a burp cloth, for after your baby eats.

When should I stop breast feeding?

Many mother’s feed their baby from the breast until their teeth begin to grow in, but you can do it until your baby solely eats solid foods, or about two years old. If you are like most women, and stop prior to then, you can continue to feed your baby breast milk from the bottle, until he eats solid food. The longer you can breastfeed the better, but just after a full year of breastfeeding, your baby has a better developed immune system.

Breastfeeding and Kangaroo Care

Both, breastfeeding and Kangaroo Care, help adjust your baby to the outside world. They do wonders for his body and in some ways, produce the same effects. If you are not breastfeeding, try Kangaroo Care, solely on its own. It will help your baby and allow you to feel closer to him. The contact between mom and baby, in these two practices is incredibly beneficial.

In Conclusion

Breastfeeding has been proven the best way to feed your baby. If you don’t think you will be able to stick to it, trying it out is still the best thing for your newborn. He will easily adjust to the formula in his bottle, if the time comes. Even if you only manage to breastfeed for a month, your baby will be better off. It takes six weeks for your baby to build up the beginning of their immune system, so four weeks will cover about two-thirds of the time they are completely exposed. Remember that this is a natural process and shouldn’t need too much intervention or coaxing. Most babies, quickly learn to breastfeed and are eager to do it.

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