Breastfeeding is a natural part of motherhood, but it can leave new mothers with many questions. While your lactation consultant will help you through the first feeding and provide useful information, you may have concerns before and after your hospital visit. Here are some interesting and helpful answers to common questions:
How long should I breastfeed?
You can breastfeed for long after the recommended time period that, according to The American Academy of Pediatrics, is at least one year. Many mothers have opinions about the “right” time to stop breastfeeding, but this will vary given each experience is different. If you choose to stop breastfeeding before 12 months, you will need to bottle-feed your child.
Does breastfeeding hurt?
Tenderness is typical for the first few weeks but, if you notice significant pain, you may want to consult a lactation specialist or ask your doctor about how to improve the experience. Pain associated with breastfeeding may indicate there is a problem with the baby latching onto the nipple. Dry skin and irritation on your breasts may occur. Some mothers swear by putting frozen cabbage leaves in their bras to ease minor discomfort, and use lanolin ointment or another doctor-approved treatment to keep their skin from chafing or cracking. You may also notice more pain as your child’s teeth grow in.
How often do I need to breastfeed?
A good rule of thumb in the first 6 months is to feed your baby whenever you notice him or her rooting around or exhibiting other signs of hunger. About 8-12 times a day is normal for the first month, because breast milk is very easy to digest and will move through your baby’s system quickly. At 1-2 months, the average number of feedings is around 7-9 times a day. There are some helpful tools, such as apps and watches, available to help you keep track of feedings during the first months.
Do I need to pump breast milk?
If you plan on going back to work or school, pumping is very convenient. You can use a manual or electric pump to help keep your mammary glands producing milk while you are away from baby and to have a handy supply of milk around whenever you can’t breastfeed your little one. To store breast milk, you will need to use clean containers that are made of glass or BPA-free plastic, or bags that have been sterilized. Keep your receipts, because you can deduct the materials for breastfeeding from your taxes.
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Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
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