As a new or veteran mom, make sure you discuss your breastfeeding questions with your healthcare professional to avoid complications and promote longevity. We’ve sought the expert advice from Medela, an industry leader for all things breastfeeding and specifically breast pumps, to establish a list of breastfeeding questions you may be forgetting to ask your doctor:
How will I know if my baby is getting enough milk? Your healthcare professional will likely make this determination by evaluating your baby’s weight gain. If your baby’s growth is consistent with healthy weight gain then it is a good indication of adequate nutrition. If your breasts feel softer after a feeding session also indicates your baby’s milk consumption is plentiful. Babies who wet five to six disposable diapers a day also suggest your child is getting enough milk. Some mothers who desire a precise measurement consider pumping to establish a more accurate value of daily milk consumption.
What can I do to avoid sore nipples? Breastfeeding shouldn’t be a painful experience, but some soreness is considered to be common. If you feel the discomfort is too much to continue your breastfeeding commitment then you may want to seek suggestions from your healthcare professional on latching. Better positioning may be the solution to your problem. However, nipple shields and lanolin creams are also helpful when managing cracked nipples or discomfort.
How often should I breastfeed my baby, and for how long? This is unique with each child and feeding habits will change as your child gets older. Infants can breastfeed between 4 and 13 times daily, with a duration range of 12 to 67 minutes per feeding session. Many women who want to remain committed to breastfeeding, but feel the feeding frequency or duration is hard to manage, often seek the support of a double electric breast pump to gain feeding support from family members to off-set feelings of exhaustion. You can own a double electric breast pump through insurance. Click here to see if you qualify.
Should I supplement breastmilk with baby formula? Should I give my baby other supplements like fluoride, vitamin D or iron? Breastmilk is specifically designed to give your baby everything needed for a healthy start. Medical guidelines recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and then suggest providing breastmilk in conjunction with solid foods subsequently. It is unlikely that a healthcare professional will suggest otherwise, but special circumstances may warrant supplementation.
Are there any specific foods and beverages that I should avoid? Eating a balanced diet is key, and don’t be afraid to try a wide range of spices and seasonings. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking six to eight glasses of water daily.
Can I drink tea and coffee with caffeine? You should limit the amount of caffeine consumed while breastfeeding as babies have difficulty metabolizing caffeine. Drinking caffeine while breastfeeding can make your baby irritable or disrupt healthy sleep. You should also check with your healthcare professional to make sure you’re not taking any medications which could be comprised of caffeine.
As you ask your healthcare professional about your breastfeeding questions, you may encounter new concerns, but don’t be afraid to ask. Get the information you need to make breastfeeding a successful journey for you and your new baby!