For new moms (and even experienced ones) breastfeeding a newborn baby can be one of the most complicated and misunderstood aspects of motherhood. Many mothers and mothers-to-be have unanswered questions about breastfeeding that could help ease the process. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions, and some helpful answers, about breastfeeding for Breast Feeding Awareness Month.
Q: What are the benefits of breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mom and baby. Babies who are breastfed are offered some protection against childhood infections due to the nutrients in the breastmilk. In addition, breastfeeding provides nutritionally balanced meals, and even offers emotional benefits.
Q: What if my baby has trouble latching?
Getting your baby to latch on to your breast takes practice. The best way to find the right position for you and your baby is through trial and error. If you continue to have trouble, your doctor can provide you with useful techniques, tips, and tricks!
Q: What should I eat and drink?
You won’t need to follow any specialized diet here, simply ensure that you’re getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and high-calcium foods. Also be sure to drink plenty of water. Don’t overdo it, though. You’ll only need to consume approximately 300 more calories per day than you normally would.
Q: Can I drink coffee or tea if I’m breastfeeding?
Yes, it is okay to consume caffeine while breastfeeding. Whatever you consume does enter your breast milk, but 300 milligrams of caffeine (no more than three cups of coffee) is a safe amount.
Q: Does breastfeeding hurt?
Many women experience pain during the first few weeks, but eventually, that pain will go away. Some women may never feel pain, but only some minor discomfort.
Q: Can I store breast milk?
Yes, you can pump and store breast milk as long as it is stored safely. This will allow you and your partner to be able to feed your child without breastfeeding directly.
Q: Will I lose sleep if I breastfeed?
Your baby will need to be breastfed every two to three hours. Since this includes night-time hours, your sleep schedule may be a bit erratic. Pumping and storing breast milk may be a solution so that you and your partner can take turns feeding the newborn at night.
Q: Can I breastfeed in public?
You have the legal right to breastfeed your baby in public. Many women do not feel comfortable doing so, but it is your right if it is something that you wish to do.
Q: What if I can’t breastfeed or choose not?
If you are unable to breastfeed, which many new mothers are for a variety of reasons, or choose not to breastfeed that doesn’t make you a bad mom. Taking care of your baby and ensuring they’re getting the nutrition they need means you’re already a great mom.
If you have any questions about breastfeeding or nutrition for your baby, please schedule an appointment with Women’s Health Partners.