Breastfeeding is filled with tender bonding moments, but also, to the new mother, breast feeding may feel like a world of unknowns. Many new mothers have plenty of questions regarding breastfeeding. As a new mother, you need to understand just like any other activity in life, breastfeeding is a learning process. This means that it takes time to get it right. You need to be patient and keep practicing. Your nurses and healthcare providers are great resources and they are always ready to assist and support you. Below are some frequently asked questions and their answers.
- Will it hurt?
Breast feeding can be a little uncomfortable at the beginning, when your baby is first learning to baby latch on. However, if the discomfort or pain persists, it means that your baby is not in the right position. In this case, you should take the baby off from the breast. Do this by putting your finger on the corner of their mouth so that the suction is released and then try again. If you keep doing this and it still hurts, contact your doctor or lactation consultant.
- I have had breast surgery, can I breastfeed?
If you have had breast reduction, you will still be able to breastfeed. However, you will most likely not produce enough milk to nurse your baby exclusively. The amount of breast milk you produce will depend on how extensive the reduction was, how the surgeon performed the procedure, and where your incision was made. If the procedure did not affect the ducts and the nerve pathways there are chances you will produce milk. If you have questions about your surgery, ask your surgeon or speak with a lactation consultant.
On the other hand if you had breast augmentation, it is unlikely there will be an affect on your milk production. Most women who have undergone breast augmentation will be capable of producing enough milk for their baby. However, some do not and they have to supplement using formula.
- Is the baby getting enough milk?
This is a common and understandable question because measuring the amount of milk your baby getting from the breast is difficult. If your baby is sucking and then swallowing well it means they are getting enough milk. Additionally, the number of dirty diapers can tell you if the baby is getting enough milk. In theory, what goes in comes out. If your baby is getting enough milk you should expect about six wet diapers a day and at least one bowel movement every day until they reach 4 weeks. If your baby is gaining weight, this is a sure sign that they are feeding well.
- Should I change my diet?
Breast feeding nutrition can be a concern for many mothers. Most often, there is not a need to change your diet while breastfeeding. It is advisable that the mother keeps a healthy, balanced diet. Focus on food choices that help fuel up milk production. Occasionally, foods you eat can make your baby fussy. If you identify the food that makes your baby fussy, you should try and limit or avoid that food while you are breastfeeding your baby.
As a new mother, you will have many questions about breastfeeding. Get insight and advice from trusted friends, family members or your medical providers.