Q. Doesn't breastfeeding hurt?
A. In the first few weeks or so, it can cause a bit of soreness especially if the baby has latched on incorrectly in the beginning. However, if you have a good lactation consultant, she should be able to recommend great nipple creams and insure your baby is latching on correctly. After a while you won't feel a thing, and the baby will be able to latch on in the dark with no problems.
Q. What if I have to go back to work?
A. Getting a great electric pump is the key to going back to work as a breastfeeding mama. While at work you should pump when the baby would normally eat in order to keep your milk supply up. In Illinois, it is the law that up until the baby is a year, if your employer has more than 50 employees, they must provide you time and a quiet space to express milk.
Q. How do I know my baby is getting enough milk?
A. When your baby is first born, they will ask you to record the number of wet diapers and number of bowel movements in a 24 hour span, this should be sufficient in telling them if your baby is getting enough. Another way they can measure how many ounces the baby is getting is by weighing the baby, having you feed them, and then weighing them again.
Q. When should I stop breastfeeding?
A. It is recommended by the American Academy of pediatrics that you breastfeed for the first 6 months exclusively then along with solid foods until the age of 1. The world health organization recommends breastfeeding until the age of 2. The choice is really yours and your babies when to discontinue, but any amount of breast milk is very beneficial for many reasons to both of your health.
Q. What are the benefits of breastfeeding?
A. First of all, your breast milk is especially tailored to your baby and gives them the exact nutrients that they need in order to grow. Also, it boosts their immunity and babies who are breastfed get sick a lot less often, have less ear infections, and have fewer respiratory illnesses which also means less sick days from work for working mamas. Breast feeding is also great for bonding between mother and baby, and it is even said that breastfed babies are less picky when it comes to eating solids.
Q. Are there any other benefits for the mother?
A. There are numerous benefits of breastfeeding for mothers! Mothers who breastfeed recover from childbirth more quickly. The hormone oxytocin is released when breastfeeding and contracts the uterus to help it go back to its normal size quicker and reduce post-partum bleeding. It can also reduce the risk of many different complications later in life such as ovarian cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Also, breastfeeding burns about 400-500 calories a day which can help shed off the baby weight naturally.
For any other questions, you can leave a comment or for expectant mothers who are interested in breastfeeding your baby, check to make sure your hospital has a lactation consultant available, or find one nearby.