Breastfeeding FAQ

Lactation Care responds to hundreds of calls per month from our active client base who have purchased item(s), etc. Our most frequent questions and our general responses are:

How do I know my baby is getting enough to eat?

To answer this question we look for the number of feedings, wet diapers and bowel movements in 24 hours, along with objective weights. Beginning in the first few days, many babies nurse 8 to 12 times on both breasts per feeding, have 5 to 7 wet diapers, with 4 or more stools. No one challenging feed or difficult 24 hour period determines your success. Seeking help early can keep small problems from growing. If a baby is feeding all the time, sleeping all the time or fussing all the time, consider a consultation to get good answers.

How will I get any rest if I am feeding the baby 8 to 12 times per day?

Some of those feedings will bunch together during a 24 hour period, especially in the late afternoon and evening. In fact, if they do, the baby is more likely to have a longer stretch at night. By trying to stretch the feeds during the day or allowing long naps, you may find the baby getting in those needed feedings during the night when you’d like to be sleeping. Remember that this method of feeding every couple of hours has been working since the beginning of time and helps you to sit down and recover from childbirth.

Infant sleeping on mom

When should I introduce the bottle?

The answer depends on your needs. Some people never use a bottle, and wean gradually to a cup. If you want your baby to have the skill of using a bottle, consider introducing it between three and four weeks of age. Many babies are well established with breastfeeding by this point and are able to use an occasional bottle with minimal risk of confusion. Some families need to experiment with several bottle teats before finding the one that their baby uses comfortably. Begin by offering only a small amount in the bottle. If your baby requests more, you can always add to the original bottle. Once your baby has comfortably learned to use a bottle, consider offering a small amount at least every other day to maintain the skill.

How do I choose the right breastpump?

When choosing a breastpump, begin by assessing your nursing and pumping goals. The pump should match your needs, time, energy, and price. If you will be using a breastpump before your milk supply is fully established or if you are returning to work full-time, consider a rental pump as it mimics the frequency of cycles and strength of suction of a baby nursing well. The Pump-in-Style is often used by mothers returning to work part-time or by women pumping for occasional bottles. If you are only pumping occasionally, a hand pump maybe appropriate for your situation. When looking for a location to rent or purchase your breastpump, consider whether they have value added services such as assistance with choosing a pump, setting up and demonstrating the use of the pump, and extended telephone support for breastfeeding questions. Lactation Care, Inc. includes these services with every breastpump rental or purchase.

Please view our Breastpump Selection Chart that shows which breastpump is ideal for your situation.

Who is there to help me with breastfeeding?

Lactation Care Consultants

We recommend attending a prenatal breastfeeding class. It is also helpful for expectant and new mothers and babies to attend La Leche League meetings or other local groups where mothers and trained leaders share suggestions and information to help learn your new job as a breastfeeding mother. Check Web sites for local groups. Lactation Care provides private consultation appointments Monday through Friday at our site in Newton, MA

What can I do to prevent sore nipples?

First, learn as much as you can about babies and breastfeeding before your beautiful baby is born. There is no need to “toughen” the nipples – they need to be flexible, not callused. Begin breastfeeding as early as possible after the birth. When the baby is latched on and positioned well at the breast, there is no soreness – it’s not supposed to hurt. Massage the breasts, nurse every 2 to 3 hours on both sides, and put a little breast milk or Lansinoh cream, if needed, on the nipples after nursing. There might be tenderness until the milk comes in more abundantly about day three or four. Persistent or intense sore nipples mean that some adjustments need to be made. Ask for help from experienced lactation consultants. We also see people for private breastfeeding consultations.

I got over my tender nipples in a few days, but now at four weeks they are itchy and burning even after a feeding. What happened?

We’d suggest you be checked for signs of thrush (also “yeast”) especially if you were on any antibiotics in the recent past. Signs in the baby can be hard to spot, but you are describing a familiar thrush scenario.

For further information you can access Dr. Jack Newman’s Web site at: www.breastfeedingonline.com/newman.shtml or go on line to La Leche League: www.lalecheleague.org for additional assistance.