Breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for your baby. Many women start out by swearing they will breastfeed with their infants exclusively only to revert to formula soon after birth because they simply did not know enough about breastfeeding to stick with it longer.
Here are 10 common questions and answers on breastfeeding:
Do I have enough breast milk for baby breastfeeding?
Most moms don't have trouble producing breast milk. As the body gets used to baby’s demands, the breast milk supply evens out and your body will produce just enough. Dehydration and dieting will affect breast milk supplies, and now is not the time for a strict diet.
How can I increase my supply of breast milk?
Increasing breast milk supply is simple. If your baby is feeding every four hours, pump breast milk at two hours. The body will think the baby is feeding more often and produce more milk. This can be a helpful trick for women having trouble producing enough breast milk.
Where can I find help with breastfeeding?
There are several online and offline resources for women with detailed questions about breast milk and breastfeeding. La Leche League offers information, counseling, and classes on breastfeeding. KellyMom is an all-inclusive site that provides detailed support on all aspects of breastfeeding. The local hospital nursery will also have information for women who need breastfeeding support.
How is breast milk stored for breastfeeding?
Breast milk can be stored at room temperature, under refrigeration or in a freezer. New moms simply need to remember the number six. Breast milk will stay safe for six hours at room temperature, six days in the refrigerator and six months in a typical home freezer. Turn the freezer to the lowest setting.
Breast milk can be stored and frozen in disposable bottle liners. After filling each liner, secure the top shut and place in a small freezer safe zipper bag.
Can I reheat breast milk?
Breast milk can be reheated with warm water. Pull the milk from the refrigerator or freezer and immerse in warm water. Do not allow the top of the container to go under the waterline as this could taint the breast milk. Never heat breast milk on the stove or in the microwave because this can cause it to become scalding hot.
I am having trouble with the baby latching on. Are there different positions for breastfeeding?
Yes, there is the cradle hold, football hold and the side lying hold. There are pictures and slideshows available online with details about how to use these holds.
Can baby consume too much breast milk?
Babies are born with a natural ability to stop eating when they are full. They will not overeat or drink too much breast milk.
Can my baby consume too little breast milk?
Some babies are born with failure to thrive syndrome making it difficult to consume enough breast milk. Typically, babies will gradually increase how much breast milk they are consuming with age. The pediatrician can offer guidelines for how many wet diapers a baby should have each day to ensure proper feeding is happening.
When should I stop breastfeeding?
In some cultures, breastfeeding goes on for five years or more. Western cultures tend to breastfeed for the first 12 to 24 months. There are no set guidelines for the best time to stop baby breastfeeding. It's an individual and personal choice.
Can breast milk be served cold to older babies?
There is no reason why breast milk cannot be served cold as long as it is stored at a safe temperature from the time breast milk is pumped until it is served. Refrigerated breast milk should be used within seven days of pumping.
The only way a new mother will learn about breast milk and breastfeeding is to ask questions. Women who get answers to common breastfeeding questions are more likely to stick with breastfeeding and offer breast milk longer.