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Breastfeeding FAQs

Mom Breastfeeding

At Prestonwood Pregnancy Center, we want to help give your baby the best start possible. Breastfeeding can create a lot of anxiety for new and expectant mothers. It requires learning, patience, and sometimes perseverance, so we’ve answered some common questions about breastfeeding below.


Why should I breastfeed?

Breast milk is a beneficial food for babies. It is known to have many health benefits and decreases an infant’s risk of diabetes, obesity, asthma, ear infections, and even some infectious diseases. Breast milk provides antibodies that can help protect baby from getting sick. Breastfeeding has health benefits for mom too! It reduces the risk of some kinds of cancer, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.


When will I start producing breast milk?

It often takes three to five days after delivery for a mother’s milk to fully come in. If you are planning to breastfeed, you can ask your health care provider to show you how to hand-express milk starting at around 37 weeks of pregnancy. This could help jump-start your milk supply. Until your milk comes in, baby will receive colostrum, which is important because it contains large amounts of antibodies and extra proteins. During this period, you can supplement your feedings with formula as needed.


How can I measure if I’m producing enough milk?

The easiest way to do this is to track how many diapers your baby goes through in a day. Once your milk fully comes in, a baby who is getting enough to eat will use five to six diapers. Your pediatrician will also check your baby’s weight to ensure they are getting what they need. It is important to find the feeding method that works best for you and baby. You can either breastfeed exclusively or supplement with formula.


How long does feeding take?

At first, breastfeeding can take around 30 minutes for each session. However, as you and baby get more comfortable, it may take less time.


How will I know when to feed my baby?

Crying is the last sign of hunger, so it is important to look for other cues that indicate baby is getting hungry. For instance, baby may put their hands in their mouth or seek out a breast or nipple when hungry. Try to feed baby when you notice these cues and before they start crying, as it can be more difficult for an upset baby to latch. Newborns typically need to eat 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period. But you will soon learn how often your baby needs to eat.


What should I eat and drink while breastfeeding?

It’s important to eat nutritious foods, because what you eat impacts the quality of your breast milk. And you should drink a glass of water every time you breastfeed in order to stay hydrated. It’s important to avoid breastfeeding after you’ve had alcohol, as it isn’t safe for baby. You may also need to limit your caffeine intake because it can disrupt baby’s sleep. Some foods, such as onions, garlic, and mint, can negatively affect the taste of your breast milk.


If you have more questions about breastfeeding, reach out to your health care provider. And Prestonwood Pregnancy Center offers breastfeeding classes you can take before baby arrives to help you prepare. Sign up here!

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