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Breastfeeding Q&A


Many women, especially first time mums think that they should automatically know how to breastfeed. However, like most things in life breastfeeding takes practice. If you encounter any problems at all when breastfeeding or have any questions - no matter how trivial - you should always contact your midwife or health visitor.  However, below is a list of frequently asked questions taken from the www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk website which you might find useful.

FAQs

Why is my new baby feeding so often?
What does breastmilk look like?
How can I produce more milk?
When should I start solid feeding?
When is the best time to express milk?
Can I breastfeed on one breast only?
What do I do if my baby refuses to feed?
What if I bottle fed my first child?
Does breastfeeding make your child more intelligent?
Breastfeeding and you
Will breastfeeding change my breasts?
Can I just feed my baby at night if I return to work?
How can I feed my baby if I get sick?
Is it OK to drink alcohol while breastfeeding?
If I am prescribed penicillin, can my baby have an allergic reaction to it?
Can I get pregnant while breastfeeding?


 
Why is my new baby feeding so often?
Newborn babies need to feed little and often because their stomachs are so tiny and feeding regularly in the first three days stimulates the breasts to produce milk. Feeding every hour or so is their way of dealing with this.

What does breastmilk look like?
The first milk that comes out looks slightly yellow and is called colostrum. It is rich in nutrients and antibodies. Later on when you feed your baby, breastmilk may look thin and watery, but it gets thicker and creamier towards the end of a feed.

How can I produce more milk?
The best way is to feed your baby more often. The more you feed your baby, the more milk you will make.

When should I start solid feeding?
It is recommended that you start solids when your baby is six months of age.

When is the best time to express milk?
You can do that whenever you feel ready. Most women do it when they have established breastfeeding. Find a time of day that suits you too, when your milk supply is good. This is often in the morning.

Can I breastfeed on one breast only?
If you only have one functioning breast you can feed your baby perfectly well. If you are using both breasts, let your baby drain one breast completely before offering the other one. If your baby doesn't want that one, start by offering that breast first at the next feed.

What do I do if my baby refuses to feed?
Ask for advice from health visitor/midwife/local groups/breastfeeding support lines. Otherwise, try to give yourself time to rest, eat well and concentrate on feeding. Often, your baby may be picking up on your tension.

What if I bottle fed my first child?
You can breastfeed your younger children. More and more women are doing so. Today in the UK, over a quarter of mothers of later babies have chosen to change to breastfeeding, compared with less than a fifth in 1995.

Does breastfeeding make your child more intelligent?
Several studies have found that babies who were breastfed for more than three months have a higher IQ than those who were not.

Will breastfeeding change my breasts?
For some women there is no change at all. Some women's breasts get smaller and others a little bigger when they have finished breastfeeding.

Can I just feed my baby at night if I return to work?
Breastfeeding is all done on a supply and demand basis: you produce enough for the feeds that you are giving. So feeding just at night is not a problem.

How can I feed my baby if I get sick?
The most important thing is to keep on feeding your baby if you can, or expressing milk to keep your milk supply going. If you have a minor illness like a cough or cold, you can continue to breastfeed. Otherwise, try to get prompt treatment for your condition and ask your doctor if it is alright for you to carry on breastfeeding. Take as much rest as possible.

Is it OK to drink alcohol while breastfeeding?
Whatever you take into your body is likely to be passed on to your baby. While the occasional drink is unlikely to do your baby much harm, it's best to avoid alcohol altogether if you can.

If I am prescribed penicillin, can my baby have an allergic reaction to it?
A small amount of any drug you take will pass to your baby through your breastmilk. It probably won't cause an allergic reaction, but it's best to only take antibiotics if you have to. Always ask your doctor before taking any medication.

Can I get pregnant while breastfeeding?
If you are fully breastfeeding your baby (i.e. no water, no solids, no dummy, no formula) and your periods have not returned, then breastfeeding may prevent you getting pregnant, but it's best to use an additional method of contraception.

Here's some additional information from Star Buddies - click here to open PDF

Plus some helpful hints for Mums who are new to breastfeeding - click here to open PDF