Common Lactation Questions

Mother nursing baby

Should breastfeeding/chestfeeding hurt? 

The answer is NO! It is normal for your breasts and nipples to be tender because they have never done this before. If you are experiencing pinching, pain, cracks and bleeding, make sure you have a good deep latch. If that does not improve your pain, please see a Lactation Consultant ASAP. 

How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk?

Monitor your baby’s wet and poopy diapers. A baby will typically have one pee and one poo on day one, two on day two, three on day three, four on day four, etc. By day six, your baby should have 6-8 wet diapers and 1-3 or more bowel movements per day. Uric acid crystals should be gone after day 3-4. (See chart below)

Week 1 Newborn Wet Diaper Guide

How often should a newborn be nursed?

You should nurse a newborn no less than 8 times a day—depending on how long they sleep between feedings at night; expect to nurse your newborn 8-12 times per day. Until they are older and can go four hours between feedings, you will probably feed them three to four times between 11pm and 7am. If you feed them right before bed, then you may have to get up fewer times during the night. 

Nurse frequently with a comfortable latch. If this is not possible, then be sure to empty your breasts frequently with a quality breast pump or hand expression. 

Normal milk supply is all about supply and demand. The more stimulation the breast receives, the more milk it will produce. Feed every 2-3 hours during the day with a long stretch of sleep (4-6 hours) in 24-hour days. If baby has their days and nights mixed up, try not allowing them to sleep more than 3 hours during the day to encourage a longer stretch of sleep at night. 

When should I call an IBCLC?

You should call an IBCLC with any lactation or feeding questions! Some examples include: latch is hurting, newborn is feeding less than 8 times in 24 hours (or more than 12 times in 24 hours), or newborn takes more than 45 minutes to feed and/or does not seem satisfied to you. An IBCLC will help with any feeding questions about nursing, pumping, and even bottle feeding.

What is Craniosacral Therapy?

Craniosacral therapy (CST) is a type of bodywork that uses gentle touch to ease tightness in a baby’s mouth, head and neck, which can help with successful feeding. It can also benefit newborns with head injury or trauma from birth.

What is a tongue-tie? (Oral Restriction)

Some babies are born with a tongue-tie, a condition which restricts the tongue’s range of motion because the lingual frenulum (the band of tissue connecting the tongue to the bottom of the mouth) is too short. Estimates vary, but research indicates as many as 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, and up to 25% of nursing infants may be affected by a shallow latch caused by a tongue-tie or lip tie (tissue behind the lip is too thick or stiff).

In nursing children, symptoms of oral restriction can include: irritability or fussiness during or after feeding, difficulty getting a secure latch, painful latch, nipple wounds that do not resolve with latch corrections, poor weight gain or weight loss, and frequently falling off the breast during nursing. Consult your pediatrician, IBCLC, or pediatric dentist if you suspect your child has an oral restriction (lip or tongue-tie).

Breast Tissue Discomfort and Pain

If you are very uncomfortable, notice red streaking on your breast, or have a temperature higher than 101° F, call your provider or Lactation Consultant as soon as possible.

What if I can’t nurse my baby?

If you are unable to breast/chestfeed your baby for any reason, Nurturing Expressions and our Lactation Consultants are here to help you with bottle feeding, including finding the most nutritious formula (HMR).

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