The birth of a baby is an exciting time and there is a lot for new moms and dads to learn. One of the topics that first time moms and dads often ask us about is breastfeeding. Read below to see the common questions we are asked about what to expect when breastfeeding your newborn.
Q: Is it really better to breastfeed than formula feed?
A: Breastfeeding is the recommended source of food and nutrition for your baby. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months, and then continuing to breastfeed while introducing other foods until one year. Breast milk has the perfect balance of nutrients for your growing baby. In some cases where breastfeeding isn’t possible, formula feeding is perfectly acceptable.
Q: Will breastfeeding be painful?
A: You may experience discomfort as you and your baby learn to latch properly. If you are experiencing extreme pain or discomfort, you should consult your midwife or a lactation consultant as soon as possible. They will be able to help you determine the cause of your pain and offer solutions.
Q: How will I know when my baby is hungry?
A: As you get to know your baby, you will begin to learn his or her unique ways of communicating with you, but there are common signs that baby is hungry. A hungry baby will sometimes root, which means they will move their head and mouth towards something near their face. Babies may also move their hands into their mouth or suck on a finger or fist, begin moving their mouth or tongue, or become increasingly alert. If your baby is crying, this is considered a late cue and the baby is already hungry. You should try to calm the baby before attempting feeding.
Q: Can I bottle feed in addition to breastfeeding?
A: Yes, however it is best to wait 8 weeks before introducing a bottle to baby. This will help establish your milk supply and can help prevent nipple confusion. Bottle feeding is a great way to give mom a break, and allow dad or other family members to bond with the new baby.
Q: What if I have difficulty breastfeeding, or my milk never comes in?
A: Not every new mom has success breastfeeding and that’s ok. Remember, making sure baby is fed is the most important thing, even if you have to supplement with formula. Remember, be patient. This is new for both you and your baby. However, if you are having difficulty or concerns it is best to talk to your midwife to discuss tips and tricks, and she may refer you to a lactation consultant.
If you are a new mom or mom-to-be and still have questions about breastfeeding, give us a call at 352-332-7222!