Common Breastfeeding Questions Answered
   
baby breastfeeding

As many of us know, breast milk helps with a newborn baby’s immune system, nutritional needs, and even brain development.  With that said, many Moms suffer anxiety when it comes to breastfeeding and often have a variety of questions that need answering.  Here at Riverside Medical Group we strive to help all our new Moms understand breastfeeding techniques and the role it plays in their baby’s health.  We also understand that there are many questions that surround the topic of breastfeeding, some of which we will include here along with appropriate answers. 

Top Five Breastfeeding Questions

Is it normal to only have a small amount of colostrum coming out of your breasts,
when starting out?  

The answer is a simple yes.  Many Moms, during the first couple of weeks, start out with between a few drops to a teaspoon of colostrum.  Colostrum is a protein rich, bright yellow milk, high in beta carotene that is important to newborns. This quantity will increase with breastfeeding and pumping and during the process will cause a change in the color as well.  At the end of the second week the milk will turn a cloudy white color since it is now mixed with water. Your breastmilk at this stage is almost 87% water, thereby providing your baby with all the liquid they need to stay hydrated.   

Am I going to be able to produce enough milk for my baby?

Most Moms typically have enough breast milk to feed their precious little ones with the breastfeeding duration being that of 6 to 12 months.  If you start breastfeeding immediately you will more than likely see an increase in the amount of breast milk produced. As long as your child is being breastfed, your body should be able to produce the required amount of milk.  

When using a breast pump, how long can the breast milk be stored?

Your breast milk can easily be stored in your refrigerator for about 5 days, in your typical home freezer for a period of 3-6 months and in a deep freezer for a good 6 to 12 months.  Once you remove the breast milk and it thaws, it will only be good for a 24-hour period. It is recommended that you store your breast milk in storage bags like the ones provided with your breast pump.  Your storage bag should allow for you to write down the date and time that you pumped the milk and the date you stored it away.   

Does breastfeeding cause any pain?

Breastfeeding is absolutely not painful but can, in the very beginning, cause Mom a wee bit of discomfort until both she and her newborn get acclimated to the process.  The gums and tongue of your baby will latch on and massage the areola and the milk ducts which is primary to the overall breastfeeding process and the production of milk.  If the baby is not able to properly latch on, however, Mom may experience some slight pain. If you find that you are experiencing a great deal of pain or even consistent minimal pain, however, it is best to consult with your doctor or even a lactation consultant.  

How long should I continue breastfeeding?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you breastfeed for at least the first 6 months and even continue with the breastfeeding once specialized foods are introduced into your baby’s diet.  The AAP also recommends that new Moms continue breastfeeding for 12 months and even longer if it satisfies both Mom and the baby.  If, however, there is not a sufficient supply of breast milk being produced, then introducing a formula will be necessary. Be sure to discuss this issue with your pediatrician to determine which formula is best suited to your baby’s needs. 

Take a Breastfeeding Education Class 

If you’re looking to learn even more about breastfeeding before your new baby comes into the world, you should consider taking one of Riverside’s Breastfeeding Education Classes. Our Education Classes cover the benefits of breastfeeding, proper positioning, how to make the breastfeeding process a success for both you and baby, and all of the answers to your questions!