Breastfeeding is the healthiest possible choice for you and your baby. You lose weight faster and baby has reduced risk of childhood obesity. Both you and baby have reduced risk of diabetes as well. The chances of getting cancer are lowered for both of you. Breastfeeding is also quick, letting you keep up with a busy and active lifestyle.
Will it hurt?
Some moms feel tender in the first few weeks, and that’s normal, but it shouldn’t hurt. If it does, contact your local WIC office, La Leche League (LLL) group or Lactation Consultant for help (see resources below).
How will I know if he’s getting enough?
Good question; most moms wonder about that! He should be nursing at least 8 or more times a day. In the first week of life, your baby should have one wet diaper per day of life. Example: Day 1, 1 wet diaper, day 2, 2 wet diapers, day 3, 3 wet diapers, etc. etc. After a week he should have 6 daily. Poopy diapers should be one per day until day 3, then 3 or more per day. By day 5 they should be yellow and runny. Sometimes after the first month, an exclusively breastfeed baby will reduce the number of stools. If the baby is exclusively breastfed this is normal; if concerned check with a medical provider and lactation specialist to make sure.
Baby will lose some weight after birth, but should be back to birth weight by 14 days. In the first 4 months, he should gain 6 ounces a week. More is okay if exclusively breastfeeding! Next 4 months he should gain 4 ounces a week. Consult lactation specialists if you have any concerns regarding your baby getting enough milk.
Will it tie me down?
Actually, breastfeeding makes it easier to go out and about! You never have to worry about bringing anything or running out of anything. You don’t have to wash, sterilize, mix, heat, then feed and repeat the process all over again. Just latch baby on and off you go! The breastfed baby tends to be much happier too, so going to events with him is much more pleasant for everyone.
Will he/she ever take a bottle?
Most babies will take a bottle, but it’s recommended to wait until baby is at least 4 weeks old before doing so, just to make sure you bath have breastfeeding down. When you do offer it, have someone other than mom try it. And remember, be patient!
Breastfeed? But I’m going back to work/school!
Not a problem! You’re the mom who most needs a healthy baby! Get a pump and try it at home 2 about weeks before going back. Talk to you local WIC office or LLL group for help. Store that milk for baby. When you return to work/school, bring the pump along and pump on breaks. Many moms say that it’s the best way to reconnect with baby at the end of the day. Storage information:http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/wicworks/Documents/BF/WIC-BF-Info-PumpingAndStoringBreastmilkForYourBaby.pdf
Is there any special equipment I’ll need?
Not unless you’re going back to work/school. You are everything! For clothing, all you need is something you can lift up discreetly and comfortable.
How long should I breastfeed?
As long as is suitable for both mom and baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months, then continuing with healthy solid foods for at least one year and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 2 years. Go for it!
Check out these helpful resources: