Common Questions and Concerns of Breastfeeding Mothers

Breastfeeding is a special time for mom and baby.

How long should I breastfeed?

  • Your doctor may recommend breastfeeding for the first year of your baby's life.
  • Any amount of breastfeeding is better than none.

When Do I Start?

  • It's a good idea to talk about breastfeeding with your health care provider before you have your baby.
  • This way you can have a good idea of what to expect.
  • When you arrive at the hospital, tell the nurses that you plan to breastfeed.
  • Ask them to not feed your baby formula and to avoid giving a pacifier.

How do I Start?

  • Being close with your baby as soon as possible after delivery gets breastfeeding off to the best start.
  • Ask the hospital staff for help with putting your baby to the breast as soon as possible after delivery.
  • Some hospitals place your baby on your stomach in the delivery room.
  • Believe it or not, your baby will naturally crawl to your breast and begin feeding.
  • Keep baby in your room during the day and night so you can feed often.
  • It takes a few days for baby and mom to get used to each other so be patient
  • Practice makes perfect

Will it Hurt?

  • You may have tender nipples in the first few days, but soreness and pain should not be part of the breastfeeding process.
  • If you experience these, you need to get some help.
  • Most often it is a simple matter of changing baby's feeding position.
  • Until you and your baby get to know each other, it may take some practice for your baby to learn to latch on and nurse easily.
  • Contact your WIC clinic or peer counselor for help (click)

How do I Know I Have Enough Milk?

  • Feeding often is the way to build your milk supply.
  • Newborn babies will want to eat every 2 to 3 hours or 8 to 12 times in 24 hours.
  • In the beginning, feedings will last about 30 minutes.
  • Nursing for as long and as often as baby wants is important.
  • Your breasts will adjust to make the amount of milk your baby wants and needs.
  • Your baby may nurse more often during growth spurts and your body will adjust to increase your milk supply.

Can I go Back to Work or School?

  • Breastfeeding does not have to end because you want to go back to work or school.
  • You can do what works best for you.
  • Many mothers pump their breastmilk and store it in bottles when they return to work or school.
  • These should be kept in the refrigerator or freezer for use when you can't be there to