Breastfeeding Awareness Week
Are you a new mum and are you in need of some breastfeeding tips? Fear not, as Mater lactation consultant Alex Read has answered the most frequently asked breastfeeding questions in light of Breastfeeding Awareness Week.
Will I produce enough milk? Most women produce more than enough milk, often an overabundance. Usually when a baby has poor weight gains, it is the baby is improperly latched to the breast. It is important to be shown how to correctly latch your baby to the breast.
Is it normal for breastfeeding to hurt? Tenderness in the first few days is relatively common but should be temporary. Any pain that is more than mildly uncomfortable is abnormal and is almost always due to the baby latching incorrectly.
How will I know if my baby is getting enough to drink? We cannot measure how much a baby drinks but we can tell if a baby feeds enough. A baby feeding well has long pauses as he/she opens his/her mouth to its widest gape, before closing again and often an audible swallow. Look for at least 6-8 wet nappies and 2-3 sloppy yellow mustard coloured poos each 24 hour period. (This rate of pooing is often the case with newborns though some babies and older babies may be different so if you are concerned you should see your local GP or child health nurse [this comment was placed by Brisbane Kids Editor)
Do breastfed babies need extra in hot weather? No, breast milk contains all the water a baby needs although they may request a few extra ‘drinks’ at the breast when it is really hot.
How will I know my baby is hungry? Early feeding cues that your baby displays to indicate they are ready to feed include: • rapid eye movement • clicking or tongue sucking • rooting—opening their mouth and searching to suck on contact • hand movements to their mouth and sucking on hands • general increased alertness or activity.
My baby is feeding more often, what does this mean? Growth spurts or periods of increased breastfeeds commonly occur at around three and six weeks and three months of age. More frequent feeding is your baby’s way of building your milk supply to meet their growing needs. Feeding patterns should return to normal after two to three days.
Mater lactation consultant Alex Read said breastfeeding, like any new skill, could take time to learn.
Mater’s Breastfeeding Support Centre was created to help and support women as they develop their breastfeeding technique.
Mater’s Breastfeeding Support Centre is located on Level 7, Mater Mothers’ Hospitals. For more information, phone 07 3163 8200.