Although breastfeeding provides the best nutrition for your baby, that doesn't mean that it always comes easily. Many moms, especially first-time moms, have lots of questions and experience many challenges while breastfeeding. We are proud to have a wonderful lactation consultant on staff; our lactation consultant and our providers are available to answer your breastfeeding questions. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions the pediatricians at Carolina Kids Pediatrics in Raleigh hear:
How Will I Know How to Nurse My Baby?
Learning to nurse often takes a fair amount of practice. Rex and Wake Med, as well as other Triangle hospitals, offer breastfeeding instruction after delivery and there are plenty of breastfeeding classes you can sign up for before birth. During our visits with you after delivery in the hospital, and during your first office visits, we'll cover all the steps to successful breastfeeding. Plus, you can always call our office (or meet with our lactation consultant) if you are having difficulties or have specific questions.
When Will My Milk Come in?
While it is normal to experience some leaking even before your baby is born, your milk won't fully come in for 3-5 days after delivery. For the first few days after your baby's birth, you'll produce a thicker, nutrient rich liquid called colostrum. During this time, it's normal for babies to lose some weight - sometimes as much as 7-10% of their birth weight, although supplementation may be needed if babies show signs of dehydration or lose more weight than this. Although babies are often sleepy on the first day, they will usually wake up and become fussier (hungrier) after the first day or two. Newborns may be difficult to wake and nurse only briefly on the first day or two. During this time, it's important to try to put them to breast every 2-3 hours, and practice good latching - that means lips flanged wide apart and covering the entire areola. The nipple should actually be at the back of your baby's mouth - so if your baby is biting down and it hurts a lot, your baby probably isn't latched correctly. Ask your doctor, nurse, and lactation consultant to help you achieve a good latch. Once babies get hungrier after the first couple of days, they start nursing 20-30 minutes on the first side, and may even nurse on the second side before they are satisfied. Remember that our doctors and lactation consultant at Carolina Kids Pediatrics in Raleigh are always available to answer your questions.
How Do I Know if My Baby is Getting Enough?
Once your milk comes in after 3-5 days, your baby should stop losing weight and start to gain 1/2 to 1 ounce per day. Your breasts should feel less full after nursing, your baby should latch properly and suck vigorously with audible swallowing for at least 20-30 minutes at least every 2-3 hours. Stools may be dark and infrequent in the first few days, but should because lighter yellow or brown and more frequent once your milk comes in, and babies should have several wet diapers daily after the first few days of life. If you have any questions or concerns or if you need additional breastfeeding support and resources, please call Carolina Kids Pediatrics in Raleigh. For more online information on breastfeeding, check out: