Questions & Answers About Breastfeeding

Many Mothers have Questions about Breastfeeding

1. 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.  

 

     Breastfeeding moms can ask WIC about:

  • Getting started with breastfeeding.
  • How to know if baby is getting enough milk.
  • Planning for going back to work or school while still breastfeeding.
  • How dads and family members can help support breastfeeding.
  • Questions or concerns as they come up.

 

2. 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 him or her a pacifier.

 

3. 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.  
  • Be patient with yourself.
  • It takes a few days for baby and mom to get used to each other.
  • It's like learning to dance; practice makes perfect!

 

4. 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.

 

5. 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.        

                                                                        

6. 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 breast milk 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 breastfeed.

The WIC Program can help you with breastfeeding.

If you think you qualify for WIC, contact your local WIC Office or call

1-800-26-BIRTH