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Last month we published a Q&A with Registered Nurse and IBCLC, Katie McGee. We got so much great feedback from our readers, we decided to keep the questions -and answers- coming. Here is part two of our series with Katie as she tackles more of the most common breastfeeding questions moms have during the first few months with a newborn.
Breastfeeding questions from new and expecting moms
1. Is it normal for breastfeeding to hurt?
Many new mothers report breastfeeding to be painful for the first 10 to 20 seconds of nursing, and then it subsides after the initial latch. Does the pain continue throughout nursing? Often if breastfeeding is painful, it is a signal that something is not quite right. It is worth investigating and exhausting all avenues to try to achieve a pain-free experience! A thorough assessment of the baby at breast by an IBCLC or a pumping assessment should uncover the root of the problem to quickly correct it.
2. I have a short, 8-week maternity leave. When should I start pumping to build up a freezer supply?
Aren’t those photos online of deep freezers packed to the brim intimidating? The good news is, though a little back up is comforting to all, you do not need a huge supply at home. If you are working full time, what you pump on Monday, you’ll leave in the fridge for the caregiver to feed to your baby on Tuesday. Expressed mother’s milk should be given in the freshest form possible. An IBCLC can help you make a personalized pumping plan that works well with your life. In general, two weeks prior to going back to work, start pumping once a day, in the morning, shortly after the baby is well nursed and unlikely to wake and want to feed right away. This should give you peace of mind that if the fresh milk from the previous day runs out, there is back up, and you aren’t disrupting nursing during your last couple of weeks at home.
3. What are signs that I need to schedule an appointment with an IBCLC?
My approach is always proactive. When we meet, my focus is to assist you toward your personal lactation goal while preventing a host of common lactation problems. I think this is a superior approach to the traditional lactation rescue after a problem has already occurred. That being said, here are the most common reasons I am contacted:
– Mother not meeting her lactation goal
– Pumping mother who wants to transition to breastfeeding
– Premature delivery, late pre-term or early term babies with feeding challenges
– Supply concerns
– Milk transfer concerns
– Supplementation concerns
– Infant weight gain concerns
– Painful breastfeeding
– Pumping assistance, assessment, suggestions, concerns
– Personalized pumping plan development
– Plugged ducts or Mastitis
Nobody masters breastfeeding overnight. Every mom is different, so keep trying – you will get the hang of it! We encourage you to ask any and all questions you have, and if you think you need to see an IBCLC, give us a call. Hang in there – you’ll be doing this in your sleep in no time!