Having a baby often means venturing into uncharted territory to figure things out. If you're a first time parent, you'll likely have questions about everything under the sun — from holding your baby, to sleep habits, to milestones your baby should hit, to breastfeeding. The phrase "it takes a village" applies to nursing as much as any other aspect of parenthood, so don't feel like you have to go it alone. There are a few helpful questions about breastfeeding you should ask your pediatrician sooner rather than later, to make your time with your baby as smooth and worry-free as possible.
Breastfeeding, though it may be the most natural thing on the planet, doesn't always come naturally. It's especially tricky in the first weeks at home with your little one, so taking advantage of the help of your pediatrician — who should be experienced, informed, and, at the very least, breastfeeding friendly — will benefit you and your baby in the long run. These questions are common enough that almost every mother asks them at some point, so they definitely won't take any experienced healthcare professional by surprise.
Being proactive and seeking help right away will ensure that you and your baby can enjoy your time breastfeeding, instead of treating it as another exploration into the great unknown.
1. Why Does It Hurt?
According to La Leche League International, breastfeeding should never hurt, unless there's another underlying problem that needs resolving. Explaining the situation to your pediatrician and asking their thoughts for the cause of the pain is a great place to start in healing it.
2. What Positions Are The Easiest/Most Helpful?
Depending on the age, size, and preference of your baby, you may find that certain positions work better for you than others. Asking your pediatrician for help with mastering the best positions for you will make you more comfortable when you go home.
3. What Milestones Should My Breastfeed Baby Be Meeting?
There are different standards and growth patterns for babies who are exclusively breastfed than those who are fed formula, or even a mixture of the two. If your pediatrician is breastfeeding friendly, they'll know which charts are best applied to your baby and will ensure that your baby is growing right on track.
4. How Can I Get A Good Latch?
Getting a good latch is the number one issue moms face while breastfeeding, and the most important part of a successful breastfeeding relationship, according to What To Expect. If you're struggling to nurse your baby well, or are simply wondering if you're doing it right, ask your pediatrician for help.
5. Will I Make Enough Milk For My Baby?
According to Fit Pregnancy, actually having a low milk supply is very rare (affecting a mere four percent of mothers,) but it's still a major concern that almost every nursing mom worries about. If you're concerned that your baby may not be getting enough milk, take them to your pediatrician where they'll look at your baby's growth patterns to make sure they're gaining enough and eating enough.
6. How Long Should My Baby Nurse At Night?
Another question many new parents are unsure about is how long baby's need to nurse at night before they're able to sleep through the night on their own. And although it's ultimately your decision to stop nighttime feedings once your baby is old enough to sleep all night, talking it through with your pediatrician can help ease any anxiety that your baby is hungry during the night.
7. What Are The Benefits Of Breastfeeding For My Baby And I?
If your doctor is breastfeeding friendly, they'll undoubtedly know the vast array of benefits that breastfeeding has for both mothers and babies. Learning about these at the very beginning is a great way to stay motivated and gain confidence in the abilities of your body.