Special guest Hillary Sadler, founder of Baby Settler, shares her Top 5 Most Common Breastfeeding Questions for New Moms below.
1- How to get breastfeeding off to a successful start?
Evidence-based best practice supports immediate, uninterrupted, skin to skin contact until the completion of the first feeding, and that’s what our hospital organizations policies and procedures should support too- but they don’t always do that.
Before delivery, discuss your expectations with your care team. Your nurse should be your advocate and support your wishes. You may need to be assertive and advocate for yourself related to this.
2- When will my milk “come in”?
It takes about 3 to 5 days for women’s breastmilk to start transitioning and really coming in. Colostrum is the term used to describe your breast milk right after birth, and some women will experience leaking of colostrum during pregnancy.
There’s a transitional phase from colostrum to mature milk that happens during the first 2 weeks after birth. I want to clarify there aren’t 3 different types of breastmilk. But there are 3 different stages to breast milk. Colostrum, transitional, and mature milk. The basic ingredient is the same. But your milk will change and is fine-tuned to the demands of your baby.
During the transitional stage, your milk production will increase. On the first day of life, you may only produce 5 to 10 ml with each feeding, and your baby’s stomach is only able to hold about 5 to 6ml at each feed. As your baby’s stomach grows, so does your milk production.
By the end of the first week, your baby’s stomach is about the size of an egg. Around 2 weeks after delivery, you’ll be producing about 600 to 700 ml over 24 hours. There’s also more fat and a high level of lactose in transitional milk than colostrum.
3- What do I do for clogged milk ducts or engorged breasts?
Engorgement is not a good thing. When you have engorgement, you have breast tissue compression, which leads to breast milk suppression. Use NSAID like Motrin (per provider), feed on cue, heat prior to feed for 5-10 minutes, cold therapy after feed for 10 minutes. Should be transitional, not continuous. *If engorgement lasts more than 48 hours, see Lactation consultant.
4- What’s the best tip for having a good milk supply?
Feeding your baby on cue (not a schedule). This does NOT mean you can’t have a routine. Routine is different from a schedule.
During the initiation phase of breastfeeding, which is the first two weeks, it’s important to feed on cue. I don’t even like to give a range of how often because people take it as a scheduled feeding plan.
Your baby, and your breasts, need feedings at least 8 times in 24 hours. The feeds might be every 2 hours, 1.5 hours, 3.5 hours. Your baby will feed the most efficiently and effectively when your feeding on cue. That means, your baby is going to feed the fastest, get the fullest, and sleep the longest, when you're feeding on cue.
5- How do I breastfeed when I go back to work?
If you’re returning to work and trying to figure out how to incorporate a pumping schedule and trying to figure out how to breastfeed and pump, I’d encourage you to reach out to a lactation consultant so they can help you figure out a plan.
You’ll want to make sure you're pumping each time your baby is getting a bottle. If your baby is getting 3 bottles while you're away, you should pump 3 times. It’s ideal to pump around the time your baby is getting a bottle, but it isn’t going to be detrimental to your supply if you aren’t able to align your pumping with bottle feedings. You just want to make sure you’re pumping each time he’s getting a bottle.
Wondering when you can start a “schedule” and when your baby will start to “sleep”? Have more questions about breastfeeding or pumping?
Follow @babysettler on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest for helpful tips. Also, check out our online on-demand videos for all things baby including establishing a routine and healthy sleep habits that promote extending nighttime sleep, downloaded schedules, breastfeeding tips and education from birth to weaning.
If you want to learn more about motherhood and breastfeeding, check out these free resources and posts to help you feel confident and prepared as a new mom!
- Majka Guide to a Healthy Milk Supply
- Majka's Fourth Trimester Guide
- Understanding the Importance of Self Care and Nutrition
- Breastfeeding Guide for New Moms