So many questions fill the minds of mothers of newborns. Whether it is your first baby or your fourth, you always have things want to know more about. For breastfeeding moms, a whole world of questions about the ability, the frequency and the techniques for feeding your infant surrounds. “I felt like I had no idea what I was doing when my son was born. And then, to feel like I had no idea what I was doing when I was nursing, it just added to it,” Meredith Thomas, Overland Park mom, says. “I wanted to feel confident about something—anything.”
Here some tips and tricks to help answer metro moms’ most frequently asked nursing questions:
How do I keep my supply up?
One of the most common nursing fears is not having enough supply. Adding a pumping session a few weeks into your nursing journey can help increase supply, as well as build you a stockpile of milk for when you are away from Baby. Having the extra milk on hand also gives Dad a chance to participate in feeding Baby! Staying hydrated while nursing is also very important. Many moms like to have a water bottle stationed near their nursing chair. There are also a lot of delicious recipes out there for lactation cookies. They can help boost your supply using ingredients like flax seed and brewer’s yeast, while providing a yummy treat for the whole family! “We loved the lactation cookies! And as far as cookies go, they were actually pretty healthy,” says Julie Kerns, Olathe mom.
When should I nurse my baby?
Nursing is all about supply and demand. When Baby nurses, it tells your body that you need to make more milk. Especially in the early weeks of nursing, skipping even one nursing session can have an impact on your milk supply. To ensure your supply meets Baby’s needs, feed Baby as often as you can. There are plenty of schedules that say how often Baby should eat, and those can be helpful to make sure Baby is eating enough. However, don’t feel stuck to the schedule. If Baby gives you signs that he or she wants to nurse, go for it! Enjoy those extra feeding sessions with your little one—it will only do good things for your milk supply. “I stuck to the schedule exactly with my first. I fed him every three hours. I felt like I was always struggling with supply,” Lacey Jefferies, Shawnee mom, says. “With my second, I fed her whenever she wanted. I swear, it made all the difference in how much milk I had.”
Does nursing hurt?
Nursing doesn’t have to hurt. If you are experiencing sharp pain, bleeding or are too sore to nurse, you may have a problem with Baby’s latch. This is very common and is often very easy to fix. Set up an appointment with a lactation consultant and get back on track for much more comfortable nursing.
Do I have to watch what I eat while nursing?
According to the Mayo Clinic, nursing moms need an average of 400 to 500 additional calories a day to keep up the energy needed to produce milk for Baby. Focus on eating foods high in protein and make sure to include fruits and veggies. If Baby is overly fussy, consider what you ate that day. Different foods give your milk different flavors, and something may be disagreeing with Baby’s system.
Melissa Bellach is a freelance writer and mom of two living in Overland Park.
As always, please contact your health care provider with any questions or concerns.