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Top Questions about Lactation

Top Questions to Ask Your Lactation Consultant

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Women have breastfed for thousands of years, but that doesn’t mean it's always easy! Lactation consultants are specially-trained health professionals who provide breastfeeding support and education for moms. One might drop in during a prenatal doctor visit, or stop by your bed in the hospital. Always, always feel free to call one if you're having any lactation problems.

Ask your doc or visit the La Lache League website to find someone near you. Here are some of the top questions to ask those nursing experts.

1. How often should baby be eating?

It’s a new mom’s top question: how often should I feed my little munchkin? A lactation consultant can walk you through a day in the life of a newborn, describing the hunger cues a newborn demonstrates and the best time to start nursing (hint: it’s before baby starts crying!).

2. How do I know if baby's latched on correctly?

The right latch changes everything: it eliminates any breast pain a mom was feeling, it helps baby eat more efficiently and swallow less air, and it makes nursing better for everyone. If you’re feeling like something is off, meet with a lactation consultant to demonstrate your nursing technique for some professional advice.

3. How do I know if I’m making enough milk?

It’s a common concern, especially for moms whose newborn seems to want to nurse around the clock: Is my baby getting enough to eat? Your lactation consultant can help you determine if you are producing enough, and provide tips on upping production, if necessary.

4. What are the signs of an infection?

Nursing moms do run the risk of getting thrush, which is a yeast infection of the nipples, or incurring a plugged milk duct, which can lead to an infection called mastitis. Your lactation consultant can let you know if that red and sore breast is infected, or just sensitive and overworked.

5. Should we wake the baby to eat?

Some newborns do the unthinkable: sleep for three or more hours at a time. Ask your lactation consultant if your new baby seems to be sleeping through meals--in some cases this is fine, but if your baby is drowsy from residual effects of your epidural, for example, you might be advised to wake her up to nurse.

6. What should I eat?

You're not pregnant any more, but you are nursing, so does that mean sushi, alcohol and lunch meat are still off-limits? Breastfeeding moms have different dietary needs and concerns than other women, so be sure to speak to your lacation consultant about what, and how frequently, you're eating and drinking.

7. How can I lose the baby weight while breastfeeding?

Mamas anxious to drop the baby weight wonder how to safely diet while still nursing. Lactation consultants can help you determine how many calories you need and also how best to exercise while breastfeeding.

8. What about pumping?

Whether you’re returning to work or just interested in getting a good night’s sleep once in a while, moms often want to know how to balance pumping with nursing. Explain your situation to your lactation consultant for advice on how to make pumping work for you.

9. Is it normal for my baby to be this fussy?

Newborns are naturally windy creatures, but many nursing moms still wonder if a change in her diet might ease baby’s digestive ails. If this is a concern of yours, try keeping a food diary and notes about your baby’s fussiness to evaluate with a lactation consultant.

10. Can I call you?

Breastfeeding, like motherhood, is a journey, and you might have more questions as the experience continues. Find out if your insurance covers extra visits or consultations with lactation consultants, and don't hesitate to pick up the phone if you need answers.

 
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