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Woman looking down at baby while breastfeeding

Breastfeeding FAQ


Congrats on your decision to breastfeed your baby! Parents often have questions as they begin their breastfeeding journey. Listed below are a few frequently asked questions to get your learning started.


Why is breastfeeding important?

Breastfeeding is beneficial to the health of the baby as well as the breastfeeding parent. Components of breast milk provide protection to your baby against a variety of diseases and conditions. Providing breast milk to your baby helps them to get off to a healthy start in life! The breastfeeding parent has a reduced risk of certain types of cancers, hypertension and type 2 diabetes.


What is colostrum?

The milk that your baby gets the first few days of their life is called colostrum. Colostrum is rich in nutrients and antibodies. It is produced in small quantities, perfect for a newborn’s small tummy. Around 3-5 days after your baby is born, you will notice fullness and heaviness. This happens as the milk you’re milk is transitioning from colostrum to more mature milk. Mature milk will be available in larger volumes to support your baby’s growing appetite!


When should I feed my baby?

You will notice your baby opening and closing their mouth, sticking out their tongue, moving their head side-to-side or bringing their hands to their mouths. These are ways babies can communicate that they are starting to get hungry, called hunger cues. If your baby begins to cry, you just may need to take a few minutes to calm your baby before trying to feed. Newborns eat very frequently (8-12 times a day!), so with practice, you will start to learn your baby’s hunger cues.


Is my baby getting enough to eat?

It’s difficult to tell exactly how much a breastfeeding newborn is eating in the first few days. If your baby is meeting the goals listed below, you can be reassured they are likely getting enough. Be sure to reach out to your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your baby.

  • Your baby is eating 8-12 times in a 24 period.
  • You can hear consistent swallows when your baby is breastfeeding. Be sure to have a nurse or lactation consultant show you how to identify swallows!
  • You are keeping track of diapers and your baby is meeting output goals. Use a paper log or an app on your phone to keep track.
  • Your baby’s healthcare team is monitoring their weight. It is normal for babies to lose weight for the first few days of life. Then around day 5, babies begin to gain weight. Your baby’s weight will be checked during your hospital stay and at follow up appointments at the pediatrician’s office to make sure weight is on track.

What should I expect during my hospital stay at LMH Health?

Shortly after your baby is born, they will be placed on your chest, skin-to-skin with you. Oftentimes babies will begin to show hunger cues during this time. Your care team will assist you with positioning and latching your baby. Throughout your hospital stay, you will stay in the same room as your baby. We call this “rooming in”. Rooming in allows you to begin to learn your baby’s cues and ways to respond. Be sure to utilize the knowledge and skills of the nursing staff and lactation consultants during your stay!


I’m home from the hospital and I need more help with breastfeeding. Where can I get help?

The New Parent & Breastfeeding Support Group is open to all parents, is free and meets every Monday from 10 – 11:30 am at LMH Health. Families that delivered at LMH Health have 2 weeks of free lactation follow up appointments in our Infant Nutrition Center. For families that delivered at a different hospital or are beyond the 2-week time frame, there will be a $75 fee for the appointment. Contact your insurance provider to ask about your plan’s coverage as some plans do cover lactation support.


How do I continue breastfeeding as I return to work/school?

Before you return to work or school, you will want to come up with a pumping plan. In order to maintain your milk supply, plan to pump approximately every 3 hours while you are away from your baby. Talk with your employer or school about a private space to pump for your baby. You will need access to a sink to wash pump parts and a refrigerator or cooler to store and transport expressed milk. On days that you are home with your baby, get lots of cuddles and skin-to-skin time and breastfeed frequently.


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