Maternal Resources

Common Questions about Breastfeeding

There are so many questions that that many pregnant women and new mothers have about breastfeeding. We wanted to answer some common questions for you to clear up some of the basics!
Q. When is the first time you should breastfeed your baby? A. The first time that you should breastfeed is as soon after the delivery as possible. It is important that during the first skin to skin contact that you attempt to breastfeed. It will become more and more successful with increased amounts of skin to skin contact.
Q. When will my milk come in?
A. The first milk that is present in the breast is colostrum which is a bit thicker than regular breast milk, but highly nutritious. Around day three or four, your breasts will begin feeling full. You will notice that they are heavier and firmer and they will likely be tender to the touch and feel uncomfortable. At this point, your milk is coming in. It will be thin and more plentiful.
Q. Will the pain go away?
A. Having a little mouth pulling, tugging,and sucking on your nipples for hours can be extremely painful. You may experience cracked nipples and possibly a small amount of bleeding. After you feed, you can express some additional breast milk and rub it on your nipples. You will soon learn that breast milk can heal many things. If breastfeeding really hurts, contact your pediatrician or lactation consultant for help. You can likely make small changes to make it a more pleasant experience.
Q. Can I breastfeed without exposing myself?
A. Absolutely! There are so many great carriers, wraps, clothes and covers that you can wear to make sure that you are comfortable when breast feeding. If you are a bit weary, practice nursing in front of a mirror in your outfit of choice and you will be able to reassure yourself that there is no exposure. Remember that breastfeeding is totally natural – and you are able to do it wherever and whenever you need to.