Frequently Asked Questions
Breast milk is specifically designed for babies. Colostrom – the first form of naturally produced breastmilk by humans – is low in volume and fat, but high in carbohydrates and proteins.
This makes colostrum the perfect food for your baby’s immature digestive system, providing nourishment, nutrition, and protection from infection. It also has a mild laxative effect, encouraging the passing of your baby’s first stool.
In the first few weeks after birth, your breastmilk will gradually increase in volume, and the ratio of antibodies, carbs, proteins, enzymes and other constituents alter to meet the needs of your growing child while remaining perfectly balanced to be easily and fully digested.
Your milk supply is regulated by the frequency of feeds and the degree to which the breast is drained. Following your baby’s cues usually produces a good supply of milk.
With your baby correctly positioned and attached to the breast you should not have sore nipples. Sore and/or cracked nipples are NOT normal. Seek help as soon as you experience soreness. Midwife Catherine offers specialised Breast Care services that can help reduce soreness and irritation from breastfeeding.
Your baby is perfectly nourished if they:
- Are being fed regularly
- Generally alert and appear healthy
- Have smooth skin
- Have 6-8 very wet nappies and more than 2 bowel movements in 24 hours
- Continual weight gain
If your baby feeds less than 8-12 times in 24 hours, check the number of nappies and weight gain. So long as they are still wetting and stooling regularly in 24 hours and gaining weight, then usually all is well.
Please note in the first few days expect to have less wet and stooled nappies – at least until your milk supply increases.
Feed According to Need refers to following the needs of your body and your baby to set your feeding schedule, as opposed to using an app or calendar to set specific feeding times. It is also sometimes called “demand feeding”.
At times you may have to feed your baby more often:
- During hot weather
- When your breasts feel “full”
- When your baby isn’t giving regular feeding cues (eg: sleepy or jaundiced)
If you breastfeed more often, by following the baby’s lead, then your baby will normally become less unsettled and baby will settle back to a more normal pattern.
During a growth spurt, your baby may seem more hungry and unsatisfied for a few days and you may doubt your milk supply. This behaviour can precede a baby’s illness but your milk will provide your baby with many protective factors so don’t stop breastfeeding, follow your baby’s cues and seek medical advice if you are concerned.
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Book Your Lactation Consultation
Get personal care and attention to your specific needs with a Lactation Consultation and Planning package. This 2-hour consultation with Midwife Catherine will provide tips and tactics for breastfeeding, problem solving for specific issues, and general health education and nursing advice for your new baby.
Additional services and options specific to your needs can be discussed directly with Midwife Catherine.