How do you know if you need help with breastfeeding?

In the early weeks, breastfeeding is going well if you can answer yes to the following questions:

  • Is your baby breastfeeding at least 8 to 10 times a day or more and resting comfortably between feedings?
  • Does your baby latch easily and you feel comfortable latching your baby?
  • Does breastfeeding feel comfortable?
  • Is your baby content after feedings for about 1 ½  to 2 hours?
  • Do your breasts feel softer after feedings?
  • Is your baby having at least 6 wet diapers with clear urine every day?
  • Is your baby having 3 or more stools that are mustard color every day after day 4?
  • Has your baby regained birth weight by the second week?
  • Do you feel like breastfeeding is going well for you and your baby?

If you answer no to any of these questions, please get help. Do not wait to ask for help thinking, “This will get better; everyone said it hurts in the first weeks.”  The earlier you get help, the better.  If it hurts, your baby is not be latched properly and a proper latch means more milk for your baby with less effort.  It is better for you and your baby to get help at the first sign of trouble.

Why a Mother Might Need an IBCLC

A Board Certified Lactation Consultant is an invaluable asset to breastfeeding mothers by reassuring them when breastfeeding is going well, and by providing information and support to help her prevent and manage common concerns. IBCLCs help with:

  • Prenatal counseling about risk factors that may affect breastfeeding
  • Basic position and latch of the infant
  • Information about practices that promote successful breastfeeding
  • Preventing and managing common concerns such as poor latch, inadequate milk transfer or supply, nipple or breast pain, and calming a fussy baby
  • Milk expression and storage for mothers who must be separated from their babies
  • Strategies for breastfeeding after returning to work
  • Breastfeeding in challenging situations, such as breastfeeding twins or triplets, a premature or sick infant, or infants in special medical situations
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