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Breastfeeding FAQ

Here is a list of some common Breastfeeding FAQ

Q: At what point is it Ok to let my baby sleep through a longer stretch (i.e. miss a feed)?

A: This is a question best asked of your pediatrician as the answer may vary depending on various factors including but not limited to your baby’s weight gain & appetite.

Q: How do I know my baby is getting enough milk?

A: If your baby is:

  • nursing regularly (8-12 times in 24 hours)
  • sleeping (napping) regularly
  •  gaining enough weight regularly
  • thoroughly wetting 6-7 diapers daily (clear urine)
  • having frequent, soft stools
  • waking up on her own to nurse

Q: My baby is fussy and seems to have a lot of gas, Could it be something that I am eating?

A: Some Moms swear that their diet has no impact on whether or not their baby has gas. Others swear that it does. I had 4 children and my diet did affect them when I was breastfeeding but some to different degrees than others.  Here is a list of some well-known (and some less-known) suspects:

  • Onions
  • Corn
  • Peppers
  • Anything spicy
  • Garlic
  • Garlic powder
  • Green or wax beans
  • Peas
  • Other beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Grapes
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower

Q: Is it safe to take my prescription medication while breastfeeding?

A: This is a question that should definitely be discussed with your pediatrician, your pharmacist as well as your own healthcare provider

Q: Is it safe to take over-the-counter medication while breastfeeding?

A: Consult your pharmacist about any over-the counter medication you consider taking while breastfeeding.

Q: Is it safe to drink alcohol while breastfeeding?

A: It is not recommended to consume alcohol during breastfeeding

Q: Is it true that you can lose weight breastfeeding?

A: Breastfeeding, especially in the first weeks will induce contractions, which, in turn will shrink your stomach & promote weight loss.

Q: Is it OK to diet while breastfeeding?

A: It is of paramount importance that you get your required nutrition while breastfeeding as the baby takes what the baby needs but- for example, if you are not getting enough calcium, the baby will get it & it will be coming from whatever stores you yourself may have, thus depleting you of calcium, as an example. Should you feel it necessary to diet during the course of your breastfeeding, You should consult a licensed nutritionist or healthcare professional as to the do’s & don’ts prior to commencing any regime.

Q: When should I start pumping?

A: You can start pumping at any time. Remember that your body will understand that the milk you pump out is part of the demand of your baby (even if your baby is not drinking that milk right away). If you pump a certain amount of ounces daily from the beginning when you are engorged (when your milk comes in a few days after delivery),then you will have no problem with supply at that time & your body will get accustomed to pumping that amount of milk on a daily basis. Remember that there is definitely a psychological factor involved in pumping- when you are staring at the pump, thinking nothing is coming out- nothing will. Thus the recommendation to start when you are engorged…it will alleviate the issue of thinking there’s nothing there as you will have already seen “the milk flow” so to speak.

Q: How do I store pumped milk?

A: Fresh breast milk can be stored in plastic bags specially designed for this purpose. It can also be stored in glass or rigid, BPA-free plastic bottles. Remember to label your bags or bottles with the storage date or “Use by” date.

NOTE: It is a good idea to store in small amounts because once thawed or reheated, if baby does not consume, it must be thrown away.

Q: Where can breastmilk be stored? For how long?

A: Fresh breastmilk can be stored:

  • At room temperature: 25° C (77 F) for 4 hours or between 19-22 C(66-72F) for 8 hours
  • In the refrigerator (4 C / 39 F) for 3-5 days
  • In the freezer compartment of your fridge for 3-4 months
  • In a chest freezer for 6 months

Thawed breast milk cannot be re-frozen. It can be stored :

  • at room temperature for 1 hour
  • in the fridge for 24 hours

NOTE: These storage times cannot be combined- don’t keep it at room temperature for 8 hours then freeze it or refrigerate it!

Q: My breastmilk looks blue – Is it normal?

A: Breastmilk can vary in colour with tints of blue, yellow or brown.

Q: My breastmilk separated – Is it still good?

A: It is normal for the fat to separate in breastmilk, it should therefore be shaken before use.

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