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Health Information For Parents
Whether you’re a new mom or a seasoned parenting pro, breastfeeding often comes with its fair share of questions. Here are answers to some common queries that mothers — new and veteran — may have.
Nursing in front of others can be downright intimidating and even embarrassing, especially at first. But with a little confidence, the right place, and the appropriate clothes, it can seem like no big deal in no time.
Some women prefer to drape a small blanket or shawl over their shoulder and their breast to make the public process a little more private. Others may opt to simply pull up their shirts or sweaters then cover the baby’s head with a blanket. You can also use a baby sling, in the cradle position, to nurse your baby. Whether you use a blanket, shawl, or sling, just make sure that your baby’s mouth and nose aren’t blocked and that the baby has room to breathe.
When out and about, you may want to ask for an isolated booth when dining in restaurants so you have a sort of privacy barrier and can face away from other patrons. If you’re shopping at the local mall, ask if they have a “lactation room” or “lactation lounge.” You’d be surprised how quick many people are to accommodate a nursing mom. Moms who want more privacy often nurse in dressing rooms or even in the car.
As with breastfeeding anywhere, it’s important to wear clothes that make nursing simple. The less fuss, the better — especially when you’re having to hold a hungry baby with one hand and adjust your bra and shirt with the other.
A variety of nursing bras are available — with snaps, clasps, and flaps that open and are attached in either the middle (between the breasts) or on the bra straps. Which kind of bra you end up using is up to you and what you find most comfortable. You may want to buy (or register for) a few types of each just to figure out what’s best for you. If you buy them before you deliver, just remember that your breast size will likely increase as your breasts fill with milk, and then change again as your body adjusts to breastfeeding.
You also can invest in special nursing wear or simply sport button-down shirts (although these can be cumbersome if the buttons are finicky), a zip-front sweatshirt, or a comfortable shirt or sweater (V-necks are good) that you can simply pull down or pull up to allow your baby to feed.
Here’s a helpful tip from the breastfeeding advocacy organization La Leche League International: Cut slits in an old T-shirt and wear it underneath an oversized shirt or sweater. That way, your midriff and most of your breast won’t be exposed when you pull up the shirt or sweater on top to nurse.
Keep in mind that whatever type of clothes you decide to wear, they’ll probably need to be slightly larger than your pre-pregnancy size since your breasts are likely to be bigger than usual while you’re nursing.
Absolutely. As breastfeeding women everywhere can attest, milk leakage always seems to happen at the most inopportune times — during a staff meeting, as you’re talking to your boss, while you’re out shopping, when you’re hugging an old friend. Wherever it happens, it is normal.
Leaking may happen when you see a baby, see a picture of your own baby, hear a baby cry, or even so much as think of your baby. It’s your maternal instinct to feed your child kicking in.
One breast also may leak while you’re nursing on the other. In that case, it may help to put a towel, burp cloth, or cotton diaper over the other one.
You can buy disposable or washable cotton nursing pads to wear in your bra to help combat embarrassing messes and protect your wardrobe. Some women wear pads all the time while nursing, others wear them only when out in public. If needed, it’s a good idea to keep extras with you, just in case.
If you don’t want to spend money on tons of nursing pads, you can use clean folded handkerchief squares inside your bra. It’s better to avoid using plastic-lined pads, which can make it hard for your nipples to get enough air.
If you’re caught in a leakage situation and aren’t wearing or carrying any nursing pads, try discreetly crossing your arms over your chest and applying a little pressure. Wearing patterned tops also can help reduce the embarrassment of sudden leaks.
Learn which nutrients you need while pregnant or breastfeeding, and easy ways to add them to your diet.
Here’s a quick guide to an important part of feeding a baby – burping.
If you’re a new mom, breastfeeding your baby can feel like a challenge. Check out this article for information on common nursing positions, proper latching-on techniques, and how to know if your baby is getting enough to eat.
Here are answers to some questions about common breastfeeding concerns – from biting to spitting up.
Here are answers to some common questions about your milk supply – from having too much to having too little.
Bonding, the intense attachment that develops between you and your baby, is completely natural. And it’s probably one of the most pleasurable aspects of infant care.
Here are answers to common questions about getting started with breastfeeding.
Here are answers to some common questions about preventing and reducing breastfeeding discomfort, such as nipple and breast pain.
Here’s info about how often to breastfeed your baby, how long it takes to nurse, and much more.
Making a decision to breastfeed or formula feed your baby is a personal one. There are some points to consider to help you decide which option is best for you and your baby.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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