Q & A: Common Breast-Feeding Issues
Q. How can I tell if my baby is getting enough milk?
A. Every 24 hours, your newborn should nurse eight to 12 times and produce at least six wet diapers. Depending on his or her age, a baby should have two to five loose yellow bowel movements per day.
Q. How can you tell whether a disposable diaper is wet?
A. Try tucking a tissue inside.
Q. How can I prevent or relieve engorgement?
A. Breast-feed often to minimize engorgement, a temporary overfilling of your breasts. It also helps to express, or squeeze out, a little breast milk before each feeding.
Your body soon will adjust to produce only as much milk as your baby needs. In the meantime, you can use an over-the-counter pain medicine to relieve pain. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen will not harm your baby. Cold compresses between breast-feeding sessions also may reduce pain and swelling.
Q. What can I do for my sore nipples?
A. The following strategies should help:
Ask your doctor or a nurse if you are holding your baby correctly.
Breast-feed on the least sore side.
Try the football hold, tucking your baby under your arm like a football with your arm cradling his or her head. This position puts the baby’s lips in a different place on your breast.
Let expressed milk dry on your nipples between feedings. To speed this up, dry your nipples with a hair dryer set on low.
Apply purified lanolin cream to your breasts.
Q. What can I do about leaking breasts?
A. Use cotton pads in your bra to absorb liquid. And keep a sweater, jacket, or change of blouse handy.