Breastfeeding FAQs

Is it safe to breastfeed my baby if I am sick?

If you have a cold or flu, you can keep breastfeeding as normal. Your baby won’t catch the illness through your breast milk. In fact, the breast milk contains antibodies to reduce your baby’s risk of getting the same bug. The only reasons that a mother should not breastfeed while sick is if she is feeling too sick to breastfeed or if she is taking medication for the sickness that is not safe for the baby.

How do I know that my baby is hungry?

Crying is actually a late sign of hunger, so try to nurse your baby before he or she is upset from hunger and is difficult to calm down.

Signs that your baby may be hungry:

  • Moving their heads from side to side
  • Opening their mouths
  • Placing their hands and fists to their mouths
  • Puckering their lips
  • Nuzzling against their mother’s breasts
  • Stretching

When should I begin breastfeeding?

If possible, you should try to begin nursing within an hour of your baby’s birth. This timing takes advantage of the natural wakefulness of a newborn.  A newborn placed on the mother’s chest after birth will naturally squirm toward the breast, turn the head toward it, and make sucking motions with the mouth. Even if your baby does not actually latch, this is still good practice for you and your baby.

Why should I breastfeed my baby?

Breastfeeding your baby can have many benefits. Breastmilk is nutrient-rich and is the most complete form of nutrition for your baby. Babies can also digest breastmilk easier than formula.  Breastfeeding can also help you bond with your baby.

Why am I having issues with lubrication when trying to have sex while breastfeeding?

When breastfeeding, the hormonal makeup of your body can change. Estrogen levels can change, causing lubrication issues. If you are experiencing issues with lubrication, use a lubricant during intercourse. Your body should adjust in time.

How can breastfeeding help my body?

Breastfeeding your baby helps your body return to normal after giving birth. For one, breastfeeding helps your uterus contract back to its normal size. It can also help you lose the extra baby weight because your body burns more calories while breastfeeding.

Does breastfeeding really help my child long-term?

Yes. While breastfeeding can show immediate benefits for your baby, like a lower chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), less respiratory issues like pneumonia and whooping cough, and a lower rate of infant mortality, it can also help your child in the long run, years after breastfeeding ends.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, your child can experience the benefits of breastfeeding into their teen and adult years. Your child will have a lower chance of getting rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Breastfeeding also can lower the chance of developing heart disease in adulthood and developing multiple sclerosis.

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