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Calling in the pros: Lactation consultants

Featuring content from MediResource Inc.

Am I making enough milk?

If you're making enough milk, your baby will show signs that he is getting enough to eat, including:

  • feeding 8 to 12 times in 24 hours (about 10 to 20 minutes or longer per feeding). Four weeks after delivery, feeding usually decreases to 7 to 9 times per day
  • making 6 to 8 wet diapers every 24 hours
  • making stools at least once per day for the first month and every 2 to 7 days after that
  • gaining weight normally (usually 4 to 7 ounces, or 0.1 to 0.2 kilograms, per week)
  • making swallowing sounds while feeding
  • appearing healthy, alert, and active

If you're concerned about your milk supply, contact your doctor or lactation consultant.

Am I making too much milk? What can I do about it?

You may be making too much milk if your breasts feel very full and uncomfortable, your baby is fussy or gassy between feedings, your baby feeds only for a short time (5-10 minutes), or milk sprays from your breast when the baby comes off.

Often, your milk supply will adjust itself after the first few months. To help slow down milk production, use the same breast for all feedings within a 2-hour window, then switch to the other breast for the next 2-hour window. If necessary, you can also try to slowly increase the length of time you feed your baby from one breast. You can pump the breast that's not being used for a maximum of 20-30 seconds, just to relieve pressure. Any more will trigger the breast to make more milk. If this doesn't work, contact a lactation consultant.

How do I get my baby to latch on well to my breast?

Tickle your baby's bottom lip with your nipple and wait for her to open her mouth wide. When she does, bring her towards you, chin first, as you aim your nipple towards the roof of her mouth.

You can tell if your baby is latched on well if her nose is almost touching your breast and her lips are rolled out. At least half an inch (about 1 cm) of your breast (near the nipple base) should be in your baby's mouth. The latch should not be uncomfortable for you. If it is, adjust your baby's position by pushing the baby's bottom towards your body with your forearm. You may also try to gently pull down on the baby's chin so she has more of the breast in her mouth. If this does not work, detach your baby by putting your finger gently between her gums and try again. However, unlatching and re-latching the baby is not recommended, as it can end up causing you more pain and frustrate the baby.

What is a lactation consultant, and when should I call one?

A lactation consultant is a health care professional specially trained to help parents manage breast-feeding issues.

You may wish to contact a lactation consultant if:

  • you need breast-feeding advice or support
  • you're having problems with your milk supply
  • you're not sure if your baby is feeding well
  • your baby doesn't seem to be gaining weight
  • you have breast or nipple pain
  • you have a complicated situation, such as twins, a baby who is ill, or a baby with a cleft palate

Your doctor or health clinic can help you find a lactation consultant, or you can check the listings in your phone book.

All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2018. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/healthfeature/gethealthfeature/Managing-Breast-feeding-Issues