Is Breast Really Best? Answering Your Burning Questions

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I BREASTEED?

If you’re breastfeeding a newborn, chances are you’re nursing more than a friend whose baby is formula-fed, and there’s some truth to that. Breast milk digests easier than formula, which means it’ll move through the digestive system faster, and your baby might be hungry more often. But this is normal.

Frequent feedings help to stimulate your milk production. Remember, this isn’t something you can just pick up at the grocery store – and your body needs to produce it, so the more often you feed, the higher the demand there is for your body to make milk.

But how often should they really be fed? The Breastfeeding Association of Trinidad and Tobago (TBATT) says on demand, so whenever the baby is hungry, which is usually every two hours or so. As newborns get older, they’ll nurse less often, and might develop a more reliable feeding schedule. But generally, newborns should not go more than four hours without feeding, even if it’s through the night.

It’s important to remember that your baby will not overfeed if he’s being breastfed properly. Unlike with formula or bottles, when the baby is finished feeding, they’ll come off the breast by themselves.

 

BREASTFEEDING HURTS! HOW DO I PREVENT MY NIPPLES FROM GETTING SORE?

If it’s hurting you to breast feed, chances are you’re not doing it right or the baby isn’t latching on properly. Luckily, The Breastfeeding Association of Trinidad and Tobago offers help for this: whether it’s through a class with a breastfeeding counselor, attending an information session at their headquarters or calling and asking for advice.

Typically, your nipples may feel tender at first, but it should not last long. And in that case, express a little extra milk after a feed and rub it into the nipple area. You may not know that breastmilk has healing properties, so it’ll help to relieve the soreness you’ll initially be feeling.

The most common cause of pain and sore nipples is incorrect latch, so you’re going to want to make sure the baby is positioned properly on your breast, and try again. But the number one thing to remember is that this is not a normal pain, women are not supposed to just “grin and bear it”. If you’re experiencing a lot of pain, the best advice is to reach out to TBATT and seek help.

But remember, don’t just “take a break” from breastfeeding because of your sore nipples. The less you feed, the less milk your body will naturally produce.

 

WILL BREASTFEEDING MAKE MY BOOBS SAG? WHAT ABOUT MAKING ME GAIN WEIGHT?

Breastfeeding will not, and should not, make you gain weight or negatively affect your figure in any way. In fact, breastfeeding helps mothers to lose weight after the baby is born. You burn an average of 300 to 500 calories a day, just by breastfeeding. But don’t take that to mean this is the go-to way to get back your pre-baby body.

While breastfeeding helps to drop some pounds after delivery, having a baby changes your body. That’s not to say you can’t get back your pre-baby body, but it’s certainly going to be harder than just latching your child onto your breast.

Having a baby impacts every aspect of your body – and that includes your breasts, whether you breastfeed or not. While you may think that producing and expressing milk every day will affect the bounciness of your breasts, that’s a myth! It has a lot to do with how well you take care of your body and your breasts – and this has to do with any age! Ensuring you’re wearing the proper bras: well-fitting and supportive, both while you are pregnant and while you’re breastfeeding, is the key to having your breasts return to a good shape.

The XX Team

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