Best Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms

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Olga Guzovsky, MD
Olga Guzovsky, MD

When it comes to feeding baby, you may have heard the saying “breast is best.” But what does that mean? And how exactly do you do this thing called feeding another human? Olga Guzovsky, MD, a general pediatrician with Suburban Pediatrics – Mayfield, addresses common breastfeeding questions you might have.

Q.: How can I tell if my baby is getting enough milk?

A.: Once your milk supply increases, your newborn should nurse eight to 12 times in 24 hours, produce at least seven wet diapers and two to five loose yellow bowel movements – one bowel movement with every feed or diaper change. Your pediatrician can track your baby’s weight gain with weight checks in the first few weeks of life.

Q.: How can you tell whether a disposable diaper is wet?

A.: Try tucking a tissue inside. Many diapers have a line on the front that changes color. The diaper may feel heavy.

Q.: How can I prevent or relieve engorgement?

A.: Breastfeed often to minimize engorgement, a temporary overfilling of your breasts. It also helps to massage your breasts and then hand 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, as directed by your health care provider. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen will not harm your baby. Cold compresses between breastfeeding sessions also may reduce pain and swelling.

Q.: What can I do for my sore nipples?

A.: The following strategies should help:

  • Ask your certified lactation consultant whether you are positioning your baby correctly.
  • When breastfeeding, begin on the least sore side and change nursing positions often.
  • Try different nursing holds, such as football, cross-cradle or laid-back positions. These positions put the baby’s lips in a different place on your breasts. Pull the baby in close by the shoulders when the mouth is open wide to help achieve a deep latch.
  • Let expressed milk dry on your nipples between feedings.
  • In general, avoid nipple creams and ointments, unless recommended by your health care provider. Use of these products does not prevent sore nipples. Speak to your certified lactation consultant about the best methods for helping to heal your sore nipples.

Q.: What can I do about leaking breasts?

A.: Use cotton pads in your bra to absorb milk. Change pads frequently so that you are wearing dry pads. Keep a sweater, jacket or change of shirt handy, in case leaking occurs.

Q.: How do I get help if I am having trouble breastfeeding?

A.: If you have problems with your breastfeeding latch or any questions about breastfeeding in general, talk with a certified lactation consultant or your health care provider. Most problems can be fixed with a little help and practice.

Related Links

Need some extra help with breastfeeding? University Hospitals’ Lactation Centers can assist moms and babies in Northeast Ohio who need a little extra help with breastfeeding. At every center, certified lactation consultants are available to work with you and your baby to ensure a successful experience. To ask about lactation resources or make an appointment, call 440-995-3830. Lactation consults are available via phone, in-person or virtual visits. Learn more about lactation support at University Hospitals.

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