Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
We've gone over all the different types of breastfeeding accessories and things you should consider before buying, but do you still have some questions? Don't worry, we’ve gathered some of the questions we get asked the most and answered them all for you. Take a look at our frequently asked questions to help.
Can my partner help with feeds?
If you want to solely breastfeed, there are practical ways your partner can help; for example, they can make sure you’re comfortable, fetch nursing pillows/extra pillows if needed or even bring you a snack or a glass of water as you feed.
It would be great if they could take the baby when you’ve finished so you can adjust your clothes.
How do I know if I’m doing it right?
You and your baby are both new to this, so don’t worry if it takes a little time for you to get the hang of breastfeeding. By around day 5, if things are going well your baby should around have 8 feeds or more in 24 hoursand be feeding for between 5 and 40 minutes at each feed.
They should have a normal skin colour, swallowing frequently during the feed and be generally calm and relaxed while feeding and content after feeds. It's a good sign for your baby to have wet and dirty nappies too.
What if I haven’t got enough milk?
Feeling like you’re not producing enough milk can be upsetting but know you're not alone. Many women experience problems for a number reasons...
Some women struggle due to poor attachment and positioning, or not breastfeeding often enough. Some babies are ‘slow starters’ because of factors such as type of birth, pain relief in labour and if they were separated from their mum at birth.
If you find you are unable to produce enough breastmilk, you can seek support from your midwife or health visitor.
Why do my breasts feel painful?
If your breasts feel engorged (full), it can help to feed your baby, massage your breast or express by hand. Try to avoid expressing too often as it can increase your milk supply and make this problem worse. A build-up of milk can sometimes cause mastitis.
This usually affects one breast and symptoms can come on quickly. You can develop mastitis at any time although it is common when breastfeeding in the first 3 months. It’s important to see your GP if you have any symptoms because you may need antibiotics.
Can I breastfeed in public?
YES! Babies need to be fed around the clock so, unless you plan on staying at home all day for more than 6 months, you may find you need to breastfeed outside of the home.
There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public - in fact, in England and Wales it is illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public space, such as a café or public transport.
Remember ... don’t feel like you should hide away, for example in a restaurant toilet. If you still don't feel comfortable feeding in public, you may want to start at home until you feel more confident or you can use clever covers for optimum discretion.
How long should I breastfeed for?
Exclusive breastfeeding - so breast milk only - is recommended for around the first 6 months of your baby's life.
Breastfeeding alongside solid foods is also recommended for babies from 6 months. You and your baby can carry on enjoying the benefits of breastfeeding for as long as you like.
Breastfeeding isn’t for me. Is it okay to stop?
Although breastfeeding has many benefits, don’t feel guilty if it isn’t for you. There are lots of reasons why some women don’t breastfeed or stop before they thought they would.
If you want to stop because you are worried about technique, latching or positioning, try to persevere if you can because you will both benefit and feeds get much quicker and easier - soon like second nature. Plus, without the need not bottle heaters, formula holders or sterilising, it is a very convenient way to feed.
However, it is always recommended to speak with a midwife or GP if you feel like there are medical reasons why you’re struggling to breastfeed.