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North Shore Hospital maternity care

The 5 Most Common Questions About Babies and Breastfeeding

Your questions answered by North Shore Private Midwives and Lactation Consultants

North Shore Private lactation consultant

It’s no secret that the arrival of a new baby can be a time of both joy and worry for parents-to-be. What to expect once the baby comes home? Will the little one ever fall asleep on their own? To help the expectant mums in our community, The Inner West Mums caught up with the Midwives and Lactation Consultants at North Shore Private Hospital to answer your most common questions about newborns and breastfeeding.

 

At The Inner West Mums, we understand breastfeeding may not be a viable option for some women and the views expressed in this article do not reflect the opinions or views of the IWMs.

 

New mother cradling sleeping baby

How do I know if I have enough milk supply?

New mums all over Sydney worry they don’t have enough breast milk for their infants – but there are a few ways you can easily tell.

🍼Your baby has good urine output with at least 6-10 wet nappies a day
🍼Your baby is satisfied at the end of feeding – you can tell this if the baby comes off your breast on their own and seems calm and relaxed after feeding
🍼Their poo is mostly yellow in colour and may be frequent or sometimes once a day
🍼They’re sleepy at the end of a feed!
🍼Your baby will sleep between most feeds – somewhere between one and a half and two hours
🍼Your baby looks like they are putting on weight – their clothes will look tighter and you may even have to get them a larger size

Mum breastfeeding baby

 

Are there ways to increase my milk supply?

Absolutely. Unrestricted breast feeding – so feeding your baby whenever they want to eat – and regular skin-to-skin contact with your baby is very important. Not only does this help you to bond with your newborn, but these activities also aid in releasing oxytocin, the hormone that helps breast milk flow.

Good attachment is also very important for ongoing milk supply. You can tell your baby is well attached to breastfeed if their mouth is wide open and their cheeks are round and full, not sucked in or dimpled. A big, open mouth is helpful for deep attachment and decreases discomfort for new mums. Breastfeeding should never be painful beyond the first 30-45 seconds of feeding. If pain continues, we recommend re-attaching your baby to decrease the chance of nipple trauma.

There are also different foods (called Galactagogues) and medications that may help to increase your milk supply if you need an added boost. If you need further support, our Lactation Consultants can help you with a feeding plan to aid in your breast-feeding journey beyond your hospital stay.

Mother cradling baby

What’s antenatal expressing? Should I be doing this?

Antenatal expressing, or Colostrum Harvesting, is a way of manually hand expressing breast milk before you deliver your baby. If this is something you’re considering, you should plan to do this at 36 weeks’ gestation. Once expressed, the breast milk is frozen and brought with you to hospital. After delivery, it’s given to your baby as additional milk following the initial breastfeeds. Colostrum is high in protein and filled with antibodies meaning it’s fantastic for supporting your baby’s immunity and gut development.

Antenatal expressing may be useful for a number of women including those who have diabetes, are expecting a small baby, or have a previous history of low milk supply or have previously experienced difficulty breast feeding. A consultation with a North Shore Private Lactation Consultant can help guide you through the process for Colostrum Harvesting and how to properly store your colostrum.

 

Newborn baby in mother's arms

Will my baby ever sleep through the night?

This is a question we’re frequently asked by sleep-deprived new parents! Babies can sleep through the night as early as 12 weeks – but between 7-12 months of age is more likely. Sleep matures in the first year of a baby’s life and their sleep improves from about 6 weeks of age. So whilst many parents may ask about a baby sleeping through the night, it’s really about a baby learning to sleep well.

North Shore Private lactation consultant

What happens if I am having trouble feeding or settling my baby on discharge?

At North Shore Private Hospital, we always give mums a plan so if there’s a problem on discharge, you know what to do when get at home, and we can also help you through those first few days. Our new mums also have access to our Helping Hands Clinic, which is available for newborns up to 12 months old. The Clinic offers support and guidance with a Lactation Consultant and a Mothercraft Nurse on topics such as feeding, sleeping and settling, adjusting to a new family, returning to work, emotional wellbeing and more.

Newborn diaper change

 

About North Shore Private Hospital

North Shore Private Hospital provides a comprehensive childbirth and parenting program to prepare parents for the birth of their child. There are also a range of support and education classes available for expectant and new mums, all provided in-house by experienced Midwives and Lactation Consultants.

From antenatal classes covering childbirth and parenting, active birth, Calm Birth, and First Aid, to Gidget House – an Emotional Wellbeing Program – and our Helping Hands Clinic, focussed on mothercraft and lactation support for babies up to 12 months of age, North Shore Private Hospital has mums covered before, during and after their stay.

For more information visit www.northshoreprivate.com.au/Maternity

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