Myth-busting when it comes to the art of breastfeeding
LAST week's column on breastfeeding led to lots of feedback on Facebook about some of the topics covered, so this week we're exploring the topic in more detail and clarifying some of the questions raised.
One of the main issues raised on Facebook was about when to stop breastfeeding.
While breastfeeding and when to stop is a personal choice, the World Health Organisation and our own child health team both recommend breastfeeding until a child is two or beyond.
As stated in last week's column, you should not just stop breastfeeding your child.
They should be weaned off breastfeeding gradually.
Also, the introduction of solid foods doesn't mean you need to wean your child off breastfeeding. As mentioned in the last column, breast milk should be used to supplement solids.
If you do require some advice on breastfeeding and introducing solids contact our child health team.
So how often should you be feeding your child?
Every child is unique and has their own individual differences.
So, the following advice is only general and you should seek your own personal advice from a child health nurse or a doctor if you have any concerns.
From birth to three months, babies tend to feed between eight and 12 times a day, while from three to six months babies generally feed between 8-10 times a day.
A bit more about how to tell if your baby is getting enough
There are a number of signs that can help you determine if your baby is getting enough breast milk.
Do they seem settled between feeds?
Are they alert and active? These are great signs they're getting enough breast milk.
Another important sign is weight gain.
Your baby should be gaining weight and going up sizes in clothes and nappies.
If you're concerned this is not happening as quickly as you think it should then contact our child health for a health check.
How often you need to change your baby's nappy is also a good way to keep track of whether your child is having enough breast milk.
Somewhere between six and eight nappies is also an indication that enough feeding is happening.
Lots of parents worry about the colour of their baby's poo, but while the poo should be soft, the colour is age dependent and will vary from green to yellow to a darker and thicker colour.
Unfortunately we are limited in how many words we can use to cover breastfeeding, but some other common concerns raised with our child health team is engorgement, sore nipples and supply concerns.
That said, our child health team are qualified to support your breastfeeding journey and are only too happy to help.
For any additional support that is required Certified Lactation Consultants are there to help you further.