Breastfeeding can be a challenging and personal decision. Not everyone has the ability to breastfeed, and even those who decide to might have doubts. Whatever you decide, trust your instincts and trust that you know what’s best for you. The important thing is to not let anyone guilt-trip you into thinking otherwise.
For moms that have decided that they want to breastfeed, there are a few concerns that will hit you when you begin breastfeeding. We’re here to help relieve your worries.
1. There are scabs on my nipples?
They are not scabs, but just some crusty substance. You have nothing to worry about, as the crust-like yellow substance is simply tiny amounts of colostrum, the first milk, which leaks out and dries on the nipple. Some pregnant mothers will require a breast pad due to the large amount of leakage, while others will hardly notice any signs of milk.
2. Is my baby getting enough milk?
By tracking the diaper output and weight gain, you’ll have a rough idea if your baby is getting the amount they need. Another way is to observe your baby when they’re being breastfed. Learn the difference between a suck and a drink to differentiate if your baby is getting enough. However, as you’re not an expert, it could be hard to determine. Remember to always consult your doctor if you’re unsure about anything.
3. Should I panic if my baby falls asleep during nursing?
You have cause to worry, as if your baby does this during the first few weeks, it could mean trouble. The baby might not be transferring milk well due to a poor latch, then falls asleep due to lack of flow. However, if your baby is drinking well and falls asleep, it is perfectly fine.
4. My nipple hurts.
It is normal to experience some nipple pain in the early weeks, but it should reduce as time passes. If you’re still in pain after the initial attachment (which is usually around 20 seconds); your nipple hurts after breastfeeding; or your nipple looks dented/creased after a feed, then you are right to worry. Seek a breastfeeding specialist immediately.
5. Am I allowed to breastfeed in public?
Breastfeeding in public is not against the law, but it depends on the country where you are in. Cultural differences might apply – which means that you’ll get weird stares at some places. In certain countries – for example, Australia – breastfeeding is a right, and those prohibiting a mother from doing so are breaking the law.
6. Does my nipple size or shape affect my ability to breastfeed?
No, it has nothing to do with a mother’s ability to make milk. Some mothers with inverted or flat nipples might need some extra help when they start, but will eventually do it without difficulty.