Breastfeeding Questions and Concerns

Frequently Asked Questions

Is breastfeeding supposed to hurt?

No! If you are experiencing pain, your body is telling you to evaluate something. Meeting with a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) can help.

What are hunger cues?

Crying is a late sign of hunger.  Try to feed your baby on demand at the first cues such as licking lips, sticking tongue out, turning the head to the breast, putting hands in mouth, soft sounds.

How often should my baby nurse?

We encourage you to nurse on demand, which is about 8-12 times in 24 hours in the first few weeks.  Feedings may be very close together (every hour or so) and not evenly spaced out.  Until your baby has regained his/her birthweight (by 2 weeks), wake your baby if they go more than 3-4 hours between feeds.

Does my baby need cereal, water, or formula?

No, your baby only needs breastmilk for the first 6 months.  Breastmilk provides all the nutrition your baby needs during this time.  Feeding your baby cereal or other foods may cause your baby to not want to nurse as much and become constipated with hard stools.  Even when it is hot, your baby does not need water or juice.


Does my baby need vitamin d?

The AAP recommends that all babies receive routine vitamin d supplementation.  Recent studies show that “Maternal vitamin D supplementation with 6400 IU/day safely supplies breast milk with adequate vitamin D to satisfy her nursing infant’s requirement and offers an alternate strategy to direct infant supplementation.”  [Hollis et al 2015]


Can I eat that?

Most women can eat a variety of foods (and drinks) in moderation.  Your baby is your guide. We encourage eating a well-balanced diet and drinking to thirst, though your diet doesn’t have to be perfect.  If you notice your baby seems uncomfortable after eating certain foods, keep a food diary and call our office.


Helpful Resources