Frequently Asked Questions


How do I increase my supply?

  1. Spend time with you baby in kangaroo
  2. Massage your breasts with circles, feather stroking and hand expressing for 1-2 min before each feeding
  3. Squeeze your breasts gently during a feeding. 
  4. With a hospital grade double electric pump,  pump after each feeding for 5-15 min.  If you can only pump 1 minute, still do it.  Taking out more milk several times a day means you are asking your body to make more milk.
  5. Consider starting herbs to jump start your supply.  Talk to Mary first. 

How do I know if I need to contact a lactation consultant?

  1. Watch your baby's growth and their wet and dirty diapers:  That means 6-8 wets and 4-12 poops a day for the first few months.  If these parameters are not being met: come see Mary. 
  2. If you are having breast or nipple pain that isn't resolving in 24 hours. 
  3. If your baby has lost 7-10 % of their birth weight, or isn't gaining 1 oz/day after day 10. 
  4. If your baby was born before 38 or after 42 weeks gestational age. 
  5. If you have anatomical variations like flat nipples, breasts that are obviously different in size, or are widely spaced. 
  6. If your labor was longer than 24 hours, or if you pushed for more than 2 hours. 
  7. If your baby was treated for jaundice in the hospital. 

Should breastfeeding hurt?

Sometimes when baby first latches there can be pain, but it should only last for 1-2 seconds.  Then you should only feel tugging. 

When should I first give my baby a bottle?

There are many ways to answer this question.  I prefer to give  baby a bottle of freshly expressed milk each day or every other day, starting when baby is 3 weeks old.  

This helps them learn to go back and forth from breast to bottle, and helps you get used to your pump. 

Do I have to eat a special diet while I'm breastfeeding?

Yes..... and No.....

Eat a variety of healthy foods.  You will need 500 calories per day more than when you were pregnant.  There are no strictly taboo foods, regardless of what wives-tales say.  If your baby doesn't like what you have eaten they will be increasingly fussy about 8 hours after you ate whatever it was. 

Try eliminating that food for 2 weeks and then try it again.  If you get the same fussy/spitty reaction, then avoid that food.

You can eat sushi and lunch meat during breastfeeding.  You couldn't during pregnancy. 

What can I do to soothe my sore nipples?

  1. Spend more time in kangaroo.
  2. Work, work , work at getting a good latch.
  3. Work on your milk supply.
  4. Do nipple care after each feeding:  wash off with water, dry, apply some breast milk, air dry, and apply a high quality nipple cream.   Prevent infection by washing with soap and water once a day. 
  5. Hydrogel pads can be used instead of nipple cream.  Wear them in your bra between feedings. 
  6. Silverettes help heal and prevent infection.  Wear them in your bra between feedings. 
  7. If your nipples are sore for more than 24 hours, or if they are cracked, you need an appointment with Mary.

How can I tell when my baby is hungry or when they've had enough?

In the early days after birth, doing hours and hours of kangaroo will help you and your baby get into good communication regarding hunger cues and satiation cues.  Watch for pecking on your chest,  sticking out the tongue,  chewing on their hands ..... these are feeding cues.  Try to feed before baby cries.  Asking for food by crying is a last ditch communication effort. 

When baby goes to sleep in kangaroo and stays asleep for some time in the basinet after feeding, they are full. 

When they are growing and making enough wet and dirty diapers, baby is getting enough. 

As baby gets older the feeding cues get more subtle, and what was a feeding cue can be simple exploration.  Watch and listen to your baby.  You will soon know what they are asking for. 

If you are confused or worried about if your baby is getting enough, have a 1-1 appointment with Mary to sort out what is  going on with you and baby.  

How often should I feed by baby?

Feeding your baby is a very personal thing.  The most important thing is to learn when your baby is asking for food, and then feed them.   Some moms breastfeed every 2 hours.  Some moms breastfeed every 4 hours.  Some feed more during the evening, some feed more at night.  

The bottom line is to communicate, and then watch to make sure baby is getting enough. 

If you are confused about what your baby needs, have a 1-1 appointment with Mary to sort out what is confusing you and baby. 


How do I hand express?

Place your finger tips about an inch away from your nipple.  Press gently toward your spine, then press your fingers gently together.  Rotate the position of  your fingers around your nipple. 

What are the "arm exercises" for mastitis prevention?

  1. Swing your elbow up toward your ears, then down to your waist.  repeat for up to 3 min.
  2. Extend your arms, and swing both of  your arms to your R and then to your L, wrapping around your back on each side as you go.  Repeat for up to 3 min.
  3. Extend your arms, and swing your arms towards each other so that you are giving yourself a big hug. 

Repeat for up to 3 min for each exercise. 

What is triple feeding?

Triple feeding involves 3 steps for each feeding session: 

  1. Breast feed baby
  2. Bottle feed baby your pumped milk
  3. Pump

Triple feeding can help baby get enough food while they don't have the strength to  breast feed exclusively.  And it builds up a robust milk supply. 

What pump should I get?

It depends on why you are going to be pumping. 

If you are needing to pump because you are away from baby for work 40 hours a week, you need a hospital grade pump.  This motor is strong enough to keep your supply up.  Spectra, Madela,  and Finesse are examples of this kind of pump. 

If you want to pump occasionally to have a little milk in your stash a hand pump can be an excellent choice.  Madela, Avent,  Ameda, and Lansinoh have good hand pumps.  

If you are pumping very often you will want to have your flanges fit to your body.  The right size and kind of flange can make a huge difference in comfort and milk supply.  I have not found the flange sizing instructions on the web to be helpful.  It really does take an eyes-on approach to size you.  Coming to a clinic time with your pump is an excellent way to do this.