According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 80% (approximately 8 out of 10) of new mothers in the United States breastfeed their newborns for varying lengths of time. There are general guidelines and recommendations for the optimal length of time to breastfeed, but the experience is different for every woman and child. The doctors and healthcare professionals at Pediatric Associates of Davidson County in Nashville, TN, can answer your questions and concerns about breastfeeding and pediatric services for your newborn and children.
Breastfeeding Support and Assistance in Nashville, TN
It is normal to have questions and concerns about breastfeeding, especially with your first child. Here are answers to some of the most common questions that new mothers often have about breastfeeding:
Q: How Often Should You Breastfeed?
A: Your baby's feeding habits and needs will change as they grow and get older. Every baby is different and their needs and schedules will vary. A typical newborn usually nurses between 8 to 12 times per day for the first month, and between 7 to 9 feedings after the first month. However, the goal is to feed the baby when they are hungry, which can range from every 90 minutes to a few hours. It will take some time to get used to the baby's needs and your body's milk production and you can adjust the schedule as needed.
Q: When Should You Stop Breastfeeding?
A: Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and World Health Organization range from one to two years old, but it really depends on your individual situation. Many mothers begin breastfeeding at birth and switch to formula before the year, or continue to breastfeed for longer.
Q: Are There Certain Foods/Drinks That Nursing Moms Should Limit or Avoid?
A: If you are breastfeeding you should avoid alcohol, or refrain from breastfeeding until the alcohol has left your system. Even if you are eating a healthy diet, certain foods may still irritate the baby's stomach or cause an allergic reaction. For example, if you are breastfeeding your baby but drinking regular milk in your tea or coffee, it can be difficult for the baby to digest if they have a reaction to cow's milk. Keep track of everything you eat and watch for potentially adverse reactions in your baby after nursing such as fussiness, gas, vomiting, rash, or diarrhea and consult with the baby's pediatrician for recommendations and adjustments.
Q: What If I Can't or Decide Not to Breastfeed?
A: The choice to breastfeed or not is a personal decision. If you decide not to breastfeed, speak to your pediatrician about the best formula and alternatives to breast milk.
Find a Pediatrician in Nashville, TN
For more information about the benefits and best practices for breastfeeding, contact Pediatric Associates of Davidson County by calling (615) 329-3595 to schedule an appointment today.