My baby likes to sleep. How long is it ok to go between feedings?
During the first six weeks of life, infants need to nurse between eight and twelve times per day. If the baby is not waking up to feed every two to three hours, he or she should be gently awakened for feedings. However, it is not necessary to wake the baby throughout the night if he or she will sleep for four to five hours at a stretch. It can be helpful to undress the baby except for the diaper before feeding because skin-to-skin contact is stimulating and may help the baby stay awake for a good feeding. Each feeding should last ten to fifteen minutes.
When will my baby sleep through the night?
Approximately 70% of infants sleep through the night (5-hour period) by three months of age. Premature infants may take longer to establish the sleeping patterns of full term infants.
My baby has diarrhea, but he is on breast milk. What should I do?
Diarrhea in a breastfed infant is present only when stool have the consistency of water, and they are usually running out of the diaper. Diarrhea is unusual in breastfed infants, but it may be the result of a food allergy or a change in the mother's diet. Normal stool may vary somewhat in consistency. Stool in a breastfed baby should be soft, and they may change colors with normal colors including brown, tan, green, and yellow. If the stool become very red, black, or white or if the infant develops diarrhea, the doctor should be contacted. During the first week of life, the breastfed infant will have stools that are loose and seedy in consistency with almost every feeding (minimum of four per day), and the infant should continue to stool every day over the next month.
I want to wean my baby off breast milk. How do I do that?
Gradually replace breast milk with solid food or a bottle or a cup depending on the child's age and developmental stage one feeding at a time. When the infant has adjusted to substitute feeding, substitute a second feeding time at the opposite time of the day. Continue to replace breast milk one feeding at a time until only the morning and night feedings remain. These two remaining feedings may be continued for months if the mother wishes. A gradual weaning process allows for a slow decrease in lactation and gradual regression of the mammary glands.
Is Tylenol or Motrin ok with breastfeeding? My nose is runny. What decongestant is ok with breastfeeding?
Tylenol or Motrin is fine when taken on a single-dose schedule. Sudafed or Actifed may also be taken while breastfeeding.
Will giving my baby a bottle make him stop breast-feeding?
No. As long as the baby is allowed to breastfeed periodically, milk production will continue at a slightly decreased level to adjust for the decreased consumption by the baby.
My baby wants to breastfeed for an hour then sleeps only a little then feed for another hour. Is it okay? If not, what should I do?
When a baby is consistently spending this much time at the breast at each feeding, it is often due to a problem with positioning and attachment or a sucking difficulty. In some cases, the baby may be feeding for ten to fifteen minutes and then using the nipple as a pacifier for the remainder of the time. The mother should work with her physician and a lactation consultant to determine the reason that the baby wants to remain at the breast for an extended period of time.
How long can I store breast milk? In the fridge? In the freezer?
Freshly expressed breast milk can be stored in the refrigerator for three to five days in a closed container. Breast milk that has been frozen and then thawed can be stored in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Refrigerated breast milk should be shaken vigorously before consumption because it separates. Breast milk can be stored for three months in a self-defrosting freezer when stored in the back of the freezer but not on the bottom. Breast milk can be stored for twelve months in a freezer without a defrost cycle that maintains a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can I still breastfeed if I have a fever?
If the mother's temperature is greater than 102 degrees Fahrenheit immediately postpartum, breastfeeding should be discontinued. She should continue to pump her breast milk to maintain adequate milk production so that breastfeeding can be resumed when the fever decreases. If the mother develops a cold or influenza at a later time, she should continue breastfeeding because her antibodies have already protected the baby from the illness.
Can I drink alcohol and breastfeed?
It is best if alcohol is not consumed while breastfeeding. However, an occasional beer or glass of wine has not been shown to be harmful while continuing to breastfeed. If alcohol is consumed, it is best to avoid breastfeeding for two hours. Consumption of large amounts of alcohol may be harmful to the baby and should be avoided.