Commonly Asked Breastfeeding Questions by Jenni Sullivan

Hello my name is Jenni. I have been asked by the BornOnline Midwives to write a regular blog on Breastfeeding Topics. I am a Lactation Consultant, Midwife and Child and Family Health Nurse. I have breastfed my own 3 children for a total of 3 years. I hope to be able to answer some of those breastfeeding questions you may have, whether it be in preparation for your baby stage or when you are breastfeeding your baby after birth and beyond.

I thought I would start my first blog with some common early breastfeeding problems that are talked about a lot and that can put fear into new and soon to be mums.

It Hurts

It’s not uncommon for your nipples to feel tender in the early days of breastfeeding as there is nothing quite as strong as a baby’s suck. Provided baby is latching well, this will settle down. Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt (toe curling, breath holding type of hurt). If your nipple is squashed when it comes out of the baby’s mouth or it is the toe curling type of hurt, you need some help. Ask from help from the midwife or lactation consultant in the early days to make sure your baby is latching well.

My Boobs are Bursting!!!

Once you have the latching mastered, the next thing that happens is your breasts start to fill. Firstly with an increased blood supply and then with milk as your milk ‘comes in’, about day 3. It can be difficult for your baby to latch to the breast when they are so full, so expressing a little bit of milk to soften the areola will help baby to latch well. Alternating the breasts for baby to feed from and feeding regularly will help swelling as will a warm washer on the breast prior to feeding and a cool one afterwards.

How Do I Know I Have Enough Milk?

If I had a dollar for every time I was asked this questions, I would be retired in Hawaii!!!

Firstly have faith in your body’s ability to produce enough milk for your baby. If your baby feeds regularly, between 6-10 feeds per day, has 6 wet nappies after your milk comes in and has soft yellow poo’s (the amount differs from baby to baby) and is settled after most feeds, you can be sure baby is getting enough milk.

Regular weekly weight checks with your Child Health Nurse in the early weeks will also confirm that baby is putting on enough weight.

Babies aren’t happy or settled all the time, especially in the early evening “witching hours” (between 5pm-9pm) and this is NORMAL newborn behaviour.

Make sure you get a sleep in the day during those early weeks, as breastfeeding and the demands of a newborn can be very tiring and make sure you accept ALL offers of help!!

Talk soon,


(This article contains general information only and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified health professional. All information is written from the experience and knowledge of the person writing the post).