Beginning to breastfeed: Answers to your 10 most-asked questions

3. How do I know my baby is positioned and latched on correctly?
The best way to learn to assess your position and latch is with an experienced lactation consultant. But, feeling comfortable generally, without any breast or nipple pain, during a feeding is a good indicator your position and latch are correct. Be sure your baby is facing the breast and does not have to turn her head to reach it and that the baby's ear, shoulder and hip are in a straight line. The baby's mouth should be widely flanged on the areola. Both you and the baby should be in a position that promotes good body alignment with your spine straight and comfortable and your bodies well supported.

4. How do I know my baby is getting enough breast milk?
The best indication that your baby is getting enough milk is an adequate weight gain pattern. On a daily basis you can tell your baby is getting enough milk by watching the diapers. You can use this simple and very rough rule of thumb. Starting with day one your baby should have one wet diaper and one bowel movement, on day two she should have two wets and two bowel movements, and so on until you reach day five or six. By day five or six the baby should be having five to six sopping wet diapers and three to four bowel movements (that would fill the palm of your hand) each 24 hours.

Next page: Find out if sore nipples are normal, when your milk will "come in" and if you need to wake your baby for feeds

5. Will I get sore nipples?
Nipple soreness is not a normal or expected part of breastfeeding. You may experience some very mild tenderness in the first week, but soreness that is moderate to severe, or includes cracks or blistering of the nipple, is not normal. Soreness can generally be remedied by improving the way the baby latches on the breast. If you have moderate to severe soreness, you should contact your lactation consultant.

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