Frequently Asked Questions About Breast-feeding

Information presented here is from accredited La Leche League leaders. This information is general in nature, and not intended to be advice, medical or otherwise. Information prepared by Karen Zeretzke, La Leche League Leader, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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Does Breast-feeding hurt?

No! If it does, there's something wrong with the way the baby is latched on. Take him off and begin again.

What's in it for me?

A smarter, healthier baby who is less likely to be allergic. Less chance of breast, ovarian, and cervical cancers. Getting back in shape faster. A wonderful enduring bond with your baby. So easy -- nothing to fix, buy, or clean.

Doesn't Breast-feeding tie you down?

Not really. During the first few months, a breast-fed baby is very portable! Just pack a few extra diapers and maybe a change of clothes for the baby and you're ready to leave.

How long does it take to breast-feed?

Soon after the baby is born, feedings usually take 15 - 20 minutes per side and most mothers offer both sides at each feeding. If the baby falls asleep, start the next feeding with the breast that didn't get nursed at the last feeding. Later, as the baby becomes more efficient, an entire feeding may only take 10 - 15 minutes.

What's so special about human milk?

Your body makes it especially for your baby. Cow's milk was designed for baby calves! Every time your baby nurses, he or she gets protection from exactly what you all have come in contact with. Plus exactly what he or she needs for brain development and perfect growth.

Why do people say Breast-feeding is important?

At birth, babies are immune to everything their mothers are, but they have no functional immune system of their own until at 6 weeks the faint stirrings begin. By the time babies are six months old, they will have functional, but still immature, immune systems to help keep them healthy and allergy free. Breastmilk gives babies all the immunities they need until they can make their own.

Why bother Breast-feeding when I know I'll be returning to work or school?

Once you return to work or school, you could either pump your milk for your baby to use the next day or choose to give him bottles while you're away. Although you might need to pump for a few days until your breasts don't feel so full anymore, your body will adjust just as it will when the baby sleeps through the night.

To find a La Leche League Leader in your area, call 1-800-LALECHE or 1-847-519-7730.

They will refer you to a La Leche League Leader near you. You can also access much information about Breast-feeding at the La Leche League website:

http://www.lalecheleague.org/

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