a mother with her child

Your breastfeeding questions… Answered!

As we continue to celebrate World Breastfeeding week, we’re taking the opportunity to answer some frequently asked questions about breastfeeding. Because our key area of focus is the health and wellbeing of women and children, we want all parents to be fully educated on the health benefits that breastfeeding has for both mother and child, and to not be deterred by myths and misconceptions. It’s essential for parents-to-be to know the facts—read on to get the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about breastfeeding.

Does breastfeeding hurt?
Breastfeeding should not be painful. Though some tenderness is relatively common at the beginning, this should only last for the first few days. There may also be discomfort when your baby first latches. However, do seek help if feeding continues to hurt.

Why did my baby not want to latch?
Some babies need extra help learning how to latch. Keep calm and be patient, and keep skin to skin contact with your baby.

Why am I not producing more milk?
Babies have very small stomachs at birth and only need small amounts of milk; did you know that one feed is equal to one teaspoon? Milk volume will increase as your baby’s stomach grows.

Will breastfeeding disfigure my body shape?
This is a common belief that is not true. Breastfeeding actually helps mothers lose weight and return to their pre-pregnancy bodies sooner. Did you know that breastfeeding uses up to 500 calories a day?

Is it true that 1 month of breastfeeding is enough?
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and continued breastfeeding with food until the age of two because of the health benefits for both mother and baby.

Isn’t formula milk as good breast milk these days?
Human milk is specially made for human babies. Milk changes constantly to protect babies and help them to grow optimally. Infant formula only tries to copy human milk, and it is missing many of the things in human milk which are important for babies’ growth and health. Formula is not a living product so it doesn’t have the antibodies, living cells, enzymes or hormones that protect babies from infections and diseases later in life.

If you have any other questions about breastfeeding, send us an email at breastfeeding@sidra.org or speak with a healthcare professional.