Pregnancy Articles

Breastfeeding: Frequently Asked Questions

How? Why? When?


Can I smoke cigarettes and still breastfeed?
Nicotine does pass into the breast milk. If you smoke and want to breastfeed, the best thing you can do for you and your baby is to quit smoking. If you choose not to quit smoking, you should still opt for breastfeeding. Substances in the breast milk will protect your baby, to some extent, from some of the dangers of secondhand smoke. Try to cut back and smoke fewer cigarettes. Smoke lower-nicotine brands of cigarettes. Feed your baby at least 95 minutes after your last cigarette, so there will be less nicotine in your breast milk when your baby latches on. Do not smoke while you are nursing. Never smoke in the presence of your child. Smoking around your child greatly increases the risk of respiratory problems and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

I have small breasts, can I still breastfeed?
Breast size, small or large, makes no difference in the success of breastfeeding or the volume of milk production. Breast size depends on the amount of fat and fibrous tissue, not the amount of glandular tissue.

Will the bonding process with my baby be stronger if I breastfeed?
When done properly, either method, breast or bottle, can provide the adequate nourishment and strong emotional bond that growing babies need. The decision to breastfeed is a personal one. It takes into account the mother's lifestyle, economic situation, and cultural beliefs. If you aren't sure which approach to use, start with breastfeeding. If it isn't right for you, then switch to bottle-feeding. Starting with a bottle, and then trying to breastfeed later is very difficult.

How long will my child be on breast milk or formula?
The American Academy of Pediatrics and most health experts recommend breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula until the first birthday is reached. After that, it is OK to start cow's milk, but use whole cow's milk until age two.

Does my newborn baby need extra bottles of water?
Newborns need little or no extra water. Breast milk or infant formula usually supplies enough fluid. The exceptions are being exposed to hot weather and no air-conditioning. Your baby will lose body fluids by perspiring. Then offer 1-2 ounces of plain water after a feeding. Water should never take the place of breast milk or formula. When your baby begins eating solid food, you can also offer a little plain water, along with the meal.

How often will my baby nurse?
Continued ›

Page 1 of 4   Next Page ›

Advertisement -- Learn more about ads on this site.

About The Author

Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. She teaches prenatal classes and counsels individuals, helping women eat right and stay fit before, during and after their pregnancies.
Becky Hand

Member Comments

There are currently no comments on this article

x Lose 10 Pounds by January 12! Sign up with Email Sign up with Facebook
By clicking one of the above buttons, you're indicating that you have read and agree to SparkPeople's Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy and that you're at least 18 years of age.