(Even) More Breastfeeding FAQs: How soon after giving birth will I be able to begin breastfeeding?

At Burdett Birth Center, it is our belief that evidence-based lactation care is every family’s right. In a previous blog post, we answered a few Breastfeeding Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). Then we answered more breastfeeding FAQs in another blog post. With input from Burdett’s certified lactation consultants, we’d like to discuss more breastfeeding topics and questions that parents ask Burdett Birth Center’s doctors, midwives and nurses about every day.

Question: How soon after giving birth will I be able to begin breastfeeding?

Burdett Birth Center promotes “rooming in” after birth so that parents and baby can instantly bond and get to know each other. It also makes breastfeeding a little easier. After this, your newborn will spend most of the next 24 hours asleep, which could delay breastfeeding.

At birth, your breasts will produce colostrum in place of milk, which is a nutrient-dense, thick liquid prior to milk production. Colostrum is very healthy for your baby and supports his or her immune system. The production of colostrum is small at first and gradually increases with your baby’s nutritional needs according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

In three to five days, you will begin to produce breast milk to nurse your baby and you can start setting a regular schedule of nursing for every two to three hours according to the CDC. You may notice that during this time, your baby may want to nurse more often and frequently. If you are concerned about not having enough milk, you can always speak to a certified lactation consultant or your doctor or nurse.

Question: What legal rights do breastfeeding moms have?

As a new mom, it may be tough getting used to breastfeeding in public especially when others can be judgmental. However, you may find it reassuring to learn that mothers have the right to breastfeed in private or in public in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands according to the National Conference of State Legislature (NCSL).

Many women find it stressful to juggle breastfeeding or breast pumping at work too. Have you ever worried about being discriminated against at work for taking breaks to breastfeed or pumping for your baby?

We have some helpful news for you! According to the New York State Department of Health, the Breastfeeding in the Workplace Accommodation Law (2007) protects a woman’s right to breastfeed or pump in the workplace for up to three years after giving birth. Also, employers are required to provide a private, non-bathroom area for you to breastfeed or pump your baby during work hours. Employers are not required to provide separate pay for breastfeeding breaks, but an employee may use her allotted (paid) breaks for this purpose. We offer a monthly Back to Work class in the evenings for moms heading back to work with a new baby.

Question: Where can I get help with breastfeeding?

You might have read articles, magazines or even a book on motherhood in preparation for your new baby but soon realize that breastfeeding may not be as natural a process as you’ve been told.

Don’t fret! There are many resources available to you to help ease the learning curve for you and baby and guide you to success in breastfeeding your little miracle.  It is also more common than ever for moms to hire professional help or lactation consultants to prevent common problems associated with breastfeeding and/or find solutions to issues you and your baby may be having. Some common sources for help are your pediatrician or OB/GYN, a certified lactation consultant or if you would like to do more online research on your own, you might want to try the United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLA) or the National Breastfeeding Center (NBFC).

Burdett Birth Center also offers lactation support. We hold four free breastfeeding support groups each month along with a monthly evening breastfeeding basics class, taught by Carrie Kimball, BSN, RN, IBCLC. For more information on Burdett Birth Center breastfeeding services, visit our page on childbirth education classes.

The insurmountable benefits that breastfeeding contributes to the health and development of your newborn baby are widely recognized and that’s why we, along with other healthcare providers and services, continue to add new support and services for all moms who need it.

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