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Is my milk OK?

Here’s a question from Kirsten in Waterloo, ON:

Q: I don’t want to ask a silly question, but I’m worried about the way my breastmilk looks. I’ve been regularly pumping for my 4-month-old son, and when I store the milk in the fridge, it separates into a creamy substance on the top, and the rest looks almost watery. When my neighbour saw my milk in the fridge, she said my milk looks “thin”. Should I be worried?

A: Thanks for your question, Kirsten – NO question is a silly question, and if you’ve had this question, you can be sure that many others have had the same one! The good news is that your breastmilk is perfectly normal. People often expect human milk to look like cow’s milk, but human milk is uniquely designed to meet the needs of human babies and has a very different appearance from cow’s milk. The cream does tend to rise to the top when bottled- just give it a shake after you’ve warmed the bottle in a bowl of warm water before feeding.

Originally posted 2013-11-08 14:00:58.

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Do breastfeeding babies need extra water in hot weather?

Here’s a question from Kristine in Collingwood, ON:

Q: It’s been so hot this summer, and I’ve been wondering – does my two-month-old nursing baby need me to give her extra water?

A: No, Kristine, your breastmilk provides all the water your baby needs. Breastmilk actually changes in consistency as the feeding progresses – it is more watery at the beginning of the feed, and has more fat content as the feeding continues. The baby’s thirst is then satisfied by the greater water content at the outset, and then it is believed that the greater fat content at the end of the feed helps to signal fullness.

Nancy Lahn RN
Developer of the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow

Originally posted 2015-08-01 22:56:21.

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Nursing too often?

Here’s a question from Jayne in Kincardine, ON:

Q: Can my son be nursing too often? He is 5 days old today, and seems to want to nurse constantly. He nurses and seems to settle, but when I put him down he starts fussing again. He’s making lots of diapers but I’m wondering why he does this – I don’t remember my first son (now 2 ½ ) doing this. I feel so worn out from running after my toddler and nursing all the time!

A: Sounds like you’ve got a lot on your plate, Jayne! Looking after a newborn and a toddler is challenging, especially as you’re recovering from childbirth. Your newborn is engaging in what is known as “cluster feeding”, which means he feeds frequently to signal your breasts to bring in your mature milk. This is a gradual process, and it sounds like your milk is coming in, if he is making “lots of diapers” as you say. A rule of thumb for wet diapers is to expect one on day 1, two on day 2, three on day three and so on until day 6 and onwards when you’re looking for 6-8 soaking wet diapers and multiple stools.

It may be that your fatigue in parenting both children is contributing to the baby’s fussiness. For now, be sure to let all non-essentials like cleaning and phone calls go. A great time to order in food or call in favours from friends who have offered to cook or to spend time with your toddler. Lie down to feed the baby as much as possible to increase your rest time. Hang in there – this phase won’t last long!

Nancy Lahn RN

Developer of the Cozy Cuddles Nursing Pillow

Originally posted 2017-01-07 22:19:45.

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Enough milk for newborn?

Here’s a question from Debbie in Niagara Falls, ON:

Q: My baby is due soon. I’ve heard that most mothers don’t have enough milk for their babies in the first 3 days after birth. Is this true?

A: No, Debbie, that’s not true – right now, you have colostrum that will be there for your baby right after birth. Colostrum, or “first milk”, is perfect for your newborn – it is thick, yellowish in colour, and packed full of nutrition and antibodies. It is so concentrated and full of energy that your baby only needs a small amount to meet all of his or her needs. As your baby latches on frequently and receives your colostrum, your body will be stimulated to produce your mature milk, which begins to come in on the second or third day after birth.

Originally posted 2014-03-18 13:53:32.