Breastfeeding FAQs

5min read

When you have a baby you will have lots of questions about how breastfeeding works and what you should and shouldn't do. Here we answer some of the most frequently asked questions by new mums. 

Q: How often should I feed my baby?
A: Newborn babies feed little and often, as their stomachs are so small. Typically they may want to feed on an hourly basis.

Q: Why isn’t my baby feeding?
A: Allow yourself time to eat healthily, rest and focus on feeding, as your baby may be noticing your anxiety. If the problem persists or your baby seems unwell, contact your doctor.

Q: Will breastfeeding alter the appearance of my breasts?
A: This varies from woman to woman. You may notice that they become a little smaller or larger after you have breastfed.

Q: Will substances such as alcohol be passed to my baby through breastfeeding?
A: Yes, small amounts will filter through. Although an occasional drink is unlikely to cause any severe problems, it is best to avoid drinking completely if possible.

Q: Will any medication that I’m taking affect my baby?
A: The medication will get into their system, so it is important that you inform your GP that you are breastfeeding, before starting any course of treatment. They are unlikely to suffer an allergic reaction to such a small amount of medication, but there’s a chance that it will cause them to have an upset tummy.

Q: How long should I breastfeed my baby for?
A: The Department of Health says that “breast milk provides all the nutrients a baby needs for healthy growth and development for the first six months of life […]’’ However, how long you choose to breastfeed for will depend on your personal circumstances, and should be an individual choice – some mothers go on for longer than six months, whilst others stop before that.

Other organisations that may be useful:

Find out more tips for breastfeeding from the NHS website

The Breastfeeding Network provides advice and support

Further resources

If you would like further support and advice, call our helpline on 0808 800 2222 or email us at You can talk to us online via our live chat service, which is open, Monday to Friday between 10.30am and 9pm. You may find it helps to find out how other parents and carers have coped with this on our online forums. We also have a range of free online parenting courses that can help through the ages and stages of parenting. 

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