Breastfeeding FAQs

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. 

breastfeeding questions

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.

Further support 

The NHS Start4Life website has lots of information on breastfeeding. You might also find it helpful to speak to the National Breastfeeding Helpline. They are open every day and you can call them or talk to them online. Bounty provides lots of information and advice on their website too.

This page was updated on March 2021

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