Medela and Anna from The Not So Perfect Mum Team Up to Answer Your Breastfeeding Questions

Recently, we teamed up with Anna from the @notsoperfectmum to answer your questions on breastfeeding and expressing. Below, Katie, our qualified Lactation Consultant and Midwife, answers 10 breastfeeding questions from mums...

I have had a lot of issues keeping up a steady supply (of breast milk). I express at work and can't seem to get what I need I was wondering what I can do to boost supply and what actually works?

This is a really common question and something that a lot of mums want to know about. The best answers we can give are right here in our blogs.

We have two great blogs, one explaining supply and demand of breastmilk and another explaining how you can increase your milk supply.

Learn more about the supply and demand of breast milk.

Find out how to increase your milk supply.

Is it possible to overfeed a baby while breastfeeding?

Good question! Thankfully the answer is no. Babies are able to regulate how much milk they take from the breast. You cannot overfeed them.

Is there anything that a breastfeeding mother can do to help a colicky baby?

Having a baby that is colicky is never easy. We wrote this blog some time ago, which is full of tips for mums on things you can try! Hang in there!

How to help your colicky baby.

How do you first start pumping when you have a newborn? Should you wait for your milk to come in and then start?

This blog is a fantastic guide of when, how and how much to express and feed your baby! Read the article here.

We generally don’t recommend pumping whilst pregnant and have all the facts about that here too.

My 11-month-old self-weaned during the day at 10.5-months-old. However, she still wakes up at least 3-4 times a night for a feed. Half the time she has a few sucks to go back to sleep. Should I cut her night feeds down? If so how?

This sounds tricky for you. Only you can decide what is right for you and your baby and when is the time to wean. Many mums keep some breastfeeds in their baby's diet and take out some of the others.

The day feeds are always the easiest to drop first as there is plenty to distract your baby with instead. This is not so easy at night as you are craving sleep but your baby is craving closeness and comfort still. This is perfectly normal at this age.

There is no rule that states that babies should be sleeping long periods of time… like 7pm - 6am at this age. But, of course, there are some babies that do... and some which will not be able to until they are much, much older.

Often, if you have returned to work or are away from your baby for periods in the day/night feeding is a nice way for them to feel comforted again with your presence. If you are happy to continue these feeds, you can always wait and see happens over the coming months.

If you feel like you need more rest and are not coping with the night feeding, it would be a great idea to get an appointment with your local maternal and child health nurse. She will be able to look at your baby's specific feeding patterns, routines throughout the day and be able to help you make a plan which will fit both you and your baby at the right pace.

Can a 5-month-old really drain a breast in 5 minutes? My daughter only feeds for a maximum of 5 minutes a side. She is healthy and growing fine but I just wonder if the way she feeds has any negative effects on my supply or anything else like her sleeping.

This is another common concern for mums. It is so difficult to see if the baby is actually drinking so it is a really common question for mums to ask at some stage and this blog will take you through the checklist to see how you can tell if they are drinking enough.

How to tell if your baby is getting enough breast milk.

Can some babies have a shallow latch? Both mine have had a shallow latch but should I have had them checked for lip or tongue ties?

If you think your baby is not attaching correctly to your breast during feeding it is always advised to head along to your local breastfeeding centre or see a lactation consultant.

A lactation consultant will assess your baby's oral anatomy during the consult as well as look at your feeding techniques. This will help you to find out what the problem. It will also allow her to make recommendations that may make your breastfeeding experience more comfortable.

Unfortunately, I exclusively pump. The nursing didn’t go so well after my son was hospitalized and they bottle-fed him. My question is why do I tend to get mastitis so much? I'm only 7-weeks postpartum and I’m already on my second round of mastitis antibiotics.

You poor thing! You have had a really tough start. Well done for still providing breast milk for your baby. Any amount of breast milk is brilliant. It is really hard to cope with repeated bouts of mastitis, and so debilitating.

One tip would be to always ensure you are fully draining your breast at every pump. Also, try using a gentle massage technique in the areas of fullness during the pumping. This will hopefully drain the breast fully.

I would also advise that you seek out a lactation consultant appointment who can watch your expression technique and give you further pointers, if required. My other tip is that after you have had a couple of bouts of mastitis the doctor who is treating you should be sending a sample of your milk off to test what strain of bacteria is inside your milk.

Sometimes, women get repeated mastitis due to some unusual bacteria which needs different treatment. For more information, please read our blog here.

I'm still breastfeeding my (almost) 2-year-old. Until what age are there significant health benefits up until when breastfeeding?

There are significant benefits for ongoing breastfeeding to any age. You and your baby will know when it is right for you to stop breastfeeding.

Remember that breastfeeding is not just about food; it is way more than that! Every time you feed you are showing your baby love, nurturing and communication.

The World Health Organisation advises to keep breastfeeding/breast milk in your infant’s diet until two years of age and beyond. So, keep doing what you’re doing and enjoy this time with your child. You are doing a super job.

How do I know I am making enough milk? Well I know I am making enough but how do I ensure he is getting enough?

This is another fantastic question as most mums at some stage will question if their baby is actually getting any milk out of the breasts!

This blog post takes you through everything you need to know about if your baby is getting enough milk.

What breastfeeding questions would you like us to answer in a future article? What advice would you give to other mums who are just beginning their breastfeeding journey? Let’s have a chat here or on the Medela Australia Facebook page.