Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

You do not need to prepare your body to breastfeed. However, you can do the following:

  • In pregnancy, become informed about breastfeeding basics through reading, attending antenatal breastfeeding classes and spending time with breastfeeding mums
  • Build a list of sources of support to turn to after birth
  • Plan for an active and alert birth, minimising the use of medications during labour and birth
  • Choose breastfeeding-friendly hospital practices such as keeping your baby with you, day and night

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Have skin-to-skin contact with your newborn immediately after birth, where possible.

If your newborn is undisturbed, his natural instincts will kick in. He will attach himself to your breast and begin breastfeeding!

If you have a caesarean birth, work with your birth team to arrange for skin-to-skin closeness as soon as possible after birth.

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There are two types of jaundice

Physiological Pathological
Occurs normally Occurs because of a disease process
Common in healthy newborns, occurs in over half of healthy newborns Occurs more commnonly in preterm babies or babies with underlying illness e.g., G6PDeficiency or Blood Group Incompatibility
Begins about Day 3 May begin on the 1st Day


Doctors are concerned about jaundice because high levels may cause organ damage (rare in healthy babies), or what seems to be physiological jaundice may mask a pathological problem.


Supplementing with water or formula does not help jaundice to clear. Bilirubin, the substance which results in yellowing of baby’s skin, is passed out in your baby’s stools.

Frequent and effective breastfeeding helps to clear excess bilirubin from your baby’s body and is a good option for breastfeeding mums. If the jaundice is making your baby very sleepy, seek help to ensure he is breastfeeding well and getting good breast milk intake.

Phototherapy for jaundice means your baby is placed under lights and separated from you. As such, frequent breastfeeding may not occur, and you may miss many of the baby’s feeding cues.

If this is advised, ask about options such as

  • using phototherapy for only a few hours each day
  • renting a phototherapy machine to use at home
  • waiting and watching while breastfeeding often
  • retesting jaundice levels in a day

Many methods used to treat jaundice may hinder breastfeeding. Discuss your doctor’s concerns, negotiate with him/her and explore ways to minimise the impact on breastfeeding.

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You can latch your baby with either mother-led or baby-led latching styles. Your choice of how to latch will depend on your individual circumstances. Many mothers find that a combination of both styles works best.

Mother-led Latching Baby-led Latching
How? By following a series of steps to encourage & direct baby’s efforts By making the breast available to baby
Brief description, with external links for reference…f
  • lie in a semi-reclined position with complete support for every part of your body
  • position baby on you, tummy-on-mummy
  • his cheek should be against your breast
  • his natural reflexes & instincts will allow him to latch on effectively and begin feeding

Breast milk is produced by the supply-removal principle; as milk is removed from the breast, your body receives the message to produce more.

The emptier the breast is kept, the greater the rate of milk production! Feeding frequently means that your body will produce ample amounts of milk.

Please refer to production/ for more information

It is not necessary to breastfeed from each breast for a fixed length of time.

Feed from one side for as long as your baby hungers; when he is done, he will slip off or drift off to sleep. Unlatch, burp him, consider changing his diaper, and then offer the other breast. During the next feed, start with the breast that you finished on at the last feed.

If you are feeling unsure, it is a good idea to speak to a BMSG Volunteer Breastfeeding Counsellors who can check the latch and share relevant ideas.

Newborn stomachs are tiny and require frequent fill-ups, day and night!

Baby’s Age Stomach Capacity (ml) Comparison
Day 1 5-7 size of a marble
Day 3 22-27 size of a golf ball
Day 10 60-81 size of a large chicken egg


Please refer to for better visualization

In the early weeks, babies breastfeed 10-12 times in 24 hours. Many newborns cluster feed or have frequent feeds in the evening.

Your individual baby’s needs as well as your breast storage capacity determine how frequently your baby breastfeeds. Responding to your baby’s need to breastfeed ensures that you are meeting his unique needs.

Rest assured that you are not spoiling him or ‘letting him use you as a pacifier’ if he breastfeeds often!