Ask Beth

Ask Beth: Breast-feeding advice for new moms

Published: April 2, 2009 9:33 AM

My daughter's baby is 7 days old, and my daughter is breast-feeding every two hours. She feeds the baby on one side and then pumps on the other. She is producing a ton of milk, and I'm wondering if she should stop pumping.

Yes, stop pumping, says Donna Kimick, a board certified lactation consultant at Lake ShoreLactation in Massapequa Park. "It's a supply-and-demand type thing with your breasts," Kimick says. "Your body is getting the signal that you need that much milk the next time, and you're going to be constantly behind the eight ball." It takes the body about two weeks to a month to adjust to the right level of milk production, and you don't want the breasts to think they're feeding two or three babies. Meanwhile, your daughter should nurse for 20 to 25 minutes on one side. That enables baby to get the foremilk, which comes out in the first two to 10 minutes, and then the fattier hindmilk. Don't pump from the other breast. If it is engorged, hand express a little milk into a towel or bottle to relieve the pressure. At the next feeding, offer the second breast. The wrong thing to do is offer the baby 10 minutes on each side. "Completely wrong," Kimick says. You want the baby to get the full benefit of both types of milk. If after 20 to 25 minutes on one side the baby seems to want more, then switch to the second breast.