BreastfeedingDiabetesExercise Hypertension Preventive Medicine


  • It is best to try to breastfeed 1-2 hours after birth
  • Your babies stomach is small so plan to feed your newborn 8 times in 24 hours or approximately every 3 hours. The feedings may not follow a regular schedule. The spacing between feedings becomes longer as your babies stomach capacity increases. Breast feeding is recommended exclusively for the first 6 months.

Common Hunger Cues:

  • Hand to mouth
  • Rooting, and sucking

Weight Gain:

  • 0-4 months 1 oz / day or 2 pounds per month and 1-1.5 inches per month
  • 4-7 months 1-1.5 pounds per month, 2-3 inches per month
  • 12 months typical child weighs 3 times their birth weight

Signs of Effective Breastfeeding:

  • Normal initial weight loss < 7 % of birth weight
  • No weight loss after day 5 of life
  • 3+ stools per day by day 3
  • 3+ wet diapers per day by day 3
  • Clear pale urine by day 4
  • Audible swallowing by day 4
  • Regains birth weight by day 10 (ILCA 2014)

Sore nipples:

  • This can be normal for the first few suckles of feeding but should not persist throughout the feed and generally resolve by week one or two.
  • Check with a lactation specialist to make sure the baby is latching correctly
  • Start feeding on the least sore side and try different positions with each feed
  • Try putting breast milk on the nipples and letting it air dry. You may also try using Lanolin cream (it is safe for the baby to nurse on this cream)
  • Don’t tug if clothing or pads stick to your breasts. Wet them first and then peel them off.
  • If nipples become sore after the first 3 weeks ask your pediatrician to check your babies mouth for thrush. Thrush is a fungal infection that grows in dark warm places and requires treatment for both you and your baby. (Easy Guide to Breastfeeding for African American Women, US dept. of Health and Human services)
  • Be careful to not use irritating cleansers and allow nipples to air dry


  • Feed frequently
  • Try warm baths or warm washcloths to relieve soreness
  • If severe try using ice packs in between feeds on breasts
  • Cool green cabbage leaves may help
  • Ibuprofen for pain

Breastfeeding Laws for the State of North Carolina:

Resources that may be helpful:

BreastfeedingDiabetesExercise Hypertension Preventive Medicine