Questions & Answers about Breastfeeding

August 17, 2022

Are you a first-time mom with lots of questions about breastfeeding? We asked Tiffany Bateman, RN, BSA, IBCLC, who has led the BSA lactation program since 2000, to answer a few of the most popular questions about breastfeeding.

Which is better for my baby – formula or breast milk?

Breastmilk is better for babies since it has more than 100 components, such as enzymes, natural hormones and special immunity factors not found in formula. It is considered the gold standard for infant feeding because of its ability to respond to the environment and its exceptional benefits to long-term health. Breast is best!

What are some of the disadvantages of breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding does take a lot of time, especially in the first six weeks when you are establishing a milk supply. It is hard for a working mom to find the time to pump sometimes. I always say that breastfeeding is the hardest natural thing you will ever do.

Should I try to schedule when my baby breastfeeds?

“No demand feeding” has been proven to be the best way to establish a good milk supply. The more stimulation a breast gets, the more it will produce. This is straight-up supply and demand. While an older baby may develop a schedule, a new baby needs to be fed frequently in order to bring in and sustain a milk supply.

Are there any illnesses I can pass along to my baby by breastfeeding?

Not really. In the US, we do consider HIV to be a contraindication to breastfeeding. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we noticed that most moms with COVID did not pass their illness onto their babies due to the immunity created by breastfeeding. My advice is if you are sick, keep nursing!

What medications should I not take if I am breastfeeding?

There are too many medications to generalize, so we look at them on a case-by-case basis. Still, in general, you should not take the following medications while breastfeeding: Sudafed, illegal drugs, estrogen and chemotherapy. Thankfully, breasts do a great job of screening out many medications.

Visit BSA’s Calendar of Events to find the next monthly breastfeeding class or call the Breastfeeding Hotline at 806-212-5548. One of our staff is available every day to answer questions. Prerecorded classes are available in our Labor & Delivery section of the website.