If you want to breastfeed, I highly recommend interviewing pediatricians before your child is born and make sure they are breastfeeding friendly.
The more support you have during your breastfeeding journey the better chance you have at being successful.
Some questions you can ask your pediatrician when exploring if they are breastfeeding friendly are as follows:
- What Growth Chart does your office use?
For any breastfeeding child, the WHO growth chart is the one to look for.
- How long does a baby have to get back to their birth weight?
Unless there are true signs of concern such as a baby showing signs of lethargy or dehydration, if your little one lost more than 10% of their birth weight in the days following birth, it’s important to give them these two weeks.
- When is supplementation necessary?
Again, remember it is important to find a doctor that is breastfeeding friendly. What resources can they suggest to help you if they feel the baby is falling behind other than formula?
- What is the average weight gain for a breastfed baby?
Not all babies gain weight at the same rate. The average weight gain for a breastfed baby changes as they get older.
A good rule of thumb is to gain 5-7 ounces a week for months 0-4, 4-5 during months 4-6, and 2-3 from 6 to 12 months.
- When do you encourage weaning?
The recommended weaning age in the world is between 2 and 3.
Unfortunately, in the United States, most women aren’t even breastfeeding by the age of one due to a stigma imposed by doctors and society.
Find a doctor that is there for you during the whole time you choose to breastfeed.
- Should I limit how long baby nurses for?
Especially in the newborn days, the answer should be no. Nursing is how your little one will gain weight and increase milk supply.
- What percentage of your patients are breastfed and are exclusively breastfed?
Having a higher percentage indicates that the doctor is encouraging and supportive of breastfeeding.