Your Breastfeeding Questions – Answered! 

Q&A with Linda Muller, RN-BSN, CSN, IBCLC 

Breastfeeding often presents its own unique learning curve, leaving new and expectant parents with lots of questions. We gathered up some of your most frequently asked ones and looked to an experienced lactation consultant, Linda Muller, for the answers: 

Breastfeeding time and number of ounces in a bottle

MLFEd – Is there a certain amount of time that I should feed on each side? When would I unlatch the baby?  

LM – Treat the first breast as the “main meal” and the other side as a little “dessert.” Keep your baby on the main meal side until he/she pulls off. Go ahead and unlatch your baby if he/she is using you as a pacifier! 

MLFEd – How many ounces should I give my baby in a bottle?  

LM – A 2–3-week-old baby drinks 2 to 3 ounces every 2 to 3 hours. Exclusively breastfeed babies take in an average of 25 ounces per day between the ages of 1 month and 6 months old. Different babies take in different amounts of milk. A typical range of milk intake is 19-30 ounces per day.  

Using a breast pump and managing supply

MLFEd – How do you manage supply? Tips for under-supply? Tips for over-supply?  

LM – The more you pump and the more you put your baby to breast, the more milk you will make. So, if you are an over-supplier you will need to decrease pumping and if you are an under-supplier you will need to pump more to help increase your supply.  

MLFEd – When should I start pumping?  

LM – There is no need to pump immediately when you first deliver your new little one unless your baby is losing too much weight. A Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) can help you monitor exactly how much your baby is getting with each feed. If your pediatrician is happy with your baby’s weight, you can wait to introduce a pump until your baby is around 4 weeks old. That’s also a great age to introduce a bottle for the first time!  

Is baby acne something to be concerned about?

MLFEd – What’s the difference between baby acne and signs that my baby is allergic to something in the milk?  

LM – Infants are prone to skin eruptions. Baby acne often looks like tiny whiteheads, called milia, and is caused by the leftover maternal hormones that over activate the oil-producing glands and plug them up. Milia are not a sign of an allergy. 

The longer you breastfeed, the less chance your baby has of developing allergic diseases, such as eczema and asthma. Breastmilk is rich in an immunoglobulin called secretory IGA, which acts as a protective paint, coating the intestines and keeping food allergens out of the bloodstream.  

Usually, babies do not break out from food allergies until they start solids. Most food allergies attack more than one organ. Call your pediatrician if you are concerned that your baby is having an allergic reaction, or if severe food allergies run in your family. 

MLFEd – What are some ways that I can use left-over breastmilk that is expired or unusable? 

LM – To minimize the amount of expired milk, store your breastmilk in 2 -3-ounce bags. 

Some moms give milk baths to help the baby’s skin. Just add enough breastmilk to make the water cloudy.  

Used breastmilk can become contaminated with bacteria from your babies’ mouth during feedings so the CDC recommends the leftover milk should be discarded. 

Managing plugged or clogged ducts

MLFEd – How do I prevent plugged ducts or know the source of them?  

LM – To help prevent plugged ducts, make sure your latch and position are correct. Problems with either can adversely affect milk drainage. Whenever milk flow is hindered, your risk for plugged ducts increases. Wearing a tight-fitting bra, having an oversupply and/or using a nipple shield may also put you at higher risk for plugged ducts. 

For expectant parents in search of additional information and support, check out Linda’s in-person prenatal breastfeeding workshop: Breastfeeding 101. To inquire about private breastfeeding support, please contact Linda directly.  

Linda Muller, RN-BSN, CSN, IBCLC is a Board-Certified Lactation Consultant, a Registered Nurse, and a certified CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) Instructor with the American Heart Association. She has over a decade of experience caring for newborns, children, parents, and families. She runs a private lactation consultant practice and is passionate about supporting families with many of their healthcare needs. Linda is a proud mother of two, and an even prouder grandmother of 3 (+ 1 on the way)! She teaches Breastfeeding 101 and Infant & Child CPR classes at Main Line Family Education in Devon, PA.