Frequently Asked Questions

General Pregnancy Questions

There are numerous signs, but the most common signs center around contractions (tummy tightenings), dilation and effacement (opening and thinning of the cervix).  Typically, if you have more than 5 contractions, lasting at least one minute for one hour, it’s a pretty good chance  labor may be starting. CAUTION: If you have these signs prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy, be sure to contact your provider. Before 37 weeks is a sign of preterm labor. We want you to have the healthiest baby possible.

Labor can last anywhere from 12 to 24 hours.  It can be less; it can be longer. There’s really no way to predict. The important thing to remember is that it happens in stages and depends on your body, your baby and your circumstances.  Remaining upright, active and having support can have an impact on those. 

Unfortunately, many people pack like they are going on vacation! Birth is definitely NOT THAT! I typically suggest to my clients to prioritize taking things to help comfort you during labor.  Think about what makes you feel comfortable, calm and empowered:  Lightweight clothing that you can birth in (if you’re not using hospital gowns), comfort items like massage tools, lotions, music, etc, toiletries.  You may chose to have a set of clothes for you and the baby to come home in or you can make that a task for someone to bring you after.

Most providers will say it’s never too late; however, there are times  when medications can give you more bang for your buck!  Discuss benefits and trade-offs of the various medications and when it would be beneficial to use them.  An evidence-based childbirth education class, like Lamaze, will help you make an informed decision about which options may work best for you.

General Breastfeeding Questions

The biggest need is patience and know your resources for support. Breastfeeding is a natural process after birth, but sometimes it doesn’t come naturally. Prepare yourself by taking a breastfeeding class and joining a breastfeeding support group (Enjoy the Baby’s Facebook has an awesome community, The Well) or you can find one locally and find a good lactation consultant. What do you know?  I’m one! A good consultant can help you navigate through everything else.

Well, breasts don’t have a gauge to measure what’s going IN the baby so you have to depend on what’s coming OUT! A healthy baby should be fed at minimum 8 times in 24 hours.  These feedings should be ones where the baby has a good latch, rhythmic sucks and swallows you can hear. Babies should be having about the same number of wet and soiled diapers equal to day of life up to day 6. For example, if the baby is 3 days old, he should have at least 3 wet and 3 soiled within 24 hours. Consult a lactation consultant if you’re concerned about feeding and your pediatrician if you are concerned about the baby’s output.

A healthy baby should be fed at minimum 8 times in 24 hours. Sometimes babies go through “snacking phases” or growth spurts where they may want to feed more often. That’s ok. Feeding this frequently boosts your milk supply to prepare for baby’s future needs. If you feel your milk supply is not enough to meet needs (true evidence of not making milk or you just need some extra support), consult a lactation consultant who can provide assistance. 

Once your breastfeeding is established (usually around 2-4 weeks), you can definitely integrate pumping into your schedule. The misconception is that you will need to stockpile the freezer with milk. In most cases, you won’t need that much to start. You’ll only need your milk for the actual feeding times you’ll be separated from your baby.  If you return to work when the baby is 6-12 weeks, most babies will consume about 3-5 oz per feeding (more or less).  Having about 2-3 servings of milk available for a work day is usually sufficient. For example, if you work from 8 am to 5 pm, you would feed the baby before you leave (say 7am), the baby will feed at maybe 10 and 1 and maybe 4. You’d need milk for those times.  I’d suggest starting to  collect milk a few weeks before your re-entry to work. You could pump a little after each feeding or if the baby is sleeping during the night, pump once during the night.  Those are just a few options.  You may ask, “So, Tonya…what about milk for the next day?”  Easy. Pump during the time the baby would feed if you were with him.  Voila!  Milk for the next day!  If you need to talk it through, call me.  I love helping to plan it out.

Breastfeeding is the best protection for your baby against illness, especially during times like these.  The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization supports initiating and continuing breastfeeding as long as the mom feels well enough to do so. Whether you decide to continue to feed is up to you.  There are precautions, however, if you are contagious or have been out in public and possibly could have been exposed to anything viral. A good rule of thumb is to remember the importance of washing your hands thoroughly before and after each feeding. Wear face coverings or masks before getting close to the baby.  Baby’s respiratory systems are still getting stronger; they can’t handle anything on their faces. No masks for them! If you choose to pump your milk instead, just be sure you follow the same precautions as direct breastfeeding – handwashing and face coverings.  Be sure to wash pump parts thoroughly as directed. 


Got more questions?  Contact me! First 15 minutes are FREE