Breastfeeding Red Flags in the First 3 Weeks


You took all the right steps to prepare for breastfeeding your newborn: got to know your body, found support, and stocked up on nursing necessities.


And, you’ve probably heard this already . . . breastfeeding is both natural and a skill you must learn together with your baby. Be encouraged—in a short time, you and your baby will be pros!


As you begin this journey with your newborn, let’s talk about red flags to watch for during your first few weeks of breastfeeding.


  • Nursing sessions that are consistently very short (10 minutes or less) or very long (over an hour). Both of these might be an indicator that the baby is not getting enough milk.

  • Rather than sucking contentedly, baby continues to readjust throughout the feeding. This might be a sign that she is having trouble latching or staying latched to the nipple.

  • A fussy baby. Babies can fuss for lots of reasons—it’s one of their main ways to communicate! But, if you find that your baby is often fussy after eating and burping, he might be experiencing excessive gas due to mom’s diet. If you suspect this issue, experiment by removing common culprits from your diet, one at a time for three days.


Here is a list of foods that you might need to eliminate: fiber, fruit (especially citrus), vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts), garlic, dairy, or carbonated beverages.


  • Few wet or soiled diapers. Most newborns go through LOTS of diapers in a day—4-8 wet and as many soiled. If your baby is going long periods with dry, clean diapers, she might not be getting enough milk during a feeding.

  • Pain. Breastfeeding should not be painful for you. Mastitis, a yeast infection, cracked nipples, or engorged breasts are all associated with breastfeeding and cause inflammation, tenderness, and pain.


If you have any of these concerns, contact your doctor, midwife, or doula. They can help you discern whether you need to seek further help or treatment for yourself or for your baby.


At Tennessee Family Doulas, we pride ourselves on our excellent postpartum care, including assisting you through the early days of breastfeeding. Our doulas are the best in the Nashville area! We would love to hear from you today!


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