Breastfeeding Q&A: How Can Pregnant Mums Prepare For Their Breastfeeding Journey?

common breastfeeding questions for new mothers

Have you ever wonder how does your body prepare for breastfeeding? Ms. Yasa Yong Nyuk Yin, a Senior Lactation Consultant from Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, shares some tips on the commonly asked questions that parents like yourself need to know while preparing for a smooth breastfeeding journey.

Question #1: How does the body naturally prepare itself for breastfeeding during the pregnancy?

When a woman reached puberty, the breasts start to develop mammary glands. During pregnancy, the breasts further develop due to the release of estrogen and progesterone from the placenta and prolactin from adenophypohysis. Women’s breasts are prepared to produce milk as early as the sixteenth to the twentieth week of gestation. The breasts increase in size due to an increase in lobules and alveoli. The nipples grow darker to help the new-born search for his or her milk immediately after birth.

Milk production is initiated in the breasts in the post-partum period due to prolactin production and decrease in estrogen and progesterone after delivery of the placenta. The onset of lactogenesis (the production of breast milk) with woman who underwent an urgent caesarean section or had a long duration of labour before vaginal deliveries were more likely to have a delayed onset of breast fullness in the first days after delivery (Dewey, 2001).

Question #2: It is said that hands-on practice makes perfect. But why is reading up, having some theoretical knowledge just as important for mums who intend to breastfeed?

Yes, it is important for the mother to have hands-on practice and learn how to position her new-born to her breasts, mastering the skill to latch the baby correctly in order to avoid sore nipples.

Before leaving the hospital, the nurses will check that the infant is able to suck effectively and at most comfortable for both mother and her new-born.

However, through reading, mother can understand better on the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and the new-born. The knowledge gained motivates the mother to be committed to breastfeeding. By gaining understanding on how milk supply can be stimulated, the mother builds more confidence in the process.

Question #3: Which websites / reading materials mums go to look for reliable breastfeeding information and tips?

Whether you’re planning to breastfeed or have already started and need help, the resources you turn to can either help you succeed or discourage and undermine your capability. Therefore, it’s important to choose reliable resources that have no other reason than to help you to be successful and happy in your breastfeeding journey. Those seeking information should go to the experts and specialised websites,

For example:

American Association of Paediatrics – Breastfeeding Initiatives

Australian Breastfeeding Association

Dr. Jack Newman – Breastfeeding

International Lactation Consultant Association

Singapore Health Promotion Board – Baby Friendly Hospital Initiation

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

World Health Organisation – Steps toward successful breastfeeding

Ms. Yasa Yong Nyuk Yin will strongly discourage mothers to read from the forum on negative feelings or poor breastfeeding outcome during the process as it worries inexperienced mother unnecessary.

More Frequently-Asked-Questions About Breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding Q&A: How Does Breastfeeding Benefit Mother And Baby?

Breastfeeding Q&A: What First-Time Breastfeeding Mothers Need To Know?

By Ms. Yasa Yong Nyuk Yin
Senior Lactation Consultant
Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital


This article is part of Breastfeeding with Love campaign, initiated by The New Age Parents and New Age Pregnancy.

Join the Breastfeeding with Love Facebook Group to find out more and be part of our breastfeeding online community!

Breastfeeding with Love is supporting by Pigeon, Combi, U Family and Mount Elizabeth

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