Information for Parents

When to call or go to your baby’s doctor or nurse practitioner

Here are some of the reasons you should get medical help for your baby. Check with your baby’s doctor or nurse practitioner for any other reasons they would like to see your baby. It is a good idea to go to your baby’s doctor 2 or 3 days after you leave the hospital.

You need to call immediately and/or go to your baby’s doctor, nurse practitioner or the Emergency Room if your baby 3 months of age or younger:

  1. Has a temperature of 100.4°F or 38°C rectally (taken in your baby’s bottom) or higher. Note, this is not 104°F, but 100.4°F.
  2. Is very fussy and hard to calm down.
  3. Does not want to eat.
  4. Is very sleepy and hard to wake up.
  5. Is acting or looking sick.

Call your baby’s doctor or nurse practitioner if your baby:

  1. Has yellow skin (jaundiced) or the white parts of your baby’s eyes are yellow.
  2. Is not having wet diapers (urinating) at least 3 times in 24 hours when your baby is 3 days old.
  3. Is not having wet diapers (urinating) at least 6 times in 24 hours after your milk "comes in" around 4 or 5 days of life.
  4. Does not have yellow bowel movements by 4 or 5 days.
  5. Is having less than 4 yellow bowel movements in 24 hours after your baby is 4 or 5 days old. When your baby is around 1 month of age, your baby may only have a bowel movement once every 4 or 5 days. As long as the bowel movement is soft, this is not constipation.
  6. Has blood in their bowel movement.

If you have any question about your baby, it is a good idea to call or go to your baby’s doctor or nurse practitioner.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby

Breastfeeding has many health benefits for babies and their mothers. Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby. It has the right amount of fat, protein, sugar, and water your baby needs to grow and develop. It is always available in the right quantity and temperature, no expensive or special preparation is necessary and breastfeeding helps mothers and babies bond.

Your baby’s immune system will get the most benefit from your breast milk if you breastfeed only without formula for the first 6 months, then continue to breastfeed after adding age-appropriate baby foods until at least the baby’s first birthday. You can keep breastfeeding for as long as both you and your baby choose.

It is better to breastfeed for a short time than not to breastfeed at all. The substances that help fight infection are only found in breast milk, not formula. A lack of breastfeeding increases your baby’s risk of illness and disease.

According to many research studies:

  • BREASTFED BABIES HAVE…
  • Less diarrhea and constipation.
  • Fewer colds.
  • Fewer ear infections.
  • Fewer bladder infections.
  • Fewer severe infections.
  • Lower risk of getting meningitis (brain infection).
  • Lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Premature babies have all of the above benefits plus…

  • Better eyesight.
  • Less chance of preemie bowel disease (also known as NEC).

Breastfed babies are healthier children!

BREASTFED BABIES ALSO HAVE…

  • Fewer allergies.
  • Less asthma.
  • Less eczema.
  • Better teeth and smiles.

Breastfed babies are healthier adults!

BREASTFED BABIES HAVE…

  • Lower risk of getting breast cancer.
  • Lower risk of inflammatory bowel diseases.
  • Lower risk of developing diabetes and are less likely to be obese.
  • Higher IQs according to some studies.

THE LONGER A BABY IS BREASTFED THE MORE BENEFIT HE OR SHE RECEIVES.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mothers

Breastfeeding is also important for mother’s health. Nursing mothers enjoy a very special relationship with their baby. Mothers feel good about providing breast milk for their baby, something only they can give.

According to many research studies:

MOTHERS WHO BREASTFEED

Have healthier bodies-

  • In the first week, breastfeeding helps the womb return to its normal size and protects a woman from losing too much blood after delivery.
  • In the first three months, breastfeeding helps a woman rebuild her iron supply and prevents anemia.
  • After she stops breastfeeding, a mother who breastfed her baby has stronger bones (less Osteoporosis) and less chance of breaking her hip.
  • Lower risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer

Have healthier minds-

  • Less postpartum depression.
  • Less anxiety and stress.
  • More stable moods.
  • A closer bond with their babies.

Save money-

  • Breastfeeding saves approximately $1,500-$2,000 a year.
  • Women who breastfeed miss fewer days of work because their babies are healthier.

Have more time-

  • Breastmilk is always ready. There’s no measuring, mixing, or warming.

Get their bodies back in shape sooner-

  • Breastfeeding helps a nursing mother return to her pre-pregnancy weight, especially noticed in her belly and thighs.

P.O. Box 29214, Washington, DC 20017 • Tel 202-470-2732 • email info@dcbfc.org

Medical Disclaimer: The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems, breastfeeding problems, or to take the place of professional medical care. If you have persistent breastfeeding problems, or if you have further questions, please consult your health care provider. The DC Breastfeeding Coalition does not share partnership with, or have any vested interest in, any of the businesses that may appear on this site, or sites that may be accessible by links herein contained.
Last Updated: June 2018