Breastfeeding can be intimidating for new mothers, so how do you learn the tricks? Is there a \u201cwrong way\u201d to breastfeed your baby?\u00a0How can you be sure she\u2019s had enough? Have you heard one too many horror stories about cracked and sore nipples? Do you need to stay away from specific foods that might contaminate any breast milk you pump?\nIt can sometimes be difficult for new moms to separate the fact from fiction about what\u2019s best about the breast for babies. We sat down with four lactation experts, Kelly Flaherty, BSN, RN, CBC (Certified Breastfeeding Consultant), Barbara Williams-Balint, BSN, RN, IBCLC, CKC, Anna Heh, RN, IBCLC,and Cindy Garrison, BS, IBCLC to get their perspective and insight into commonly asked questions:\nWhen Should I Start Pumping? Especially if I Am Returning to Work.\nAnna Heh (AH): If you have already been breastfeeding, you can begin pumping around four to five weeks. By then, breastfeeding is well established. Also, you don\u2019t need a stockpile, just start a couple weeks before you go back to work.\nCindy Garrison: (CG) Make sure to only start when you\u2019re feeling uncomfortable.\nHow Do I Know My Baby Is Getting Enough to Eat?\nKelly Flaherty (KF): Things you can do include weight checks, swallows, monitor wets and dirty diapers.\nBarbara Williams-Balint (BWB): Make sure to study your baby as she\/he feeds \u2014 \u201cSip, swallow, sigh\u201d should be a routine.\nCG: Magee offers forms to help log wets and dirty diapers, so you can gauge that way. Don\u2019t worry at first, you can\u2019t initially identify from the breast, but typically it gets much easier around day six.\nHow Often\/How Long Do I Feed My Baby?\nBWB: Use your baby\u2019s cues. They will open their mouths and reach around when they are hungry. Some babies feed every one-and-a-half to three hours, but that can vary. Breast milk is more easily digested than formula.\nCG: I think mother\u2019s put a lot of pressure on themselves\u2026it takes practice on your baby\u2019s end too. Remember, babies have been around longer than clocks!\nKF: Everything depends on your individual infant; there is no true cut off time.\nAH: Most mothers tell us that you and your baby will gradually start to understand each other and the feeding becomes easier.\nWhen Can I Have Sushi, Sandwich Meat, or Soft Cheeses Again? Chocolate\/Caffeine? Alcohol?\nCG: Obstetricians are cautioning mothers [of sushi, sandwich meat,and soft cheese] because of the risks of listeria, a type of bacterium that can cause infection, which is a real problem for the baby. Same thing with alcohol. The recommendation is to nurse first, and then have a drink, so that when the baby wakes up, it has already passed through your system.\nKF: Most studies show, caffeine and alcohol don\u2019t get trapped in your breast milk, but it is important to be careful.\nWhat Can I Do About Sore Nipples\/Sore Breasts?\nBWB: Make sure you check for proper latching.\nKF: If you are in too much pain when feeding, and your nipples and\/or breasts are sore for a few days, call the Lactation Center for an observed feeding. It shouldn\u2019t hurt!\nCG: Most of the time, it\u2019s just incorrect latching. You just need to tweak a few things.\nAH: If the nipples are sore for more than four days, call the center at 412-641-1121. Don\u2019t grin and bear it, we can help.\nWhat Should I Eat While Breastfeeding?\nAH & KF: Focus on a well-balanced diet, with fluids to thirst.\nCG: You don\u2019t need to cut out certain foods, that is a common misconception. Your baby already knows if you prefer certain foods (like garlic or bananas), so he\/she is already used to them.\nWill I Lose Weight While Breastfeeding?\nCG, AH: It is possible, but it depends on what you\u2019re eating.\nKF: You\u2019re burning calories by making milk, so if you eat well, you will likely lose weight.\nCG: I think it can be harder for mom\u2019s to find time to eat. You should think \u201cI fed the baby, now I have to feed me.\u201d Sometimes it helps to graze throughout the day.\nAdditional tips\n\nAH: \u201cPractice. Practice. Practice.\u201d\nKF: \u201cPatience!\u201d\nBWB: \u201cRelax and enjoy! It\u2019s meant to be a bonding experience.\u201d\nCG: \u201cA lot of mothers think they need the right gear, but if you can just find a comfortable spot, that\u2019s all you need. Your baby doesn\u2019t mind.\u201d\n\nFor more information about the Lactation Center, visit UPMC.com\/Magee or call 412-641-1121 to schedule an appointment.