During pregnancy, your breasts prepare for lactation (milk production) and after birth, hormonal changes and infant sucking trigger a surge in milk supply. Nursing on demand every one to three hours for 15 to 20 minutes on each breast should empty the breasts and provide proper nutrition and fluids for your infant. Sore nipples and engorgement are common in the early stages of breastfeeding and the most frequent causes for new mothers deciding to stop breastfeeding. Proper positioning and latching with frequent nursing can help alleviate these temporary and uncomfortable symptoms. Call the lactation consultants at Women’s Care at (541) 868-9700 for advice if you are having problems. During growth spurts, your infant may nurse more frequently for one to two days while the milk supply catches up with his/her needs. It is recommended that infants be exclusively breastfed for the first six months to provide optimal nutrition and protection against infections. Other benefits from breastfeeding include decreasing the risk of subsequent pregnancy and assisting with weight loss. When you are breastfeeding it is important to continue eating a well-balanced diet. You actually need more calories while breastfeeding than you did during your pregnancy! It is a good idea to continue your prenatal vitamins while breastfeeding as well as drinking a lot of fluids (64 ounces a day).