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My Baby Breastfeeds For Comfort. Is This Okay?

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Updated April 23, 2009

Question: My Baby Breastfeeds For Comfort. Is This Okay?
Answer:

It's a given that your baby breastfeeds for nutrition, but why else would a baby suckle at the breast? Many moms say that they've been told "not to let the baby use you as a pacifier." The truth is, breastfeeding for comfort is a normal, natural response to stress or fatigue for a baby. It's absolutely OK to have a baby nurse when he's not necessarily hungry. Newborn babies have a fairly limited repertoire of activities. They suck, urinate, stool, cry, and sleep. Sucking is a comfort measure that immediate relaxes them. When your baby nurses for comfort, he is also getting the added satisfaction of being with mommy, from the warmth and smell of her body to the sound of her voice. It is also important to note that your baby will not be overfed with this practice, which is a common concern of many mothers.

However, if your baby is nursing constantly and does not seem satisfied or relaxed, low milk supply or a growth spurt may be to blame. Speak with a lactation consultant to rule out any issues.

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