Frequency and duration of feeding
- Nurse every two to three hours, with one four- or five-hour stretch at night if possible.
- Encourage your baby to nurse 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period.
- Feed on demand rather than on a strict hourly schedule. This is a trial period where your body is getting used to the needs of your baby, not the other way around.
- Try to feed for at least 10 minutes per side.
- When you record the length of nursing, time the feeding from the beginning of one feed to the beginning of the next. So in reality, “eating every two hours” means that if one session lasts 45 minutes, the next session will start in an hour and 15 minutes.
- Even if your baby stops and rests for five minutes, count it as part of the total nursing time. It’s unlikely that your baby will continuously suck for 30 straight minutes.
- Encourage your baby to feed on each breast, but the most important factor is the baby’s contentment. If only one breast was served, start the next feeding on the other side.
- To release the latch, insert your finger into the corner of the baby’s mouth between the gums to break the suction. Attempting to pull the nipple out while the baby is still latched on will most definitely traumatize the nipple, causing scabbing, cracking and pain.