Breastfeeding is excellent way to feed your baby. Feel free to ask us about it. Most infants breastfeed about 8 to 10 times a day. A demanding feeding schedule is generally best. However, you might try to get your baby on something of a schedule by waking her or him up to feed every three hours during the day if the baby hasn't awakened on its own. If infant sleeps a long stretch, it is preferable for it to be at night. However, don't let infant go more than 4-5 hours without eating through the night for the first two weeks. There are some babies who are "happy to starve" and won't wake up. After the first two weeks, let infant sleep through the night if he/she. Most infants though, will wake up several times through the night to feed, especially in the first month or two. Breast fed infants do not usually need to feed more frequently than every two hours. If your babies consistently want to feed more frequently than that, please call your doctor/ our office.
Most parent wonder how to tell if their breast fed infants is getting enough milk. Here are a few hints:
A good overall rule is to pay attention to the cues your infant gives you. Feed infant when he/she seems to be hungry. Stop breastfeeding when she/he doesn't suck much or falls sleep. Most of your milk is out in the first 10 minutes. Virtually all is out in 15 minutes. Hungry babies may suck frequently on their hands and may want to feed more than every two hours (one exception is the "happy to starve" baby mentioned above, who sleeps through many feedings: she/he may go 6 or 7 hours without waking. Babies like this may also not get enough to eat). Well fed newborns urinate frequently 6 to 8 or more time a day. They may also have frequent bowel movement, 3 or 4 a day. If this is not happening after your milk comes in, call us.
When you feed, hold your breast with your thumb on top and rest your hand under the breast. Get as much of your nipple as possible into your baby's mouth. Try to get the whole areola (the brown part) in if you can. To prevent nipple soreness, avoid nursing with your baby in the exact same position on your breast every time.