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How frequently should you Breastfeed your Baby?

How frequently should you Breastfeed your Baby?

Your newly arrived instinctively knows that he needs milk, but how do you know how much is needed to make him feel full? It is a skill that needs to be learnt by every new mom and also be taught to every new born. It is indeed, a big task initially, but as you continue doing it, you and your baby start understanding how much is enough.

Breastfeeding frequency:
The thumb rule during the first two-three days of the baby's birth is eight to 12 feeds per day; each session lasting up to 30minutes on an average. With such frequent feedings, do not expect your baby to be full, because their appetite isn't great yet and you would not have that great store of breast milk. These sessions improve your baby's skill to suck. Initially, you will be producing a thin, yellow substance called colostrum that is also produced during pregnancy. Do not skip feeding this colostrum, as they are packed with immune factors and proteins that jump start your baby's healthy life outside the womb. If for any reason, you cannot breastfeed your baby, express milk with a pump or by your hands and feed your baby.

Is your milk enough?
Your baby's needs are less and so is your production. Do not worry, your baby needs not more than a teaspoon of milk during each session of breastfeeding and you will mostly be able to cater to his needs. Your baby himself will improve your breast milk production by tugging hard and sucking, which will stimulate the glands to produce more milk. This way, you both are learning the right technique and the right position for breastfeeding.

When is your baby hungry?
Yes, babies do cry when they are hungry and also when they are wet. So, make sure you feed him every two or three hours once before he begins to tear as this is an indication of being uncomfortably hungry. Babies tend to digest mother's milk faster than formula feeds. So, look for a few cues like whether he is furiously sucking his tiny hands or nuzzling against your breasts or opening his mouth.

How long should each breastfeeding session last?
Let your baby suck until he is satisfied. Let him drain a breast thoroughly before changing sides as that hind milk is rich in calories and fat. Never let sleeping babies lie while breastfeeding. Also, make sure to feed your new born every three to four hours even through the night.

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