(Closed) Breastfeeding — how often? for how long?

posted 8 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
1733 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

My babies use to feed every hour they were little piggys 🙂 i used to alternate breast for each feeding.  Babies eat when they are hungry and will nurse until they are full.  Every baby is different and they will let you know when they are hungry or full.  You will also feel when one breast is a little more engorged then the other so use that one or just alternate feedings.  My doctor is a mother of 4 and will tell you baby know best

Hope this helps

Post # 4
438 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I don’t have a little one yet (3.5 more months!)  But, in the book, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, she says that it typically takes about 20-40 minutes for each feeding, and only on one breast at a time.  The reason is because there are 3 different kinds of milk that your body produces in each feeding, and each one is delivered at different times in the feeding.  Your baby needs all three, so if you switch the breast 1/2 way through the feeding, your baby won’t get all of the nutrients he/she needs. 

The book also states that the length of the feed depends on how your baby feeds and how fast/slow your flow is. 

Post # 6
2820 posts
Sugar bee

Congrats on the new baby! 

When I was in the hospital I think they usually said 15-30 min/breast every two hours.  I kept track for two days before I just started feeding her.  Once my milk came in I would try to empty at least one breast in a feeding but sometimes they’re both quite full so it feels more comfortable to switch before ones completely empty.  As long as you don’t neglect one breast you should be fine.  Here’s kellymom’s explanations of foremilk/hindmilk   http://kellymom.com/bf/supply/foremilk-hindmilk.html

and here’s her explanation of milk production

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/milkproduction.html , which explains that empty breasts = faster milk production.  I’m not sure how much difference it makes if you just halfway empty both because milk out = milk in so really it should all balance out but maybe it’s better to try and drain at least one. 


Post # 7
314 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think it really varies by baby and what type of milk supply you have. If you have an oversupply of milk feeding on one side for a feeding/couple of feedings and then switching to the next side can help make sure your baby is getting both foremilk and hindmilk. Some people will time feedings and other people will recommend just following your babies cues. I’ve always just let my son nurse until he pulled off. If he still seems hungry I will offer him the other side. Some babies need a lot of sucking so if you think your baby is no longer hungry (pulling off, latching on, pulling off towards the end of the feeding) you might try offering a pacifier or something else they can suck on. Especially with a brand new baby if the baby is having trouble latching on or nursing efficiently it might take you a long time to nurse.

Troubled posted some good links. Here are a couple more:




Post # 8
1145 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2000

I used to have a timer app on my itouch. It helped me keep track of what side I was on in the sleep deprived delirium. Anyway, my baby was fed on one side only and she used to pull off at 16 minutes like clockwork almost always. That’s when she got full! Watch your baby to find out individual patterns.  I like that I did only one side so she could get the hindmilk and I had another breast as backup or to pump from. 🙂 I used to tap her cheek if she would slow down b/c I didn’t want her to get in the habit of comforting sucking. So she made good use of her time.  

Nowadays, every once in awhile, I’ll fall asleep feeding and she’ll go on for an hour or more, drifting in and out of sleep, if I let her. Ugh. Not a pattern I want to encourage. She wakes up so happy because it is very comforting to be a ‘lazy’ nurser.

Post # 9
801 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Go by your baby’s cues.  I fed my son on one side until he pulled off and then always offered the other side.  Sometimes he’d take that side, sometimes he’d be full already.  I would just have to remember to start with the side last offered on the next feeding.  As baby grows up, the amount of milk he/she drinks will increase and you may need to feed baby on both sides in order to satisfy baby’s appetite. 

In the beginning baby will take quite awhile to nurse because he/she is learning to breastfeed the same as you and getting latch and suction correct in order to drain the breast takes a lot of work.  I let my son nurse until he pulled off (usually he fell asleep or into a milk coma).  Once he started to use me as a pacifier (a few weeks old), then I would unlatch him.  Otherwise, I just followed his cues.  I’d suggest not to get too fixed on time because sometimes baby will go through a growth spurt and cluster feed, which will seem like you are nursing non-stop, but that totally normal.

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