The intimate art of breastfeeding
Keys to successful breastfeeding
Feed as soon as possible after birth
Breast milk not only contains all the nutrients a baby needs for the first months, it also includes substances that protect your baby against illnesses.
Allow infant to feed as often and as long as he or she desires
Offer your breast at least every 2-3 hours, about 8-12 feedings in 24 hours.
Breastfeed at least 8 times a day
Breastfeeding at least 8 times a day will decrease the chance of excess weight loss and jaundice in your newborn.
Time feedings from the beginning of one feeding to the beginning of the next
Avoid introducing bottles for at least 4-6 weeks
Babies use their whole mouth when sucking at the breast. Some babies get confused if given both the breast and bottle since getting milk from the bottle is so much easier than from the breast. Flow-control bottles should be used. Feeding should take as long as breastfeeding, at lease 10 minutes.
Feed at least 15 minutes or more at the first breast every feeding
Letdown may take up to 5 minutes or more to occur from the time the infant starts sucking, so you should feed at least 20 minutes or more at the first breast every feeding. Feeding may take 30-40 minutes each time. The average for each breastfeeding session varies from 20-60 minutes.
Listen for your baby's first swallow. This is evidence your baby is getting milk.