The second week of a baby’s life can seem long and VERY busy to new parents. Even women sure they want to breastfeed can get a bit distressed by the WORK of breastfeeding. CLICK here to be reminded of the life long benefits of breastfeeding for your baby and for you.
Why not skip a feeding?
Until breastfeeding is well establish (at around 3 weeks) skipping a feeding allows the breasts to get overly full. When too full the breast release a hormone (FIL) that DECREASES milk production. This hormone tells the breast to make less milk, now and in the future. Not breastfeeding for six hours can reduce the next feeding from 2 ounces to 2/3 ounce. Skipping early feeding during the first two weeks can be associated with less successful breastfeeding later in your baby’s life.
One side or both?
Lactation consultants (LC) recommend offering both breast to baby as your milk supply develops. If the baby seems hungry after the second breast, return to the first breast again. There is already more milk there!
If you prove to be a mother with an oversupply (evidenced by green stools and increased gassiness in baby), the LC will recommend feeding entirely on one breast at each feeding. That allows the baby to get more of higher fat milk that is deeper in the breast and less of the lactose (sugar) available in the milk drunk first from the breast.
How long to breastfeed?
The answer is simple: from 10-40 minutes and as long as your baby needs to! Gosh, that’s not very helpful, is it?
You are suppose to be learning, so feeling confused at times is NORMAL! Generally start at about 20 minutes per breast and the WATCH YOUR BABY. If she falls off the breast and seems satisfied, she is done.
Generally not. If you are working with an LC to manage a problem (such as pain in breast or lower than expected supply) then some pumping may be recommended. Once you supply has established, pumping so that others can feed your baby is a great idea.
© HUG Your Baby 2018