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Breastfeeding on demand - how long should each feed last (roughly)?

(10 Posts)
moomsy Sun 18-Sep-11 18:47:37


New mum to week old girl who is a total pro at breastfeeding (so the midwife said lol)

I kept account of her feeds for the first few days and she was feeding every 3 hours sometimes for 1hr or 40 mins.

For the past 3 days now she will feed for 20 mins (sometimes less) and then get that "milky druken face", fall asleep and then wake up 20mins later grumbling for another feed.

I will try to place her on the same breast as I am worried she won't get the proper milk otherwise.

I tried waking her up, blowing in her face but she just won't wake up so I just put her in moses and let her sleep.

This is fine during the day but last night it wasn't fun when she did this on both of her night feeds sad

Any tips on how long (roughly) should a baby this young be expected to feed from same breast so it gets the proper fat milk not just the water at the start.

Thank you xx

ShowOfHands Sun 18-Sep-11 18:53:04

The foremilk/hindmilk thing isn't quite that simple. I have a 2 week old ds who is also a very efficient feeder. He's gained a whopping pound this week, certainly knows what he's doing. Sometimes he feeds for 5 minutes and other times for 45. I trust him to know what he needs at any given time. Did the same with dd.

If your baby is gaining weight, feeding regularly, alert, weeing and pooing, then I'd trust her to know what she needs. I've never gone down the deliberately waking/annoying a sleeping child thing. Different if they're struggling with weight/sleepiness but if they're thriving I think you have to trust them and your body to manage the relationship.

RitaMorgan Sun 18-Sep-11 19:00:09

I wouldn't put her back on the same breast - just feed on one side til she has had enough (comes off/falls asleep) and then offer her the other side. You can put her back to the first side again if she comes off the second but still seems to want more.

At a week I was still having to wake my ds for feeds as he was very jaundiced and sleepy. By the time he was a couple of weeks old though and asking for feeds himself he would have anything from about 5 minutes to an hour on each side - sometimes one side then the other straight away, other times one side then sleep for 5 minutes/20 minutes/a couple of hours then the other. It was pretty random for the first couple of months!

As ShowofHands says, the best thing to do is just trust your baby. They know what they need.

Marking place... mine only feeds for around 10 mins at a time and I seem to be doing endless short feeds...

moomsy Sun 18-Sep-11 19:04:48

For some reason I thought they would just suck on for 40 mins / 1hr (once she fed without dropping off for 2hrs!!)

She is very alert (mostly mornings), good nappies and always seems content after a feed. Although I have bought a baby scales I can't be arsed to get it out but I am sure she is fine.

I just wondered that because she seems to be dropping off the breast quite quickly she would not get as much of the nutritious milk.

moomsy Sun 18-Sep-11 19:06:45


This is one thing I don't want to happen. I was spoiled at the start when she was feeding for long periods and I had a nice break (even if short sometimes) to breath in between ;o)

moomsy Sun 18-Sep-11 19:11:45

Oh I guess this explains (see Stomach capacity of a newborn)

Maybe I should just do what I am doing now which is just feeding loads and enjoying the cuddles of my gorgeous little daughter smile

RitaMorgan Sun 18-Sep-11 19:23:57

This is a really useful explanation of [ foremilk/hindmilk]]

Basically, because we can't know whether the baby is getting foremilk or hindmilk (in fact, there aren't two types of milk so you can't say they need to stay on x minutes to "get to it") we just have to go on what the baby is telling us. Every mother's storage capacity is different and every baby's speed of feeding is different, so whereas one baby might be done and dusted in 5 minutes, another will take 45 minutes, and so long as the baby is content and growing then both are fine.

RitaMorgan Sun 18-Sep-11 19:24:21

That should be

moomsy Mon 19-Sep-11 08:54:12

Hi Rita

Thank you for the article link grin)


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