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Very early days-how long should BF last for?

(13 Posts)
AntoinetteCosway Sat 16-Aug-14 09:47:04

DS was born on Wednesday so we're on day 3. He's feeding roughly anything from 2.5-3.5 hours apart but the length of his feeds really varies-sometimes it's about half an hour, sometimes only about 10 minutes. Last night he fed a lot more frequently than normal (hourly for anout 6 hours) but each feed was 10 mins. Milk is in this morning (ouch!). At about 6 he fed on one side for half an hour and then at 9 he fed on the other side but only for 10 mins. He's fast asleep.

Is 10 minutes ok? I feel like that breast is still very full. I've tried waking him to feed for longer but he's just grumpy and won't relatch on.

I know they say 8-12 feeds a day, which he's doing, but do those all have to be longer feeds? And what is 'long' or 'short' in BF terms?

noblegiraffe Sat 16-Aug-14 09:55:19

There's no 'should' about it. Best way to monitor early breastfeeding is by checking the number and colour of dirty nappies and by weight loss/gain.
Some babies are fast feeders, some slow and some a mix without there being a problem.

AntoinetteCosway Sat 16-Aug-14 10:00:46

Ok-that's good to know! He's doing plenty of wees and did three poos on Thurs but no poos yesterday or today so far. Hope that's ok. We have his 3 day check in a bit and they're going to weigh him and I think I'm just really nervous that he's going to have lost too much and they're going to want me to top up.

loudarts Sat 16-Aug-14 10:00:48

Bf can vary in the early days. If he's gaining weight, And having wet and dirty nappies he us fine. You will probably find he starts to cluster feed in the evenings and will become more regular with feeding times as he gets older.

CurlsLDN Sat 16-Aug-14 10:16:03

Hi, do try not to worry, his tummy is only teeny tiny, and eating wears him out!

My ds is now 3 months, as is my friends. Her baby always feeds for 8-15 minutes, mine always fed for an hour or so, and yet I had to stop bf at 2 months as my ds wasnt gaining weight well, hers is doing great! So you can see it really is totally individual between each mum and baby.


AntoinetteCosway Sat 16-Aug-14 10:57:13

That's really interesting and encouraging-thank you! Sorry your little one didn't gain. It's terribly emotional this feeding stuff isn't it.

hollie84 Sat 16-Aug-14 13:09:15

10 minutes to 30 minutes sounds very normal. Both mine fed at least every 2 hours but one has always taken about 10 minutes per side and the other 20-40!

puntasticusername Sun 17-Aug-14 23:18:11

Congratulations on your lovely, squishy little baby!

Everything you describe sounds entirely normal. Just feed your DS whenever he wants, for however long he wants. If he seems discontented, swap boobs. If he's still discontented and doesn't settle to sucking, pick him up and cuddle him and walk him around a bit. He'll probably then be ready to doze off and if not, he'll feed.

Don't worry. Really. Everything will be fine, real soon thanks

BadPenny Tue 19-Aug-14 16:45:52

Antoinette is he pooing again now? Should be at least two dirty nappies every day in the first few weeks, if milk is going in.

You can help your LO feed more effectively in short sessions by using breast compressions - check this info sheet for details:

Hope all is going well and congrats!

Booboostoo Tue 19-Aug-14 17:53:27


My DD fed anything between 10 and 40 minutes, but even that fluctuated. On one occasion she fed for 3.5 hours, but don't panic that was a one off! Consumption also fluctuates all the time, I found that as a rule of thumb she had a big feeding week every 3 weeks.

TinyTear Tue 19-Aug-14 17:58:06

10 minutes is fine. I had a stupid health visitor who said it had to be 20 minutes as least and I was in tears trying to keep her awake to feed...

The longer ones are meals, the little ones are snacks is what I ended up saying...

If the breast still feels full, give that one on the next feed. I wrote left or right in a notebook, but after a while I just felt the boob and gave the one that felt fuller...

Philippalc Wed 20-Aug-14 10:29:06

This link may be helpful Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk?

AntoinetteCosway Wed 20-Aug-14 13:21:49

We've had a few complications (it's never easy is it?!) and I'm now exclusively expressing, which is a whole new set of challenges but largely working well at the mo. He's now pooing like a trooper grin

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