Amount and Schedule for Breastfeeding Your One-Month Newborn
It is common to find mothers who have questions about breastfeeding. While it may seem like breastfeeding comes naturally, for many moms especially new moms, breastfeeding has its own challenges.
Some of the questions that moms have concerning breastfeeding are like: how frequently should you breastfeed? How much breast milk does a baby need?
Well, fret not. This article is here to help.
The frequency of breastfeeding a newborn
In the first month after birth, your newborn should be breastfeeding for 8-12 times a day. A formula-feeding mom may not be feeding their baby this frequently because breast milk digests must faster than formula. So it moves through your baby’s digestive systems quicker than formula causing them to be hungry more often.
The high frequency will also help you stimulate your milk production during the first weeks. The breastfeeding frequency will keep on reducing as the baby grows. At the second month, they will likely nurse 7-9 times a day.
You need to establish a milk supply such that breast milk is readily available for your baby when they become hungry. This is usually every 1 ½ to 3 hours. The time intervals will get smaller and smaller.
Counting feeding intervals
When counting the feeding intervals, count the length between feedings from the time your baby starts to nurse and not when he or she ends, to the time the baby starts nursing again. In the beginning, it may sound like you are breastfeeding your baby round the clock but in due time, you will both have a routine and a predictable schedule.
When should my newborn baby eat?
Experts will recommend that you feed your baby whenever they seem hungry. Moms usually think that this is when the baby starts crying. Unfortunately, crying is already a late sign of hunger. Feeding should be done before the baby starts crying.
Signs of hunger include:
- Moving their head side to side
- Opening the mouth
- Sticking out the tongue
- Placing hands or fists on their mouths
- Puckering lips to imitate sucking
- Moving the mouth in the direction of something stroking or touching the cheek
Two things that you need to remember:
- Crying is not always an indication that your baby is hungry. There could be another reason like colic, gas or a diaper change.
- When babies get so hungry, they get really upset and difficult to calm down.
Just as much as you are monitoring your baby’s hunger, you should also monitor when they get full. You can tell they are full when they turn away from the breast.
How long should I nurse my newborn baby?
The duration of nursing will usually depend on:
- Your milk supplies
- Let-down reflex
- The speed of milk flow
- The positioning of the baby
- The state of your baby i.e. are they distracted or sleepy?
Lastly, remember that you need to alternate your breast every 10 to 15 minutes. It will depend on you and your baby. Alternating will help you prevent painful engorgement in one.
Breastfeeding is such an exciting period for you and your baby to bond. Make the most out of it while ensuring that your baby gets all the breast milk he or she can get.