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Sunday, April 20, 2014
I have a 2 week old baby. I just wanted to know how often should I breast feed him in a day and for how long on each breasts. I usually breast feed him one breast at a time for 15 minutes. After feeding him on one side for 15 minutes he normally goes to sleep. I wake him up after 2 hours and feed him on the other breast for 15 minutes. Is this enough or should I breast feed him on both the breasts every time?
Babies usually nurse 8-12 times per day during the first month, however each baby is different. If you baby is falling asleep after fifteen minutes he is most likely emptying the breast, if you are ending the nursing time he might not be done eating. Usually women will offer both breasts at a feeding. However, if you use both breasts you should allow the baby to completely empty the first breast, and then switch the second breast. You can tell if your baby is finished at the breast when he will comes off easy or falls asleep. You can burp the baby; place him (waking him up a bit) and the placing him at the second breast. By allowing your baby to completely empty the first breast you are assuring that you baby is getting the hindmilk which more fat and calories for the baby.
To see if you baby is getting enough milk you can keep track of
- Your feedings for a few days (the time of the feeding and the length of the feeding)
- Number of wet diapers (should be 6 or more per day)
- Weight gain, about two weeks of age you will be taking your baby to their health care provider for a weight evaluation. At two weeks of age the baby should have reached his birth weight and even gained a few ounces.
Keep up the good work on nursing your baby. Good luck to you!
Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati