Noreen Stonor Drexel Birthing Center
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Frequency of Feedings
In a 24-hour period, most babies need to be fed eight to 12 times, approximately every one to three hours. Your baby might want to feed several times in a row. This is called cluster feedings, and each cluster feeding counts toward the eight to 12 feeding total. Your baby knows when he is hungry, and it is important to feed your baby when he shows signs of hunger.
During your baby's first few days, she could be too sleepy to request feedings as often as necessary. Be sure to wake your baby two and a half hours from the beginning of the last feeding, and try to keep baby awake long enough to nurse. Your baby will show signs that he has had enough to eat. These signs include becoming sleepy, weaker sucking and self-detaching from the breast. Your breast may also feel less full when you near the end of the feeding.
To ensure adequate milk production in both breasts, it's important to nurse from both breasts at each feeding. If your baby chooses to only nurse from one breast at each feeding, begin with the other breast at the next feeding.
Babies initially lose weight after delivery, but by day 10 they should be back up to their birth weight. Once your mature milk is in, you can expect your baby to gain an average of four to seven ounces each week.