Thursday, May 10, 2012

nothing could have prepared me


This has had a pretty large learning curve for me, but it's something to which I'm committed.  I have learned a lot and I still have a lot to learn.  { has been a good resource}

If you choose to breastfeed and really choose to stick with it, know this:  It's going to be an emotional commitment and more of a time commitment than you might expect.  Especially within the first six weeks.

In the beginning of my baby's life I spent about 15-20 minutes nursing on each side {left and right breast--totally 30-40 minutes}.  Looking back on it I think I could have easily spent longer, but I was not mentally prepared for the time commitment.  Read-up in books ahead of time about latching and burping--two very important aspects to good feedings.

Once baby becomes more efficient extracting milk, feedings will shrink in length to around 10 minutes per side, totaling 20 minutes.  I've been told that babies are able to "drain a breast" within 5-7 minutes, so potentially in future months feedings could total 10-15 minutes.  However, don't rush this.  I'm 4 months in and finding that I might have been rushing my baby on accident and he ended up getting less milk than he actually wanted.

As far as duration between feedings--it's a personal choice.  Generally hospitals will advise you to nurse every 3 hours.  Sometimes that works and sometimes it would be wiser to nurse more frequently during the day to encourage longer stretches of sleep at night.  Babies need between 25-30ozs of breast milk per day.

In the future, I will choice to start out nursing every two hours.  With my first I tried two and a half.  Some of my friends nurse as frequently as every half hour to hour.  There's no rule.

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