Baby feeding time duration

Breastfeeding FAQs: How Much and How Often (for Parents)

Breastfeeding is a natural thing to do, but it still comes with its fair share of questions. Here's what you need to know about how often and how long to breastfeed your baby.

How Often Should I Breastfeed?

Newborn babies should breastfeed 8–12 times per day for about the first month. Breast milk is easily digested, so newborns are hungry often. Frequent feedings helps stimulate your milk production during the first few weeks.

By the time your baby is 1–2 months old, he or she probably will nurse 7–9 times a day.

In the first few weeks of life, breastfeeding should be "on demand" (when your baby is hungry), which is about every 1-1/2 to 3 hours. As newborns get older, they'll nurse less often, and may have a more predictable schedule. Some might feed every 90 minutes, whereas others might go 2–3 hours between feedings.

Newborns should not go more than about 4 hours without feeding, even overnight.

How Do I Count the Time Between Feedings?

Count the length of time between feedings from the time your baby begins to nurse (rather than at the end) to when your little one starts nursing again. In other words, when your doctor asks how often your baby is feeding, you can say "about every 2 hours" if your first feeding started at 6 a.m., the next feeding was around 8 a.m., then 10 a.m., and so on.

Especially at first, you might feel like you're nursing around the clock, which is normal. Soon enough, your baby will go longer between feedings.

How Long Does Nursing Take?

Newborns may nurse for up to 20 minutes or longer on one or both breasts. As babies get older and more skilled at breastfeeding, they may take about 5–10 minutes on each side.

How long it takes to breastfeed depends on you, your baby, and other things, such as whether:

  • your milk supply has come in (this usually happens 2–5 days after birth)
  • your let-down reflex (which causes milk to flow from the nipple) happens right away or after a few minutes into a feeding
  • your milk flow is slow or fast
  • the baby has a good latch, taking in as much as possible of your areola (the dark circle of skin around your nipple)
  • your baby begins gulping right away or takes it slow
  • your baby is sleepy or distracted

Call your doctor if you're worried that your baby's feedings seem too short or too long.

When Should I Alternate Breasts?

Alternate breasts and try to give each one the same amount of nursing time throughout the day. This helps to keep up your milk supply in both breasts and prevents painful engorgement (when your breasts overfill with milk).

You may switch breasts in the middle of each feeding and then alternate which breast you offer first for each feeding. Can't remember where your baby last nursed? It can help to attach a reminder — like a safety pin or small ribbon — to your bra strap so you'll know which breast your baby last nursed on. Then, start with that breast at the next feeding. Or, keep a notebook handy or use a breastfeeding app to keep track of how your baby feeds.

Your baby may like switching breasts at each feeding or prefer to nurse just on one side. If so, then offer the other breast at the next feeding. Do whatever works best and is the most comfortable for you and your baby.

How Often Should I Burp My Baby During Feedings?

After your baby finishes on one side, try burping before switching breasts. Sometimes, the movement alone can be enough to cause a baby to burp.

Some infants need more burping, others less, and it can vary from feeding to feeding.

If your baby spits up a lot, try burping more often. While it's normal for infants to "spit up" a small amount after eating or during burping, a baby should not vomit after feeding. If your baby throws up all or most of a feeding, there could be a problem that needs medical care. If you're worried that your baby is spitting up too much, call your doctor.

Why Is My Baby Hungrier Than Usual?

When babies go through a period of rapid growth (called a growth spurt), they want to eat more than usual. These can happen at any time. But in the early months, growth spurts often happen when a baby is:

  • 7–14 days old
  • 2 months old
  • 4 months old
  • 6 months old

During these times and whenever your baby seems extra hungry, follow your little one's hunger cues. You may need to breastfeed more often for a while.

How Long Should I Breastfeed My Baby?

That's a personal choice. Experts recommend that babies be breastfed exclusively (without formula, water, juice, non–breast milk, or food) for the first 6 months. Then, breastfeeding can continue until 12 months (and beyond) if it's working for you and your baby.

Breastfeeding has many benefits for mom and baby both. Studies show that breastfeeding can lessen a baby's chances of diarrhea, ear infections, and bacterial meningitis, or make symptoms less severe. Breastfeeding also may protect children from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), diabetes, obesity, and asthma.

For moms, breastfeeding burns calories and helps shrink the uterus. In fact, breastfeeding moms might return to their pre–pregnancy shape and weight quicker. Breastfeeding also helps lower a woman's risk of diseases like:

  • breast cancer
  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • heart disease

It also might help protect moms from uterine cancer and ovarian cancer.

Tips for the First Year

Eat, sleep, pee, poop, repeat. Those are the highlights in a day of the life of a brand new baby.

And if you’re a new parent, it’s the eating part that may be the source of many of your questions and worries. How many ounces should your baby take? Do you wake a sleeping baby to eat? Why do they seem hungry all the time? When can your child start solids?

Questions abound — and, despite Grandma’s insistence, the answers have changed since you were a tot. It’s now recommended that newborns, even formula-fed ones, eat on demand (consider it good preparation for the teenage years) and that babies wait to start solid foods until they’re 4 to 6 months old.

On day one of life, your baby’s stomach is the size of a marble and can only hold 1 to 1.4 teaspoons of liquid at a time. As your baby gets older, their stomach stretches and grows.

It’s hard (or impossible, really) to know how much milk your baby is taking in while breastfeeding. But if you’re bottle feeding due to any number of valid reasons, it’s a bit easier to measure.

Here, from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a typical feeding schedule for bottle-fed babies.

AgeOunces per feedingSolid foods
Up to 2 weeks of life.5 oz. in the first days, then 1–3 oz.No
2 weeks to 2 months2–4 oz. No
2–4 months4-6 oz.No
4–6 months4–8 oz.Possibly, if your baby can hold their head up and is at least 13 pounds. But you don’t need to introduce solid foods yet.
6–12 months8 oz.Yes. Start with soft foods, like one-grain cereals and pureed vegetables, meats, and fruits, progressing to mashed and well-chopped finger foods. Give your baby one new food at a time. Continue supplementing with breast or formula feedings.

Every baby is unique — but one thing that’s pretty consistent is that breastfed babies eat more frequently than bottle-fed ones. That’s because breast milk is easily digested and empties from the stomach a lot quicker than formula.

Breastfed babies

There’s no rest for the weary. According to La Leche League International, you should begin nursing your baby within 1 hour of birth and provide about 8 to 12 feedings daily in the first few weeks of life (yeah, we’re exhausted for you).

At first, it’s important not to let your baby go more than 4 hours without feeding. You’ll likely need to wake them up if necessary, at least until breastfeeding is well established and they’re gaining weight appropriately.

As your baby grows and your milk supply amps up, your baby will be able to take in more milk in less time at one feeding. That’s when you might start to notice a more predictable pattern.

  • 1 to 3 months: Your baby will feed 7 to 9 times per 24 hours.
  • 3 months: Feedings take place 6 to 8 times in 24 hours.
  • 6 months: Your baby will feed around 6 times a day.
  • 12 months: Nursing may drop to about 4 times a day. The introduction of solids at about 6 months helps to fuel your baby’s additional nutritional needs.

Keep in mind that this pattern is just one example. Different babies have different paces and preferences, along with other factors that influence the frequency of feedings.

Bottle-fed babies

Like breastfed babies, bottle-fed newborns should eat on demand. On average, that’s about every 2 to 3 hours. A typical feeding schedule may look like this:

  • Newborn: every 2 to 3 hours
  • At 2 months: every 3 to 4 hours
  • At 4 to 6 months: every 4 to 5 hours
  • At 6+ months: every 4 to 5 hours

For both breastfed and bottle-fed babies

  • Don’t give liquids other than formula or breast milk to babies under a year old. That includes juices and cow’s milk. They don’t provide the right (if any) nutrients and can be upsetting to your baby’s tummy. Water can be introduced around 6 months when you start offering a cup.
  • Don’t add baby cereal to a bottle.
    • It can create a choking hazard.
    • A baby’s digestive system isn’t mature enough to handle cereal until about 4 to 6 months of age.
    • You could overfeed your baby.
  • Don’t give your baby any form of honey until after their first birthday. Honey can be dangerous for a baby, occasionally causing what’s called infant botulism.
  • Do adjust your expectations based on your baby and their unique needs. Premature babies are likely to follow feeding patterns according to their adjusted age. If your baby has challenges like reflux or failure to thrive, you may need to work with your doctor on the appropriate feeding schedule and amount they should be eating.

Schedules are the holy grail of every parent. Your child will naturally start to fall into a feeding pattern as their tummy grows and they can take in more breast milk or formula at one sitting. This may begin to happen between 2 and 4 months of age.

For now, though, focus on learning your baby’s hunger cues, such as:

  • rooting around your chest, looking for a nipple.
  • putting their fist in their mouth
  • smacking or licking their lips
  • fussing that can escalate quickly (don’t wait until your baby’s hangry to feed them)

Once your baby is a few months old, you may be able to introduce a sleep/feed schedule that works for you.

Let’s say, for example, your 4-month-old wakes every 5 hours for a feeding. That means if you feed at 9 p.m., your baby wakes around 2 a.m. But if you wake and feed the baby at 11 p.m., just before you go to bed, they may not rouse until 4 a.m., giving you a decent chunk of nighttime winks.

In general, if your baby seems hungry, feed them. Your baby will naturally eat more frequently during growth spurts, which typically occur around 3 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age.

Some babies will also “cluster feed,” meaning they’ll feed more frequently during certain periods and less at others. For example, your baby may cluster feed during the late afternoon and evening and then sleep longer at night (yay!). This is more common in breastfed babies than bottle fed babies.

Worried about overfeeding? While this isn’t really possible to do with an exclusively breastfed baby, you can overfeed a baby who’s taking a bottle — especially if they’re sucking on the bottle for comfort. Follow their hunger cues, but talk to your pediatrician if you’re worried your little one may be overeating.

Your baby is probably ready for solids if they’re 4 to 6 months old and:

  • have good head control
  • seem interested in what you’re eating
  • reach for food
  • weigh 13 or more pounds

Which food to start with? The AAP now says it doesn’t really matter much in what order you introduce foods. The only real rule: Stick with one food for 3 to 5 days before offering another. If there’s an allergic reaction (rash, diarrhea, vomiting are common first signs), you’ll know which food is causing it.

As your baby grows, move from pureed baby food to ones that have more texture (for example, mashed banana, scrambled egg, or well-cooked, chopped pasta). This generally happens around 8 to 10 months of age.

Your supermarket offers a variety of baby food products, but if you want to make your own, keep it sugar and salt free. Additionally, at this stage, don’t feed your baby anything that could be a choking hazard, including:

  • hard foods, such as popcorn or nuts
  • hard, fresh fruits, like apples; cook to soften or chop into very small pieces
  • any meat that isn’t well cooked and very well chopped (this includes hot dogs)
  • cheese cubes
  • peanut butter (though talk to your pediatrician about this one — and the benefits of introducing diluted peanut butter before the age of 1)

As your baby nears their first birthday, they should be eating a variety of foods and taking in about 4 ounces of solids at each meal. Continue to offer breast milk or formula. By 8 months, babies are drinking about 30 ounces a day.

Oh yeah, and buy some stock in a company that makes stain-fighting laundry detergent. It’ll pay for college.

Babies aren’t cookie cutter. Some will gain weight easily, while others will have problems. Things that can affect a baby’s weight gain include:

  • having a birth defect like a cleft lip or palate, which creates problems feeding
  • having a milk protein intolerance
  • being premature
  • being fed with a bottle versus the breast

A 2012 study of more than 1,800 babies found that the infants who were fed with a bottle — regardless of whether the bottle contained breast milk or formula — gained more weight in the first year than babies who nursed exclusively.

Your baby’s doctor is the best one to advise you on a healthy weight range for your baby.

How, when, and what to feed a baby are top worries of every parent — but there’s good news: Most babies are pretty good judges of when they’re hungry and when they’re full — and they’ll let you know it.

You just need to present them with the right choices at the right time and pay attention to their cues. If you have any questions or concerns, your pediatrician is there to help you along the way.

What is normal breastfeeding? | Interview with Dr. Jacqueline Kent

It can be difficult for new mothers to understand if breastfeeding is going well, so we decided to ask the expert if it is possible to talk about the norms when it comes to breastfeeding.

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Dr Jacqueline Kent, Research Fellow, Hartmann Human Lactation Research Group:
Jacqueline joined the University of Western Australia research team in 1986 and received her PhD in 1999. She is currently researching the biochemical and physiological aspects of breast milk synthesis and release in search of scientific information to help mothers breastfeed longer.

Dr. Jacqueline Kent and her colleagues have been studying breastfeeding for many years. As it turned out, for all mothers and babies, this process occurs in its own way. nine0005

What were the most surprising results of your research?

Variety. It turns out that the limits of the norm are extremely wide.
We are used to textbooks that say that an infant should eat 8-12 times a day and gain 150 grams per week. But babies don't read textbooks and do things their own way! Some gain weight more slowly, others very quickly.

We observed infants aged one to six months who were exclusively breastfed. As our studies have shown, on average, a child is breastfed 4 to 13 times a day, and the duration of one feeding varies from 12 minutes to 1 hour. nine0021 1

How much milk do breastfed babies usually consume?

According to our research, the volume of milk consumed by baby
ranges from 54 to 234 ml per feeding. 1

Sometimes it seems to the mother that the baby ate well, but when weighed, it turns out that he ate very little milk. And it happens the other way around: the child is distracted, breastfeeds for only a few minutes and still eats 100 ml of milk. Even if the baby is restless, this does not mean at all that he is malnourished. nine0005

All babies are different, but they all get the amount of milk they need in one way or another. One needs 500 ml of milk per day, while others eat up to 1356 ml!

By the way, boys on average eat 76 ml more milk per day than girls. The main thing is that you have enough milk, and the baby will decide when and how much he will eat.

Should I offer my baby a second breast?

I advise offering the second breast to the baby after the first has been completely emptied. If he accepts it, then he hasn't finished eating. If not, don't worry. Let the baby decide for himself - only he knows when he is full. According to our research, 30% of babies get enough milk from one breast, 13% eat from two breasts at each feed, and 57% from time to time. nine0021 1

How do you know if a baby is getting enough milk?

In my experience, mothers often blame themselves for not producing enough milk. Ask yourself: Is my child growing? Is he putting on weight? Is he cheerful? Is his skin healthy? How often does he get diapers dirty? If the answer is “yes”, then the baby is getting enough milk, no matter if he eats a lot or a little.

What is the most common misconception about breastfeeding? nine0016

Mothers usually think that the older the child gets, the more often
he needs to be fed and the more milk he will eat. They are often surprised to learn that between the 4th and 26th weeks, total milk production normally does not change. 2

In the first few months, the baby grows very quickly and his metabolism is accelerated. The milk that the child consumes during this period is almost completely used for growth and maintenance of metabolism.

Between the ages of three and six months, metabolism slows down and growth slows, so the same amount of milk is sufficient for the baby. In other words, the baby does not have to consume more and more milk as they grow older. On the contrary, feedings become shorter and less frequent, but at the same time the child receives the same amount of milk, because he suckles better.

Do studies say anything about the age at which breastfed babies start sleeping through the night? nine0016

Most babies need to be fed at night.
A baby's stomach is not large enough to go all night without a feed, and breast milk is digested very quickly. Therefore, it is natural for the baby to wake up at night - and this usually continues for at least the first six months. Feeding at night is normal. When you feed your baby at night, do not even hesitate - all over the world at this moment other mothers of babies of the same age are doing the same. Be patient - it usually only lasts a few months. nine0021 1

What worries new mothers the most during the first few weeks of breastfeeding?

The most common concern is whether the baby latch on properly, sucks well, and is full during feeding. Often mothers also worry about sore nipples. The main thing is to find the right position for feeding from the very beginning and ensure that the baby is latching on correctly. Practice shows that this significantly affects the flow of milk and the convenience of feeding. nine0005

What breastfeeding symptoms should be of concern?

Milk production usually returns to normal levels two weeks after delivery. If the child does not begin to gain weight on the fifth or sixth day of life, it's time to sound the alarm. You should contact your doctor to make sure that milk is being produced and that its composition is changing from colostrum to mature breast milk.

What advice would you give to a new breastfeeding mother?

Try to ensure skin-to-skin contact with the baby as soon as possible after delivery. If possible, feed your baby within the first hour of life, or at least breastfeed. As soon as possible, contact a specialist to correct the position and grip of the breast during feeding and thus avoid damage to the nipples. nine0005

Feed frequently. Young mothers do not immediately succeed in correctly recognizing the signals that the child gives. Be sure to feed your baby on demand, and not at set intervals. Offer the breast as soon as you notice any signs of hunger - as a rule, the baby suckles better when he is calm. If he cries, it is more difficult for him to take the breast. If you are not sure what the child wants, offer him the breast. He decides whether he wants to eat or not.

To learn more about Dr. Kent's research, download infographic "How to determine the limits of normal when it comes to breastfeeding" or see it below.


1 Kent JC et al. Volume and frequency of breastfeedings and fat content of breast milk throughout the day. Pediatrics . 2006;117(3): e 387-395. - Kent J.S. et al., "Amount and frequency of breastfeeding and fat content of breast milk during the day." Pediatrix (Pediatrics). 2006;117(3):e387-95.

2 Kent JC et al. Longitudinal changes in breastfeeding patterns from 1 to 6 months of lactation. Breastfeeding Medicine . 2013;8(4):401-407. - Kent J.S. et al., Longitudinal changes in breastfeeding patterns from 1 to 6 months of lactation. Brest Med. 2013;8(4):401-407.

Breastfeeding and its benefits for the normal development of the infant.

Mother's milk is a natural biological product that provides physiologically adequate nutrition for babies. This is the "gold standard" of early childhood nutrition, and far from all aspects of its multifaceted influence have been studied.

A breastfed mother can follow different dietary patterns for her baby. Free feeding, or "on demand" feeding, is the diet of a child of the first year of life, when the mother puts the child to the breast as many times and at the time as the child requires, including at night. The duration of feeding is also determined by the child. It is more often carried out in the first months of life and with exclusive breastfeeding. Regulated feeding is such a diet of a child when feedings are carried out at more or less fixed hours, the frequency and volume of feedings is recommended by the doctor, taking into account the age, body weight, appetite and individual characteristics of the child. It is more often carried out after 1-2 months of life, especially with the option of mixed feeding. The duration of feeding of newborns ranges from 20 to 30 minutes, and for children older than 1 month - from 10 to 20 minutes. The water requirement of children in the first months of life is satisfied by breast milk with a sufficient level of lactation, so they do not need additional drinking. nine0005

The criteria for a sufficient level of lactation are normal daily diuresis (600-700 ml), weight gain adequate to the age of the child and psychomotor development. If you suspect a lack of milk, you should determine the daily volume of lactation using control weighing and compare it with the calculated one, take measures to restore lactation or introduce supplementary feeding.

Breast milk is the most complex biologically active substance with unique properties:

  • regulation of the processes of growth, development and differentiation of tissues;
  • anti-infective protection;
  • formation of immunological tolerance to dietary antigens;
  • influence on the formation of the maxillofacial skeleton, speech, hearing;
  • prevention of obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis;
  • beneficial effect on mental and behavioral responses, intelligence, learning ability and social adaptation;
  • reduced risk of cancer in the mother, contraceptive effect in the first months of lactation. nine0127

Breast milk provides anti-inflammatory (antioxidants, enzymes that break down pro-inflammatory neurotransmitters, anti-inflammatory cytokines) and immunomodulatory substances (live CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes, nucleotides, IgA, cytokines IL-2, IL-10, IL-12, etc., soluble cytokine receptors). Breastfeeding and the state of the intestinal microflora play a key role in maintaining a balance in the Thh Th3, Th4 cytokine system. Thanks to the bifidogenic properties of human milk, a complete intestinal microbiota of the child is formed, innate immunity and protective mechanisms of the intestinal mucosa are activated, and the immune response matures. nine0005

Digestive system:

- One of the main advantages of women's milk is the proximity of its proteins in terms of qualitative composition to blood serum proteins. Breast milk contains mainly finely dispersed, that is, consisting of the smallest particles, albumin proteins, which are easily absorbed in the child's digestive tract.

Digestibility, completeness of absorption of women's milk proteins reaches 98-99%, for cow's milk proteins this figure is much less. The main protein component of cow's milk is casein, the content of which is up to ten times higher than that in human breast milk. Casein, being a large and aggressive soluble protein, is able to penetrate the intestinal walls, forcing the child's body to produce an endogenous inflammatory mediator - histamine. What can cause both intestinal bleeding, which is fraught with the subsequent development of anemia, and various kinds of allergic reactions. nine0005

- The residence time of food in the gastrointestinal tract of the baby with natural and artificial feeding is also different. The child's stomach is freed from food after 2-3 hours with breastfeeding, and with artificial feeding - after 3-4 hours. Thus, artificial feeding puts a lot of stress on the digestive tract and on the baby's body as a whole.

- The activity of the enzyme lipase, which is responsible for the breakdown of fat in the gastrointestinal tract of the child, is much higher in human breast milk. Due to the activity of maternal lipase, a high degree of fat dispersion is achieved, which facilitates their further absorption and assimilation. As a result of the action of breast milk lipase, there is a significantly lower load on the pancreas and liver of the baby, the organs responsible for the digestion of fat

- Women's milk contains 5-6 times more linoleic acid. With a lack of this polyunsaturated fatty acid, a child may experience a delay in physical development, metabolism is disturbed, and adverse changes in the condition of the skin are possible.

Immune system:

- The most important advantage of mother's milk in comparison with its artificial substitutes is the presence in it of a large group of substances that protect the child's body from infections. These are secretory immunoglobulin A - sIgA, interferon, lysozyme, lactoferrin, bifidus factor, cells of the immune system. nine0005

- Immunoglobulin A is contained in secrets (fluids) on the surface of mucous membranes in contact with the external environment - lungs, nasal cavity, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract. Maternal secretory immunoglobulin A provides protection against infection of the vital organs and systems of the child.

- Human milk lactoferrin plays an exceptional role in protecting the baby from viral infections, preventing the penetration of viral particles through the cell membrane, thus preventing infection from entering the baby's body. In addition to the antiviral action, lactoferrin also has antibacterial properties. Many microorganisms contain receptors for lactoferrin on their surface, and the binding of lactoferrin to the corresponding receptor leads to the death of a foreign bacterial cell. Lactoferrin has a bactericidal effect against a large number of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. nine0005

- the bifidus factor of human milk is represented by a whole complex of various sugars (oligosaccharides) and their monomers: beta-lactose, galactooligosaccharides, D-glucose, D-galactose, N-acetylglucosamines, L-fucose and sialic acids. The bifidus factor of human milk stimulates the formation of the intestinal microflora, mainly consisting of bifidobacteria (B. Bifidum) and lactobacilli. Normal intestinal microflora lines the intestinal crypts like a blanket, creating a protective layer that prevents foreign bacteria and allergens from entering the baby's circulatory system. Also, bifido- and lactobacilli create a favorable intra-intestinal environment with a shift in the pH of the contents of the colon to the acid side, which inhibits the growth of pathogenic and conditionally pathogenic bacteria and promotes the absorption of iron, calcium, vitamin D and other micro- and macroelements; participates in the synthesis of vitamins B1, B2, B3, PP, B6, B12, folic acid, biotin. In addition, the normal intestinal microflora makes the baby's immunity stronger. nine0005

At present, using the latest scientific methods, the existence of oligosaccharides containing up to 32 sugar fragments and up to 15 fructose fragments has been established. This means that the number of different types of oligosaccharides in human breast milk can reach several tens of thousands of units. Naturally, even modern artificial mixtures containing prebiotics (industrial analogues of the bifidus factor) cannot be compared in quality and variety with breast milk.

Urinary system:

  • The formation of the child's urinary system and the development of its functions takes place in the first year of life. In an infant at the time of birth, the plasma flow and the process of formation of primary urine by filtering plasma in the renal glomeruli are reduced, osmotic concentration of urine is not effective enough. The main indicators of kidney function come to the level of an adult by the beginning of the second year of life. Therefore, it is very important that the load on the kidneys, depending on the content of proteins and mineral salts in the food taken, be adequate to the physiological age of the child. nine0127
  • The protein level in women's milk averages from 0.8 to 1.2 g / 100 ml, while even in the adapted ready-made milk formula this figure is 40 - 70% higher and is 1.4 - 1, 6 g/100 ml. The increased content of proteins increases the load on the glomerular apparatus of the kidney.
  • Another problem of milk mixtures is their normalization by mineral composition. Excess salt can overload the kidneys and cause thirst, which is reflected in the addition of water to formula-fed babies. nine0127
  • Many pediatricians still recommend giving babies about 100 ml of water daily to avoid dehydration. However, at present, the World Health Organization and UNICEF insist that there is no need for supplementation and the introduction of any foreign liquids and products before the child reaches the age of 6 months.
  • What is the basis for these recommendations? If breastfeeding is organized correctly (the mother feeds the baby on demand, approximately every 1.5 - 2 hours, keeping night feedings), then the baby receives enough water from milk in the first six months of life. nine0127

This section describes only the main advantages of breastfeeding.

Is there any benefit from breastfeeding for the mother and does this process affect the “usual” way of life?

The benefits for the mother can be divided into three groups:

1. Health benefits

  • Breastfeeding within the first hour after birth significantly reduces the risk of postpartum uterine bleeding.
  • Breastfeeding maintains a high level of hormones (oxytocin and prolactin) in the blood of the mother, which contributes to the formation of strong maternal feelings. nine0127
  • If a woman breastfeeds her baby exclusively, then in the first 4-6 months after childbirth, the probability of pregnancy is reduced by 95%.
  • Long-term breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer by 50%, and if a mother breastfeeds multiple children, breastfeeding each child reduces the risk of ovarian cancer by 25%. Also, women who breastfeed for a long time are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis.\

2. Economic benefits

  • You don't need to buy breast milk, you don't need additional accessories - nipples, sterilizers, heaters, breast pumps, which you still need to run around and choose exactly those that fit the size and shape of your breasts.
  • Savings on artificial mixtures, which are not cheap at all.

3. Breastfeeding is convenient

From a practical point of view, breastfeeding makes life easier for mothers. Breast milk is always sterile, at the ideal temperature and composition, requires no preparation, and is always fresh and ready to drink. It is convenient that a mother can feed a child in any conditions: in transport, at a party, in nature - in those places where preparing baby food is difficult and dangerous due to infection.

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