How Often You Should Breastfeed Your Newborn
As a new mother, one of the biggest concerns early on in your breastfeeding journey might be whether or not your little one is getting enough to eat. Breastfeeding is not only a learning experience for you but also your baby. The first few months are so very important in helping to establish a successful milk supply.
In the early stages of breastfeeding, don't be afraid of nursing too much. It's completely normal to feel like you spend your entire day feeding your little one, well, because you kind of do. When your little one is born their stomach is very small, about the size of grape. Breast milk is easily digested (one of the many benefits of breast milk) so it is gentler on your baby’s stomach, but it also means it is digested very quickly. Aim for nursing at least 10-12 times within a 24 hour period. This will of course change as your baby gets older. You CAN'T nurse too often but you can nurse too little.
Your baby may want to nurse very often. This may mean every hour for a few hours followed by longer stretches between feedings. Follow your baby and not the clock!
Nurse your baby at the first sign of hunger. Rooting is when your baby moves his mouth and head toward a stimulus such as the touch of something to their cheek or lips. Your baby will then open his mouth in quick little open-close movements. When your baby is stirring or you see that they are starting to put their hands in their mouth, these are all signs your baby may want to eat.
Remember, any amount of breast milk given to your baby is a success. Take it one day at a time because you're doing an awesome thing!