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St. Luke's Emergency Department

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Jones Regional Medical Center Urgent Care - Anamosa

1795 Highway 64 East
Anamosa, IA 52205

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UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Lindale)

153 Collins Road Northeast
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

04 Patients
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UnityPoint Clinic - Express (Peck's Landing)

1940 Blairs Ferry Rd.
Hiawatha, IA 52233

00 Patients
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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Marion

2992 7th Avenue
Marion, IA 52302

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UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care - Westside

2375 Edgewood Road Southwest
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

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Feeding

As a new mother, you may be wondering if it's better for your newborn to feed on a schedule or on demand. Feeding on demand is almost always recommended. Newborns eat 8-12 times in 24 hours. 

  • Studies show a baby who has complete access to feeding has a much higher chance of getting the full nutrients he/she needs, compared to a baby whose access is restricted.
  • Putting your baby on a strict schedule could make it difficult for him/her to get all of the nutrients necessary for proper growth and development.
  • Your baby's caloric needs change constantly (due to growth spurts), and only your baby knows his/her needs and how often they need to be met.

It is best to feed your baby whenever he/she shows signs of hunger or thirst. These signs include:

  • Squirming
  • Sucking on hands or fingers
  • Smacking lips
  • Coughing
  • Yawning
  • Crying

Some babies eat every 1-3 hours, while others eat every hour for 3-5 feedings, then sleep for 3-4 hours. Every baby is different. Breastfeeding works on a supply-and-demand basis; the more your baby eats the more milk your body will produce. It is important to nurse frequently.

PODCAST EPISODE: Breastfeeding
Leeann Moses, RN, lactation specialist, joins Dr. Arnold during World Breastfeeding Week to discuss frequently asked questions about breastfeeding.

For bottle fed babies, allow your baby to eat until he/she stops. If your baby doesn't drink the whole bottle, that's OK. Your baby's probably telling you he/she's full. Check with your doctor on how much formula your baby should have.

Try and let your baby tell you when he/she is ready to eat. This will allow your baby to get the proper nutrients he/she needs to develop properly.

If you have additional questions about feeding, speak to your doctor or contact UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Lactation Consultants at (319) 369-8944