How Long Should I Breastfeed? | UnityPoint Health - Fort Dodge

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800 Kenyon Road
Suite R
Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501

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How Often and How Long Should My Baby Eat During the Day and Night?

  • Baby should eat whenever baby acts hungry. Usually 1-3 hours from start of last feeding.
  • Wake baby to feed if baby sleeping 3 hours from last feeding in day or 4 hours at night.
  • Baby should nurse at least 8-12 times or more every 24 hours (after first 24 hours of life).
  • Nurse baby 10-15 minutes on each breast. Nurse both breasts at each feeding.
  • Baby may nurse again if baby is still hungry.
  • Babies often cluster feed at night (or day). They may want to eat every hour for 3-4 hours in a row. This is normal for the first 2-3 weeks. This helps mother build a better milk supply sooner and baby gets more milk.
  • Nap in the day when baby is sleeping.

Please call the Trinity Birth Center's Lactation Consultant or educator with questions at (515) 574-6052.