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How Long Should a Breastfeeding Session Last for New Moms?

How Long Should a Breastfeeding Session Last for New Moms?

breastfeeding Jun 25, 2024

As a new breastfeeding mom, one of the most common questions is "How long should breastfeeding take?" The answer can vary greatly depending on your baby's age, feeding patterns, and individual needs. However, understanding the typical duration and what's considered normal can help you feel more confident and relaxed during your breastfeeding journey.

For newborns, it's perfectly normal for feedings to last anywhere from 20-40 minutes. During the first few weeks, your little one is still learning how to breastfeed efficiently, and frequent cluster feeding is common. Babies at this stage may need to feed as often as every 1-3 hours, around the clock.

As your baby grows and becomes more efficient at breastfeeding, the duration of each feed may decrease. By around 6-8 weeks, many breastfeeding sessions last between 10-30 minutes per side. However, it's essential to remember that every baby is different, and some may feed faster or slower than others.

Here are some general guidelines for breastfeeding duration based on your baby's age:

  • Newborns (0-4 weeks): 20 minutes to 40 minutes or longer per feed
  • 1-3 months: 10-30 minutes per side
  • 4-6 months: 5-15 minutes per side
  • 6 months and older: 5-10 minutes per side

It's important to note that these are just averages, and your baby's feeding patterns may differ. Some babies are "snackers" who feed more frequently for shorter periods, while others are "grazers" who prefer longer, less frequent feedings.

If you're concerned that your baby is feeding for an unusually long or short time, it's always best to consult with a lactation consultant or your healthcare provider. They can observe your baby's latch, sucking patterns, and overall feeding behaviors to ensure everything is progressing as it should.

 

Remember, the key is to watch for signs that your baby is getting enough milk, such as:

  • Consistent weight gain
  • Adequate number of wet and dirty diapers
  • Audible swallowing during feedings
  • Calm and content demeanor after feeds

Don't get too hung up on the clock – focus on your baby's cues and trust that they will let you know when they've had enough. If you want to get the entire Breastfeeding Blueprint for free as a BONUS where you'll understand how to overcome any common breastfeeding issues so that you can breastfeed as long and you want, The Postpartum Shift is for you!

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Hey mama,

I'm Brooke Miller,

Before becoming a mom, I chronically dieted & thought "eat less, move more" was the healthiest option. I dealt with exhaustion, mood swings, hormone imbalances (not getting a regular cycle), high cholesterol and weight cycling. I felt like something was wrong with me.

Before I got pregnant with my first son, I discovered the balanced nutrition approach I teach inside The Postpartum Shift. Once I implemented the framework, I was energized, gained strength, got my period back, lowered my cholesterol & maintained my healthiest weight. I continued this during my pregnancies & postpartum periods and recovered quickly after birth, made more than enough milk for my babies, had energy (even with the sleep deprivation) & stable mood. Postpartum was really enjoyable.

With a decade of experience as a Registered Dietitian and Certified Lactation Counselor, I created The Postpartum Shift to help moms boost energy, mood, metabolism & milk supply to have a stress-free & enjoyable postpartum experience.

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