Frequently Asked Questions: Breastfeeding

When should I breastfeed?

Watch your baby for signs of hunger and allow your baby to breastfeed as often as desired. Every baby is different, but most will nurse at least every 2 to 3 hours.

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My baby is really sleepy during the day. Should I be waking my baby to eat?

Wake a sleeping baby if it has been longer than 3 hours during the day and 4 hours at night since the last nursing. It may take about five minutes to wake your baby. Rubbing baby's back, talking close to the baby's face or changing the diaper are all ways to help wake a sleepy baby.

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I know that breastfeeding is best for my baby but it feels really strange to me. Is this normal to feel this way?

Some new moms feel breastfeeding is awkward and uncomfortable at first. With a little bit of practice you will begin to feel much more comfortable and even enjoy it.

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How long should a feeding last?

Feedings will usually last between 15-45 minutes. Allow your baby to stay on the breast as long as there is continued sucking and swallowing. You will know that your baby is finished when sucking stops and baby lets go of the breast.

Day Feedings Wet Diapers Dirty Diapers
1 6-8 1 or more 1 or more
2 6-8 2 or more 2 or more
3 8-12 3 or more 3 or more
4 8-12 4 or more 4 or more

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It seems like my baby wants to breastfeed all the time. How can I tell if my baby is getting enough milk?

The number of wet and dirty diapers is the best way to tell if your baby is getting enough milk. The number of nursings and the number of wet and dirty diapers will increase each day for the first four days of life. However, after baby is four weeks old it is normal to notice the number of dirty diapers decrease.

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When should I seek help with breastfeeding?

While many mothers and babies adjust easily to breastfeeding, others sometimes have trouble getting started. Ask for help if:

  • Baby is unable to hold a proper latch
  • No sign baby is getting milk
  • Severe breast pain while nursing
  • Less than 3 dirty diapers on day 3
  • Baby continues to lose weight on day 5
  • Below birth weight at 2 weeks
  • Baby seems weak, tired and not interested in feeding

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Where can I go for help with breastfeeding?

There are many resources available to help you and your baby get off to a good start.

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