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Thursday, November 26, 2009

How often you should nurse

Frequently. The more you nurse, the more quickly your mature milk will come in and the more milk you'll produce. Nursing for ten to 15 minutes per breast eight to 12 times every 24 hours is pretty much on target. According to the latest guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), you should nurse your newborn whenever he shows signs of hunger, such as increased alertness or activity, mouthing, or rooting around for your nipple. Crying is a late sign of hunger — in other words, ideally you should start feeding your baby before he starts crying.

During the first few days, you may have to gently wake your baby to begin nursing, and he may fall asleep again in mid-feeding. To make sure your baby's eating often enough, wake him up if it's been four hours since the last time he nursed. Once your baby becomes alert for longer periods, you can settle into a routine of feeding every one to three hours (less at night as he starts to sleep through).

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