How Long Should Each Breastfeeding Session Last?
Many first time mothers have questions regarding how to best raise a healthy child. One of the biggest components to raising a healthy child is through adequate breastfeeding. This is of utmost importance as breastfeeding contributes to the healthy physical, mental, and social growth of your baby. One of the most popular questions among new mothers is, “How long should my breastfeeding sessions last?” Insight will be given into how long your breastfeeding sessions should last at various stages of your baby’s development. It should be noted, though, that not one amount of time is typical of all babies, but is rather a rule-of-thumb.
Time Spent Feeding
If you have a newborn, you will likely be feeding between eight-to-twelve times per day. Moreover, your breastfeeding session will usually last between twenty to forty-five minutes. However, with sleepy newborns, it is not unusual for your baby to feed a bit longer. Although spending more than forty-five minutes to feed may be a sign that your child is having trouble accessing the breast milk, it could just mean that your baby is taking his/her ole sweet time. Remind your child of this when he/she is acting up as a teen later in life! One suggestion is to switch breasts or reposition your child if it seems that he or she is having trouble accessing the milk.
Do not stresses over this, however, as you will know if your child is not accessing enough of your breast milk. One way to tell that your baby is not receiving enough milk is by changes in your child’s stool color. If he or she is not receiving enough milk, you will notice your child’s stool color changing to a brown or mustard-yellow color. Not a pleasant sight…
As your baby grows older, the time and frequency of feeding will begin to decrease, and you will begin to get more free time! What will you do with it? From the first to second month, the frequency of feedings will decrease from eight-to-twelve times per day to seven–to-nine times per day. With each passing month, the number of feedings per day and time spend with each feeding will continue to decline.
How Long Should a Mother Breast Feed Her Child?
A question of concern for many mothers is, “How long should I breastfeed my child?” This question is quite controversial today, but knowing just how long to continue breastfeeding your baby will give you peace of mind in knowing that your child is getting the best possible care. It will be explain how long is the recommended time to breastfeed your baby and why it is important.
What is the recommended time?
For the first six months, breastfeeding alone will give your baby sufficient nutrients. At six month of age, your baby can begin to eat solid foods. Here is where the controversy begins, however. At age one, you may wish to begin feeding your baby more solid foods, but should still continue to breastfeed according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization.
The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that the baby should be breastfed for at least twelve months, and the World Health Organization states that breastfeeding can continue even after the child is two years of age. However, to some, children two-years of age and older may be too old to be breastfed. Breastfeeding a child over the age of two has not been proven to have any health benefits, and may create mixed messages for the child regarding personal boundaries. Research seems to suggest that when your child reaches about age one, he/she should stop being breastfed.
You should not be discouraged by the controversy surrounding when to stop breastfeeding, though. Breastfeeding has been found to contribute to a baby’s increased immune health and resistance to infection, and decreased risk of obesity, asthma, and cancer. Studies have also found that breastfeeding contributes to mental development. Moreover, the bonding between you and your baby during breastfeeding fosters a better learning environment for your baby, as he/she feels safe in your arms. The benefits begin to wane, however, as your child grows older, and there may even be adverse effects in the mental and social development of your child that is breastfed at age two and above.
Although there is a bit of controversy surrounding when is the ideal age to stop breastfeeding your child, evidence suggests that the ideal age is about one. The controversy should not discourage you from breastfeeding, as the health benefits to your child are great. The health and emotional benefits of breastfeeding are vital to the development of your baby, yet you should not breastfeed beyond the suggested time as it may lead to adverse effects in your child’s mental and social development.
Although the length of time spent feeding seems like a stressful subject as nutrition is vital to your baby’s development, knows that your baby is unique and may not fit into the usual feeding times; there is no reason to panic. However, if the baby seems to be having trouble accessing the milk, try to reposition the baby. You will know your baby is not receiving enough breast milk by the color of his/her stool. Also, if you have a newborn it may seem that you are constantly feeding. However, know that the time and frequency of feeding will decrease, as the baby grows older.