Re: Breastfeeding help
On-demand feeding is always good for your baby. Milk is produced on a supply = demand basis, so demand feeding is the best way to ensure that your supply stays equal to your baby's needs. Moms who don't feed on demand are much more likely to "lose" their milk supply and end up supplementing with or switching to formula. Nursing on demand also allows a mom to be very flexible about how she uses the breast. She can use it to meet her baby's need for food and also as a source of comfort; nothing soothes a cranky, tired, sick, or hurting baby better than nursing. So, moms who don't nurse on demand not only risk their milk supplies but also need to find other ways to meet their babies' needs for comfort, and those other ways generally work less well and are much more time-consuming than nursing.
Originally Posted by @llli*mjgirl
There is no universally accepted standard for how long a mom must feed on demand. But if you read the American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement on breastfeeding carefully, you discover 2 things that I think give you a good idea of what to strive for. First, according to the AAP, after 6 weeks nursing frequency may decline to approximately 8 feedings in a 24 hour period. But increases in nursing frequency can be expected during growth spurts or when an increase in milk volume is required. (In other words, don't put your baby on an 8 feedings per day schedule after 6 weeks, because you never know when your baby is going to need more feedings than that 8 per day minimum.) Second, the AAP recommends that breastmilk be the baby's primary source of nutrition until 1 year, with complementary foods being introduced starting at 6 months. So put those 2 puzzle pieces together, and you come up with on-demand nursing being important throughout the first year.
Is there a reason why you want to know, mama? Are you feeling worn out by your baby's demand, are you reading a book that advocates scheduling, or is someone in your life telling you that you should schedule?
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