Breastfeeding Newborns


These days, few women have had the opportunity to observe a wide range of other women breastfeed, and can have certain expectations of what breastfeeding is like.

Babies grow at different rates, have growth spurts at different times, and their calorie needs change on a daily basis. Your body is designed to adapt to these changes. Therefore, it is impossible to try to fit your baby into a strict feeding and sleeping schedule. Putting pressure on yourself to feed at regimented times will only leave your baby stressed and exhausted.

The Australian Breastfeeding Association and World Health Organisation recommend feeding your baby ‘on demand’. This means allowing your bay to feed when they are hungry, and sleep when they are tired.

Here is a rough guide to the number of feeds a baby requires:

First 24 hours after birth              1st feed within 1hr, then 4-6 feeds

24 to 48 hours old                        5-9 feeds

48 to 96 hours old                        9-15 feeds

4 to 5 days old                             8-15 feeds

7 days to 4 months                      6-10 feeds


Each feed can take 30 minutes (or longer!), so as you can see it takes a big portion out of your day. Also, babies may cluster feed – this is their way of putting in their ’order’ for the next day.

Use this opportunity to bond with your baby and put your feet up. The cleaning, cooking, and housework can wait – enjoy this precious time with your newborn!

Dr Maryallan Girolami

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