How many times have you doubted yourself while breastfeeding, especially in the early days? How many nights have you spent on google searching things like “how do I know if my baby is getting enough milk” or “should I wake my baby for a feed”? How many times have you sat through mothers group worrying because your baby isn’t feeding in the same way as all the other babies?
The good news thanks to research from Dr Jacqueline Kent presented at Medela’s 9th International Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium in April is that when it comes to normal with breastfeeding, every baby is different. What is normal for one mother and baby will be completely different to another so it is time to stop comparing ourselves and enjoy the journey.
Some of the findings from the research are:
- Number of breastfeeding sessions in a day range from 4-13
- An average breastfeed removes 67% of the milk from the breast
- 30% of babies always take just one breast, 13% always take both breasts and 57% mix it up
- To ease the minds of all those mummies being woken late at night for feeds, 64% of babies feed both day & night – it is normal!
- Boys have a slighter higher average intake than girls at 831mL daily compared to 755mL for girls and the range of normal is 478-1356mL
- An average breastfeeding session lasts 12-67 minutes with the average amount of milk taken between 54-234mL
- It is normal for one breast to produce more milk than the other
- As infants get older, they take fewer, shorter, larger feeds but their 24-hour (daily) intake will remain the same
When my daughter was born I found the advice given about breastfeeding to be so confusing. I had advice ranging from the number of feeds my baby needed in a day to set schedules I should stick to. I was so overwhelmed by the differing advice but my instincts were telling me that my daughter was doing just fine. I’m glad I listened to my instincts because we now have a relaxed and beautiful breastfeeding relationship. The advice from this research only serves to strengthen that.
This post is brought to you by Medela.
Medela provides real solutions for breastfeeding mothers to get over any hurdles in the early days and to support their long term breastfeeding goals. Through its extensive range of breast pump products and other breastfeeding products, Medela is committed to promoting the benefits of breast milk and encouraging long term breastfeeding. For more information visit: www.medela.com.au I www.facebook.com/medela.au
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