How long should the breastfeeding period last?

Frequency and length of breastfeeding

The frequency of breastfeeding varies greatly from person to person. An infant can eat eight to twelve breastfeeding meals in 24 hours.

Some infants drink every hour for two to six hours and then sleep longer (so-called cluster feeding). However, some babies also drink every two to three hours day and night. On average, an infant stays with each breast for 15 to 20 minutes per feeding. Some infants only need one breast to feel full, while others need both and drink longer.

Instructions for breastfeeding

The "Checklist for the time after the birth" (p. 2: Breastfeeding and nutrition) from the National Breastfeeding Commission provides good and helpful instructions on breastfeeding. The "Breastfeeding and Nutrition" section is here with the kind permission of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment quoted:

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Breastfeeding and nutrition

  • You should be able to place your baby on both breasts without problems and in different breastfeeding positions.
  • By putting them on correctly, you can avoid sore nipples, milk congestion, and other problems. Let us show you how to do it!
  • Make sure that your baby can easily grasp both breasts!
  • Breastfeeding shouldn't be painful.
  • Do you know how to tell when it's time to breastfeed your baby?
  • Pay attention to your baby's signals and remember that crying is a late signal.
  • Breastfeeding 10 to 12 times is completely normal for the first few days. For the first four weeks, you should breastfeed your baby about eight times in 24 hours.
  • Your baby determines how long it takes to drink: at the beginning it is often 20 minutes per meal.
  • Even if your child is drowsy, you should encourage them to drink, e.g. B. by taking it in your arms, undressing, diapering.
  • For the first few weeks, your child should have at least 6 wet diapers and 2 chair diapers a day.
  • You can easily tell whether a disposable diaper is wet: it is then heavier. E Your child should have regained its birth weight after 14 days at the latest. Between 2 and 8 weeks of age, you should gain at least 20 g daily.
  • If it is necessary to feed other liquids besides breast milk, it is best to do so with a mug or spoon. Let us show you how to do this and, if necessary, find out more about other feeding techniques.

Source: Federal Institute for Risk Assessment

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The leaflet “Checklist for the time after the birth” can - like the information sheets on breastfeeding for pregnant women and breastfeeding women of the National Breastfeeding Commission at the BfR - be downloaded from the website www.bfr.bund.de or requested in any number from the BfR free of charge:

Office of the National Breastfeeding Commission
Federal Institute for Risk Assessment
Thielallee 88-92
14195 Berlin
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 030-8412 3715.