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Breastfeeding: Getting Started

Dana C.
Lactation Consultant
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How soon should you start breastfeeding? How do I encourage my baby to latch? How frequently should I plan to nurse? Ask these and many more questions to Tinyhood Lactation Consultant, Dana Czuczka.

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Newborn feeding approach


What’s the right length of time to feed per breast for a 1 week old who is still slightly below birth weight and getting the hang of feeding? I was told by the hospital to have him feed on 1 breast until they unlatch and then switch. With that approach I’m not sure how long to leave him on the breast because most the time he will unlatch after less than 5 mins. Last night (for the first time), he fed consistently on 1 breast for almost 35 mins. I’m pretty sure he was still getting milk but not 100% sure. I didn’t dare pull him off for fear I wouldn’t get him back on.


Hi Lauren - congratulations on your new baby! These first few days are hard to keep baby awake and active at breast - that’s for sure! There’s no magic number for how long we keep on each side. We do recommend staying on one side u til it’s “drained” (hard to tell for a new mom!)and the offer second side. I’d say about 20 mins but don’t stop babe if he’s still going. One great way to keep him active at breast is to compress and massage your breast once he slows down. This will push milk into his mouth and remind him what he doing! Then burp him and really wake him and then offer second side.