With parent-directed feeding (PDF), parents will feed their babies on a 2-3 flexible routine based on the baby’s cues. Crying is a late hunger cue, so don’t assume that your baby doesn’t need food until she cries. Some newborns can go 5-6 hours between feedings, which is entirely inadequate for their nutritional needs. This is why solely following baby’s cues may lead to a sickly, undernourished baby who has failure to thrive. Under-fed babies often lack the strength to cry and thus don’t get fed at the appropriate intervals.
So how do you nurse successfully with PDF? You establish the routine—most newborns can go between 2.5-3 hours between feedings. This time is counted from the beginning of feeding to the beginning of feeding. Latch the baby on to your breast appropriately and allow the baby to nurse. Your child will receive foremilk first—a watery thin milk with little nutritive value.
As your baby drinks the foremilk, you will experience letdown in which your glands will release the rest of the milk stored in them—sometimes this is tingly or painful, other times moms have no sensation. The milk your baby now gets is the hindmilk, it is rich, fatty, and full of nutrients. The best indication that you’ve achieved letdown is the consistent and rhythmic swallowing as your baby nurses. Once your milk comes in, most mommies have success nursing for 15 minutes per side, which permits baby to receive the hindmilk she needs to grow strong and healthy.
About The Author
Kirsten Hawkins is a baby and parenting expert specializing new mothers and single parent issues. Visit http://www.babyhelp411.com/ for more information on how to raising healthy, happy children.