The decision about how long to breastfeed is very personal and can depend on a number of factors. We provide information and support to help you make the decision that is right for you and your baby. Both the World Health Organisation WHO and UNICEF recommend that a baby is exclusively breastfed for the first six months around 26 weeksand for breastfeeding to continue beyond that time along with solid food for two years or more.
There is no limit on how long you should breastfeed your little one. You may breastfeed for as long as you and your baby choose. Surprising even themselves, many continue past their original goal because they love to see their baby growing so well, they are enjoying the nursing relationship, and see no reason to wean at their original preconceived goal.
There are numerous benefits to breastfeeding for babies and mothers, but how long do you need to breastfeed to experience these benefits? And is there a point when breastfeeding can become harmful? They also recommend that breastfeeding be continued for at least the first year, with additional foods being added starting at six months.
Do you know when your breast milk supply settles down? Find out in our guide to breastfeeding after one month. Feeds can last anything from 12 minutes to nearer an hour — there really is that much variability between babies! Breastfeeding throughout this stage also prepares your baby for the exciting milestones ahead.
How long to continue breastfeeding for is a personal decision for each family to make. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding i. Read here about what breastfeeding provides at the different ages and stages of your baby's life.
Breastfeeding is the normal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Virtually all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information, and the support of their family, the health care system and society at large. Colostrum, the yellowish, sticky breast milk produced at the end of pregnancy, is recommended by WHO as the perfect food for the newborn, and feeding should be initiated within the first hour after birth.
Breastfed babies tend to feed more frequently than bottle-fed babies, or those combining breast and bottle Casiday, This is because formula milk takes longer to digest Martin, This is also known as responsive or baby-led feeding WHO, ; Crowther et al, ; Entwistle, ; Fallon et al,
The time it takes to breastfeed depends on a few things including your baby's age and your breast milk supply. An average feeding can last 10 to 20 minutes, but a baby can breastfeed anywhere from five to forty-five minutes at each session. Here's a guideline for how many minutes babies spend breastfeedingwhat changes breastfeeding times, what short and long feedings can mean, and when to call the doctor.
Breastfeeding is good for both infants and mothers. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants. Breastfeeding can also help protect infant and mother against some short- and long-term illnesses and diseases:.
Whether you're a new mom or a seasoned parenting pro, breastfeeding often comes with its fair share of questions. Here are answers to some common queries that mothers — new and veteran — may have. Your newborn should be nursing times per day for about the first month. Because breast milk digests easier than formula, which means it moves through your baby's digestive system faster and, therefore, your baby is hungry more often.