All You Need to Know about Breastfeeding Schedule

All You Need to Know about Breastfeeding Schedule
Last Updated: 20 January 2020

A child experiences hunger once they set foot on this world. We both know there’s only one way of dealing with hunger and that’s breastfeeding. Leave alone some quick hacks of falling asleep then waking up forgetting that at some point, you were hungry. Well, babies don’t know this trick, if at all it works, for them there’s only one option to hunger, and that’s breastfeed milk, and that’s where a breastfeeding mother comes in.

benefits of breastfeeding for mother

For first-timers, it’s quite a surprise for them to have a child by their breast, wanting to breastfeed, and this could happen as early as 30 minutes after birth. This begs the question: at what time are newborns expected to breastfeed after birth, frequency, and amount of breastfeeding per session? You being a mother and you’re not well aware of how to go about these processes, relax you’re not alone! For most the mothers, coming up with a working breastfeeding schedule is most times a bit challenging but then, worry not!

To guide mothers through this whole milk process, here are some objective breastfeeding questions you ought to be asking yourself a breastfeeding mother?

  • How many times is one required to breastfeed a newborn in the first 24 hours?
  • How much breastmilk at 1 week does a baby need?
  • The importance of having a breastfeeding meal plan
  • How can you tell if your baby’s is eating enough?
  • How long is breastmilk good?
  • How to know when breast is empty?
  • In case of reduction, how to get milk supply back?
  • How many times a day should you express breast milk?

By the end of this post, you’ll find answers to all these questions.

How Does Breast Milk Work?

breastfeeding on schedule

The Health Association recommends that a mother is required to start breastfeeding at least an hour after giving birth. Once out, a newborn is placed in contact with the mother’s abdomen. Skin-to-skin. This is to initiate breastfeeding process and check for critical reflexes that are essential for breastfeeding as well as maintain pleasant body temperature. Proper nursing of roughly seven times with the first 24 hours is expected with newborns expected to poop and pee at least thrice within the first day. So if at all your baby doesn’t meet such, you could check out vital and fundamental signs. If okay, then you’re good to go.

So how does breast milk work? The fresh breast milk – colostrum, has been known to have several health benefits to a child. The color of colostrum is usually yellowish. The amount is roughly 5ml and yet so crucial in giving the newborn’s digestion a quick start. To the body, colostrum comes with immunity benefits of antibodies and other immunological elements that will serve to protect a baby against that are common to children after birth. These small amounts of breast milk are crucial in assisting your child to initiate breathing, swallowing, and suckling reflexes. Of note, the quantity of breast milk produced by the mother is directly proportional to the baby’s suckling.

How Will a Breastfeeding Mother Tell if a Baby Having Enough Breast Milk?

baby is eating

With all the best nursing tanks, deep down, you still feel like your newborn is not having enough breast milk. Well, you might be right, but then again, what if the issue is the breastfeeding mother and not the baby. Let’s find out. With all factors constant your breast produces enough milk for your child during the entire period. What is good practice? Ensure your baby is having enough by breastfeeding your baby at least eight times a day. Nonetheless, the most effective way to secure and monitor is through checking the baby’s used diapers.

For week one, effective breastfeeding means total used diapers should be equivalent to the days since birth. For instance, a four-day-old baby, there ought to be four dirty and used diapers. Of note, this applies to week one of life. After week one, breastfeeding mothers will be forced to increase the diaper change. Safety, let’s say, roughly five to nine diapers per day.

However, some mothers may be using disposable diapers. Which suck the wetness deep in. Thus sending wrong messages as to whether the baby is peeing enough. If this happens, the breastfeeding mother is required to focus on the diaper’s weight as a hallmark. If it’s much heavier than a fresh diaper, then that’s a clear indication the baby is peeing as expected.

mom with her baby

Now forget about the pee. Another indication of adequate breast milk for the baby is the mustard-colored stools. However, for such breast milk baby stools, their color tends to lighten over time to a darker tone. What is it you’re supposed to look at? A good number of between 1 to 5 dirty baby diapers per day would do just fine. What to look out for are signs of breast milk dehydration. These are the following. Too dark or hard stools – a sign of baby dehydration. And this means you seek medical intervention. In the meantime, if you notice such, increase breast milk to favor the body’s water content. Refrain from giving your baby water. Breast milk works best.

Once you notice your breastfeeding baby losing weight in the first week, don’t be spooked. This is normal and happens every time. Almost all babies end up losing 10% of their weight while adjusting to a new environment during their first week of life and later on start picking.

Take note of one of the most insightful breast pumping tips. Chubby baby cheeks are not an indication of having enough milk, do not be deceived!

Breastfeeding mothers are asked to monitor and feel their breasts for milk. They are also a sign of the baby having enough breast milk. Breasts feeling soft after breastfeeding! That’s how to know when a breast is empty. In which case they are drained, and your baby has had enough breast milk. A proper and fulfilling breastfeeding session should last at least 30 minutes. This means, if suckling goes far below 15 minutes, then chances are your baby hasn’t had enough breast milk. You’ll also notice your child posing between suckling reflexes with a full tummy, that’s also one sign of enough breast milk.

Should Mothers Breastfeed on Demand or Schedule?

1 month baby

This is a question that has been asked several in most Mother to Child Health Care Clinics. You should know that some of these breastfeeding patterns vary with age. This calls for mothers to monitor and understand their baby’s natural feeding patterns.

Whether a mother is required to breastfeed on-demand or schedule depends on your baby’s age. During the early days of life, good practice would be to breastfeed on demand. For them, feeding is based on instincts. If they’re sending signals of hunger, it would be best if the mother initiates the breastfeeding process. Remember, babies need to grow. Most newborns feed at least eight times a day with periods ranging from 15 minutes to an hour. Breast milk is easy to digest despite its nutritive value leave alone their stomachs are quite small.

One thing you should know is that breast milk production is based on supply and demand. It is for this reason that breastfeeding on demand will work towards creating perfect synchrony between the breastfeeding mother and the baby. Introducing a breastfeeding schedule tends to disrupt this natural sync. Mother’s should watch for signs of hunger:

1 week baby
  1. Putting fingers and hands in the mouth.
  2. Sticking out the tongue.
  3. Producing sucking sounds.
  4. A full breast.

Your baby’s weight gain is all dependent on the feeding practices. It’s therefore advisable for mothers always to be there and ready to feed their babies whenever there is a need.

How Often Are Breastfeeding Mothers Expected to Do So?

How long before the milk comes in? Early breastfeeding is beneficial assists in stimulating lactogenesis, which is the start of milk production by the mother. The more the baby breastfeeds, the more milk is produced while colostrum levels reduce, and the milk returns to normal.

First Week to 1 Month

The amount of milk a mother will produce during the first few days after birth is dependent on timed nursing. This is usually within an hour post-delivery. And the number of times the baby will be breastfed on the second day after birth. The giveaway of milk prompts your body to produce more. For the first week, it is advisable to feed your baby at least 8 to 12 times within a day. This should help with boosting lactogenesis. This also assists in regaining the 10% weight loss after birth.

How many ounces of breastmilk for a 3-week old baby? For breastfeeding mothers, every two hours during the day. And thrice during the night. This should work just fine. Then babies will have enough ounces of milk every day. How much breastmilk should a 1-month old eat? At least 25 to 30 ounces per diem.

3rd Month

We need to bear in mind that you are all different in some way, and therefore you are producing more milk while some children are feeding less. Exclusive breastfeeding will mean babies should be having 4 – 13 sessions per diem, and this will go with their mode of feeding. Be it slow or faster.

Over 6th Months

baby over 6 month

After six months of breastfeeding, babies are free to start on solid foods besides the milk. However, this doesn’t mean you cut down on the milk. The WHO breastfeeding facts say allow breastfeeding women to go beyond two years. Well, how to stop milk production if not breastfeeding can be achieved through the following:

  • Putting on firm breast bras instead of maternity nursing bra.
  • Using breast pads to soak any leaking milk.
  • Express some little milk whenever your breasts feel too full.
  • For starters lie on your back whenever in bed.

Meanwhile, be on the watch for mastitis and engorgement!

Importance of Breastfeeding to a Mother

It does the following:
  1. Assists mothers with burning extra calories fastening post-pregnancy weight loss.
  2. It reduces risks of ovarian and breast cancer.
  3. Enhances mother to child bonding.
  4. It is cost effective.
  5. There is an exchange of beneficial maternal hormones.

Side Effects of Breastfeeding

Sideeffects of breastfeeding
If at all, you’re experiencing side effects of breastfeeding, you’re not alone. To name a few:
  1. Back pain in a breastfeeding position.
  2. Carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of pressure on nerves.
  3. Cramping as well as increased hormone production.
  4. Osteoporosis.

Wear your breastfeeding cloth or use the best nursing cover, and let’s begin feeding your baby!


You’re good to go now. This information should help you maneuver around the entire feeding period. Be patient with your child and strive towards understanding their feeding cues every day. Remember, exclusive breastfeeding for six months is the motto. Read more on the topic with our 17 breast pumping tips and please share your opinion with!

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