Learn the Basics

The Breastfeeding Rules

1. Feed the baby

Newborn babies need to be fed by directly latch (nursing) or bottle feeding every 1-4 hours for a minimum of eight feeding cycles in 24 hours. The baby should not be allowed to go longer than 4 hours without eating until they have surpassed birth weight and the pediatrician agrees it is safe.

8+ feeding cycles / 24 hours

Feed the baby breastfeeding directly (nursing) or by bottle feeding the designated volume for the baby’s age. Learn the Bottle Feeding Rules.

If you are directly latching your baby onto your breast, we call this nursing. There are Nursing Rules you should know as well. 

2. Protect the milk supply

Each time you feed the baby, if you want to continue lactating, you need to protect the milk supply​ or stimulate your breasts.

Stimulate your breasts (directly latch or pump) to make milk every 1-4 hours for a total of eight stimulations per 24 hours.

8+ breast stimulations / 24 hours

A stimulation can be an effective breastfeeding session or 15 minutes of pumping both breasts at the highest comfortable vacuum. A pumping session does not need to be at the exact same time the baby is taking a bottle. Learn the Pumping Rules. 

3. Seek help

Although making lactation may be an innate biological process, breastfeeding is a learned experience. Nursing in particular requires practice, skill, and a little bit of art to feel proficient at. 

Find yourself an IBCLC who really listens to you, eases your pain, and helps you identify and achieve your own personal breastfeeding goals. If the helper feels unhelpful or judgmental, simply let that go and find someone else.