In the past couple of decades, there has been a concerted effort to increase the popularity of breastfeeding as a parenting option (http://www.parents.com/baby/care/newborn/new-moms-faqs/). The benefits, such as healthier immune systems, have long been touted (http://www.llli.org/faq/enough.html).
Now, with the social stigma of public breastfeeding seeming to be on the decline, it is more popular than ever. In fact, over three-fourths of all babies in America start out being breastfed (http://www.llli.org/faq/faq.html). Still, new parents have questions to help them understand breast-feeding and help them understand what they can do to help their children have a healthier start in life.
How many times should a baby be breastfed each day?
The general feeding rule is about 8 to 12 times each day. (That comes out to about once very two to three hours each day.)
How long should each feeding last?
This one is harder to determine. Generally, let your child set the pace. As a rule of thumb, the feeding should be between ten to twenty minutes (per breast).
How do I know if “the breastfeeding is working”?
The best sign is if your baby is gaining weight at a steady pace. Be sure to check with your pediatrician to ensure that your child is gaining weight at a healthy rate. (This is usually about four to seven ounces a week.)