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Where We Stand: Breastfeeding

The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that breastfeeding is the optimal source of nutrition through the first year. We recommend exclusively breastfeeding for about the first six months, and then gradually adding solid foods while continuing breastfeeding for at least the first year. Thereafter, breastfeeding can continue for as long as both mother and baby desire it.

Breastfeeding should begin as soon as possible after birth, usually within the first hour. Newborns should nurse whenever they show signs of hunger—approximately eight to twelve times every twenty-four hours. The amount of time and frequency for each feeding vary widely for each mother-baby pair. 

Before going home, it is important to identify the signs that your baby is latching on and getting milk​ during breastfeeding. The amount of milk a baby will get during each breastfeeding attempt is small during the first day (about 1 teaspoon) and increases on the second and third days. 

More information:

Last Updated
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 7th Edition (Copyright © 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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