The air that your baby swallows while breast feeding must be brought up or “burped” to prevent stomach pain. To remove the air bubbles, sit your baby on your lap supporting his head with your hand. With your other hand, gently pat or rub his back. After you hear a burp, continue feeding the baby. Usually a little milk comes out with the burp so have a clean cloth available.
Burp your baby after he has finished one breast and again after he finishes nursing on the other side.
Developing a Feeding Schedule
Breastfed babies eat more often than formula-fed babies because breast milk is easier for babies to digest. Your baby will need to be breastfed every 1-3 hours at first and at least 8 times in 24 hours. Gradually, your baby will let you know when he is hungry.
You will know whether your baby is getting the correct amount of milk by his weight. Most babies gain 4 to 7 ounces per week for about the first 3 months. Any concerns about his weight should be reported to your doctor. If your baby is getting enough to eat, and is at least 4 days old, he should have at least 6 wet diapers and 1 or 2 bowel movements each day. Some breastfed babies do not have a daily bowel movement after they are several weeks old. Stools will usually be yellow in color and a seedy, loose consistency.
Bottle feedings should be avoided during the first 4 weeks. However, bottle feedings (preferably of breast milk) may be substituted for breastfeeding when you need to be away from the baby for a few hours. Bottle feedings may be necessary when baby stays with a baby sitter (or you can try to time your leaving and coming home time with feedings). Your baby may be fed breast milk or formula from the bottle. Doctors recommend that babies receive breast milk at least during the first 12 months.
Bottle Feeding with Pumped Breast Milk You can pump your breasts and leave this milk to be fed to the baby while you are away. When pumping your breasts, collect all the milk in one sterile container. Then pour the milk into sterile baby bottles in the amounts your infant usually takes at one feeding. Start with 2 to 3 ounces per bottle for a baby up to 3 months of age. The breast milk may be refrigerated for up to 3 to 5 days. It can be frozen in refrigerator freezer for up to 5 months and in a deep freeze for up to 12 months. Frozen milk should be thawed in a container of warm water. Keep thawed milk in the refrigerator. Discard any unused milk after 24 hours. Do not refreeze thawed milk. Breast milk should not be microwaved. Microwaving may destroy the parts of the milk that protect your baby from illness and it could burn the baby’s mouth
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