Is it true breastfeeding gets faster and easier after 6 weeks?
Now breastfeeding gets faster and easier. Here are the basics from 6 weeks to 6 months.
- Your baby's stomach is larger and holds more milk. He may feed less often.
- Lots of breastfeeding at first means your milk supply is set.
- Most mothers no longer feel full, even with lots of milk.
- Babies need about as much milk per day at 6 weeks as 6 months.
- Now breastfeeding starts to take less time than bottle-feeding.
- When breastfeeding well, a baby does best on mother's milk alone until about 6 months.
What to Expect
- Older babies are faster feeders. The baby who used to feed for 40 minutes may now be done in 15 minutes.
- Some babies this age have fewer stools but gain weight just fine.
- Older babies may pull off the breast when they hear or see things around them.
- Until 4 months, expect a weight gain of at least 6 ounces (170 g) a week or 1.5 lbs (680 g) a month. From 4-6 months, expect a weight gain of at least 4-5 ounces (113-142 g) a week or 1 lb. (452 g) a month.
Things to Learn
- Trust your baby to know the right time to feed.
- Practice breastfeeding when away from home until you feel at ease.
Seek Breastfeeding Help When
- Breastfeeding hurts.
- Baby gains weight too slowly.
Even when breastfeeding is going well, you may experience some of the following:
- Your baby has fussy times. (Most babies do.)
- She wants to feed again soon after breastfeeding. (Most babies do.)
- She wants to feed more often. (This adjusts your milk production.)
- Your breasts no longer feel full. (Usually at about 3-4 weeks.)
- She wants to feed less often or for a shorter time. (Babies get faster with practice.)
- She wakes a lot at night. (Babies need to do this to get enough milk.)
- She will take a bottle after breastfeeding. (Babies like to suck.)
- You can't express much milk. (This skill takes practice.)
You Know You Have Plenty of Milk When
Baby Gains Weight Well On Breast Alone
- 0-4 months: 7 ounces (210 g) a week or 2 lbs. (900g) a month
- 4-6 months: 4-5 ounces (120-150g) a week or 1 lb. (480 g) a month
Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA, Lactation Consultant, Ameda Breastfeeding Products
Coauthor of Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers