Many parents are given time limits regarding switching breasts when they are nursing their baby. Parents are told to nurse from anywhere from 5-30 minutes per breast. Sometimes parents are told not to switch breasts at all. So what is the “right answer?”
Watch your baby!
If your baby is awake and swallowing at the breast, there is no reason to switch sides. If your baby’s swallowing has slowed, they have started to fall asleep, and/or they seem frustrated at the breast, it’s time to switch sides. Sometimes switching breasts multiple times per feeding can be useful, especially in cases of sleepy babies or low milk supply. If you feel your baby falls asleep or becomes frustrated early in the feeding, using breast compressions can be a great way to keep them actively sucking. Babies communicate so much when we know what to look for!
Do you have questions about how long to breastfeed in total? Again, it’s important to watch your baby. Further information on determining breastmilk intake is available here.