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Breast-Feeding - How to Breast-Feed

Provide a complete feeding

Let your baby feed until he or she is satisfied.

  • Offer the other breast when the first breast feels empty and your baby sucks more slowly, pulls off, or loses interest. Usually your baby will continue breast-feeding but for less time than on the first breast.
  • To burp your baby, gently pat your baby's back to help him or her let out any swallowed air. After the baby burps, offer the breast again. Sometimes a baby will want to continue feeding after being burped.
  • If your baby falls asleep before finishing breast-feeding, you may need to stimulate him or her to finish the feeding. After a while, you will learn your baby's patterns and will know whether he or she needs rousing or has fed long enough.

To learn more about your baby's feeding needs, see Feeding Patterns.

Find support

The first two weeks of breast-feeding usually are the most challenging. You may have other times when you need extra help. Know who you can contact, such as friends and family who have breast-fed or a lactation consultant. Other support is available through local hospitals or clinics and support organizations, such as La Leche League.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 01, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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