Breastfeeding – it seems easy and instinctive but not so, if moms want to breastfeed properly, moms still need to learn. Breastfeeding properly will not only make moms have a lot of breast milk and moms won’t get tired, but the babies can also suckle freely. So how to breastfeed properly? Please refer to the following article for the clarification!


1. Signs moms’ child wants to eat

Babies have a natural instinct to find their breast from birth. These instinctive behaviors are seen as early as 1-2 hours and continue for at least 3 months after birth. It is these instinctive behaviors that help moms to recognize the signs that they want to eat as early as:

  • Turn head from side to side to find breast,
  • Tongue button.
  • The mouth moves as if breastfeeding.
  • Snuggle, find her breast
  • Writhing,
  • Hand in mouth, …

Crying is a sign of a late baby being hungry, so instead of waiting until the baby cries out of hunger, moms should recognize the baby’s signal to ask for food, let moms’ baby eat sooner so he/she won’t be hungry.

2. How many times do babies breastfeed each day?

Depending on the weight and nutritional needs of each child, the number of feeds and the amount of milk each time varies slightly. However, according to experts, moms should feed infants approximately 8-12 times every 24 hours. Each feeding is 2 hours apart if breastfeeding and 3 hours if formula milk is used.

The average time for each feeding of the baby should last from 20-30 minutes, at least 10 minutes for each breast because the first 10 minutes the baby mainly suckles the amount of water, while the amount of breast milk secreted later brings many good nutrients for the development of the baby. When a little older, the baby’s suckling time will also be shorter. Baby only needs about 5-10 minutes for each feed to be able to suck up the necessary amount of milk. 

Depending on the needs of the child, moms will consider whether or not to breastfeed the night. Since, if breastfeeding at midnight, the baby’s sleep can be interrupted from 10 pm – 3 am, and this can adversely affect the brain development and physical condition of the baby.

3. How much is enough for an infant to nurse?

The stomach size of the newborn
The stomach size of the newborn

At birth, babies’ stomachs are very small, about the size of a cherry, and now they only need about 7 ml of milk for each feed. The baby’s stomach size will increase day by day. By the third day after birth, babies’ stomach are about the size of a walnut and can hold about 22-27 ml per breastfeeding. By the end of the first week, the babies’ stomach will be as big as a peach, can hold about 45-60 ml of milk.

After the first two weeks, babies can breastfeed on an average of 60 ml – 100 ml/time. At 3 months, the amount of milk each feeding can increase from 600-900 ml, which is equivalent to about 90-150 ml of milk/feed and maintains this amount until the following months.

Moms can refer to the following table for infant’s day feeds:

Age Feeding times/ day Amount of milk/ feeding time (*) Kind of stool Diaper changes 
1 – 2 days 8 – 12 times 30 – 90 ml Dark green or black Change diaper 1 – 3 times 
3 – 4 days 8 – 12 times 60 – 90 ml Loose stools or yellow stool 2 -3 times per day Change diaper 3 – 4 times
5 – 6 days 8 – 12 times 60 – 90 ml 3-5 yellow stools each day Change diaper 6 times or more
7 days – 1 month 8 – 12 times 90 – 150 ml 3-5 yellow stools each day Change diaper 6 times or more
2 months 6 – 8 times 90 – 150 ml 3-5 yellow stools each day Change diaper 6 times or more
3 – 4 months 5 – 6 times 120 – 210 ml 3-5 yellow stools each day Change diaper 6 times or more

Formula to calculate the amount of milk for babies

4. How to breastfeed properly?

At first moms will have difficulty breastfeeding, moms need to have a period of about 2 weeks to 1 month to get a stable posture for breastfeeding. This helps to ensure a good supply of milk for moms’ baby. If moms experience pain during breastfeeding, a sore nipple or a crack in the breast often means moms’ baby has not been properly fed.

Moms should wear comfortable, the most comfortable clothes when breastfeeding. Find a position that suits moms and moms’ baby. In that position, both moms and moms’ baby will feel comfortable, without muscle tension or uncomfortable constriction. When moms’ baby finds the right position, he’ll dig his chin into the breast, open his mouth, attach it to the breast and start sucking. Let moms’ baby be as active as possible. Position the baby so that the baby’s entire body is in a straight line from moms’ chest. Babies need a free, restrained head in order to comfortably breastfeed.

Your hand forms a C around the breast

No matter where moms are, try to hold the baby in one hand and the other hand to lift and hold the breast. Place moms’ thumb on the top of the areola, and the palm of moms’ hand below the breast away from the areola. Moms’ hand should gently support the breast and form a “C” around the breast. Try not to change breast shape in any way.

5. Signs moms breastfeed properly

The baby attaches with the breast correctly: the baby attaches to the breast, the lower lip is facing out, the nipple must be completely in the mouth (the baby’s jaws are paired on the upper part of the breast, not just the nipple), tongue is clustered around the nipple , round cheeks, more areola on top than under.

The baby is attached to the breast correctly

Correct feeding posture: the baby’s head and body are on the same line, the baby’s face is facing the breast and the baby’s lips are facing the nipple, the baby’s body is close to the mother, the whole momsng person is supported.

Breastfed babies are effective when: they swallow slowly, deeply, stop occasionally, then feed again, can see or hear the sounds of swallowing. Suck all the milk from one breast, then switch to the other and vice versa. Mother should not unburden when the baby still wants to suck. Babies should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months, not feeding or taking any alternative foods, including water for optimal growth.

Take time to try different positions and postures to see what position moms and moms’ baby are most comfortable with. Moms can refer to a few poses below

5. Dấu hiệu bạn cho con bú đúng cách 2

Cradle-shaped sucking position

5. Dấu hiệu bạn cho con bú đúng cách 3

Breastfeeding position under the mother’s arms

5. Dấu hiệu bạn cho con bú đúng cách 4

The breastfeeding position is prone

6. Signs moms’ baby has had enough breast milk

For moms when giving birth for the first time, it’s not easy to know whether moms’ baby is getting enough breast milk or not. However, moms only need to observe for a few signs below to know whether moms’ baby is getting enough or not.

  • After each breastfeed, moms’ breasts become softer
  • Children have diarrhea with yellow and soft stools
  • Regular urination, colorless or pale yellow urine, no odor. This proves that moms’ baby has received enough milk
  • Moms’ baby will show joy, comfort and satisfaction after each feed
  • Moms’ baby’s weight will increase steadily after about the first 2 weeks

Note:  Don’t worry if moms’ baby’s feeding time is shorter than usual. Depending on the mother’s breasts will produce different amounts of milk, moms’ baby can get all the nutrients in just a few minutes when nursing. As long as mom makes sure that she is breast feeding properly and doesn’t skip any feeding times.


7. Some notes about breastfeeding

    • Do moms know, in the first few hours after birth, moms will have a large amount of colostrum, and this amount of milk is very precious, can help the baby completely immune in the first 6 months. Therefore, moms should try to take advantage of this source of milk for breastfeeding.
    • If moms’ baby does not follow the recommended breast-feeding standard, then moms can rely on moms’ baby’s needs to nurse. Moms should not force feed moms’ baby constantly, which will give rise to a fearful psychology that causes the baby to stop feeding.
    •  When breastfed, in the first two weeks, the baby may lose weight due to lack of adaptation to the external environment. On average, children can reduce from 140-200g and after about 10-12 days, then return to normal weight gain. So don’t worry if moms’ baby loses weight during this time.
    •  In the first days after birth, if moms observe the mother can see the baby diaper only slightly wet. But after only a few days, the baby’s diaper will be more wet after much suckling. At this time, the mother may have to change 8-10 diapers every day to ensure the baby’s skin is always dry and not being intimidated.


  • Note to increase the quality of milk for children and help moms to be healthy, recover quickly by: ensuring balanced nutrition for moms. Meals should be full of food groups: starches, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals; drink enough water every day. Especially the first stage after birth is the time when moms’ child is still developing strongly in the brain and eyesight, so moms need to pay attention to complete supplementation of DHA, EPA, iron, iodine, etc. for babies by supplementing with supplements regularly.


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