One of the toughest questions for a breastfeeding mother to answer is: How often does your baby breastfeed? It's a tricky question because breastfeed babies tend not to feed on fixed intervals or schedules, primarily because a baby does not receive the same amount of milk at each nursing session. Rather, she drinks just what she needs at each feed. In addition, the composition and volume of breastmilk changes throughout the day, so for one feeding a baby may drink 2 oz while for another she'll drink 4 oz, feeling equally satiated with each feed. More importantly, these breastmilk properties help babies self-regulate their feedings. That is, they feed until they feel content and slow down or delatch from the breast once they're done. Learning to self-regulate by breastfeeding has been linked to a decrease in obesity in infancy and later on in life.
Sharen Medrano, Yummy Mummy Support Group IBCLC (www.nycbreastfeeding.com)