Taking baby off the breast


If the baby is actively suckling and swallowing, there is no reason to switch breasts.   In the early days, if the baby falls asleep easily, mother should switch breasts when suckling and swallowing slows.  Watch the baby and not the clock. If the baby has 10 minutes of good suckling and falls asleep, the baby is finished with the feeding.    A signal that the baby may need to be taken off and burped is squirming movements.

To take the baby off the breast mother can:
Press breast down on her breast, near the baby's mouth;
Press down on baby's chin.
Insert a finger in the corner of the mouth.
(Mohrbacher and Stock 57)

 The advice from lactation experts now is "Let the baby finish the first breast first." Baby does not always have to nurse from both breasts at a feeding. Mother should start the next feeding on the breast that the baby did not use or nursed minimally on, at the last feeding.

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Copyright Marie Davis, RN,IBCLC 

Last reviewed: Saturday, September 11, 2010