While most babies do indicate when they need to be fed, babies in the newborn period may not wake often enough, so it is often necessary to wake your baby for a breastfeed. Newborns need at least eight feeds in a 24 hour period.
Infrequent waking to feed can be caused by:
- medications used during labour
- maternal medications
- maternal gestational diabetes
- and or shutdown behaviour after delayed response to feeding cues
The less a baby feeds during a 24 hour period, the more likely the mothers supply will drop, as the breast is not receiving adequate stimulation, the brain sends a signal to slow production.
A full breast means slower milk production, an empty breast means faster milk production.
The fat content in breastmilk is also determined by how empty the breast is, rather than the time of the day, or by what part of the feed.