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How long should my baby nurse at each breast?

How long should my baby nurse at each breast?
Submitted by Parents Team

Let her nurse fully from one breast before switching (usually about 10 to 15 minutes). At the beginning of the nursing session, your baby gets foremilk, which is full of protein. The hind milk, released later, is thicker, richer, and fattier, making her feel fuller and helping her brain and body develop. If your baby seems full after just one breast, try changing her diaper or burping her before switching to the other breast, and start with that one at the next feeding. --Laura Flynn McCarthy

Originally published in Parents magazine, August 2002. Updated 2009.

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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