Demand feeding literally means feeding on demand i.e. giving your newborn a feed when he wants it and not when you think he should have it. Babies should always be fed on demand as they know their appetites better than you do. The only exception are premature babies who tend to sleep a lot and need to be woken up for feeds every three hours.
No, it isn't, although you must try and place him in a position to burp him after every feed. If he doesn't burp after half a minute, give up as he probably does not need to bring up any air.
There are different ways in which you can try and make your newborn bring up wind :
- Place him against your shoulder and rub his back firmly but gently.
- Place him on your lap, facing forwards and holding him under the chin to support the head while rubbing his back gently (you may have seen the nurse use this technique in the hospital during your stay there).
- Hold him face down across your lap or in your arms.
Your baby is born with an instinctive reflex to search for your nipple to find food. This reflex is called the rooting reflex. This reflex fades with time but can be alerted till about the tenth day after birth by stroking his cheek. He will turn towards your breast and start searching for the nipple.
Once your baby has latched on to your breast for feeding, you may feel a tingling sensation in your breasts as your breasts release the stored milk. All women do not necessarily experience this reflex.
The worst thing you can do to your nipples is to pull your baby away from it after a feed. The best way is to slip a finger between her jaws to break the feed so that she lets go of your nipple gently.
You can continue feeding your baby into his second year although babies generally give up the breast before that. When you do decide to stop breastfeeding, remember to drop one feed at a time otherwise your breasts will be very painful and uncomfortable.