Night Time Feedings

Night Time Feedings: Why are they so important?

“Studies show babies consume about 20% of their feeds at night.”

Let’s start with that is completely normal for babies to feed overnight!

Night-time stimulation whether breastfeeding or pumping is crucial to help maintain and establish your milk supply.

Why are nighttime feeds so important?

-It is recommended that you breastfeed/pump every 2-3 hours in the first 6-12 weeks

-More milk removal = more milk

-Prolactin is highest overnight. Yes, that’s why babies tend to want to eat more at night… because we have more then!

What is Prolactin?

-Prolactin is the “milk-making hormone” and is linked to milk supply/production.

-The higher prolactin levels you have = the more milk is made.

-Prolactin levels are already higher overnight and breastfeeding or pumping at this time helps rise the prolactin level which then essentially helps drive up the levels and helps maintain and establish your milk supply.

In the end breast stimulation overnight to the early morning hours is needed in those early weeks.

By Danielle Donovan RN, BSN, IBCLC


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