My newborn nurses all day long, and it feels like the only thing I do anymore. Please tell me this isn’t forever, is it?
A: Newborns do take a really long time to eat, and they eat around the clock. Common wisdom says that newborns can take 40 minutes at each feeding; although as a new mom, it can be a whole hour as you two figure things out. Half of these babies will drop to under 30 minutes by 3 to 6 weeks, while the rest can take up to 6 to 9 months before getting faster at nursing. So, yes, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but it may not be for a while yet.
This adds up to many boring hours sitting there, feeding your little one. Assuming that you’ve already had your fill of gazing at the adorable baby head and tiny baby hands in the first few sessions of the day, you’ll want to stock up on hands-free entertainment to keep from going stir-crazy. Try finding a fun TV show on a streaming service, an e-book to read on your smartphone or an interesting podcast to listen to.
Given how much time you spend doing this activity, you’ll also want to ensure that your nursing setup is ergonomically correct. You should be sitting with your back supported, which nursing chairs are designed to do. Figure out what combination of regular and feeding pillows work to prop your arms and the baby up to breast level, so you aren’t actually lifting or holding anything up. This will prevent aches and pains from bad posture and repetitive stress.
It won’t be forever, and making sure that you are comfortable will help the newborn nursing experience be less lonely and more enjoyable.
—Jocelyn Lin, author of The New Mama Guide: Taking care of yourself in the first 6 weeks after birth