Dr Virginia Thorley, OAM, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA - International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

Baby's hands and how they use them - "I've finished my feed".

Caring for a new baby is a learning process for first-time mothers, especially as many mothers haven't held a newborn baby before. A common question is - "How do I know when my baby has finished a breastfeed?"
Of course, as you get to know your baby and gain more confidence, it is easier to know when the feed has finished. 
Unfortunately, people ofter tell mothers that a baby will always go to sleep or come off the breast by herself.  This isn't the reality with a lot of babies. They like staying there.
At the beginning of a feed, most babies have closed fists.  What I find is a good guide if you think the baby has finished is to see if your baby's fingers have opened out and if her hand is floppy.  This has been a useful guide for a lot of mothers.  As with any guide,  the occasional baby may act differently - but most will do this. If you use this as a rough guide, remember to watch your baby to know what is usual for her.

3 Comments to Baby's hands and how they use them - "I've finished my feed".:

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Virginia Thorley on Saturday, 31 May 2014 2:52 PM
Here's another interesting tip about babies' hands. Stroking the palm of a baby's hand is sometimes suggested to encourage her to start feeding again. You might like to try this if your baby has dozed off and you think she isn't finished. Worth a try.
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Friv 1 on Monday, 11 August 2014 1:42 PM
I liked your about sharing your experiences. This is not the first time that I am here on your blog. I learn something new each time I visit.
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Friv2 on Monday, 11 August 2014 1:54 PM
I've been browsing the web to search for useful information. I'm so glad to find this site, articles and information are really good.
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