To investigate the effects of frequency and duration of breast-feeding on infants' milk intake and weight gain, two groups of mother-infant pairs were studied during the first month after delivery. Mothers in the control group (n = 24) nursed their infants on a 3- to 4-hour schedule. Those in the experimental group (n = 20) were encouraged to nurse frequently. During the first 14 postpartum days, all mothers recorded the length and time of each breast-feeding. On the 15th and on the 35th postpartum day, milk intake per feeding for 24 hours and infant weight gain from birth were measured. During the first 2 weeks after delivery, mothers in the experimental group nursed more frequently (9.9 v 7.3 feedings per 24 hours; P <.0001). On day 15, their infants took more milk (725 v 502 mL/24 h; P <.0002), and had gained more weight from birth (561 v 347 g; P < .02). On day 35, although mothers in the experimental group were still nursing more frequently (9.8 v 6.8 feedings per 24 hours; P <.01), milk intake and weight gain from birth were not significantly different.
- Received October 18, 1982.
- Accepted December 14, 1982.
- Copyright © 1983 by the American Academy of Pediatrics