It is not possible to precisely define the duration of feedings, because it is determined by the child’s hunger and behavior.
If the baby is pulled away from the breast before finishing sucking, it is prevented from taking the final part of milk rich in calories, with the risk of causing stagnation due precisely to inadequate removal of milk found in the milk ducts. This could gradually cause mastitis (inflammation of the glandular breast tissue) or a decrease in the secretion of milk.
Therefore, it is best to leave the baby at the breast until it is satisfied enough to unlatch spontaneously. At the end of feeding, the baby should be kept in semi-sitting position to encourage burping due to the excess air introduced by sucking the milk. In any case, the lack of burping or the presence of a small amount of spitting-up, frequent in some children, should not worry parents; it does not mean that the child has trouble digesting, but could simply be due to a sucking milk too fast. The child should be allowed to latch on to both breasts, starting with the one that was offered last, so that the latter will be completely emptied.
As noted in previous chapters, through suction, the baby stimulates the release of hormones; this is why limiting feeding time can affect milk production.
If the baby latches on properly to the breast and sucks actively, it can meet its nutritional needs in about 15-20 minutes, but of course, every child has its own time.
It should be stressed that the baby does not always latch on to the breast because it is hungry. Often, particularly at more stressful times, the search for the mother’s breast is intended to achieve well-being, tranquility, pleasant feelings or just simple cuddling. During these cases it is possible to interrupt the suction and detach the baby from the breast with a finger by gently stimulating the angle of the mouth or, alternatively, by cautiously introducing the little finger in the mouth to prevent any suction that would occur by abruptly detaching the baby from the breast.