BLOCK FEEDING IS USED TO HELP REGULATE THE TYPE OF MILK YOUR BABY GETS AT EACH FEED.
All bubbas need a good balance of foremilk and hindmilk to put on weight, digest easily and have healthy poop.
LET'S LAY OUT THE BASICS OF BLOCK FEEDING.
When you feed, the milk that comes first is known as foremilk, it's watery and sweet. The milk to follow is the hindmilk, which is denser and has a high fat content. Babies need a good balance of both.
In some cases, when you have oversupply or don't feed for long enough on each breast, your baby will get too much foremilk. When this happens, your baby might get an upset tummy, wind – and in the worst cases – green frothy poops (standard poop for breastfed babies is mustard yellow).
Block feeding is about ensuring that your baby gets to the hindmilk by nursing from just one breast for 3-4 hours at a time, then switching for the next 3-4 hour 'block'.
Block feeding can be particularly useful in the early days, when babies might feed for very short (or inefficient) sessions, but at a high frequency. In these cases you might feed from one breast 3-5 times before switching to ensure it's fully empty.
As you get to know your baby and your supply-demand exchange settles down, it's likely your baby will get to the hindmilk at each feed without you needing to time or moderate anything.
You'll also get better at knowing if you're empty or full, and will just 'know' which side to feed on. For example, you might feed off one breast for two consecutive sessions if you know bub was distracted and didn't empty it the first time. Or you might feed off both breasts in one sitting because you have a hungry little bubba who likes to feed up, then wait ages before the next feed.