Breastfeeding advice: Is my baby getting enough milk?

 In Birth, Breastfeeding essentials, Cesareans, Hospital essentials, Newborns

Breastfeeding advice: Is my baby getting enough milk? Most mums will be nodding their heads knowingly at this one, as a fear that your baby isn’t getting enough milk is a very common anxiety for new mums. After all, you want to make sure that your baby’s getting all the nourishment she needs. Also, as you can’t actually see how much breast milk she’s swallowing, it can feel as though you’re flying blind. However, there are a few fool-proof ways to tell if your baby is feeding well.

Breastfeeding advice: Is your baby gaining weight? 

Babies tend to lose up to 10 per cent of their birth weight in the first week or so. After that they should be putting on around 150g a week. By regularly visiting a baby clinic once a week for the first month, you’ll be able to monitor baby’s weight. If weight gain is a concern, your midwife may ask you to return more frequently, in order to see how things are progressing. Make sure you have a good latch, and that you are breastfeeding your baby in the optimum position. A breastfeeding pillow can often be helpful.

Is your baby having regular wet nappies 

Is my baby getting enough milk? Well, it’s easy to answer that by checking how many nappies they have. A sign of good hydration is if your baby is having six heavy wet nappies in twenty four hours. However, it is important to note that in the first 24 hours, babies usually pass urine just once. Then, in the next 24 hours it will be twice and by 72 hours of age, baby should be passing between three and four wet nappies. By five days of age it should be up to six wet nappies a day.

Check the colour of your baby’s nappies

For the first few days after baby is born, she will pass meconium, which is a thick black substance that looks a little like tar. Meconium is a substance that protects the baby’s gut and digestive system whilst in the womb. Then, after birth, the colostrum, which is the first milk, works as a form of laxative to flush the meconium out. At this point the stools begin to change colour – first to greeny-brown and then to a mustard yellow.

Breastfeeding correctly results in soft breasts

When your milk first comes in, your breasts are very hard and can feel quite sore. However, the latest breastfeeding advice will suggest that this feeling of intense fullness will soon ease. It is very common to feel that your breasts are full prior to feeds in the first few weeks.  However, don’t be surprised if after a few months your breasts are soft all of the time. Many women are concerned that their milk supply has dried up, but this is usually not the case. All it means is that your body is regulating the milk exactly for what your baby needs.

Is your baby relaxed and content? 

If baby is not getting enough calories she may go to sleep, so don’t assume that her sleeping soundly is an indication she is full. Instead, I recommend that you ensure she is fed on demand until she has regained her birth weight, and that you do not exceed three hours without a feed. That said, if baby is relaxed, content and not searching for the breast, that’s usually a good sign that she or he is getting enough milk.

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