Is Your Baby Getting Enough Breast Milk?
A common question that pesters nursing moms is whether their babies are getting sufficient breast milk or not. It is natural that you are worried about whether your baby is getting all the nourishment required for those growth years, when s/he is dependent totally on the breast milk, and you are confused because you cannot see actually how much milk is being consumed by your baby while you are breastfeeding. While most moms are successful in providing the required quantity of milk to their babies, there may be situations when the babies don’t really get sufficient. The pain caused by breastfeeding if the nipple is injured can also be one of such situations. Visit Multi-Mam to know more about this and get solutions.
If the problem of baby not getting enough breast milk is left unheeded, the baby can face failure to thrive and dehydration, both conditions are rare but serious.
You can roughly assume that the baby has got enough milk from these signs:
- Breasts become softer after feeding, because they have been emptied, while before feeding they were firm because of the milk inside.
- Baby looks satisfied and relaxed after feeding.
- After the weight loss immediately after birth, your baby starts gaining weight. (Mostly babies lose 5 to 9 percent of their weight at the time of birth and then regain it when they become around 2 weeks old). Roughly, your baby should put on about 5 to 10 oz per week in the first month, s/he should put on 5 to 8 oz per week in the 2nd and 3rd month, in the 3rd to 6th months s/he should put on from 2.5 to 4.5 oz per week and between 6 and 12 months s/he should gain 1 to 3 oz per week.
- During the period when you get the thick, precious colostrums, your baby may wet only 1 or 2 diapers a day. After the regular milk starts coming, your baby will start wetting 6 to 8 cloth diapers or 5 to 6 disposable diapers a day. (Disposable diapers can carry more liquid than cloth diapers).
- In the first month of birth, your baby will get minimum 3 stools per day which will lighten to yellowish mustard color by the 5th day of birth. S/He may have bowel movements less often once s/he is one month old. Actually it is not rare for breastfed babies to miss a day of motions quite often. Once they start eating solids, i.e. about the age of 6 months, the bowel movements become pretty regular and retain the routine of minimum one bowel movement every day.
Signs that the Baby is not Getting Enough Breast Milk
- Your baby starts losing weight. If s/he has started losing weight again after the initial weight loss, you should consult the doctor.
- Your baby is wetting less than six disposable or eight cloth diapers every day after the fifth day of birth.
- After the five days of birth, your baby is getting dark, small stools.
- Your baby is getting dark-colored urine. (If the urine is clear or even pale, s/he is getting enough liquid; if not, it may be an indication that s/he is not getting enough fluids).
- You won’t find your breasts softer after feeding.
If above signs are seen, don’t be late to consult your baby’s doctor, or check in with a lactation consultant or a nurse. Typically the consultant will tell you to demonstrate the feeding session and give you helpful suggestions for successful breastfeeding.