Beginning your breastfeeding journey is exciting for a new parent, but how can you be confident that your baby is getting enough breastmilk while nursing? After all, you can’t measure how much milk she’s taking in during each feed. Fortunately, there are some signs and signals you can look for to know your child is getting proper nutrition. Learn what to watch for:
First, be reassured by knowing that that it is very rare for women to be unable to produce sufficient breastmilk for their babies, so it’s very likely your child is getting enough.
What Signs Should I Look For?
Watch for these signals that your baby is being sufficiently fed:
- Your baby is gaining weight normally. It’s important to remember that weight loss within the first week of life is normal for breastfeed babies. Once your baby moves into Week 2, she should be gaining about four to 7 ounces per week. Talk to your pediatrician to learn more about normal weight gain.
- You should be able to hear your baby swallowing as she feeds.
- Your baby will appear healthy and alert and satisfied after breastfeeding.
- Your newborn should feed at least eight times per day for a period between five and 30 minutes. If your newborn is sleepy (sometimes an effect of jaundice), you may need to wake her at least every three hours to feed.
- Your baby should produce adequate wet nappies. Within the first few days of life, her instance of dirty nappy will increase each day, so by Day 5 she should be producing about six dirty nappys a day that include three bowel moements per day. Learn more about the content’s of Baby’s nappy at the Mayo Clinic website.
Note: If you’re not sure how wet a nappy should be in order to be considered “full” pour three tablespoons of water onto a dry nappy to give you an idea of how much an average wet nappy weighs.
What are Signs Baby is Not Getting Enough?
Of course, the absence of any of the above signs is a warning that there might be a problem, and should be investigated with your doctor or midwife. In addition to this, watch your baby for symptoms of dehydration; if you notice signs of dehydration in your child, seek medical attention for her immediately.
What Other Resources Are Available?
There are lots of resources and support options available for breastfeeding mamas. Talk to your doctor or midwife or check the La Leche League website to find breastfeeding support groups in your area. Online, you can always find peer advice and support from other breastfeeding mothers at Mumtastic’s own BabyandBump Breastfeeding forum.
In addition, check out this helpful breastfeeding chart, chock full of great information for Baby’s first few nursing weeks, and look at information on breastfeeding from the World Health Organisation. If you do have any concerns, always talk to a medical professional right away.
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