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How do you tell

Posted by on Mar. 2, 2011 at 8:24 PM
  • 5 Replies

How do you tell if your baby is getting enough breastmilk and gaining well?

by on Mar. 2, 2011 at 8:24 PM
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by on Mar. 2, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Weeks two through six

How often should baby be nursing?

Frequent nursing in the early weeks is important for establishing a good milk supply. Most newborns need to nurse 8 - 12+ times per day (24 hours). You CAN'T nurse too often—you CAN nurse too little.

Nurse at the first signs of hunger (stirring, rooting, hands in mouth)—don't wait until baby is crying. Allow baby unlimited time at the breast when sucking actively, then offer the second breast. Some newborns are excessively sleepy—wake baby to nurse if 2 hours (during the day) or 4 hours (at night) have passed without nursing. Once baby has established a good weight gain pattern, you can stop waking baby and nurse on baby's cues alone.

The following things are normal:

  • Frequent and/or long feedings.
  • Varying nursing pattern from day to day.
  • Cluster nursing (very frequent to constant nursing) for several hours—usually evenings—each day. This may coincide with the normal "fussy time" that most babies have in the early months.
  • Growth spurts, where baby nurses more often than usual for several days and may act very fussy. Common growth spurt times in the early weeks are the first few days at home, 7 - 10 days, 2 - 3 weeks and 4 - 6 weeks.

Is baby getting enough milk?

Weight gain: The average breastfed newborn gains 6 ounces/week (170 grams/week). Consult with baby's doctor and your lactation consultant if baby is not gaining as expected.

Dirty diapers: Expect 3-4+ stools daily that are the size of a US quarter (2.5 cm) or larger. Some babies stool every time they nurse, or even more often--this is normal, too. The normal stool of a breastfed baby is yellow and loose (soft to runny) and may be seedy or curdy. After 4 - 6 weeks, some babies stool less frequently, with stools as infrequent as one every 7-10 days. As long as baby is gaining well, this is normal.

Wet diapers: Expect 5-6+ wet diapers every 24 hours. To feel what a sufficiently wet diaper is like, pour 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of water into a clean diaper. A piece of tissue in a disposable diaper will help you determine if the diaper is wet. After 6 weeks, wet diapers may drop to 4-5/day but amount of urine will increase to 4-6+ tablespoons (60-90+ mL) as baby's bladder capacity grows.

Milk supply?

Some moms worry about milk supply. As long as baby is gaining well on mom's milk alone, then milk supply is good. Between weight checks, a sufficient number of wet and dirty diapers will indicate that baby is getting enough milk.



by on Mar. 2, 2011 at 9:59 PM

The proof is in the diapers.   what goes in must come out :)

by on Mar. 2, 2011 at 10:05 PM

How can I tell if my baby is getting enough milk?
This may be the most asked question for La Leche League Leaders. It is understandable, since breasts are neither see-through nor marked off in ounces. Thank goodness there are other signs that indicate baby is getting enough milk.

Typically during the first few days, while the baby is receiving mother's thick, immunity-boosting colostrum, he will wet only one or two diapers per day.

Once mother's milk comes in, usually on the third or fourth day, the baby should begin to have 6-8 wet cloth diapers (5-6 wet disposable diapers) per day. (An easy way to feel the weight of a wet disposable diaper is to pour 2-4 tablespoons of water in a dry diaper.)

In addition, most young babies will have at least two to five bowel movements every 24 hours for the first several months, although some babies will switch to less frequent but large bowel movements at about 6 weeks.

A baby that is sleeping rather than feeding every 2-3 hours or is generally lethargic may need to be assessed by a health care provider to make sure that he is adequately hydrated.

These are additional important signs that indicate your baby is receiving enough milk:

The baby nurses frequently averaging at least 8-12 feedings per 24-hour period.
The baby is allowed to determine the length of the feeding, which may be 10 to 20 minutes per breast or longer.
Baby's swallowing sounds are audible as he is breastfeeding.
The baby should gain at least 4-7 ounces per week after the fourth day of life.
The baby will be alert and active, appear healthy, have good color, firm skin, and will be growing in length and head circumference.
The physical act of breastfeeding is more than the quantity of milk that is supplied, as you will find once you hold your baby in your arms. Breastfeeding is warmth, nutrition, and mother's love all rolled into one. Understanding and appreciating the signs of knowing when your baby is getting enough to eat is the one of the most important things a new mother can learn. If you have any concerns regarding your baby, they should be addressed with your health care practitioner.
by on Mar. 3, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Gaining weight, changing 6-8 diapers in a 24 hr period, baby is healthy and meeting milestones.

by on Mar. 4, 2011 at 12:22 AM

LOL!  ;o) 

Quoting amileegirl:

The proof is in the diapers.   what goes in must come out :)




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