I decided long before my son was born that I would exclusively breastfeed. I’d heard all of the stories of why women don’t, from baby never latching correctly to having a low milk supply. When I was pregnant I hoped that I would have none of these issues, and so far I’ve been blessed not to. However, it is very important to me that my son gets the proper and adequate nutrition he needs. We had his two week check up and he is putting on weight and everything with him is good, and I want it to stay that way.
I was very excited when my daily What To Expect email had an article on baby getting adequate breast milk. Many moms, including myself, worry that their breastfed baby might not be getting enough milk. I thought I would share with you some of the the ways in which you can tell if your baby is getting enough milk.
Tracking your baby’s feedings, weight gain, and diaper output is the best way to determine if your baby is getting enough milk.
1. Monitor baby’s weight. Keep track of how often you’re breastfeeding your baby (the goal is eight to 12 times per 24 hours) and monitor baby weight gain. Infants should gain weight steadily every week; four to seven ounces per week is typical, although weight gain will vary depending on age and other factors. Your pediatrician will let you know if your baby’s growth is on track.
2. Count dirty diapers. Although it’s probably something you never expected to do, keep a careful count of those wet and soiled diapers: Your newborn should be pumping out eight to 12 dirty diapers with clear to very pale yellow urine and at least five soft, yellow bowel movements over a 24-hour period. For the first several weeks, it’s a good idea to keep a written record (you’ll be too tired to keep it all in your head) of breastfeeding frequency and diaper output — you can even bring it along to the pediatrician’s at each visit so you’ll have your facts and figures handy when you’re asked about those dirty diapers.
3. Watch baby’s disposition. If your baby seems happy and content after most feedings, then chances are she’s a satisfied customer and is getting enough milk. If she’s crying and fussing or sucking on her fingers frantically after a full feeding, she might still be hungry (though these can also be signs of gas or infant colic).
What If You Need Help?
Before you leave the hospital or birthing center, a lactation consultant will likely visit you and observe you feeding your baby to make sure you’re on the right track and that your baby is getting enough milk (if a consultant doesn’t pay you a call, make sure you ask for one). She can also offer tips on caring for nursing breasts, how and when to express milk, and may provide you with literature to take home. If you’re having problems when you get home, talk to your baby’s doctor or a nurse who specializes in lactation, or find a lactation consultant in your area through the International Lactation Consultant Association or your local La Leche League (see the Resource Directory for links). Friends and family members who have nursed will be happy to offer you an ear and reassurance that the bumps of the first few days and weeks do eventually smooth out — just as the pain of your engorged breasts and sore nipples will ease. – Source
Whether you are currently breastfeeding or plan to in the future, I hope this was helpful!