Four Signs to Know if baby is drinking enough breast milk
Look for these signs to help you know baby is drinking enough Breast Milk.
Knowing when your baby has had enough breastmilk is one of the most asked questions from mothers and is something that most Mums worry about, often you need to trust that your body is making enough milk. Particulary with breast feeding – it’s difficult to know exactly how much Breast Milk your baby is getting during the feed.
So what signs shall we look for so we know baby is full and has had enough breast milk?
1. Wet Nappies – In the first few days while baby is receiving colostrum, nappies will be wet but not full. He may only wet his nappy 2-3 times over 24 hours. If the urine is a darker colour don’t be alarmed as this is normal, but make sure to mention it to your midwife. When your milk comes in you will notice the nappy become fuller more frequently (6-7 wet nappies over 24 hours.) This is a reassuring sign baby is getting enough breast milk. A nappy will be “full” when it feels heavy.
2. Is your Baby Waking for Feeds? – In the first few week of baby’s life they can be lethargic and sleepy so you may need to wake them for feeds. A lot of Mums feed their babies every 3 hours for the first couple of weeks so they know baby has had enough breast milk. When baby has gained a good amount of weight you can let baby sleep during the night and he will wake you when he’s hungry. Some babies may still wake every 3-4 hours and some may sleep longer. If your baby has suffered from significant weight loss, has been sick or is premature then please discuss your feeding plans with your Midwife.
3. Is Baby Gaining Enough Weight? – Your baby will roughly double his birth weight in the first six months of his life. By the time he is 2 years old he will be roughly half of his adult height! They need fuel to do all this growing and they need it regularly. Babies are born with a stomach the size of a cherry (growing to the size of an egg in the first month) so it doesn’t take long for their little tummy’s to fill up and then empty out. That’s why we need to feed our babies regularly (every 3-4 hours or 8-12 times over 24 hours) so we know baby has had enough breast milk. These times will stretch out as baby’s stomach gets bigger and becomes better at transferring milk from the breast.
4. Can you Hear your Baby Swallowing? – When baby is feeding, listening to hear him swallowing as a good sign that he is transferring breast milk. Listen carefully to hear a gulping or swallowing sound. This may start off fast during your milk let down and may slow down as baby reaches the rich hind milk. When he slows down you may only hear him swallow after every second or third suck. If you’re experiencing pain or can hear baby making a clicking noise when he sucks then seek help from your midwife or a lactation consultant.
Its always a concern for Breastfeeding Mums to know whether baby is getting enough breast milk. In the first couple of weeks your breasts may feel really engorged or you may be concerned that there is not enough milk for your baby. But we encourage you to trust your body, give it time to adjust to its new demands of feeding your baby and don’t give up! In a few weeks time your body will make exactly the right amount of milk for your baby. You will both love that time together and feel proud of your magical body while your baby will flourish!