Approximately 35% of mothers who stop breastfeeding early report insufficient milk supply as the main reason. Infant cues are difficult to read, and it can be hard to know if your baby is getting the milk he or she needs to be healthy, especially during the first few sleep-deprived months as a new mother.
Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk?
Most women produce enough breast milk for their baby’s needs.
Here are some signs that your baby is getting an adequate amount of milk:
- Your baby has 5-6 wet disposable diapers (6-8 wet cloth diapers) a day. To see what a wet diaper should feel like, put 2-4 tablespoons of water in a dry diaper.
- Your baby has 2-5 bowel movements a day for the first several months.
- Your baby nurses 8-12 times every 24 hours. Breast milk only takes about 2 hours to digest, so if your baby seems to be hungry a lot, he or she probably is.
- You hear the baby swallow when breastfeeding.
- Your baby is gaining weight. A baby should gain 4-7 ounces a week.
- Your baby is active, alert and has good skin color.
- Your breasts feel softer and less full after feeding your baby.
Signs Your Baby is NOT Getting Enough Milk
- You have sore or damaged nipples. This can indicate that the baby is not latched onto the breast correctly, which makes it more difficult for your baby to get milk. A lactation consultant can help make sure that your baby is latching properly.
- Your baby has fewer than 6 wet diapers a day.
- Your baby’s urine is not pale or clear in color.
- Your baby seems unsettled after feeding. Your baby should be fairly content after a nursing.
If you have any questions or concerns about whether or not your baby is getting enough breast milk, don’t hesitate to call the caring physicians and midwives at All About Women in Gainesville and Lake City, Florida.
For more information on breastfeeding, see Breastfeeding 101.