Is My Baby Getting Enough Milk?: 5 Ways to Confirm

| Pregnancy |

Breastfeeding can be challenging since it’s hard to tell exactly how much milk your baby is receiving. Here are 5 simple steps to help you determine whether your baby is getting enough:

Your baby nurses at least 8-12 times in 24 hours (every 2-3 hours) during the early weeks. If you’re baby is sleepy, be sure to wake him up within 3 hours for a feeding. As your baby gets older, feedings will become more efficient and may be less frequent.

You feed the baby at the first signs of hunger (rooting, hand-to-mouth activity, grunting) and don’t wait until your baby has started crying.

Your baby is gaining weight. All babies lose some weight in the first few days after birth, but then gain it back. During the first two weeks it’s important to have the baby’s weight checked to make sure he’s on track to being back at birth weight by 2 weeks of age. After that, your baby should be gaining about 4-7 ounces per week.

Your baby has wet and dirty diapers. For the first 5 days, your baby should have at least one wet and dirty diaper for each day of life (1 pee and 1 poop on day 1, 2 pees and 2 poops on day 2, etc.) After that you can expect about 5-8 wet diapers and 3-4 yellow and seedy stools per day.

Your baby seems satisfied at the end of a feeding. If your baby self-detaches, looks relaxed, and becomes drowsy or sleepy, he has most likely had enough. However, your baby might wake up within a few minutes wanting to be “topped off.” If that happens, offer your breast again, as this will most likely fully satisfy your baby.

Written by Rebecca Agi

Rebecca Agi is a Los Angeles based International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who provides in-home counseling and education to new and expecting families. Rebecca completed her lactation consultant training though UC San Diego’s Lactation Program, and currently is the owner of Best Milk LA. There, Rebecca provided lactation support to hundreds of new mothers and babies with breastfeeding challenges.