How to tell if your Baby is getting enough Breastmilk

When the baby is first nursing the mother is engorged. The baby should nurse at least eight to ten times in a twenty-four hour period. The first day there is one wet diaper, and a meconimium stool should be passed. By day three there should be several five wet diapers, and several bowel movements.

Breastfed babies gain at least 4 ounces a week, but often do not follow the formula based charts doctors follow. It is important to note head circumference and length of the baby so that there is not doubt the baby is growing.

The milk is comprised of fore milk and hindmilk. In the first three weeks, the baby should produce more than one bowel movement a day. The bowel movement should resemble butternut squash. Some infants have green tinged bowl movements, which are attributed either to the mother’s diet or deficient amounts of hind milk. If the baby is often cranky, try nursing longer on each side. The baby should produce at least 5 wet diapers if using disposable diapers. Weighing the diapers to see if they are wet can be helpful.

Sometimes if the mother is not nursing frequently the breast will feel hard in one spot. There may not be any milk when she expresses. A fever may accompany the hard lump in the breast. This is a sign of mastitis, and you may wish to consult a healthcare provider. Using hot compresses will help relieve the pain.

Nursing doggy-style will help end the plugged duct. Place the baby on his or her back. Get on your hands and knees and nurse in this position, supporting the breast in one hand and using warm compresses to help the milk flow. Once the milk starts flowing the baby may choke and splutter.

In general babies vary in their nursing time. First time mothers may nurse for half an hour, while second time mothers may find the baby nurses less than ten minutes. Babies should nurse as long as they are willing. Breastfed babies do not overeat.

First time mothers worry that they are not producing enough milk because babies have growth spurts. The six week growth spurt can catch parents off guard, as the mother’s milk supply has stabilized. The baby begins to nurse constantly, for long periods of time. This generally passes within 24 hours as the milk supply rises to catch up with the demands of the baby. But at this time the mother may have doubts that she is unable to produce enough milk. Things settle down again and mothers often discover their baby has outgrown every item of clothing.