Is my baby getting enough to eat?
Many of us worry whether our breastfed baby is getting enough to eat - after all, it’s hard to assess exactly how much milk our breasts are producing. Luckily there are a number of markers that can set your mind at rest about how your baby is feeding.
How much is enough?
Make sure your baby eats every one to three hours and sleeps for no more than three hours between daytime feeds.
Your baby should have five to six wet disposable nappies or six to eight wet cloth nappies with urine that is a pale yellow. A young baby should have two to four loose, grainy, mustard-colour stools per day. You should be able to hear your baby swallowing when they’re feeding.
Check whether your baby empties each breast after feeding, you should be able to feel the breast becoming lighter and softer after a feed.
If your baby seems satisfied at the end of a feed, and generally content in between feeds, then you can feel happy that your baby is getting his or her fill.
To increase your milk supply
If you feel your baby is not getting enough milk, there are ways to increase your milk supply. Try the following:
- Feeding more regularly is the best way to increase your supply of breast milk. Check that your baby is attached correctly and that you can hear your baby swallowing as they feed.
- Let your baby guide you on how long they need to feed - some babies are quick eaters, while others prefer to take their time and rest during the feed.
- Sometimes changing breasts regularly during feeds can encourage milk production, while massaging your breasts during feeding can also help boost your supply.
Make sure you rest and keep yourself well fed while you’re breastfeeding. Drinking sufficient water can also help you make enough milk.
To maintain your supply you’ll need to feed your newborn baby between eight and 12 times in a 24 hour period. If your baby’s feeding less than this, you’ll need to encourage your baby to feed or snack more often.
Find more breastfeeding and baby development articles:
Read about breastfeeding attachment
Find out more about breastfeeding and your diet
Baby development and milestones
This article was written by Linda Drummond for Kidspot, New Zealand's leading resource for newborns and babies.