During pregnancy, your body prepares to breastfeed your newborn. Your mammary glands start to develop and, little by little, they draw more blood to this part of your body. Thus, when your baby is born you begin to produce breast milk. Some of its main benefits for your baby are: it helps the optimal development of their brain; promotes the correct functioning of their eyes, heart, and intestines; improves their digestion; among others.
But one of the most frequently asked questions among women is “How to know if my baby is getting enough milk?”.
Now, as a new mother, you probably have doubts about whether your baby is feeding properly or if you are producing the right amount of milk to nurse your little one. Therefore, in this article, we will mention some signs that can tell you that your baby is eating enough.
Am I producing enough milk?
When breastfeeding, it is not easy to tell how much milk your baby is drinking. Some moms can clearly hear when their little one swallows milk, but not all of them can perceive it. If this is your case, it is normal to feel a little insecure about the amount of milk you produce.
The first thing we can recommend is that you trust your body and your little one. Also, take into account that each baby eats differently. You can use an extractor to measure the milliliters of milk you produce, but don’t worry if you think you’re not extracting enough. You can always seek advice from a lactation consultant so they to support you during this stage.
How to know if your baby is getting enough milk? Look for these signs!
Breastfeeding is a process that will allow you and your little one to get to know each other better and that will strengthen your emotional bond. Day by day, you and other caregivers will learn more about your baby and this will make feeding and caring for your little one easier for everyone.
While breastfeeding, for example, little by little you could begin to notice the different reactions of your baby and interpret when they’re satisfied or simply want to be close to you.
Here are some signs that will help you know if your baby is getting enough milk:
As a newborn, a baby does not produce much urine, but this will change as the days go by. Little by little, you will notice that your baby pees more often. They may even need more than 3 diaper changes per day. (You will feel that the diaper becomes heavier when absorbing the liquid.)
Another sign that you can monitor is that your little one will have approximately 3-4 bowel movements a day. Of course, as we mentioned earlier, each child is different, so talk with your pediatrician so they can guide you according to your baby’s specific case.
You may notice that your baby is very active and alert.
When breastfeeding, your baby sucks quickly and vigorously.
5. Finishing the feeding session
You may have noticed that your little one has their hands in a fist before feeding. Well, as your child gets satisfied, you may notice they relax their hands and fingers and detach their mouth from your nipple.
6. Weight gain
As your little one develops, they will gain weight and grow in size. Babies generally gain approximately 155 to 240 grams per week until they’re 4 months of age.
Of course, we recommend that you monitor your baby’s weight with the help of your pediatrician so they can guide you during each stage. Keep in mind that each baby grows at a different rate.
7. Number of feeds
On average, your baby may ask for milk 8 to 12 times a day. Usually, they will let you know that they’re hungry by crying. Of course, keep in mind that babies not only cry when they want milk. They may also want to be near their caregivers, they’re bored or uncomfortable, or need a diaper change.
Now that we have talked about some of the signs that might let you know if your baby is getting enough milk, it is time to talk about other important aspects of breastfeeding, for example, the frequency of feedings.
Especially in the first month, your baby may ask for milk every 45 minutes and you might feel like you are feeding them all the time. This is normal and has nothing to do with not giving them enough milk during each feed. Remember that, by constantly stimulating your breasts, your little one starts and builds a milk supply with you. In addition, your little one needs constant physical contact, since lights and sounds can be a bit intimidating in their early days.
Another important topic that you might be interested in is hypogalactia. This is a condition that is characterized by not being able to produce enough milk to feed a baby. In reality, the percentage of women who have this diagnosis is very small. But if you have doubts about whether or not you could have this condition, consult your gynecologist.
Finally, we recommend that you look for support and guidance from other moms who are living the same experiences as you and that could accompany you in this stage. Feeding your little one can be a great challenge, but it is also one of the best gifts you can offer them. Kinedu offers you hundreds of articles about health and breastfeeding and suggests personalized activities to support your baby’s development. Download it for FREE here.
Do you have any other questions on the subject or would you like to tell our blog’s community about your breastfeeding experiences? Write to us in the comments section!