Does my baby get enough milk? All breastfeeding moms ask this question. However, there are some specific criteria by which it can be identified.
What should a nursing mother ask herself to find out whether her baby gets enough milk?
How does the baby behave?
- A healthy baby typically wakes up every 2-3 hours, 4 at maximum, to eat. There are children who wake up every hour and a half, but at night, the interval between feedings is longer. If the child does not wake up in 4 hours, it should still be fed as soon as it starts tossing in its sleep.
- If the child is too restless, sleeping no more than 20-30 minutes, crying a lot and not sucking actively, the baby must be getting not enough milk.
- How many times a day do you change diapers? From the earliest days and up to 4-8 weeks, you should change diapers at least 10 times a day (6 wet and 4 dirty diapers). But after this period, at the age of about 8 weeks, breastfed babies can not defecate for several days and it is quite normal.
- If the child defecates or urinates too little, or the urine is dark in color, it may indicate a problem in feeding. In this case, you should consult a pediatrician or an expert on breastfeeding.
In the first weeks the baby should gain at least 125-150 grams per week. However, remember that the countdown to weight gain should not start from the baby’s weight at birth, but from the lowest weight, because many babies lose up to 7-10% of their weight during the first few days after birth. At the age of 10 days, they have to regain the lost grams. Weight gain occurs at an individual pace, and if the child has gained just 650 grams per month, this does not mean that you have little milk!
If a child hasn’t gained any weight or gained very little – less than 120 grams per week – or even lost weight, contact the pediatrician.
What is the bilirubin level in the baby’s blood (neonatal jaundice)?
This is only true for newborns. If the bilirubin level increases in the first few days after birth, it is often associated with malnutrition. In this case, the baby is usually sleepy and sucks inertly. You should immediately consult a pediatrician.
Could the mother have no milk?
Sometimes you do not produce the required amount of milk. It can be caused by certain medical conditions, such as hypoactive thyroid, severe clinical depressions, an operation on the breasts. But most often a baby’s malnutrition is caused by the fact that he sucks little or ineffectively. Ineffective sucking is often associated with poor grip of the breast, and the baby can not get to the main milk reserve. As a result, it does not get full. This causes a reduction of lactation.
Following the rules ensures the baby’s satiety
- Try to feed your baby on demand, rather than regimen, as regimen feeding can reduce the amount of milk.
- Let the baby suckle from one breast as much as he wants. Do not look at the clock and do not rush to give the other breast before the first one empties. The restriction of breast sucking leads to a lack of fat in the baby’s diet, as the fattest milk is at the end of lactation.
- When a child empties the one breast, offer the other. Of course, he may refuse, but it should be his decision.
- Some children eat a little out of one breast, and then drop it because they need to empty the bowel. Then you should give the child the same breast.
- If a child asks to be fed more frequently than usually, do not worry and do not give him more milk from a bottle. This usually lasts no more than two days, and means that your baby needs more milk, as he grew older.