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Signs Your Baby Is Getting Enough Breast Milk

By Edited Feb 16, 2016 0 0

Breastfeeding can be a tad confusing. There are lots of questions that new moms ask (even moms who are doing it for the second or third time can ask them). One is, "Is my baby getting enough milk?" After all, you can't gauge how many ounces they eat at each meal. You can't add up all that they have eaten in the day and compare it to charts and other babies. Instead you are left wondering and hoping that you are doing well by your baby.

Your new baby needs to eat a lot. While it is often recommended that you feed on demand and not a schedule, your baby should be eating about once every 2-4 hours all throughout the day. This will have you feeding your baby 8-12 times in each 24 hour period. Feedings should be spaced outsporadically (some will happen every two hours and others three or four). This can make you feel like you are feeding your baby all the time, but if you count them and you are feeding all the time around the clock then it is likely that your baby isn't getting enough milk and it is a good idea to talk to their doctor or a lactation consultant.

How it feels and sounds.
As your baby sucks your nipple it should feel like it is being pulled or tugged on. This shouldn't hurt, but should happen with each suck. Additionally you should see signs of sucking and swallowing. Many babies will also make anaudible sound when they swallow. This is a good sign that things are going well and should happen every two to five sucks. However, if you can't hear your baby swallowing you should look for the other signs that they are doing well rather then panicking about it since some babies eat really quietly.

Dirty diapers are one great sign that things are going well. You should have at least six wet diapers a day. Eight is even better and more then that is a great sign. A wet diaper is one that has two to three tablespoons of fluid in it. For cloth diapers it is fairly easy to recognize, but you may need to feel it in a disposable diaper since they will soak it up and not necessarily feel heavy. If you need a guide then pour a couple tablespoons of water on a diaper and feel it, then compare so you can judge whether or not your diapers are getting wet.

In addition to wet diapers your baby will also have bowel movements. These are a little harder to gauge as what is normal and what isn't. In the beginning your baby should have at least one bowel movement of meconium a day. This is a dark green to black substance that is rather sticky and builds up in the intestines during pregnancy. After about three days your baby should start to have more normal bowel movements until they are yellowish in color, loose or watery, and possibly even seedy. In the first three or four weeks your baby should have two or three significant bowel movements a day. After that time many breastfed babies start having irregular bowel movements and can even go as long as fourteen days without a bowel movement and still have it be considered normal.

Your baby's health is a great indicator of whether or not he or she is doing well and getting enough milk. The first thing you should note is whether or not your baby is alert. While he or she won't be alert or awake for very long, they should have wide eyes that they try and focus on various people or items while they are awake. They should wake up for feeding and be awake for small periods of time (15 minutes to 3 hours is fairly normal). All in all, they should sleep about 16-20 hours a day in the beginning giving them a few hours or so of awake time.

Additionally, your baby should be well hydrated. Your breast milk will provide all the nutrients that your baby needs, including adequate fluids and water. Because of this, signs of dehydration are signs that your baby isn't getting enough of your milk. Signs of dehydration in your baby include going more then six hours without at least one wet diaper, darker urine that has a strong smell, a dry parched mouth and lips, or there being no tears while your baby is crying. A baby can become dehydrated very quickly and very easily. It is important then that if you think your baby might be dehydrated that you call and talk to his or her doctor.

Your baby should also have healthy looking skin tone with a good coloration. An odd color, changes in coloration, blotches, or other discolorations could be signs that your baby isn't getting enough milk.

If your baby is healthy and shows no signs of problems then he or she is getting enough milk and working on thriving. This should help relieve your worry and let you know that you and they are doing well.

Baby Signs.
Of course, your baby also shares signs with you. If they are always hungry and never seem satisfied after nursing then they aren't getting enough milk. This could be for any number of reasons, but you should tune into your baby's signs to see if they are getting enough or not. If they don't seem to be then getting help is a must.

Weight Gain.
Most of us don't have a scale at home to find out if our baby put on a few more ounces, but we can tell if our children have grown any. Pay attention to your baby and look for signs of weight gain. If your baby is healthy and gaining weight then they are most likely getting plenty to eat.

If you continue to be worried or your baby shows signs that they aren't getting enough to eat then talk to the baby's doctor and a lactation consultant. The doctor will know if your baby is actually thriving,isn't ' dehydrated, is healthy, and is gaining weight. A lactation consultant will watch you feed your baby and will help you make sure that he or she is in a proper position, is latching on well, and is sucking properly. If all of these things are happening well and you feed when your baby shows signs of hunger then your baby is getting enough to eat. Breastfeeding can pose a few challenges and making sure that your baby is well fed can feel like one of them, but if your baby doesn't show signs that he or she is having problems then they are getting enough to eat! Rest assured.



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