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How To Know They Are Getting Enough?

It takes time for your baby to adjust and learn how to feed.  With Bottle feeding Pumped Breastmilk or Formula you can measure exactly how much your baby is taking in.  With Breastfeeding it requires a little more guesswork but there are helpful tips to help you monitor whether they are getting enough milk below.  Remember that is normal for a baby to lose up to 10% of their body weight in the first week so this initial loss of weight should not pose a concern.   Unless you have a Premature baby and in this case your Healthcare providers will monitor their weight carefully and advise you on how to ensure they are consuming enough.

The charts below on Normal Urine and Stool Output as well as other signs to look for will help you be able to monitor if they are having enough milk.

Remember if feel concerned at any point they are not having enough seek the help of a Lactation Consultant, Midwife or Doula.  

Once they establish a good feeding routine and start gaining weight ideally gaining 4-7 ounces (113-226g) a week is a good indicator they are getting enough.

Signs They Are Having Enough

Your Breasts:

  • Should feel softer and less fuller after feeding showing milk has been effectively removed
  • Your nipples after feeding are the same shape as before feeding not flattened or compressed
  • Pain in the nipple should not be experienced for longer than a few seconds after latching

Your Baby:

  • Your baby has wet and soiled nappies – see our chart of  ‘Normal Urine and Stool Output’ above
  • Has 8 feeds or more in 24 hours
  • Feeds for between 5 and 40 minutes each time
  • Is calm and relaxed when feeding and looks content after feeding – often a newborns hands will be in fists when needing feeding and will relax and open when full
  • Does not fall asleep when feeding
  • Stays on the breast and not coming on or off frequently
  • Wants to feed and not refusing to feed
  • Produces swallowing or sucking sounds from Day 3 or 4
  • Has regained their birth weight by 10-14 days old or rate of weight gain is normal
  • Your baby’s skin colour is normal – most Jaundice in Babies is not harmful and it is common.  But it is important to check for yellowing colouring in the first week of their life. With Jaundice the yellow colour normally starts on their face and forehead and spreads to the body, arms and legs.  From time to time press the skin to see if can see yellow tinge and check the whites of their eyes and inside the mouth to see if any yellow tinge around the sides, roof or gums.  If Jaundiced is suspected it is important to take your baby for a Check up with their Healthcare Provider asap.

What Should I Do If Feel They Are Not Having Enough?

  1. Ensure you are getting a good latch
  2. Try different breastfeeding positions
  3. Try switching sides from one breast to another
  4. If your baby tends to be sleepy try tickling their feet or under their chin
  5. Seek the help of a Lactation Consultant, Midwife or Doula to help with ensuring the breastfeeding is as effective as it can be.  Breastfeeding is the better feeding option for any baby over others especially in the newborn stage where the breastmilk will provide immunity and nutrients in high quantities.  By offering other methods of feeding it can also can cause your baby to have an aversion to breastfeeding and reduce your milk production which will not be helpful in the long run.
  6. If needing to supplement with more milk than other from the breast then you can Hand Express your milk and feed to them by a small syringe, teaspoon or cup.  This is the preferred option to bottle feeding to help prevent them becoming accustomed to the bottle and choosing it over the breast.   Ensure the feeding items are sterilised before using.

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