Today we have special guest Naomi Hull talking to us all things breastfeeding. As big question on most mum’s lips is ‘Is my baby getting enough milk’. We don’t have amazing measuring devices on our breasts but there are many things you can keep an eye on.
As mums, we only want to do what is right for our baby and we also want to know that our baby is getting all that he/she needs.
Sometimes it can be hard to believe that our body can provide all that our baby requires for growth and nutrition, but rest assured in most circumstances your body will do what it is designed to do. Your body grew that baby, right? So why doubt that it can feed it as well?
So how can you be sure that your baby is getting enough??
‘It can’t come out if it isn’t going in’ is my motto.
Day 1 – 1 wet nappy
Day 2 – 2 wet nappies
Day 3 – 3 wet nappies
Day 4 – 4 wet nappies
Day 5 onwards – 5-6 heavily wet disposable nappies or 6-8 wet cloth nappies – these tend to get changed more frequently.
Bowel motions – after the initial sticky black meconium bowel motions, a breastfed baby will have runny, mustardy colour, bowel motions and may look grainy. There should be at least 1-2 runny poos a day or more in the first few weeks to months.
Sometimes it can be OK for a baby to miss a few days – so long as they are not distressed or irritable, and so long as there are still plenty of wet nappies.
Babies who are breastfeeding do not gain weight at a consistent rate. They will have some weeks where they have large weight gains >200gms/week, and other weeks where it is not so great <120gms/week. This is why it is important to look at weight gains over a longer period of time, along with other measures, like nappies and the following dot points.
Weight gains can be impacted by the use of different scales, whether the baby has just fed, or even if they have just done a poo! So if you are going to weigh weekly please try to use the same scales, weigh naked, and take note of timing etc.
In general, you can look for around 120-150gms/week on average, and that their weight is plotting along within 1-2 percentile lines on the growth chart.
You can even judge by their clothing – are they filling out their clothes? Are they moving up to the next size? How many rolls on those thighs? How many chins?
If your baby is generally happy and content and sleeps for some periods you can feel assured that they are getting enough milk – in the context of the output and weight gains.
Is your baby generally reaching their milestones? Once again taken into the context of all the other factors mentioned above.
Genetics plays a role here – are you and your partner tall? Slim? Large build? Slight frame? Chances are your child will follow.
As you can see there is so much more to consider than just the numbers on the scales. If you are worried about breastfeeding please check in with an IBCLC, for a thorough assessment and discussion. Sometimes it isn’t that you aren’t making enough milk or can’t make enough milk, there are other factors that can affect whether or not your baby is getting enough milk. But that is a whole other blog – so I’ll add it to my list 😉
To find an IBCLC near you go to https://www.lcanz.org/find-a-lactation-consultant/
If you are in the northern suburbs of Brisbane you can give me a call on 0412 466270 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
There is also the 24/7 Breastfeeding Helpline 1800 686268.
Yours in milk and love,