Every mom wonders at some point, “Is my baby getting enough milk?” No matter if you're a new mother or have been down this road before, breastfeeding is always unique, and questions are bound to pop up. It's quite natural, especially when babies ask for milk frequently. If you’re ever worried about your milk supply, here are some hints to reassure you.
In the first few days, your baby receives colostrum, a yellow or clear liquid that's their initial nourishment. By the fourth day or so, the milk volume should increase. The exact timing varies for different moms based on factors like past breastfeeding experience, labor time, and the type of delivery. Feeling full breasts or even a little leakage between feedings is a good sign. If milk seems delayed, consider reaching out to a healthcare expert or lactation advisor.
A rising count of used diapers is an encouraging sign of a well-fed baby. Generally, 6-10 diapers a day is normal, with several showing yellow or mustard-like stools. A consistent number of wet diapers means your baby is hydrated, but also watch for at least 3-4 sizeable poopy ones every day.
Tune in to your baby's swallowing. When the milk flows, you should detect signs of your baby gulping it down. If your baby appears to be falling asleep without much activity, try some soft breast massages to stimulate milk flow.
Babies typically lose a small portion of their weight soon after birth but should steadily gain it back. They should be adding about 7-10 ounces per week for the initial months, with a bit of a decrease in the following months. If there are feeding challenges, you can pump and feed the baby with the expressed milk to maintain a robust milk supply. Regular health checks are crucial to ensure your baby's growth is on track.
A content baby will often drift to sleep or release the breast after 10 to 30 minutes of feeding. That's usually a sign they've had their fill. However, if the baby seems too sleepy and shows discomfort during feeds, there might be an issue. Initiating every feed with skin-to-skin contact can help stimulate a lethargic baby to nurse. It's also beneficial to keep the baby lightly dressed during feeding to keep them alert.
Nurturing your milk supply means staying near your baby and offering unrestricted access to the breast. While pumping can be introduced around 3-4 weeks after birth, it also offers flexibility for mothers, especially those planning to return to work. Remember, the milk amount you pump isn't an exact measure of your milk supply. It only shows how much you can extract. Trust yourself, dear mothers; you're doing wonderfully!