Breastfeeding is definitely not for the faint of heart. It's an entirely new process both for mama and baby, which makes for a pretty steep learning curve since, well, your baby depends on it (if you're choosing to exclusively breastfeed).
We brought in our friend, Kristin Szerszen, a Certified Lactation Counselor to provide expert advice to help new mothers put their minds at ease and tackle breastfeeding like a champ!
As a breastfeeding mom, how do you know if your baby is getting enough milk?
Written by Kristin Szerszen, CLC
Don’t you wish that your breasts had a meter on the side of them to tell you how much milk is available and how much baby transferred? That would be SO handy! :)
Although we don’t have any sort of technology to definitively tell you how much milk your baby consumes in a feeding, there are several measures that will tell you that baby is getting adequate nutrition.
If you can put a checkmark next to each numbered item below, you can be confident that your baby is getting enough milk.
- Baby is gaining weight on his/her own curve
- 5.5 - 8.5 ounces per week until 4 months of age
- Baby has periods of obvious swallowing of milk while feeding
- Alert and active when awake
- Meeting developmental milestones
- Content at the end of feeding
- Nursing on demand, following baby's hunger cues
- Baby should feed 8-12 times per day
- Day 1: 1 wet, 1 soiled
- Day 2: 2 wet, 2 soiled
- Day 3: 3 wet, 3 soiled
- Day 4: 4 wet, 3-4 soiled
- Day 5: 5-6+ wet, 3-4+ soiled
- Breasts are soft after each feed, indicating that baby has removed milk
If you have any questions or concerns about your milk supply, baby's milk intake, and/or breastfeeding in general, be sure to reach out to your local lactation professional.
If you are experiencing any of the following, contact your lactation consultant, doctor, or midwife for appropriate guidance:
- Mom is in pain while breastfeeding, or any discomfort doesn't go away
- Baby has no wet or dirty diapers, or diaper output doesn't meet the above recommendations
- Baby nurses less frequently than what is listed above
- Baby has dark-colored urine after day 3. Urine should be pale yellow to clear colored
- Baby has dark-colored stools after day 4. Stools should be mustard yellow, with no meconium present.
Kristin is a Certified Lactation Counselor in private practice and is a graphic designer, photographer, and marketing professional. By offering home visits and online consultations, it is her aim to help breastfeeding moms achieve their goals when it comes to feeding their babies.