As parents, there are so many things we wonder if we’re doing correct. And not just first-time parents, but the moms & dads who have experience in the kid department. About a year ago, I would’ve considered my husband & I somewhat seasoned parents. At least, I thought we were seasoned. We had our three-year-old son Monroe & we were soon expecting our daughter. It seemed like once our Emma was born, we totally forgot what it was like to take care of a newborn. The long days of changing diapers, pumping, breastfeeding, & also making sure our oldest was fed, semi-clean & happy, was exhausting. It’s hard raising little humans! However, I think it’s so extremely important to reach out to family & friends if you need a little help because let’s be honest, it really does take a village!
I think one of the main concerns I encountered after having both of my children, was if they were eating enough. And I think it’s safe to say that a large number of moms (and dads too!) question whether their sweet baby is getting enough to eat. If baby is being bottle fed, it’s pretty easy to gage their nutrition intake. However, when a baby is breastfed, sometimes it’s hard to tell how much milk the baby is actually transferring. So, I wanted to share a few ways to ensure your baby is satisfied at the breast.
3 Ways to Monitor Breast Milk Consumption
Baby should be having 4-6 wet diapers a day. After baby passes the dark tar-like meconium, the stools will become yellow & seedy. Since breastmilk is a natural laxative, baby can vary in the frequency of their bowel movements. Some babes can have a poop with every feed & others can go multiple days without producing one.
After delivery, babies typically lose a percentage of their birth weight. Within the first week, you’ll check in with your pediatrician and they will weigh baby to see if he has reached his birth weight. If babe has yet to achieve that weight, your doctor will likely request you to come back in a week to ensure your little one has met that weight goal. If your doctor wants you to supplement, talk to them about a Supplemental Nursing System & see if that would benefit you!
Baby should average 8 to 12 feedings per 24-hour period. He should have a good latch and you should be able to hear him swallow while he is nursing. If babe does have a good latch, he can determine the length of the feed which could be 10 minutes or more on each breast. If he doesn’t have a good latch, he might come off of the breast multiple times during a session. You may also notice sore or cracked nipples. There’s no need to fret if baby doesn’t seem to have a good latch. Give yourself some grace & call a lactation consultant. You and baby have to learn how to work as a team & a consultant is a great resource to help you two achieve that!
Ultimately, you know what is best for baby. If you have questions or concerns regarding your baby getting enough milk, talk to your pediatrician. They will be able to help you navigate this new adventure.
Just remember, your body is remarkable & capable…
And YOU are amazing <3