13 May

Is my baby getting enough milk?

Anjali was worried if her baby was getting enough breast milk. Her baby was 6 weeks old and was born with a weight of 2.8 kgs. She lost 400 grams in the first week but now she is 3.2 kgs.

 

Anjali’s baby has been feeding almost every 2 hours, and ha been having 5 wet nappies a day. she has gained enough weight over the last two weeks but Anjali was still concerned and decided to go and seek doctor’s advice about breast feeding.

Anjali -  "Doctor - How do I know if my baby is getting enough breast milk? There is no way I can measure how much she is drinking?

Doctor - “Anjali - Your baby has to be your guide, when it comes to feeding. She knows how much she wants. Some babies are very good in latching to the breast and empty the breast in one go, while others may take frequent feedings. The first few days after birth both you and the baby are trying to figure out how best to feed. The baby may feed every hour and may also be sleepy from the birth process. After a couple of days baby may be more alert and feed every hour. You have to understand that the babies stomach is pretty small and gets filled soon. the milk also gets digested soon, so she may get hungry frequently.

Feeding your baby whenever she wants is called responsive feeding. It's the best way to nourish and nurture her. When you feed the baby more your body responds by producing more milk.

Anjali - “ Doctor - My baby seems to like to feed more in the night, why is it so?

Doctor - Anjali, although it is tiring for you, night feeding is thought to boost milk production. The hormone in your body that triggers milk production, called prolactin, is released more at night.

Anjali - Doctor - How do I make sure I produce more milk for my baby?

Doctor - As long as you feed your baby whenever she wants, you'll produce plenty of milk for her. You don't need to top up with formula milk. If you top up in the early weeks it can reduce your milk supply. IF the baby starts having fewer breastfeeds because you are topping with formula milk, then your body will produce less milk. The baby will grow well with just your milk. From around two months, she may start having longer feeds.

Anjali - How can I tell if my newborn is getting enough milk?

You can't see how much milk is going into your baby's tummy, but the some signs will help you be sure that she is feeding well:

 

  • When the baby comes off your breast and seems content and settles down rather than cry or be uncomfortable, you know she has has her full
  • She is content and happy between breast feeds
  • Your breast feel full before the feeding and feel light and soft after the feed.
  • Your baby looks a healthy colour.
  • Your baby is alert when he is awake, and readily wakes for feeds.
  • Your baby has one or two heavy, wet nappies in the first 48 hours. Once he's over five days old, he has five or six heavy, wet nappies. By five days, baby’s bowels are a yellowy-mustard colour and he's doing two motions every 24 hours.

Anjali - What are the signs that my baby is to getting enough milk?

After a feed, your breasts still feel full and hard, because your baby hasn't drained them.

  • Baby is not passing wet diapers in a day
  • Baby stools are hard and dark in color
  • Baby is restless and seems discontent
  • Baby is loosing weight consistently after the first week or two. It is usual for babies to lose between six per cent and nine per cent of their birth weight by a few days after the birth. This doesn’t mean your baby isn't getting enough milk. But, After a few days, once your baby's body has adjusted to life outside, she should start to gain weight again.  After about two weeks, most babies are at, or above, their birth weight.

One of the hardest thing for a new mother is helping the baby settle at the breast and start feeding well, if you think you are not getting it right, don't hesitate tot ask your Doctor or Nurse, before you leave the hospital.

All the best.

Last modified on Tuesday, 14 May 2019 09:14
MedHealthTV

Dr Madhu handles technology and business development for MedHealthTV.

www.medhealthtv.com

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