Breast Feeding Problems: Is My Baby Getting Enough?

Want to find out if your baby is might be having breat feeding problems? Instructions for a simple method to determine if baby is getting enough breastmilk.

Worried about whether or not your baby is getting enough breastmilk? Many baby books cheerfully tell new mothers how many ounces of breastmilk or formula their baby should be consuming, but while bottles are clearly marked to show ounces, breasts do not come equipped with such handy measuring devices.

Relax. The measuring system is resting right in your arms. While you cannot determine how much breastmilk your baby is drinking, you can count the number of wet and soiled diapers he or she is producing.

During the first few days, your breasts may produce only colostrum. Although it appears thin and watery, this substance is your baby's perfect first food. It is normal for your baby to wet only one or two diapers a day at this point and to produce tarry, black stools.



Your baby should nurse frequently and for as long as possible during these first few days because the more your baby nurses, the more milk you will produce. Supplements should be avoided, as they will interfere with this process.

Once your milk becomes more plentiful, the baby should produce six to eight wet cloth diapers or five to six disposables. Too tired to remember how many diapers the baby wet today? Put a stack of eight diapers on the change table, check the time, and see how many are left this time tomorrow! After six weeks, the number of diapers may drop by one or two per day. This is normal.

Most babies will also have two to five bowel movements a day, but it is not unusual for this number to drop as your baby gets older. Some breastfed babies will go several days without a bowel movement and then have one large one.

If your baby is not producing the correct number of wet and soiled diapers or you have concerns because he or she is not gaining well, appears listless, or "something just doesn't seem right" don't hesitate to phone a breastfeeding consultant or your doctor.

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