Babies and Breast Milk – Are You Making Enough For Your Baby?
Do you have enough breast milk for your baby?
Many mothers today worry about whether they have enough milk to feed their baby. Sit back and relax because human nature designed your body to meet the needs of your baby perfectly! Where did this doubt come from? Many women feel they need to pump and measure their milk to make sure their baby gets enough. Why?
A woman’s body naturally makes colostrum that is ready for the baby, in small amounts, right after birth. Babies are not meant to eat a lot in the first few days of life and need time for their system to adapt to the outside world and therefore, a mother’s breasts do not make a lot of milk in the first few days after delivery. Notice the coordination between mother and baby? By about the third day after birth, the mother’s milk should start to come in…meaning that the breasts become very full and engorged (translating into very uncomfortable). Reasons that the mother’s milk is delayed in coming in are: the use of anesthesia during delivery – epidural, spinal and general – a difficult delivery, delivery complications such as excessive blood loss and toxemia, existing maternal medical conditions and previous breast reduction or enhancement
The latest I have ever seen a mother’s milk come in is at 6 days post birth. You will feel much more comfortable with your ability to provide enough milk for your baby if you visit your Pediatrician every couple of days after leaving the hospital to check the baby’s weight. I manage newborn babies and breastfeeding on a regular basis in our office, observing for incorrect feeding techniques that cause pain for the mother and following weight gain until the baby has reached their birth weight. It is RARE that a mother does not have enough milk…usually it is the mother’s perception that she does not have enough milk and is not aware of how perfectly her body works. A baby will stimulate their mother to make enough milk if they are put to the breast every time they cry in the first few days.
Your baby is getting enough milk if their weight gain is at least 1/2oz per day and your baby is wetting diapers frequently. A general rule of thumb is that a baby should have two wet diapers on day #2 of life; 3 wet diapers on day three; 4 wet diapers on day four and five wet diapers on day #5. After an infant is six days old, they should have at least, six wet diapers a day. Another sure way to tell if you baby is getting enough breast milk is they are passing at least one stool a day and it is yellow, watery and seedy.
Try not to worry if you have enough breast milk. Let nature do what has been occurring since the beginning of time and just feed your baby!
Relax and enjoy your baby!