When do you know if your baby is getting enough breastmilk? This is a frequently asked question and one which Kensington Midwives often try to answer. There are some clues. To begin with, when breastfeeding is working properly there is an effective sucking pattern with audible swallows. This means that your position is perfect. Your baby finds it easy to suck and swallow and he will get enough before he becomes tired.
Check the nappy. A good out put of pees and poos means a good input. Colostrum is an antidiuretic to prevent dehydration, so only expect one pee in the first 24 hours, 2 in the next 24 hours increasing to 5 pees per day by day 5 when milk should be in. Colosturm is also a laxative, so expect lots of poos.
Your baby will be getting enough breastmilk if he does not loose more that 10% of his birth weight and when he is back to his birth weight he gains an average of 30g per 24 hours until he doubles his birth weight at about 4 months of age. Growth slows down after this.
Lastly, if your baby settles between feed and wakes for feeds 6-8 times in 24 hours , you are feeding perfectly. Relax and enjoy these precious early days.
Feeds usually last a maximum of one hour, including burping and a nappy change. The baby may have a 20 minute break in the middle. If he becomes sleepy, Kensington Midwives recommend some stimulation like a nappy change to wake him up to be sure he has taken a full feed. We also suggest changing breasts at this point.
Ideally your baby will feed 3 to 4 hourly in the day. Wake your baby at night until he is over his birth weight at 2 weeks old, after which he can be left longer and wake himself up. Watch for feeding cues, encourage your baby to wake when showing feeding cues, but only feed when your baby is wide awake.