Is My Baby Getting Enough Breast Milk?
Many new mums are concerned about how much milk they are producing, which can be prompted by your baby crying after a feed or concerns about weight gain. Babies will usually lose weight after they are born. After this initial weight loss, your baby should be back to their birth weight at about 2 weeks and gain about 150 grams or more every week for the first 3 months. You can also monitor a baby's nappy (their poos and wees) to see if they are getting enough. Your newborn baby should be doing:
3 or more soft or runny poos a day. (for more detail, including in community languages, see references below)
6-8 very wet nappies in 24 hours and the wee is light in colour.
If your baby is gaining weight, filling their nappy as described, and they are alert with bright eyes and good skin tone, they are likely to be getting enough breast milk. There may be other reasons for unsettled behaviour.
- Talk to your child health nurse if you’re worried, or you can contact Australian Breastfeeding Association helpline on 1800 686 268
Increasing Your Milk Supply
If your baby isn’t gaining weight or isn't filling their nappy regularly, you may try the following to increase milk supply:
Check baby is attached well to your nipple
Feed more frequently – breastfeed on demand at least 8 times in 24 hours
During feeds, switch baby between breasts and offer each breast twice
Ensure breasts are emptied at each feed or pumping session; if they are not emptied, express whatever remains
Don’t go more than 5 hours without milk removal
Make sure you are drinking a lot of water and eating well, avoiding alcohol and smoking
Ensure you seek advice and support early to optimise your breastfeeding experience.
From around 6 months, continue breastfeeding and start your baby on solid foods. This will help ensure your baby is getting enough iron for their growing body. Choose foods high in iron like pureed meats or tofu or iron fortified rice cereal. See introducing solids for more information.
For more information on breastfeeding tips and challenges see the links below:
Source: Australian Breastfeeding Association; Raising Children Network; NHMRC Infant feeding guidelines
How can I tell that breastfeeding is going well? (click on the link below)