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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 over 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 baby should be doing:

  • 3 or more soft or runny poos a day
  • 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 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
  • 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 6 months you will need to start supplementing your breastfeeds with solid foods to help ensure your baby is getting enough iron for her/his growing body. Choose foods high in iron like pureed meat 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]