How do I know my baby is getting enough breast milk?

It is very unusual that a new mum is unable to make enough milk for her baby. Remember some mums feed twins successfully. You will make the amount of milk that your baby needs if you respond to his needs and feed him as frequently and as long as he/she needs.

Making sure baby is well attached to the breast

Has baby got a large mouthful of breast?

Is baby’s chin touching your breast?

Is it comfortable for you?

Are baby’s cheeks full and rounded?

Can you see some areola above his top lip but not below his bottom lip?

Is baby sucking rhythmically with some pauses?

Can you hear him swallow?

Allow him/her to come off the breast when they have finished.

Guidelines to know that baby is getting enough breastmilk

Initially in the first 48 hours your baby may 2-3 wet nappies these will increase over the following days and by day 6 they should be having 6 wet nappies.

Baby will pass a black tarry stool known as meconium first then as baby receives more milk this will change to a yellow, soft, sometimes ‘seedy’ stool which is normal for a breastfed baby.

Breastfed babies are not constipated.

It is quite normal for your baby to have some initial weight loss. Baby will be weighed again around day 3 – 5 and should begin to gain weight most babies will be back to birth weight by 2 weeks.

If you are concerned always speak to a health professional or call the national help line.

The number of wet and dirty nappies that your baby has is a very good way for you to tell if your baby is getting enough breastmilk. If you have any concerns that your baby is not following this pattern please contact your Midwife or Health Visitor.

Myth:

A breastfeeding baby needs extra water in hot weather.

Exploding the Myth:

Not true!

Breastmilk contains all the water a baby needs and baby will feed more at the breast if s/he needs more fluids.

Myth:

There is no (not enough) milk during the first three or four days after birth.

Exploding the Myth:

Not true!

It often seems like that because the baby is not latched on properly and therefore is unable to get the milk that is available. When there is not a lot of milk (as there is not, normally, in the first few days), the baby must be well latched on in order to get the milk. This accounts for "but he's been on the breast for 2 hours and is still hungry when I take him off". By not latching on well, the baby is unable to get the mother's first milk, called colostrum. Anyone who suggests you pump your milk to know how much colostrum there is, does not understand breastfeeding, and should be politely ignored.


Breastfeeding information for parents