Ensuring Your Baby Gets Enough Breastmilk: Tips for New Parents

Welcoming a newborn into the world is a joyous and transformative experience, but it can also bring its fair share of challenges, particularly when it comes to ensuring your baby is getting enough breast milk. Many parents feel a great amount of stress in knowing if your baby is getting enough milk. This leaves them wondering, “is my baby getting enough milk?” If you’re thinking this, you are not alone!

Fortunately, there are several strategies you can employ to ensure your little one is thriving and well-fed.

Establish a Good Latch: Proper latch is essential for effective breastfeeding. Ensure that your baby is latching onto your breast correctly, with their mouth covering a significant portion of the areola, not just the nipple. A good latch facilitates efficient milk transfer and prevents nipple soreness for the mother.

Monitor Output: Keeping track of your baby’s diaper output is a reliable way to gauge if they are getting enough breast milk. In the first few days, your baby should have at least one wet diaper for each day of life (e.g., one wet diaper on day one, two wet diapers on day two, and so on). By the end of the first week, your baby should have six to eight wet diapers and several bowel movements per day.

Observe Swallowing Patterns: While breastfeeding, pay attention to your baby’s swallowing patterns. You should hear a rhythmic pattern of swallowing as they nurse. Audible swallowing indicates that your baby is actively drinking milk and not just comfort nursing. An IBCLC is experienced in this area and will be able to observe and help you to see if there is anything out of the norm. Our team of IBCLCs is here in person or virtually to help. Schedule a consult today!

Track Weight Gain: Regular weight checks with your pediatrician are crucial to ensure your baby is gaining weight appropriately. While some initial weight loss is normal in the first few days after birth, your baby should start gaining weight steadily by the end of the first week. If you’re in the greater Seattle area, pop into one of our boutiques in West Seattle, Poulsbo, or Tukwila to rent a scale to use for as long as you need it!

Breastfeed Frequently: Breastfeed your baby frequently, at least eight to twelve times a day, especially in the early weeks. Frequent nursing stimulates milk production and ensures that your baby receives an ample milk supply.

Empty Each Breast: Encourage your baby to nurse from both breasts during each feeding session. Emptying one breast before offering the other ensures that your baby receives both foremilk (the initial, thirst-quenching milk) and hindmilk (the richer, higher-fat milk). If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, you can use a hand pump or electronic pump in order to help empty the breast. If you haven’t ordered a pump through your insurance yet, click here to order your pump.

Practice Responsive Feeding: Respond promptly to your baby’s hunger cues, such as rooting, sucking on fists, or turning their head towards your breast. Delaying feedings can lead to frustration and may affect the milk supply.

Take Care of Yourself: Remember to prioritize your own well-being. Stay hydrated, eat a balanced diet, and get adequate rest. Your health directly impacts your milk production, so taking care of yourself is essential for successful breastfeeding.

Seek Support: Don’t hesitate to seek help from a lactation consultant or breastfeeding support group if you encounter challenges. These professionals can offer personalized guidance and troubleshooting tips to enhance your breastfeeding experience.

Trust Your Instincts: Finally, trust your instincts as a parent. You know your baby better than anyone else. If you have concerns about your baby’s feeding or milk intake, don’t hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider for reassurance and guidance.

In conclusion, ensuring that your baby is getting enough breast milk is a priority for new parents. By employing these tips, monitoring your baby’s cues, and seeking support when needed, you can navigate the joys and challenges of breastfeeding with confidence. Remember, every breastfeeding journey is unique, and with patience and perseverance, you can provide your baby with the nourishment and comfort they need to thrive.