How-To know if your Baby is getting enough breast milk?

Every parent wonders if their baby is getting enough breast milk

Baby is getting enough breast milk – Breastfeeding is the most wonderful gift you can give to your bundle of joy. It is very nutritious and promotes healthy growth. However, it is difficult for a parent to know if the breast milk supply is enough?

I just fed him. Why is he crying? Is he still hungry? This is a very common scenario for parents.

Every parent wants to make sure that their baby is not underfed. It is easy to measure the ounces of bottle milk and feed the baby till its empty. Unfortunately, breastmilk cannot be measured in ounces.

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Introduction

Every parent wonders if their baby is getting enough breast milk - quote

Feeding a baby breast milk may seem difficult. And the worry if your baby is getting enough breast milk is a something many mother’s have. It drains your energy and you get a lot of stares in public. There might be times when you want to give up. With a closer look at the benefits of breast milk, you might consider the hassle for your baby.

Breast milk promotes healthy growth internally, externally, and mentally. It has very long-term benefits.

Science has proven in various ways the benefits of breastmilk. They have carried out many experiments. They have emphasized greatly to breastfeed your baby.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) recommends mothers to feed their baby at least till the age of six months.

Ready the article 12 Everyday activities that WILL impact baby’s development to know how you can make use of your time with your baby effectively.

Some Interesting facts about breastmilk?

  1. Breastfeeding burns between 500-600 calories a day. 
  2. Breastmilk taste and smell changes as per your diet.
  3. Also, breast milk color also changes from white to green or blue or orange or yellow based on your diet.
  4. Exclusive breast feed is sufficient for the first 6 months of your baby life
  5. Your breast size and amount of milk production are not related
  6. Breastmilk improved babies IQ (try breastfeeding baby up to 2 Yrs.)
  7. Breastmilk Makes baby sleepy.
  8. Your breastmilk changes its nutrient compensation based on the growth of your baby. For preterm babies’ it has more nutrients that help bone and brain growth.
  9. Breastfeeding helps you reduce weight. It lowers risk of many diseases like cancer, type-2 diabetes, heart related conditions etc.
  10. Breastmilk has live cells and stem cells that can transform in your baby body as organs or tissue.

Now that you know of all these interesting facts do you wonder if your baby is getting enough breast milk. We will come to this shortly.

Our articles 5 Very Common Newborn Baby Problems / Quirks and How much do you know about baby sleep patterns? will be of interest to you to read.

Some common myths of breastmilk – BUSTED

breast feeding the baby

While you are in the quest to find if your baby is getting enough breast milk you should also know few common myths that is spoken which are completely not true.

So that you don’t fall for these myths and stop feeding your baby. Below are 8 myths that I have outlined…

Myth #1: You should not breastfeed without washing your nipples

Fact: Nipple on the breast is now the same as the nipple on the bottle. Bottle nipple needs to be sterilised.

Whereas breasts are self-cleansing and you don’t need to do this. Maintain overall hygiene. And this is fine and good. A warm compress would be good for sore nipples. 

Myth #2: Don’t breastfeed when you are sick. Your breastmilk will be contaminated with germs.

Fact: Contrary to the myth. It is actually the antibodies that the mother’s body will produce will get passed on to the baby through breast milk. Do inform your doctor that you are breastfeeding when you go for treatment.

Do not self-medicate to get the right treatment. Your sickness might get you tired. So, if possible, take your spouse or loved ones help to feed you by expressing your milk and storing it for them to use. So that you can take adequate rest to overcome your illness. 

Myth #3: Don’t eat your baby if they have diarrhoea

Fact: Diarrhoea in a baby can be caused by various reasons but definitely not because they are breastfed. In fact, you need to feed your baby while they have diarrhoea to prevent them from dehydration.

Breast Milk also has the needed medicines to help you fight the infection. Your bonding with the baby during breastfeeding also gives a lot of effort when your baby is sick.

Myth #4: Do Not feed your baby if your nipples are cracked or bleeding.

Fact: There is no harm in feeding your baby if you have cracked nipples or you are bleeding lightly. of course, it would be a bit uncomfortable and painful for you when your baby feeds on your cracked or sore nipple.

So, take care of your nipple while not feeding the baby and moisturize it so that you can tide over this. To talk to your Healthcare provider on the issue that you are facing so that it can be examined and needed treatment can be given 

Myth #5: You should never wake a sleeping baby for feeding

Fact: As mothers we do need some quiet and peaceful time. However, a new born baby in the first few months would sleep a lot. It is not healthy for the baby to skip the feed.

You will have to wake up your baby so that you provide the needed nutrition for them regularly. They would go right back to sleep. Breastmilk does make your baby sleepy and they might go to sleep right after feeding. Go ahead and wake your baby up and feed them in regular intervals so that they can become healthy kids 

Myth #6: More milk you drink the more breastfeed you will get

Fact: Breast milk is produced based on the need of the baby not based on how much milk the mother is drinking. Milk is a healthy food that mothers can have to be nourished. It also gives them water needed to stay hydrated (do drink your 8 glasses of water also not just milk).

All the healthy food that the mothers eat will ultimately translate into breast milk that your baby would receive. If mother is undernourished does not mean the breast milk mother produces will be undernourished too.

Your baby will still get the needed nutrition supply from the breast milk. However, the Mother’s health will take a setback if she is undernourished. 

Myth #7: Breastmilk can completely vanish in a day

Fact: It takes a lot of time to wane out breastmilk. Even after the mother has completely stopped feeding the baby breast milk. It can even take months. The milk quantity mothers produce would keep reducing for a few months before it completely goes dry.

However, if you are concerned that you are not producing the adequate needed amount of breastmilk for your baby you will have to eat healthy food. And also stay hydrated adequately.

But do remember to consult your lactation specialist to rule out any doubt of fear that you might have on if your baby is getting enough breast milk.

Myth #8: Breastmilk and formula milk are the same 

Fact: Breast milk is a living thing. It has stem cells and antibiotics. It has all the nutrients that your kid needs to grow. Formula milk is something that is manufactured in a factory.

It is a combination of chemicals that is processed in the factory that has the closest representation to what we believe are the components of breastmilk. They are not one and the same and definitely not healthier than breast milk.

Breast milk also changes the nutrient content that they have based on your baby’s growth and aging. The breast milk produced in the first week is very different from what is produced in the third week.

Breast milk is what is needed for you baby and it is recommended that the first six months of baby’s life all the nutrients the baby needs can be got solely from breast milk.

Discard all these myths and continue to breastfeed your baby as long as possible. It will also help you increase your bond with your baby. Our articles Benefits of singing to your baby and How to Bond with your baby easily? can be of help to you.

Benefits of Breastmilk

breast feeding the baby

Breast milk gives many benefits to a baby. WHO recommends mothers to feed their babies till the age of 2 because that’s how long it can benefit the baby’s growth and health?

Furthermore, there are scientific reasons to support the statement of WHO.

Breast Milk Promotes Overall Good Health

Scientifically, breast milk gives excellent health to the baby. As a matter of fact, at the birth of the baby, the mother produces a special thick yellow liquid called colostrum. This particular liquid has high amounts of protein and low sugar. It also contains many beneficial compounds.

Colostrum is ideal and irreplaceable milk that is considered to be wonder milk!

However, the heavily packed nutritious breast milk has one set back. It does not contain vitamin D. Doctors recommend parents to give vitamin D orally.

Read our article postparuntum to get more insights on how to take care of baby and yourself.

Breast Milk Improves the IQ

Amazingly, breast milk can give a high level of IQ. Science says that babies who have been fed breast milk have higher levels of IQ compared to the formula-fed babies.

Some studies show that the brain of a breastfed baby is sharper than that of a formula-fed baby.

Significantly, breast milk gives positive brain development in the early years of a baby.

Read our article 15 ~ Easy ways to Boost your baby’s IQ to get more insights.

Breast Milk Builds Immunity

Another benefit of breast milk is that it builds excellent immunity. The child will hardly need antibiotics throughout his life. 

The breast milk builds strong antibodies to fight germs and bacteria’s promoting excellent health in the later years.

If, however, during the initial years, your baby does get sick, the breast will produce a certain milk formula that will ensure quick relief from seasonal flu or another mild sickness.

Breast milk results in healthy weight gain

Breast milk ensures a healthy weight gain. Formula-fed babies tend to look chubby and heavy weighted. On the other hand, breast milk gives babies a not-so-chubby look.

Research has proven the fact that formula-fed babies tend to become obese and overweight in the future.

Breast milk babies promote a healthy eating pattern whereas formula milk uses up the fat from the powder milk and enables them to not get in track of healthy eating habits.

How to Breastfeed your baby

Below are the steps you can follow to breast feed your baby.

  1. Sit steadily on a firm surface in upright position and be calm
  2. Place baby to your breast. Position baby such that baby tummy pressed against your tummy.
  3. Move your nipple slowly on baby cheek to mouth. To get rooting instinct.
  4. Hold your nipple till your feel your babies firm latch to your nipple
  5. Place baby Palm on your breast to encourage skin to skin contact.
  6. Let baby feed one breast completely before moving to next.

The above steps help you feed your baby the right way so that the feeding time can be more pleasant and comfortable for you and your baby. And also help you feed well and ease your doubt if your baby is getting enough breast milk.

Know the 12 Baby Body Language that You SHOULD Know to know when your baby is hungry and when to feed them.

9 On-Spot Signs that the Baby is Feeding Well

It is difficult for a mother to tell if the baby is full or feeding properly there by the baby is getting enough breast milk. Here are some quick on-spot signs that you can check off to ensure a filled tummy.

  1. After feedings, your baby should be happy and satisfied unless she is sleepy or needs a nappy change.
  2. During sucking, the cheeks should be round and not hollow. Hollow shape of the cheeks is an indication that the baby is not getting enough milk.
  3. The baby should leave the breast on his own after feeding.
  4. The nipples should look the same after feeding and not flat, pinched, or white.
  5. You can hear and see the baby swallowing.
  6. Your breast feels soft after feeding.
  7. The baby is calm and relaxed during the feeding.
  8. Your baby drops off or turns they face away on their own post feeding.
  9. Your baby tummy looks rounded and full.

If you are planning on a travel at this stage do read our article How-To prepare your baby for long travel? to get more tips and insights.

4 Signs that the baby is getting enough breast milk .

When it comes to nursing your baby, it is hard to tell how much milk has the baby drank? Is it enough to fill up the tummy? Or if the baby is getting enough breast milk

Although you cannot see the milk going inside the baby, some signs can tell you to give you a satisfying feeding that the baby is getting enough breast milk.

Pediatrics recommend to watch out for the following 4 signs to know if your baby is getting enough breast milk:

  • Content and Happy baby: You should be able to see the satisfying and content feeling after a well-fed feeding session. On the other hand, babies who are not as full will be cranky and will still scream to fed.

Another sign of not well-fed would be the constant feeding sessions in a short amount of time is a good indicator that your milk supply is not enough.

If you baby is crying and stressing you out our article Why is my Baby Crying? Tips to calm your crying Baby can be of help to you.

  • You should feel the swallowing: When you latch the baby on the bread for a feeding session, he should be sucking very fast. Then it develops into a slow, deep pulling motion. These two steps are a positive indication that the baby is feeding well.

Although you cannot see the intake of the milk going inside the mouth, you will hear the swallowing. Also, if the baby pauses the sucking and repeatedly closes his eyes, this means that the baby is filling up the tummy well!

  • Filling of Diapers: The output of a well-fed baby is the filling of diapers. It has been observed that a newborn fills up to 6 to 10 diapers with urine and passes at least 3 stools in the first month

It is important to check the color and texture of the stool. The first stool of a newborn is always black. Then the stool should change to yellow in color by the third or fourth day. 

Afterwards, the stool should seedy and watery. A parent should seek medical attention if the above timeline is not the same.

  • Increase in weight: A baby should double his weight within the first 5 months. A baby’s weight increases rapidly in the first few months. Then it should be a slow increase. Most importantly, a baby should always be gaining weight.

However, in the first few days or weeks, it is quite normal for a baby to shed some of the weight.

Keep in mind, that this should only carry out in the first few days or weeks. Otherwise, get him checked by a pediatric if this is not the case.

10 ways to Boost Milk Supply

baby with a toothy grin

In the initial months, it is normal for a mother to not be able to produce enough milk supply. However, as time goes on with constant breastfeeding, the mother will eventually be able to produce more milk.

You see, the glands in the breasts produce more milk as the demand gets higher. Hence, the more you feed them more the supply.

At the same time, every breastfeeding mother must take lots of care when it comes to the diet to produce enough milk for the baby. Additionally, there are some more techniques that a mother should follow to gain the maximum supply of the milk.

Here are 10 ways to boost the milk supply:

  1. Breast-feed the baby on demand. Remember, the more you feed the baby the more the supply.
  2. Power pump your breast. When you empty the milk from the breast, it will signal to produce more.
  3. Add more breast stimulating food in your diet like wheat germ, flax seeds, whole oats etc. Even better, bake some lactation cookies.
  4. Take your multivitamins.
  5. Eat healthily.
  6. Have plenty of rest.
  7. Feed the baby from both sides of the breasts.
  8. Massage your breast when pumping and feeding to stimulate more milk.
  9. Drink double amount of water.
  10. Consult with a lactation expert

While we are in the topic of health and wellbeing. Our article All you need to know about nutrition in kids can give you larger insights.

Conclusion:

Even though breastfeeding requires a lot of energy and time, it is highly beneficial for the baby. The benefits range from building a strong bond to a strong built-up of the immunity.

There are lots of benefits involved in breast seeing but is difficult to tell if the baby is having enough of the milk or not. Even though you cannot see the amount of milk going inside of the baby, many indicators let you know the baby is getting enough breast milk and is fully happy and content.

Some of these signs are seen at the time of a feeding session. Others are outcomes of a well-fed baby. All in all, a mother can know if the baby is well-fed and resulting in continuous physical growth. 

God Bless!!.

Thabitha David

Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Friend. She is a MBA Graduate specialized in Human Resources. She is a very proud mother of 3 Kids. (2 Teens & 1 Tween). She is a keen Observer of Life and is a blogger. She writes these articles based on her experience (Success and Failures). She does this with hope to help and ease the pain of at-least one parent as they face the challenges of parenting. Read more from the About Us Page

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