“How to tell if my baby is getting enough breast milk” is probably one of the first things I googled once I brought Emmy home. Followed by “how can I help my baby pass gas?”, but we’ll save that for another blog post. I couldn’t tell if my baby was getting enough to eat. She was doing alot of flailing around, followed by some crying, then she wouldn’t burp so I definitely thought she didn’t get enough. That was probably why she was crying, right? I would give my boob a little squeeze to make sure there was milk coming out, there way, but was she getting enough to eat?
I think all first time mom’s have this same worry (at least I hope I wasn’t the only one!). How can you tell if your baby is getting enough to eat? Here are a few signs to keep an eye out for:
- After the feeding, your baby seems calm and relaxed.
- If your baby is fussy or crying, they could still be hungry. However, if you have fed your baby for an adequate amount of time on each breast, they could be having tummy troubles. Read up on solving gas troubles here.
- Another reason your baby could be fussing is the position they are eating in. Try holding your head in the same position they are in and swallowing a sip of water. If it’s difficult for you, it’s definitely difficult for baby. Try adjusting to a more comfortable position.
- Take note of the size of your beast before and after the feeding. They should be significantly softer after the feeding since your baby has drained you of all the milk.
- Is your baby having wet diapers? This is a big sign that he or she is getting enough to eat. Dirty diapers aren’t always a solid sign as some breast fed babies can go a day without a poopy diaper if mamas breast milk is well absorb and doesn’t create waste.
- Can you hear your baby swallowing while nursing? If so, they are getting milk and will get full!
If your baby seems to be having a decrease in wet diapers or their wet diapers seem to be a darker color of urine, then your baby might not be getting enough and you should contact their pediatrician. They may be able to offer you some breast feeding tips or recommend a lactation consultant.
At one point early in breastfeeding Emmy, I remember being so concerned that she wasn’t getting enough to eat that I would give her a bottle or two of expressed breast milk a day just so I could see her finish a certain amount of ounces. Here’s a chart of how much expressed breast milk your baby should be consuming. I did this for just a few days until the breast feeding seemed to get easier. Remember that while this whole breast feeding thing is new and hard for you, it’s just as new and complicated for your baby too. Stick to it. It will get easier and you will be happy you powered through!
More breast feeding posts from S&B: