Most new mothers are worried about this particular topic the most than any other. So many scary stories about not producing enough breast milk or baby not latching properly have taken a huge toll on their mind.
The truth is only around 5% of mothers suffer from these problems. After all, how many scenarios of this kind have you heard of? Very few or none.
Tips for the first few days.
Newborn babies generally feed less than they would later. If your baby is feeding 3-4 times a day then you are good to go. Just go for demand feeding: let the baby eat when he asks for it.
Don’t wake them up just to feed, this would make them fussier. Let him sleep for as long he wants to.
Most newborns would lose at least 5-10% of their birth weight initially. Babies go through the same amount of pain as you do during childbirth. It has taken a huge toll on them. Now I think resting for long hours is sort of self-explanatory.
Right now, he is receiving mother’s thick immunity-boosting colostrum and might wet only 1-2 diapers a day.
After the first couple of days have passed away.
By this time most babies would have established a good routine for breastfeeding and you would have too. Some babies might take a little longer for about 2-3 weeks but that’s okay. Do demand feeding till then.
When your baby has a routine, the following signs will help you determine if he is receiving enough milk.
- Baby nurses for 8-12 feedings in a 24-hour period.
- Feeding sessions can last from 10-20 minutes. ( Understand that babies don’t have a way to communicate to us so we might have to work a little harder to know what’s going on. There are some people who gobble up their food in a few minutes while others can’t finish it for ages. The same goes for every baby. 10-20 minutes is just an average time limit. It’s possible that your baby is feeding for less than 10 minutes and still doing okay. Now the big question is how to know that those few minutes is sufficient for your baby? Look for how he is moving his mouth. When the baby first latches, he swallows rapidly and then he slows down with deep, sucking motions. However, if your baby is swallowing rapidly for the whole feeding session or is sucking slowly for say 30 minutes, then he will take little or longer time respectively to have a tummy full of milk.
- Babies are content and happy after and during breastfeeding sessions. Try to burp him, if he still doesn’t stop getting fussy there might be a problem. Get consultation soon.
- After the first week, your baby will start gaining weight. By week 2 he should be back to at least his birth weight.
- At least 6-8 wet nappies or 4-6 very wet nappies should go into the diaper genie each day. The urine should be odourless and clear/pale in colour. Dark urine means baby needs more breastmilk. Over the first few days, you might notice a strange orange colour on the nappy, it’s the salts of uric acid that is leaving his body. Consult your paediatrician if the same colour appears after a week.
Note: To know if the amount of urine he/she has passed is enough, wet a dry diaper with 2 tbsp of water, the wetness should be equal to that. As the baby grows older the wetness might increase but this is the minimum from where he/she will start.
- A young baby will have around 3 bowel movements a day. An older baby might have less than that.The first bowel motions a baby has are black and sticky. This is the meconium present in the baby’s digestive tract before birth. By day 2, the bowel motions should be softer but still dark in colour. Over the next few days, the bowel motions change to a greenish-brown and then to a mustard-yellow. The stools coming after colostrum transitions to milk is yellow and seedy. As the colour changes, they become less sticky and larger in volume.
- Notice his skin whether it returns back to its supple-self after you poke it. Changes in head circumference and height are also good indicators. Babies grow very fast.
- It’s completely fine to cluster feed: Babies feed frequently for a part of the day and very less or none at all for the coming hours. A lot of babies develop this pattern especially going for less feeding during the night than in the day.
- Milk production works on the principle of supply and demand. So it’s okay if the production is low for a few days, it will stabilise after the baby starts feeding more frequently. During these low milk supply days, your baby might be quite satisfied.
- Some effects of breastfeeding like soreness, pain etc. are perfectly normal and something which almost all mums have to deal with. All the engorgement will ease after feedings become frequent. If your breasts don’t feel soft after feeding your baby needs to feed more.
- You should notice a let-down reflex or a tingling sensation after your baby has fed for a while. If you don’t feel this then it’s a sure sign of your baby not feeding enough.
- Another sign which also counts as a great affirmation is the sounds and gulps which he makes during feeding. Babies appear quite satisfied during and after feedings.
Every mother wants their baby to get fat and cute as soon as possible after birth and they think breastfeeding is the only way to do that. While it’s true that breastfeeding does take a major role in that but spending time with your baby is also important. Science says when your baby is close to you, prolactin increases, which surges your quantity and quality of milk supply. Spending time with your baby also releases oxytocin in you and your baby too. Happy and smiling babies tend to gain chubby cheek fat sooner.
Which one of these signs reassured you about your toothless’ diet? Mention in the comments box below.