How can I tell if my baby is feeding well?
Many breastfeeding parents wonder if their baby is getting enough breast milk to drink. You can’t see exactly how much breast milk your baby has had to drink – what’s important is that you feed him whenever he’s hungry and as often as he wants.
Here are some signs that your baby is getting enough milk:
- Baby’s mouth is moist and pink.
- Baby is alert and moves actively.
- Baby comes off your breast looking relaxed, sleepy and satisfied.
- Baby feeds at least 8 times in 24 hours, with no restrictions.
- Baby has many wet and dirty diapers.
There are also signs which show that breastfeeding is going well:
- Your breasts experience the
letdown or breast milk ejection reflex:
- You may feel a tingling sensation or feeling of tightening in your breasts.
- Breast milk may leak or flow when you hear your baby cry, or may leak from the opposite breast while feeding.
- Baby experiences changes in sucking patterns, like slow sucking, pausing and then beginning to swallow.
- You can hear your baby swallowing and see his throat expanding.
- You may experience cramping and vaginal discharge (increased lochia) during or after breastfeeding for the first few days.
- You may feel relaxed or drowsy after breastfeeding.
- Your breasts feel softer and less full after breastfeeding.
- Your nipple is elongated after breastfeeding, not pinched, white or damaged.
Fear of not having “enough milk” is one of the most common reasons given for stopping breastfeeding early. But the reality is that many parents think their milk supply is low when it isn’t. The feeling of your breast, your baby’s behaviour, the frequency you feed or the amount you pump DOES NOT determine if you have enough milk.
Also, many parents believe that they don’t have enough milk because their baby takes a bottle after breastfeeding. Keep in mind that many babies will suck on anything even if they are full because they find it enjoyable.