La Leche League Leaders

La Leche League Leaders
La Leche League Leaders

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Making More Milk

How can I tell if my baby is getting enough milk?

Once mother's milk comes in, usually on the third or fourth day, the baby should begin to have 6-8 wet cloth diapers (5-6 wet disposable diapers) per day. (An easy way to feel the weight of a wet disposable diaper is to pour 2-4 tablespoons of water in a dry diaper.)

In addition, most young babies will have at least two to five bowel movements every 24 hours for the first several months, although some babies will switch to less frequent but large bowel movements at about 6 weeks.

A baby that is sleeping rather than feeding every 2-3 hours or is generally lethargic may need to be assessed by a health care provider to make sure that he is adequately hydrated.

These are additional important signs that indicate your baby is receiving enough milk:

* The baby nurses frequently averaging at least 8-12 feedings per 24-hour period.
* The baby is allowed to determine the length of the feeding, which may be 10 to 20 minutes per breast or longer.
* Baby's swallowing sounds are audible as he is breastfeeding.
* The baby should gain at least 4-7 ounces per week after the fourth day of life.
* The baby will be alert and active, appear healthy, have good color, firm skin, and will be growing in length and head circumference.

The physical act of breastfeeding is more than the quantity of milk that is supplied, as you will find once you hold your baby in your arms. Breastfeeding is warmth, nutrition, and mother's love all rolled into one. Understanding and appreciating the signs of knowing when your baby is getting enough to eat is the one of the most important things a new mother can learn. If you have any concerns regarding your baby, they should be addressed with your health care practitioner.

** For those moms out there who are not sure if they are making enough milk or if they KNOW they aren't making enough milk, there is a book for you!! It is called Making More Milk by Diana West, BA, IBCLC and Lisa Marasco, MA, IBCLC. It is a wonderful resource for moms with different issues of supply. This book will help you play detective and figure out the best solution for your situation.

Here is a recent book review on Celebrity Baby Blog about MMM. Check it out or tell a friend about it. You'll be glad you did!

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