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Signs of a Good Feed

August 14, 2013 by HealthyFamilies BC

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newborn baby in mom's lap wrapped in jumpsuit

 

 

Wondering how to tell if your baby's had enough breast milk?  

Here's a list of signs that indicate a good feed.


The best way to produce lots of milk is to breastfeed more often. This is called supply and demand. In North America, many women aren't aware of the principles of supply and demand and supplement with formula. This may, in turn, make breastfeeding more difficult.

  • Your baby has a good latch andfeeding doesn't hurt.
  • Your baby is feeding eight or more times a day after the first 24 hours. Night time feedings are to be expected.
  • You see your baby sucking and swallowing. You will hear a "ca" sound during the feeding.
  • In the first few days of life your baby has one to three wet diapers per day. By day four to six, as your milk supply increases, your baby should have five or more wet diapers a day. Baby's urine should be pale yellow.
  • Your baby has three or more bowel movements a day in the first few weeks. After the first four to six weeks it's common for bowel movements to happen less often - sometimes only once every few days. As long as the bowel movement is loose and the baby has wet diapers, this is normal.
  • Your baby is satisfied and content after most feedings.
  • Your baby has returned to his birth weight by about two weeks.
  • Your breasts are full before feeding and soft after feeding. After several weeks, it is normal to have soft breasts all the time and still have lots of milk.
  • Your baby is gaining weight (you'll notice the baby's sleepers are starting to get tight!)

Concerns

Call your healthcare provider, public health nurse, or 8-1-1 right away if your baby:

  • Does not have:
    • 1 or more wet diapers with clear, pale urine on day 1
    • 2-3 wet diapers each day, with clear, pale yellow urine on days 2-3
    • 3-5 wet diapers each day, with clear, pale yellow urine on days 3-5
    • 4-6 wet diapers each day, with clear, pale yellow urine on days 5-7
    • Many wet diapers each day, with clear, pale yellow urine on days 7-28
  • Does not have at least 2 or more bowel movements each day after 4 5 days of age (for the first few weeks)
  • Is not interested in feeding and often goes without feeding for 4 5 hours in the first few weeks

If you are worried that your baby isn't getting enough milk, remember that your newborn's stomach is very small.

Baby's Age Baby's Stomach Size
Day 1 Size of a shooter marble (5-7 ml)
Day 2 Size of a ping pong ball (22-27 ml)
Day 10 Size of a large chicken egg (60-81 ml)

 


Resources & Links:
Healthlink BC: Breastfeeding
Healthlink BC: Growth and Development, Newborn

VIDEO: Admission to Postpartum - Keeping Your Baby Skin-to-Skin
VIDEO: Baby's Feeding Cues and Behaviours
VIDEO: Breastfeeding Positions
VIDEO: Cup Feeding and Other Feeding Methods
VIDEO: Hand Expressing Milk
VIDEO: Latching Your Baby

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Topic

  1. Activity & Lifestyles
  2. Aging Well
  3. Pregnancy & Parenting
    1. Pregnancy & Birth
    2. Babies (0-12 months)
    3. Toddlers (12-36 months)
    4. Preschool (3-5 years)
    5. Children (6-11 years)
    6. Teens (12-18 years)
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