How do you know if baby’s getting enough breast milk?

A doctor helps answer this critical question for moms

Breastfeeding provides loads of well-documented benefits for babies and moms. One common question many moms have about breastfeeding is, “How can I tell if my baby is getting enough milk?”

It’s a fair question. After all, it’s not like you’re using a bottle with ounces marked clearly on the side that let you see exactly how much milk your baby takes in with each feeding.

Elizabeth M. Doyle, M.D., IBCLC, Norton Children’s Medical Associates – Broadway, offers these useful guidelines to help moms know when their babies are getting enough nutrition and liquids from breastfeeding:

  • Baby is feeding a minimum of eight times per day; optimal is 10 to 12 times per day.
  • Infant is active and alert.
  • Infant actively feeds at breast, with sucking and swallowing for at least 10 minutes.
  • Baby is producing seven to eight wet diapers per day.
  • Baby has met the general “4-by-4” goal to produce four stools by day four of life.
  • Breasts feel full before feeding and empty afterward.

As a pediatrician and medical director of lactation services for Norton Healthcare, Dr. Doyle reminds moms — especially new moms — that breastfeeding can look and work differently for every mom and baby.

“Never be shy about asking questions when it comes to your baby’s well-being,” she said. “If you think something isn’t right with your baby, call your pediatrician!  You know your baby best.”

 


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