This is one of the most frequently asked questions of new mothers. In the late night hours you may wonder if he is actually getting enough? Is your milk sufficient?
Newborns feed about every 2 to 3 hours. This means that you will need to feed him about 12 times in a 24 hour period (Hold, Wooldridge, Story, & Sofka, 2011). Your infant may lose some weight after birth. However, he shouldn’t lose more than 7% of his birth weight and should not lose any more weight by day 5. When your infant is 12 to 14 days old he should be back to his birth weight (Caldwell & Turner-Maffei, 2014). If your infant’s weight loss is concerning, trust your intuition and seek out help from a qualified medical professional.
What’s the Output?
There are ways to know if you baby is getting enough milk. One of the ways is through output. How many wet diapers and stools is your baby producing in a day?
You can know your baby is getting enough if she is producing 1 wet diaper per day of life up to 6 days old and settling out to about 6 to 8 wet diapers per day once your milk comes in fully. Stool colors will change as your milk increases. Your infant’s stool will be loose. Do not worry; this is completely normal.
Time to ask for help?
It is important to pay careful attention to your infant’s diapers. These are your clue for knowing how much she is taking in. You should contact your local lactation counselor and physician if…
- Your intuition is speaking to you loud and clear. I never doubt a mother’s intuition.
- Your infant has lost more than 7% of her birth weight.
- Your infant has not gained weight by day 5.
- Your baby hasn’t returned to her birth weight 14 days from birth.
- Your little one isn’t having 6 to 8 urine-filled diapers per day by day 6.
- Your baby isn’t producing about 4 stools per day by day 4 (Lactation Education Resources, n.d.).
Never go past what your gut is telling you. In our hectic lives it may be hard to keep track of your infant’s diapers. However, you can keep track of your daily feedings and infant output through this Newborn Feeding Log.
One last thing…
I personally love this video. It provides wonderful insight and features women from around the world who have asked the same question. Is my baby getting enough milk?
Caldwell, K., Turner-Maffei, C. (2014). Pocket guide for lactation management (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Hold, K., Wooldridge, N., Story, M., Sofka, D. (Eds.). (2011). Bright futures: Nutrition (3rd ed.). Elk Grove Village, IL: The American Academy of Pediatrics.
Lactation Education Resources. (n.d.). Is my baby getting enough [Class handout]? Retrieved from http://www.lactationtraining.com/images/PDFs/handouts/Getting_Enough_To_Eat.pdf