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Is My Newborn Eating Enough?

"How do you know for sure that baby is getting enough milk when you're a breastfeeding newbie? I get that after a while you can gauge by certain things, but those first few days after your supply comes in, how the heck do you know that he/she is actually getting an adequate amount of milk?" - kgail11
ByAndi Silverman
Updated
March 2, 2017
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Image: iStockphoto

“Having a newborn can be very overwhelming and it’s common to worry about whether or not the baby is getting enough to eat,” says Andi Silverman, breastfeeding expert and author of Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding. “Keep in mind that your pediatrician will check the baby’s weight to make sure she is getting enough to eat. You can help, too, by keeping a journal of feedings, pees and poops. Newborns eat eight to twelve times per day, that is every two to three hours. So if you feed your baby from 8:00 a.m. to 8:20, the next feeding starts at 10:00 a.m. if you are on a two hour schedule. If you have a sleepy baby, you’ll want to wake her up to make sure she’s feeding. Newborns also poop three to four times a day, and pee five to eight times per day.” After about a month, feedings become less frequent — every three to four hours is common. “Overall, try to feed your baby ‘on demand,’ or whenever she indicates she’s hungry by crying, licking her lips, sucking her fist or rooting around for your breast.”

There are some other things that can help you figure out if your baby is eating well: (1) you see milk in the baby’s mouth; (2) the baby eats, and then stops rooting for food; (3) your breasts feel softer after a feeding; (4) you feel your milk letting down, or a tingling in your breast during feeding; (5) you see the baby suck and swallow.  Sucking is quick and shallow, swallowing is deep and rhythmic.

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