This may be the most asked question from mommies who breastfeed their babies. It is understandable, since breasts are neither see-through nor marked off in ounces. Thank goodness there are other signs that indicate baby is getting enough milk...
Typically during the first few days, while the baby is receiving mother's thick, immunity-boosting colostrum, he will wet only one or two diapers per day. 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 2-5 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 our 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 10-20minutes 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 we will find once we hold our baby in our arms. Breastfeeding is warmth, nutrition, and mother's love all rolled into one. Understanding and appreciating the signs of knowing when our baby is getting enough to eat is the one of the most important things a new mother can learn.
If we have any concerns regarding our baby, they should be addressed with our health care practitioner. We should not keep wondering and worrying alone...