Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to feed your baby, but if you are a little Type A, like me, it can be frustrating not being able to know the exact amount of breastmilk your baby is getting with each feeding and throughout the day. And while there is no way to tell exactly how much milk your baby is eating, here are some facts that can reassure you that your baby is getting everything he/she needs.
1) Weight gain is a good indicator that your baby is getting as much breastmilk as he/she needs.
Your baby should gain about 5-7 oz per week during the first three months of life.
Average weight gain slows down at around four months to 3-5 oz per week.
By six months it decreases to about 2-3 oz per week.
If that is happening, you know that he/she is getting enough breastmilk.
2) Diaper changes are another good indicator of sufficient breastmilk production.
For the first two months, your baby should have 6-8 wet diapers and 4-5 dirty diapers. Though some babies have dirty diapers every time they eat. My first baby had a full blow out with every single feeding! She was definitely getting enough to eat!
3) You should be able to see and hear your baby swallowing as they breastfeed.
Listen for a swallowing sound for every one to two sucks. You can also watch their throat as they breastfeed and see the swallowing motion.
4) Get to know your breasts and what they feel like before and immediately after a feeding.
Your breasts will fill up with milk before a feeding and then will feel soft immediately after. Take a feel right before you feed your baby and then again right after. Get familiar with how they feel and that could help reassure you that your baby is emptying your breast with the feeding.
If you pay attention to all of these signs and notice a change that is not reassuring, see or speak to a lactation specialist for help. She will be able to help you figure out what is going on and what you can do to help.
Happy breastfeeding, mama!