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Is my baby getting enough breastmilk?

What goes in must come out!

 

 

Worried about your milk supply? Baby feeds a lot? How to know if you’re making enough.

low supply

We can't measure how much your baby takes when they breastfeed but there are some reliable signs that your milk supply is going well. 

Your baby's nappies

Provided your baby is only having breastmilk: 

  • After 5 days of age baby will have at least 5 heavily wet disposable, or 6-8 very wet cloth nappies, in 24 hours. 

  • Urine (wee) will be pale. If baby's urine is dark and smelly, this is a sign that they aren't taking in enough milk. 

  • Plenty of soft poos of a yellow-mustard colour. Under the age of 6 to 8 weeks, babies usually have three or more runny poos a day, about the size of the palm of baby's hand.  

  • As baby gets older, they may poo less often, even once every 7 to 10 days. As long as when your baby does a poo, there is a large amount of soft or runny poo coming out! 

Your baby's signs of growth

In addition to the 'what goes in must come out' signs:

  • Baby has some weight gain after the initial weight loss soon after birth.

  • Baby has growth in length and head circumference. (Are your baby's clothes getting snugger?) 

  • Baby looks like they fit their skin, with good skin colour and muscle tone. 

  • Baby is meeting developmental milestones. 

Your baby's behaviour

You can also observe your baby

  • Baby will be alert
  • Baby will have some contented times between feeds 
  • They may still be fussy at times and some babies may cry a lot but still be getting enough milk. 

The number of feeds your baby is having

It's normal for young babies to feed 8-12 times in 24 hours and most babies will need this many. The more frequently your baby feeds, and therefore the more drained your breasts, the more milk you will make. 

Normal baby behaviours that you may confuse with hunger

  • Young babies feed frequently, especially in the late afternoon and early evening.  

  • Most babies wake for night feeds. Some babies sleep through the night at an early age while others wake during the night for some time.

  • Babies have fussy periods and have times when they feed more frequently.  

  • Some babies may cry a lot but this doesn't mean they are hungry. 

If your baby is doing any of these, it isn't necessarily a sign they are hungry. Be guided by their feeding cues, nappy output and growth.   
Chapter 6 of ABA's Breastfeeding Basics video series explains this further. 

© Australian Breastfeeding Association April 2022

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