As a new mum in the early days of caring for a baby, you may worry if you’re producing enough breast milk for your little one.
It can seem as though every cry or whimper from your baby signifies that they’re not getting enough milk. Unlike bottle feeding, it’s also hard to tell how much your baby is drinking.
This may lead some new mums to wonder if their baby is having enough to drink or if they have a low milk supply. We understand that this can be worrisome, so we’re here to help you navigate this!
Read on as we help you along your breastfeeding journey and even share some tips that may help increase your milk supply.
Signs your baby is getting enough milk
Even though it’s difficult to tell how much your baby is feeding (if you’re exclusively breastfeeding), there are a number of signs that you can look out for to know that your baby is eating well.
1. Your baby is pooping well
If you find yourself changing your newborn’s diapers at least 3 to 4 times a day due to poop by the time they’re a week old, your baby is likely getting enough milk. At around 2-3 months old, though, expect the rate of poop to drop to once a day or every other day. This doesn’t mean that they’re not getting enough to eat, so don’t worry!
2. Your baby is peeing regularly
If your baby is peeing and you’re finding yourself changing their wet diapers roughly 6 times a day, you’re on the right track. Be sure to take notice that their pee should be colourless or light yellow, too, as this shows that they’re well-hydrated and your milk supply is sufficient.
3. Your baby is gaining weight
This is a sign that they’re latching and feeding well. Typically, your paediatrician will schedule a post-natal checkup for your newborn around 4-6 weeks after giving birth to check that your baby is gaining weight well.
Signs your baby may not be getting enough milk
The clearest sign to look out for is their lack of weight gain. While many infants may lose some weight after birth, full-term babies should not lose more than 7% of their birth weight. If your baby’s weight seems to be going down, you may want to visit your paediatrician for advice.
Some mums may use the feeling of how full or empty their breasts feel after feeding to gauge if their baby is eating well. However, this is an unreliable method of determining this.
How to increase milk supply
1. Stay hydrated
Breastmilk is made up of about 90% water so ensure that you’re well-hydrated. While there’s no one size fits all approach, you can aim to drink about 2 litres of water a day as a general rule of thumb.
While you may get the idea that drinking more will boost milk production, this is not necessarily true. In fact, drinking more than what you need (or beyond thirst) is not beneficial, and may only cause discomfort.