Is your baby getting enough milk?
Since, unlike with a bottle, you can’t see what a breastfeeding baby is taking in, lots of new moms wonder if their baby is getting enough milk. Your body is pretty amazing. As you breastfeed, your body learns when your newborn needs more milk and, for most women, will make the exact amount your baby needs.
Feed your baby when she is hungry. For most newborns, this is about eight to 12 times over a 24 hour period, which averages out to about every two to three hours. But keep in mind that every baby is different and yours may want to feed more or less often than that. And as your baby grows, her feeding patterns may change, and she may wait longer between feedings.
Most babies feed for 15 to 30 minutes at a time at one breast. It’s OK if your baby takes more or less time. When she is finished with one breast, burp her and then switch to feed her from the other breast. It’s OK if she really isn’t hungry for more from the other breast – let her be the judge. Just be sure to start her on that other breast at the next feeding.
But what if you’re still not sure that she’s getting enough? She is getting enough if:
• She is gaining weight
• She is making six to eight wet diapers a day by the time she is five to seven days old.
If you’re still worried, here are some signs of infant dehydration:
• Not having a wet diaper for at least five or six hours.
• Urine that is darker in color and has a strong odor
• Dryness of the mouth and tongue.
• Crying without tears.
• Acting unusually cranky or sleepy
• A sunken appearance to the eyes, cheeks or fontanels.
If you think there is a possibility that your baby might be dehydrated, call her health care provider right away. He may want to see her to make sure all is well.