Page 58 - Great Expectations

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58 – Great Expectations
How do I Know the Baby is Getting Enough to Eat?
The most common concern that you will have is whether the baby is getting
enough to eat. Unfortunately, there are no ounce markers on the breast for you
to see the exact amounts he is taking in. This can be unnerving at times. There
are many clues, though, that indicate that everything is going well.
Be attentive to the following:
• Baby eating every 1 to 3 hours during the day.
• Sleeping no longer than 3 hours between feedings
during the day.
• Feedings are timed from the start of 1 feeding to the
start of the next feeding.
• Should have no more than one 4 to 5 hour stretch at
night first week.
• Baby wetting diapers
– 1 diaper in the first 24 hours after birth.
– 2 on the second day of life.
– 3 on the third day of life.
– 6 to 8 wet diapers of urine that are light yellow in
color once milk is in greater supply.
• Baby will be passing meconium for first few days.
Meconium is a newborn infant’s first stools. It is thick,
greenish-black and sticky.
• Stool changing to mustard color, runny and seedy in
texture once the milk is in greater supply –
3 to 4 of these stools per day in the first month. May
also stool a little after each feeding during the first
If you have any concerns about how the baby is doing, call your baby’s healthcare provider. Most offices will allow
you to bring the baby in for a weight check. Sometimes that is all you need to make you feel better! Weight gain is an
important clue that the baby is feeding well.
Other Positive Signs
• Audible swallowing – actually hearing the milk being
swallowed is more obvious when mother’s milk is in
greater supply.
• Breast feels less full after feeding.
• Baby satisfied – falls away from the breast at the end
of feeding.
• Baby content between most feedings.
Expect initial weight loss of the baby
after the birth, but should be back
to birth weight by day 10. Weight
gain of 4 to 7 ounces per week
once milk is in greater supply.
Your breasts may become heavier and swollen 3 to 4 days postpartum. This is caused by an increased flow of blood
to the breast, swelling of the surrounding tissue and the accumulation of milk. The breasts may be swollen and
uncomfortable for some, and you may experience a throbbing sensation and discomfort with the milk ejection reflex,
or let-down. Some will become only slightly full. As with labor, all women are different in their experience. Breast
swelling usually lessens within 24 to 48 hours.
Allowing yourself to become engorged beyond the initial breast swelling associated with milk surge should be avoided.
If the baby refuses to eat or you have to skip a feeding, then pump or manually express your milk. Engorgement
sends signals to the brain to slow down milk production. As mentioned earlier, milk production is regulated by supply
and demand. If you slow down your feedings, you will see a significant decrease in your milk production. If you are
experiencing some engorgement, you may try pumping to soften your breasts a little before feedings. This will allow
easier latch-on for the baby. It will not cause you to “make more milk” while you are dealing with engorgement.
Engorgement can be caused by feeding infrequently, skipping feedings, having difficulty with the baby latching-
on or not keeping baby alert or feeding vigorously.
Time of Awareness
and Perseverance