Short Answer:  One of several breastfeeding challenges we hear from new mothers is, how do I know if my baby is getting enough breast milk? If your baby is gaining weight, feeding at least 6-8 times a day, and seems content after feeding then it’s likely your baby is getting enough.

If you’re worried about the correct way of breastfeeding, there are some easy signs you can watch for to determine if your baby is (or isn’t) getting enough breast milk. Read on to learn more.

Breastfeeding Challenges: Is My Baby Getting Enough?

Your Baby Is Getting Enough Breast Milk If:

  • The doctor is satisfied with how much weight your baby has gained since birth. 
  • Baby is feeding at least 6-8 times a day and seems satisfied after a feeding session.
  • Your breasts feel fuller before, and softer after a feeding. (Note, changes in fullness will be less noticeable when your baby is older and your breasts become more efficient at producing the exact amount of milk your baby needs.)
  • You feel your baby sucking vigorously, hear swallowing throughout the feeding, feel your milk ejection reflex, and your baby drifts off to sleep soon after feeding. This means they are likely getting enough milk.
  • Your baby is urinating enough.  They should have 6-8 wet diapers every 24 hours once they are more than five days old.
  • The color of your baby’s urine is pale and odorless.
  • Your baby seems to be latched on properly.  Breastfeeding feels comfortable, not painful, for you. If you’re wondering, why is breastfeeding painful? There may be some other breastfeeding challenges that need to be addressed.
  • In the first few days, your infants’ stools gradually change from the sticky black stools to green, then brown. Within a day or two of mother’s milk “coming in.” They become “milk stools,” which are yellowy-mustard color. This should happen by the time your baby is five days old.

 

breastfeeding challenges for new moms
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 Your Baby May Not Be Getting Enough Breast Milk If:

  • Your baby doesn’t regain his birth weight or put on enough weight (according to your doctor) in the first few days.
  • He/she is fussy after a feeding or wants to feed constantly.
  • Your breasts don’t feel any softer after you feed your baby. 
  • He/she sleeps a lot, is lethargic, or cries most of the time.
  • He/she is peeing less than 6-8 times per day after they are five days old.
  • Baby’s skin is still wrinkled after their first week of life.
  • Your baby has sunken cheeks, or makes strange clicking sounds while breastfeeding. This could be a sign of latching problems or some other breastfeeding challenges. Contact your lactation consultant who can help with latching issues.
  • Your baby’s skin becomes more yellow after the first week. This could be a sign of breastfeeding jaundice (meaning they are not getting enough milk).

Breastfeeding is a confidence game. If your baby is producing enough wet diapers, gaining weight, latching and sucking well… you’re doing fine. Your baby is getting enough breast milk, no need to worry.  

However, If you suspect you aren’t making enough milk, your baby isn’t gaining weight properly, or you are experiencing any other breastfeeding challenges…call your doctor or lactation consultant right away. You want to address issues sooner, rather than later, to be sure you and your baby are feeding comfortably.