With tiny hands and toes, little one entered into your world, to make it even more magical. When you enter into the lactation period, after giving birth to the little one, your pregnancy hormones demolish and the question that pops in every mother’s mind is, how much breast milk does a newborn need? How much milk should we feed to our baby? Many mothers keep on wondering if my breast milk supply enough for my baby? How often should I feed my newborn? And so on.
Take a deep breath and relax, we will discuss the amount of breast milk a baby needs at different stages.
Expect less milk at initial stage
Mother’s milk is the only diet that baby lives on for many days. It is crucial for a mother to feed her baby with the appropriate amount. As you start your breastfeeding journey, you need to have a little patience. Don’t expect plentiful of fluid immediately. Your body will produce Colostrum, thick, early breast milk, during the first phase of a mother’s lactation period.
Every baby is unique in its kind, Some of them latch immediately and eat well from the very first day while others are sleepy, making it tough for their mothers to feed them.
At the time of birth, the baby’s stomach is of a cherry size and it can only hold 5-7ml of milk.
The stomach of a newborn constantly grows every day and the amount of milk intake keep on increasing with it.
As your baby keep on growing, he’ll feel hungry in a short time span. Mothers must ensure their breast milk supply is sufficient for their growing baby, as the milk intake by the baby have increased exponentially.
Don’t Panic if your baby loses weight, it’s quite normal for them. Make sure they are under supervision and are being regularly monitored to ensure they are healthy.
Releasing mature milk at Secondary stage
As your baby is growing with each passing day, so does your baby’s stomach. In the secondary stage of lactation period, mother’s start releasing more mature milk, which is thinner and consists of water, to meet the needs of growing newborn. Mature breast milk consists of 90 percent water and 10 percent of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, necessary for both growth and energy.
Generally it has been noticed that mothers breast milk supply increases to 500 mLs of milk per 24 hours in the first week and the baby’s stomach will have grown of an apricot size.
Entering into the Maintenance stage
As you enter the Maintenance Phase of your lactation journey, your baby’s stomach has grown in a size of an egg, and can now hold between 80 – 150 ml or 2 ½ – 5 ounces per feeding.
By exclusively breastfeeding for at least 1 month you have given your baby significant protection against food allergies. Slowly and steadily your baby start eating different foods replacing some quantity of milk intake. Gradually at this point of time the breast milk supply start decreasing, to make it constant you need to follow your pumping routine regularly for roughly about 6-12 months.
A quick synopsis of milk intake by an infant
Every baby is different in its own way, and answering a question how much breast milk does a newborn need? is not easy tough. As the milk intake will differ for every infant at various stages.
Day 1 to 3
At the time of birth the baby’s stomach is of a cherry size and it can only hold 5-7ml of milk.
Day 3 to 2 weeks
The baby’s stomach has the capability of holding around 45 – 60 mL or 1 ½ – 2 ounces of milk.
1 month old baby
The baby’s stomach has grown to the size of a large egg and can already hold 2.5 to 5 ounces of milk. By 30 days your baby should have gained weight, and will need 17-24 ounces of milk per day.
An appropriate amount of breast milk is all your baby needs for the first 6 months of life. As your baby grows gradually, he will have different feeding patterns.
Observing since years made me think that every mom and baby share a different journey altogether, where they decide the right amount of milk intake.
We have shared a few tips that will help you with newborn feeding, making your lactation period a bit easier.