A newborn baby’s primary source of nourishment is breast milk. A mother’s milk is not only rich in all the early nutritional requirement, but it is also filled with immunity-boosting antibodies. Breastfeeding is a close and intimate way to feed your baby. Since it is so subjective, many of you wonder whether you are feeding your baby enough? Is your breast milk sufficient for the baby? Are you fulfilling their nourishment needs? There are some easy indicators to check whether your breast milk supply is sufficient for your baby.
Simple Signs To Check Sufficient Feeding:
1. Breastfeeding Duration
In the initial two to three months after birth, babies feed around 8 to 12 times a day. In other words, you need to feed your child, every 2-3 hours. This feeding time may also increase with their growth. This the norm for average mother and child. If your daily feedings are significantly less, then there might be cause for concern.
2. Baby’s Weight
The best sign of proper nourishment in babies is weight gain and later, growth of the body. While babies lose weight in the few weeks right after birth, with healthy feeding, they also gain it back in a few more weeks. Babies can gain up to 150 – 200 grams in every week for the first 6 months; the time when you exclusively breastfeed.
3. Diaper Usage
The number of diapers changed in a day is also a surprisingly good indicator of how good your baby is feeding. The average baby gets around 6 diapers wet and poops 3-4 times a day. Getting into the messy bit, your baby’s urine should ideally be a pale yellow, the poop will be sticky and dark early on but yellowish and loose later on. When you change the diapers, keep an eye on this as well.
4. Baby’s Moods
Like adults who easily get hangry, babies also make quite the fuss when they are not being fed enough. A newborn’s needs are very basic and food is one of the top priorities on the list. If your baby is not happy or active between the feeding times, chances are, he/she is still hungry.
The reasons for the lack of breast milk production are many in different women. Here are some of them:
- Delay in starting breastfeeding after birth.
- Use of certain hormonal contraceptives during the breastfeeding period.
- Previous breast surgeries.
- If you had diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy.
- If your baby is not latching correctly on the nipple.
- Obesity in mothers is also among the reasons.
Ways To Increase The Production Of Breast Milk:
Although the lack of mother’s milk causes hindrance to a baby’s development, there are many solutions to this problem. These are the things that you can do in your daily routine that can help you increase lactation:
1. Start Breastfeeding Soon
Do not delay in starting to breastfeed your baby after birth. If you have had a normal delivery, you can begin soon after birth. That will not be the case for a cesarean birth as it takes more time in recovery. Even then, do not wait for longer than what is absolutely necessary and mandated by your doctor.
2. Stick To Feeding Times Strictly
When you are working on a schedule and your daily feeding routine is set, try to not skip any times or change up the schedule. A change in your lactation period and how often do you breastfeed can easily affect your milk supply.
3. Alternate Between Both Breasts
Since both your breasts produce milk, alternates between them to feed your baby from both. In fact, drain both of them for increased milk production. It also works in your favour when one of your nipples is too sore and painful from a previous feeding.
4. Go For A Breast Pump
Many mothers today, especially working mums, use breast pumps. But using a pump regularly is helpful for all mums looking for ways to increase their milk supply. The equation is pretty simple, the more you pump, the more you will supply. Here too, you should work on pumping from both the breasts for better results.
5. Help Your Baby Latch On Properly
Your breast produces as much milk as there is a need for it. But if your baby is not correctly latching on and consuming the milk properly, it can result in reduced milk production. So make sure to know the correct position for breastfeeding and that your baby latches on your nipple properly.
6. Monitor Your Diet
While your baby is getting its diet fulfilled from your milk supply, it is crucial to consider your own diet during this time. You need around 650 calories more when; your child is exclusively breastfed, and around 500 calories if your baby is also consuming other foods. This way, you actually have the energy to produce more milk. There are certain foods that increase milk supply, so you must have them too in your diet plan.
7. Consult With Your Doctor & Lactation Consultant
Asking for professional help when you have difficulties is the way to move forward. Your doctor will know of any medication that you are on that might be hindering milk production. Similarly, a lactation consultant will guide you in the correct breastfeeding habits, foods to increase breast milk and answer your queries.
Once you become a mom, your priorities change and you make effort for your baby’s health and happiness. So, don’t worry if you feel that you are not able to keep your baby well-fed. There are many ways to increase your milk supply and medical professionals out there to help you out.
For more of breastfeeding tips and information, keeping following The First Kick.