A close-up of a baby looking up at her mother while breast feeding.

A Breastfeeding Guide for New Moms

When is enough breast milk enough? Monitoring things like your baby’s bowel movements, weight gain and sleep and feeding patterns are sure ways to determine whether or not your little all-star is eating enough breast milk.

The proof is in the pudding
In the beginning, you’ll know your baby is eating enough if, after about four days, your baby stops passing meconium (thick black or dark-green stools) and begins to pass yellow, seedy, runny stools three or more times a day.

After this change happens, keep monitoring your baby’s diapers. During the first month, your baby will wet six to eight diapers and have two bowel movements per day.

Scale watching
Once your milk supply is established, your baby should gain about 2/3 ounce per day during their first three months. Between three and six months, weight gain tapers off to about 1/2 ounce per day.

Patterns, Signs and Your Breasts

  • The baby is sleeping for a couple of hours after feeding.
  • The baby breastfeeds every two to three hours, at least eight times in a 24-hour period.
  • The baby usually breastfeeds for ten or more minutes and for no longer than an hour (but let your baby, not the clock, decide how long a feeding lasts).
  • The baby appears settled and no longer hungry after feedings.
  • The baby usually breastfeeds at both breasts.
  • You can hear a rhythm of suck/pause/suck during feedings.
  • Your breasts feel full before a feeding and softer afterward.

What other newborns are doing
Monitoring typical patterns of other breastfed newborns will also help determine if your baby is getting enough breast milk. But remember, check with your doctor as every baby is different.

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Source: Breastfeeding: Is Your Baby Eating Enough? http://similac.com/feeding-nutrition/breast-feeding/feeding-your-baby. March 31, 2014.

Information provided is for general background purposes and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment by a trained professional. You should always consult your physician about any healthcare questions you may have, especially before trying a new medication, diet, fitness program, or approach to healthcare issues.
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