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Breastfeeding: Evaluating Your Milk Supply

Increasing Supply to Meet Demand
-- By Tanya Jolliffe, BabyFit Healthy Eating Expert

In the first days of breastfeeding, new moms are always concerned about whether their baby is getting enough to eat. Although answering that question would be so much easier if your baby could tell you whether she is hungry or full, new parents can monitor a few signs and cues to see if their breastfed baby is thriving.

Here are some signs you can monitor to help evaluate whether your baby is getting enough milk:
  • Weight gain. It is normal for babies to lose about 5-7 % of their birth weight in the first days after delivery. Their bodies require a great deal of energy in those first days, as they learn to maintain their body temperature as well as their digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems. Babies should regain up to their birth weight by two weeks postpartum. Once mom's milk comes in and the breastfeeding relationship is established, your baby should gain (on average) about 6 ounces per week.

  • Diapers. After the first week, babies who are eating enough to meet their needs will produce 5-6 (or more) soppy-wet diapers daily. The term "soppy wet" was coined when cloth diapers were the norm, and refers to the appearance of a cloth diaper that contains 3 or more tablespoons of liquid.

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Member Comments About this Article
"Milk doesn't tend to "come in" for several days and the baby consumes colostrum during that time which is very beneficial. It is best to try and nurse your baby as soon as possible after delivery. Your baby is most alert one to two hours after delivery. If possible, this is the ideal time to nurse, because your baby will be keen on trying something new. If you aren't able to nurse at this time, there are several tricks you can use to rouse your baby later and help keep him awake while breastfeed..." -- TONKA_14
"my position is still breech ,edt 5/12/12. What if I am not able tp produce milk at all immediately?
Also, if its a csection, I will be asleep for a few hrs till they get the baby to me.
what happens in that time period? what do the nurses do to give nuitrition to the baby?" -- BABACHIMAU
"Your milk will "come in" once you have delivered the baby. Until then you produce colostrum and it isn't beneficial to pump that because you would be wasting the valuable benefits it provides to your newborn. Here are a couple articles that might be helpful as you prepare: Breastfeeding: 7 Things You Might Not Know and What I Wish I Had Known about Breastfeeding" -- TONKA_14
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About The Author
Tanya Jolliffe
Tanya earned a bachelor's degree in dietetics and nutrition and has more than 15 years of nutrition counseling experience. She has worked with clients in such areas as prenatal nutrition, general family nutrition and therapeutic nutrition in end-stage organ disease.


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