1. Trust Your Body.
Trust your body. Your body has the unique ability to produce the right amount of breast milk – to produce more milk to keep up with the increased demand. The more often your baby nurses, the more milk your breasts produce.
2. Remember and Review Your Breastfeeding Basics.
By remembering and periodically reviewing the basics of breastfeeding, you will help ensure that your baby is getting enough milk.
Since you can’t measure the amount of breast milk your baby takes at each breastfeeding (compared to a bottle feeding), you should watch for reassuring signs that your baby is getting enough to eat:
Is my baby gaining weight? Steady weight gain is often the most reliable sign that a baby is getting enough to eat (although most babies lose up to 10 percent of their birth weight soon after birth, that weight is typically regained, and more, during the first two weeks).
How often is my baby breastfeeding? Most newborns breastfeed eight to 12 times a day — about every two to three hours (thought infants are often become satisfied with six to eight feedings a day within two to three months after birth).
Do you hear your baby swallowing ? If you listen carefully, you’ll be able to hear your baby swallowing. Also look for a strong, steady, rhythmic motion in your baby’s cheek. There may be a pause while your baby swallows. A small amount of milk may even dribble out of your baby’s mouth.
Is my baby latched latched on? When your baby is latched on successfully, you’ll feel a gentle pulling sensation on your breast — rather than a pinching or biting sensation on your nipple. Your breasts may feel firm or full before the feeding, and softer or emptier afterward.
What about my baby’s diapers? For the first few weeks, expect your baby to have six to eight wet diapers a day. A wet diaper will weigh about the same as a dry disposable diaper filled with 2 to 4 tablespoons of water. A well-nourished baby also will have one to three — or even more — bowel movements a day. The stool will be dark and sticky for the first few days, eventually becoming seedy, loose and golden yellow.
Does my baby seem healthy? A baby who seems satisfied after a feeding and is alert and active at other times is likely getting enough to eat. Look for a healthy skin tone, too.
3. Trust Your Instincts.
You know your baby best. If you sense something isn’t right, contact your baby’s doctor — especially if your baby is not gaining weight, wetting as many diapers or pooping as often as you expect, isn’t interested in feedings or is consistently fussy after feedings or seems sleepy all the time.
Every baby is unique. You may be surprised by your baby’s hunger — or lack of appetite. As long as your baby grows and develops normally, you can be sure that you’re meeting his or her nutritional needs.