Every new mom asks herself the question, “Is my baby getting enough?”
Thankfully there is a solid way to answer this question beyond taking baby in for a weight check all the time. Dr. Marvin Eiger says in the book “The Complete Book of Breastfeeding”, that if you can answer “yes” to these questions then your baby is most likely getting enough:
Does you baby have 1-2 stools per day for each day of life up to day six and then 6 or more each day from days 6 on up? You can count them as 1 poopy diaper if the diaper contains at least a quarter size spot.
Remember in a previous post I said that input = output. That is just a quippy way to say that what goes in pretty much comes out. Color of the stools is important as well. Days 1-2 they will be blackish and tarry, days 3-4 brownish-blackish, days 4-6 brownish-yellowish and days 6 and beyond yellowish. If a baby over 5 days old is having dark stools and less than what is discussed above this is a warning that baby is most likely not getting enough milk.
The next question is, Does your baby have 6 or more wet diapers each day by the time he or she is 3 or 4 days old? In this day and age of disposable diapers it can be difficult to tell but they do come with a wet strip now that didn’t exist in the early days of disposable diapers.
Does your baby seem satisfied and content for an average of two to three hours between feedings? The two to three hours part can be difficult as babies don’t necessarily eat on a regular two to three hour schedule. I would focus more on whether baby seems satisfied and eats on average of 8-12 times in 24 hours.
Which leads to the question, Does your baby nurse 8-12 times in 24 hours in the first month or two, for ten to twenty minutes?
Is your baby’s skin soft and supple and his or her eyes bright and alert?
Did your baby regain birth weight by two to three weeks of age?
Is your baby gaining an average of 4-6 ounces a week, about 1/2 ounce a day?
Can you hear swallowing sounds when your baby is nursing?
Do your breasts feel fuller before a feeding and softer after?
These are all great questions to consider and to help you to determine if baby is getting what he or she needs. If at anytime you have concerns, I urge you to seek help from a Lactation Specialist or your pediatrician. It is very easy to get a quick weight check from your pediatrician.