The process of breastfeeding may be new to you and you probably have doubts about this topic. First of all, it’s totally normal to have questions about this stage of motherhood, so it’s important that you use all the resources available to be well-informed while you go through the experience the breastfeeding.
One of the most common doubts among moms is how to know if their babies are eating enough. Actually, this can’t be determined by the amount of milk your little one is ingesting every day. Measuring the amount of milk that comes out of your breasts isn’t a reliable indicator of how much milk you’re actually producing. This is because the suction capacity of your baby is much greater than the one of a milk-pump.
Besides, it doesn’t really matter if your baby consumes little or a lot of milk since each child is different and there isn’t an exact amount that has to be consumed daily. On average, babies drink 2,5 ounces (75 ml) for each pound of body weight (463 g). However, you can watch for these signals to evaluate if your little one is still hungry:
- She takes her hands to her mouth
- She takes the tongue out
- She opens her mouth
- She makes sounds with the mouth
- She takes arms and legs to her core
- She licks her lips
- She caresses your breast
- She is irritated or sucks on everything around her
If your baby shows none of the behaviors listed above, then she must be satisfied and eating enough. Other indicators that will help you know if your baby is eating enough is monitoring her weight gain and the number of diapers she uses per day (around 6 wet diapers and 4 dirty ones).
Monitoring your baby girl’s weight gain will be done by your pediatrician. Each certain amount of time, your baby should be gaining weight. Also, these doctor appointments will be the perfect opportunity to consult any doubts or concerns you may have about your little girl.
Lastly, to maintain your baby satisfied it is important to wait until she detaches herself from your breast. It’s not recommended to interrupt a feed by forcing your baby to stop sucking. On the other hand, if she is asking to be fed regularly, that doesn’t mean that you’re not producing enough milk. Breast milk is digested quickly, so it’s normal for your baby to want to be fed several times a day. Also, there will be occasions in which your baby, even though she’s not hungry, will want to breastfeed because that makes her feel safe and loved.
Remember that it’s normal to have doubts about breastfeeding. What’s important is to stay calm and pay attention to your baby’s healthy growth and weight gain as the months go by.