Not being able to see exactly how many milliliters or ounces baby is taking in during a feeding makes many parents worry that they aren’t getting enough to eat. Babies cry often and many assume the baby is hungry and they’re crying because they aren’t getting enough breast milk.
If baby is latching to your breast, transferring milk and making enough wet and dirty diapers then baby is feeding enough.
Getting a good latch:
• Position yourself comfortably with baby close to you.
• Support baby with his tummy facing your body and his face towards the breast.
• Hold your breast, in a C or U hold, behind the areola, parallel to baby’s chin and nose.
• Gently swipe the nipple in a downward motion from baby’s nose and upper lip. This will put his bottom lip at the bottom of the areola and promote a rooting response.
• When baby opens his mouth wide gently hug him into the breast, with his head slightly back and his chin touching first.
• Aim your nipple toward the roof of baby’s mouth.
• Once he starts to suck you’ll feel the latch, then you should feel only a tugging, not a pinching.
Signs of Milk Transfer:
Look for rhythmic sucking with an occasional pause to swallow, almost looks like baby is chewing gum. Look and listen for baby to swallow. Use breast compressions to keep the milk flowing and help with the transfer of milk from breast to baby. A satisfied baby will have a moist mouth, relaxed hands and arms, and will fall asleep or let go of the nipple.
Moms often feel relaxed and drowsy during a feeding. Her nipple is elongated after the feeding not pinched.
Baby is getting enough:
• Baby is eating 8-12 times in a 24 hour period.
• Baby is meeting his/her goals for wet and dirty diapers. 1 wet diaper per day of age for the first week, then 6 or more wet diapers daily and yellow seedy poops, 4 or more daily.
• Baby falls asleep, has a relaxed body and appears ‘milk drunk’ after a feeding.
• Baby gains back to birth weight by 10 days old. And continues to grow and gain and meet developmental milestones.