As a mum, you want the best start for your baby, but a major concern for many mothers is that they are not producing enough milk. Unsettled behaviours and changes in feeding routine can trigger mothers to doubt their supply. Most mothers do have enough milk for their babies, but many will stop their breastfeeding journey because they believe they didn't produce enough milk, but this isn't necessarily the case.
"My Baby feeds too often"
New babies need 8 - 12 or more feeds in 24 hours. Frequent feeding is necessary to establish a good breast milk supply. Feeding 10-12 times or more in 24 hours is not uncommon. As babies get older and feed more efficiently they generally feed less often.
"My baby wants to breastfeed more frequently"
Increased feeding can often relate to a growth spurt where your baby will nurse more frequently and not seem satisfied. Babies can also experience fussy periods where they are crankier, clingier, sleep less and cry more and this does not mean there is not enough milk.
"My baby is always hungry after a feed"
Babies love the comforting nature of the breast and often want to suck when they are tired, distressed or in pain. This does not necessarily mean they are hungry.
"My breasts feel soft and never feel full"
Once your milk supply adjusts to your baby's needs your breasts may not feel as full as in the first few days or weeks when your milk came in. It is completely normal for your breasts to feel soft and stop leaking.
"My baby is spending less time at the breast"
Your baby is becoming a more efficient feeder as they grow and will spend less time at the breast.
"My baby guzzles a bottle of milk following a breastfeed"
When a baby is offered a bottle, the sucking reflex is triggered, resulting in what appears to be the baby guzzling a bottle of milk. Some babies will eat whenever milk is offered, not sucking out of hunger but because the natural sucking reflex is triggered. Some babies also like to suck for comfort, which may be interpreted as demanding more milk
How to tell if you are producing enough milk?Wet nappies
Adequate number of wet nappies in 24 hours (5-6 wet disposable nappies or 6-8 wet cloth nappies). Your baby's urine should be clear/very pale in colour and odourless.
Soft, mustard/yellow colour (by day 5 after birth). Your baby's bowel motions may decrease after 6 weeks of age. If there is adequate weight gain and number of wet nappies, this is nothing to be concerned about. Breastfed babies are rarely constipated.Frequent feeds
Your baby feeds frequently (8 - 12 feeds per 24 hour period).
Pattern of healthy growth
Your baby is gaining weight, has good skin colour, moist lips, good muscle tone and is alert when awake.