One of the hardest parts of breastfeeding is not knowing if you are producing enough milk for your baby’s needs. It challenges your need for order and when your baby cries, will leave you wondering if she is hungry.
Your breasts are amazing at producing enough milk for your baby as long as they get enough stimulation. Your baby will need to feed between 2 and 4 hourly, depending on her age, weight and whether she is drinking breast milk or formula milk. In the early days, it is necessary to breastfeed on demand as this helps to establish a good milk supply.
Although we do not recommend timing feeds, your baby is likely to breastfeed for 20- 40 minutes in the first 6 weeks and this period will become shorter as your baby gets older. The fact that she feeds for a shorter period does not mean you have less milk, it means that your milk is probably flowing more quickly and because she is more efficient at sucking and swallowing, she is getting more milk.
Signs your baby is getting enough milk:
- She has 6-8 wet nappies in a 24-hour period. Breastfed babies may pass stools at every nappy change or only poo every few days.
- Your baby is gaining weight each week. In the first few weeks you can weigh her weekly or every second week.
- She has regained her birth weight by two weeks old.
- She is starting to fill out her newborn baby clothes.
- Your baby starts to sleep for longer stretches at night from 4 weeks onwards
- She is alert and engaged and interactive when awake
If your baby shows these signs of thriving, you can rest assured she is getting enough milk.