Do I have enough milk? Or maybe too much? Does my baby drink enough? Are there methods to increase my milk production? Etc.
Almost all women who are breastfeeding sometimes have such questions and doubts. After all, breasts do not have tick marks like bottles. How do you know if you make enough milk for your child? Below an overview of the most common doubts and questions with answers:
What is meant by supply and demand?
If you feed on request, your breasts will start producing milk according to your child's request. The more often your child drinks with you, the more milk is produced. And vice-versa. Being economical on your milk therefore has a counterproductive effect. One of the most beautiful features of breastfeeding is that as a mother you can always produce enough milk for your child (ren). Even with multiple births!
Do I have a milk shortage?
My breasts are smaller and feel soft again. Do I have a milk shortage? No, on the contrary! Breasts that again feel supple and soft, which are less leaky and smaller, mainly indicate a supply and demand that are perfectly adjusted to each other. So you produce exactly the amount of milk your little one needs to grow well!
How do I know if my child drinks enough from the breast?
Good signs are ...
... you feed on request.
... you let your child determine the duration of the feed and do not disconnect him / her earlier.
... you hear your child clearly and see sucking and swallowing.
... your child refuses or lets go of the other breast after he has drunk from the first one.
... your child has 4 to 6 clear feeds in a 24-hour period
... your child regularly has mustard yellow stools.
... your child's urine is light in color and is odorless.
... your child is growing well.
... your child is alert and lively when you wake up.
... your child is satisfied and happy after feeding.
... you get thirsty during or just after feeding.
What does the ideal weight gain look like for my child?
The first four months a breastfed child can sometimes gain weight. The first two months often around 200 to 300 grams per week. In the next two months it will decrease to about 100 to 200 grams per week. After that you often see a flattening. From four to six months, the average weight gain is 100 to 150 grams per week. And after the six-month limit only 50 to 100 grams per week. Do not worry about this flattening. That is a perfectly normal growth pattern for a breastfed child!
My child drinks every two to three hours
How do I extend the time between two feeds? Don't ... If your child wants to drink every two to three hours, that's a perfectly normal drinking pattern. You usually eat or drink something every two to three hours too ;-)
It could be that your baby suddenly wants more milk as it grows, and your milk production is not yet adjusted to the rising demand. Your child is going through a growth spurt. With feeding on request you'll soon adapt. The more is demanded of your breasts, the more milk they will begin producing.
If that happens more often at one particular time of the day, and almost daily, your baby will probably have a period of cluster feeding. This is a perfectly normal drinking pattern for a breastfed child. Most children have this in the evening, but clustering can actually take place at any time of the day.
You'll soon get used to heavy feeding days: get a good book. Watch some TV. Browse through a magazine. Knitting, crocheting, telephoning ... Try to fill in the "lost time" with something you can quietly enjoy. Enjoy this period while it lasts, because clustering doesn't last long!
My child only drinks for five minutes per breast. Is that too little?
Normally a child knows how long and how often it should drink to get the necessary milk in a day. There are different types of drinkers! You have the connoisseurs, who take their time and can take forty five minutes for a feed. Then there are the gorgers, who wolf down all their milk in five minutes. And all variants in between of course. If you let your child determine the length of the feed (and don't disconnect early) and then offer your second breast, then you can be confident that it has received enough milk.
My child drinks half an hour per breast. Is that normal?
See the answer to the previous question.
How do I boost the milk production?
ATTENTION: If your child does not grow well or does not have enough poop in one day, you should definitely ask a lactation consultant. She can give you additional tips to get your milk production back up again.
What may hinder milk production?
How often should my child poop in a day?
Up to weeks four or six, a breastfed child should have stool every day. A few times at least one tablespoon in volume. After that, everything is normal between seven times in a day and once every seven days. Consult your midwife if you have any doubts.
Still not going well?
Consult a medical professional if...
... you do not hear your child and see sucking and swallowing during the feedings.
... your breast (s) feel as full after feeding as before.
... your child pees less than four full disposable diapers in a day.
... your children's urine is dark-colored. And / or has a sharp smell.
... your child has very little and also dark green or dark brown stools.
... your child does not grow sufficiently. Or even loses weight.
... your child is restless and / or dissatisfied after feeding.
... the feeding last longer than half an hour. And your little one is very restless at the breast.
... your child cries inconsolably for more than three hours a day.
... your child is very sleepy. And can not be awakened for his feeds.
... you have any worries about breastfeeding.
A child gets a lot more out of your breast by live feeding than any other bottle. Your bottle yield is therefore no indication for your milk production!
Also see these information articles: · Breastfeeding · Benefits · Bottling · Breastfeeding diapers · Changing food · Clustering · Duration · Empty days · Let down reflex · Menstruation · Milk channels and breast inflammation · Nipples · Physical consequences · Positioning · Quickly stopping · Reasons to stop · Tandem feeding · Thrush