This is a very common concern for breastfeeding mothers. In general, the more often and effectively your baby breastfeeds, the more breast milk you will make, and the surer you can be that your baby is getting enough. Here are some of the signs of adequate intake:
- Your baby grows and gains weight. Once your breast milk supply becomes more plentiful (usually on the third or fourth day after your baby's birth), expect your baby to gain an average of five to six ounces per week, or a pound and half a month. However, don't be alarmed if your baby loses up to seven percent of her birth weight during those first three to four days, before your breast milk comes in.
- Your baby appears healthy, her color is good and she is alert and active.
- Your breasts feel full before a feeding and softer after one.
- You hear swallowing for 10 minutes or more at each feeding.
- Your baby is having three to five bowel movements and five or six wet diapers a day. Babies pass meconiumthe greenish-black, tarry first stoolduring the first day or two of life. Beginning about the third day after birth, your baby should have at least three to five bowel movements a day that are the size of a U.S. quarter or larger. It is not unusual for a baby to begin to have less-frequent bowel movements when she is older than six weeks. Although your baby may have only one or two wet diapers during the first day or two after birth, beginning about the third or fourth day, your baby should have at least five or six wet diapers a day.
If you still have any concerns about how much your baby is eating, you should contact a health-care provider or a lactation consultant for more information.