3 Simple Ways to Know Baby is Getting Enough Milk
Congratulations on your new baby! That’s one adorable little doll! I wanted to take a minute and address a question I get a lot from new moms just like you. “Shelley, is my baby getting enough breast milk? How do I know? There’s no way to measure!”
Being able to tell whether or not your baby is getting enough breast milk is actually pretty simple. The trick is not to overthink it, and to ask yourself a few important questions!
One being: Does he look like a frog? No, No, not HIM… his belly! Does his belly look like a frog?
Alright… I’ll explain. Let’s talk about 3 simple ways to know if your baby is getting enough breast milk, so you never, ever, have to be worried about this again.
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How Long Will You Breastfeed?
Although, It is not uncommon to see a woman nursing her one year old in public nowadays, of the now 70% of new moms who start out breastfeeding, only 36% are still nursing their baby at 6 months old.
Let’s make sure you are not part of the group that falls off the wagon, shall we? I’m going to give you 3 simple ways to tell if your baby is getting enough breast milk. Three ways to put your mind at ease, so you can become one of those uber-confident mommies who proudly breastfeeds her One-Year-Old on a mall bench!
But you have to promise me something.
You have to promise me that after I tell you this, you’ll take these 3 simple questions, ask them, and if you can answer “Yes” to all three, you’ll stop worrying about if your baby is getting enough breast milk?! Promise? Ok… good!
What Works and What Doesn’t Work While Breastfeeding?
Think about this for a moment… There was a time, not all that long ago without the internet. A time before lactation consultants, or google searches. A time when a mom got all the info she needed from another older mom who had “been there, done that, and was successful.”
She didn’t question whether something was perfect. There was no perfect. Only what worked and what didn’t.
These days, while having lots of information at your fingertips can be beneficial (after all, you found this blog right,) it is also creating a lot of problems.
Moms, are flooded with fear at all the scary possible problems. With a quick search, you can find information about all kinds of rare disorders, diseases, and disasters.
Stop it! Just stop!
After I have told you this, put your phone away and go be with your baby. Have a little faith, better yet, have a lot of faith and just as much confidence, that… you got this!
Is Baby Getting Enough Milk?
3 Simple Ways to Tell
#1. Falling Asleep.
Does your baby ever fall asleep while breastfeeding? Yes? Good!
Tell me something… when was the last time you were so hungry, you thought you’d starve, then fell asleep after your first bite of food? Never. Neither will a starving baby fall peacefully asleep at the breast.
#2. Wet Diapers.
Does your baby have wet diapers? Yes? Great!
Next, a baby can not produce urine (not much urine anyway) without an intake of fluids. We are pretty fortunate to have fancy-pants diapers these days. They all have some sort of star or strip on them that changes colors when it’s wet.
If your baby’s diaper is wet almost every time you change it, she’s getting plenty of fluids!
**a side note from one mommy to another: I don’t think telling you a number of wet diapers your baby should have is a good idea. Some moms change their babies more frequently than others. It makes more sense to me to simply pay attention. If your baby’s diaper is wet pretty much every time you change her, it’s all good!**
#3. Froggy Belly!
Finally, a frog on its back has bulgy sides. A baby with a full belly laying on his back will also have a flat belly that bulges out just below the ribs. Below is a picture of my Ely after a feeding. You’ll have to forgive his mean face. He was in the middle of a photo session that he did NOT care for!
Just below his ribs, his belly is plumped out and arches back in at his hips. See that? That’s a sure sign of a full baby when breastfeeding!
Yay! You answered yes to all three of those questions. I knew you would.
Don’t create problems. Sometimes issues pop up on their own, but typically we cause them.
As an example, I’ll tell you real quick about a time when I was concerned my own baby wasn’t getting enough breastmilk.
Was My Baby Getting Enough Milk?
When my oldest child was born, he ate with serious fury! He would nurse for 5 minutes on a side and be ready to switch. I would swap sides, and in another five minutes, the whole breastfeeding session was over!
I knew he was doing a great job nursing. His diapers were wet, his belly full, and he certainly fell asleep toward the end of the second side often enough.
In my mind, however, I created a problem that said, since he didn’t nurse as long as some other babies, it must be that I didn’t have as much breast milk, and therefore he wasn’t getting enough.
Eventually, when he was a couple weeks old, I took him for a pre and post. Just in case you haven’t heard of a pre and post before: this is where you take your baby to a lactation support group (most hospitals have them); weigh him before a feeding, then weigh him again after.
However much the difference is, is how much breast milk he got. So if you can NOT answer “Yes” to all three of my questions, a pre and post would be my recommendation for you.
Time to Decide if Your Baby is Getting Enough Milk!
I’ll bet you can guess the outcome of my pre and post session. Yeah, he was getting plenty! He managed to get it all out of me within about 10 minutes! He finished and he was happy. That should have been how I knew he was done breastfeeding.
I chided myself as I left the pre and post session, for creating a problem where there wasn’t one, to begin with, and for not having more faith and confidence! I haven’t done that since.
Your baby’s “baby-hood” will be gone in the blink of an eye. I know you are tired right now, but very soon, your baby won’t be a baby anymore.
Your Baby Most Likely IS Getting Enough Milk!
Lastly, you need to know without a doubt that your baby is getting enough breastmilk so you don’t waste time worrying over problems that don’t exist. With all my heart, I truly want you to enjoy your time with your little baby!
I’ve given you 3 simple and foolproof ways to know that your baby is getting enough breast milk. Check off the list I have given you and move on. Go and enjoy your baby and we’ll talk later!
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Thank you so much for this article. I also answered yes to all three. I just had my third baby boy he was 10 lbs and I was worried I cannot keep up with him since I only have milk to breast feed no extra to store but he is a happy and healthy boy and he gets exactly what he needs.
Yes!!! Perfect ❤️
It’s my great pleasure! Many blessings!
This article was so helpful! My 3 month old is the same way but he’ll only latch on to one breast for about 10 minutes and then he’ll be fast asleep. You really eased my worries because I was able to answer yes to all 3 questions! Thank you!
I’m so glad this article eased your concerns! It’s quite common for a woman to be able to provide a full feeding from one breast. I made just enough milk (no extra) so while my babies had to empty both breasts in order to get enough… it sounds like you can take a one-breast-per-feeding approach! Which is great!
Hooray for three yeses!
This was super helpful. I am expecting my first child (baby boy) in April. I was so worried about how would I know if he ate enough already and he’s not even here yet. I’ve followed your page on Pinterest and look forward to more articles like this. Thank you.
What an exciting time this is as you count down the days to your little man’s arrival!
I’m so glad you found this article helpful!
Great article! My 7 month old baby girl does the same thing. She’ll nurse for 5 minutes on each breast then she’s done. I was worried whether she was getting enough milk. I answered yes to all 3 questions. Thanks!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the article and could relate so closely with it! I’m even more glad that you answered yes and can continue to breastfeed with peace and confidence!
Thanks for taking the time to share!