The first few weeks (or, honestly, months) of motherhood are filled with a lot of uncertainty. Whether it's your first child or not, the newborn phase is so delicate and new that you may naturally have a few more worries and questions that you anticipated. Wondering if your baby is getting enough milk is one of the top concerns of breastfeeding moms, and for good reason. You can't actually see how much your baby is ingesting, so it's easy to wonder. Luckily, there are a few ways your baby might be trying to tell you they aren't getting enough milk that will make the call a bit more clear.
Although the thought of your baby not getting enough to eat is enough to send a new mom into panic, most experts agree that there are three main ways to tell if they're getting enough, and anything else is mostly guess work.
You certainly have enough on your plate to worry about without needlessly being concerned about something else, but a quick check to make sure these tell-tale signs aren't happening may save you from a shock at your next doctor visit. These signs are easy to determine, and the strongest indicators of your baby's milk intake.
1. They're Not Filling Diapers Regularly
Breast Milk Counts noted that after the first few days post-birth, your baby should be producing at least three wet diapers and three dirty diapers with the number increasing over their first week. Though according to Baby Center, bowel movements can vary more than wet diapers. If your baby goes a day without dirtying a diaper, don't worry. As long as they are wetting enough (i.e. is staying hydrated) you don't have a cause for concern.
2. They're Not Gaining Enough Weight
Although it's normal for newborns to lose a bit of weight after delivery, they usually return to their birth weight within 10 to 15 days, according to American Pregnancy. After returning to their birth weight, Parents reported that they should gain two thirds to one ounce per day or one and a half to two pounds per month for the first four months. If you have a feeling that your baby isn't gaining weight, you can weigh them at home or bring them to your healthcare professional.
3. You Can't Hear Them Swallowing During Feedings
The other biggest clue about how much you baby is eating is whether or not your can hear them swallowing. According to Dr. Sears, a baby may suck for a bit before you actually hear swallowing, especially at first because colostrum comes in smaller amounts. After your milk comes in, they may not swallow much until your milk lets down.
Similarly, the La Leche League suggests that as long as you can audibly hear your baby audibly swallowing while they're breathing, they're most likely getting enough.