Assisting Breastfeeding Mothers in Determining the Health and Happiness of Their Babies

As a mom breastfeeding, it can be difficult to determine whether your baby is getting enough breast milk. With this in mind, our lactation consultants have designed a helpful guide to help you do just that. If you still cannot tell if your baby is receiving sufficient nutrition, we encourage you to reach out to our certified lactation team for help.

Signs Breastfeeding is Going Well for Your Baby

  • You can hear, feel or see signs of swallowing when your baby feeds.
  • You see rhythmic jaw movements or an “open mouth-pause-swallow-close” pattern.
  • Your baby has at least 6 clear or pale-yellow urine diapers in 24 hours by the 4th day.
  • Your baby has 3 – 4 stools by the 4th day. The color of the stool will change from dark green to yellow in color by day 5. The stool will also become loose and seedy.
  • Your baby has regained his or her birthweight by 10 – 14 days after birth.
  • You are watching for feeding cues and nurse at least 8 – 16 or more times per day.

How Often Will Your Baby Breastfeed?

How often and how long your baby needs to breastfeed depends on many factors, such as: baby’s age, breastfeeding latch and suck strength, your milk supply and breast storage capacity.

It is normal for babies to nurse frequently for a long time and then sleep for several hours. This is called cluster feeding.

Most young babies will also nurse two or more times during the night.

When to Consult Your Doctor

  • You see a pink or rust color stain on baby’s diaper after the 4th day.
  • Your baby is less than 6 weeks old and has not had a bowel movement in 24 hours.
  • Your baby has fewer wet diapers than recommended or the urine is dark in color or has a strong urine odor.
  • Your baby is not back to birth weight by 10 – 14 days or is gaining less than 4 – 8 ounces per week.
  • Your baby is not relaxed or satisfied after most or all feedings.
  • Breastfeeding is painful.

Sources:

Lawrence, Ruth A. & Lawrence, Robert M. “Breastfeeding, A Guide for the Medical Professional,” Eighth edition, ELSEVIER, 2016.

Wambach, Karen and Riordan, Jan “Breastfeeding and Human Lactation,” Fifth edition, Jones & Bartlett, 2016