Is My Baby Getting Enough Breast Milk?

It is difficult to track the quantity of breast milk your baby is consuming while breastfeeding. To my knowledge no one have developed a breast milk meter. And unless you pump breast milk and bottle feed there is little hope of quantifying the volume of breast milk your baby consumes during a given breastfeeding session. Here is an easy trick to determine if your baby is getting enough breast milk.

This trick entails keeping track of what comes out of the other end.  New mothers are encouraged to pay close attention to their babies diapers. You can expect five or six wet diapers a day, any less and it could be a sign that your baby is dehydrated. After the black tarry looking meconium has been cleared of their system. Young breastfed babies will have two to five bowel movements every twenty four hours. It is not uncommon for babies to have a bowel movement after a breastfeeding session.

In the early weeks of life, frequent bowel movements are a good sign that your baby is getting plenty of the hind milk. Hind milk is one of the types of breast milk. Hind milk is higher in fat and provides the calories your baby will need as they grow. Hind milk is a mature milk that released early in the breastfeeding session when you feel the let-down reflex.

Around six weeks of age, you can expect your baby’s bowel movements to be further apart. It is not uncommon for breastfed babies of this age to have bowel movements every other day with no signs of constipation.

Is your baby getting enough milk?  Just remember that what goes in must come out and as long as you are keeping track of the frequency of diapers you will have a good idea of how well they are feeding.

Read More:
What Should My Breastfed Baby’s Diaper Look Like?
What is in Breast Milk?
Different Types of Breast Milk
Warning Signs While Breastfeeding
Signs Your Baby Is Effectively Breastfeeding

What Should A Breastfed Newborn’s Diaper Look Like?

Your newborn’s diapers are a good indicator of whether or not your baby is meeting their dietary requirements from being breastfed.

Breastfed newborn poop is initially thick, black and tar-like called meconium. Breastfed stools will become a greenish-yellow color three or four days after birth as they consume more breast milk. The more your newborn nurses the quicker this meconium to “breastmilk poop” change will happen and more dirty diapers they will have.

The first 24 hours: The first one of the types of breast milk your newborn receives is called colostrum. Colostrum is so concentrated your newborn may only have one or two wet diapers during this time.

After 3 to 4 days look for the following diaper frequency and color :

  • Six (maybe more) wet diapers per day that have clear or very pale urine. Fewer diapers or darker urine can mean your newborn is dehydrated. If you see orange crystals in a wet diaper, contact your doctor right away — these can be a sign of inadequate fluid intake or dehydration and hazardous to your newborn’s health.
  • A healthy newborn’s bowel movements should look loose and maybe seedy with a yellow or yellow-green to tan color. Expect four or more bowel movements each day typically occurring after each breastfeeding session. The odor of a newborn’s bowel movement should mild. Strong odors could indicate intolerance to the breastfeeding mother’s diet.

Around Six Weeks:
Around six weeks of age your baby’s bowel movements will be getting further apart. Breastfed babies typically have fewer bowel movements than formula fed babies. It is normal for a child of this age to have a bowel movement every other day with no signs of constipation. As always if you are concerned about the frequency of your child’s bowel movements or the poop colors please call your family doctor or lactation consultant.