Common Questions/Concerns About Milk Supply
By: Nikkie Seamons
Many, many parents worry about milk supply, is my baby getting enough? Why are they hungry again? My supply must be low, we need to supplement with formula or stop breastfeeding altogether or take a concoction of things to try and increase our supply.
How do you know your supply is actually low?
Is your baby having plenty of wet diapers? Is your baby still gaining enough weight?
If you answered yes then relax mama your supply is just fine. What happens if you don’t know if they’re getting enough wet diapers or gaining enough weight? Read on and I will explain it to you.
Wet diapers - you should be expecting 5-6 good wet nappies per day, how do you know if it is sufficiently wet though? Easy! In a clean, dry diaper pour 3 tablespoons of water into the diaper, this is what you need to be comparing them to. In the early days though until your milk has come in babies should have 1 wet diaper per day of life (example: baby is 3 days old so you would expect 3 wet diapers if your milk has not yet come in). Older babies from about 6 weeks of age will decrease the number of wet diapers but the amount of urine in the diaper will increase.
Weight gain - Has your baby lost weight after birth? Don’t panic this is not because of your milk, newborns lose up to 7% of birth weight after birth. After your milk comes in baby’s weight will increase. But is it enough? Health professionals aim for approx 170g per week which is the same as 6oz, an important thing to remember though is every child is individual and may gain more or less and still be perfectly happy with no supply issues, this is just a rough average and should not be held as gospel.
Dirty diapers - It is important that we look at dirty diapers as well as wet ones. Typically like wet diapers newborns generally have one dirty diaper per feed (more is perfectly normal too!) Stools at this age will be soft and yellow in colour, it may also seem seedy all of this is okay! As baby gets older bowel movements will decrease and a breastfeed baby can go quite a number of days without a bowel movement as there is not much in the milk that is considered waste.