All mothers worldwide would agree to the fact that being new mother is quite exciting and wondrous. But it can also be a bit stressful. So many questions and not nearly enough answers! One of them being;” Am I producing enough breast milk?” and “How do I know if I am producing enough breast milk?”
Well here is the answer to all your queries regarding the question how to know if you are producing enough breast milk? Most often than not (especially new mothers) are fretting for no reason whatsoever. Chances are that you are probably producing enough breast milk and getting worried without cause due to a lack of knowledge. But even if you are really not producing enough breast milk then also there are certain indications and if you pay a little attention to them, there is no reason why you cannot know if your breast milk supply is enough for your baby’s feeding or not?
How to Know if You are Producing Enough Breast Milk?
As they say the first step to curing a disease is to know about it. So, if you are aware as to the problem of you not producing enough breast milk than you can easily mitigate it by certain foods and supplements.
Here are some things that will help you in recognizing whether you are producing enough breast milk or not:-
Signs that Tell You That You are Producing Enough Breast Milk
Here are some signs that will tell you that your breast milk production is enough-
- If you are producing enough breast milk then your baby will start to put on weight after a week or so of birth.
- If you are feeling heaviness in your breasts when the time of the feeding approaches, then it is a sign that you are producing enough breast milk.
- Also, your breasts should get softer and lighter after every feeding which happens after they get emptied of milk which is another sign of not only enough breast milk production but that your baby is feeding properly as well.
- If you are producing enough breast milk then your baby will get healthier due to the fact that he is getting regular feedings and as such his skin will be healthy looking, glowy and shiny.
- One sure way of knowing if you are producing enough breast milk is monitoring your baby’s peeing habits. Your baby should wet at least six to eight nappies after a week of birth.
- Also if your breast milk production is enough than your baby’s urine will be light in color and without any strong smell. It is due to the fact that if a baby is getting enough milk and as such is sufficiently hydrated than that will make the urine pale and odorless.
- You should also monitor your baby’s pooping habits if you want to know that you are producing enough milk or not. Your baby should pass stools at least three to five times a day in the first few weeks and then this number will reduce to either once a day or sometimes once in two days.
- Your baby’s poop should be mustard yellow in color and grainy. If it is like that, then you are producing enough breast milk.
- But the surest way of knowing that you are producing enough breast milk is that, your baby will be satisfied and content after every feeding and will leave your breast without prompting. In fact more often than not, he will go to sleep especially for the first few months.
Signs That Tell You That You are not Producing Enough Breast Milk
Listed below are few indicators which tell you that you are not producing enough breast milk:-
- If your baby is crying and being generally fussy for no reason whatsoever after every feeding even if you are feeding him regularly, then that means he is not getting enough milk which probably means you are not producing enough breast milk.
- If he is not peeing often enough then also it is possible that you are not producing enough breast milk.
- If your breast milk production is not enough, your baby’s urine will be dark brown or dark yellow in color with peculiar urine smell.
- If you are not producing enough breast milk then your baby will try to remain latched to your breasts even after feedings.
- If your baby is not gaining weight after a few weeks of birth then that means he is not getting enough milk which usually means you are not producing enough breast milk.
- If your breast milk supply is low due to inadequate production and your baby is not getting enough then his skin will start taking a sickly yellowish tint and the skin will start getting sallow and wrinkly.
Some Random Facts and Confusions about the Production of Breast Milk
Here are some things that may cause stress to the new mothers but are actually quite ordinary and not alarming at all-
- Breast milk production works on a very simple principle; “the more your baby takes, the more your body makes”. So if you are worried that you are not producing enough breast milk then make sure that you are feeding your baby regularly.
- Sometimes new mothers are making enough breast milk but the baby is still not getting enough due to the fact that the baby is not being able to latch on to the breasts properly. So make sure that your baby is latched on to the nipples as he is supposed to. If you do not know the proper way, then you should consult your doctor.
- One way of knowing whether your baby is drinking smoothly, is to see if he is gulping or not. If he is swallowing and pausing between feeds and then resuming after a moment, then your breast milk production is just fine.
- It is quite common for a new born to lose weight for the first few days and it has got nothing to do with insufficient breast milk production.
- Sometimes babies can be fussy due to other problems such as stomach ache or gassy stomach. If your baby is usually content after feeding but being fussy all of a sudden, do not relegate the problem as you not producing enough breast milk. Instead, you should consult your doctor.
If you monitor the above mentioned things, there is no reason why you can’t make your baby as well as yourself happy and healthy.
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2019). Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. Pediatrics, 143(1). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2018-3073
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2021). Breastfeeding FAQs. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-special-circumstances/diet-and-micronutrients/infant-feeding/index.html
La Leche League International. (2021). How Can I Tell if My Baby is Getting Enough Milk? Retrieved from: https://www.llli.org/breastfeeding-info/getting-enough-milk/