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New mom always need to know about how to give enough supply eat for new baby. Even knowing that is easy to know when the baby tell you while hungry, other information also give the parent ability to monitor some sign and cues about progress of moms breastfed.

This article will give some information about the signs that help you to monitor and evaluate whether the baby is getting enough milk or not:

  • Weight gain. It is normal for babies to lose about 5–7 % of their birth weight in the first days after delivery. Their bodies require a great deal of energy in those first days, as they learn to maintain their body temperature as well as their digestive, respiratory and circulatory systems. Babies should regain up to their birth weight by two weeks postpartum. Once mom’s milk comes in and the breastfeeding relationship is established, you baby should gain (on average) about 6 ounces per week.
  • Diapers. After the first week, babies who are eating enough to meet their needs will produce 5–6 (or more) soppy-wet diapers daily. The term “soppy wet” was coined when cloth diapers were the norm, and refers to the appearance of a cloth diaper that contains 3 or more tablespoons of liquid.

    But since the majority of babies use disposable diapers, which are more absorbent, it can be hard to tell how a soppy wet diaper should appear. You can pour water (3+ tablespoons) in your brand of diapers to get an idea of how it should look and feel.

    Babies should have 3–4 (or more) dirty diapers after one week. The normal stool of a breastfed baby usually has a mustard yellow color, a soft, loose, watery texture, and many times a "seedy" or "curdy" appearance.

  • Other signs. Usually after a baby has nursed well, mom’s breasts will be softer after the feeding. A baby who has met his needs is often times described as “milk drunk” or “floppy full” and very content.

Many times a new mom will think her milk supply is low, when in fact it is meeting the needs of her baby. If your baby is gaining weight at a rate of at least 6 ounces per week on breast milk, you are making enough milk for your baby to grow and thrive. Weight gain is the only measure of milk adequacy.

Many times moms use other criteria to evaluate the adequacy of supply. Some of these other measures may evaluate other characteristics of milk, such as quality, but these are NOT good criteria for measuring milk supply:

  • The sensation of let down
  • The presence of leakage
  • How the breasts feel
  • How frequently the baby nurses
  • How happy or content the baby is
  • How much milk can be pumped

The Practice of Supplementing Breast Milk

If your pediatrician notices an inability of your baby to regain her birth weight in the first few weeks, he may recommend supplementing your breastfed baby's diet with formula to prevent failure to thrive. Failure to thrive is a treatable condition, classified as an inability to take in, retain, or utilize the calories needed to gain weight and grow as expected.

In the absence of failure to thrive concerns, supplementing with formula in the first month can put you and your baby at serious risk of not developing a complete breastfeeding relationship, which can induce failure to thrive in later months. Bottle nursing requires less effort from your baby to draw milk out (whether formula or breast milk), so it is best to avoid bottles for the first 4– 6 weeks—until baby has developed a good, strong suck at the breast that can adequately draw the fat-rich hindmilk, which provides calories for weight gain and satiety.

When You Do Have Low Milk Supply?

If you have determined (with the help of your healthcare provider and lactation consultant) that you do have a low milk supply (characterized by slow weight gain and not enough soppy and dirty diapers), the most common cause is usually inefficient calorie and fluid intake for mom.

In the first days and weeks of breastfeeding a new baby, your focus is oftentimes on feeding your baby, recovering from delivery, catching sleep when possible, and adjusting to life with an expanded family. In the midst of all this transition, you may nibble on food throughout the day but not really eat the way you should. You may even feel that you are eating, but when you take a closer look, you may notice that your caloric intake is not near your body's increased needs. The BabyFit food tracker and the Post Pregnancy Nutritional Transition articles are two tools that can help you monitor your food and water intake to ensure you meet your nutritional needs. Breastfeeding is very energy demanding, so without adequate calories and water, your body cannot produce the milk that your baby needs—regardless of how hard baby is trying or how frequently she is at the breast.

After checking your diet, increasing your calories by at least 300 (above your pregnancy needs), drinking plenty of water and nursing frequently, your supply should increase. However, if you still do not see baby gaining enough weight, producing enough soppy wet diapers, and remaining content, these options may also help:

  • Nurse or pump for at least 10-15 minutes every 1-1/2 to 2 hours during the day and every 3 to 4 hours at night to stimulate the breasts to produce more milk.
  • Offer both breasts at each feeding, keeping baby at the breast until she takes herself off. You may need to do breast compressions to allow the hindmilk to flow and keep baby engaged at the breast.
  • Along with nursing, you may want to add a couple pumping sessions as well.
    Using a pacifier or hands for other sucking is alright, as long as baby is brought to the breast to eat every 2 hours.
  • Do not use supplements such as formula, solids, water, or juice. Rely on the breast 'round the clock to supply baby’s nutritional needs. Monitor the diapers to make sure baby is getting enough to eat.
  • There is some research that suggests that herbs such as fenugreek, blessed thistle, and alfalfa can help increase milk supply. Speak with your physician and get a recommendation before starting any supplementation.
  • When nothing else works, some U.S. physicians will prescribe Reglan (Metoclopramide), a prescription drug for low milk supply. Generally this is only necessary in extreme cases. *If you live outside the U.S. in a country where the drug Domperidone (Motilium) is approved, it may also be used for low milk supply and seems to have far fewer side effects than Reglan.

(by Tanya Jolliffe, Nutritionist - BABY.TopResource.NET Reference)



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