5 Signs That Your Baby Is Not Getting Enough Breastmilk

Welcome to the most beautiful chapter of your life- motherhood. It is often advised that you should start breastfeeding as soon as your new little one is born. While some mothers start feeding their newborns immediately, others often fail to express breast milk. Almost 90% of women start feeding within 48 hours of the arrival of their newborn. Now that you have started on your breastfeeding journey, it is important that you keep a tab on how much milk you are expressing and if the baby’s tummy is full or not. As a new mother, you would often hear people say- ‘Your baby is not getting enough breastmilk, but don’t stress, because people got to say something. You should only worry if the signs below are apparent.

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Signs your baby is not getting enough breastmilk:

1. Number of wet diapers

Number of soiled diapers in a day is the best mode of knowing the quantity of breast milk which you are expressing. This is the reason why doctors advise the use of cloth diapers. If you feel that no more than 5 diapers are getting wet in an entire day, then it is a clear sign of the baby not getting his feeds properly. In an ideal scenario, close to 10 diapers should be going inside the laundry basket.

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2. Number of bowel movements

 In the first few days after birth, a baby generally passes motion 4-5 times a day. While the urine indicates the quantity of fluid in the milk, stool determines the quality of your breast milk, thus establishing a direct link with what a mother takes in her diet. The stool colour should change from sticky black green (meconium, in this case) to yellow mustard in colour.

3. Breasts feel sore and heavy after the feed

After you are done feeding your baby, your breasts should feel a lot of light and empty. As moms, we have our own favourite sides of feeding, but try to breastfeed on both sides.

4. Baby not gaining weight

All babies lose some amount of weight due to the loss of water after they are born. After a few days, if the feeds are going in a rhythmic fashion, the weight should increase at a steady pace. Check with your doctor for the growth chart and baby food chart of your baby.

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5. Baby is Still Fussy After the Feeds

Often mothers fail to recognize the symptoms of the baby’s tummy not getting full. They wonder, as to why the baby is still crying even after the feeding has been done. Watch out if the baby is latching on properly and is feeding for at least a good ten to fifteen minutes.

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Well now that you have recognized the symptoms of baby not getting enough breast milk, here is a look at some pointers on what can be done in such scenarios:

  • Check whether the baby can latch onto the breast properly. Many new moms and babies find latching difficult. If you are also facing the same issue, you can reach out to a lactation consultant for the same.
  • Sometimes, the baby is taking the desired number of feeds in a day, yet he is hungry. This is an indication that you are not able to produce enough breast milk. Monitor your daily diet and include foods that are said to increase breast milk supply.
  • Keep a track of the baby’s weight after your discharge from the hospital. The initial weight will decrease, but after a few days, the weight should start increasing. If that is not happening, check with your doctor for this.
  • If you feel you that not enough milk is getting produced, do some changes in your daily diet. Observe the link between the supply and food pattern you follow. Have lots of liquids like lemonade, lassi and coconut water and foods rich in dietary fiber. Get enough rest and eat well.
  • If your baby is a sleepy feeder, constantly rub at the back of his ears, to prevent him from going to sleep. This will enable him to stay awake during feeds, thereby having a full tummy.
Disclaimer: Each baby is unique, while in most cases, these are the initial and most common signs which determine low breastmilk supply, however, you may want to consult the lactation consultant to confirm the same and find ways to increase the supply.
by Udita Saklani

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3 thoughts on “5 Signs That Your Baby Is Not Getting Enough Breastmilk”

  1. Such an important thing. I had no guidance when I was feeding my first one. He wasn’t feeding properly and it was weeks before I realised how little he was drinking. By then my milk dried up… I was devastated… had I been starving my baby?
    But with my daughter it was a different matter, 9 months of boob feeds!

    1. That’s wonderful. Most nursing moms give up on the idea of bf due to the initial problems. However, a proper guidance or a visit to a good lactation consultant can be extremely helpful!